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Bollé 5th Element Pro Cycling Sunglasses Review

Bollé 5th Element Pro Cycling Sunglasses Review

This month we have been testing out the Bolle 5th Element Pro Cycling Sunglasses and the verdict is Awesome!

To be honest I wasn’t quite sure about the glasses.  We have been testing other brands including Oakley and Rudy Project and both are super, so it was hard to imagine Bolle could beat them out.  Well Bolle’s 5th Element from our stand point might just do that.

Recently we contact Bollé, a French cycling company about reviewing their cycling glasses and helmets.  Bollé sent us the Bollé 5th Element Cycling Glasses and The One cycling helmet.

Bollé HISTORY

Bollé’s story began in the small town of Oyonnax, France in 1888. There, Seraphim Bollé started his company by first manufacturing combs and hair ornaments for the boxwood and horn indigenous to the region.  Over 125 years later, Bollé products are distributed world wide.  Bollé focus in particular is outdoor sports including snow sports, water sports, golf, tennis, cycling and outdoor adventure.

Bollé A Package Arrives

Bollé was kind enough to send out the 5th Element Cycling Glasses and The One Cycling Helmet

Bolle 5th Element Cycling Sunglasses Box

Bolle 5th Element Cycling Sunglasses Box 2

The packing job was good with Earth Aware packing.

Bolle 5th Element Cycling Sunglasses Packaging

The 5th Elements come with a standard Bollé sunglass box.

Bolle 5th Element Cycling Sunglasses Opened Packaging

The box contained a Sunglass case and directions.  Also included was an extra lens called the TNS Fire OLEO AF lens.

Bolle 5th Element Cycling Sunglasses Sunglass Case

In the Sunglass Case the 5th element was snug set with inside a lens cleaner cloth.

The 5th Element was setup with the Modulator Clear Grey OLEO AF lenses.

Bollé 5th Element Pro Cycling Sunglasses Specifications

  • B-MAX Extra Large Field of view
  • B-CLEAR lenses
  • B-SHAPE Temples
  • B-THIN Active Design RX
  • Photochromic lenses
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Antifog treatment
  • Hydrophobic – Oleophobic treatment
  • Adjustable nosepiece and temples
  • Retail $199.99

B-MAX LARGE FIELD OF VIEW

Bolle B-Max TechnologyOne of the unique features of the 5th Element is it’s large field of view that Bollé refers to as B-max technology.  Most cycling glasses have a frame that either wraps around the whole glass or goes along the top of the glass.  The 5th Element is considered a floating frame design where the glasses are suspended between the ears by attaching frames from the sides.

 

When looking down and forward a sunglass frame can often obstruct your view.  An example would be if you are in a paceline looking down but also looking at the person in front of you.  Bollé eliminates this issue by only having the frame attach to the side of the glasses.   This completely eliminates obstruction and makes the glasses wickedly cool to use.

PHOTOCHROMIC LENSES

Bollé sent us 2 types of lenses, including the Modulator Clear Grey OLEO AF and the TNS Fire OLEO AF.    The Clear Grey glasses are coated with Bollé’s photochromic technology and is embedded into the lens at a molecular level, automatically lighten and darken according to light conditions.

Bolle 5th Element Pro Cycling Sunglasses Review Modulator Clear Grey OLEO AF

The Clear Grey lenses are perfect for morning or evenings.  They are transition lenses meaning the lenses Darken from clear (low light) to grey (bright light).   The transition lenses are ideal for unpredictable conditions.  I found that they are my goto lenses in the morning before the sun really pops up.

It’s a little hard to tell, but the 2nd picture the lenses started to darken because of the bright sun.

Bolle Modulator Clear Grey OLEO AF Cycling Sunglasses Front

Bolle Modulator Clear Grey OLEO AF Cycling Sunglasses Rear

Bolle 5th Element Pro Cycling Sunglasses Review TNS Fire OLEO AF

The Fire lenses are perfect for clear sunny skies where the sun is beating down.  If the sun is out, I would definitely use the fire lens over the clear grey lens.

Below you can really see the difference in how much darker the Fire lenses are compared to the Clear.

Bolle TNS Fire OLEO AF Cycling Sunglasses Front Bolle TNS Fire OLEO AF Cycling Sunglasses

ANTIFOG TREATMENT

The 5th Element’s are coated with Bollé’s Antifog treatment.  Bollé claims that there will be no fogging on your eyewear under any circumstance.  In our testing we experience ZERO fogging and our testing conditions had temperatures ranging from 75 to over 100 degrees.

INTERCHANGEABLE LENSES

The 5th Element comes standard with the ability to interchange lenses as needed.  Each lens has 4 notches, 2 on either side, which are used to hold the 2 frame/ear arms in place.  While switching lenses is relatively easy, we did find it a little more difficult than either Oakley’s or Rudy’s quick change design.

VENTILATION AND SWEAT

Surprisingly the Elements side vents allow ample air flow without messing with your eyes.  As a high rate sweat monster, I found the glasses worked perfectly to keep the glasses dry, well as dry as they could.  I am pretty confident that no eyewear will beat my sweat rate.  Cycling with larger lenses seems to help reduce eye wear due to wind.

BOTTOM LINE

Bollé’s combination of Antifog and Large viewing area make the Bollé 5th Element an exceptional eyepiece for cyclists.  The glasses fit well and vent air without issue.  We weren’t sure about these glasses at the beginning, but they performed so well during testing, that they have become one of our favorite goto sunglasses.  We had zero issues with them during our many rides and are pretty confident that they will last for a long time.

While the glasses certainly aren’t as easy to quick change lenses compared to other popular brands, everything else about them stands out for an enjoyable ride without complaint.

Check out Bollé (http://www.bolle.com/) for their full lineup of products including cycling helmets and glasses.

 

 

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of GearMashers.com, 10KstepsDaily.com, EndTheTrendNow.com, AntiqueOutings.com, MiniatureReview.blogspot.com and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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