The shape of innovation.
We've been around long enough to accept that true innovation requires a shift from the rigidity of paradigms. By this, we mean that change requires a bit of turning the status quo on its head, starting over, and reinventing every aspect that's ever been used as a design crutch. Or, in even simpler terms, if you want to see what true innovation looks like, set your eyes upon the Assos Zegho Amplify Sunglasses.
Zegho, pronounced 'Zay-go,' is a different animal than your typical sports eyewear. You know just by glancing at it that the design cues look to come from the runway shows used for debuting Assos clothing lines. The look not only stands out, but it turns heads. The Zegho is futuristic while being contemporary, fashionable while being practical. These attributes are typical of Assos, evidence that its design is as smart and thorough as its paradigm-changing jackets and shorts.
And because Assos is Assos, it looked at every single aspect of eyewear in order to figure out what works and what doesn't. It's for this reason that Assos partnered with Carl Zeiss Vision, a leader in lens technology. Zeiss has a reputation for producing lenses of amazing clarity. It not only works in eyewear, but it also develops microscopes and camera lenses. In fact, its reputation is similar to Assos in that its products are thought of as both 'elegant and well-constructed.'
The Zeiss lens spans the face, 17cm across and 6cm top to bottom at its tallest, affording a full 180 degree field of vision. With this completely unobstructed view, you feel less like you're behind a lens and more like you're headfirst out into the world. The lens has zero optical distortion, which is referred to in shorthand as Assos zOd.Tec. This is an amazing feat considering the long compound curvature of the lens. The lack of distortion is absolutely refreshing. If you regularly wear shabby lenses and try these on, you'll see a remarkable difference.
Assos chose to use polyamide for the lens because it's lighter, more flexible, and more durable than polycarbonate. It has excellent optical quality and significantly better impact resistance as well. As such they were certified Optical Class I by Certottica, the Italian standards agency.
Like its apparel, Assos worked to optimize the fit of the Zegho. So rather than using a continuous curve lens, like a base-8 or base-7, the Zegho lens is curved to match human facial structure. The lens is big around each eye for maximum protection, but sculpted down elsewhere to keep the weight down and to reduce the likelihood of fogging.
You'll notice that the lens has a short, sharp transition from dark to clear about 2/3 of the way down from the top. Assos call this Tunnel View or TV. It is unique to Zegho, and there's a patent pending on it. The idea comes from Assos designers not being satisfied with photochromic technology. The engineers at Assos live in a land where they'll be bombing down a sunny mountainside, go around a turn, and shoot into a dark tunnel. Photochromic lenses don't change fast enough in this situation. So, by making the lower 2cm of the lens clear, you'll simply need to tilt your head back a bit to see straight ahead through the clear portion of the lens. There's no need to take a hand off of the bars in order to remove your eyewear in low-light. Instead, you'll always be in control and still have eye protection.
Assos made a conscious decision not to polarize its lenses. Here, too, Assos was considering safety when descending at high speed. The way that it sees it, if you're descending on a road that is wet in sections, the light reflecting off of the water is a simple, time-proven, and visual cue that could save you from going down on slippery pavement.
The final technical hurdle is the reality of riding outdoors. In order to handle the sometimes grimy environment of cycling, the Zegho employs Ri-Pel. This is a Zeiss coating that hardens the lens, smooths the surface, and is transparent as to not alter the light transmission percentages. And with this coating, the lens is also anti-smudge, anti-static, chemical-resistant, easy to clean, hydrophobic, oleophobic, and more durable.
The Zegho is available with two lens versions. The first is the Grey G7026 neutral tint. It has 8-18% light transmission. The second Zegho lens, featured here, is the Yellow G2016 high-contrast tint. It has 80-100% light transmission. The yellow tint selectively reduces blue light to increase contrast and depth perception. This is why they're great on overcast and rainy days and also at night. The bottom of both lenses is clear, though it still blocks UV rays.
And while the lens makes up most of the Zegho, the arms and nosepiece hold it to your face, and Assos decided to revisit all the conventions and improve them. The first thing that you'll notice is that the arms are long, thin, and flexible. They capture your head shape softly, but confidently. Assos calls this Zeropressure, and it works because they wrap well past the ears. Likewise, the nosepiece is flexible, but has a sub-structure that is able to be bent to a general shape. The points of contact are covered in a sticky rubberized material that Assos calls clickFace. Essentially, this holds onto skin, even when sweaty. There are also mounts at the ends of the arms for an included elastic strap if you're looking for even more security.
The Assos Zegho is available with the Amplify frame and lens coloration. It comes with a Yellow lens and Black and White striped arms. Assos recommends cleaning the lens with water and mild soap. Shake to release excess water, and use the included micro-fiber cloth to dry and polish.
Proposition 65 Warning for California Consumers: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.
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Reviews & Community
In spite of the price, not overpriced.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
I've been wearing 'premium' sunglasses for a long time, from a variety of brands, and long ago learned about the benefits of non-polarized yellow lenses. Thus, I was immune to Assos marketing regarding these features. I already knew that Assos... nice try. I figured that since a good pair of Smith or Rudy Project glasses cost upwards of $300 and have roughly the same features... well, why would I consider glasses that cost even more? And, other brands have interchangeable lenses, so the Zeghos seemed dumb.
So fast forward to a few weeks ago when I found myself needing a new pair of glasses. Reading the reviews for these made me think they would be an upgrade (and I've been on an Assos kick lately anyway), so I decided to fork out the cash and now I wonder how I ever put up with the 'cheaper' sunglasses.
So what makes the Zegho sunglasses better:
1) The lack of interchangeable lenses mean that these glasses do one thing perfectly, as opposed to a wide variety of things not quite as well.
2) They are lighter, so I hardly notice that I'm wearing them (3, 4, 6, and 7 contribute to this feeling as well).
3) They are extremely flexible so the ear pieces wrap around my head without being tight. The lack of pressure behind the ears is a huge deal for me as excessively tight glasses cause headaches.
4) No blind spots. The hinges are beyond the edges of my peripheral vision so I don't feel like I'm wearing glasses. This seems like a subtle thing, but it's a game-changer for me.
5) Flat temples. A plus if you use a Garmin Varia Vision like me or if you wear your glasses under your helmet straps.
6) Full coverage. These things have the same coverage as ski goggles (minus the padding), so I can't see the edges of the lenses. Again, this contributes to the sense that I'm not wearing glasses.
7) No optical distortion. I never even knew that I wanted this, but subtle optical distortions are now noticeable on my 'cheaper' glasses.
8) In spite of the price, not overpriced. Go look at Smith/Rudy Project/Revo/Oakley. Look at their 'best' cycling glasses. Try them on. Note the price... most are about 10-15% cheaper than this and nowhere near as good.
Summary: Where's that 6th star? I need another star for this review.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely! Beautiful clear view - no distractions - and feels like you're wearing nothing at all! I always veered toward polarized sunglasses, but reading the specs on these changed my mind forever. These are pure perfection on any rides - just like another reviewer said, great under all conditions. LOVE - Assos, you found a fan for life!
briliant eyewear !
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
You might say " its just a glasses .." . Well , I got those 2 year ago. I was very sceptic , beacuse thay are yellow-ish clear. I was affraid , that , they might not work on very sunny days , plus the price ....u know ;) . When I put those on my eyes I found out I was wrong.... They are perfect for hot sunny days. They are perfect for cloudy weather . They perfect for rainy days. They are perfect for late evening rides. Winter , spring , summer , fall. All season. They are simply perfect . Extremly light ( feels like u r not wearing it ! ) When u put them on , u dont have to adjust them all the time. Thats a big plus too. They just stay in one position even with bumpy road. When is windy , thast another huge plus , wind doesnt go to your eye area. Thanks to large lens , your eye is 100% cover from top to bottom and side-to-side. Very cool. Super easy to clean with warm water and cloth which they provide along with glasses. Highy recom.