Serfas Gladiator And Assassin Sunglasses

When the Serfas rep mentioned he was sending a gladiator and assassin, my first thought was that I should have been a bit nicer to him. But he was actually referring to the Serfas Gladiator and Assassin sunglasses, both of which come with interchangeable lenses, a hard case, an insert for prescription lenses, and plenty of style. In need of a suitable model for them, I reached out to my friend Rob, who’s one of the most dedicated cyclists I know. Rob no longer owns a car, and rides his fixed gear Trek to his job at a local bike shop. He’s not the “spandex kit for a weekend century” kind of guy either. Rob and his wife just bought one-way tickets to Europe, and they’re going on an open-ended tour for an undetermined amount of time. So yeah, we chose genuine over pretty.

Serfas Gladiator in gloss white

First up is the Serfas Gladiator. Our evaluation samples were gloss white, but they are also available in silver or matte black. Straight temples are short, with a sturdy hinge at the front, and a long, straight earpiece, which is rubberized. Combined with a soft rubber adjustable nose piece (there’s even another included), they grip your head and stay in place using a bit of friction, rather than pressure. They’ll protect you in a variety of lighting conditions with grey, brown, rose, and clear lenses, so you can ride from dawn to dark.

As part of our testing, we have a variety of volunteers try them on and offer opinions about comfort, as well soliciting comments on style. Turns out that white isn’t for everyone, but the fit was really good, with no pinching or hot spots from pressure. One design point that came up more than once was the excellent side protection that didn’t limit peripheral vision. Of course, they need to be about more than fashion and comfort. Out in the real world of cycling, the Serfas Gladiator played well with my helmet without interference, and remained fog-free, despite not having any obvious venting. Overall, they hit all the key points – good looks, excellent performance, and outstanding value.

Serfas Assassin in silver

For a slightly more traditional shape, check out the Serfas Assassin. The sleek frames come in two flavors – gloss black, or the silver as shown in Rob’s high-fashion photo. Lens options are the same as the Gladiator, but reflective blue coatings on the grey make them hard to resist. Two different nose pieces are provided, and the earpieces are adjustable to get that perfect fit for all-day wear.

Weighing only 22 grams, the Serfas Assassin sunglasses are one of the most comfortable pairs of sunglasses I have ever worn. Fit at the nose is perfect for me, and after straightening the earpieces a bit, they are virtually unnoticeable. The thinner frames are more flexible than the Serfas Gladiator, making lens swaps quick and easy too. If there’s a downside, it’s that the lenses don’t offer quite as much coverage, and their edge can be seen at the limits of my peripheral vision. For riding along the lake or similarly high-reflective areas, as well as windy conditions, they are not exactly ideal. For everything else, these will probably be my go-to glasses when I don’t need my prescription. Of course, like the Gladiator, there’s an insert so you can have your optometrist make you some prescription lenses that snap inside.

Serfas offers more than 20 different sunglass options. If the Gladiator and Assassin are any indication of the quality, they’re certainly worth checking out. Materials and construction were better than expected at the $60 price point, and the four pairs of lenses, extra nose pieces, prescription insert, plus carry pouch/cleaning cloth all contained in the hard case are well beyond what I would have expected at that price. A quick test of the optics (looking through them at a printed grid from various angles) yielded no noticeable distortion. Like other Serfas products, they’re a great value, as they combine function and fashion without putting a huge dent in your wallet.

– Brian


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Both look like really nice sunnies. Pretty nice price point too since you get four pairs of lenses. I wish I saw these last year when I bought a new pair. Mark this up for the wish list!

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