So, you’re in the market for a new pair of cycling sunnies? You know that fresh shades, well chosen, will be the cherry atop the cake of your nicely developing spring-into-summer-cycling form? You want something high quality, with lenses of crystal clarity, and you want to look a bit pro?
Time was, not that long ago, that with these criteria in mind you’d have two, maybe three choices to go at. Once you’d committed to shelling out the £100+ price tag your options were few.
But times have changed. Cycling has never been so marketable, kit choices have mushroomed, and you need to know which brands are worth your hard-earned cash.
Splashing out the £100+ and being disappointed is just too much to contemplate.
Allow me to put your mind at ease with regard to Koo, and their Demos shades.
First off, we can tick the style box pretty quickly: they’re designed and made in Italy, the European headquarters of style. We all know that our Italian cousins are a very visual people, both in the looking and the being looked at, which will always bode well. You know they’ve spent time on the aesthetics.
We also know that if you want to look pro, right now, size matters. The Demos are in that 2023 sweet spot of big-but-not-too-big (because not everyone wants to look like Simon Yates).
But style is personal, and you’ll make up your own mind. For my money, from any angle, the Demos look amazing.
So lets consider more practical matters of quality, fit, and comfort.
The lenses are from Zeiss, who know a thing or two about the lens game. The clarity must be close to perfection. I am nothing more than a cyclist who has worn lots of pairs of shades, with no lens-related technical knowledge to back it up, but I can’t imagine how they could be any better.
Pop these shades on your face and the world is HD.
I tested the turquoise, sunny day lenses, with a visible light transmission of 11%, and was a little concerned they’d be semi-redundant here in the north of England, where we have a hundred different names for cloud cover such is it’s ubiquity.
Not the case.
(Images: Doing my best in the weather available)
Effective as expected in full sun, and hugely impressive on all but the gloomiest cloudy days, the Demos brought clarity and optimism to even the most unpromising conditions: a solid three-season pair of shades.
They breathe well too, with zero fogging issues. Though admittedly the mercury has only grazed the late teens Celsius thus far this year, at best – but the ventilation is good.
The frames (and in fact the shades in general) feel insanely light yet in no way delicate. On the contrary, the impression is robust and well built. The arms grip nicely and the feeling of facial security is enhanced by two options of nose piece – a couple of rubber wings, or a single horseshoe gripper – presumably designed to cater to all but the most non-standard profiles. In a nice touch, each nose-piece also clicks confidently between three positions for added customability.
Koo don’t seem to be team issue in the World Tour right now but were certainly the supplier of choice to Trek Segafredo a couple of years back, adorning the faces of the likes of Vincenzo Nibali and Mads Pederson. The Demos are so on point, so 2020’s in style and performance, they would without doubt hold their own in today’s pro peloton.
In ten years, when we’re all back wearing tiny, minimal eyewear, we might look back and laugh: what-were-we-thinking?
Better to live for the moment, though, for the here and now, right?
Koo are a serious player making race-ready, café-ride enhancing shades, and are on a par with any of the other brands out there making a pitch to protect your eyes and enhance your look.
Risk of splashing out £100+ and being disappointed: minimal.
Those look pretty swish. Actually come to think of it, very similar to my 100% Speedcraft Sunglasses, but for a better price.
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