Smith Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first-ever ski goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam, and the company has grown dramatically ever since. Today Smith offers a huge range of sunglasses, goggles, and protective equipment for all kinds of sports and activities. The Pivlock Overdrive is Smith's idea of what a pair of sunglasses should help you accomplish on the bike. With features including a new two-position adjustable nose fit and three different sets of high-performance lenses, the Pivlock Overdrives are ergonomically adjusted for optimal integration with bike helmets and meant to let your eyes focus on what's important to let you get on with the task at hand. Eager to find out what this translates to on the trail, we donned our glasses and headed out into the sun.
Smith Pivlock Overdrive Glasses Highlights
- 3 Sets of Interchangeable Carbonic TLT Lenses supplied with each pair
- Hydrophobic lens coating
- TR90 frame material
- 2-Position adjustable nose pads
- Medium fit with large coverage
- Slide-on temple tips
- Hydrophilic Megol temple and nose pads
- 9 base shields lens
- Frame measurements: 64 width x 38 height x 17 bridge x 130 temple
- Lifetime warranty
- Colors: Black/Green Sol-X Mirror, Black/Polarized Gray, Black/Red Sol-X Mirror, Black Neon/Platinum, Caldera Red/Platinum, Gray Orange/Red Sol-X Mirror, Matte Black White/Green Sol-X Mirror, Matte Fatigue/Red Sol-X Mirror, or Tortoise/Polarized Brown
- MSRP: $199.00 USD
The Smith Optics Pivlock Overdrive glasses come well presented in a nice, durable case which holds the sunglasses and alternative lenses, a sticker, warranty info, a soft case, and a lens changing instruction manual.
Upon seeing the sunglasses, my first impression was that this is not the frame shape I normally wear for riding, however I was impressed with the quality of the sunglasses. Closer examination revealed them to be well made and lightweight with a durable feel. They had some flexibility, in a good way. Like you would have room for error if you snagged or caught them on something. When I put the sunglasses on, I noticed some gaps and spacing between my face and the glasses, testament to the fact that this model is not ideally suited to the shape of my face. On the other hand, the glasses still fit comfortably enough without the arms gripping too tightly or causing undue pressure points behind the ears.
On The Trail
These particular sunglasses didn't fit my face as comfortably as I would have wanted, a question of facial shape and personal preference here. So for me, wearing these glasses while riding proved a bit distracting at times. They shaded and protected my eyes from sun and dust, but the fit still left sizable gaps for wind and dust to affect my eyes, as well as it being disconcerting at times to both see through and around the sunglasses, due to them not really hugging my face. Having the option of three different lens choices and being able to swap lenses without any real hassle was definitely convenient, especially when riding different terrain in different conditions; from open desert and bright sun to spotty lighting under canopies of trees. The lenses themselves provide good optical clarity with each of the different tints providing different experiences for different conditions. While testing all three lens options, Smoke, Rose, and Clear, I never experienced lens distortion or fogging of the lenses. The Smoke tint was best used in bright areas with few shadows. The Rose tint were my favorite all around lenses to wear. They worked well going between sun and shade. The Clear lenses worked well for when you just needed eye protection without any tinting. I never experienced sweat dripping onto my lenses and blurring or obscuring my vision, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't happen to a different individual.
Things That Could Be Improved
The sunglasses are of high quality, worthy of Smith Optics' stringent standards and in line with what you'd expect at this price point. I know these sunglasses were not the right pair for me, but they are still good, quality sunglasses. The only other issue I would point out is that the two piece design with a rubber sleeve over the arms can catch and pull on hair when taking them on or off, especially with a hat or helmet on. Wearers of the long hair beware!
Long Term Durability
The Pivlock Overdrive sunglasses have been hardy and durable. I was constantly tossing them around, throwing them in backpacks, or leaving them laying around with random junk piled on top of them. The sunglasses have held up like a champ thus far, and up to this point the lenses have remained scratch resistant as well. They should handle any normal wear and tear within reason, and by that I mean, they will handle being dropped, chucked around, and maybe even sat on a time or two. Just don't go mobbing over them in a technical section on your DH bike. That would be unreasonable.
What's The Bottom Line?
The bottom line is that if you want a pair of quality, durable sunglasses, Smith Optics is a good choice. The Pivlock Overdrives are well made sunglasses that live up to the Smith Optics quality standard. Just make sure to try on different shapes of frames in person before you buy so you will know what works and performs optimally for you.
For more on the Pivlock Overdrives and the rest of the range, head on over to www.smithoptics.com.
About The Reviewer
Colt Maule's mountain biking roots took hold during his youth in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California, and bikes have been a part of his life from that point on. Over the past four years, he has submersed himself completely in the world of mountain biking. He travels full time to numerous trail systems and mountainous locations that generally put his long travel or extra squish suspension to good use. Since he spends quite a bit of time in new areas, it's a common theme for Colt to be riding a trail for the first time, pinned with local riders. No matter where he is, his trail style keeps him constantly accelerating; whether he's manualing, popping off rocks and rollers, or railing corners. He's probably happiest though, on a good, technical descent. The benefit of riding a mountain bike full time for a living, in continually changing locations, accompanied by his demanding riding style, allows Colt to put his products to the test in every situation.