Review by Sean "Griz" McClendon // Photos by Taylor Sage and Ian Collins
When the team of riders using a product rips, it's usually a product that speaks for itself. Smith’s mountain bike team is off-the-hook, so the Fuel v.2 Goggles came with high expectations.
Goggles are an essential tool in mountain biking. What are we looking for in a goggle? We’re looking for a light, comfy feel, broad field of vision with no distortion, a lens that doesn’t fog up, and something that will match well with the rest of our kit. Let’s dive into the Smith Fuel v.2 with Sweat-X foam and determine the results...
Fuel v.2 Sweat-X Highlights
- Sweat-X three-layer foam
- Ergonomic outrigger positioning system
- Anti-fog lexan lens with tear off post mounts
- Roll-offs included
- Goggle bag included
- Silicone backed strap
- Lifetime warranty
- MSRP $65
Opening the box of goggles feels like opening a care package. Smith includes a clean goggle bag and a roll-off kit with the goggle, making them suited to any riding condition you could encounter. We like the simple and clean style of the white/black offset color-way, which compliments a black helmet well.
Comfort and field of vision are make-or-break initial impressions, and you can tell Smith did their homework. The Sweat-X three-layer foam combined with the outrigger positioning system allows the goggle to sit comfortably on your face, which is nice. Field of vision is ample and obviously improved upon from the original Fuel frame. The strap system is simple to adjust and supported with a silicone strip for consistent grip on your helmet. At $65, out of the box, we'd be hard pressed to ask for more.
On The Trail
Testing days ranged from muggy heat to lip-chapping dry heat, so we broke a sweat quickly to discover the Sweat-X foam wicks sweat very well. The lens didn’t fog up in dry SoCal or muggy Brazil – #grizil for you digitally fluent viewers. The anti-fog treatment works, and using the goggle bag consistently to clean the lens proved the anti-fog lexan lens to be durable. We never used the roll-offs, but are ready for a muddy day when it comes. The lens is also ready for tear-offs.
Most notably, the Fuel v.2 is comfortable, light and offers a great field of view. At times we forgot we were even wearing goggles.
Things That Could Be Improved
Anything that can improve this goggle is already available as an accessory. That said, we did find the roll-off system to be a little awkward to set up for the first time. Perhaps Smith could produce a tech tip with Brendan Fairclough - he has a cool technique with fishing line that dials the roll-off system for race use.
What’s The Bottom Line?
At $65 and made in the USA, the Smith Fuel v.2 Sweat-X package is a great deal. Complete with a tidy bag and a roll-off kit, the the goggles are both stylish and functional. The lexan lens doesn’t fog up, the frame is light and comfortable, Smith's three-layer Sweat-X foam wicks away sweat excellently, the field of view is fantastic, and strap adjustment is simple. On top of that, these goggles will most likely last multiple years. For those reasons, they're winners in our book.
For more details, cruise over to www.smithoptics.com.
About The Reviewer
Sean "Griz" McClendon is back, ladies and gentlemen. Following a major crash during the 2010 USA National Championship Pro downhill race, he put in the hours and fought his way back to health and the fun that is two wheels. Griz has ridden for a number of the USA's top teams throughout his racing career, testing prototype frames and components along the way. Motivated by the mantra "whips don't lie," you'll often find him perfecting his high-flying sideways aerial maneuvers while living the #pinelife.