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The Spectacle Factory is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 10 review(s).

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Friendly service, thanks to Robert who took the time and care to ensure that I was happy with my new glasses. I would definitely recommend.

- Paul Wellman

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Visited the Spectacle Factory a couple of weeks ago for the first time. James did my eye test and was very thorough and informative. Chose a pair of glasses afterwards with the help of another member of staff. Great customer service. I have always gone to high street opticians before and never sure what glasses suit me. I was allowed to take my time and offered helpful advice. Love my new glasses which I picked up with the week. I will be returning to the Spectacle factory in the future. Far superior in terms of quality and customer service compared to other opticians I have been too.

- J B

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My wife and I both have great glasses (and sunglasses) from The Spectacle Factory. Right from our very first visit we have been very impressed with the highest level of care and attention to detail, both with eye tests and the choice of lenses and frames. They seem to have a flair for helping you to choose the right glasses. Once your order is ready, nothing is too much trouble to ensure that the fit and the suitability of your glasses is perfect for your needs and that you are completely happy. Their ongoing service is second to none. We can highly recommend The Spectacle Factory..

- Geoff Gosling

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Came in today for help with some frames, repaired no questions asked, there and then on the spot Brilliant service

- Alex

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All the staff are so helpful and switched on to all your requirements I would recommend them all day what a good experience

- Roy gardiner

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The Spectacle Factory offer me the kind of customer service and ability to customise my choice of spectacles that just is simply not available on the High Street. From Initial contact, to delivery of the finished product, you are treated like a loyal friend. Nothing is too much trouble. Unbiased advise, on choosing the correct spectacles for your particular application. A vast range of frames from the very cheapest to the latest designer frames. I choose the Spectacle Factory, because they can provide me with, customised glasses, to align with my particular needs and requirements. Most high street opticians have a 'one size fits all' attitude. The Spectacle Factory does not subscribe to this theory and treats every client as an individual. Their eye sight is very comprehensive and is 50% longer than the industry standard. If you value your eyesight, and want the very best care, this is the place to visit.

- Paul van de Rooy

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Rob and the team were excellent help with the professionalism and advise . I will become a faithful member of the spectacle factory!! Thanks again team

- Dan Amin

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👍

- James

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Excellent advice with a fantastic product range,

- Thomas Sayer

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Highly recommend The Spectacle Factory - excellent service will definitely be using again.

- Hattie

Oakleys For Cycling

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3 great alternatives to Oakley’s for cycling

 

Oakley continue to dominate the cycling eyewear market. But does being the most popular necessarily make them the best?

Firstly, before I continue it needs to be said that there’s a lot of stuff on the Oakley website talking about technologies that are unique to them. I couldn’t find a single one that actually was unique, so don’t be fooled into thinking you can only get what you want from them.

But this blog isn’t about Oakley, rather the great cycling eyewear products that are also out there. I’m going to list what I believe are 3 of the best and analyse the pros and cons of each.

 

 

 

  • Smith Optics Pivlock Arena Max

 

Smith-Optics-Pivlock-Arena-Max

 

The Pivlock has regularly been the 2nd most used frame in the Tour de France over the last few years (Oakley being no1 of course). They say that it’s “the world’s lightest interchangeable lens system”, and I would agree. Somehow it manages to strike the perfect balance between lightness and grip, especially with the adjustable nose piece, which along with the end tips is coated with a hydrophilic rubber. They just don’t move once they’re on.

They come as a kit with 3 lenses; a full sunglass shade, a clear lens for night and a high contrast lens called the ‘rose ignitor’. Most of my clients with the Pivlock use the ignitor almost exclusively as it’s the most adaptable and really improves contrast. With a bit of practise under my belt, I’m able change the lenses over in about 30 seconds.

The huge advantage for glasses wearers is that the Pivlock can be made in almost any prescription, using an insert. Prescription inserts are usually… awful, but the one for the Pivlock pretty much covers the entirety of the front lens; it’s by far the best I’ve come across. Smith Optics did a really good job on that.

Here are a couple of photos of how the insert looks from the front and the back:

Glasses-Insert

Glasses-Insert-2

 

 

  • Nike Show X-2 with Max Outdoor lens

Nike-Show-X-2-With-Max-Outdoor-Lens

The Show X-2 is a really versatile frame – I’ve had people order it with golf lenses, cycling lenses and general purpose sunglass lenses. Like the Smith Optics Pivlock above, the lenses can be changed depending on the activity. However they come as standard only with the one lens type, and for cycling I would recommend the Max Outdoor Photochromic technology.

The green colour is great for increasing contrast, and being photochromic means they always match the conditions you find yourself in, which in my experience is fantastic for cyclists, who might start their journey in rainy conditions and end it in bright sunshine (or vice-versa). The lens doesn’t go completely clear, as it’s designed for daylight or dusk conditions, so isn’t suitable for night time use.

Nike-show-x-2-With-Max-Outdoor-Lens 2

 

The Show X-2 is great for glasses wearers, as they can be made fully in prescription without the need for an insert with a variety of lens technologies, including the Max Outdoor Photochromic.

 

 

 

  • Maui Jim Banyans with Maui HT lenses

 

For my money Maui Jim make the best pure sunglasses in the world. But are they up to the rigours a cyclist puts their eyewear through? The Maui Jim Banyans certainly is. Made from Grilamid, which is an extremely strong, lightweight and flexible material, they are both comfortable and durable.

 

Maui-Jim-Banyans-with-Maui-HT-lenses

Although you can’t see from the picture, the brow bar is modified with air vents to prevent steaming up, which is very useful. The nose pads are fully adjustable, as are the end tips.

But by far the best feature of the Banyans are its lenses. Maui Jim have some of the best sunglass lenses in the industry, so where to begin? Firstly, they are polarised, meaning 99.9% of glare is eradicated. Second, the high contrast tint means the view is brighter and clearer when in low light situations. Next, they have colour enhancers that make colours visibly ‘pop’ out at you (if you’re the type of cyclists who likes to take in the scenery then you’ll love that, as you can see from the image below). Finally, they have a ‘bi-gradient mirror’ which blocks more light at the top and bottom of your vision, meaning the sunglasses ‘squint’ for you, which is handy when cycling towards the sun.

 

Maui-HT

 

 

Maui Jim lens feature breakdown:

  1. Polarised
  2. High Transmission tint
  3. Colour Enhancers
  4. Anti-Squint Mirror

 

 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Maui Jim offer some of the best customer service in the industry (which is why a few years ago we made the decision to stock them rather than Oakley), so you’re safe in your purchase, not that anything usually goes wrong.  They are also available in full prescription if necessary using some the most advanced manufacturing processes in the industry.

 

Polarising opinions…

 

During my research I came across an interesting discussion here:

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/general-cycling-discussion/polarized-lens-not-286989.html

It’s amazing to see how some people swear by polarised lenses whilst just as many swear against them.  There doesn’t seem to be any consensus.

My instinct as an optician is always to recommend polarised lenses. It’s quite simple, they enhance contrast, control glare, and improve depth perception. Why wouldn’t you want those benefits?

But it’s interesting that many of the specific cycling frames out there don’t have polarised lenses. It probably comes down to potential interference with the LCD displays on cycling computers. In any case, we have the facilities in-store to show you a comparison of all the lens types available, so you can make the best decision.

So, there you are, three of the best cycling frames on the market. There are of course many more options out there, but those are the ones I tend to recommend to my clients.

 

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