Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Smith redesigned its PivLock system, which allows for quick lens changes, and it’s front and center on the new Ruckus sunglasses. The old system featured a nub that slotted into the lens. To remove the arms, you pivot them and they release. It was simple enough, though you did sometimes need to force it a bit, which could be unnerving.
The new system is far easier to use and feels more durable. Instead of the nub slotting into the lens itself, the arm slots into a plastic piece that’s affixed to the lens. That takes the lens itself out of the equation, and mates the arm with a dedicated mount. The nub is much larger, too, which takes the guesswork out of positioning the arms.
It’s a better system than the previous PivLock, though it’s not as nifty as Smith’s Mag interchangeable technology. Of course, you’ll pay a lot more for the Mag System, which lives on the Attack and Attack Max glasses.
Beyond the lens replacement system, the Ruckus glasses have a lot going for them. The two-position nose piece makes it easy to find your ideal fit. The pads click into place, so it’s simple to ensure both sides are spaced evenly.
The earpieces flex enough to work around any troublesome interference with helmet fit systems. But they don’t hold their position if you bend them downward, so if that’s your go-to solution for working around your helmet fit system, you might be disappointed here. We got a bit of helmet interference, which would lead to the glasses sliding forward and down the nose slightly. It wasn’t a major bit of movement, but it was annoying nonetheless; fortunately, it was dependent on the helmet we were using at the time, so this movement didn’t happen with every helmet.
The ChromaPop lens clarity is exceptional. Details tend to pop out more clearly, which is vital when you’re trying to thread a line on bad roads. Perhaps more importantly, road features stand out in changing light conditions — zipping through shady spots and back onto bright roads, for example.
The Matte Red Rock color looks more like a faded salmon in person, and it’s not exactly a winner. Fortunately, the Ruckus glasses come in five other color options, all of which look a bit suaver than our test pair.
The Ruckus sunglasses fit nicely into a lineup of already stellar Smith sunglasses. While the aesthetics may not wow you, the comfortable fit, large field of vision, and easy lens-changing system all contribute to a good pair of sunglasses.