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The Rudy Project Tralyx sunglasses stand out. They aren’t as familiar as Oakleys or other well-known eyewear brands, but they sacrifice little when it comes to performance. However, at $250, the price is a little steep for their unique look.
The Tralyx’s aesthetics hinge on the swooping, curved frame, which in the case of our test pair was a gaudy hue of gold, to match the Bahrain-Merida team’s kit. Fortunately, Rudy offers 12 color options for the frame.
The frame temples have ample cut-outs but felt solid, not flimsy. With soft, rubber tips, the shades fit comfortably, and if your head is particularly small, you can bend the Tralyx’s rubber for a more snug fit.
We tested the RP Optics Multilaser Orange lens, which had a mirrored finish that worked well on bright Colorado days. Perhaps this hue will be a bit dark if you’re riding in and out of shadowy forests, such as the hills around Santa Cruz or a New England trail. We also appreciated the lens’s gradient tint, making the top a bit darker than the bottom — it was easier to glance down at a GPS head unit.
The Tralyx seems more inclined toward ventilation than full coverage, between the open, rimless bottom of the lens and the vent holes throughout. We appreciated the air flow on slow, sweaty climbs. At speed, the design didn’t present any problems for our contact lens-wearing eyes, but if your eyes are extra-sensitive to wind, the Tralyx might not protect as much as other options, such as an Oakley Jawbreaker. You could also consider the Tralyx’s XL lens size for more coverage. (We tested the smaller SX lens.) It is relatively easy to swap lenses, and Rudy Project offers an array of tints.
With optical quality on par with nearly all other major offering, Rudy Project’s Tralyx is a fine sunglasses option if you’re looking for a unique aesthetic, however the price might give you pause. Oakley’s Radar, for example, has a similar design and sells for $190. Smith’s PivLock Arena comes in at $189 with a spare lens included.
If you’re not turned off by the price, the Tralyx is a high-performance piece of eyewear with a fresh look — even if you opt for something more subdued than the gold frame.