Shimano Aerolite P RideScape
2020 text: Stan Koolen photos: Stan Koolen

The brand new Aerolite P RideScape sunglasses from Shimano are the latest offering from the brand. As with the Equinox, the Aerolite P is a new frame and lens shape for Shimano, with a curved wraparound profile and a rimless design, it offers a greater field of view and saves you weight.

In terms of performance, the new Ridescape lens is optimally tuned to provide better contrast and clarity in all conditions. The scene-specific cycling lenses are scientifically tuned to emphasize colors and highlight the objects and surfaces unique to each riding environment. Environments that would normally be washed out, dull or flat become more clearly defined, vibrant and vivid.

The Ridescape lenses have an ultra-clear and lightweight Polyamide (PA) substrate with a low refractive index, high Abbe value. The refractive index describes how light is bent and slows down as it travels through it. The lower the index the higher the visual clarity.Abbe value is a number that describes the amount of chromatic aberration (colored fringes around an image that cause blurriness). The higher the number the clearer the image.

The design is super sleek, aerodynamic, and ultra-light. Because the arms attach to the lens via ultrasonically welding, rather than glue, the weight is limited to 23,4 grams. This also means the lenses aren't interchangeable, so when you're riding in a different kind of environment you'll have to stick to the one you've already had or that you may have to buy two pairs of glasses to cover off more riding scenarios. There are two options available for the Aerolite P, the Ridescape RD (road) or Ridescape ES (extra sunny).

The rounded arms with anti-slip temple tips keep the glasses comfortably on your head. I found these comfortable to wear over long periods thanks to their lightweight and ultra-grip reversible nose pad. Reversible in this case means, the nose pad features different front and back thicknesses for fit adjustment. The arms give the right amount of tension so that they don’t slide down your nose, too much tension would cause possible headaches or skin marks. That was definitely not the case when I was testing these glasses. The glasses are actually so lightweight and comfortable that I wouldn’t be surprised if you forget to take them off.

According to Shimano the lens has a hydrophobic coating so that the water repellency is increased and water easily drips from the lens to keep your vision clear. The special anti-scratch treatment helps keep the glasses in good condition even after a possible crash or impact. I haven't tried crashing with these glasses nor did I ride in the rain, so I can't really confirm what Shimano's saying here, but I'll take their word for it.

The coverage of the glasses is outstanding through a clear and contrast-boosting lens. While riding, the glasses protect your eyes well enough thanks to the wide field-of-view single lens. Even when you're in de drops and look upwards you won't catch sight of the top of the lens, and when looking left or right the nosepiece and arms do not obstruct your vision at all,  the lens even comes around far enough to prevent any light leaks and it narrows the gap between the face and lens to reduce wind and dust intrusion. The Aerolite P probably belongs to the camp of the "big glasses" but they actually don't feel that big. That's mainly because of the rimless design. As far as aerodynamics, the rimless design creates an ultra-smooth aerodynamic surface that seamlessly blends with aero road helmets.

With the performance to match and a price tag that definitely isn't out of this world, I think they're worth buying. The lack of an interchangeable lens and not being able to choose different lens colors is a bit annoying and probably won't suit everyone's needs. But the Aerolite P Ridescape ES delivers excellent vision, very reliable coverage, is lightweight, and not super expensive so they definitely earn their keeps.

The Aerolite P Ridescape (ES) (RD) is available online and through selected Shimano dealers for €99,99.