100% distrupted the cycling scene with the introduction of the Speedcraft eyewear. I was so impressed by the original design, that I was curious to find out how good their follow up is with the S2.
The name, S2, comes from its Speedcraft pedigree; as in Speedcraft 2. Only a shortened version, but that’s where the similarities end. The S2 comes in altogether different design and uses new lenses that provide a very distinct result.
Why the change?
The original Speedcraft (S1) is large. Some would say extra large. So much so that in addition to the the S1 Air, there is the option of an S1 Short-Lens, known as Speedcraft SL.
But even with 3 choices within the S1 range, it is clear that off the bike they really stand out. And not necessarily in a good way. Walking down the street with such large shades turns heads and people close to me have dropped the name Ali-G. The S1 isn’t discreet.
Same, but different
For a start the frame is smaller, and everything leads on from this. The lens sits differently: in addition to being held by the top of the frame, it also fits securely through the nose-piece.
The lines on the S2 are subtle. Thus giving a rounder and one could say a more refined look. Wheras the S1 is bold, with sharp looks; the S2 softens both the frame and the lens.
How does it work?
Inside the hard-box, the S2 comes with: the hiper lens; a clear lens; a soft cleaning pouch and 2 nose clips. I was informed that the nose clips provide a choice for a variety of bridges. They also allow the lens to sit closer, or further from ones face.
Does it work?
As before, achieving maximum coverage remains my main goal on the bike. The original Speedcrafts are exceptional at this. The S2 isn’t the same, but they were never designed to be.
The Fit – the S2 is still very much larger than my Rudy Rydon’s, but distinctly smaller than the S1. This is not an entirely bad thing. Depending on the size of ones face, there’s every chance the S2 is a better option for people, but for my wide face, they come a tad short.
The Details – similar to the S1, there is a raised central section of the lens. It’s not as high as the S1, but sufficent enough for short moments on the drops.
Lenses – the HiPER lens deepens colours and with the mirror finish option is in keeping with the times.
Weight – although I haven’t had a chance to weigh them, perched on the face one easily forgets they are there.
The Look – unlike the S1, the base of the lens is etched. Probably more for aesthetic reasons than anything else, they finish off a very nice package.
What could be improved?
As good as the 100% S2’s are, there are a few areas they could consider addressing:
The S1 has an uncomplicated structure. From the top, the lens sits between the main frame and the nose piece at the bottome, that’s 3 simple pieces. The S2 has a central bar, behind the lens, that connects the main frame and the nose piece. It isn’t altogether disruptive once on, but why the change?
Each pair of glasses I own fog up This includes the S2. I don’t think there is any way to escape this. Like the S1, this only happens when one stops. Being in London, this happens often, especially when waiting at traffic lights.
I accept that the S2 is designed to be understated. All the same, it would have been helpful to continue the raised lens as introduced by the original S1. It makes all the difference when in the tuck position.
The low down
There’s not much to fault with the 100% S2’s. As long as one knows they are a different design, styling and ultimately a welcome alternative to the Speedcraft. Are they as good as the Speedcrafts? No, they’re simply different.
My preference – I definitely use the S1 for long rides. Whilst off the bike the S1 declares ‘Cyclist’, for those in the know, but it absolutely screams ‘Rapper’ for the unassuming non-cycling-passer-by. The S2 is a smart option for shorter rides. Whilst off the bike it works well for social events where you don’t want people staring.
At the time of writing the 100% S2 with HiPER red lenses retail for £180, but is available for around £140.
:: The review is independent and the club does not have any involvement with 100%, nor Sigma Sport. We simply like what they do. You can find a range of reviews here ::