by Jeff Britton, PCI #1205
Central Point (OR) Police Department
Industry Relations Committee
As a bike patrol officer, supervisor and IPMBA Instructor, I am constantly trying to find eye protection that looks professional, meets IPMBA standards for impact resistance, and has interchangeable lenses that filter UVA rays. We try to outfit our bike officers with the same make and model of sunglasses for uniformity, but finding a good pair of sunglasses can be tough sometimes despite the wide selection, in part due to our limited budget.
In the past, our team has tried inexpensive, interchangeable lens glasses from chain bike stores. They worked fine, but the quality was sub-par, and they broke easily. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the glasses in the $150 to $250 range that are just too expensive to outfit a bike team and for most officers to afford to purchase on their own.
This is where Tifosi Optics has found the perfect balance between affordability, quality, and design.
Tifosi markets its sunglasses for the outdoor enthusiast, especially those involved in cycling, golf, tennis and other sports for which sharp vision is important. For these activities, sunglasses need three key features: quality of optics; fit/comfort; and durability.
I had the opportunity to work directly with Erin Dahlquist, Director of Marketing of Tifosi Optics. After I explained our bike patrol needs for eye protection, she recommended the Veloce model.
The Veloce comes with interchangeable lenses that are described by Tifosi Optics as “de-centered shatterproof polycarbonate lenses that virtually eliminate distortion, give sharp peripheral vision, and offer 100% protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays, bugs, rocks, or whatever comes your way.” Lens installation/removal is fast and easy. The lenses tints that come with the Veloce are smoke, clear, and AC (All Conditions) Red. The lenses on the Veloce also have vents that help with air flow which limits or eliminates fogging.
The frame material is nylon with high bending strength and high resistance to chemical and UV damage. The rubber ear and nose pieces have a no-slip fit and are both adjustable for customizable fit.
I have worn these glasses for about a month and I can easily say they are now my favorite glasses for bike riding and everyday patrol use. The adjustable ear pieces have allowed me to mold them to my head so that they are comfortable while wearing my helmet without pinching my temple, and they have limited slip.
The lenses also seem to repel water and sweat better than any other pair of glasses I have worn. Some members of our bike team have also had the opportunity to try them out and they agreed that they are outstanding and professional glasses, perfect for bike patrol.
I have ridden single-track trails and dropped them a few times and have seen no scratches from the impact with the ground. I haven’t noticed any weaknesses with these glasses and with a suggested retail price of $60 to $80, you get a lifetime warranty, a hard-shell storage case, and a microfiber cleaning bag, making them a great bang-for-the-buck package.
Visit www.tifosioptics.com for more details and to find a local retailer.
Lt. Jeff Britton is an IPMBA Instructor and bike patrol supervisor with the Central Point Police department in Central Point Oregon. Jeff is a 24-year veteran of the force and has been a bike patrol officer for the last 10 years. He currently serves on the IPMBA Industry Relations Committee. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2013 IPMBA. This review appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of IPMBA News.