For the majority of us, £120 is quite the outlay. So are the Melon Alleycats worth the expense? Should you part with that much cash for a pair of riding glasses? I’ll let you make up your own mind, but I’m sold.
- Interchangeable Zeiss lens
- Hyperflexible frame (TR90)
- Comes with Zeiss lenses (additional lenses, £45)
- Lenses are shatterproof
- Glasses are customisable
- Has a smart venting system to keep things fog-free
- Rubberised nose piece
- Comes with a premium carry case
I’ve been riding with the glasses for the past few months through rain, snow and sunshine, changing lenses when needed to suit the conditions and where I’ve been riding. Choosing from the six frame colours, I opted for pink (cliche perhaps, but they look pretty sweet), then out of the five frame options chose the red chrome (a great all-rounder) and finished it off with pink nose rubber (there are six colours to choose from). The glasses also came with a low-light lens as standard. Packaged in a premium case, they come with an additional carry bag. The case also has space for your lenses.
First impressions, the glasses are incredibly comfortable, even when riding rough terrain. I particularly like the wide lens and the fact the glasses didn’t obscure my view at all. They stay put, fit well and don’t move around when you’re riding. They only steam up when I’ve been pedalling hard and get too warm, but saying that they clear incredibly quickly thanks to the venting system. 95% of the time, they are clear and this is part of the reason I opted to get them in the first place, I can’t stand glasses that steam up when riding.
I find they offer great protection from the wind, saving me from the inevitable eye-watering as the wind bites. The overall coverage helps to keep any debris, water and wind at bay, meaning you can just get on with the ride without worrying. I also like that they are super flexible and don’t have that ‘squash your head until it aches’ kind of feeling. They are comfortable, even after hours of riding. You kind of forget you’re wearing them.
The frame is super flexible (the material is called TR90) and pretty tough. I did find changing the lenses a little bit of a faff, but I do tend to be more gentle with things than needed (a lens wipe would be a nice addition to wipe them once you’re done, not that you need to manhandle the lens much). This video is very helpful if you need a how-to.
The glasses are designed to sit off your face, this sounds a little odd, but in practice, it works, especially where venting is concerned. Thanks to the rubberised arms, the glasses grip well and fit nicely with the variety of helmets I’ve ridden in. The low light lens is great for days where you’re heading into the woods. Even in really dense trees, I didn’t find them too dark. The red chrome lens was great in the sun, dialling down the brightness so I could focus on the trails.
Honestly, I can’t really find much about them that I don’t like. When you compare them to other glasses on the market, they are in the higher price bracket, but they aren’t the most expensive. Given that you get two lenses and get to customise the glasses to your own taste, they offer that little something over competitors. Plus, they look really good and are fairly lightweight. Is £120 worth it? I’d definitely say so, look after these and they’ll last. If you take the plunge, you’ll be reaching for these on every ride.