Home > Reviews

First Look: Shimano’s New Technium, Technium L, and Twinspark Cycling Sunglasses

Shimano adds three new models to its growing lineup of performance cycling eyewear with RIDESCAPE lens technology.

Shimano technium sunglasses lead image
6 Comments
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

This time last year, Shimano announced their upgraded RIDESCAPE lens technology for their existing S-Phyre and Aerolite sunglasses. Today, they are introducing three cycling sunglass models with the redesigned Technium and the new Technium L and Twinspark, all of which come with Shimano’s RIDESCAPE lenses with six “options that are tuned for different riding conditions and terrain types”. I was lucky to get my hands on the new Technium and Technium L last week, and after several rides, I’ve got some first impressions. But first, some details about Shimano’s latest additions to their growing lineup of cycling sunglasses.

RIDESCAPE Lenses

The six RIDESCAPE lens options. (photos/Shimano)

All three new models are built around Shimano’s RIDESCAPE lenses, a collection of six lenses designed specifically for different types of riding and light conditions. These lenses aim to cover all the bases from trail, gravel, and road, to super bright, daylight, and dim lighting. All of the lenses offer full UV400 protection, have been treated for scratch resistance and water repellency, and are made from a BPA-free polyamide material.

  • RIDESCAPE ES: Bright Vision: Extra sunny-tuned lenses minimize light transmittance to shield your eyes from extreme sunshine and blinding road glare. This reduces eye strain and makes differences in the ground’s texture easier to see.
  • RIDESCAPE HC: Daylight Vision: Daylight-tuned lenses filter out harsh asphalt glare to boost contrast and sharpen surface details. Richer colors and higher resolution give you a clearer view of the world for more confident and comfortable daily riding.
  • RIDESCAPE RD: Road Vision: All-around road-tuned lenses enhance certain colors and suppress others to boost asphalt contrast and visibility. This reduces eye strain and makes it easier to spot and react to hazards like potholes and rocks from afar.
  • RIDESCAPE GR: Gravel Vision: Gravel-tuned lenses boost the contrast of a wide range of surfaces to highlight subtle transitions between gravel, dirt, and asphalt.
  • RIDESCAPE OR: Trail Vision: Off-road-tuned lenses reduce glare from sun leaks when riding in and out of the shade and sharpen visual awareness so you can react more quickly to various trail surfaces (rocks, soil, sand) and common obstacles (roots, stumps, gaps).
  • RIDESCAPE CL: Dark Vision: Cloudy-tuned lenses boost light transmittance for better visual performance in dark, cloudy, and wet riding situations. Anti-reflection coating reduces oncoming headlight glare.

Technium

There frame colors of the new Shimano Technium sunglasses
The redesigned Technium sunglasses are a full-frame option with a slightly more angular look than the previous version. (photo/Shimano)

The new Technium sunglasses feature a full-frame design and a large, one-piece lens. They offer ample coverage with cylindrical lenses that I measured at 145mm wide and 55mm tall (including the frame). The lenses have small cut-outs on the upper and lower corners intended to allow a little airflow and reduce the chances of fogging. The Technium glasses come with your choice of the RIDESCAPE RD, GR, and OR lenses and come with a spare clear lens and a storage/lens cleaning bag.

Close-up look of the vent cutouts on the Ridescape lens of the Shimano Technium sunglasses
Vents on the corners of the lenses promote a little airflow. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

The frame is made with 45% Arkema Rilsan® clear G850 Rnew, a bio-based polyamide material. The arms are dropped slightly which helps avoid interference with extended temple coverage on some modern helmets, and the tips have textured rubber grippers to help them stay secure on your head. Additionally, the textured rubber nose-piece is reversible and allows the user to quickly and easily adjust the nose bridge fit with thicker and thinner sides.

The reversible nosepiece on the Shimano Technium sunglasses
Flipping the reversible nosepiece effectively changes the thickness to adjust the nose bridge fit. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

Technium Specs:

  • Frame Colors: Matte Black, Matte White, Crimson, Smoky Navy, Dark Olive, Bronze Gold
  • Frame Material: 45% Arkema Rilsan clear G850 Rnew bio-based materials
  • Weight: 27.4 grams
  • Lens Options: RIDESCAPE RD, OR, and GR
  • Spare Lens: Clear
  • MSRP: $100 USD, €99.95

Technium L

Shimano Technium L stock photo
The half-frame Shimano Technium L sunglasses. (photo/Shimano)

The Technium L sunglasses are a new half-frame model that is very similar to the full-frame Technium, just without the lower portion of the frame. The frames are made from the same material and also feature the reversible nosepiece and textured rubber grippers on the arms. While the one-piece cylindrical lens is roughly the same size, they look and measure a tad smaller overall without the lower frame. We measured the lens width at 140mm and height at 52mm (including the upper frame).

The Technium L is a tiny bit lighter at 26 grams and is available with the RIDESCAPE RD, OR, and GR lenses, as well as a Photochromic Gray. They also come with a spare clear lens and a storage/lens cleaning bag.

Technium L Specs:

  • Frame Colors: Matte Black, Matte White, Crimson, Smoky Navy, Dark Olive, Bronze Gold
  • Frame Material: 45% Arkema Rilsan clear G850 Rnew bio-based materials
  • Weight: 26 grams
  • Lens Options: RIDESCAPE RD, OR, GR, and Photochromic Gray
  • Spare Lens: Clear
  • MSRP: $100 USD, €99.95 ($125 with Photochromic lens)

Twinspark

Shimano Twinspark cycling sunglasses
The Shimano Twinspark sunglasses in White. (photo/Shimano)

The new Twinspark is Shimano’s value-oriented offering that’s a half-frame design paired with the RIDESCAPE HC Daylight Vision lens. It looks somewhat similar to the half-frame Technium L, but buyers are not given lens options, nor do they come with a spare clear lens. Regardless, the Twinspark seems like a solid value with the RIDESCAPE HC lens and a retail price of just $65 USD.

Twinspark Specs:

  • Frame Colors: Black, White, Deep Red, Smoky Navy
  • Weight: 25.3 grams
  • Lens: RIDESCAPE HC
  • MSRP: $65 USD, €54.95

First Impressions: Riding in the Technium and Technium L

Riding in the Shimano Technium sunglasses
Out for a mid-winter ride testing the new Technium sunglasses. (photo/Heather Benson)

Thanks to some unusually mild winter conditions here in the mountains of northern California, I’ve had the chance to test out both the Technium and the Technium L glasses, and so far, I’ve been impressed by both their comfort and the quality of the RIDESCAPE lens optics.

Unboxing

Unboxing the Shimano Technium and Technium L sunglasses
Unboxing the Shimano Technium and Technium L sunglasses. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

Both the Technium and Technium L come in a small cardboard box with a folding magnetic lid. While I certainly appreciate a fancier zippered hard case, I could see this box being useful for travel or long-term storage. Inside, the glasses come in a microfiber storage/lens cleaning bag that has a dedicated sleeve for storing the spare clear lens.

Fit and Coverage

Wearing the Shimano Technium sunglasses
Wearing the Shimano Technium sunglasses. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

I’m a big fan of large coverage sunglasses and I appreciate the size of both the Technium and Technium L. They both provide excellent coverage without completely dominating my face the way some larger sunglasses can. Shimano seems to have the sweet spot in terms of curvature, for me anyway, where the glasses sit close enough to my face to block the sun at extreme angles and keep birt or mud from flinging into my eyeballs without making any contact with my cheeks or brow. Additionally, the upper part of the lens extends high enough that I can’t really see the upper frame when I’m down in the drops on the gravel bike or riding steep terrain on singletrack trails.

Wearing the Shimano Technium L sunglasses
The Technium and Technium L are a good size that works well on both my larger face and my wife’s comparatively smaller face. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

I appreciate the dropped arm design as I’ve experienced some helmet and sunglass combinations that haven’t been ideal due to them making contact while riding. The lowered arms avoid that situation entirely. The arms are also a well-considered length that doesn’t extend too far back behind the ears, and I had no issues with them conflicting with either the helmet shell or the retention system on the three different helmets I tried them with. The fit adjustments are limited to the reversible nosepiece, but it is quick and easy to flip around and it makes a noticeable change to the fit on the bridge of your nose. I found the textured rubber of the nosepiece to be quite comfortable, and along with the rubber on the arms, it kept the glasses very stable on my face at all times.

Lens Performance

I had the opportunity to try two different lenses since the Technium and Technium L came with the RIDESCAPE OR (Trail) and RIDESCAPE GR (Gravel) lenses, respectively. Luckily, I was able to go on both gravel and trail rides in the past week to see how they performed in the conditions for which they were designed.

Looking down the trail through the Ridescape OR lens
Looking down the trail through the RIDESCAPE OR lens. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

The full-frame Technium glasses came with the RIDESCAPE OR lens that’s intended for off-road/trail use. Shimano doesn’t specify a VLT (visible light transmission) percentage for any of the lenses, but it’s definitely on the lighter/brighter end of the spectrum. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably right in the ballpark of 35 – 40% VLT. They have a rosy tint and are very pleasant to look through with super sharp and distortion-free optics. They seem to boost contrast quite well and perform great in mixed lighting conditions, like those experienced on forested trails while mountain biking. I tend to gravitate toward lenses that aren’t too dark, and I’ve always been a fan of a rose tint for riding in and out of shadows, so I really enjoyed the OR lens.

Riding in the Shimano Technium L sunglasses with the Ridescape GR lenses on a gravel bike.
Out for a gravel ride in the Shimano Technium L sunglasses with the RIDESCAPE GR lenses. (photo/Jeremy Benson)

The Technium L glasses I tested came with Shimano’s RIDESCAPE GR lens that’s been tuned for gravel riding. The GR lens is quite a bit darker than the OR lens (best guess around 20 – 25% VLT), and it has a greenish/grey tint that has more of a cooling effect. I took them out for a mixed surface gravel/road ride and found them to work very well for that application. Again, the lenses were super sharp and distortion-free while doing an excellent job of reducing glare and muting the harshness of the low-angle January sun. They tend to mute colors a bit as well, but the contrast was excellent and I could see every bit of surface texture on both paved and gravel roads.

Mountain biking in the Shimano Technium sunglasses with the Ridescape OR lenses
Out for a ride in the Technium glasses with the RIDESCAPE OR (trail) lenses. (photo/Heather Benson)

Parting Thoughts

I’ve only spent a little time riding in the new Shimano Technium and Technium L sunglasses so far, but my initial impression is that they are really good. They fit me well, provide ample coverage for my sensitive eyes, are stable in use, and have quality optics that rival the best in the business. And, while $100 isn’t exactly “cheap”, it is super competitive and comparatively quite affordable in the context of premium cycling sunglasses, many of which cost more than double that price. I’ll be spending significantly more time riding in both models this winter and spring to see how they stack up against the best cycling sunglasses on the market in the long term.

More info at ride.shimano.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Exodux
24 days ago

I’m usually not a fan of Shimano products but I give them lots of credit for producing a sunglass with features that we see in some $200+ sunglasses. I guess when Shimano doesn’t sponsor high end athletes with a sunglass contract, they can make great sunglasses at a reasonable price.

FritzP
FritzP
23 days ago

Do these glasses include any coatings? Anti-fog, oleophobic or internal anti-reflection?

Jeremy
Jeremy
23 days ago
Reply to  FritzP

The press release was light on specifics regarding lens coatings, but it does say “scratch-resistant and water-repellent”. I had zero issues with fogging and my greasy fingerprints wiped off very easily, so I’m guessing yes, but that is unverified. On both lenses I tried, the inner lens is much less reflective than the outer, and I didn’t notice any harsh reflection, but again, I can’t confirm if there’s any anti-reflective coating.

FritzP
FritzP
23 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy

Thanks Jeremy! Looking at the Shimano website the Technium have water repellant coatings. The S-Phyre have oleophobic and cool magnetic lens retention. Technium lenses are on sale currently for $15. The older S-Phyre X glasses and lenses are on sale.

Paul
Paul
17 days ago

Any idea when and where these can be purchased in the U.K. please?

Jeremy
Jeremy
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Unfortunately not. They are for sale on the Shimano North America website, and I see them on the Shimano EU site, but not for sale. Best option might be to check the dealer locator and call around.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.