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Review: Specialized Arc II Optics

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Specialized has been creating their own line of optics for years. They continue to push the fashion/ function envelope with their innovative designs and features. I’ve recently been sporting their Arc II in small with the Adaptalite Photochromic lens.

Are they cool? Most definitely and they undoubtedly make you fast. You could have two flat tires, bar ends that face the ground, be pedaling with one leg, and riding a single-speed Huffy and your competition doesn’t stand a chance!

The Arc II’s have been on my face about 20 times now in the sun, rain, sleet, snow, hot and cold for short rides of 15 miles to long rides of around 100. Though I do have a narrower face (I’m wearing the smaller frame size, 10mm less from side to side), I have not experienced any discomfort and have been impressed with how the glasses rest on my nose and ears while holding their position through assorted movement. The actual nosepiece is very comfortable and does not bear down heavily or generate excessive amounts of sweating like I have found with some of the larger rubber nosepieces on other glasses. There is also an upper strip of material that rests against the forehead that proves exceptionally useful when in the drops and also assists with venting. Being crazy light and having well thought out points of contact pays dividends with the overall comfort of these glasses. It is like they are not even there.

Weighing in at only 23 grams!


 Specialized was very conscientious when it came to lens design on the Arc II. Mine have resisted scratching with a vengeance, I cannot detect a scratch on them and I thought my usage up to this point would have surely warranted at least something minimal. Venting is another area that has been aced, I have experienced virtually no fogging, let me repeat, almost no fogging! There are vents on the upper part of the lens that are obviously well placed and fashioned. Surprisingly too, the vents don’t yield any impact on your field of vision. The lens is clear from any distortion and provides full coverage from the elements, blocking wind well for those who wear contacts. Add the fact that the Adaptalite lens compensates to the varying light conditions and you have a package all that more wowing.

What’s in the box:


My thoughts of the Arc II are favorable. I think they look great (and more importantly fast) and perform how I want my cycling shades to perform. I’m glad I got to test them out because they have now raised my standard of what I think a good pair of cycling glasses can be.


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Byron Rice
Byron Rice
13 years ago

Have you been racing sport category in the Southern Classic series mountain bike races? I think I recognize you…

13 years ago

Great Review! I’m definitely buying a pair of these now.

I just have one question that you didn’t quite answer in you review. Im interested in the sizing of the frames. You wear a small size? What are the actual dimensions of the frames perhaps? Its always hard to size something like a pair of glasses without having them infront of you.

Again awesome review! Im excited for no-fog!

11 years ago

I tell you I’d have bought a pair after reading your review. And as it happens, two years later I found the review in searching for concerns about the Arc II sunglasses because of how badly mine are falling apart. First the frame broke where the bridge across the “forehead” crosses from one side to the other; and now one of the rubber sleeves for the ear piece is just gone.
For what these cost–they were part of a buy a bike get some stuff free promotion–they should be better. I have a seven year-old pair that were $35 that are in far better shape.

Kurt Lauerman
Kurt Lauerman
9 years ago

I felt the silly need to renew this thread 😉

Mine are still going strong after 4+ years, one of the rubber sleeves did come loose, some superglue fixed that easily. However I have experienced fogging, especially in triathlon, though I’m not sure any amount of venting would fix getting out of a cold lake and start sweating on the bike…. Vision also seems easily obscured by sweat worse in these than most other shades I’ve worn.

I know this review will be useful since these are no longer made 🙂 lol

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