If a performance feel with a sleep appeal is part of your game then the Smith PivLock Arena is a competitive option for cycling eye wear. Similar to the previous model this PivLock is constructed off of the frame less design and easily interchangeable lens system. The twist and lock lens functions incredible well and can truly be done on the fly. Smith prides themselves on innovation and enhancing their shades to better accommodate the athletes that depend on them while on the road or trail. We are pleased to see that compared to our V2 the PivLock Arena shows noticeable improvement in function and appearance.
It only took one ride to notice how secure the frame fit compared to older models. Although snug wouldn’t be the best choice of words the arena felt very comfortable with enough room on the side of the face to allow as much airflow as possible. Smith accomplished this fit by basing the design on a circular fit the completely prevent rubbing or pressure point irritation on the temple. We wore our arena’s while on our hardtail during a demanding half day ride. Even the rock gardens couldn’t shake these shades enough to cause an annoyance or force us to re adjust. For those riders who have had issues with finding the right shades to fit your favorite helmet the arena may be able to offer a solution. By using a more rounded arm design Smith has made this model compatible with a wide variety of helmet brands.
We ride Italian made Kask helmets and had an obvious fit interference with our older V2 glasses. With the Arena we are stoked to report that the pair well together and no longer calls for constant adjustment. At around 125 mm in width the Arena works best for a medium fit while other glasses can better offer coverage for larger head sizes. The moderate lens size was adequate to what we prefer as we have our sights on the Arena Max to better compete with Oakley’s newest offerings.
The weight of these shades can be your best friend while on a ride as they seem to disappear from your peripheral and act as an invisible protective barrier from the sun and debris. Between this light feel and their rounded fit the airflow was superior to other brands designs. The supplied lenses were just as clear as you would expect from Smith and offer impressive reflection during the brightest part of the day. To pair with the Pivlock system Smith offers many lens colors and coatings to fit your needs. We greatly appreciated the lack of fogging during our ride but did still have to clear them when sweat dripped on them. As expected you will still need to wipe dirt away as their lenses aren’t self-cleaning. With only minimal tree/cloud coverage on our ride the lens technology provided great sun protection. Rider feedback from our athletes has determined that they don’t offer the best light variance adjustment (photo chromatic) when compared to a few other models on the circuit. Fortunately our acid fade frames with super platinum lens also arrived with the ignitor and clear lens alternatives to lock into place when required.
Aside from the enhanced fit the Arena uses megol as a slip resistant material on the nose piece and arms where they meet the temple. When you’re hard at work on the pedals you can count on sweating and the last thing you want to be distracted by is sweat. This megol material had a solid hold onto our face throughout the day and showed no signs of slipping whatsoever when we I splashed myself with water to cool down.
The overall feel and performance of the Arena is perfect for race day riders from all disciplines. Their color options are incredible and have us bickering like kids to land on a color choice. As cool as they look they are intended to come off as aggressive yet sleek therefore the lady might not want to be seen with you in public when not riding. Keep them paired with your helmet and bike for best results and you won’t be disappointed.