The Chainlink

Product Review: Tifosi Synapse Sunglasses With Interchangeable Lenses

By Lisa Lutt

We live in a world of high-tech gadgets and unlimited choices. It’s hard to find reliable direction and, more often than not, many of us end up settling for things that can make or break a ride. I don’t say this lightly; I’ve been taken out of commission after an unfortunately literal asphalt snack—under shadow-casting trees on a commute to the burbs—I was blind to the city’s perpetually unmarked road construction through a cheap pair of UV sunglasses…and I went down hard. For a long time afterward, I went without any eye protection, eventually realizing that there are reasons beyond squinting away the sunshine to protect your eyes. And so began the trial and error.


I was tickled to score an opportunity to put a pair of Tifosi Synapse sunglasses through the wringer. An unforgiving list of what I did not like about other pairs was waiting, and it turns out I was right to be rooting for Tifosi to come out ahead.


Unsurprisingly, I most love the interchangeable lenses that came with the frames—with three sets, one of these can easily cater to your conditions. I’ve publicly sworn that the red-tinted glasses increase the vibrancy of the world around me—a perfect happy medium for almost any ride. Even on the brightest day, I still prefer the light red tint to something darker. And there have been times when I’ve popped in the clear lenses, namely for cloudy rides at dawn/dusk or those delightfully rain-soaked runs.

Yes, running too—these glasses are that versatile! The frames are a nice shape and size, so they don’t look like they belong to one sport exclusively. And I was anxious to test the bounce factor, my grandest peeve of running with glasses. Truthfully, (and with credit to my vertical-lift form) no pair has ever passed the test with a perfect score, but these frames definitely have a sweet spot that allows you to tick off miles sans bounce-driven ticked-off ‘tude. However, the outward curvature of the stems makes for an awkward tuck under a hat, so hat/glasses on the run is an either/or situation (note: this is not a problem with helmets).

I’ve been using and generally opting for the Tifosi Synapses for at least a couple of months as I write this. Long, sweaty rides, all-weather runs, and being flung around in triathlon transitions have done nothing to embarrass the quality of the frames. The lenses are easy to change but very secure. The material hasn’t peeled, cracked, warped, or worn away. They’re durable and reliable, and I’m thankful and happy to report that Tifosi Synapse has found its way to my collection of staples.

Tifosi Synapse

With Bike/Run interchangeable lenses

Retail $79.95

More Tifosi Reviews on The Chainlink:

Tifosi Synapse With Fototec
Tifosi Davos Sport

Lisa Luttenegger is a Chainlink ambassador and triathlete with Chicago Endurance Sports/Precision Multisport—racing any distance from Divvy SuperSprint to the Ironman—and a marketing agency project coordinator. She learned to ride a bike on a dirt mound in the back yard and hopes to someday return to these cyclocross roots and remedy her bike-race envy. Lisa shares a condo with her tuxedo Maine Coon, Joe Meower, and their bicycles: Freddie Mercury, MC Scat Cat, Batman, and Benji. 

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