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Rudy Project Cutline review: 4 shades for the price of 1?

The title is not a clickbait, the information is genuine. The customer does indeed get 4 different looking sports glasses when buying the latest model from Rudy Project, the Cutline. But how can this be true? Let’s delve into it!

The 2020 Rudy Project eyewear lineup saw the introduction of a brand new model called Cutline, which embodies the essence of what the Italian sunshade and helmet specialist stands for along with the vast technical knowhow they accumulated in the realm of optics. With the Cutline they have created a premium model which goes beyond the familiar top optical quality and superb ergonomics, with a brand new concept, the modular eyewear construction. The new Cutline allows the customer the possibility to exchange any of the removable/swappable parts for a different color, or just leave them out to give the glasses a brand new look. This results in 4 Cutline frame designs, myriad of color and lens choices, all up the user preference.

Before actually getting down to nitty-gritty of redesigning our own Cutline, let’s see the technical features! As usual with Rudy Project eyewear, the temple tips and the nose pads can be adjusted in all three dimensions, allowing the owner unparalleled customization. The Cutline can adopt many different head shapes, providing great comfort for the long hours in the saddle. Apart from being unnoticeable while on the head, the precise adjustment prevents slippage, which may just be an inconvenience or could actually result in losing the shades. I have seen on many occasions a cyclist hitting a pothole followed by the eyewear flying off. This is a situation I can’t imagine happening with the Cutline. (We should also note that the Cutline comes only in size large, so for the smallest of head sizes the adjustability may not be sufficient. Eyewear should always be tried on before purchase. If this model doesn’t provide the ideal fit, the customer can select from other Rudy Project models which are available in size small or XL at the other end of the head size scale.)

The temples are made from strong but flexible Grilamid material, which is important for two reasons. On one hand they have to bend and remain in that position in order to adopt to the shape of the head, on the other, they shouldn’t be too rigid as to break when someone accidently sits on the shades. There is a fine line between rigidity, strength, flexibility and adoptability, and with decades of experience manufacturing industry leading eyewear, Rudy Project certainly has the perfect recipe.

There are openings on both the lens and on the temples for adequate ventilation. The technology is called Power Flow Ventilation. There is also an extra cutout on the bumpers to keep the air flowing and the fog away from the lens surface.

It’s the special frame construction that makes the concept of modularity possible. The frame is the key around which this unique eyewear is built. Each of the temples, the lens bumpers and the nose pad unit can be separated from the base frame with just a pull. The bumpers are made of a rubbery material, so apart from the design function, they also help to protect the lens from sudden impact. Rudy Project has several shades with bumper technology in their lineup, let’s just mention the two we’ve reviewed recently, the Fotonyk and the Defender.

The extra feature for the Cutline over the other two excellent shades is that the bumpers are actually optional parts! The new model can be worn without them as well, providing a full, an open, and two different kinds of semi-enclosed frame designs. This make the transformation possible, hence providing no less than four distinct exteriors. To recap, there is a full-frame variant, one with only the top bumpers removed, one with only the bottom off while keeping the top ones on and finally there is the fully open lens design with all bumpers removed. The latter is the lightest setup and maximum field of vision.

The video below shows exactly how disassembly and customization is done.

For this review I tried all four design variants, and I’m quite convinced that all of them are viable options. They transform not only the Cutline’s look, but also its functionality. It’s up to the cyclist to choose one or the other for aesthetics, practicality or even current mood. There is a difference in functionality as I have alluded to earlier: the bumper free variant has the best ventilation and field of view, on the other hand, the bumpers do provide a degree of lens protection, which is useful in extreme riding environment. Thus if you often look down on your handlebars when training on the road bike you’re best off taking the bottom bumpers off. As a personal note, I prefer the full-frame look, and feel this is the safest “mode” when riding off-road.

Cutline is available with the impactx2 laser purple lens, which is Rudy Project’s latest photochromatic lens. The lens dims with a purple hue, it’s pretty dark by default, transmitting only 48% of the light. In full bright light the transmission is down all the way to 8%, which is quite extraordinary. Originally the impactx2 laser purple lens was developed for golfers, but it was soon realized that other sports can also benefit from extreme light filtering along with pronounced contrast to both green and blue. One of these sports is cycling, of course. The lens choice is backed up by our experience with the Cutline. This feature proved to be quite useful in some cases, such as when setting out in bright sunshine early afternoon, returning home just before sunset. Nearly 50% light transmission proved to be just enough before dusk, while the strong light of late spring was handled equally well. Rudy Projects’s mulitlaser line of lenses have more light transmission on paper, but I didn’t notice as much difference in practice. On the other hand, the tone of the impactx2 purple lens is truly unique. It’s like no other, providing a very pleasing contrast, spectacularly greens and blues which is actually very common when out riding.

If I had only one lens option for my cycling eyeshades, I’d certainly end up using the impactx2 purple. This choice would not be solely up to its photochromatic feature, but purely for its great looks. For others the high filtering capability may be very tempting, which comes handy when riding in in bright light areas, like a seaside or snow-covered environment. Even though the impactx2 managed to cope with the sunset scenario described above, I’d still recommend the mulitlaser if the user often rides at dawn or dusk.

Another main feature of the new Cutline is the RX adaptability, thus it can be supplemented with a dioptric lens. If the rider prefers not to use a contact lens but he or she is partial to sports eyewear, this model should be at the top of the shopping list. By the way, dioptric sports eyewear are a specialty of Rudy Project, the Italian brand has more than one technology and a myriad of models which can be complemented by dioptric lens.

In case someone doesn’t favor the color scheme of the Cutline in this review, there are six other color alternatives, in addition to the optional kits which hence multiply the number of color options for full customization. If we add the frame customizing possibility introduced with this this model, the potentials are practically boundless!

Recommended retail price: from 49 900 HUF (pending lens choice)

For more information click here!

This review was made possible with the assistance of Rudy Project Hungary.

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