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Review: Optic Nerve Savant

Posted by Jeremy Yang On February - 15 - 2007

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I’ve been riding with the Optic Nerve Savant Fade Carbon glasses for about a month. MSRP: $59.00. You can find it on their website under the link “Collection 2007″ and then from the menu on the left select “Interchangeableâ€?. Savant is on the first row, middle.

When I’m reviewing sunglasses with interchangeable lens, I’m looking for three things in this order of importance:

1. Performance: do the lens perform the way they are supposed to perform?
2. Looks: do I have to explain this one? They have to LOOK good on me
3. Ease of use: no, not how easy are they to put on. Are the lens easy to change out? Yes, I admit it. I value the look of the glasses over the ease of use. My theory is if they don’t look good, who cares if they’re easy to use I’m not wearing them.

Here is how the Optic Nerve Savant performed under this criteria:

Performance:

I used every lens that Optic Nerve sent with the Savant in different lighting conditions and they all performed great.

For night riding, my main concern is if the lens reflects a glare off my handlebar mounted LED. Some interchangeable lens glasses do reflect this annoying glare and some do not. The Savant’s clear lens did not reflect the annoying glare. Therefore, in my book, the Savant’s clear lens performed fine at night.

Clear Lens
Brian & Jeremy using Clear lens after night ride

I got a chance to use the copper lens when I went on an impromptu family vacation to the local Southern California mountains. We decided to go inner tubing on the slopes from about 10am to past noon. Although I was not biking I was playing in snow for 2+ hours and during that time my eyes felt great. They did not feel fatigued from the constant reflection of light off the snow. The copper lens felt like I was wearing the smoke dark lens but still getting a contrast to see things in snow/highly reflective conditions. I would seriously considered using this lens for some of the snowboarding and skiing I do as well.

Copper Lens
Jeremy & son inner tubing in the snow using Copper lens

Over the past 4 weeks, many of my rides were in the early morning starting just before dawn and lasting for an hour or so. During these times I used the high definition orange lens extensively and they are unequivically the best orange lens I have ever used. The orange lens ability to separate colors during the early morning when colors are flat is amazing. These lens allowed me to see trail nuances that I probably would have missed. The orange lens lives up to its “high definition” name.

High Definition Orange Lens
Self picture, on bike using High Definition Orange lens at dawn

The smoke dark lens excelled during my bright lighting riding. I probably used this lens the most because I used them beyond riding. I used them extensively while driving and attending daytime events and they were great the whole time.

Dark Smoke Lens
Daytime ride using Dark Smoke lens

Lastly under performance, is if the glasses fog up and how often. I have found that all sunglasses fog up; no matter what I’ve tried (Ray Ban’s, generic, Oakley’s, Performance). For me the most important factor is WHEN they fog up. I don’t mind if they fog up when it’s cold and I stop to take a breather, actually I expect them to. If they don’t there is something physiologically wrong with me like I’m not sweating. It’s when they fog up when they shouldn’t that annoys me.

The Savants, like all other sunglasses, fogged up. But the Savant only did so during the times I expected them to. That’s cool with me and because all sunglasses fog up, it does not go down as a con.

Looks:
In my opinion, the sunglasses look cool all by themselves on the table, but they also looked fine on me (this is VERY subjective). I did however like them enough to wear them when I wasn’t biking. I guess that has to say something, right?

Los Angeles' Asian American Expo
Jeremy & god-daughter at Los Angeles’ Asian American Expo using smoke dark lens

Ease of use:
The lens popped into and out of the glasses very easily. The zip case was effective in keeping the glasses safe from harms way (especially since the case is stiff all the way around) and I liked the cool blue cloth provided by Optic Nerve.

Optic Nerve Case
Optic Nerve Case

If I had one negative about the product it is that I wish Optic Nerve would provide directions with how to take out/put in the lens. I checked their site, but no directions were available. I also emailed Optic Nerve and requested directions but they were having problems with their server & didn’t get my email until a couple of days later. They contacted me via phone and asked for my address to send me the directions but that’s ok as I’ve figured out how to change the lenses.

Pros:
- lens performed great, especially high definition orange
- easy to change out lens
- nice blue cloth to clean lens
- sturdy zip close case

Cons:
- should have directions to change lens with product or on website

Optic Nerve Savant w/Smoke Dark Lens
Optic Nerve Savant Sunglasses with Smoke Dark Lens

Check out these sweet glasses at here: Optic Nerve Savant Fade Carbon. I highly recommend them.

6 Responses to “Review: Optic Nerve Savant”

  1. Franklin says:

    Call me stupid, but I purchased one of these and I can’t get the dang lenses out! I tried following the directions but it won’t budge. Any tips on how to do this? I feel pretty retarded, heh heh.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Franklin, I found the Savant to be pretty easy to twist and pop out. I know that when I’m using a new piece of equipment I usually start off gently. These glasses are durable so use a little more force while following the directions and they should come out fine.

    By the way, the lenses gets progressively easier to eject and replace over time. They’re always secure in the frame but changing them is a breeze now. Good luck.

  3. Ryan says:

    any other lens-changing ideas? tried the twist idea but failed. maybe because im retarded. lol

  4. RL Policar says:

    Ya that could be it…jk! I find that the newer the glasses, the harder to remove lenses.

  5. JohnM says:

    I love these glasses even more now that I’ve read the revew… but I feel like I’m in a bad dream! Am an old Oakley M-Frame guy where it was pretty obvious how to change lenses. With the Savants I just need a clue… ;-)

    (This great company lets us down twice: no instructions in the box… no instructions on the web site… the reviewer does a terrific review and comes THIS CLOSE >||< to telling how to change lenses… the chatter above is tantalizing in a similar way.

    Please, can someone just gimme a 1.. 2.. 3.. step process? Otherwise I’m stuck with a smoke-colored view of the world!! (Thx in advance!)

  6. Jeremy says:

    Here’s the process I use. I place my left thumb & index finger on the top of the frame about the middle of the lens. The right thumb is pushing from inside the lens out. Using the left thumb/index I gently pull on the frame to get a little gap. At the same time I use the right thumb to push on the lens and it pops out.


    Pull top of frame away from lens with left hand; push with right thumb

    I’m pretty sure that this is not the method condoned by Optic Nerve but I’ve done it this way for over a year and no problem. I hope this helps. Good luck. :)

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