Alba Optics Stratos, helping you focus on the road ahead
Another pair of classic glasses from Alba Optics, the Stratos
When I took a look at the Delta Glasses from Alba Optics, I thought I’d found my perfect pair of glasses. Well it seems Alba have more up their sleeve and the Stratos looks like it may be my new BFF!
Alba Optics have a five model range, with each model having multiple options to choose from. To my eye the Mantra, Delta and Stratos models are the most “bikey” looking models, While the Solo looks like it would be more at home skiing or climbing high mountains, the Anvma sports a more classic beach look; but that’s just me, you wear them how you like!
Proudly Italian, Alba Optics’ founders, Piergiorgio and Luca are keen to keep design and production in Italy. This way they can minimise environmental impact while setting a high standard of working conditions. And if there’s one thing Italians know, it’s design.
For me the design is subtle and simple. A large curved lens, pinched at the top corners by smooth white arms. The nose-piece is a simple non-adjustable arch, with a vertical air-vent positioned to the centre. There’s a small logo above the vent and a bit horizontal of detailing to the top of the lens. And that’s it. Just simple, clean looks in a matt white finish that goes with anything, nice.
The Stratos is designed to be cycling specific and Alba decided this meant being able to see the road ahead. They’ve achieved this with a huge, but not ridiculous, frameless lens. That lens is Alba’s S-LENS VZUM, an ultra-lightweight polycarbonate. The intention was to provide the wearer with an unobstructed field of vision and they succeeded. When on the bike you don’t have any part of the glasses in your field of vision to distract you.
My model came with a photochromatic lens, which are perfect for year-round riding. The lenses change within seconds to changes in light levels. This is great for rides where the brightness changes, or where you head into dusk. I even found them fine on lit night-time streets. You can see how quick the lens’ change by shielding one part, putting them in the sun, then whipping off the cover. The change happens in a matter of seconds and kept the kids and me entertained!
The arm length can be adjusted with a simple four-click adjuster. The arms are curved at the end, a style I really like, as it stops them sliding forward. I find with straight arm glasses I’m constantly having to push them back on my nose; not an issue with the Stratos. If you need to swap lenses then the arms and nose-piece snap on and off with an easy pull.
The question is will the Stratos become my new favourite? Well for me there’s no major difference between the Stratos and the Delta. They use the same lens, but the Stratos frameless design does appeal more. Also it has adjustable arms, while not an issue with the Deltas, it’s nice to have the option. So I think the Stratos might just take it.
Head over to Alba Optics and decide for yourself.