Sunglasses or goggles: what’s the best choice for mtb? Rémy Métailler gives us the lowdown
Protecting your eyes is essential when mountain biking. And so is good adaptation to the weather conditions and changes in light. How to choose your sunglasses and goggles from the Julbo range. Which frame and lens should you choose to go with your discipline? Based in Squamish, Canada, Rémy Métailler is one of the most prominent and influential athletes in the mountain biking world, and known for opening extreme lines combining enduro and freeride. Here are his tips and choices for getting the best gear.
Hi Rémy! Why do you think it's necessary for you to protect your eyes properly when mountain biking?
Rémy Métailler: "As with all outdoor sports, first there's the issue of sun protection, whether from direct sunlight or glare. In mountain biking there are many other risks for your eyes: branches, dust and splashing mud and water, and the damage caused is sometimes irreparable. So it's a matter of safety because in Squamish it rains a huge amount and we have a lot of forest! I need perfect coverage for my eyes while having maximum field of vision. The effects of air and speed also make it very difficult to ride and focus on my line; it's important for me not to have my eyes half closed or streaming with water because of the air flow."
When do you wear goggles and which model do you use from the Julbo range?
RM : "I always choose goggles that work with a full-face helmet. When I head out for days of downhill and freeride where I want maximum protection, I choose my Session goggles. They fit perfectly with my helmet and are the right size for my face which isn't very wide."
Julbo also offers the Quickshift model, the only goggles on the market with adjustable ventilation, maximum field of vision and superbly suited to enduro thanks to exclusive Switch Air System technology.
What are your favorite Julbo sunglasses and why?
RM : "As I said, I have a medium sized face, so my number 1 pick is the Fury! It ticks all the boxes: a strong and super lightweight frame, a very wide field of vision and a perfect fit with a trail or enduro type open helmet. It’s important to me that it sits perfectly with a helmet and doesn’t move while I'm riding. I also like how easy it is to take out and refit the lens in seconds, allowing me to clean it between runs, which are often muddy here. Finally, the look is very important to me. It's nice to have technically efficient glasses that make you want to wear them!"
If your face is wider than Rémy's, the sunglasses below are also available in the MTB range:
We know you particularly like Reactiv lenses! Can you explain what they bring to your sport?
RM : "Having a single lens that does everything is the key strength of Reactiv technology. We have demanding conditions in Squamish: in the forest it's very dark, but if the sun comes out, it can be very bright with lots of glare. The Reactiv lens in my Fury frames adapts quickly to provide the best clarity of vision and protection when needed. The anti-fog coating is a real highlight - it's also very effective in these wet conditions.
My main choice is the Reactiv 0-3 which allows me to ride in very dark and very bright conditions without changing frames or lenses."
Do you use other sunglasses and if so when?
RM : "Yes, I also use Spectron lenses when the weather's sunny and I know that I'll be riding in an open environment, like in Kaamloops for example. I choose them for their performance but above all for their style as I really like the flash finish lenses. These are the glasses I wear for road biking, hiking and everyday life."
You joined our #julboathlete team in 2020. What are the strengths of this collaboration and of the brand in the MTB market?
RM : "As an athlete, the relationship with my sponsors is an important part of my job! At Julbo I find that my needs are really listened to, there's a real desire to work on projects together and a never-ending willingness to improve the products. I'm demanding when it comes to my equipment and I choose the best possible products; this is pretty much obligatory because of the local riding conditions and the commitment I want to put into my sport. It's also great for me as a French guy based in North America to promote the quality and products of a French brand."
Thank you Rémy, see you soon on the British Columbia singletracks! ;)