Bobster eyewear launches lineup to fit under full-face helmets

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You may know Bobster for its line of eyewear geared for cruiser riders — the removable foam inserts to protect against dust and wind, the detachable head strap, the convertible goggles, the full-on goggles.

Since launching in 1996 as a sister company to Zan Headgear, Bobster has branched into safety glasses and eyewear for military and law enforcement. Add to this growing list of applications the streetbike rider.

The new Bobster Street Series is aimed squarely at the street demographic with an eye toward those who wear full-face helmets, say Stacey Cox, Bobster's brand manager. The lineup features a wide range of sunglass styles meant to appeal to a multitude of tastes.

"We're seeing a lot of younger riders. We wanted to contribute to that demographic and provide them with something that is built for them and their riding requirements," Cox says. The glasses all feature super flexible temples designed to fit under a helmet without pinching or creating pressure points.

The Street Series comes in two options — the first is a minimalist approach, each pair of glasses coming in a microfiber pouch. The other is for those who want more options, these include a detachable head strap, removable foam inserts, a cleaning cloth and a carry case.

For this specific line, Bobster has set up a promotional launch featuring dedicated POP display such as a mini countertop tower, display cards, logo plaques and brochures, Cox says.

The company launched the lineup by sending out to a handful of dealerships and distributors a complete collection of the glasses to let people, see, touch and use the glasses. In the interest of full disclosure, Bobster sent one of these collections to Dealernews for road testing purposes.

To be sure, the lineup is all inclusive and includes a little something for everyone. The Snitch model is an aviator glasses style that is currently popular, while the Criminal is the kind of bug-eye lens that is also popular.

Because my tastes tend to stay somewhat minimal, the Informant and Defector were the most appealing. The Ryval model is pretty cool too, just not my thing.

During the recent Drag Specialties Rocky Mountain Run 2011, I did two, 200+ mile loops in as many days, all the while swapping out the two styles of glasses. The models Bobster sent featured the removable foam insert and detachable straps. Because I only wear a full-face helmet — the straps are geared for those wearing half helmets and such — the straps came off immediately.

One thing I noticed right away is the eye port on the Defector is kind of smallish and tends to cut out a lot of peripheral vision. I'm thinking that this style would be perfect for someone wearing a half helmet or no helmet at all. For me, it seemed to cut off my views of the fabulous Rocky Mountains.

The Informant, on the other hand, was perfect for the job. The air up in the elevations of the Rockies is pretty cool this time of year and the foam inserts really did do a great job of keeping a lot of wind out of my eyes. Even in comparison to my regular glasses, which don't have such a feature, they worked better at keeping my eyes from tearing up in the cold wind.

These glasses also feature very large lenses, all the better for peeping those awe-inspiring views. The visual acuity was also impressive, with no distortion even in the rounded, concave corners.

And I don't know if it's because I'm used to wearing sunglasses under my lid, but I noticed no more or less discomfort with the low-profile, super flexible temples. They just slid on as normal and didn't slide down my nose even when we got into some rain and hail. One thing about the foam inserts, the glasses seem to defog much faster than glasses that sit close to my face. Again, that cold weather had the glasses fogging up pretty easily, but they defogged just as quickly with a little wind movement through my helmet.

With the Street Collection, Bobster seems to have a really neat addition to its already extensive lineup.

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