Sunglasses are one of the most visible accessories during the Tour de France together with helmets and shoes. We see them before the race starts during sign-ins, during the race especially with close-up videos, and during post-race interviews.
There was a time where Oakley used to dominate the Tour de France with almost every other rider sporting an Oakleys. While Oakley is still a dominant brand today, more and more brands are entering into this space with better designs and/or at cheaper prices. Depending on the brands, they can range anywhere from $100 to $300+.
Three brands really stood out this year.
Five teams are wearing Oakley, followed by four teams on Scicon and three on Ekoi.
There are teams such as Team TotalEnergies that don’t have an official sunglass provider, so the riders are free to wear the brand of their preference.
Read More : A Cyclist’s Guide to Sunglasses
While the riders have access to these top-of-the-line models, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be wearing them. Some such as Geraint Thomas might have a preference for other models of the same brand depending on their personal preference, fit, and comfort.
Let’s take a look at each brand and the sunglasses the riders will wear.
Better known for producing high-quality bibs, Switzerland’s Assos is a clothing sponsor for Team Qhubeka Assos. As part of the sponsorship, the riders will wear the Assos Skharab or their top-of-the-line Assos Zegho G2 Interceptor sunglasses.
French brand Bolle has a long history dating back to 1888. Today it produces sunglasses and helmets for both skiing and cycling. Bolle sponsored team, B&B Hotels p/b KTM will have the option between the superlightweight Bolle Chronoshield (41g) or the Bolle Shifter (30g) models.
French brand Ekoi is celebrating its 20 years anniversary this year. It was one of the pioneers in the direct-to-consumer model in the cycling industry, dating back to 2008 where its products are generally 30-40% cheaper than its competitors.
At this year’s Tour de France, Ekoi is one of the major brands present with three teams wearing its sunglasses and four teams its helmets. Riders such as Nairo Quintana and Caleb Ewan will be sporting their Ekoi Premium sunglasses.
- Sunglass model : Ekoi Premium 80 ($126)
- Worn by : Cofidis, Lotto Soudal, Team Arkea-Samsic
- More info : Ekoi
Force Bike is a Czech bike component retailer and wholesaler. The brand has a wide product lineup, ranging from accessories to clothing, components, and tools. As a sponsor to pro-continental team, Intermarché Wanty Gobert, Force will be providing the Force Speed and Force Ombor sunglasses to their riders.
- Sunglass model : Force Speed ($130), Force Ombor ($104)
- Worn by : Intermarché Wanty Gobert
- More info : Force Bike
Started as recently as 2016, Koo is a fast-growing albeit relatively new cycling sunglasses brand. Since 2019, they’ve been a sponsor for Trek-Segafredo and has had their sunglasses worn by the likes of multiple Grand Tour winner, Vincenzo Nibali and 2019 road world champion, Mads Pederson.
The riders will have a choice between the Koo Spectro, which has a more aerodynamic and wider lens, or the Koo Demos which can also be used for off-road riding.
- Sunglass model : Koo Spectro ($189), Koo Demos ($179)
- Worn by : Trek Segafredo
- More info : Koo
Oakley usually launches new cycling sunglasses just before, or during the Tour de France. This dates back many years for many of their iconic models such as M-frame, Jawbone, Radar, Jawbreakers, and Sutros.
This year, it will be the Oakley Kato X’s turn. It was announced just a few weeks ago and we have seen the likes of Egan Bernal wearing it en route to winning his first Giro d’Italia.
Swedish brand POC has been a long-time sponsor of EF Education Nippo through its various incarnations in the past. The riders will be wearing their top-of-the-line POC Devour sunglasses which were launch a few months ago in March.
The Carl Zeiss lens has a Ri-Pel hydrophobic and oleophobic treatment that helps to repel all types of elements to ensure the vision is always clear for the riders.
Ride 100% which has strong roots in motocross made its way into the pro peloton when Peter Sagan joined Bora Hansgrohe in 2017. Since then, Ride 100% has gained a lot of fans for their sunglasses such as the S2, S3, and Speedcraft.
For this year’s Tour, the riders will be sporting their curent top of line model, the Hypercraft which was launched in April 2020. If you’re lucky, you might see a special Peter Sagan edition.
Roka was founded by two American swimmers in 2013. Since then, it has made its way into the highest levels of pro racing; first with Team Sunweb in 2020 and Team DSM this year.
The riders will be sporting the very stylish Roka Matador which comes with an interchangeable lens and weighs just 28g.
- Sunglass model : Roka Matador ($225)
- Worn by : Team DSM
- More info : Roka
A relatively new brand in cycling sunglasses, Scicon has made great strides into the pro peloton last year. Tadej Pogacar won his maiden Tour de France sporting a Scicon sunglasses bringing with him plenty of publicity.
There will be four teams wearing Scicon sunglasses in this year’s Tour, including Tadej’s UAE Team Emirates. Riders can choose from the Scicon Aeroshade XL or the Aerowing.
Rudy Project was started back in 1985 by Rudy Barbazza and is today run by his two sons Cristiano and Simone. Throughout the years, many legendary cyclists such as Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain have worn Rudy Project’s sunglasses to many major victories.
This year, the riders of Bahrain Victorious will be sporting the Rudy Project Defender, their top-of-the-line model that weighs only 28g.
- Sunglass model : Rudy Project Defender ($220)
- Worn by : Bahrain Victorious
- More info : Rudy Project
Smith Optics first started as a ski goggle manufacturer in 1969 in Rifle, Colorado. It wasn’t until 10 years later that they entered the sunglasses market and launched the ChromaPop lenses in 2013.
The ChromaPop optimizes the color and increases clarity for the rider with unparalleled levels of vibrancy. The ChromaPop lenses are a mainstay in Smith Optics’ sunglasses today including those worn by their sponsored teams at the Tour de France.