Cycling glasses are an often-overlooked detail of your outfit. But your specs are no less important than other parts of your gear—they keep the wind, rain, mud and the odd piece of gravel or bumblebee out of your eyes. Blinding reflections become no more. In short: a good pair of glasses ensures that you can stay calmly focussed on your surroundings. Oakley has a big name in the cycling sunglasses industry, but BBB has also made and sold them for years. The Dutch company’s latest model, the BBB Commander, looks like they are getting even more serious about sunnies.

The BBB Commander

It’s clear that the BBB Commander has been developed from scratch. There isn’t a model in their previous collection that looks at all like it, though the design includes all the key elements which we’ve come to expect of modern cycling sunglasses. The frame is constructed with one overarching ‘bridge’, making it really easy to switch out lenses. Thanks to the various ventilation slits, which are integrated into the design so as to make them almost invisible, the Commander is ready for all circumstances. The vents prevent the lenses from fogging up, which is a common problem with less well-designed sunglasses.

BBB has studied the competition carefully, but the company has not been overly-influenced by trendsetters and has chosen its own path. In order to ensure that Commander fits your head correctly, you can adjust the length of the arm to three settings: small, medium and large.

The lens

The Commander comes with various lenses to suit different circumstances. Our test model was fitted with the 9-layer MLC lens, which is excellent in high-contrast light. And, of course, the lens has a 100% UV filter. For less bright light, BBB also supplies a yellow and a transparent lens. It’s easy to swap out the lenses thanks to a simple click system—handy if the weather changes just before departure. It is worth checking the instructions on how to do this the first time. And then your glasses are ready to wear.

The lenses of the BBB Commander are a one-piece. This creates a broad field of vision, which makes for calm riding—no sudden flashes in the corner of your eyes, or under the edge of the lens. The nose piece is also adjustable, which makes it possible to tailor the Commander exactly to your facial requirements, as it were. Want the glasses to sit better on your face? Press the nose piece one click closer and voila!

BBB Commander

The BBB Commander has the go-faster looks. Photograph: Road Bike Connection – Tristan Cardew.

Experience

As a wearer of Oakley cycling sunglasses, my standards are high. And if you are used to the solidity and build of Oakley glasses, then the choice of materials used for the Commander do get your attention as soon as you hold them in your hand. The adjustable arms are a bit stiff, which draws your attention to the movement within the frame. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it does take getting used to. Although we didn’t try and force the arms, the feel was such that we were perhaps overly careful.

But it’s once you are wearing the Commander that it really becomes clear what BBB aims to achieve. Thanks to the light weight, which perhaps comes at the cost over overall sturdiness, the Commander sits perfectly on your face. When you bend down to adjust your cycling shoes you notice that the Commander doesn’t pinch at all on your head—although at times they can slide off your nose when you’re standing up.

BBB Commander

Photograph: Road Bike Connection – Tristan Cardew,

The whole picture

The BBB Commander is a pair of cycling glasses you can wear all year round. Thanks to all the adjustable elements, it’s a model everyone can tailor to their face. The lenses are made of good quality materials and are calming to look through, and all that for a recommended retail price of €89.99. At first the Commander feels a little fragile, and (luckily) we don’t know how it would fair during a fall or crash. But once you’ve got them on, we can’t see any reason for not buying them. Even if it did break during a fall, you could buy another pair and still have more money in your pocket than someone who bought a pair of Oakleys…