Brilliantly performing shades that prove that you don't need to spend a fortune

Galibier's Surveillance Precision Optics glasses offer excellent all-round vision for a full-framed pair of shades. They're lightweight and very comfortable to wear, and they're flipping cheap too!

  • Pros: Quality optics; look great on and off the bike
  • Cons: Large design might not suit smaller faces

On test we've had two of the three available options of Surveillance glasses, the Matt Black with Smoke Plasma Mirror lens (£37), and the TortoiseShell frame with a Gold Plasma Lens (£42). If you want a polarised lens then this is available in a Gloss White frame, also £42.

> Buy these online here

Both Plasma lenses are designed to be used in medium to bright light, with the black framed option offering truer colour perception in sunny conditions, while the Gold version on the TortoiseShell has a coating to increase contrast by filtering blue light and reduce glare. Both work brilliantly with really clear optics and no distortion whatsoever.

Galibier Surveillance Precision Optics glasses - Matt Black and Smoke.jpg

What I like the most, though (aside from the price), is that the slim frame provides such a close and secure fit without restricting your vision at all. With some full frame glasses you can easily lose a car behind the edge of the frame when giving a quick glance over your shoulder, but you get none of that here. The frame is never in your line of vision.

Galibier Surveillance Precision Optics glasses - Matt Black and Smoke - worn.jpg

With no rubber nose grip or ear tabs on the glasses, I was initially worried they would slip off my face when things were getting really hot and sweaty, but that proved unfounded as the curve of the arms hold them perfectly in place, and without any unnecessary pressure above the ears.

On really rough surfaces like gravel they can bounce about a bit on your nose, but only when you are absolutely flying so I didn't find it too much of a distraction.

Another thing I'm a fan of is how close they fit to your face. If you are a hayfever sufferer you'll be thankful that no pollen-carrying wind is able to whip around the side of the frame or down from above.

The lenses do have cutouts at the top to stop any fogging, but you don't feel any air flowing over your face.

Galibier Surveillance Precision Optics glasses - Tortoiseshell and gold.jpg

As I've mentioned, the price is impressive and for your money, aside from the glasses themselves, you are getting a soft case which can be used for cleaning them and a hard case for protection.

The similarly styled Oakley Sutro glasses don't look to be bringing much more to the table than a few more technical frame materials for their £130 price tag.

> Buyer's Guide: 24 of the best cycling sunglasses

Galibier isn't the only company able to knock out decent specs for sensible money, though. Tifosi often impresses us with its offerings like the Swick Onyx for £30. I'd argue that the Galibiers are a little more on-trend, though, and to my mind look better when you're off the bike too.

> Buyer's Guide: 11 of the best cheap cycling glasses

Overall, I can't really criticise the Galibiers for the way they perform on the bike, whether you are out for a bimble or blasting along in a chain gang.


Brilliantly performing shades that prove that you don't need to spend a fortune

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Galibier Surveillance Precision Optics glasses

Size tested: One size

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Galibier says, "Evoking the stylish eye shades of the 1950's; Our Surveillance glasses are constructed with modern lens technology and advanced, ergonomic frame design.

"Tested and proven Category 3 eyewear. Superb optical clarity and protection in a wide range of conditions.

"The ultra fine, polycarbonate lens presents the rider with the maximum, available field of vision for full framed sunglasses. It also protects from 100% of UV rays and incorporates a bespoke anti-fog system, which directs a stream of air from the forehead, to the back of the lens. The simple frame design is the result of 50 years of experience by our partner factory, leaving them totally secure on the head via effective ergonomics, without feeling tight."

I think they are simple glasses that do an excellent job on the bike.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Galibier:


The first consideration in performance sunwear- all Plasma lenses offer 100% protection from Ultraviolet (UV) light.


Plasma lenses reduce the amount of Blue Light that enters the eye, resulting in greater contrast between colors and a more pronounced brightness of objects.


HEV light has been implicated as a cause of age-related macular degeneration. Plasma lenses block these harmful rays, effectively managing HEV light and offering further protection to the eye. Revo lenses block all harmful rays between 280 and 400 nm, managing HEV light and controlling the critical area of 380-455nm.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

They are cheaper than most we've reviewed and great value considering how well they perform.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They work brilliantly on the bike, keeping out the wind and letting you see everywhere you want to without restricting your vision.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Excellent field of vision.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Can bounce a little at speed when off-road.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Great glasses for riding and not riding, and a bit of a bargain.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.


Freddy56 [421 posts] 1 week ago

Fully agree. I bought these in May and they have been on my face, in the car, on the bike and on the London-Paris spin last month. You don't feel like they should be removed after cycling, yet they perform as good, with superior clarity than my old Oakleys. 

mylesrants [501 posts] 3 days ago

Sure this is just mighty.

SeymourPaul [12 posts] 3 days ago
1 like

I own the white framed version of these. They are brilliant, couldn't agree more with the review, they are comfortable, give clear vision and look the nuts as well. You could buy all three pairs for the price of the Oakley's mentioned and still have change for a couple of decent espressos.

MisterMuncher [7 posts] 2 days ago
1 like

Bought them on a bit of a whim, but they're absolutely excellent.

Not really much of a surprise. So are the mitts, the skinsuit, the caps, the firefeet socks (the absolute solution to Winter, accept no substitutes), the shorts, the rain jacket and those lovely indestructible black socks.