In professional cycling, searching for those incremental gains is becoming increasingly important. As everyone has access to better training methods and equipment, getting even the smallest upper hand on a rival can be the difference between winning and losing. It’s for this reason that aerodynamics are at the forefront of many manufacturer’s minds when launching new products, and Swedish company Poc is no exception. The brand’s new Propel sunglasses are said to be the most aerodynamic sunglasses Poc has ever launched, with some impressive new technology on show.
Poc explains the Propel glasses have been developed with computational fluid dynamic (CFD) testing against Poc’s other performance sunglasses, and the new design repeatedly came out as saving the most watts compared to its competitors. The design features an oversized ‘Clarity’ lens that wraps further around the head to result in a much bigger field of view, enhancing a rider’s peripheral vision and hence having safety benefits as a rider can see and react to danger at a faster rate.
When it comes to aerodynamics, the glasses sit closer to the face and have side fairings which Poc says guides air away from a rider’s ears. This means that airflow should, in theory, be managed and guided over a rider’s shoulders instead of allowing the ears to cause turbulence and disrupt airflow. With this, a rider's aerodynamic profile should be improved which could be a great asset during turns on the front of the peloton and in breakaway attempts.
POC’s eyewear manager, Tilda Håll explains that, “In developing our Aero initiative, we wanted to explore the aerodynamic potential of eyewear. We know the world of performance cycling is about marginal gains, and every watt saved can make a difference. We tested continually with CFD to research and fine-tune our ideas. The results led us to design the eyewear with the rider's body and position in the forefront of our minds. The result is the most aerodynamic eyewear we have ever produced.”
The Propel glasses debuted at the start of the 2023 season with the Tour Down Under and were worn by both the men’s and women’s EF Education First team. Georgia Williams of the Women’s WorldTour team took third place in the event wearing Poc’s new Propel glasses. EF Education-EasyPost CEO, Jonathan Vaughters, said: “There’s a saying in cycling, ‘if it looks fast, it is fast’, and that sums up Propel. We know all the aerodynamic testing that went into creating it, but equally important is the lens shape and broad field of view, which is incredibly confidence inspiring when you are packed in a tight peloton.”
The Propel glasses are constructed with a bio-grilamid frame and come with three nose bridge sizes allowing a range of fit options for comfort and security. The temples are also said to be fully adjustable in both length and grip for personalisation. Poc’s Propel glasses are available to buy now via Poc’s website.