The Zegho's are nothing less than the redefinition of cycling-specific high performance eyeProtection, produced in an exclusive joint engineering venture between Assos Centro Studio and Carl Zeiss Vision.
Does the world need more eyewear? Probably not. But we — racing-oriented high performance cyclists — do. The ASSOS Werksmannschaft (their in-house product development team), feels that the currently available generic sports glasses could be improved to meet the specific demands of cycling. But why does Assos bother?
Assos is not an eyewear company. Assos is acycling body R&D + refinement laboratory. At Assos they understand cycling and focus exclusively on cycling. They do not produce multi-sports items, nor do they engineer their products for use in other sports. And they never give in to the temptation of increasing sales by broadening their focus.
It is this “exclude-all-other-uses” engineering approach that Assos applied when they started to develop the first cycling-specific high performance eyeProtection four years ago. It was clear to Assos that they must explore new paths and join forces with the best in class to accomplish what they set out to do.
Zegho is the combined effort of nine European specialty eyewear makers, each providing a specifically designed component, each manufactured following strict quality guidelines, and all orchestrated by ASSOS Centro Studio and its two dedicated eyewear development engineers.
ZEGHO is eyeProtection equipment created by ASSOS Centro Studio and its friends at Carl Zeiss Vision. Zegho feels different than any other sunglasses you have ever put on your face. Riding with Zegho, you feel that it is engineered to be your ideal high performance cycling companion.
Only one question remains: Do you wear your Zegho over or under your helmet strap? There are two philosophies:
Zegho is the ultimate high performance cycling-specific eye protection. Unfortunately, Assos requires that we must inform you that if your destiny includes a high speed, head-on crash into a milestone, Zegho will not prevent death or serious injury. Just telling you.
Zegho! Assos High Performance Eye Protection:
With the Zegho, Assos has created a sunglass that is worthy of their storied history and superb clothing.
The Assos Werksmannschaft (think "Imagineers") asked themselves "What is wrong with us? How is it that participants in the most demanding sport in the world are content to use generic sports glasses which, at bottom, suck for cycling?" It's true. You can take your Oakley's and your Rudy's and your what-have-you's and polish them and stick them in fancy steel display cases, but at bottom they are cheaply made eyewear which, at BEST, offer a feature or two that may or may not have been cutting edge 15 years ago.
Four years ago they began their search for a Game Changing answer. That is why Assos partnered with Carl Zeiss Vision. Zeiss is a world leader in lens technology: not only in eyewear, but in the hyper-demanding fields of microscopy and photography. Zeiss is a company with a well earned reputation for generating generations of well-constructed elegant products that lead their fields. The Zeiss lens is 17cm across and 6cm at it's widest allowing a full 180° unobstructed field of vision. The moment you place them on your face they disappear. The lens has zero optical distortion across it's entire width and breadth. If you are accustomed to the irritation and even headachs that can be caused by the near-universal distortion found in other sports glasses, prepare for a revelation.
Assos uses polyamide for the lens. It is lighter, more flexible, and more durable than polycarbonate. It has excellent optical quality and significantly better impact resistance as well and, consequently, were certified Optical Class I by Certottica, the Italian standards agency.
In order to handle the often grimy environment of cycling, the Zegho employs Zeiss coating (called "Ri-Pel") which hardens and smooths the lens surface, but has no impact on light transmission. As a result the lens is anti-smudge, anti-static, chemically inert, easy to clean, hydrophobic (water doesn't stick), oleo-phobic (oils, like fingerprints, don't stick) and just plain tougher than all get-out.
Polarized lenses hide light reflecting off of water (say in the middle of a corner). As anyone who has made a high-speed, technical descent in the wet knows, those visual clues are often the difference between descent and disaster. It if for this reason that Zegho lenses are not polarized. Similarly, Assos has eschewed photochromic lenses because no existing technology transitions quickly enough to respond safely to a sunny descent into a tunnel. or forest. Instead there is a sharp transition from dark to clear about 2/3 of the way down from the top. Assos calls this Tunnel View or TV, it is unique to Zegho and there's a patent pending on it. By keeping the bottom 2cm of the lens clear a rider simply tilts their head a bit to see straight through the clear portion of the lens. The Zegho stays in place, your hands stay on the bars and there are no surprises.
The Zegho is available with three lens versions. The Grey G7026 neutral tint has 8-18% light transmission. The second is the Yellow G2016 high-contrast tint which has 80-100% light transmission. The yellow tint selectively reduces blue light to increase contrast and depth perception making them even better than conventional yellow lenses on overcast and rainy days or at night. The third is the Clear Crystal. All of the lenses block 100% of UV.
Every aspect of cycling eyewear was subject to improvement by the Assos Werkmannschaft. Rather than using a continuous curve lens, like a base-8 or base-7, the Zegho lens is curved to match your face. The lens is big around each eye for maximum protection and reduced elsewhere to keep the weight down and to improve ventilation. Like their shorts and tops, the Zegho is destined for a place in Plato's cave. All other cycling eyewear is merely a shadow cast by the Zegho.
No detail of the Zegho was left unattended. The arms and nosepiece hold it to your face, Assos revisited all the conventions and improve them. The arms are long, thin, and flexible. They conform perfectly to the head, disappearing completely from your consciousness. Assos calls this Zeropressure, and it works because they wrap well past the ears. Likewise, the nosepiece is flexible, but has a sub-structure that can be bent to a general shape. The points of contact are covered in a sticky rubberized material they call clickFace that holds onto skin, even when sweaty. There are also mounts at the ends of the arms for an included elastic strap if you're looking for even more security.
There are four versions of the Assos Zegho: Noire, Werksmannschaft (which is how we refer to the Official Factory Team, as well as the Imagineers), Amplify, Crystal and EXploit. Noire comes with the Grey lens and Black on black striped arms. Werksmannschaft comes with the Grey lens and White and black arms. Amplify comes with a Yellow lens and Black and white striped arms. The Crystal comes with a Clear lens and with white striped clear arms. The EXploit shares it's lenses with the Werkmannschaft but has a black frame with Gold bands.
I am in the fortunate position of never having to compromise on any part of my cycling kit. I have owned flagship eyewear from every important manufacturer and my Zegho Noires have rendered several thousand dollars worth of eyewear into so much trash. If the Assos Zegho is not perfect cycling eyewear, it is so close as makes no difference. After over 18 months I can say with complete confidence that they are damned expensive and worth whatever Assos choses to charge.