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Review: Fixing Leatt X-Flow 4.0 goggles

Review: Fixing Leatt X-Flow 4.0 goggles

Leatt went out on a limb with its new X-Flow goggles. They’re the kind of “reinventing the wheel” concept that either elicits an eye roll and head shake or, for others, an immediate spark of joy that someone finally made that thing they’ve been dreaming of. Or just some curious window shopping. 

The concept is simple. Goggles are safer than sunglasses and provide better optics. So why don’t riders wear goggles all the time? They’re hotter. How do you fix that? Make them as breezy to wear as sunglasses. Or try to, at least.

Does it work? Well, sort of. But the X-Flows are an interesting enough idea that it’s worth looking at, at least. 

Leatt Velocity 4.0 X-Flow goggles: Details

The X-Flow is based off of Leatt’s Velocity 4.0 goggle. That’s around the middle of the South African brand’s mountain bike range, putting these at $100 in Canada. The main distinguishing feature is that Leatt uses an “open” frame. The venting on the top of the goggles, which would usually be covered in thin foam to keep debris out, is totally open. More significantly, the foam padding is removed entirely across much of the bottom of the X-Flow. Both features are designed to significantly improve airflow through the 4.0’s while still retaining the security, clear and wide field of view (170-degrees, according to Leatt) and protection that goggles offer over sunglasses. Leatt also uses a 50mm-wide mesh strap that it says gives some additional ventilation compared to standard straps.

Optics are handled by Leatt’s RideViz lens. It’s a three-layer laminated, anti-fog, anti-scratch lens designed to give clear vision in a wide range of conditions. It’s also bullet proof. That probably doesn’t apply to how most people will be using the 4.0 goggles, but it is a nice comfort knowing the lenses are a going to be able to handle any debris that does come up from the trail.

Real world: Leatt 4.0 X-Flow’s, a problem and… a fix?

Leatt definitely improves airflow by removing foam. It works for that intended effect. But the X-Flow’s are still not as light or as breezy as sunglasses. They are, though, miles better than regular goggles.

There are a couple problems, some practical some not so much. 

First, the continuous band of foam on the top of the X-Flows still makes them warm, even with open venting.

Second, by only removing the foam out of the bottom, it creates an imbalance. There’s no support from the cheekbones. So the nose is left all on…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…