There’s no doubt that clear vision is critical for MXers. How many of us have been victims of a rock, rut, or bump on the track that we didn’t see? Now imagine trying to see and process all that same information through not only goggles, but through glasses that are stuffed inside a helmet, bouncing on your nose, and fogging up. Contacts are an option, though with dust and riders not blinking often enough, which dries their eyes out, it’s clearly not optimal.
Our resident Art Director, Luis Rodriguez, has been wearing a set of Smith goggles set up with a Pro-Vue lens inserts for quite a while now, and when asked about them, he said, “It doesn’t compare. There’s no discomfort like you get when you’re wearing glasses.” Also, “Fogging with glasses and goggles was the worst. These seems to be about like wearing regular goggles without glasses.”
His only grumps? “You have to get used to the warping a bit, and the lenses do sit further away from your face, which I thought would be weird, but it’s not¿it’s just different. They’re also a little harder to clean, and you have to be careful to not scratch the lens inserts.”
But overall he says, “I’d stopped wearing my glasses because they were such a pain, but I couldn’t focus. If you can’t wear contacts, and need to wear glasses, these things are lifesavers.”
With a glowing review like that, we figured it’d be worthwhile catching up with Pro-Vue’s main man, Randy Nagel, and hit him with a few questions.
How does the Pro-Vue system work?
The prescription lenses are mounted into a Lexan carrier lens. The carrier lens fits inside the goggle and attaches securely to the goggle lens with two nylon screws.
What are the advantages of using a setup like this, versus separate goggles and glasses, or goggles and contacts?
They are a lot more comfortable than wearing glasses under goggles. Contacts work fine until you factor in dust…
How did you get started building these?
I’ve race motocross since the early ’70s. In about ’86 I discovered that I couldn’t see as good as everyone else – one day at my job these guys were reading numbers on boxes across the room and I thought they were pulling a prank on me, because I couldn’t read them. Turns out I was the only one who couldn’t read them, so I got my first glasses. After one lap on a moto track I found out that glasses and goggles do not mix. So that’s when I started hunting for prescription goggles, there was nothing out there except those old aviator-style WWII looking goggles. I started cobbling prescription lenses to the backside of my goggle lenses.
What kind of materials do you use?
The prescription lenses are plastic, the carrier lens is Lexan.
How many rounds of prototypes did you run through before you ended up with a setup that you liked?
At first I was attaching the prescription lenses right to the goggle lens, but that made them too far away from your eyes, and since they were attached to the actual goggle lens, once the lens got scratched up, they were done. No good. Then I came up with carrier lens that attaches to the goggle lens, and made a couple changes before they got to where they are now.
Are there any limitations on prescription, or anything like that?
We can do most prescriptions.
What does a customer need to send you?
Just need their eyeglass prescription, P.D. measurement (pupillary distance) and which goggle they want.
Which goggles can you use?
Smith Option, Smith Option TurboCam, and Scott 87.
Obviously glasses wearers have triple the layers with potential for fogging. Does the Pro-Vue setup have any additional fog-free coating?
No, there’s nothing special as far as coating, but they do tend to fog less just because they are attached to the goggles rather than resting on your nose. The key to staying fog-free is to keep them dry inside.
Do you have any additional tips for staying fog-free?
Yes, if you go on my website, on the page for snow goggles, there is a page about fog.
What has been the most satisfying part of coming up with this product?
Inventing something for riding dirt bikes that helps not only me, but a lot of other riders, too. Occasionally somebody calls up to tell me how much better riding is without having to deal with their glasses. I just kind of forget how well they work since I’ve been wearing them for so long.
Anything else we’re missing?
My website is www.pro-vue.com, and don’t forget the dash or you’ll end up on some software site!
357 Sandy Point Court NE
Rochester, MN 55906
(507) 367-4991 Phone/Fax