Melon Optics Parker MX Goggles – Review
MELONS…Now that I have your attention let’s talk eye protection. Mud splats, dust or even small rocks can be a danger when you are shredding the trails, or alternatively when you are juicing a lemon. Goggles offer protection and if I learnt anything in school it was that you should always use protection. In comparison to riding glasses, goggles protect more of your beautiful face from the flying elements and keep the wind out of your eyes (I always find them it looks like I’ve been crying my way down to the bottom). Of course the trade off for this added protection is being far bulkier and more obtrusive than pair of specialist sunnies (or as Mr Betty describes it; ‘less sensation!’)
There are quite few goggle manufacturers, such as Oakley, Fox or 100%. However, now there are new guys on the block. Melon Optics. Melon are pioneers in the snow sports field, but recently have turned their attention to two wheeled disciplines. Melon have created the Parker MX goggles to address the absence of goggles orientated at the ‘cool kids’. I spoke with Melon recently and I understand that the Parker MX Goggle has been in the works for over three years, but producing a quality mountain bike or motorbike goggle has been the company’s plan from the start, and now pro-riders like Linda Paluc, Adolf Silva and Nick Pescetto are on board and rocking them out on the trails.
The most incredible part of the goggles is actually three parts; strap, frame and a lens. Every each part is exchangeable and interchangeable so in essence; you can design your own goggle and if you change your mind or want a different look for each season then you can buy interchangeable spare parts to keep it fresh.
The quality of the goggle is marvellous, there is a great finish and the attention to detail should be praised, it immediately feels like a good investment when you pick them up. The straps have a great grip from the inside with a semi-adhesive that keeps them in place even when you’re eating dirt. You can attach them to the goggle frame very simply using an ingenious “clip” known as the ‘switch fast strap system’. This system has already saved me taking my helmet off and putting it back on again multiple times during the great dance that is ‘getting ready to ride’.
The design is outstanding and innovative. Melon Optics claims that the idea of customisation of a MTB/MX goggle was a goal since the beginning of the company. The idea was to create a goggle that not only allows riders to choose their own style but has one of the widest views on the mountain. My experience of goggles to date has been the Fox AIRSPC and Oakley MX goggles, both of which I’ve enjoyed but not really felt the desire to wear even to sleep, but the Parker goggles have been a real eye opener if you’ll pardon the pun. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a wider view, every time I have lent the goggles to friends they have agreed.
I have been testing out the green chrome lens which is excellent. For me the test of a good lens is how it handles the transition between light and shade when moving between forest sections, previously I have found a number of goggles to be great at reducing glare, but they really struggle to let in the light when things get a bit wooded, this has not been the case with the Parker goggles. That said I would definitely recommend investing in a chrome and clear lens as they both have their advantages.
Currently the price is an absolutely stonking £30 for a pair but get it while it lasts as it is currently cheaper than most of any of the MTB goggles available on the market. However I understand that the price is to rise in the future, but on the flip side I understand from Melon that new designs for straps and goggles are on their way.
Melon Optics are definitely aiming this lovely pair at the ‘cool kids’, mostly riding park or DH. These aren’t really race-orientated in either their design or marketing and are probably more suited to the type of rider who likes to look aloof and beautiful at the top of an obscure central European bike park before turning and flawlessly nailing the double black diamond run without breaking a sweat (or at least that’s how it goes in my head).
I think that the different designs are going to appeal to women, without resorting to being pink. There are flower or leopard print patterns and an incredible choice of colours. For Melon female customers are as big a priority as male. They see how many girls and women are out riding, killing it on trails all over the globe and…they would like them to wear Melon goggles. From my brief interactions with the team at Melon it certainly seems like they are genuinely interested in what women want (not the Mel Gibson film), it would seem that female snow sports riders have been pretty clear with what they want from Melon over the years and this is how hey intend to approach us two wheeled sisters.
On the first ride in Greno Woods, just outside Sheffield, wearing the Parker MX Melon Optics goggle reached the following conclusions. Firstly, it is great to view the world through the (literally) rose tinted glasses and I wish I could do that everyday. The switchfast strap system is an incredible invention by Melon and if it doesn’t break (I will keep you updated on that) it is the best solution for goggles at all times. The lens never fogged up and thanks to the generous goggle padding the frame didn’t pinch my nose once. If I were to suggest anything to melon, it would be to create more and more frame designs as I would love a purple goggle to match my Commencal Meta Purple.
If you are looking for a pair of goggles that are a bit different from the usual race oriented bunch, and like the idea of being able to change the look and feel when you feel like it, then you could do far worse than pick up a pair of the Melon Parker MX Goggles [on Melon Optics Website].
May 30, 2016