Almost two years ago, as I was riding through in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, I found $150 on the ground. My coach told me it would be best to leave it on the ground. I on the other hand refused to leave the Rudy Project Maskeryna I had just stumbled upon in the park for some other schmo to find. Despite feeling guilty having found something so awesome, I gave a solid effort for a month to find the rightful owner and as fate would have it, after posting a found poster and all... I became their new owner.
When I started riding more and more, I began to develop bloodshot and wind burnt eyes from hours of riding. After a bit of research (and asking my father who just so happens to be an optometrist) I discovered that the sunglasses I got at a gas station happened to be the culprit behind my discomfort. I hopped on over my local triathlon store and met my first pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. Soon thereafter I found my second pair in the park and after a tragic accident I was forced to upgrade to a third pair which would serve as my cycling frame. Most recently, I purchased one of Rudy Project's newest frames, the Ability.
The Ability is one of their most versatile women's frames to date. A wraparound frame, with an adjustable nosepiece, interchangeable lenses and is designed specifically for women. It retails for $174.99 or you can pick up their Performance Kit that includes the frame plus three interchangeable lenses for $249.99. Personally, I didn't love the price tag for the single frame with lens, but I learned to really love my 2011 USAT membership that came with a 25% off discount with Rudy Project.
Upon my new sunglasses arrival, I had been nervous over spending so much money on a pair of sunglasses that stood a pretty good chance of taking a pretty good beating as I began training for my first Ironman. A few factors that left me at ease while investing in Rudy Project as a brand were all of the things they offered me to ensure I would love my new frames. Rudy Project offers a lifetime warranty on all lenses (we all know that they get scratched while we leave them in the sand while doing open water swims at the beach/lake), they offer a 3-yr warranty on all frames (should they get run over during a race, Rudy Project will replace them for you) and a 90-day money-back guarantee. Try them out, if you don't like them, send them back free of charge. I was determined to give these sunglasses a run for their money.
I won't lie, it took me a few days to figure out how to change out my lenses. Thankfully, the customer service was both amused and helpful and I soon discovered I could switch out my lenses faster than I can swap out my shoes in T2. I took advantage of the USAT discount and got the 3-for-1 deal (Performance Kit). Why would I need three different lenses? My new sunglasses came with a lenses perfect for riding in the dark (clear), one perfect for riding in somewhat cloudy weather (the pink) and a lenses perfect for bright sunny days (the multilaser red). What I love first and foremost about this frame, was how lightweight they felt and how I could adjust the nosepiece while riding to ensure my eyes didn't get too much exposure to the wind. They fit snugly around my face and on the run they hardly bounced at all because of their anti-slip nosepiece. We have been through 500 miles so far and still counting.
Would I recommend this frame to my teammates? You bet... even if they are men who happen to like pink. You can't beat the amazing discount with your USAT membership, a stylish pair of sunglasses and a lifetime of TLC from Rudy Project... it has to be one of their best bangs for your buck. We will see how they do in Kona on April 1st as I kick-off my season at Lavaman...
To check out Rudy Project's Ablity and other great deals, dig out your USAT number and credit card then click here.
Miriam is a a contributor for TriEssential.com who lives in Brooklyn. While I may be no expert on perfect form, cadence or planning a seamless workout week, I AM an expert when it comes to the application of lube, snaycks, swag, understanding the difference between pretty, not-so-functional and not-so-pretty, very, very functional gear and how to achieve the best experiences while racing. I've been running for over twenty years and started doing triathlons five years ago with Team in Training.