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Melon Optics Parker DH

The worlds first customisable DH goggles

Melon Optics are about to launch into the mountainbike world with a range of custom goggles available direct from their website. With a great success in snowsports we take a look at Melon’s history and what they’ve got in store when riding dirt not powder.

THE HISTORY – “WE LIVE AND BREATHE THE MOUNTAINS”

Melon Optics started with the concept of custom spec goggles for the snowsports market at truly affordable prices. Co-founder and CEO James Pointer started doing seasons in France straight out of school and soon enough, that was it. Everything became about snowboarding, life in the mountains and ways to fit in the next trip. It was becoming apparent that the standard 9-5 life wasn’t going to work out and Melon became a vehicle for continuing to live on his own terms, whilst creating something that he was truly interested in and passionate about.

“We’ve spent a load on overpriced eyewear over the years. Many got lost along the journey, broken on the hill or ended up departing in one way, shape or form… We created Melon Optics to allow us to keep doing the things we love. We work hard and play hard. Our team hand assemble all custom models in the UK and we make as much time as possible to pursue our passions”

James saw an opportunity for customers to really integrate with the brand and have a part in creating the final product that they receive. Melon optics provide the components (frame, lens and strap), and the customer gets to create a goggle that is truly unique to their style. Want to change a part or colour at a later date? No problem… It’s a concept that has worked very successfully, with a high quality product, great design detail, lifetime warranty and affordable pricing wrapping up the package. They are still a small company (a team of six) but have a creative and forward thinking stance, and some very handy test riders.

Now for 2016 Melon Optics launch into the mountainbike and MX worlds.

Melon started working on the Parker mountainbike goggles during the winter of 2013, shortly after releasing their first snow goggles, so they’ve been over two years in the making. Both friends and customers had been asking if Melon were going to produce MTB/MX goggles for a while, so they knew the demand for a custom goggle was there and it was an exciting new project to embark on. Here we are in the spring of 2016 and this new google is about to be launched with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, just as they did with their first snowsports range.

Although Melon assemble and despatch their eyewear from their UK HQ, a chunk of the staff are now based out in Bali and are close to the Bali Bike Park and they’ve formed a good relationship with them. Many of their sales guys across Europe also ride, but it’s great that they have Bali rider Nick Pescetto and Slovenian Linda Paluc on hand to really give the goggles a really hard run. With Nick being around so much (working with the Bali Bike Park) it means they’re able to chat face to face regularly and work on new ideas and concepts. Melon are in talks with a couple of other riders, so watch this space!

It’s obvious that Melon have put plenty of thorough R+D time into these new Parker goggles.

THE PRODUCT – PARKER MTB/MX

Melon goggles are made from some of the highest quality materials on the market. The frame, lenses and straps are all proven in their snowsports range so Melon had a great foundation to start building their new mountainbike Parker googles on.

“We wanted to create a goggle that rivals the best in the industry for fit, style and fogging, whilst remaining sensitive on price. We believe that at the price point we’re offering the Parker MX/MTB, we’ve managed to do that” 

THE FRAME

Melon Optics’ frames are constructed from injection moulded Grilamid, which is the lightest, strongest material available for the job and has great memory retention. The frame is larger in size than many giving great peripheral vision yet sits well with all the DH and open-face helmets we’ve tried them with. It’s a one-size only design at present with potential for other options in the future. Lens swapping is very straighforward (as are the straps, if you feel the need to colour coordinate…) aided by built-in retention tabs.

Venting is key with goggles, especially in testing (and often wet and steamy) race conditions. With the test team based in different locations globally, Melon have made sure these Parker goggles work well in all conditions. Multiple vents run all around the frames. The top, sides and base all allow excellent airflow in, through and out of the goggles, just what’s needed.

THE LENS

The Parker MTB/MX goggle will be available in both mirrored and clear lenses. Mirrored lenses will be available in Green Chrome, Blue Chrome, Red Chrome and Silver Chrome.

The main difference between the snow and the MTB/MX lenses is that the latter will be single layer Lexan lenses vs dual layer lenses for the snow goggles and will support tear-offs and roll-off systems. There are no vents in the lenses themselves, but they’ve put a lot of work into making sure the airflow through the goggles is really good and Melon’s test riders have all been really impressed with how well they perform in terms of not fogging.

OPTIONS

With over 240 custom combinations to start with Melon have plans to expand the selection pretty fast (and already have some pretty unique designs that are being sampled right now). They’ll mostly be using the same palate of colours as with their snow goggles range, but do have some MTB/MX specific concepts that are being worked through too.

There are some limited edition collaborations lined up too, starting with a CPGANG collaboration that they plan to launch in May/June of this year.

SERVICE

How does it work?

Melon keep stock of components (frames, straps and lenses) rather than complete goggles and hand assemble them when someone makes and order. Keeping all of the dispatch operations within Europe means that we are able to send a custom pair of goggles out on the same day that they are ordered and have them with the customer as early as the next day.

All orders placed before 2pm Monday to Friday are shipped same day with super fast delivery to the UK, Europe and the world.

Melon Optics offer a lifetime warranty replacement on all their custom goggles.

PRICES:

Standard goggle (clear lens only): £40
Spare clear lenses £6.99
Spare mirror lenses £12.99
Spare straps: £12.50.

Melon will however be selling some bargain priced goggle packs with mirrored lenses on our Kickstarter for those who are quick off the mark.

“Custom options, great looks… what’s not to like? An awesome goggle”

www.melonoptics.co.uk

Kickstarter campaign link

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