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Guide to Choose your Cycling Sunglasses

Guide to Choose your Cycling Sunglasses

As a cyclist, you know that different types of cycling require different gear to optimize your performance. This is especially true when it comes to cycling glasses, which can enhance your vision, protect your eyes, and even improve your style on the road or trail. In this blog post, we go through some of the best tips to look for and answer some of the most common questions asked in our cyclist guide to cycling sunglasses.

Are Cycling Glasses Necessary?

Cycling glasses can be a helpful accessory for cyclists, but whether they are necessary depends on the individual cyclist and their preferences.

Cycling glasses can protect your eyes from wind, dust, and debris that can cause irritation or even injury while cycling. They can also provide protection from UV rays, which can be harmful to your eyes if you are exposed to them for long periods of time. In addition, many cycling glasses have lenses that enhance contrast, making it easier to see in varying light conditions, which can be especially useful for off-road cycling.

Some cyclists find that they can ride comfortably without cycling glasses, especially if they are not cycling in areas with a lot of wind or debris. However, if you frequently cycle in these types of conditions or if you want to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, cycling glasses can be a helpful accessory to have.

Ultimately, whether or not cycling glasses are necessary is a personal choice. If you do decide to invest in a pair, make sure to choose a pair that fits well, provides adequate protection, and has lenses that are appropriate for the conditions in which you will be cycling.

Different types of riding
Road Cycling Glasses:

When it comes to road cycling, aerodynamics and clarity are key. Look for glasses that have a wraparound design to reduce wind resistance, as well as interchangeable lenses for varying light conditions. Polarized lenses can also be a great option to reduce glare on the road. Top road cycling glasses include the Oakley Radar EV, Smith Optics Attack, and Tifosi Podium.

Mountain Biking Glasses:

Mountain biking requires glasses that can handle changing light conditions, protect against debris and rocks, and provide a secure fit. Look for glasses with photochromic lenses that adjust to varying light levels, as well as a durable and lightweight frame. Anti-fog and impact-resistant coatings can also be important features for mountain biking. Top mountain biking glasses include the Smith Squad, 100% Speedcraft, and Julbo Aero.

Commuting Glasses:

For commuting, glasses that offer versatility and durability are key. Look for glasses with interchangeable lenses, a comfortable fit, and a frame that can withstand daily wear and tear. Clear lenses can be great for low-light conditions, while polarized lenses can reduce glare on busy roads. Top commuting glasses include the Tifosi Swank, Goodr BFG, and Julbo Renegade.

How to choose your
cycling glasses?

Cycling eyewear lenses are classified into five categories, from 0 to 4.

  • Category 0: Clear lenses that allow 80-100% of visible light to pass through. These are suitable for low light conditions, such as night cycling.

  • Category 1: Lightly tinted lenses that allow 43-80% of visible light to pass through. These are suitable for partly cloudy conditions and provide some glare reduction.

  • Category 2: Moderately tinted lenses that allow 18-43% of visible light to pass through. These are suitable for bright sunny conditions and provide good glare reduction.

  • Category 3: Darkly tinted lenses that allow 8-18% of visible light to pass through. These are suitable for very bright sunny conditions, such as high altitude or open water cycling.

  • Category 4: Very darkly tinted lenses that allow only 3-8% of visible light to pass through. These are suitable for extreme conditions, such as mountaineering or desert cycling, and should not be used for driving as they can significantly impair vision.

Photochromic, polarized, and high contrast lenses are all types of specialized lenses that are used in eyewear for different purposes:

  1. Photochromic lenses: These are lenses that can change their tint based on the amount of UV light they are exposed to. They are also known as “transition lenses”. Photochromic lenses are useful for people who spend a lot of time outdoors and need eyewear that can adapt to different lighting conditions. When they are indoors or in low-light conditions, they are clear or lightly tinted, but they darken when exposed to bright sunlight.

  2. Polarized lenses: These lenses have a special filter that blocks reflected light, reducing glare and improving visual clarity. They are commonly used by people who spend time near water, snow, or other reflective surfaces, as they help reduce the glare that can cause eye strain and discomfort.

  3. High contrast lenses: These lenses are designed to enhance contrast and make colors appear more vivid. They are particularly useful for outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and skiing, where the ability to see subtle changes in terrain can be important for safety.

How to maintain your cycling glasses?

  1. Clean your glasses regularly: Use a microfiber cleaning cloth to clean your glasses after every ride. This will help remove sweat, dirt, and debris that can accumulate on the lenses and affect your vision. Avoid using paper towels or other abrasive materials that can scratch the lenses.

  2. Use a mild soap and water: If your glasses are particularly dirty, you can wash them with a mild soap and warm water. Avoid using hot water or harsh detergents, as they can damage the lens coatings. Rinse your glasses thoroughly and dry them with a microfiber cloth.

  3. Store your glasses properly: When you’re not wearing your cycling glasses, store them in a protective case to prevent scratches and damage. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or high temperatures, as this can cause the lenses to warp or crack.

  4. Check and adjust the fit: Make sure your glasses fit properly and are adjusted to your face shape. This will help prevent them from slipping or bouncing during rides, which can be distracting and uncomfortable.

  5. Replace damaged lenses: If your lenses are scratched or damaged, consider replacing them. Scratches can affect your vision and reduce the effectiveness of lens coatings such as polarization and anti-reflective coatings.

Ultimately, the best cycling glasses for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. By considering factors such as light conditions, fit, and durability, you can choose glasses that will enhance your riding experience and keep you safe on the road or trail. Don’t forget to also consider style, as a great pair of cycling glasses can be a fashionable accessory as well as a functional one.


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