Sport glasses with interchangeable photochromic lenses....
Adapt to your own style! With the replaceable lower frame, lenses and temple tips you create the style yo...
FRAMELightweight, strong and durable Grillamid TR90 material CNC molding for ultimate precision, ...
FRAME Simple frame design with a focus on lightweight and optimal fitting ...
Looking at the participants of the world’s biggest cycling competitions, it’ll be clear that sunglasses are a staple in the wardrobe of the world’s top cyclists. Beyond the top echelon of the sport though, anyone who rides regularly would be well served by wearing quality eyewear, apart from how cool they make you look.
There’s one thing you need to get out of your mind before you proceed: No, you can’t repurpose shades you bought for fashion or another sport. Bike-specific glasses are designed to wrap around your head and cover your eyes fully. They’ll stay on much better than those that were not designed with cycling in mind, especially if you’ll be going over bumps or rough terrain, as well as if you have a tendency to look down while riding.
If you’re looking to get a pair for yourself or as a gift, this guide will help you select the perfect ones out of the wide variety of options available here at Bike Chaser.
The most obvious function of cycling glasses is that they protect your eyes from, dirt, dust and a variety of projectiles that could cause serious injury, especially if you’re riding at high speeds. Oncoming winds are also a big issue that they help to shield your eyes from, making it much easier for you to keep your eyes open and focused on the road or trail ahead.
In addition, sunglasses protect you from something else that may not be quite as obvious but is even more dangerous: Ultraviolet rays from the sun. Long term exposure to UV rays increases the risks of contracting a slew of diseases, including cataracts and keratitis. Apart from the threat of permanent damage (including total blindness), the sun’s heat can dry out your eyes and lead to eye fatigue.
The first consideration with lenses is whether you prefer eyewear that uses two individual lenses or a one-piece integrated lens. When it comes to performance, you’ll find that one-piece lenses have a significantly increased degree of coverage because they don’t have a complete gap where the nose bridge would sit in a two-piece configuration. They are also often constructed to come around the sides of your head, meaning that you won’t have that irritating effect of the lens ending right in the corner of your vision.
Some riding glasses come with interchangeable lenses. This versatility is important because you’ll have season-appropriate eyewear all year round without having to spend money on multiple pairs. Apart from being good for your pocket, it also helps with convenience by reducing the number of things you need to keep track of, since the alternate lenses are usually kept in a single case.
Generally speaking, there are two very important lenses you need to make sure you have: Tinted ones for when it’s sunny and clear ones for bad weather where you need to shield your eyes from the wind and projectiles such as stones and insects. You can find photochromic lenses that change their tint according to the intensity of the ambient light, thus solving two problems at once. There are also specific tints that are good for particular conditions, such as brightly coloured mirrored ones for very sunny outings and yellow/orange tints that help to make your vision clearer in low light.
Other extra features to look out for are shatter/impact proofing and scratch resistance. These do what their names say and help with the durability of your glasses, reducing the intervals at which you’d have to shell out cash for a new pair.
The best cycling sunglasses will have one kind of rubberised cover or another to help keep them in place and also to ensure that the plastic underneath does not abrade your nose.
The arms need to be tight enough that the glasses are held in place, but not so tight as to become uncomfortable. Most options come with some sort of grip system to help keep things in place. You’ll likely come across some with rubber sleeves that cover one section and others that have little tabs at the end of the arms.
Don’t get worked up about the grip system though; it’s the fit of the arms that does the most when it comes to holding your eyewear in place. Focus on that and make sure the pair you’re getting will fit you just right and be comfortable even when you’ve worn them for a couple of hours.
FRAME – The material from which the frame of your cycling sunglasses is made is vital to the comfort, safety and functionality you’ll enjoy with them. As with everything else, all the options have their pros and cons and it’ll boil down to what factors you prioritize.
Metal is very popular among manufacturers, due in large part to how its malleability makes it easy to tailor to different face shapes and sizes. It’s also resistant to corrosion and quite durable, though you’ll find sports glasses made from it at the higher end of the price range. Titanium products have the highest pricing (though you’ll find many great deals on Bike Chaser due to increased production), but they are also the most durable and scratch resistant.
Plastics are also common, with the most ubiquitous being Polycarbonate, Acetate, Acrylic and Polyurethane. They are usually quite light and inexpensive while still having the strength and rigidity to be reliable for heavy-duty use.
LENS – Glass provides the best clarity and a significant level of scratch resistance, but it’s heavier than other options and is susceptible to spider web breakage upon impact.
Among the plastic options, Acrylics are most useful for casual riders, while polycarbonate and polyurethane have exceptional clarity, strength and scratch resistance, with the latter being used mostly in top-of-the-line models.