Cycling glasses, including clear eyewear and cycling sunglasses, are important for protecting your eyes while riding. Even when the sun isn’t shining, you should be wearing some type of cycling eyewear. Look for a pair that’s lightweight, with rubber ear and nose piece grips, to prevent slippage and make sure your peripheral vision is clear. And make sure they offer plenty of ventilation.
There are lots of other considerations when it comes to cycling glasses:
- UV protection
- Photochromatic lenses
- Extra lenses
- Hydroleophobic coating
- Grippers and nose piece
Cycling Glasses Block Harmful UV Rays
Your eyes need protection from harmful UV rays and sunshine. Lighter colored eyes tend to be even more sensitive to light than darker eyes. There are many tints of lenses and you should pick one that is dark enough to protect your eyes but not so dark that you’ll have trouble seeing in shade or overcast conditions. You’ll want a pair of cycling glasses with at least a UVA/UVB 400 rating.
Cycling Glasses with Polycarbonate Lenses
Cycling eyewear protects your eyes from bugs and road debris. Everyone who has ridden before has a story about bugs flying into their eyes or debris kicking up from a rider in front of them. Glasses prevent all of that from being an issue. Sadly, cycling eyewear won’t keep bugs from getting in your mouth; not much we can do about that!
Weather and wind play a factor in your selection as well. It’s best to get a wrap-around style that curves around your face to protect as much as your face as possible from the elements. Polycarbonate lenses provide greater flexibility than glass to absorb the impact of flying debris better. Wrap-around cycling glasses also provide a better barrier for wind. That’s helpful especially for contact lens wearers, to stop the wind from drying out your eyes.
Selecting Lens Colors for Your Cycling Eyewear
Depending on the conditions, your selection of lenses can make a big difference in clarity and contrast. So you’ll want to take into consideration your lens color. You might even want to have different cycling glasses, each with a different lens color to provide the best vision in different weather conditions.
Here’s a quick look at weather conditions and the recommended lens color for your cycling glasses:
- Bright & Sunny: Gray or Green
- Overcast: Copper or Amber
- Cloudy: Yellow or Clear
Cycling Glasses with Photochromatic and Interchangeable Lenses
Photochromic cycling glasses have become popular. The lens changes color automatically based on the weather condition. The lenses start out lighter and then when they’re exposed to bright conditions, they’ll get darker. These are especially great when you’re riding in conditions that vary from shady overcast to sunny.
You can also get bike glasses with interchangeable lenses. When using these, you choose a lens to wear for the ride, but you could bring the others along in case you need to change them for different weather conditions. They’ll usually come with a dark lens, a light contrast lens, and a clear option. The dark lens is to be worn when it’s sunny and bright, the contrast lens is for overcast conditions, and the clear lens is for early mornings, dusk or evenings.