If you’re a regular road-going cyclist, chances are you’ve already invested in the full kit – if you haven’t, you can check out some of the finest brands here – but one thing you may have forgotten about within the sea of jerseys, shoes and hats, is a pair of glasses.
Cycling glasses are vital for any tarmac chomper, and there are several factors you need to look out for when buying your own pair.
What’s In The Frame?
You’ll find whenever you look through a vast range of cycling glasses that some will have a full-frame design while others opt for rimless, leaving just the arms attached to the lens. For the most part, the design you choose comes down to personal preference (you’ll receive no judgement from us if you like the “speed dealer” look).
Another feature to consider is ventilation holes. Most pairs of glasses will offer these in some form, usually along the top, or the ‘brow’. You’ll want to make sure the pair you want have them though, as they’ll help to minimise – or ideally completely eradicate – the chances of the lenses fogging up.
And of course, you want your glasses to remain securely on your face. To help in this regard, make sure the pair you’re lusting over has grippy pads around the nose and the temple. You can go even further by making sure the (usually) rubberised areas repel water and sweat to keep them glued to your head.
Know Your Lenses
But you’re not buying cycling glasses for the frame, so much as it’s all about the lens technology, and when it comes to cycling there is plenty to take note of. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure the lenses on your pair offer great UV protection. Your eyes can be exposed to sunlight for hours on end when you’re tearing up the tarmac, and if you cycle at higher altitudes, the effects of UV rays increase the higher up you go.
Lens colour can play a huge part too. A lot of pairs of cycling glasses will offer a clear lens option but they should also have various colours to choose from too. The time of day you cycle and the light conditions you regularly experience will determine which colour(s) is/are best for you.
Road cyclists, for example, will benefit from lenses that enhance the yellow spectrum of light. Off-road cyclists will be exposed to red and browns of rocks and dirt, so enhancing these colours to bring out detail is paramount, so you can clearly see where your tyres are heading. And don’t think it’s as easy as finding a lens that can offer both, as occasionally, a lens that offers higher contrast may sacrifice definition.
Other technologies come into play too, such as photochromic, or transition, lenses. These react to changing light conditions, so when it gets brighter, the lens counteracts by turning darker and vice versa. Different companies have their own versions of this technology, but it’s essentially the same across the board.
Aside from shielding your eyes from the sun, cycling glasses also protect your eyes from flying pieces of debris, dust, sand and bugs, none of which you’d want flying into your eyes when you’re hitting the road.
We’ve put together a list of the very best cycling glasses currently available, which bring together the perfect combination of style and substance.