Many riders go out for the day thinking nothing of the simple things that can prevent a possible accident. A cloud of Nats or a fly in the eye can throw you off of your handlebars and onto the pavement, which could have been avoided if you were wearing eye protection. It is easy to underestimate such a simple thing, so today we will go over the recommended types of glasses that provide the protection your pearly blues deserve.
More than just a fashion accessory
Even though they look cool and make you feel like you are richer than you really are, they are an important piece of hardware for you eyes that should be carried at all times with the rest of you gear. Offering protection from dirt, wind, rain, bugs and debris that can be kicked up into your face by other riders or four wheeled traffic, or even your own tires. Whether you are out for a casual cruise, mountain trek or off to the races, the materials used in cycle-specific glasses are lightweight, strong and fitted to the face, shatterproof in some cases, and polarized for all around coverage.
The Frame of your Glasses
Of course you can go out with your regular Ray Bans, but these more stylish and fashionable glasses are no match compared to specialized frames when it comes to riding the lightening. Most fashion glasses are made of metal, which at first doesn’t seem like it means much. Big mistake – If you wipe out the metal rods can bend or break and pike you cheeks or eyes.
As opposed to a polycarbonate or impact graded plastic that is moulded to your face so not only nothing can get in or around your eyes, the frame is much more appropriate for a wipe out and save an eye! They wont break and will last much longer than average joe frames. Itès a good idea to get glasses that allow ventilation for a hot day and has rubberized or foam padding so your glasses will fit snuggly and securely.
Depending on the conditions of weather, there are different types of lenses that are optimal for their assigned role. Clear lenses are the best for a cloudy or grey day where you don’t need shades or dim conditions. Anti glare lenses will enhance the colors around you while dialing down the intensity of the sun overall. These glasses should be UVA and UVB rated to protect your eyes from too much exposure to the sunlight which can cause temporary blindness or decrease in quality of vision. Just like the frames, you can get shatterproof lenses.
Some debris can be shockingly large like a rock or bit of metal that fell out onto the road, so your glasses can take a hard hit without a scratch. This will prove handy too if you accidentally drop your glasses because they will survive the fall and prevent a needless second purchase to replace what you lost. The range for these glasses depends on the materials and who makes them. For many glasses they will come with interchangeable lenses so you can be fully prepared for any situation and ride through it like a breeze. These are the common types most often found in a good pair of glasses:
- Tinted or Dark – Most common and only reduces the light by a small amount.
- Yellow or Orange – Best for contrast and highlighting obstacles like potholes or divits in the road.
- Brown or Grey – Better contrast as well, good for mountain biking!
- Photochronic – These intermittently change with the light conditions (Very useful)
- Mirror Coated – For the brighter and shinier days ahead.
- Polarized – Glare and overall reflection reduction from wet surfaces like the road.
Specialized or Perscription
Depending on whether you use contacts or wear normal glasses, you will need to work around some nooks and crannies. For example, your glasses frame may not fit underneath your sunglasses or eye protection. In this case you would have to find a brand that fits to your frames large enough. An optician can make you custom frames to remedy this, but can cost more for the extra modularity. You can also find a frame that the optician can fit the right size lenses which is easy to do too.
If you wear contacts, glasses with wrap around and sealed rubberized padding will prevent debris from getting into your contacts and give you the confidence you deserve when riding. When you go in to get these made, make sure to mention you want anti fog treatment to them too. Might as well get the best pair possible for a better overall experience while cycling right?
Fitting and Sizing
The only way to do this is to try them on – Ideally you want them to sit comfortably on your face, snug and secure against your forehead and nose. Not all glasses are rubberized on the arms for a better grip, it is recommend that you invest in a pair with this feature. If there is any obstruction from the frame blocking your vision, try on the next pair, you want to have 100% visibility no matter what. Trying to adjust glasses while gunning to work or another destination is very annoying (We know this from experience, it is SO worth it) Just like trying on a new pair of shoes, walk around, jump, jog and move in different directions to test the frame strength and stability. It would suck if you just took the coolest looking ones and then have them fly off simply becasue you valued looks over functionality instead.
There are THOUSANDS of options out there!
In the world of cycling there are a lot of glasses to choose from, but donèt feel limited to your choice just because the package doesn’t say they are made for cycling. Many other sports like BMX, mountain climbing and even just running have their own types of glasses and much of them are made similarly and share many of the attributes of a good pair of glasses as stated above. You will know when you are wearing the right ones, you just have to find them!
Have a favorite pair you want to show others or talk about? Post a comment below and share your thoughts on today’s post and what makes a good pair of glasses for you!