While it might seem odd to cycling newcomers, many riders use glasses all year round – not just when it is sunny. Eyes need to be particularly well looked after, afterall, they are very delicate and 80% of all the information received by the human brain is received through the eyes. Glasses offer eye protection – stopping things which shouldn’t be in our eyes from getting in, such as dust, rain, snow, dirt, grit, insects…
As well as protecting eyes, glasses can also reduce headaches caused by squinting into sunshine to reduce the glare. This is particularly a problem for UK residents and others un-accustomed to handling the glare of the sun for more than a few days each year. The best glasses can reduce glare in strong sunshine whilst giving enough contrast and clarity for spotting tree-shaded potholes.
The lenses are the most important part of the glasses. The good news is that even cost effective options can come with interchangeable lenses. Changeable lenses are great for riding in all light conditions and even night time riding. Most cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses come with three lens options.
- Standard shaded lens with 100% UV Protection, these are great for dimming bright conditions in summer.
- Yellow tinted lens is ideal for overcast conditions, brightening up grey flat light, adding contrast and a little lightness to your vision.
- Clear Lenses are ideal for dark, wet or night-time riding.
One piece lenses offer the best protection from both weather conditions and from all the other stuff which could otherwise end up in our eyes.
Also look for:
- Hydrophobic coating on the lens lets water run straight off the lens
- Anti-scratch lens surface is ideal for those little accidents
- Photocromic lenses automatically darken under bright condtions
- Prescription glasses are available from many top eyewear manufacturers
As well as being lightweight, flexible and strong, the frames need to fit well. It is important that the glasses stay in place when looking down or moving your head. A good fitting pair of glasses will feel like you are not even wearing them, but also stay fitted snugly in place at all times.
The price of cycling glasses can vary hugely. The lenses take up the largest part of the cost of glasses – the best lenses offer exceptional clarity and yet are tough enough to not be scratched or cracked too easily. More costly glasses also often feature lighter, stronger frames which can cope with knocks and with being dropped from time to time.