Whether you want to choose a pair of road cycling glasses and don't know what the differences are between the different tints, or you need to know which lens color is best for mountain biking, in this post you will find information about each option, applicable not only to cycling glasses but also to snow goggles and casual eyewear.
Before we begin, let's explain some basic concepts:
Lens tint - The color with which the "glass" of our eyewear has been tinted. The tint can be solid or gradient and it acts as a light filter. It can enhance contrast, boost a color, improve sharpness, etc.
Polarized lenses - Polarized lenses have a filter that blocks sunlight reflected off flat surfaces from reaching our eyes horizontally. It only lets through the light that comes in vertically. This way we avoid the blinding glare reflecting off the road, other vehicles, sea water, etc.
Photochromic lenses - Photochromic lenses lighten or darken depending on the amount of ultraviolet radiation they receive. If it is very sunny they will get darker and if there is no sun they will get clearer.
Mirrored lenses - This type of sunglasses have a very thin outer coating that reflects light, reducing the amount that reaches our eyes. They are especially suitable for very bright days because they reduce glare and make our eyes suffer less fatigue.
Two IMPORTANT remarks to bear in mind:
The tint of the lens is not always its external color. This is especially true for mirrored models because the coating covers the tint of the lens.
Our perception of colors only depends on the tint of the lens, regardless of its external color and no matter if it is polarized, photochromic or mirrored. That is to say, black lenses can be polarized and at the same time have a silver, black or green mirror coating, and still, in all of them our perception of color is not affected. This also happens in the case of photochromic models with yellow lenses that increase contrast in low light or haze conditions and whose tinting darkens or lightens depending on the UV rays that reach them.
It should also be noted that, by reducing glare, a polarized lens, both mirrored and non-mirrored, provides true color perception and natural contrast.
A further point to emphasize is that the level of protection of a pair of sunglasses or cycling glasses is determined by:
The UV radiation filter which, according to ISO 12312-1:2013+Amd 1 2015, must be UV400 in all sunglasses on the market. This means that the lens blocks 99% to 100% of UV rays with a wavelength of less than 400 nanometers.