7 Tips for Choosing the Best Sunglasses for Cycling
Wearing sunglasses while cycling is more about practicality than fashion, cycling sunglasses offer our eyes some much needed protection from the elements. The right pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV and UVB Rays as well as dust, dirt and any debris that is kicked up by wind or your cycling buddy.
It’s important to note that sunglasses which are designed specifically for cycling have some extra features to increase their functionality. Often cycling sunglasses are extremely light weight to increase comfort, look for frames made from polycarbonate plastic. This will ensure the frames are lightweight and will handle a good tumble if they need to. Your lenses should also be made from a polycarbonate as this will increase their durability especially if you’re prone to riding in hazardous conditions or dropping you glasses. You could also select a pair of glasses that offer a scratch resistant coating on your lenses as this will increase the longevity of your sunglasses.
Choosing the right colour lenses is important as they have different functions and different benefits depending on the conditions they’re used in. Generally brown lenses are good at reducing glare whilst improving contrast, which makes them great if you’re going mountain biking. Grey lenses are best suited to bright sunny days as the darker lens filters out the brightness whilst keeping the integrity of colours. Yellow and amber lenses work well if you’re riding on a dull or overcast day as they can brighten and improve visibility.
In addition to choosing the correct lenses colour you want to ensure that you choose the best UV protection rating. In sunny conditions it’s best to opt for lenses rated 3 as these have a high UV protection but won’t affect your visibility. If you’re riding in conditions where you know there will be a high level of glare off surfaces like sand, water or snow then you really should invest in Polarized lenses as they will reduce the impact of the glare on your vision.
- Lightweight: you’re probably going to be wearing your sunglasses for long periods whilst cycling you should look for frames which are lightweight. Lightweight frames will ensure you don’t begin to get headaches which heavy frames can cause.
- Comfortable: you should look for a frame which has some curve to it, this will fit more naturally on your face. Picking a pair of wraparound frames will not only give you extra comfort but they will also filter out the sunshine on your peripheral vision.
- Durable: you should look for high quality plastic and acetate frames which will be able to handle being dropped a few times, without being damaged. Your lenses should be made from a polycarbonate material or something similar as this will ensure they survive a few hard knocks.
- Scratch Resistant: many sunglasses for sports have special scratch resistant coatings which prevent your lenses from becoming damaged during activities.
- Lens Colour: It’s important to choose the correct lens colour for you; brown lenses reduce glare, grey lenses are best for sunny days, yellow/amber can help improve visibility in dull conditions, for riding at night it’s recommended to use clear lenses.
- UV Protection: look for sunnies which have a high UV protection rating and block both UV and UVB rays. Lenses are rated from 0 – 4, it’s recommended that you choose lenses with a rating of 3 or 4 as they provide the best protection.
- Polarized Lenses: this is a great investment for hiking sunglasses, as reducing harsh glares protects your eyes in the long run.