Should You Get Prescription Sunglasses for Cycling?

Our friend Bob reviews a set of prescription sunglasses from ADS Sports Eyewear…a company who supplies online prescriptions sunglasses for cyclists and other athletes.

Prescription Sunglasses for Cycling

by Bob Avery

As a near-sited cyclist, I’ve been looking for a good pair of cycling shades that can house my prescription, provide maximum coverage and don’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Because of the curvature of most cycling glasses, lens manufacturers haven’t been able to make Rx lenses without distorting the corrections.  I purchased this pair of sunglasses a year ago at my eye doctor’s office.  They’re a great pair of Maui Jim’s.  But, as was explained to me, the curvature of those lenses was the maximum I could have with my Rx without distorting the correction.

Prescripition Sunglasses for CyclingAnd some sunglasses designed for cyclists could have an Rx lens, but with limitations, only a minor correction.  I have a pair of Oakley Flak Jacket shades without a prescription.  Oakley will put Rx lenses in them, but only to a total or reaction of ± 3.0, including correction for astigmatism.  My script is outside those limits.

“But what about contacts” you ask?  My eyes are unusually dry and when I’ve tried contacts to wear with the Oakleys, my eyes were bloodshot by the end of the ride.  In fact, on a longer ride, one actually popped out and stuck to the sunglasses.  I’ve tried two different brands of contacts with similar results.

I thought I was doomed to either riding with blurred vision, dealing with dry eyes from contacts, or not having shades when I ride.  Until now.

So when Darryl asked me to review a product from a company that makes prescription sunglasses for all sorts of activities, including cycling, I naturally jumped at the chance.  He put me in touch with ADS Sports Eyewear, an on-line company that does prescription cycling sunglasses.

After picking out a frame on-line (Adidas Adivista) and exchanging a few e-mails to sort out the details of my order (I didn’t order through the website since it was a comp order), I received the glasses less than two weeks.

In addition to Adidas, ADS also has cycling sunglass frames by Oakley, Nike, Bolle, and Kaenon available.

I’ve used them several times while riding (and driving and mowing the lawn) in the last couple weeks.

Prescription Sunglasses for CyclingVerdict: I. LOVE. THEM!

The clarity of the correction is not affected by the curvature of the lenses.  It’s as clear and precise out of the corner of my eye as it is looking dead ahead.  This was a true breakthrough.  Finally, cyclists who need any significant vision correction have an alternative.  And they can do bifocal lenses!

So, how does ADS do it?  I’ll let them describe it.

“New Free-Form Digital Prescription Lens” technology makes it possible for us to create prescription sports sunglasses with amazing clarity throughout the entire lens, even if you select sunglasses with an 8-base wrapped design.  Free-Form Digital lens technology is a life changing improvement for people who wear prescription motorcycle glasses, prescription running sunglasses, prescription golf sunglasses, or any prescription polarized sunglasses.

The newest adaptation of this digital technology is a Lenticular Free-Form lens that makes it possible to put stronger prescriptions in almost any prescription sunglasses without creating excessive thickness.

This dramatically expands the range of what is possible for people who wear prescription sunglasses, and it can create the thinnest lens ever possible in prescription sunglasses.

I’m so impressed, I intend to order additional lenses for these shades, for different riding conditions.  And I may order prescription lenses for the Oakley sunglasses I do have.

Because of the cost of prescription sunglasses, you would be right to be concerned about satisfaction.  ADS has a pretty good policy on returns and correcting lenses.

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