On the road, on the mountain trail, or even out and about in the neighborhood, good protection from the wind, dust and even tree branches is essential for enjoying the great sport of bicycling.
Advances in today’s technologies allow nearly everyone to benefit from the increased safety and comfort of a good pair of sunglasses while riding. These sunglasses protect your eyes from the elements, reduce glare and sun fatigue, increase contrast in low light conditions, and have adjustable nose pads and temples for a comfortable, tailored fit. Additionally, the best optical labs specialize in prescription wrap sunglasses, including bifocal and progressive lenses, so everyone can enjoy clear vision while cycling. For those people that have prescriptions outside of the limits of in frame lenses, a prescription insert that can be fit behind the lenses of the wrap frame may be another option.
When choosing sunglasses the FDA recommends that you look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB radiation. You should look for labels that say UV400 or 100% UV protection. Cyclists should also choose wrap sunglasses that protect more fully from flying dirt and debris and also help to reduce wind that can cause dry eye irritation. Many cyclists prefer frames that offer interchangeable lenses to adapt to varying light conditions. Yellow lenses increase contrast in low light situations, brown and gray lenses offer the most glare reduction, and red or rose tinted lenses are great on cloudy or overcast days. Clear lenses are great for protecting the eyes when riding in low light or night time conditions. Photochromatic or transition lenses are another option and are designed for varying light conditions. As sunlight increases or decreases, the photochromatic lens changes to adjust for different light intensities.
Currently, Rudy Project offers the most prescription sunglass options geared toward cyclists. These come with a three year frame warranty and a great scratched lens replacement program. Nike, Bolle, Smith, Kaenon, Wiley-X and Oakley are other manufacturers that offer quality sunglasses which work well for cyclists.
Author: Dr. Grant Schaneman
Precision Family Eyecare, PC
257 Johnstown Center Drive, Johnstown CO