Almost everyone owns a pair of sunglasses. But for outdoor sports you should not wear any old shades, you need the right spectacles. When you take your road bike or mountain bike out for a ride, it is important that you can see clearly what is in front of you! The blinding sun can cause you to overlook, roots, fellow riders or manholes- and there you go ... flying over your handlebar. But luckily, there are bike sunglasses. For mountain bikers, there are also lots of goggles in different shapes and colors. Clear spectacles can also be very helpful, here you can read all about biking eyewear.
There are three kinds of specs for bikers:
- bicycle sunglasses
- (clear) cycling glasses
- bicycle goggles
We probably don't need to explain much about sunglasses.These days, everyone knows what they’re for. But why should you invest in a pair of special bike sunglasses? Sunglasses for road bikers, bike packers or mountain bikers not only make sure you have a good, clear view in bright sunlight, they also protect your eyes from harmful UV light and keep away mosquitoes. If you’re going top speed on your road bike, this is actually quite helpful. Sunglasses for mountain bikers are particularly robust, they usually survive attacking branches or flying pebbles. Other than fashion glasses, cycling sunglasses are built lightweight and with a perfect fit. They can be worn comfortably with a bicycle helmet.
> Here you can find our cycling sunglasses
(More or less) Clear cycling glasses
Orange, blue or light gray. Bicycle glasses come in many shades. These lenses reduce brightness or improve contrast even on cloudy days. There is a lot of choice out there, you can even buy glasses with completely clear lenses. They may seem to be pointless at first sight, but they serve mainly as a mechanical protection, holding off insects, dust and pebbles. If you have sensitive eyes that start tearing up at high speeds, a pair of transparent cycling glasses can help keep the wind from your eyes. Bright glasses are also very helpful when you like to go biking in pouring rain! They keep raindrops away from your eyes, there are also water-repellent models on whose smooth lenses rain drops float off quickly. Lenses that look like nothing more than a window at first glance can still have UV-protection or be polarized.
> Discover our cycling glasses
Bicycle goggles or MTB goggles
Bike goggles look more or less like ski goggles. They are mainly worn by mountain bikers over a full-face helmet or a MTB helmet. They can not only protect your eyes from harmful light, they can do a lot more! Since they close tightly, they keep stones, branches and even dust away from your eyes, so you have a clear vision at all times. If you are riding in technical terrain and bad weather, bike goggles with a tear-off visor (or roll-off system) can help, you can find more about this with our
> mountain bike goggles
Shape and color of your cycling glasses - just a matter of fashion?
When you buy a pair of cycling glasses, of course you want to look hot wearing them. But the shape of cycling glasses is more than just a fashion statement. Sports glasses should be as big as possible, so they can protect your eyes from sunlight that comes from any direction. Unless you are cycling directly into the sunset, the sun rarely shines right into your face! Large cycling glasses can shield harmful light that hits you from the side and from above, but only if the lenses cover as much of your face as possible. Therefore, cycling glasses are rather large and have big lenses.
MTB goggles in particular come with lenses in all sorts of colors. You might be tempted to simply pick shades in your favorite color, but that is not a good idea. The color of the lenses influences the light. It can sharpen or dampen contrasts, compensate for too much or too little light, filter glare or let it get through. Therefore, the color of the lenses must match the weather, the environment or the season, and (unfortunately) not the paint job of your bike.
The color of the lenses tells you how much light is blocked. The brighter the light around you is, the darker your lenses should be. In the specifications of most glasses you will find information such as "82% darkness level" or "78% darkness level", the higher the number, the better the light absorption. Yopu can buy cycling glasses with different protection levels, protection level 0 is very light and suitable for evening rides, while protection level 4 has the darkest tint. These goggles protect your eyes in alpine conditions or when there is sun shining on snow.
You can buy biking glasses with a mirror coating. Mirrored sunglasses do not necessarily mean better shielding, often mirrored glasses are just a fashion gimmick and offer no additional protection for your eyes.
Some things to know about the lenses of cycling glasses
- What are polarized glasses?
On polarized lenses, a chemical filter blocks horizontal light waves before they can reach your eyes. This improves the contrast and reduces glare. Especially on fast-paced rides with rapidly changing light conditions (for example through a forest), this is much more comfortable for the eyes and safer for the cyclist.
UVA, UVB and UVC radiation can cause considerable harm to your eyes. Therefore, even inexpensive glasses have lenses with a coating with UV-protection. By the way, you can't see this UV-protection on your glasses, and it has nothing to do with the tint of the lenses!
- Scratch resistant, oil and water repellent
Glasses for cyclists have a coating that protects them from annoying scratches. The coating of the lenses should also be oil-resistant. A water-repellent coating makes raindrops disappear faster.
A good pair of cycling glasses
Cycling glasses+biking helmet = fits!
Things may be different with other sports glasses, but cycling glasses are designed to be worn together with a helmet. The arms should be flat so they fit well under your helmet, a rubber coating provides a snug, secure fit. But every head is different! Therefore, you should first test a new pair of cycling glasses on shorter rounds before going on a full-day trip! It might ruin your fun if you set off for a longer tour and find out somewhere halfway that those new glasses aren’t comfy.
Two main features of cycling glasses seem to be kind of counterproductive. They're supposed to keep the wind out of your eyes, yet be able to circulate behind the lenses so they don't fog up during your more sweaty rides. Sounds impossible, but it works! The shape of cycling glasses keeps wind away from your eyes even at high speeds. At the same time, the glasses do not fog up. A lot of glasses have an additional anti-fog coating that keeps the lenses clear.
Shatterproof lenses and frames
In order to avoid cuts to your face and splinters in your eyes, should you dismount your bike spontaneously, make sure that your cycling glasses are of good quality. The lenses and frames of good sports glasses are shatterproof to a certain extent, which significantly increases safety.
Here you can order cycling glasses from 100%, Leatt or Loose Riders. We have glasses, sunglasses and goggles in many different sizes, you’ll certainly find a pair that fits.