How to Choose the Perfect Cycling Sunglass

Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase the risks for a wide range of eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related muscular degeneration. Ultraviolet rays and oxidative stress are also closely linked...


Which means that prolonged sunlight exposure increases the harmful chemicals reactions resulting in faster aging.

Why Get the Right Cycling Sunglasses?

Sunlight will create glare, which contributes to less clear images in the retina resulting in less visual clarity and comfort. Glare comes in two types, namely:

  • Disability glare, which reduces contrasts and clarity of visual images. Its sources include reflective surfaces and windows without the benefit of curtains, blinds and shades.
  • Discomfort glare, which causes eye pain and headaches although it doesn’t interfere with image clarity. Its sources include the sun’s position in the morning and evening, large bodies of water, and snow and ice.

If you’re an outdoors recreational or regular rider, you will likely suffer the effects of discomfort glare especially during sunny days. You must, however, wear your cycling sunglasses even in winter since the sun’s rays can still penetrate the clouds, produce glare, and affect your eyes.


With the right protective sunglasses you will be able to ride better, both in faster speed and easier tackling of obstacles.

Your eyes are more able to see the road ahead instead of dealing with the discomfort that comes with the glare. Your risks for short-term discomfort and long-term injuries can be reduced for these reasons.

How to Choose the Right Cycling Sunglasses?

Many of the factors that affect the right choice in non-cycling glasses are also applied in cycling glasses. You must always remember that function comes first and form comes in second, a rule that also applies to most cycling gear from the bike itself to the clotheshelmet and shoes.

These five factors in choosing your cycling sunglasses should be considered equal in importance. You cannot sacrifice snug fit around your face for protective lenses for your eyes and vice versa.



Your best bet in cycling glasses are the polycarbonate plastic frames instead of metal frames. This is because metal isn’t an ideal material for a close-fitting shape, not to mention that bits of metal in your eyes isn’t an ideal situation (i.e., in case of a crash).

In contrast, polycarbonate plastic is lightweight yet strong and sturdy. It’s less likely to shatter on impact if a crash happens, as well as easier to mold for a wraparound fit.


Your polycarbonate plastic sunglasses will sit more securely on your eyes, a must for riders in both smooth and rough terrain. Be sure to look for frames with soft rubber pads on the temples and nose, which will contribute to a more comfortable fit on your face.

You have to consider the ventilation features on the frames, too, since your eyes will appreciate the airflow. Your lenses will be less fogged up, too, when there’s sufficient airflow.



You have to fit the sunglasses on your face since there’s no substitute for it. Your sunglasses must sit as closely as possible against your face while resting on your forehead, nose and cheeks.

You must also ensure that the arms have a firm grip against the sides of your head – firm, but not too tight as to leave marks on your skin.


A snug fit is of crucial importance in off-road cycling, especially on bumpy trails. You should shake, bob and move your head for a few minutes to check a pair of sunglasses’ snug fit. You may look silly but not as silly as when your sunglasses fly off your face on a mountain trail.

You should also check that your peripheral vision isn’t obscured by the wrap-around frame. Your eyelashes may also be blinking one too many times from the sunglasses’ too close fit – avoid these pairs.



Your choices in cycling sunglasses are also determined by the types of lenses you use. There are a wide range of lenses are available in the market, not all of them will serve your purpose on long bike trips. For a  journey on two wheels you should go for these:

  • Large curved lenses, which provide a wide field of vision.
  • UVA and UVB protection lenses, which provide protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. While the sun is life for humans, its rays can cause premature skin ageing, eye discomfort and damage, and sunburn from prolonged exposure.
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    Impact- or shatter-resistant lenses, which come in several forms like NXT, polycarbonate, and Oakley’s Plutonite lenses.

We strongly suggest investing in cycling sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection, impact- or shatter-resistant lenses, and even anti-fog coating. Your eyes, which are arguably the most important sense organ, will have better protection.


Lens Color

The lens color on cycling sunglasses aren’t just about form because lens color has an impact on visual clarity. Your choice in lens color should be influenced by your current trip’s riding conditions, such as chances of sunlight, forecast visibility, and time of day.

You will find cycling sunglasses with interchangeable lenses. You can also invest in several sunglasses with different color lenses. You may be guided by these general rules:

  • Black or gray lenses are suitable for bright conditions since these dim the sun’s glare. Best used for road biking but not for mountain biking because of the relatively dark conditions.
  • Brown lenses are a great all-around choice. These enhance the shades of green while also improving depth perception, clarity, and contrast.
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    Amber lenses are best for mountain biking on dimly lit trails or under cloudy skies. These will block blue light, which increases the contrast between the ground and other items.
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    Rose, red and vermilion lenses are great for riding under cloudy and hazy conditions. These increase the contrasts in colors, especially on cloudy days, but these will also distort colors.
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    Orange lenses are best for mountain biking trips on cloudy and hazy days since it works well in darker conditions.
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    Yellow lenses works best for road riding during the early morning hours but these aren’t great for sunny days. These will improve your visual clarity during foggy conditions.
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    Clear lenses are best for dark conditions, such as when you’re riding at night. These provide protection against the dirt and debris while your not altering vision.



Your ophthalmologist and optometrist will recommend prescription sunglasses when your eyesight has its issues. If you’re wearing contact lenses or prescription glasses, you can get cycling sunglasses that offer protection for both.

Final Words

In conclusion, your choice of the right cycling sunglasses should be a matter of personal fit. You have to spend time, energy and effort into finding the right pairs for your riding needs.

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