Sunglasses for cycling are a very important accessory for anybody who rides a bicycle. And since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have embraced cycling. Indeed, it is a great sport to keep fit, to lose weight, and to entertain oneself with some outdoor activities.
Cycling, staying healthy, and COVID-19
It has been nearly a year and a half since COVID-19 has become part of our life. Still fighting and trying to cope with our situation, we have started getting used to the new normal. The heightened anxiety over public transportation and a surge in exercise resulted in people choosing the most basic form of mobility: cycling.
Cycling has been one of the fastest growing sports in the past two years. During the coronavirus pandemic, people got aware of their physical health, which is why cycling has become hugely popular. Many people started biking, and the cycle industry saw a dramatic increase in sales.
Protect your eyes while cycling
If you are one of the many people that picked up cycling lately, we hope that you are enjoying this healthy activity. And although it is indeed beneficial to do physical activity, you need to be aware of some hazards that come by being outdoor in the sunlight.
We are referring to the danger of UV rays to your eyes, and to the to importance of having a good vision while you are on the road. Being outdoor, you need to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of UV rays.
The rays from the sun can cause damage to many parts of your eyes. Firstly, your cornea can get photokeratitis, that is a sunburn, similar to that of the skin. Secondly the crystalline lens inside your eyes is exposed to ultraviolet damage, and to higher chance of cataracts. Lastly, the retina will also absorb more UV rays, increasing the risk of macular degeneration.
Have a sharp and clear vision on the road
It is also important for your safety that you have a good vision on the road. Whether you need to wear spectacles or not, the different light conditions that you will encounter while you are on your bicycle will affect your vision.
For your safety, it is important that your vision is clear, because your eyes will determine most of your decisions while you are biking. If your vision is poor, or if the bright and glary sunlight affects your visual comfort, it will affect your ability to judge the road conditions.
Therefore, a good pair of cycling sunglasses will benefit you greatly. It will make your cycling safer and hence more pleasurable.
You should consider a pair of sunglasses that has the right level of darkens depending on which time of the day you cycle. They should be dark for the bright sun. But the lenses should be lighter, or even clear, if you cycle in the early morning or evening. And if you are using polarized lenses, that will also benefit you because it will reduce the glare from reflected lights.
What’s new for cycling sunglasses
There have been decades of progression in cycling glasses. The materials, the designs, the performance, and the protection provided by these shades has improved over time. This means that shades have never been more advanced than before.
There are many sunglasses out there. And choosing the best cycling sunglasses among them is not easy. It depends also a lot on personal preference for which style and fashion you want to wear.
As for materials, there are many new types of plastic materials that frame manufacturers have developed for sports sunglasses.
Metal frames are not ideal, as they will tarnish and corrode easily. It is true that you will find some very fashionable high-end shades made of premium metals such as titanium and aluminium. And it is also true that titanium and aluminium do not rust. However, they are usually coated with some paint or lacquer. Therefore, the outer layer will corrode over time. Furthermore, there will still be metal parts that can rust, such as screws and spring-hinge mechanisms.
A popular plastic material for sports frames and lenses is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate plastic is a very good choice, because it is light, flexible, and very resistant to impacts.
Nylon is also a common material for sports and performance frames. It is the base for new types of plastics and new formulations, such as Grilamid, TR-90 and other sustainable polyamides. These new materials provide for frames with increased flexibility and strength. Some more, the frames can have new curvy and wraparound styles that were difficult to produce in the past.
Changing the lenses
Choosing the right color and level of darkness for your sunglasses is a bit of a challenge. Although the choice depends to large extent on which time of the day you prefer to cycle, it is also true that weather conditions can change quickly. Therefore, even if you start your exercise under a bright sunlight, it might end up with cloudy sky or even under the rain.
For this reason, it is a great advantage if you can change and swap different kinds of lenses onto the same frame. There are on the market sunglasses whereby you are able to change the lenses and fit those that have the right color and darkness for the occasion that you use them.
Usually, these sunglasses will come with different sets of lenses. You can find clear lenses to use with dim light, such as early morning or late evening. And there will be dark lenses to use under a bright sun. Some even have photochromic lenses that change and adapt the level of darkness depending on the existing light conditions.
How to choose the best sunglasses for cycling?
One very important factor about sunglasses for cycling is that they must be of the proper fit and comfortable. If you don’t have the option to try them on before you buy them, you are taking a good change that they will not fit comfortably. And riding a bike with sunglasses that are uncomfortable is a very unpleasant experience that we don’t wish you!
Therefore, a first advice is to try the sunglasses and make sure that they are of the correct size to fit properly. Some sunglasses have adjustable nosepiece, and this an advantage as it will improve the position of the lenses and it will increase the comfort.
You should also consider how the arms fit around your head, because you will also wear a cycling helmet. And the arms of the sunglasses might get in the way when you have your helmet on.
Sunglasses for cycling: How to choose the frame
Many sunglasses out there have great coverage, along with the high-performing lenses that also provide you with good UV protection and a secure fit. Cycling sunglasses comprise of mainly two functions:
● Protecting our eyes from debris, dust, wind, and bugs
● Enhances visibility on the road
Here we discuss everything about the different styles of cycling frames available and how you can choose your favourite one from them.
Good quality sunglasses will not only shield your eyes from the sun, but they can do much more than that. They also protect our eyes from elements and hazards such as small insects and sand or dust from the road. Whether you’re a pro cyclist or a beginner, frame and lens shape is essential for the field of vision and protection.
Now there are different types of frames to choose from. Our best advice is to check for the one that allows ventilation and airflow. Such frames will not only keep you cooler but also prevents fogging up the lenses. You can select from different types of frames depending on your style.
As the name implies, a full frame is where the frame covers the lenses in all directions. It provides excellent protection in the event of a fall. Full frame sunglasses are favourite for people that want something sturdy and that gives more protection.
A drawback is that the frame might obstruct the peripheral view of the rider as it minimizes the area of the lens. Another drawback is that they may tend to fog, if there is not enough ventilation on the inner side of the lenses.
In the half frame, the lenses are supported by the frame, usually from the top of the lenses. These frames provide comparatively less protection as compared to full frames. However, the rider gets more of a peripheral view.
Furthermore, they can be lighter, and as such be more comfortable. Another great advantage is that the lenses are comparably more aerated, with more ventilation that keeps the lenses fog-free.
Sunglasses for cycling: How to choose the lenses
Sunglasses are your best bet when it comes to protecting yourself from the harmful UV rays coming out from the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause sunburn by impacting the delicate skin around the eyes. Look out for the lenses that provide good UVA and UVB protection.
The lenses can also provide you with protection in case of accident or fall. Most sunglass lenses are impact resistant and shatterproof, to give you extra protection. If you add prescription lenses to your sunglasses to correct for your vision, you may request for impact resistant lenses also for those, for extra peace of mind.
Let’s say a few words about the tint of the lenses. First of all, it is important to notice that people have different color perceptions. Therefore, the benefits of a tint will not be the same for everybody. Yet, we can expect similar advantages from the same colors.
The most common colors for sunglasses are grey, green (also called grey-green) and brown. Grey and green are both neutral colors, while brown will give a warmer image. For cycling in the bright sun, any standard color will work very well.
You will see true colors, and this is important to understand the distances between far vehicles, the road, and your speed.
Copper or orange is another popular choice for cycling. The reason is that it is less dark, and it is suitable in lower light conditions. Some more, it enhances your view of red and yellow, which is good when you are cycling in the traffic.
Lastly, you may consider yellow. This is good for cycling in dim light. However, not everybody likes this color, because it will cause color distortion, and some people don’t get used to it.
Alternatively, if you cycle at night, you may just go with clear lenses. In this way, you protect our eyes from hazards like small insects and dust from the road. And you also get some protection in case of impact or accidents.
Sports sunglasses can be fitted with prescription lenses if you need them. For some frames, the original sunglass lenses can be replaced. This is usually possible for full frames.
In other cases, a special clip is added on the inside part of the sunglasses, allowing to insert lenses with your prescription. This option is becoming more and more popular. In fact, it has few benefits over changing the original sunglass lenses.
It allows to fit prescription lenses on very curvy and sporty sunglasses, which would require special lenses that are more difficult to manufacture and to fit into the frame. Therefore, more options for the lenses are available. indeed, more and more people request for better prescription lenses for their cycling sunglasses. And for those, we recommend to look at ZEISS lenses.
Another benefit is that it is easier to fit progressive lenses, for those that need them. Furthermore, using the clip allows people with high degree to benefit and use these sunglasses, while keeping their prescription lenses reasonably thin.
If you need prescription lenses with your sunglasses, you should have a proper consultation with a qualified optometrist or optician. Visio Optical is one of the renowned shops in Singapore that deals in sunglasses with prescription lenses.
We have dedicated and experienced optometrists and opticians who will carefully examine your eyes and help you find the most suitable frames and lenses.
Sunglasses for cycling are not just an average accessory that makes you look cool. They are much more important to protect the essential part of your body: your eyes.
You must select the sunglasses that fit your face. It must be a priority to choose the fit first, and after that, you can think of other aspects such as style and looks.
Are you looking for sunglasses for cycling? Do you need sunglasses with prescription? In either case, visit Visio Optical, the best shop in Singapore that deals in premium spectacles and sunglasses.
We also offer a complete service for any of your eyecare needs. If you are looking for sunglasses for cycling, choose Visio Optical and we will not disappoint you.
And don’t forget to BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT with us today.