Cycling sunglasses are a fundamental accessory in this sport. They are designed to be an efficient screen against the UV light and they also protect the eyes from insects, dirt, and dust. Let’s see how to choose them or, if you don’t feel like reading through the whole article, click on the links below to jump to our best cycling sunglasses reviews.
The commercial offer of the cycling sunglasses is extremely ample and it is really hard to decide which is the best model. To complicate things even more, not all cycling sunglasses are the same and some models are more appropriate for some disciplines compared to others.
For this reason, we have put together a guide that should help you pick the right pair for you. After reading, check our selection of the best cycling sunglasses to see if you can find the ones you are looking for.
Why Do You Need Cycling Sunglasses
One of the most frequent questions inexpert cyclists ask is why they need cycling sunglasses. After all, couldn’t you simply use a pair of regular sunglasses?
To put it simply, no! Cycling sunglasses are essential when practicing this sport. Regardless of the chosen discipline, cycling is a sport that requires you to stay focused for a long period of time, and usually in full sunlight. For this reason, cycling sunglasses are built to protect you from the harmful UV rays, acting as a screen.
Apart from being a screen for the sun, they also protect you from insects and dust.
This feature is extremely important, as insects or dust getting into your eyes while cycling can be very dangerous.
If you fancy cycling in winter, cycling sunglasses will protect your eyes against cold and wind. Unfortunately, a pair of regular sunglasses will not be able to achieve this purpose, as they rarely fit perfectly.
Cycling Sunglass Lenses: Polarized Or Photochromic?
As it is easy to understand, the quality of the lenses is the main thing to consider when choosing a pair of cycling sunglasses.
Essentially, there are two types of lenses on the market, polarized and photochromic.
Polarized lenses are designed to block the intensely reflected light and reduce glare, maintaining the comfort of your eyes. Usually, these lenses are the ones most preferred by the cyclists but they are unsuitable to be used if you like cycling in the evenings.
Photochromic lenses, on the other hand, are designed to change their color based on the climate and to adjust glare to the light conditions. This guarantees comfort in all situations and you will not have to worry about the intensity of the light.
If you are not sure which type of lenses you prefer, on the market there are also available cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses that come with both polarized and photochromic lenses.
Regardless of your choice, make sure to check if the model you like is water-repellent and has anti-dust and scratch-proof lenses.
How To Choose Cycling Sunglasses?
Apart from personal preferences and style considerations, the first thing you should check before buying a pair of cycling sunglasses is the robustness of the lenses and the frame. Apart from this, here are a few other things to consider:
- Lens replacement technology: regardless of the sunglasses you choose, you should be able to replace the lenses with ease. There are various reasons why you might want to change the lenses. The most frequent is because different light or atmospheric conditions require the use of different lenses. On the other hand, if the stock lenses get damaged, you might want to replace them alone and not also the frame of the glasses.
- Shape of the frame: cycling sunglasses should tend to extend the visual field and allow a correct and circular view of the path. The elongated shapes are the way to go.
- Resistance of the frame: especially for the “heavy” disciplines, such as mountain biking, enduro, or BMX, the resistance of the frame is essential. Choose frames made of carbon polycarbonate or highly resistant thermoplastic.
- Ventilation: apart from fitting perfectly, the cycling sunglasses should allow a proper ventilation to avoid the buildup of sweat around your eyes. This will also prevent the lenses from turning “foggy” in extremely hot or cold environments.
Cycling Sunglasses With Optical Inserts
Cyclists with less acute vision problems usually find themselves in the loop of deciding whether to give up on sunglasses and wear their normal glasses or force their eyesight.
Fortunately, many cycling sunglasses manufacturers propose lines of sunglasses with optical inserts designed especially to meet the needs of those with visual acuity problems. But in this case, the choice of the model is even more important.
First of all, the visual field is usually reduced by the inserts, therefore this is the first thing to check. On the other hand, if you have vision problems, you should only check how well the sunglasses handle the contrast and light shadowing.
Lastly, don’t forget to check the weight and stability of the optical insert as it might affect your performance and comfort.
Fortunately, some manufacturers propose custom-made versions of prescription cycling sunglasses. If you choose such a model, you will be able to forget about inserts and enjoy the benefits of a sporty accessory while maintaining your visual acuity.
Now, let’s see what are the best cycling sunglasses available on the market.
Best Cycling Sunglasses
|Oakley Jawbreaker OO9290 Shield Sunglasses||$$$$|
|Bolle 6th Sense Sunglasses||$$$|
|POC DO Blade Sunglasses||$$$|
|Uvex Sportstyle 202 Race Variomatic Photochromic Sunglasses||$$$$$|
1. Oakley Jawbreaker OO9290 Shield Sunglasses
Oakley is one of the most popular manufacturers of athletic sunglasses and among all the models, the Jawbreaker certainly stands out when it comes to cycling sunglasses.The Jawbreaker has a tradition of over 40 years and the model is extremely popular because of its impressive characteristics. One of them is the ingenious air vent that increases the comfort of the cyclist during exercise and avoids fogging the lenses.Check Price on Amazon
Another impressive characteristic is the Switchlock technology that allows users to replace the lenses with ease and optimize the vision in any environment.
To respond to the demands of all users, the manufacturer proposes a wide range of lenses, including polarized and non-polarized versions, and also photochromic lenses.
Things We Liked
- Easy to replace lenses:the Jawbreaker comes with different types of lenses that are interchangeable and suitable to be used in different light or atmospheric conditions.
- Various styles:the manufacturer proposes multiple design options for the sunglasses, including a model with a thick frame and one with no frame whatsoever, therefore it will be easy to choose the model you like best.
- Flexible:these sunglasses are perfect for all cycling disciplines thanks to their impressive flexibility. In fact, they will protect you even on the most challenging trails.
- A large field of vision:thanks to the design, the glasses provide a wide field of vision that will allow you to detect in time any potential hazards.
Things We Didn’t Like
- The frame detaches from the lenses quite easily. This is a great feature for when you want to change the lenses, but not so great when you just want to keep the glasses in a pocket or backpack for a while.
2. Bolle 6th Sense Sunglasses
If your chosen discipline is road cycling, a pair of sunglasses to consider is the Bolle 6th Sense. These sunglasses impress with their retro look and the one-piece lens that reminds of the nineties. Nevertheless, the technology used to manufacture them is really up to date.The first thing that stands out is the frame, practically non-existent, that highlights the perfect design of the lens. Apart from the aesthetic considerations, the inexistence of a frame has a positive impact on the field of vision as well. In fact, you will be able to move your head freely without having your vision obstructed.Check Price on Amazon
Another attractive characteristic is the fairing that clips to the arms of the glasses, creating a streamlined combo between the glasses and the cycling helmet, stopping the sunlight and the wind from getting to your eyes.
Lastly, the lenses come in a wide range of coatings, including polarized and photochromatic versions.
Things We Liked
- Hydrophobic treatment: these glasses are water and oil repellent, preventing the lenses to get stained from water and keeping away any other marks, such as sweat and fingerprints.
- AG2R sunglasses: these sunglasses are suitable to be used in all light conditions, including the brightest ones. The lenses come in different colors and with different coatings to match the requirements of a wide range of users.
- 100% anti-fog: thanks to an air vent built on the side of the sunglasses, air flow is ensured and the glasses are 100% fog proof.
- Attractive design: the various elements of the sunglasses, such as the arms and the nose piece, simply clip to the lens. The result is attractive and the design can be defined as a fusion between retro and minimalist.
Things We Didn’t Like
- It is sometimes tricky to find the right size, and the sunglasses are also pretty expensive.
3. POC DO Blade Sunglasses
DO Blade sunglasses from POC stand out thanks to the impressive quality of the lens and ergonomic design of the frame.The manufacturer is most famous for other sports accessories, such as helmets, yet its sunglasses truly impress. The DO Blade boasts a dedicated frame made of injected grilamid, that is lightweight and extremely durable.Check Price on Amazon
Apart from durability, the frame is really flexible, being suitable to use for a wide range of cycling disciplines.
These sunglasses also have an interchangeable lens, an adjustable nose piece and rubber inserts that keep the frame firmly in place and secured.
Things We Liked
- Carl Zeiss lens: for an improved vision and for flawless images, the DO Blade sunglasses are equipped with a durable and scratch-resistant Carl Zeiss lens.
- Repel treated lens: the lens of the sunglasses is treated with an anti-fog and repellent coating that prevents the accumulation of dirt and grime on the lens, while it is also water repellent.
- Optimized tints: these sunglasses are ideal for both trail cycling and road cycling and they come with dedicated lenses to each discipline.
- Lightweight: thanks to the innovative design, these sunglasses are extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Things We Didn’t Like
- The air vent is located on the lens, close to the eyebrow. The location of the air vent is not one of the bests because it can interfere with the field of vision especially on trail riding.
4. Bertoni Sunglasses
Bertoni cycling sunglasses are designed to respond to the demands of both professional and amateur cyclists, being extremely lightweight, comfortable to wear and able to protect the eyes from the excessively bright light, dust, and the wind.The lens of these sunglasses is able to reflect all sun rays with success, while the frame is built to guarantee maximum safety in all situations. In fact, the sunglasses are made of a material that is resistant to impacts and atmospheric agents, including rain and fog.Check Price on Amazon
The sunglasses are made specifically for mountain biking and boast a special hyperventilation design with special upper cuts on the lens that ensure a proper air flow in all circumstances.
Lastly, the sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses designed to provide protection while ensuring an accurate field of vision in all light conditions.
Things We Liked
- Wide range of lenses:you will be able to choose your favorite lenses between photochromic, anti fog, anti reflection, and polarized lenses.
- Extra-lightweight frame:the sunglasses are made of nylon and carbon, being resistant, flexible and lightweight.
- Shape memory:the sunglasses are designed to adapt their shape to the shape of your face and have shape memory, maintaining their elasticity even in extreme temperatures.
- Adjustable nose pads:these sunglasses can fit perfectly on any type of physiognomy thanks to the adjustable nose pads.
Things We Didn’t Like
- The glasses should come with two interchangeable lenses, but more often than not the manufacturer only sells them with only one type of lens.
5. Uvex Sportstyle 202 Race Variomatic Photochromic Sunglasses
If you are looking for the perfect sunglasses able to provide excellent protection and enhanced vision in all light conditions, then maybe you should consider the Uvex Sportstyle 202 model.Designed specifically for road cycling, but also suitable for trail disciplines, these sunglasses boast the variomatic photochromatic technology that allows the lens to change tint depending on the environmental conditions.Check Price on Amazon
This feature is great as it will allow you to cycle regardless of the weather or light conditions, without requiring you to stop and change the lens.
Another great feature is the durable, flexible, and lightweight frame designed to provide superior comfort and to fit perfectly to your face.
Things We Liked
- Mirror lens: the lens is designed to provide protection not only against UV rays but also against infra-red rays that are harmful to the eyes.
- Variomatic technology: the lens changes its tint based on the environmental conditions, therefore you will be able to wear these glasses even when there is no sun.
- Water and stain repellent: the lens is coated with a repellent coating that is water and oil resistant. Therefore, you will not have to worry about fingerprints, water drops or any other type of dirt.
- Rubber padded: to ensure a perfect fit and a comfortable wear, the sunglasses have rubber padded arms and an adjustable nose pad.
Things We Didn’t Like
- These sunglasses are really expensive.
Conclusion & Final Pick
In our opinion, the best cycling sunglasses available on the market are the POC DO Blade Sunglasses. There is only one downside when it comes to this pair, namely the awkward position of the air vent. But apart from that, these sunglasses are made to impress.
To begin with, they have a really great shape, offering a wide field of vision, while the ultra-lightweight design makes them comfortable to wear in all situations.
But what impresses the most is the Carl Zeiss lens that is made of scratch resistant glass. The lens is also water and oil repellent.
The interchangeable lenses are designed for various uses, and we are sure that regardless of your discipline, these cycling glasses will satisfy all your needs.