You wouldn’t drive a car without a windscreen, so why risk your eye-health when out on a bike? Bugs, grit and branches pose a real challenge to cyclists travelling at any speed. At PBR, we know that a perfect fit makes all the difference to safety when it comes to bike essentials – from racks down to the smallest accessories.
Whether you want to look like a pro, avoid getting flies in your eyes or simply minimise wrinkles from squinting, take a look at key things to bear in mind when choosing your next pair of cycling sunglasses.
- Remember to wear your helmet when trying them on. Aggravating ‘pinch points’ can ruin your ride, so check compatibility. Adjustable arms are available on some high-end models, but not on the majority of frames.
- Cost isn’t always a sign of quality. Oliver Heath, MD of UK sunglasses brand, Panda Optics, says: “Make sure your money is going towards a good product, not just a big brand name or reputation. Cycling glasses can cost anywhere between £30 and £300, so know what you’re buying.”
- Sun, snow and wet roads all cause glare. The UK has all these conditions, but thankfully many manufacturers cater for this with swappable lenses. For instance, Panda Optics has a ‘Conquer’ model that comes with three lenses as standard - check this https://www.instagram.com/pendlebikeracks for your chance to win two pairs!
- UVA and UVB Protection is essential to guard against eye health issues like glaucoma and cataracts. As with standard sunglasses, bear this in mind when shopping for both.
- Anti-fog / ventilation features are essential. Just as you’d wind down the windows in your car (or use air-con) when they steam up, air flow disperses condensation that would otherwise impair your vision. Caused by working up a sweat through exertion or hot weather, moisture needs somewhere to escape as you pedal along.
- Ever-changing light conditions are a hazard for cyclists – fortunately eyewear technology can counter this. Clever lenses can adapt to different levels of light, whether conditions are cloudy, or if bright rays of sun are in your line of vision.
- Remember how things can look a little faded on very bright days? Contrast is essential for gauging depth and proximity, so again glasses that sharpen the view help with safety, whether you’re on trails, gravel or roads.
- Sweat, downhills and undulating terrain all pose a challenge when it comes to making sure your sunglasses stay put. Rubberised features on the nose piece and arms can help to reduce slippage and provide a snug fit at the temples and on the bridge of the nose.
- The weight of your ‘face furniture’ is important. Akin to a bad fit, a hefty frame can cause discomfort – especially on longer rides. This can affect your concentration levels and therefore safety, so be sure to look for lightweight styles.
- Wraparound glasses may look trendy, but if they fit your face too closely, they may fog up in cooler weather.
- People with smaller faces can appear swamped in oversized shades, so goggle-like styles probably aren’t the best choice for looks or comfort.
- Unisex, wraparound designs are extremely versatile and have a fashionable urban vibe that suits all ages.
- Riders in the Tour de France wowed us with their Euro chic sunglasses – why not try styles inspired by this year’s peloton?