Choosing your bike glasses
Cycling glasses are an essential part of a cyclist's kit. This equipment will protect you from the sun but also from dust, insects, water and mud. The choice of your cycling glasses is very important because they must play their main role, protection & comfort.
What frame and lenses to choose ?
Bike sunglasses must be adapted to the amount of sunshine. Your lenses will not be the same during a sunny ride as during a rainy one. What will play a role is the differentiation of the tints on your lenses.
To know which lens to choose and when, here is a classification of the different lenses categories:
- Category 0 : On category 0 lenses, there is no tint in most cases, or if there is, it is minimalist. This category of lenses is dedicated to bad and dark weather, i.e. cloudy, rainy weather. It also provides cyclists who ride at night the possibility to wear glasses. Category 0 lenses allow the cyclist to enjoy protection for their eyes with the same clarity of vision they would otherwise have.
- Category 1 : Category 1 lenses are very similar to category 0, they may have a slight tint, but remain very suitable for dark and cloudy weather.
- Category 2 : Category 2 is for intermediate weather, where there may be some sunlight, and provides protection from the sun, while not being too tinted to see through clouds.
- Category 3 : Finally, category 3 offers the best sun protection, glare reduction and 100% UV protection. This is the most common category and should be worn during sunny rides.
There are also other, more specific types of lenses. Photochromic lenses, for example. They have been studied to detect light thanks to molecules that detect UV. The greater the amount of UV, the more the lens becomes tinted. In a dark environment, they are transparent.
Some brands develop their own lenses. This is the case with Oakley, which has developed PRIZM lenses, which are specifically designed for sports activities. If we take the PRIZM Road lenses for example, they are developed for road cycling. By playing with the tint and colours of the lens, Oakley has developed a lens that increases contrast and makes it possible to better distinguish road imperfections for cyclists.
Which frame to choose?
The choice of frame is very important, it must combine support and lightness. Comfort is essential because you will wear your glasses throughout your ride.
It's important that your glasses maintain your face properly, because with the movement that you can do while riding, glasses that move can be uncomfortable or even fall off. Many pairs come with several inserts to fit the frame perfectly to your face. Some models even have adjustable temples. It is important to adjust your glasses properly.
Today the brands all offer relatively light models, some more so than others because they have no frame. Cycling glasses vary and styles evolve through the ages and there are also many fashion effects. In recent years, cycling glasses have tended to be quite large and look more and more like goggles. This has the advantage of better protecting our eyes but also of not being bothered by the presence of the frame so as not to have obstructions in our field of vision.