Cycling sunglasses are a crucial tool to ensuring you experience a seamless ride. When looking for the best pair of cycling sunglasses for you, it's not always easy knowing where to start. That is why we have created this guide to help you know what to look for. We cover frame and lens features that make a difference in your on-bike experience. Also featured in this guide are a few examples of what to look for. We have a separate guide to the Best Cycling Sunglasses of 2019 if you already know exactly what you want in your cycling sunglasses.
Table of Contents
1. What to Look for in Cycling Sunglasses
2. Frame Technology
3. Lens Technology
Polarized vs Non-Polarized
Progressive vs Non-Progressive
4. Top Cycling Sunglasses
The high volume of designs, shapes, styles and features out there can be overwhelming when figuring out what works best for you. But worry no more! We're here to answer all of your cycling sunglass questions with this ultimate guide to the best cycling sunglasses and prescription cycling glasses. We also have a guide of this year's top cycling sunglasses so you can compare it to the sunglasses in this guide.
A sturdy yet lightweight frame construction separates the good frames from the bad. If you're picking up a new pair of sunglasses for cycling, make sure that they are made of a sports performance material like nylon, built tough but light enough not to bog you down.
Fit is always key when it comes to sunglasses, but when it comes to cycling you not only have to worry about how the sunglasses are going to fit on your face, but also how they'll fit under your helmet. We find that frames with straight-back temples are your best bet for optimal helmet compatibility. Straight-back temples will also allow you to seamlessly remove and replace your frames when needed.
True cycling glasses will have both temple and nose grips to ensure a secure fit throughout every ride. You can count on these rubber materials to increase grip the more you sweat, maintaining a precise optical alignment at all times; this feature is exceptionally important in prescription cycling sunglasses.
The best cycling sunglasses are all about that wrap around frame design. More wrap means more coverage and extended peripherals. That coverage is going come in handy, you'll see. No really, you'll see, like everything, and you'll feel much more protected all at once. Wrap around glasses also provide ample wind and debris protection. If you have a high prescription, you too can reap the benefit of wrap around cycling sunglasses with frames, such as the Rudy Project Exception, designed to accommodate your high-prescription needs.
Think you'll be fine in a pair of heavy shades? Think again. Think like a pro, like a swimmer even. Don't let any weight hold you back. Plus, a lighter frame will be less apparent in it's existence on your face. The best cycling sunglasses will feel like they're not even there!
When it comes to choosing the perfect lens for your vision and riding needs, there are some features that work better for some than others, especially when customizing a pair of prescription cycling sunglasses. Here's a little break down of your options and why they may or may not be for you.
Now comes the decision of dark vs light lenses. When making this decision it is always better to go with a light lens. We say this because of the safety issues that come with having a pair of cycling sunglasses which are too dark. When riding we are usually surrounded with grey, in particular the ground, shadows, pot holes, and debris. Dark lenses may cause you to miss those obstacles, hindering your reaction time. Lighter lenses provide enhanced contrast, allowing you to spot uneven road surfaces up ahead. As a good rule of thumb, a lighter lens creates more pop and less stop. As a result, a lighter lens with UV protection is the way to go.
These lenses change for you, making it easier to deal with the changing light throughout your bike ride. Transition lenses typically come in grey, however they also come in brown to help deliver a desires contrast. The SportRx Sunset Lens provides a brown based transition lens, which changes from a medium rose copper to a dark rose copper, creating a lens that can work in any daytime condition.
Simply put, polarized lenses cut out glare. This feature makes for a good lens when you are in bright conditions where the reflected glare can strain your eyes. Polarized lenses are recommended for water activities and driving. Polarized lenses are not ideal for road cycling because there are situations in which seeing glare can actually be a benefit. For example, picking up on an oil slick or pot hole would be harder with a polarized lens. A polarized lens would also make reading cycling computer much more difficult. That is why we suggest a contrast enhancing non-polarized lens for your cycling needs. We also have more information on the differences between polarized and non-polarized lenses for cycling.
A progressive lens is preferred if you are going to be reading any sort of maps or have digital readouts on your bike. Otherwise, a single vision lens is desirable because you have one type of vision correction across the entire lens rather than having the lens split between near, intermediate, and far distance.
This list of cycling sunglasses is here to show you a few things to keep in mind when making your selection. It is only a sliver of the recommendations we have for you to get some ideas going. We have a complete guide to the Best Cycling Sunglasses of 2019 if you would like to see more options.
The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is a tried and true sport sunglass that is perfect for cycling. The semi-rimless frame design allows the lenses to extend downward to give you additional coverage without the bottom of the frame getting in your line of sight. Unobtanium, Oakley's patented grip material, covers the nosepads and temples to keep the frames optically aligned. The more you sweat, the stickier and tackier it gets. The O Matter frame is both lightweight and durable for a sunglass that can be worn all-day long. Like many Oakley sunglasses, this model is offered in PRIZM Road for a maximum contrast boost so you can pick up on every detail on your ride.
The Radar EV Path has many of the same frame materials as the Flak 2.O XL but has more coverage with a full-shield lens. This is available in prescription but the embedded rx options are more limited than a sunglass with two separate lenses. Another great feature on the Radar EV Path is the additional venting in the top of the lens. this increases airflow and reduces chances of fogging.
The Oakley Targetline is a great option if you want a more casual look but still need sport features. As you can see, this sunglass is flatter than both the Flak 2.0 XL and Radar EV Path. Having a flatter lens means the frame is more capable of holding a higher rx lens.
Get Prescription Cycling Sunglasses Online at SportRx
If you're looking for quality cycling glasses to exceed your expectations, SportRx has you covered. All of the above sunglasses are available here at SportRx, some of which are better for high prescription needs than others. If you have any questions about this list of the best cycling sunglasses, or prescription cycling glasses in general, give us a call or LiveChat one of our optical ninjas who are always here to help! We can't wait to get you out on the road seeing better than ever.