How-To: Buying Mountain Bike Sunglasses

Whether you are a professional rider or just get out on the weekends, you want the best equipment possible so you can perform at your best. Ask any avid mountain biker and they will tell you that having the right pair of sunglasses makes all the difference when out on the trails. SportRx teams up with Hall of Fame Mountain Biker, Richie Schley, to talk about what to look for in a mountain bike sunglass. Check out the video below to learn more!

Important Features for Mountain Bike Sunglasses

High Contrast Lens:

First and foremost, find sunglasses that have high contrast. A high contrast lens will give you the ability to go in and out of shadows without losing the details in your environment. It would be better you go too light with your mountain bike sunglasses versus going too dark. A dark lens with a mirror will block out too much light on the trail and make it more difficult for you to pick up on the roots and rocks that you need to see. Most brands have their unique contrast-enhancing lens. For Oakley, its PRIZM Trail, which are designed specifically for a trail or mountain bike environment. These lenses are made to boost the contrast in the colors that your eye is most sensitive to while also filtering out the noisy, distracting colors. PRIZM Trail helps you to react quicker to your surroundings, making for a safer ride. Smith proprietary lenses are called ChromaPop which heighten contrast, allowing you to pick up on all the necessary details on the trail.

Polarized vs. Photochromatic:

Polarized lenses filter out reflective glare. Intense glare is commonly found on water, snow, or coming off of car bumpers on a sunny day. Polarized lenses are not recommended for mountain biking since studies have shown that it can throw off depth perception. Photochromatic lenses, better known as transition lenses, are great for mountain biking because the lenses darken as more light comes in contact with the lens, and lighten as sunlight lessens. A common misconception with transition lenses is that they will change super quick and get extra dark. If you are riding in and out of shadows they will not change on the fly but they are a great option to meet multiple riding conditions. Another plus to photochromatic lenses is that you don't have to bring multiple pairs of sunglasses or lenses to change out.

Fit and Coverage:

As far as mountain bike sunglasses go, prioritize comfort as much as possible from the start. If they are not comfortable from the get-go, then it's never going to get better with wear. Wind, dust, and other random debris can get kicked up as you're on the go so having a wraparound or semi-wrap will protect your eyes more than a flatter frame. Some frames have a more casual look but still give you the coverage and a bit of wrap. These are recommended if you prefer more mellow styling. This way you will block all obstacles that get in the way of your performance when riding. Lastly, working up a sweat is inevitable. Sunglasses with a rubberized nose piece and temples keep the frames on your face.

Features to Stay Away From

There are some features that can hinder your performance. Dark lenses, for one. Reason being is shadows out on the trails can make it harder to see hazards, increasing your chance of a crash. Glass lenses are not recommended for obvious reason. Even the best riders in the world go over the handle bars from time to time. Having a piece of glass that close to your eyes in an impact event is not ideal. Another feature to steer clear of is metal frames. They can bend and cause possible harm if the metal becomes fragmented under stress.

Prescription Mountain Biking Sunglasses Available Prescription

Here at SportRx, our goal is to equip you with the best eyewear possible so that you are able to see better while doing what you love. For those of you that need your mountain bike sunglasses in prescription, we've got you covered. We have opticians on hand 7 days a week, that are eager to assist you. To explore our selection of mountain bike sunglasses, visit SportRx today!