When shopping for your next pair of cycling glasses, you may be debating whether you should get polarized cycling lenses. This is a good question, and like all good questions, the answer is “It depends.” Cycling glasses don’t typically have polarized lenses, but some cyclists prefer them. Read on to learn more.
What are Polarized Lenses?
Polarized lenses reduce glare—the bright, harsh light that bounces off water, snow, and cars. Light emitted from the sun travels in a vertical wavelength. When this wavelength hits a reflective object, the light bounces off horizontally, intensifying its brightness. Polarized lenses have a filter that blocks horizontal light and dramatically reduces that harsh glare.
This is a handy feature for driving or fishing sunglasses, but it’s usually not recommended for sports because it can have an impact on depth perception. Learn more about polarized lenses here.
In the end, getting polarized cycling lenses is up to your personal preference. To help you make up your mind, here are some pros and cons.
Pros of Polarized Cycling Glasses
- Cycling computers nowadays are much more compatible with polarized lenses
- If you bike near the ocean and/or live in a very sunny area, polarized lenses can come in handy
- The effect on depth perception varies from person to person, but it’s usually not significant
Cons of Polarized Cycling Glasses
- Polarized glasses can make reading digital displays more difficult (if you have an older bike or navigate with your phone, for example)
- Reflective objects on the road (like an oil slick) are harder to spot with a polarized lens
- The best cycling lenses (such as PRIZM Road) are not polarized
Are Polarized Cycling Glasses Right for You?
All in all, contrast is the most important aspect of cycling glasses. Having contrast-enhancing lenses enables you to quickly identify potholes or debris and move comfortably through patches of sun and shade.
For cycling, you need to determine if glare is the issue, or if you struggle more with a lack of contrast. Consider what type of cycling you do, the conditions you bike in, and your personal preference. You can also check out our cycling glasses buyer’s guide here if you need additional help on what to look for.
Note that if you’re a mountain biker, polarized lenses are more of a detriment than with road cycling. There is generally very little glare out on the trail, and the effect on depth perception can cause you to not notice a bump or obstacle until it’s too late.
Cycling Glasses at SportRx
Bottom line: Though cycling lenses aren’t usually polarized, some cyclists like them. Still not sure if they’re right for you? You can always Contact Us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can answer your questions and help you build your dream pair of cycling glasses, with or without polarized lenses.
Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your glasses for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription cycling glasses at SportRx today!