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Cycling glasses – Glasses for mountain biking, road cycling and everyday life
Whether you would like to enjoy an evening ride with your touring bike, join your friends in the bike park at the weekend or stand at the starting line of your next race – good cycling glasses enhance your vision and are an essential part of a cyclist's kit. Appropriate glasses are designed to protect your eyes from rain, dirt, bugs, UV rays and crashes – even at high speeds. Our range includes a large selection of sunglasses for prescription lenses, sports sunglasses, mountain bike goggles and standard sunglasses by renowned manufacturers such as Oakley, Alpina, RUDY PROJECT, POC, uvex and ROSE.
In our guide to cycling eyewear, we explain everything you need to know to find the right glasses:
Lenses – the core of every pair of cycling glasses
Lenses are the core of every pair of sports glasses. In fact, they are not made from classic glass, as still some prescription lenses of standard glasses are, but made from plastic. This makes the lens significantly lighter and more durable. Plastic lenses are highly shatterproof as well as resistant to scratches, which means they offer additional protection in case of a crash. Moreover, plastic lenses shield your eyes effectively from UV light. The combination of lightness and durability turns plastic lenses into the perfect choice for cycling glasses.
Interchangeable lenses – cycling glasses in a set
Some of the cycling glasses in our range come with a frame that allows you to remove the lens. In this way, you can easily swap the lens for another one. We also offer sets that include extra lenses in different colours (often they include interchangeable lenses in clear and/or orange). You can thus swap between the shades that best fit the needs of the ride. Cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses are marked accordingly in our online shop. In addition, you will find a selection of interchangeable lenses that fit your glasses. Our experts will be happy to help you choose the right replacement lenses.
Which kind of lenses and features are there?
- Photochromic lenses - Cycling glasses with photochromic lenses or “transition lenses” cover a wide variety of light conditions. In direct sunlight, photoactive molecules in the lens react with incident UV rays. That’s why, with increasing sunlight, the lens tint becomes darker within seconds. When a cloud hides the sun or you are entering a tunnel, the photoactive molecules change again, and the lens tint gets lighter. Photochromic lenses in sunglasses therefore mostly offer a range of tints from clear / transparent to black. Thanks to their self-tinting properties, they are ideal for changing light conditions.
- Tinted lenses - Most cycling glasses come with tinted lenses. As opposed to photochromic lenses, these lenses do not change their tint. Even strong sunlight does not have an impact on the lens tint. In this way, you will be ideally equipped for unchanging light conditions. If you wish more flexibility though, some cycling glasses come with interchangeable lenses. This allows you to quickly swap, for instance, a clear lens for a darker tint when the sun comes out. Please note that not all of our cycling glasses allow for changing lenses – our product descriptions explicitly state whether the lenses are interchangeable and whether extra lenses are included.
- Polarized lenses - Polarized lenses in cycling glasses filter extreme reflections of smooth, reflective surfaces like wet roads, water or snow. Sunglasses with polarized lenses are particularly recommendable for tours in the mountains and along the coast or lake shores.
- Contrast-enhancing lenses - High-quality cycling glasses, which are specially adapted to their intended use, sometimes have a contrast-enhancing effect. This lens technology provides for a perfect fine tuning of the lens colour to optimize the complete light spectrum for your type of sport. Single colours, which are necessary for optimum vision and performance, are highlighted, whereas other colours, which impair or disturb your vision are filtered out. This leads to an increase in contrast. Oakley’s PRIZM models are particularly well-known for this feature. PRIZM Road, for example, ensures better perception of road unevenness. Oakley’s PRIZM Trail lenses provide especially good vision on the trail and in the forest. They help you quickly spot roots or changing ground conditions.
- Mirrored lenses - Mirrored lenses have a thin reflective coating on their outside, which makes them appear like small mirrors. If you wear mirrored lenses, people who look at you will only see their own reflection, whereas you can enjoy unrestricted vision. Mirrored sunglasses are mostly worn for aesthetic reasons. However, they also help minimise unpleasant glare.
- Anti-fog - A special anti-fog coating is applied to the surface of a lens to prevent it from fogging up. Glasses wearers know this problem from bending over a cooking pot – yet during sports, too, glasses can quickly steam up. The anti-fog coating minimises fog build-up on the lens for improved vision.
- Anti-scratch - When lacking a special glasses cloth, you can be tempted to clean your sports glasses with your t-shirt, tissue or kitchen roll. However, this is not recommended as these products can quickly ruin your lenses. They contain rough substances that might leave scratches on the lens when rubbing. A special anti-scratch coating minimizes the build-up of scratches.
Light transmission and protection index of cycling glasses
The light transmission of a lens makes sure that only a certain percentage of the light that reaches the lens is transmitted through it. A transparent lens, for example, has a light transmission of 100%, which means that 100% of the light can pass through the lens and reach the eye. As opposed to that, very dark lenses with a transmission of 10% for instance can block 90% of the visible light. When looking through these glasses, your surroundings appear a lot darker, which is very pleasant to the eyes. Depending on the intensity of sunlight, you need cycling glasses with a different transmission rate. On days with overcast skies, a light transmission of 100% is ideal to protect your eyes from rain, dirt and insects. On brighter summer days, you need a significantly lower light transmission to fight glare.
To make it easier to choose the right cycling glasses, light transmission is categorized according to a so-called protection index. Generally, a distinction is made between five different protection levels from S0 to S4:
|Protection level||Light transmission||Light absorption||Light conditions||Recommendation|
|S0||approx. 80 - 100%||approx. 0 - 20%||dark||recommended as protection from rain, dirt and insects|
|S1||approx. 44 - 80%||approx. 20 - 56%||medium||good UV protection, suitable for overcast skies|
|S2||approx. 18 - 44%||approx. 57 - 81%||bright||good UV protection, variable conditions|
|S3||approx. 9 - 18%||approx. 82 - 91%||very bright (e.g. water, beach, mountains)||strong UV protection, suitable for summer tours or tours in the mountains|
|S4||approx. 3 - 9%||approx. 92 - 97%||extremely bright (e.g. high mountains, glaciers, snow)||strong UV protection, suitable for extreme light conditions such as snow/glaciers etc., not suitable for driving|
Which lens colour/lens tint do I need?
- Clear - Clear lenses have no lens tint. Therefore, light can penetrate them unhindered. Glasses with clear lenses are no sunglasses, yet only serve as protection from bugs, draught etc.
- Brown / black - Lenses with a dark tint generally have the lowest possible light transmission. This means that they protect you particularly well from dangerous UV rays and harsh sunlight in bright light conditions. When you enter a tunnel or a cloud hides the sun, a dark lens can easily become too dark though. Black lenses are therefore ideal as sunglasses for bright to very bright days.
- Further colours such as yellow / orange / blue / red / green - Depending on your personal preferences, you can also choose cycling glasses with coloured lenses. These change contrast in your surroundings and can enhance visual perception and your mood. To find out which colour best suits you and your intended use, it is best to try things out or to get advice from our experts.
Sport glasses for glasses wearers
Sport sunglasses are not designed for prescription lenses. If you need cycling glasses with corrective lenses, however, we recommend a few models that can be fitted with an optical insert. You can take this insert to your optician and have prescription lenses made, which are then placed in the insert. The insert can be placed in the cycling glasses. We have marked models with included optical insert accordingly. Please note that, generally, cycling glasses can only be used with corrective lenses up to +/- 2 dioptres (possibly up to a maximum of +/- 4 dioptres when asking your optician).
Goggles for MTB riders
Whether for Gravity, Downhill, FR or Enduro riding – MTB goggles belong to the standard equipment of every adrenaline junkie, as does a full-face helmet. Bike goggles should protect your eyes from dirt and branches, without disturbing your breathing or impairing your vision. Large foam paddings on the frame ensure a snug fit, as well as fast moisture wicking. Ventilation channels in the frame and an anti-fog coating provide even better vision. Depending on your requirements, you can choose between different lens tints and coatings.
With these helpful tips you are sure to find the right cycling glasses in our online shop. We stock a wide range of sunglasses with optical insert, sports sunglasses, mountain bike goggles and standard sunglasses for recreational use from renowned manufacturers such as Oakley, Alpina, RUDY PROJECT, POC, uvex and ROSE. If you still have questions, our experts will be happy to help you find the perfect pair of cycling glasses.