A Guide to
Whether you ride on the road or off it, the requirements of your eyewear are broadly similar. They need to be comfortable, keep your eyes protected and, last but not least, you need to look and feel good in them. While style is a personal thing, there are a number of different designs ranging from almost casual looking to extremely specific technical eyewear that might draw odd looks at a post-ride break
Coverage & Fit
Having good coverage is essential to keep out the wind, sun and dirt or rain. Many manufacturers now also offer different sized frames to suit different heads. Tifosioffer a number of different models to suit wider or smaller faces and ensure a good fit. It's well worth trying them on to decide, but remember to wear your usual riding helmet at the same time to ensure the straps don't interfere with the fit and create pressure that will become uncomfortable on long rides.
Apart from the fit and style of the frame, there are a number of technical features that you need to look out for. Silicone grippers on the arms improve comfort and help keep them in place even when wet from sweat. The same goes for the nosepiece. Cheaper glasses may just rely on the plastic frame to keep them in place, but more expensive models will use a special insert that can be adjusted to fit. Some models also have guards on the brow to help prevent sweat from going into your eyes.
Getting the right kind of lenses is also essential. Make sure they offer proper UV protection to help prevent the sun's rays from damaging your eyes. High quality lenses will also distort your view much less, causing less strain on your eyes.
Choosing the correct tint is also important. For off-road riders, a yellow tint will help increase contrast and make obstacles easier to spot. Clear lenses are highly useful for dull conditions, offering protection without reducing visibility. Darker tints are better for brighter conditions, but remember they will reduce overall light transmission and make it harder to see in the shade.
Many manufacturers now offer photochromic lenses that automatically change tint depending on the light, which makes them the best of both worlds, though this does usually come at a cost. Endura offer a range of lower cost models however. Glasses that have interchangeable lenses are also available, allowing you to switch them to suit the conditions without needing multiple sets of glasses.