Our Guide to Buying: Eyewear

What should I look for in cycling glasses/cycling goggles?

Whether you ride on the road or off it, the requirements of your eyewear are broadly similar. Style is a personal thing and there are a number of different designs ranging from casual looking to extremely specific technical eyewear, you’ll find the perfect pair of shades for whether you are riding or chilling. With so many brands to choose from such as Oakley and Endura, this guide will help you find the best mountain bike or road glasses or sunglasses for you.

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Why do I need cycling glasses?

A good set of cycling glasses or goggles is an essential item of cycle clothing. They protect your eyes from debris, wind and also harmful UV radiation, increasing your control and safety. They need to be comfortable, keep your eyes protected and, last but not least, you need to look and feel good in them.

Coverage & Fit

How do I fit cycling glasses?

It's well worth trying cycling glasses 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. It is even more important to try on goggles with your riding helmet as you will need to make sure the shape of the goggles fits with your helmet.

Technical Features

Apart from the fit and style of the frame, there are a number of technical features that you need to look out for in a pair of bike glasses.

What are the main features of cycling glasses?

Silicone grippers on the arms and nosepiece improve comfort and help keep them in place even when wet from sweat. Cheaper glasses may 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 brow guards to prevent sweat from going into your eyes.

How can I choose the best cycling glasses for racing?

Getting the right kind of lenses is also essential. Make sure they offer proper UV protection to help prevent the sun from damaging your eyes. High quality lenses will also cause less strain on your eyes. If you are buying goggles then it might be worth getting tear-offs that can be layered up over your lenses and removed when they get muddy.


What should I look for when choosing cycling lenses

For cycling sunglasses, choosing the correct tint is 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.