Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses

Founder, Mr. Mamil

In this guide, I discuss the various benefits of cycling sunglasses and how they contribute to a safer, more comfortable, and enjoyable riding experience. 

Eye protection

Shielding eyes from harmful UV ray

Cycling sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection helps shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of cataracts and other UV-related eye issues. 

Exposure to UV radiation can lead to short-term effects like photokeratitis and long-term consequences such as macular degeneration.

Look for sunglasses that offer complete UV protection to maintain your eye health. Reputable sunglasses brands often certify their lenses for UV protection. This information is shown on the product label or packaging.

Examples of sunglasses :

  • Oakley Radar EV Path uses Plutonite lenses with 100% UVA, UVB, and UVC protection.
  • Tifosi Optics Dolomite 2.0 comes with polycarbonate lenses that provide 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Protection from flying debris, insects, and wind

Riding at high speeds or in areas with heavy traffic or debris increases the risk of eye injuries.

Sunglasses with adequate coverage and impact-resistant lenses protect your eyes from flying debris, insects, and wind, ensuring a clear vision and preventing potential eye injuries. 

Consider wraparound designs or sunglasses with gaskets for effective protection. These designs offer more extensive coverage and help to create a barrier against wind, debris, and insects.

Opt for lenses made from polycarbonate or Trivex materials, as they are lightweight and impact-resistant. Look for sunglasses that meet or exceed ANSI Z87.1 or EN 166 standards for impact resistance.

Examples of sunglasses :

  • Smith Attack Max features a wraparound design, ChromaPop lenses for increased contrast and clarity, and a two-position adjustable nose piece for a secure fit.
  • Rudy Project Defender offers a wraparound design with an adjustable nosepiece and temple tips, providing a secure fit and comprehensive eye protection.

Enhanced visibility

Lens tint and polarization

Selecting the right lens tint can improve your visibility by increasing contrast, allowing you to distinguish road obstacles and terrain features better. Different tints are suited for specific light conditions, enhancing your riding experience.

Polarized lenses reduce glare caused by sunlight reflecting off wet surfaces, enhancing visibility and reducing eye strain. Polarization is especially beneficial for cyclists who frequently ride near water or in wet conditions.

Examples of lens tints and polarization :

  • Yellow or amber lenses. Ideal for low light or overcast conditions, increasing contrast and depth perception.
  • Gray or smoke lenses. Suitable for bright sunlight, reducing overall brightness without distorting colors.
  • Rose or red lenses. Enhance contrast and visual depth in mixed or changing light conditions.

Adapting to varying light conditions

Photochromic lenses automatically adjust their tint based on the amount of sunlight, helping you adapt to changing light conditions during your rides. These versatile lenses darken in bright light and become lighter in low-light conditions.

Photochromic lenses are ideal for cyclists who often experience varying lighting conditions, such as those riding at different times of the day or in areas with frequent weather changes.

Examples of photochromic sunglasses :

  • Julbo Aerospeed features Reactiv Photochromic lenses that adapt to changing light conditions from category 1 to 3.
  • Oakley Flight Jacket offers an option for Prizm Road lenses with photochromic technology, providing optimal clarity and contrast in various light conditions.

Minimize eye strain and fatigue

Constant exposure to sunlight, glare, and wind can cause eye strain and fatigue. Cycling sunglasses help minimize these factors, allowing you to focus better and ride more comfortably for extended periods.

Opt for sunglasses with UV protection, polarized lenses, and adequate coverage to reduce eye fatigue. These features shield your eyes from harmful light and environmental factors.

Examples of sunglasses :

  • POC Aspire uses Clarity lens technology, which enhances contrast and color definition, reducing eye strain.
  • 100% S2 features HiPER lenses that increase contrast and depth perception, reducing eye strain. 

Increased visual clarity

Cycling sunglasses can improve your overall cycling performance by offering protection from the elements, enhancing visibility, and minimizing eye fatigue.

With increased visual clarity and reduced distractions, you can concentrate better on the road ahead, making quicker and more accurate decisions, ultimately leading to a safer and more efficient ride.

Protection from weather elements

Cycling sunglasses protect your eyes from weather elements like rain, snow, and dust, ensuring a comfortable riding experience in different conditions.

Look for sunglasses with specific lens coatings that help prevent fogging and maintain clear vision in different weather conditions. Anti-fog and hydrophobic coatings are advantageous in humid, wet, or cold environments.

Examples of sunglasses :

  • Smith Pivlock Arena features a hydrophobic lens coating that repels water, keeping your vision clear in wet conditions.
  • Bolle Shifter has vented lenses and anti-fog treatment, ensuring optimal airflow and preventing lens fogging in humid or cold environments.

Comfort and style

It’s important to choose sunglasses that are functional, comfortable to wear, and aesthetically pleasing. This ensures that you enjoy wearing your sunglasses and feel confident while cycling.

Consider various frame designs and materials that cater to different preferences, ensuring your cycling sunglasses are stylish and comfortable. Adjustable nose pads and temple tips can help customize the fit, while lightweight materials enhance comfort during long rides.

Examples of sunglasses :

  • Roka CP-1x features a lightweight, flexible frame and adjustable titanium core wires for a customized fit.
  • Oakley Sutro offers a bold, modern design with a lightweight O Matter frame and Unobtainium nose pads for a secure, comfortable fit.

Long-term eye health

Consistently wearing cycling sunglasses can have long-term benefits for your eye health. Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays can reduce the risk of cataracts and other UV-related eye conditions.

Additionally, shielding your eyes from debris, insects, and wind can help prevent potential eye injuries. Investing in high-quality, protective cycling sunglasses contributes to maintaining good eye health over time.

Examples of sunglasses :

  • Native Eyewear Catamount offers N3 Polarized lenses that provide 100% UV protection and block up to 4 times more infrared light than regular polarized lenses, promoting long-term eye health.
  • Tifosi Swank features shatterproof polycarbonate lenses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, ensuring consistent protection from harmful rays and flying debris.
Alex Lee at Mr.Mamil

Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.

He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.