... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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horizon
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... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby horizon » 15 Apr 2013, 12:56am

Many photographs of cyclists show them wearing sunglasses. It isn't always possible to know what time of year or day it was or even what the weather was at the time of the photograph but they do seem to be ubiquitous. I have never worn sunglasses when cycling even in Spain in mid-summer. What is the main benefit/purpose?
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Tonyf33
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Tonyf33 » 15 Apr 2013, 1:11am

Eye protection is the number one reason for me, stops the flies, grit, dust etc, they also lessen the chance of damage your retina's long term, they make the lenses UV400 for a reason to block out harmful UVA and UVB light that will penetrate cloud cover.
Not only that but Orange/yellow lenses can block out blue light which could bring about macular problems, I use these during lower light conditions as it increases the contrast.
So summer/very bright days, eye protection from the sun and enables you to actually see better due to minimizing glare.
Autumn/Spring, protects from glare from rain or car users switching their lights on earlier thus you get dazzled without glasses easier.
Winter protect from snow glare/rain, grit/crud off the road from broken road surfaces..
All year round I might wear clear UV400 lenses for very dark days or night time, again because it stops any crud from hitting me in the eyes.
I don't wear them to look cool, but the nicer they look the better...

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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Gearoidmuar » 15 Apr 2013, 7:35am

I wear glasses now but used only wear them for reading and for work years ago. One day cycling fast down a hill I got a whack of a bee in the eye. Last time I didn't wear glasses on a bike..

not true..

If it's VERY wet, I take them off. Not too many bees around then.
I only wear sunglasses if there's glare..

Cherwell
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Cherwell » 15 Apr 2013, 7:38am

I wear glasses when riding so I can read my Garmin which is mounted on the bar stem. I have a pair of Optilab bifocals and would not be able to read my Garmin without them. They are photochromic and darken when exposed to UV light. This happens even in winter. They also protect my eyes from insect strikes. The disadvantage is that when riding from open countryside into a shady lane it gets very dark and difficult to see potholes.

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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby eileithyia » 15 Apr 2013, 7:49am

UV light can cause damage...... pros are encouraged to wear them... and so shuld we. Also protection from flying insects etc...
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Mick F
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Mick F » 15 Apr 2013, 9:10am

I wouldn't wear them when cycling ever ever EVER again! :twisted:

I crashed a few years ago in a big pothole, and I know I would have seen it if I hadn't been wearing sunglasses. The hill I was going down had tree cover and the sunshine was bright. The sudden plunging under the trees upset my vision just at the critical point.

I've been down that hill many times since and can see very well how I was "blinded" by darkness.

I love sunglasses, and wear them when driving or even just being outside, but when cycling - never ever again.
Mick F. Cornwall

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philg
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby philg » 15 Apr 2013, 9:20am

I was strongly advised by my eye doctor to always wear glasses whilst cycling.

Apart from reducing the ingress of UV, dust, grit and insects, they protect against the wind drying out the eyes.

I rarely use dark lenses though, partly for the reason Mick F gave; I prefer orange for daytime and clear for night. In rain I'll leave them off, as the reasons for wearing them are less valid (and you can't see where you're going!)

The Mechanic
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby The Mechanic » 15 Apr 2013, 9:22am

That is like saying that you would never use a certain tyre because last time you used one it punctured. Try using photochromic lenses, best of both worlds. right job, right tools
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ChrisButch
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby ChrisButch » 15 Apr 2013, 9:31am

Many of the 'sunglasses' you see cycllists wearing aren't sunglasses! - they have interchangeable lenses, so that as well as the familiar dark ones reducing light transmission you also have the option of clear lenses or light-enhancing amber lenses intended for use in poor light. Several years ago I switched from varifocal spectacles to contact lenses (I have very short sight). and ever since then have worn 'sunglasses' with low-light lenses while cycling, only rarely switching to the darker lenses (usually in low, blinding winter sun). The main purpose is to protect the eyes from wind-blown grit and dust - getting which stuck behind a contact lens isn't fun, and can make it virtually impossible to continue riding.

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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Vorpal » 15 Apr 2013, 9:36am

I almost always wear glasses of some sort when cycling. If I don't, my eyes feel sore and itchy when I get to where I'm going. I've also take far too many gnats and things out of my eyes after cycling cycling without :(

I mostly cycle in my own prescription glasses, but if I am expecting much sun on a longer ride (more than an hour), I usually wear contacts and sunglasses. Otherwise the glare will give me a headache. Mine have changeable lenses, so if I don't need the sunglasses, I can swap them for clear.
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Mick F
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Mick F » 15 Apr 2013, 9:39am

The question was about sunglasses, not protective eye-wear.

If you wear sunglasses in a darkened room, no matter what make or design, the room will appear darker than it actually is as sunglasses cut down on the light level. That's what they are for. My ride down that hill on a bright sunny July morning was absolutely fine until I went under the trees.

I wear prescription sunglasses when driving, and if I go through the Saltash Tunnel on the A38, I raise them away from my eyes so I can see properly in the poor light, just like I wouldn't wear them during dusk or at night.
Mick F. Cornwall

reohn2
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Apr 2013, 9:41am

I can actually see better with sunglasses on I wear BLOC Stealth:- http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=12915
they come with three lenses,the brown (sun) lens(which is similar to an 81B photographic filter)is fantastic for anything but the very darkest days and is my default lens.
This lens is astonishing in it's clarity and also helps with depth of field and seem to cut through haze in a subtle way,I find it quite remarkable.
I used to think it was just me,but whenever I've asked others to try them on they've confirmed it.They really do help.They also zing up greens and deepen blues in a pleasing way,"the phrase rose tinted spectacles" springs to mind.
I wear the clear for night riding and only occasionally wear the yellow.
The only time I remove eyewear is if I'm climbing in hot weather or in heavy rain.

My reasons for wearing sunglasses are that they prevent post ride stinging eyes,and clarity of vision when riding.
I've found over the years after trying a few different makes and a few different BLOC types,that anything with a double curvature lens though OK for general us and driving,when on the bike have the effect of making me feel about 6inch to 1ft taller.
The BLOC stealth have only a single curvature as seen in the link,but I did buy an extra pair which had a double curve and they had the same taller effect so I sold them and bought some with a single curve,normality was resumed :) .

BTW,you haven't lived until you've been stung just beneath the eyebrow :shock:
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby Vorpal » 15 Apr 2013, 10:18am

Mick F wrote:If you wear sunglasses in a darkened room, no matter what make or design, the room will appear darker than it actually is as sunglasses cut down on the light level. That's what they are for. My ride down that hill on a bright sunny July morning was absolutely fine until I went under the trees.


But I've had trouble seeing went I went from bright sunny days to shaded forest without sunglasses. You might very well have had the same problem without them.

The problem isn't the glasses, but the eyes adjusting to the difference in light. Removing sunglasses when going from bright light to low light can make that process quicker, but leaving sunglasses on doesn't usually make it any worse that it would be if you weren't wearing them at all.
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mark a.
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby mark a. » 15 Apr 2013, 10:34am

Getting stuff in your eye is horrible. Getting stuff in your eye while wearing contact lenses is a pain worse than death.

My default, if I'm not wearing my actual glasses, is to wear clear safety glasses. I'll have my sunglasses with me because I find it more comfortable in bright sun, but if the light is changeable I won't wear them because I find taking them on and off a bit of a faff.

reohn2
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Re: ... why cyclists wear sunglasses?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Apr 2013, 10:37am

Vorpal wrote:
But I've had trouble seeing went I went from bright sunny days to shaded forest without sunglasses. You might very well have had the same problem without them.

Or fast decents in bright dappled sunlight without sunglasses :shock:

The problem isn't the glasses, but the eyes adjusting to the difference in light. Removing sunglasses when going from bright light to low light can make that process quicker, but leaving sunglasses on doesn't usually make it any worse that it would be if you weren't wearing them at all.

+1

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Last edited by reohn2 on 15 Apr 2013, 10:47am, edited 1 time in total.
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