The Best Sunglasses For Cycling

Cycling sunglasses are vital for keeping your vision clear and your eyes protected. There's no better pair than the Oakley Radar Shield sunglasses, but we've found some budget gems while exploring.

Team Sky Cycling Sunglasses

A reliable pair of cycling sunglasses are a considered a necessity by many bikers. Having the confidence that your vision won’t be impaired by a sudden ray of sunshine can really boost your overall confidence on a bike.

The best cycling sunglasses around are comfortable, durable and adjustable. Polarized lenses are great in the sun, but can make LED signs hard to see and darken your vision too much in dim conditions. We think the Oakley Radar Shield sunglasses are the best sunglasses for cycling because of how stylish and adaptable they are.

There are a few more affordable options out there that we evaluated before coming to that conclusion. Let’s look at a few of those.

It goes without saying that the Oakley and Tifosi sunglasses are much higher in quality. That’s reflected in the price. If you’re a beginner biker or just don’t feel the need to get a top pair of cycling sunglasses, there are other options.

The other options are great if you’re worry about damaging them too. Ruining a 20$ pair of sunglasses isn’t a great feeling, but it’s sure as hell not as bad as ruining a 150$ pair.

Keep in mind that if you’re going to be using them regularly and in different lighting conditions, it’s worth buying a pair that can adapt to that. Below are the best cycling sunglasses that’ll protect you from glare and UV damage all year round.

Oakley Radar Shield Sunglasses

These gorgeous high quality cycling sunglasses are the pick of the bunch.

They’re much more expensive than some of the cheap cycling sunglasses below, but you get a lot for your money.

You often see the pros wearing Oakley sunglasses, to me, that speaks volumes about protection and versatility they offer.

Oakley’s interchangeable lenses mean you can switch between light or dark, polarized or unpolarized, yellow and purple all in a flash.

The arms and nose are replaceable in the even of an accident, and you can purchase adjustable nose guards for cheaper than you’d expect.

Almost no glare at all makes it through these super high quality lenses. They’re not only some of the best in cycling, but some of the best lenses around in general.

Oakley are known around the world for producing high quality sports sunglasses, these are no exception.

Tifosi Veloce Wrap Sunglasses

Price-wise, Tifosi are somewhere on the medium ground between the high quality Oakley sunglasses and the cheaper, more replaceable ones.

These glasses are outstanding in quality. It’s clear from the photo that they don’t quite offer the same coverage as the Oakley glasses, but they do give you plenty of protection.

They’re amazingly light. The TR-90 nylon material that makes up the frame is almost weightless. It’s not weak either. Designed to cope with UV damage and sweat in even the most extreme conditions.

The vented lenses are not only a fantastic idea for reducing the chance of fog. They’re also interchangeable.

It’s hard to imagine ever getting more bang for your buck than these offer. If you’re looking for the best budget sunglasses for cycling, you’ve found them.

Duduma Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Duduma’s polarized sports sunglasses are some of the most popular cycling sunglasses you’ll ever come across.

What’s refreshing about these is that they listened to the community feedback and revised their design to address the issues raised with earlier models.

As a result, the newer models are incredibly strong. A polycarbonate material made in Germany makes them light and extremely durable.

With many cheaper UV cycling sunglasses, the polarized lens begins to peel away in a matter of weeks. This isn’t a problem here. A whole 7 layers of polarization keeps that bad boy intact for life.

An adjustable nosepad and lightweight arms make them as comfortable as the best sunglasses out there.

We’re super impressed with what Duduma have created. The lifetime breakage warranty on the frame and lenses only further proves their quality.

TOREGE TR002 Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Another fantastic pair of budget cycling sunglasses. The TOREGE TR002 comes with 5 interchangeable lenses as standard.

Each and every one of those lenses offers 100% UV400 protection, blocking both UVA and UVB rays. For such a low price the amount of protection is staggering.

They’re very light, though not as light as the Tifosi glasses above. The rubber nosepad does sit very comfortably though.

There was a tiny bit of slippage from sweat, but it’s hard to hold that against a pair of sunglasses this cheap.

An all round bargain, these glasses surely won’t leave you disappointed. The lenses alone are worth the price.

Ewin E01 Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Last but not least, these super-flash Polarized cycling sunglasses from Ewin are great for those who like to stick out from the crowd.

You get three interchangeable lenses with these. Just like the TOREGE glasses, the lenses block all UV light and really do a great job of reducing glare.

They come with a surprising amount of kit considering how cheap they are. A hard protection box, elastic sport belt, lenses pouch, glasses lanyard AND a cleaning cloth all come included.

A 30 day money back guarantee means that you’re free to try them and no risk. At the very worst, they’re a capable replacement if your primary cycling glasses get damages.

Do you REALLY need Cycling Sunglasses?

Cycling sunglasses may not seem like an essential part of your gear, but they act as much more than just a fashion accessory. The right pair of cycling sunglasses can protect your eyes from dirt, dust, UV rays, bugs, and anything else that may come flying at your face during your ride.

In extreme lighting conditions, many cyclists consider their sunglasses as essential as their helmets.

You may think that your normal sunglasses are adequate protection. While it is true that they’d be better than nothing, there are several reasons to consider getting eyewear specifically designed for cyclists.

The biggest one is that cycling sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from flying debris, not just the sun. Also, the lenses are made with different criteria in mind.

When shopping for your first pair of cycling sunglasses, you may feel overwhelmed. There are tons of options on the market with varying frames, lenses, and features. This buyer’s guide is designed to help you decide what is important to you and what will ultimately serve your needs.

Things to Consider When Buying Cycling Sunglasses

Best Sunglasses For Cycling

When deciding what sunglasses for cycling will best suit your needs, there are several things to factor in. The following is a list of features to consider when looking for the best cycling sunglasses:

The Fit

The last thing you want is to have a pair of glasses that are constantly slipping or even falling off. Finding a pair of glasses that fit precisely is essential to the quality of your ride. Look for glasses that fit tight but do not pinch your face anywhere. If they feel even a little too tight, it is possible that the slight discomfort can become unbearable while you are riding.

You also need to make sure that the way they sit on your face does not obscure your vision.

Peripheral vision, in particular, can be impeded by poorly fitting sunglasses. Your glasses should fit tightly on your cheeks, forehead, and nose.

On top of all that, remember that these sunglasses need to fit under your helmet. Anything that sticks out too far from your face could be a problem. Cycling glasses that have straight back temples tend to be compatible with most helmets.

Frame Style

Like all sunglasses, you will be able to find cycling ones in three different frame types: full-frame, half-frame, and frame-less. For bike riding, half-frames are often the way to go. Full-frame glasses may obstruct your vision, especially when the lower part hovers within your eye line. Frame-less options are obviously the most lightweight, but can also be the most fragile.

Choosing your frames is where your personal sense of style will come into play. The frames should be tight, but how close you want them to be to your eyes is a preference call.

For some, the ones that sit close to the eyes feel safer. For others, having that extra space between the sunglasses and their eyes increases their field of vision.

Poly-carbonate plastic is preferable over metal frames. If you do end up crashing, metal near your eyes will be extra dangerous. This type of plastic is also lighter in most cases.

Grip

As you ride, you will likely sweat which can increase the likelihood of the glasses slipping off your face. That is why it is important to look for sunglasses that have rubber grips, both around the nose and at the temples. Having your sunglasses move around during your ride can be very distracting, as well as dangerous.

Coverage

Essentially, the further around your face/head the cycling sunglasses wrap, the better. It will help to extend your peripheral vision. Additionally, glasses with a lot of wraparound will help keep debris from flying into your eyes. Look for sunglasses where the lenses are made from one solid piece because they protect your inner eye better.

Lenses

Ultimately, this is the biggest factor that separates poor glasses from the best. You will find glasses with either light or dark lenses, color-changing lenses, or interchangeable lenses. If they are not color changing or interchangeable, light lenses are generally better. Just be sure that your cycling glasses include some UV protection.

Dark lenses can become hazardous because they can make it hard to see potholes and other debris. Much of the riding environment is already grey, like the road and shadows, so dark glasses can make it hard to distinguish things.

This is especially true if you are shopping for road bike sunglasses.

Lighter lenses have the added bonus of providing more contrast, so you can see things coming in plenty of time.

Ideally, your glasses will come with more than one set of lenses so that you can pick the appropriate one for whatever the conditions are that day. Yellow lenses are especially good at showing contrast in conditions where vision is poor. At night, clear lenses provide all of the protection without affecting your view.

Sunglasses with adaptable lenses

As technology advances, the options for your lenses become more and more fancy. There are now photochromic lenses that can get lighter or darker depending on the conditions.

Some people prefer this to interchangeable lenses because they do not have to carry spares around. Other people still find the photochromic lenses to be too limiting to fully suit their needs.

Originally, these lenses struggled to keep up with cyclists who were riding in and out of the shade, but they are getting better.

Another awesome feature you can look for is hydrophobic coating, which will help keep the rain off of your glasses. You can even get lenses that have an anti-fogging coating or vents to help keep your vision clear when you are sweating.

Prescription Lenses

It is not uncommon for a cyclist to need a prescription to help them see clearly. Many of them choose to wear contact lenses under their cycling sunglasses.

For others, visiting an optician and getting prescription cycling sunglasses is a better option. If that is the case, there are two options. Some companies actually offer prescription versions of their lenses. Others will send you a clip-on insert that goes behind the lenses of your sunglasses. Both of these options will add more to the cost and need to be done under the guidance of an eye doctor.

When getting prescription lenses for your cycling sunglasses, you will have some options for customizing. Choosing whether or not you want polarized lenses is one decision to make.

While polarized lenses do cut down on glare, some mountain bikers complain that they affect their depth perception. Like normal cycling sunglasses, you can get photochromic lenses.

For prescription sunglasses, there is the option of getting lenses that transition through different shades of brown, allowing you to ride in any amount of sunlight.

If you wear contact lenses instead of prescription lenses, it is especially important to get high-quality cycling sunglasses. If rain gets into your eyes, it can cause your contact lenses to “float” out of place. Wind in your eyes can dry out your contacts and be incredibly painful.

Pricing

Like most things in life, sunglasses for cycling come at many different price points. When you decide to invest a lot of money in your glasses, you should be getting many things.

The first is high-quality lenses that will give you exceptional clarity. These lenses could be photochromic or interchangeable. The second thing you can expect is a lightweight frame.

As a bonus, an expensive pair of sunglasses should come with a hard case for storage as well as the materials to safely clean the lenses.

A good pair of cycling sunglasses is a great investment for your cycling gear. Once you have tried them out, it is likely that they will get a lot of use.

Our Conclusion

In many ways, a good pair of sunglasses for cycling is an important part of your gear when biking. Even on days that are not particularly sunny, your glasses are serving the purpose of protecting your eyes. They improve your performance, increase your safety, and also look cool.

Hopefully, this guide answered any questions you had about the different types of cycling sunglasses on the market.