A popular accessory amongst road cyclers is a good pair of cycling sunglasses. They do much more than just protect your eyes from the sun, they also help to protect your eyes from road dirt, insects and the wind.
Like any other cycling accessory you purchase, a decent pair of sunglasses needs to be comfortable, and durable enough to last you a long time. We would always recommend choosing something with versatility e.g. interchangeable lenses, or adjustable nose and arm pieces.
And, of course your sunglasses also need to look the part. We’d all be lying if that wasn’t one of the main factors we look at when choosing our pair – there is nothing wrong with that.
There is literally hundreds of models and variations on the market that would take you hours, if not days to sift through. Below we have compiled our top picks for the best cycling sunglasses, and included some versatile options across a range of budgets.
Other Buying Guides:
Best cycling sunglasses at a glance:
|100% S2 Hiper Lens Sunglasses|
|View at Cycle Store|
|Oakley JawBreaker Sunglasses|
|View at Rutland Cycling|
Includes low-light lenses
|100% Racetrap Sunglasses|
|View at Cycle Store|
|Oakley Sutro Lite Sunglasses|
|View at Rutland Cycling|
Best Budget Option
|Tifosi Podium Xc|
|View at Cycle Store|
|Bz Optics Tour Bi-focal Photochromic Glasses|
|View at Cycle Store|
Cycling Sunglasses Reviews
The 100% S2 Hipers are some of the best cycling sunglasses on the market, and they claim the best sellers spot across a range of popular retailers. With high quality lenses that are UV resistant, impact & scratch resistant and lightweight, they are perfect for road cycling, and hold their own against brands that come with a much higher price tag.
With a retro feel, designed with inspiration from cycling glasses that were more popular in the 80s, you will stand out amongst other riders on the road.
You can choose between transparent and a mirrored lens, although the mirrored option is the most popular choice.
- Interchangeable lens tech
- S2s laser-etched edging provides the look of a full frame in a rimless cylindrical shield for extended vertical visibility and peerless comfort
- High-impact and scratch-resistance
- 100% UV protection
- Vented lens to prevent fogging and misting
- Shatterproof and lightweight
- Comes with a custom hard case an alternative fit nose pad and a 100% branded storage and cleaning bag
The Oakley’s Jawbreaker sunglasses are a popular choice amongst road cyclists, especially those that like quite a large frame/fit. There is a few points that make these cycling sunglasses stand out amongst the competition.
Firstly the view in the upper peripheral region has been enlarged so when you head is down during sprints or steep descents there's no frame getting in the way of your view. There is also small vents that Oakley calls Surge Ports that help channel air through the sunglasses to help you remain cooler.
- Adjustable nose and ear pieces
- 53mm tall, 131mm wide
- Frame Colour - Polished Black
- Lens Colour - Clear Black Iridium Photochromic Activated
- Fit - Standard
- Switchlock Interchangeable lenses
- High Definition Optics
The Podium Xc cycling sunglasses from Tifosi are an excellent budget friendly option, whilst still providing high-performance and a premium build quality. Made from Grilamid TR-90 which is a high impact resistance, high strength and low density nylon that is both resistant to UV and chemical damage, these sunglasses are going to survive the occasional drop and exposure on long rides.
For a budget option, the Podium's are very comfy, due to the adjustable rubber nose and ear pieces that allow you to customise the fit.
- Only 27g
- Hydrophilic adjustable nose & ear pieces
- Impact and UV resistant
- Comes with a bag and carry case
- Available in matte black/white & black colours
The next pair on our list is the 100% Speedtraps, that feature a larger field of vision than most other designs on the market, so you can easily view ahead even whilst riding in tucked positions. The lenses are produced from shatter proof & impact resistant polycarbonate, offer UV resistance, and are coated in HYDROILO to repel water, and oil.
You can choose from standard lenses, or upgrade to premium Hyper variations. All models include clear lenses that can be swapped out and used in low-light conditions.
- Designed in California made in Europe
- Ultra HD lenses
- Interchangeable shield lens
- 100% UV protection
- Scratch resistant lens
- Shatterproof and lightweight Grilamid TR90 frame
- Ultra-grip rubber nose pads
- Comes with a hard case
These Sutro Lite sunglasses are improving on the design on the incredibly popular Oakley performance cycling glasses, by having a semi-rimless option which improves your visibility around the bottom of the lenses.
You are sure to have a bold, versatile look with the high-wrap design whilst it helps to protect you from the elements.
The O-Matter frame is durable, and lightweight for a comfortable fit & feel. Textured rubber is present on the nosepads and temple areas to create a stable fit that wont bounce around on uneven terrain.
As with other high-end Oakley glasses, the Sutro lites come with Prizm technology lenses, that enhance colour and contrast to make your surrounding that much more beautiful whilst riding.
- O-matter frame
- Prizm tech lenses
- Shatter proof & impact resistant
- Semi-rimless design
Bi-focal cycling sunglasses are a great option for riders that require prescription sunglasses to read anything up close, such as their cycle computer or gears.
The Bz Optics tour feature high-impact UV activated photo-chromatic lenses that provide you with good visibility in a range of lighting conditions.
The bi-focal magnification id moulded discretely into the rear of the lens and is available in options +1.50, +2.00, and +2.50 powers, as well as a white and graphite colour frames.
Both the nose and temple areas feature non-slip rubber inserts to prevent the sunglasses from moving over rough terrain.
The TR90 super lightweight hybrid frame has dual moulded non-slip flexible temples ideal for wearing under open or full-face helmets. The non-slip nose piece ensures optimum fit and comfort for all face shapes.
- Lightweight flexible frame
- Adjustable non-slip nose piece for comfort
- Choice of frame colours White and Graphite
- Available in a range of powers
Buyer’s guide: what to look for when buying a set of cycling sunglasses
Arguably the most important part of your cycling sunglasses is the lens, and your choice of lens will depend on your riding style, and requirements.
We all know that mirrored lenses look cool, but they are primarily designed for use on very sunny days. If you often ride somewhere that’s dark and wet, you might want to opt for a pair of sunglasses that come with multiple lens options so you can swap them depending on the weather.
You can also purchase cycling sunglasses that have photochromic lenses that change their light transmission value depending on the level of light in your surroundings. Meaning, they’ll automatically get darker if the sun is out, and clearer if it’s dark.
The frame choice you go with is a matter of fashion, and occasionally performance. The frame is going to dictate the shape and look of your cycling sunglasses, as well as the width and height of your field of view.
Our number 1 pick of the Hyper 100% s2 glasses have a retro style, which has made a resurgence in recent years. They also offer a lot of face protection and a wide field of view.
Some riders will find a super-wide field of view annoying, and might prefer a more tunnel vision-like frame. But large lenses will help you view out the top of the lenses whilst riding in a tucked position.
The durability of your frame should also be considered. Most of the best cycling sunglasses will use a lightweight, but impact resistant polymer that is going to survive the occasional drop.
The arms of cycling glasses are the sections which sit over your ears and are primarily responsible for the stability and comfort of your glasses.
You want the arms of the sunglasses to be durable enough to survive a drop, and secure enough to prevent the frames bouncing around whilst riding over rougher terrain.
If you can try the cycling glasses before you buy, check the quality of the frames and hinges. They should feel fairly stiff. Avoid anything that feels loose as they will likely move a lot whilst riding.
Most higher-end cycling sunglasses will come with interchangeable nose pieces that allow you to create a more personalised fit. This will improve the comfortability of your sunglasses.
It’s important that you select the correct nose piece when buying sunglasses with large or thick frames as it will prevent the frame from impeding your vision too much.
You should always check and consider the overall sunglasses bundle. Sometimes you just get the sunglasses and that’s it. Other times the package will come with extra-lenses, a carry case, cleaning cloths and extra-nose pieces.
These additional extras add value to the overall purchase and means that you are unlikely to need to purchase additional lenses further down the road when the weather changes light.
If you wear prescription glasses in everyday life, it’s important to also consider if you need to purchase prescription lenses in your cycling glasses.
Best Cycling Sunglasses FAQs
What are photo-chromatic lenses?
Phomo-chromatic lenses are lenses that slightly change colour depending on the surrounding light/weather.
If it’s sunny outside, the lenses will auto-dim to prevent more light passing through the lenses, whereas if it’s dark out, the lenses will become clearer. They are convenient if you don’t want the hassle of having to switch out your lenses throughout the season or mid-ride.
But, they do often come with an increase in the price.
Why do cyclists often wear yellow sunglasses?
Yellow lenses are useful for riding in conditions where there is less sunshine. They filter out more of the blue wavelengths of light that allows our eyes to view the contrast between colours better – useful for low-light conditions.
Do you have to wear sunglasses while cycling?
You don’t have to wear sunglasses whilst cycling. Not everyone finds them comfortable, but there is no denying that they can improve your visibility in a range of lighting conditions, which ultimately makes you safer on the road.
Sunglasses can also protect your eyes, and prevent them from becoming irritated from the wind, or injured from debris, and road grime.
If you don’t like the contrast or view through sunglasses, then you can opt for a clear pair which offer the safety benefits.
Can you wear cycling sunglasses in the rain?
Yes, you can wear cycling glasses in the rain. Sometimes the lenses getting covered in rain can cause some issues with visibility, but they are often easy to wipe clean.
Alternatively you can purchase lenses which have a hydrophobic coating that repels water, and causes it to easily slide away from the lenses whilst you ride. You can also purchase hydrophobic spray and apply the coating yourself.
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