I am writing this piece a we near the end of winter in our northern community and we are finally entering that part of the year where we have more hours of daylight than darkness, when it is no longer dark when we are doing our morning and evening commuting, where we actually have to use sunglasses again. So, as you dig out all of your sport and fashion sunglasses after their winter hibernation, this is as good a time as any to consider why cycling eyewear is important and what to consider. Here goes.
Eyewear is essential for cycling for a variety of reasons. Firstly, cycling eyewear protects the eyes from harmful UV rays, dust, wind, and insects, which can cause discomfort, eye strain, and even accidents. Secondly, they can enhance vision, especially in low light or glare conditions, and improve depth perception, contrast, and color perception, which can enhance safety and performance. Thirdly, they can shield the eyes from debris, such as rocks, mud, or tree branches, which can cause serious eye injuries.
When it comes to choosing lenses for cycling eyewear, there are several factors to consider, such as:
Lens tint: Different lens tints are suitable for different lighting conditions. For example, clear or light-colored lenses are ideal for low light conditions, while darker lenses are better for bright sunlight. Yellow, orange, or rose lenses can enhance contrast and depth perception in overcast or hazy conditions.
Polarization: Polarized lenses can reduce glare from reflective surfaces, such as water, snow, or pavement, which can improve visibility and reduce eye strain. However, they may not be suitable for all lighting conditions or activities, as they can also reduce visibility of LCD screens or certain hazards.
Shape and coverage: Cycling eyewear should have a wrap-around shape and sufficient coverage to protect the eyes from wind, dust, and debris. They should also fit snugly and comfortably to prevent slipping or fogging.
Prescription: For cyclists who need prescription lenses, there are options for inserts or prescription cycling sunglasses with corrective lenses in place.
Overall, it's recommended to choose lenses with 100% UV protection, a suitable tint, and adequate coverage for the intended use of the cycling activity. It's also important to keep the lenses clean and free from scratches, which can impair vision and reduce the lifespan of the eyewear.
So, now that you know a bit of the "why" and "what" about cycling eyewear, when you start getting ready for the outside ride season, this is a great time to assess the quality and condition of your eyewear. I know I have a few pairs that are due to be retired due to condition. If any piece needs to be replaced this year, use the list above to assess your needs. It terms of assessing price and value, read on!
The cost of sport eyewear can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, lens technology, design, and features. Generally, you can find sports eyewear for cycling at various price points, ranging from budget-friendly options to high-end models.
For example, entry-level cycling sunglasses or safety glasses can cost around $20 to $50, while mid-range models can range from $50 to $150, and high-end models can cost $150 to $300 or more. Prescription cycling sunglasses can cost more, as they require customized lenses and frame fittings.
It's important to note that the price of sports eyewear does not always reflect the quality or suitability for a specific activity. Some lower-priced options can still offer adequate protection, comfort, and vision enhancement, while some high-end models may have features that are not necessary for everyone.
It's recommended to consider your needs, preferences, and budget when choosing sports eyewear. You may want to compare different brands and models, read reviews from other cyclists, and try them on before making a purchase. It's also important to balance the cost with the benefits of protecting your eyes, enhancing your performance, and enjoying your cycling experience safely.
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