7 Best Cycling Glasses 2021 | The Sun UK
FINDING the best cycling glasses for you is more than a fashion statement. Although a pair of shades can make or break a cycling outfit, they have their uses beyond colour coordination.
A good set of sunglasses will protect your eyes, whether that’s the sun’s rays, a strong headwind or heavy rain.
They can also improve your vision, either by brightening things up or sharpening objects in overcast conditions, helping you stay safe on the road.
Cycling glasses generally come in three different shapes – full frame, half frame and frameless. But if you’re not a fan of this style, it is also possible to get shades that resemble a normal pair of sunglasses.
Like normal specs, cycling glasses can get pretty pricey, with high-end models close to the £200 mark. But you generally pay for what you get and can expect robust frames and multiple interchangeable lenses at this price point.
So what are the best cycling glasses for you? Read on to find out.
1. We tested: SunGod Velans Cycling Sunglasses
- Velans Cycling Glasses FF, from £115 (£155 for photochromic lenses), from SunGod – buy here
We'd been looking for a quality pair of photochromic cycling glasses for months, so we were delighted to test out SunGod's Velans.
We'd previously tried and tested a few pairs of cycling sunglasses which we'd bought online and had experienced issues with size and comfort, so we were interested to see what SunGod could offer.
Their glasses are designed to be both fashionable and sustainable, and are built to last – they come with a lifetime guarantee and if anything breaks SunGod will fix them for free.
They can also be fully customised – there are over 1000 variants to choose from. We designed our own pair and selected the colour of the frame, the lenses (we opted for the photochromic lenses, unsurprisingly), the SunGod logo and grip-lock.
The glasses arrived the next day and came with 4 different nose pieces and a microfibre pouch.
The first time we tested them we went out on a 16 mile mountain bike trail with some fairly tough, flinted descents.
They fit well under our helmet, didn't rest on our cheekbones, and instantly brightened the view with a bright, clear, yellow glow.
We didn't notice the lenses adapting to the light conditions, though we were aware we weren't squinting, and our partner spotted them darkening in the light.
They stayed snuggly on our nose during rough descents and didn't steam up on tough ascents.
And as an added bonus they left no red marks or face once we took them off.
Overall, SunGod has created the cycling glasses we'd been searching for. They fit perfectly, look great, and ticked all the boxes.
We'd recommend them to both men and women looking for a pair of high quality, fashionable cycling glasses.
2. Shimano Meteor Cycling Glasses
- Shimano Meteor Cycling Glasses, £29.99 from Freewheel – buy here
Although towards the entry-level of cycling sunglasses, the Meteor from the cycling powerhouse Shimano is a great set for the money.
The design is similar to a pair of aviators, so it's ideal if you’re looking for a pair of cycling glasses for commuting that wouldn’t look out of place off the bike too.
The lenses have full UV400 protection and their hydrophobic coating will prevent water from affecting your vision if caught in a downpour.
3. 100% Speedtrap
- 100% Speedtrap – Hiper Lens Sunglasses, £169.99 from Freewheel – buy here
US brand 100% is renowned in the motocross world for creating rugged and reliable eyewear, and its Speedtrap cycling glasses make the perfect accessory for mountain biking.
The full-body frames are shatterproof and should be able to handle the odd fall or two, while 100%’s ‘hydroilo’ lens coating will keep your vision clear, regardless of how muddy the trails are.
The glasses’ other highlights include a wide field of vision and the vents above the lens and either side of the nose bridge which provide a cooling airflow.
4. POC Do Blade Clarity
- POC Do Blade, £130 from Tredz – buy here
Swedish company POC is known for its fashion-focused approach to cycling attire, but its Do Blade cycling glasses are more than a mere accessory.
The lightweight frame is surprisingly durable and will survive all of the UK’s varied seasons.
Rubber inserts on the arms and adjustable nose pads will ensure they stay firmly on your face too.
The Carl Zeiss lenses have been designed with road cycling in mind, and should help you spot and avoid any obstacles on the asphalt before it’s too late.
They also benefit from an anti-fog treatment, which comes in handy when you come to a halt at a set of traffic lights.
It is available in a variety of colours, including hot pink – how daring you go is up to you.
5. KOO Open Cube
- Koo Open Cube Cycling Sunglasses, £149.99 from Bike Inn – buy here
The Open Cube glasses are one of the only half-frame inclusions on this list. Benefits of such a design include wider vision and better airflow, although they are less robust than the full-framed alternatives with the lens more prone to getting damaged when not on your face.
The Open Cube performance cycling glasses have a similar Carl Zeiss lens to the POC model above, and two (a smoked mirror for day riding and clear for night riding) are included in the pack as standard.
Notable features include a novel closing method, where the arms rotate on a pivot rather than folding, which allows the glasses to be tilted to the rider’s preference.
6. Oakley Jawbreaker
- Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses, £131.25 from Wiggle – buy here
No list of the best cycling glasses is complete without at least one pair by American brand Oakley, and its Jawbreaker line is arguably the best in its roster.
Worn by the likes of Mark Cavendish, the Jawbreaker has a professional pedigree, and it’s easy to see why. The iconic full-body frames are as tough as the Manxman, but are functional too, and can be adjusted and personalised (whether that’s switching lenses or refining the arm length) in seconds.
The lens itself is out of this world.
Oakley’s ‘Prizm’ technology helps to improve your vision, leaving everything brighter and clearer.
In fact, real-life seems dull once you take them off.
7. Tifosi Eyewear Intense Interchangable Sunglasses
- Tifosi Eyewear Intense Triple Lens, £44.99 from Wiggle – buy here
Tisfosi's cycling glasses come with three different lenses – smoke (15.4% light transmission), clear (95.6% light transmission), and red (41.4% light transmission).
They're lightweight (weighing just 26g), have adjustable ear and noise pieces to prevent slipping, and have vented lenses for reducing fogging.
They're designed to fit most face sizes, provide 100% protection from UV rays and are great value for money.
Are polarised sunglasses good for cycling?
Yes and no. Polarised sunglasses are really good at reducing glare, so if you're cycling in sunny conditions, polarised lenses will help protect your eyes from UV rays.
However, darker tinted lenses can reduce the amount of contrast you see, which is crucial when you're trying to spot potholes and hazards on the road ahead.
In dimmer light conditions, you might be better served with some light-tinted lenses to make sure you can see everything ahead of you.
What are photochromic cycling glasses?
Photochromic lenses are also called "transition lenses", they react to UV light, darkening when in bright sunshine and lightening when in darker environments. They provide 100% UV protection.
Photochromic cycling glasses are a popular choice for mountain bikers as they automatically adjust as they ride in and out of shaded woodland areas.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best cycling glasses? Go ahead and check out our selection of the best bike locks.
We've created Sun Selects so you could find the best items when shopping around the web.
If you want to check more of our sport related recommendations, visit Sun Selects' health and fitness page.
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