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Best Sunglasses for Cycling and Mountain Biking: What To Look For

by Yannick Charbonneau on August 20, 2019

 

When looking to get the most out of your cycling and/or mountain biking experience, look no further than the sunglasses you wear. What you wear on your eyes while cycling is just as important as the helmet you wear and the pedals you push.  But with such a wide range of options, it can be difficult narrowing in on the best sunglasses for cycling and mountain biking. So, here’s a crash course on what to look for in cycling sunglasses to ensure optimal vision, safety and experience.   

 

Cycling Sunglasses That Offer Full Protection

 

The first thing to look at in cycling sunglasses is how much protection is provided. As a cyclist, you have various types of debris splashing up and whipping past your face and it’s imperative to wear a pair of cycling sunglasses that provide full protection.  

Now, "protection" can be broken down into two categories – full coverage and full protection from harmful UV rays.

            Full Coverage

Look for cycling sunglasses that offer full coverage to deter anything from getting in your eyes and obstructing your view while biking. Wrap-around sunglasses are excellent options for both cycling and mountain biking, as they offer full facial coverage.

            Full UV Protection

You also want to consider the level of protection you’ll receive from the sun. After all, there’s no better way to obstruct your view and disrupt your cycling experience than by being blinded by the sun. So, always opt for sunglasses that offer full protection from both UVA and UVB rays which actually leads us into the next component of the best sunglasses for cycling…

 

Polarized Lenses Aren’t Necessarily Better for Cyclists

 

The type of lenses you choose is crucial to your overall safety and success as a cyclist and/or mountain biker. In most cases, polarized lenses are always an upgrade to sunglasses as they effectively eliminate the effects of glares in addition to protecting your eyes from UV rays. However, as a cyclist, depending on the weather, terrain and location of your cycling adventures, seeing those glares can actually keep you safer. For example, if you’re participating in a race and are about to zip around a corner, you’ll want to be able to spot that patch of ice or puddle of water coming up. If you’re mountain biking, you’ll want to see if there’s broken glass on the path, so you can avoid it... And so on and so forth. 

However, polarized sunglasses can eliminate glares to your advantage. For example, they can eliminate glares from cars when riding at night or in gloomy weather. So, explore your options depending on the specifics of your cycling and/or mountain biking aspirations.

 

Photochromic Lenses Will Always Serve as a Huge Benefit

Since we're on the topic of sunglass lenses, we can’t continue without mentioning photochromic lenses. Unlike other lenses, photochromic ones are designed to naturally adjust to the lighting around you. So, if you’re starting your cycling in the morning when it’s still dark out or on a rainy day that’s forecasted to change, you won’t have to switch your cycling sunglasses as your surroundings change because the sunglasses do it for you. And considering you simply never know if some clouds will roll over (the weather man always seems to be wrong) or if you’ll cycle upon a long road over-casted with trees, photochromic lenses are always a safe bet.

Our Reactiv lens offers you a range of contrast and UV protection. 

Performance 0-3: Clear base

Reactiv - REACTIV PERFORMANCE 0-3



Performance or Zebra light 1-3 : Yellow base – light amplifier

Reactiv - 3 to 1 - CLEAR VISION ALL DAY LONG


Performance or Zebra light red 1-3: Red base – Contrast Enhancement

 

Reactiv - 3 to 1 - CLEAR VISION AND GOOD CONTRAST ALL DAY LONG

 

Polycarbonate Lenses Resist Shattering

While no one likes to entertain the idea of crashing, it’s important to take the proper steps to ensure your safety if you were to find yourself in an accident of some sort. Now, this is where it’s important to remember that not all sunglass lenses are created equally. Mineral glass is often dubbed as being the best material for sunglasses but this isn’t the case for cycling sunglasses, mountain biking sunglasses or any type of sports sunglasses because they can shatter.

As such, polycarbonate lenses are the best alternative and the best sunglasses for cycling, mountain biking, sports, etc. will be made of this material because they're completely impact-resistant. 

In fact, you can take a hammer to them and they will not shatter. Sure, the lenses will scratch but they will remain in one piece – a huge benefit for anyone participating in activities where there’s a risk of impact.

Additionally, polycarbonate sunglasses are significantly lighter than other options which increases your physical comfort and even possibly, your race speed!

 

Make Your Sunglasses Fit Like a Glove

 

Lastly, let’s talk about the fit of sunglasses for cycling. Since cycling through sandy dunes, winding roads, bumpy trails and the unpredictable terrain is rarely a smooth process, it’s absolutely imperative to have cycling sunglasses that fit right. The performance, comfort and fit of your cycling frames is all in the details – the same details that Julbo Canada happens to be experts in.

So, consider adding different grips and additional features to your cycling sunglasses if they don’t fit exactly right. Some common choices for cyclists include a rubber nose and side grips, additional ventilation and cord attachments.

However, if you are looking at sunglass grips elsewhere, it’s important to know that not all are created with the same quality. In fact, some grips don’t grip at all and end up falling off in the middle of a triathlon or with the first bump in the trail. So, make sure to analyze the quality of the sunglass grips prior to purchasing them to ensure they enhance your cycling comfort and experience instead of hindering it... Or just shop with confidence at Julbo Canada

 

The Julbo Stream Glasses

 

It would be impossible to choose one pair of sunglasses as the best but the Julbo Stream are definitely up there on the list. Here are some features you’ll definitely appreciate about these sunglasses for cycling and mountain biking:

  • Full frame
  • Wraparound wide shap
  • Comfortable nose grip
  • 360° adjustable temples  
  • Air Flow 
  • Arms won’t scratch the inside of the lenses when folded
  • Don’t slide off even when sweaty
  • Frames direct air stream away from eyes
  • Photochromic lenses (automatic light adjustments)
  • Slightly mirrored
  • Anti-fog

…And the list goes on but as you can see, the Stream took common problems associated with other cycling glasses and fixed them.

 

Set your cycling goals high and increase your performance and enjoyment by investing in a pair of the best sunglasses for cycling and/or mountain biking. Remember, the cycling sunglasses you wear are just as crucial to your cycling experience as are the helmet you wear and the pedals you push.

So, head on over to Julbo Canada with your newfound information and see what the best cycling sunglasses can do for you and you’ll be heading full-speed crossing that finish line, whether it’s a checkered marker or the end of a mountain biking trail.

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