Let’s get one thing straight; cyclists do not spend good money on eyewear simply too look flash. Well not on the road anyway. It’s another thing entirely if they are hanging around the local wine bar trying to impress in their wraparounds.
But let’s stick to the more grounded members of the cycling fraternity and their reasons for using glasses or goggles. Firstly, they provide protection.
For example, it may be that you are involved in a bad spill, either in traffic or off-road. The shatterproof material used in the manufacture of the glasses will ensure that no damage is done to your vision as a result of the impact.
Protection can also be provided by the use of material that protects the eyes from the UV rays of the sun and prevents impaired vision caused by glare through the use of different filters.
These filters can also be useful on cloudy days because even though the sunlight is not immediately apparent, UV rays will still be present.
Dried mud coming up off the spokes
Another important aspect of the protective qualities of glasses is that they prevent debris from entering the eye. This debris can come in the form of a stone thrown up by the wheel from the road surface, or a piece of dried mud coming off one of the spokes. Then there is the rare but dreaded ‘fly in the eye’ incident.
Anything that both impairs vision and distracts the rider through the sensation of an object entering the eye can easily result in a spill; even if it only causes them to veer off course to the left or right, this can still have serious consequences, especially when cycling in road traffic.
Eyewear can also protect you from both the wind and the rain, as well as the icy impact of the air speeding past your ears when temperatures are at their lowest.
If you are already prescribed lenses or contacts for either short- or long-sight, ensure when choosing a pair of cycling frames that you order lenses that match that prescription.
For those new to cycling or have not had an eye test for a year or more, it is a good idea to get checked out because sharp vision is crucial both for your own safety and the safety of others.
In terms of styles of glasses and goggles, there is a huge amount of choice. Many choose the more traditional corner-hinged models but these do not offer the greater amount of peripheral vision afforded by opting for a pair of wraparounds.
How much is a pair going to cost? Well anything from £50 to £200, depending on the lenses you require and the manufacturer and frame.
Use the internet to get some idea of what you want and how much you will have to pay but ensure that you take advice from a high street supplier, and if needed your optician, to ensure that your glasses are of the correct fit.
It’s a good idea, too, to investigate whether a supplier runs any ‘two-for-one’ offers as a spare pair of glasses in your saddlebag is always a useful insurance policy.