Protecting your eyes while you ride is really important, here's our guide to picking the right eyewear for you
Of all the stuff you need to ride your bike, sunglasses should be easy. Sunglasses are sunglasses, right? Well, not quite. While most sunglasses from reputable brands tick all the major requirements off the list there are a few things that vary from pair to pair that’ll suit some people more than others.
The most important part of sunglasses is UV protection. Keeping your eyes safe for hour after hour in the sun is crucial because just spending too much time in the sun will burn your skin, UV rays can also damage your retinas. Like everything, if you’re just quickly nipping into town or to the shops then it’s probably not an issue, but if you’re spending extended periods of time outside then make sure you look after your eyes.
With the health bit out of the way, the rest is more personal preference or what suits you best. First one is size. Sunglasses come in all varieties from the small and sleek to some that resemble strapless goggles as much as conventional sunnies. Some people like small and light, others prefer as much coverage as possible and no gaps in the corners of their vision.
Arm length is something else to think about and, more specifically, how the length of the arms meshes with the retention system at the back of your helmet. If the arms are too long they’ll hit the cradle of the helmet and it can be pretty difficult to get them to sit properly. The last thing you want to do is take the scissors to your brand new sunnies, that would be really painful.
With all that in mind, here are a few sets of sunglasses in a variety of styles that you can buy right here on Freewheel, and there’s something for every budget too. Check them out below.
The latest model in the 100% range, the Hypercraft goes for a frameless design that makes the glasses incredibly light. How light? Well a set of these weighs just 23g, the lightest set that 100% has ever made. That’s down to the frameless design and the fact that the arms are made from UltraCarbon™, and using that ultra light material - and less of it - makes for incredibly light eyewear.
The frameless design gives them a huge field of vision since there’s no frame to get caught in the corner of your eye, even when you’re looking over your shoulder.
The lenses themselves have a hydrophobic and oleophobic treatment, keeping them water and dirt-free, and they’re scratch resistant too because you don’t want that one time you drop them to ruin the lenses. Like all of 100%’s glasses, the lenses offer 100% UV protection for UVA, UVB and UV400 wavelengths so your eyes will be safe from the sun no matter how long you ride for.
With the largest lens in the 100% range, the Glendale bridges the gap between goggles and eyewear for riders who want as much coverage as possible in timeless style.
Using a durable, flexible and lightweight TR90 frame with adjustable temple tips matched to an adjustable rubber nose pad, the Glendale’s fit can be customised to make sure it fits you perfectly.
Lenses offer 100% UV protection and have the HYDROLIO treatment which means water and dirt wipe off easily without leaving marks.
The RaceTrap are a bit of a hybrid between frameless and framed design, giving them a unique look even among the striking 100% range. Being slightly smaller than the SpeedCraft of Glendale lines, the RaceTrap is perfect for, well, racers or anyone who prefers a smaller set of glasses.
That doesn’t mean they lack in protection, though, using Ultra HD lenses manufactured in France from shatterproof and impact-resistant polycarbonate. The model pictured above is especially exciting, because it uses 100%’s latest HiPER lens designed for low light conditions offering unparalleled clarity and contrast.
The best part is that these new lenses aren’t exclusive to the RaceTrap. You can buy the S2, SpeedCraft, S3 and Hypercraft with the coral HiPER lens too.
Smart and understated, Lazer’s Walter glasses are a great option if you want something with a full frame but aren’t looking to drop £200.
Coming with a triple lens pack, you have options for various different light conditions and the lenses simply snap in and out of the flexible frames. Lenses have a water repellent coating so that you keep clear vision even riding in the rain.
The nose-piece is adjustable and the temple tips are made from a material that you can just bend to the position you need it and it’ll stay there. Plus both nose piece and arm tips are made from an ultra-grip rubber material to keep them in place even when you’re working hard and sweating.
Madison Code Breaker
Combining style with versatility, the Code Breaker glasses use a twist lock system to make lens changes really easy. They come with a three lens pack, just like the Stealth glasses below, one dark lens for intense light, an amber lens for darker riding and a clear lens for bad weather when you just need eye protection.
If you need a prescription lens, there is an options RX insert that lets you use those with these frames. The package has the three lenses, a soft case and a hard case to keep everything safe when you’re not using them.
Using a classic frameless design, the Madison Stealth glasses combine a huge range of vision and sleek looks to make for a great set of performance eyewear that won’t break the bank.
The Stealth glasses come with three lenses - all polycarbonate offering full UV protection - a dark lens for bright days out, an amber lens for low light riding and a clear lens for really bad weather.
A fully adjustable nosepiece that helps you to find the perfect fit, and can adjust how far away the lens is from your face if you want a little more distance. Arms easily detach from the lens making swapping them out quick and simple, and everything comes packaged in a hard case to keep them safe while you’re not using them.