At least officially, it has been spring for a while, and all cyclists are dying to put their trainers back in the basement and get out on the roads.
Sure, better weather and longer days are definitely welcomed by all of us, but they also require a well thought through investment into protective eyewear. When spending hours upon hours outside, it is important to have the right lenses, right fit – and, let’s be honest – the right design. Just like with helmets, many women tend to need women’s specific glasses, and luckily many brands have invested in women-specific designs for high-performance sunglasses. I tested a variety of glasses to see which ones work best for the many different kinds of riding and racing that I do. While all lenses provide 100% UVA/UVB protection, they each have different strengths.
Here is a guide for what’s new for your eyes in 2016:
For Running and Riding in the Cold
The Rudy Project Stratofly Sx are my choice of glasses when I am running or commuting to work on colder days. They are small, light and not too flashy, which is perfect for everyday use. The narrow frame with Photoclear lenses protect the eyes against wind, but allow for a variety of light conditions and can be worn as protection when it is still darker in the early mornings or after dusk.
Tifosi has probably on of the broadest range of glasses for women, and I love many of their models. The Podium XC is a great choice for racing, as it comes with interchangeable lenses that cater to different conditions. They are sturdy and flexible enough to survive being thrown into your race bag and it is fairly easy to switch between the lenses. The Purple Clarion Mirror lenses are hydrophobic and prevent moisture, such as rain, dew or sweat, from collecting on the lenses. Also, the glasses never even budged even the slightest little bit, even when running, so I am quite in love with them.
When I just ride my bike around town to meet friends for coffee or in the park, I would just switch to the DeaSL model, which is feminine and pretty but still performs well in bright and sunny weather with their gradient brown lenses with 14.2% light transmission.
Perfect for Spring Training
I love the Smith Optics PivLock Asana not only due to their awesome design, but because of their performance. The don’t fog up, and their Carbonic TLT lenses (Tapered Lens Technology) straightens out the incoming light rays and kept my vision accurate. The bronze mirror hydroleophobic lense is very versatile in medium-bright conditions and performed well during my training rides that witnessed your typical spring weather – ranging from bright sunshine to cloudy to heavy downpour. As I can be a little clumsy when it comes to swapping lenses, I was happy that the PivLock design made it super easy for me to switch between lenses and nosepieces without the common adrenaline spike in fear of breaking the glasses while doing it.
For Serious, Long Rides
Lazer convinced me with their helmet-sunglass interface in the Magneto model. While it is on the bigger side of glasses for women, the glasses are quite magical when attached to the helmet with the unique magnet system. There are no pressure points and no moisture collection at all, so it is the most comfortable choice for serious, long rides in all conditions. The photochromic lenses change color automatically based on the light conditions during the ride. More sunlight means the lenses change to a darker color, making sure to keep your eyes protected. On you hit the shadow or cloudy conditions, the lenses change into a lighter mode. I was really impressed with the fast reactiveness of the lens – a total lens change takes only 7 seconds and your eyes barely notice anything at all.
I am curious to hear more about your choice of sunglasses!
Jasmin is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!