What Are the Best Sunglasses for Cycling? 2023
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Whether you professionally cycle or ride your bike as a hobby, the conditions remain the same. The sun is still shining bright and you need to be ready with the proper tool, cycling sunglasses.
Luckily, there’s a plethora of brands available. Admittedly, the wide range of options may give you a more challenging time picking the right cycling glasses for you.
This is why we’ve rounded up a list to answer your question, “What are the best sunglasses for cycling?”
Stick around to learn more about each cycling sunglasses and why they may be your potential next purchase. Additionally, we’ll explore what you should look for when buying cycling sunglasses.
Top 8 Best Sunglasses for Cycling
- Oakley Radar EV Path Cycling Sunglasses
- Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep Athletic Sunglasses
- Tifosi Aethon Matte Black Interchange Athletic Sunglasses
- One Targa Polarized Sunglasses
- Tifosi Swank Satin Black Polarized Sunglasses
- Smith Parallel 2 Max Sunglasses
- 100% Speedcraft Sunglasses
- 100% Racetrap Cycling Sunglasses
Broadly speaking, everyone has their own taste when it comes to cycling sunglasses. You may like a colorful, holographic style, but others could prefer a minimalist matte option.
Apart from style, there are also features to consider like polarized or photochromic. That being said, let’s get into each of the best cycling sunglasses available.
1. Oakley Radar EV Path
If full vision is your top priority, then you might consider the Oakley Radar EV Path. The EV abbreviates to Extended View.
With a tall lens, you’ll be getting an enhanced view ahead. The lenses also have four vents integrated at the top region for fog resistance.
Not only do the Oakley sunglasses protect you from fog obscuring your vision, but heavy glares as well. Since the Radar EV Path comes with a polarized feature, the lenses can reflect any direct sun rays hitting your eyes.
Appearance-wise, this Oakley model has a concave bottom edge and a lens height of approximately 50.5 mm. These sunglasses don’t fall short when it comes to color combinations.
You can choose between clear lenses and black frames, fiery orange lenses and white frames, or elegant black lenses and matte black frames.
These sunglasses aren’t exactly cheap. The high price could be owed to the materials used when manufacturing the Radar EV Path.
For instance, the frames are composed of a proprietary material, which is exclusive to the Oakley brand, named O Matter. This patented technology is simply made of nylon. This is a highly-durable lightweight plastic.
Another patented material infused in Oakley’s nose pads and earpieces is Unobtainium. If that sounds familiar, then you’ve probably watched the movie “Avatar.” In the Box Office hit, unobtanium is a fictional compound found on a moon named Pandora.
In Oakley’s terms, unobtainium is the compound is basically a type of rubber used to increase comfort and performance.
Having said that, if you wear glasses, then these sunglasses can be offered in Oakley’s prescription lenses.
- Durable frames
- Various color options are available
- Comfortable wear
- Prescription lenses offered
- It may be too costly
2. Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep
If you’re looking for cycling sunglasses, chances are, you’ve seen the Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep. These sunglasses are a bestseller for several reasons.
Unlike modern designs, these cycling sunglasses feature a retro style with their tall lens shape in the middle and tapered ends.
The Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep also has a wider lens. That way, you can get a better vision across the road. The dimensions of the lens are about 58 mm in height and 136 mm in width.
The second thing you may lay your eyes on when examining a Sutro Lite is the details in the arms. These molded earsocks have a prismatic design that modernizes the sunglasses.
In addition to its refined style, the earsocks are also designed for better security near your temples. That being so, like most of Oakley’s other cycling sunglasses, this model’s earsocks are also made of unobtainium.
Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep’s frame is composed of O Matter, similar to most other Oakley sunglasses. The frame’s width is around 132 mm, giving you wide coverage.
Meanwhile, the nose pads on these Oakley sunglasses are minimal. Consequently, this adds more room for vision, unlike the bulky Tifosi Aethon adjustable paddings that block the view.
Overall, these cycling sunglasses are worth it if you prefer a wide and tall lens with an interesting retro design.
- Good coverage
- Strong frames
- Sporty style
- It can be too pricey
3. Tifosi Aethon Matte Black Interchange
If you’re looking for adjustable frames for your cycling sunglasses, then the Tifosi Aethon may tickle your fancy.
Wearing sunglasses can strain your ears and nose the most. Subsequently, the Aethon developed adjustable ear, nose, and brow pieces for extra comfort.
You can wear the Aethon model with or without the nose grip or the brow bar. Plus, you can wear one without the other for different style and function variations.
The brow bar and nose guard are hydrophilic, which allows better grip, especially when you’re sweating. In addition to this, the brow bar does an exceptional job at keeping your lenses sweat-proof as well.
Despite the extra sweat protection, you may find the adjustable pieces a bit too chunky. They could take too much from your line of vision.
Having said that, you may be unsure how to install or remove the adjustable frame features. That’s why Tifosi provides you with instructions in lots of different languages on how to do so.
Similar to the Tifosi Swank, the Aethon cycling sunglasses also offer glare-guarded and durable polycarbonate lenses. Both of which are ideal for UV protection.
Speaking of weather protection, the Tifosi model’s lenses are vented to prevent fogging and obscuring your vision.
As you’re cycling on a hot summer day, the sunlight tends to become too harsh and hinders visibility. The Fototec technology on the Tifosi Aethon offers photochromic lenses. This allows the tint in the sunglasses to become darker as the sunlight becomes brighter.
- Provides exceptional sun protection
- Comfortable wear
- Easily adjustable
- Too chunky with adjustable pieces attached
4. One Targa Polarized Sunglasses
The One Targa Polarized sunglasses offer two different designs. One can be well-suited for sports like cycling. The other option is ideal for casual wear. The best part is that these sunglasses are among the most affordable on the list.
Style isn’t the only pro this cycling sunglass has to offer. Their large size is also practical. You can get a wider and peripheral view while biking.
The One Targa sunglasses are also equipped with large arms. These thick temples will give you better security. If you wear these sunglasses, they won’t budge, without a doubt.
Traditionally, people don’t usually wear sunglasses at night time. On the other hand, the yellow and orange-tinted variation of the One Targa sunglasses will give you a brighter image. They’re also ideal if the weather is getting too foggy or overcast.
Another feature worth considering for the One Targa model is the polarized polycarbonate lens. This feature allows the lenses to increase the amount of light coming into your lens. This, in turn, reduces reflection and glare-ups from the sun.
Overall, these are best for those who don’t want to opt for the frameless cycling sunglasses style. If you want something a little more traditional, then these may be your best purchase option for cycling sunglasses.
- Good for sporty and casual wear
- Polarized lenses
- Secure fit
- Not the best option for riding in the aero position due to the rims
5. Tifosi Swank Satin Black Polarized
Cycling sunglasses usually come frameless to help you get a better view, especially if you’re riding on aggressive terrain. Nevertheless, if you’re not a fan of how frameless sunglasses look, you can opt for the versatile Tifosi Swank Satin Black.
Not only is this Tifosi model’s style suitable for cycling, but for everyday wear as well. They look like standard sunglasses but carry all the benefits of high-performance cycling sunglasses.
The lenses are composed of polycarbonate, making them shatter-resistant and scratch-proof. In addition, the material provides your eyes with maximum sun protection.
The Swank Satin glasses feature an anti-glare guard. This guard is a thin coating applied to sunglasses to let more sunlight pass through the lenses rather than reflect and cause a glare.
Besides the high-quality lenses, the Tifosi sunglasses also come with integrated hinges. These keep your frames smooth when the sunglasses are open. In other words, you won’t have to get your hair stuck in the hinges any longer.
Now, cycling is a grueling exercise and, naturally, you’re going to sweat a lot. The good news is that the Swank Satin cycling sunglasses have anti-slip nose frames. Since the material around the nose area is hydrophilic, the more you sweat, the grippier the padding gets.
Coupled with an anti-grip nose frame, the Tifosi cycling sunglasses also offer a strong frame. The body is made of Grilamid TR-90. This material is basically a thermoplastic polyamide that gives the sunglasses crack resistance, ease of wear, and lightness.
- Strong lens material
- High-grip nose frame
- Solid-built frames
- Non-reflective lens
- Frames may hinder your visibility
6. Smith Parallel 2 Max Sunglasses
The Smith Parallel 2 Max cycling sunglasses feature a half-frame design with short lenses. The polarized lenses offer an anti-glare advantage. Plus, the brown tint can give you better focus and a brighter vision.
The cycling sunglasses also come in grey tinted variations which allow for enhanced sun protection. In addition to this, the Smith model features proprietary lens technology, named Chromapop.
This technology gives the lenses a multi-layer mirror composed of a hydrophobic, polarized, and scratch-resistant layer.
The hydrophobic layer provides the cycling sunglasses with maximum protection from several elements. It can divert dirt, or any moisture, especially your sweat, from blocking your vision.
The anti-reflective or polarized layer is found on the back area of the lens. On top of reflecting off harsh light, it can also reflect any light coming from your peripheral vision that can cause distractions.
Now, most sunglasses tend to have a flat lens, where if you place the sunglasses upright on the lenses, they’ll stay up. Alternatively, the Smith model has developed a curved base, where it’ll feel like the cycling sunglasses are snugly wrapped around your face.
The Smith Parallel 2 model also has tapered lens technology. Since the sunglasses are polarized and allow light to refract or pass through, they can go in various directions. One of them is near your eyes.
This may ultimately cause visual fatigue and future eye issues. That’s where the tapered lens technology comes in. The feature moves the refracted light toward the tapered end of the sunglasses or where your peripheral area is, moving away from your eyes.
All in all, the Smith sunglasses are one of the best options for cycling pros. It’s also suitable for those who go on afternoon bike rides when the sun is at its peak.
- Water-proof lenses
- Durable lenses
- Strong half-frame support
- It can be too pricey
7. 100% Speedcraft Sunglasses
If you want to make a statement, these 100% Speedcraft cycling sunglasses should be among your top picks.
The sunglasses are made of a single large lens that comes in a few colors such as orange, grey, and blue.
The 100% model is well-suited for several weather conditions. It can withstand a foggy climate with its ventilation available on the lenses. Additionally, the lenses are made of a sturdy and lightweight polycarbonate material.
The lenses are also hydrophobic, allowing them to ward off moisture and dirt. In the off chance that you’ve damaged the lenses, the 100% Speedcraft purchase comes with
Speaking of damage, the 100% sunglasses can absorb impact with minimal breakage. The top-notch quality has earned the sunglasses an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification.
The 100% Speedcraft model allows about 21% of Visible Light Transmission (VLT) during sunny conditions. Meanwhile, in darker skies, the VLT moves up to about 93% with clear lenses. This, in turn, enhances your vision and contrast.
That being said, although the sunglasses are vented at the bottom, the airflow could sometimes be too much. This may result in lots of air circulation around your eye area, specifically in windy weather.
Besides the lenses, the frames are also similarly strong-built. They’re made of TR90, otherwise known as a thermoplastic material that’s highly flexible, giving you maximum comfort.
The nose pads and arms are composed of Megol rubber, which will provide enhanced grip. On top of that, the brand gives you a couple of interchangeable nose pads for catering to your size.
- Durable frames
- Strong and certified lenses
- Grippy nose pads and arms
- Too much ventilation at the bottom
8. 100% Racetrap Cycling Sunglasses
Like the Speedcraft model, this 100% Racetrap one provides a large coverage area. The main difference is that these cycling sunglasses are frameless, rather than half-framed. This makes the Racetrap model perform well in races, particularly if you’re in a lower position.
The cycling sunglasses’ lenses are made of polycarbonate, which makes them shatter-resistant and able to withstand impact.
If you want to add a photochromatic or HiPER lens feature, you can simply add the interchangeable lenses. HiPER technology is patented by 100%. Its main purpose is to increase the image quality through better contrast, color, and heightened depth perception.
This product’s VLT comes at 12%, which means the lenses reflect most of the light coming in. This is a critical characteristic since it provides better sun protection than commonly polarized sunglasses.
Similar to the 100% Speedcraft model, the Racetrap one also comes with hydrophobic lenses. You won’t have to worry too much about moisture ruining your line of sight.
A major issue you may encounter with the 100% Racetrap cycling sunglasses is the arms. Once you wear the sunglasses, they could feel a tad flimsy since they’re also relatively skinny.
Despite the thin arms, they may still prove useful since they’re made of a strong grippy material that’ll give optimal anti-slippage.
Another problem you may face with the Racetrap cycling sunglasses comes from the nose pads. Although there are a couple of size options available, they could prove to be too angular and uncomfortable.
- Optimized sun protection
- Non-slip grippy nose pad and arms
- Coated in the hydrophobic layer
- Thin arms
- Nose pads may be uncomfortable
Buyer’s Guide for Cycling Sunglasses
Cycling sunglasses come with various features worth considering. Some features may become more of a priority to you than others such as polarized lenses, anti-glare guards, and more.
To understand each feature, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you out when making your pick.
One of the most crucial factors to look at when purchasing cycling sunglasses are the lenses. They will ultimately decide whether the sunglasses are worth the buy or not.
When looking at this feature, there are several subcategories to examine, such as the lens shape, its protection level, and so on. Here’s what to look at.
Types of Lenses
The first category to consider is the type of lens you’re getting. There are about two kinds of lenses. Check them out below.
The single-lens means one that wraps around your line of vision. This wrap-around lens provides a better peripheral view since there’s no block. The main downside of the single lens is that it doesn’t give you versatility.
For example, if you want to change one eye’s lens, it wouldn’t be possible. This mostly applies if you have prescription lenses.
The dual lenses are two separate lenses. These kinds of lenses give a better opportunity to add interchangeable lenses. These allow you to switch your lenses depending on which ones are better equipped for the weather or general condition.
You’ll usually find the interchangeable lenses in cycling sunglasses that are higher priced such as Oakley sunglasses.
Polarized or Non-Polarized
Most, if not all, cycling sunglasses offer polarized lenses. Typically, these types of lenses allow glaring light to go into the lens to avoid reflections. Despite polarized lenses being advertised as the best option for cycling, other arguments point to the feature’s disadvantage.
Polarized sunglasses may obscure your depth perception. For example, if you’re biking through a road and come across a pothole, you may pick it up too late or early.
Another instance where polarized lenses may cause issues is when trying to read your bike computer or phone.
Nevertheless, most modern bike computers are compatible with polarized sunglasses, so this may not be a large problem.
If you’re biking and all of a sudden you feel the droplets coming down, then hydrophobic lenses have your back. Whether it’s rain, dirt, or grime building up on the lens, this coat can repel these elements.
We highly recommend getting cycling sunglasses with this extra layer of protection, especially if you live in a tropical area with lots of rainfall.
Apart from the rain, the hydrophobic coat can also prevent build-up from accumulating due to misty or snowy weather. Plus, we all sweat. This added layer will ensure little moisture distortion.
Photochromic lenses alternate the light conditions to improve your vision. To clarify, the feature allows the lenses to adjust to the state of the weather. In the case of a sunny day, the photochromic lenses will allow the harsh light to become less straining on your eyes.
If an area is heavily shaded, with a little sun shining through, the lenses will brighten the area.
Generally, photochromic lenses add more cost to manufacturing the sunglasses, which shows in the price of the cycling sunglasses. This feature would be worth it if you live in a particularly sunny area.
Cycling sunglasses come in all sorts of color combinations. Although you may pick the color that matches your style preference, each tint provides a different value. Let’s look at each one below.
Cycling near nightfall can get a little dim. Wearing yellow-tinted cycling sunglasses will help you brighten and clear your vision, even if it gets a bit foggy.
The yellow sunglasses will also provide more contrast and change the depth for a better image. These vibrant-colored sunglasses will avoid any blue light coming in the lens as well.
If it’s a particularly sunny day, we wouldn’t recommend reaching out for the clear cycling sunglasses. The perfect time where these sunglasses would come in handy is nighttime. You don’t exactly need sun protection then, so there’s not much point in using tinted sunglasses.
Instead, you may need protection from other elements such as dirt flying your way, rainfall, insects, and other environmental obstacles.
Gray tinted cycling sunglasses are an elegant choice. You can use them for sun protection. Their anti-glare sunglasses are also suitable if you’re looking for a true-to-color image. In other words, the sunglasses won’t distort your color vision too much.
The gray cycling sunglasses may cause issues when it comes to getting a detailed image. Nevertheless, adding prescription lenses can easily fix that.
Purple and blue colored cycling sunglasses are usually in fashion. Plus, they’re ideal for reflecting harmful UV rays coming near your eyes. These colored lenses are also functional in low-light surroundings.
They can also protect your view from foggy surroundings. They’re usually best used in snowy conditions as well since they’re highly reflective.
Additionally, they can boost your color perception. Unlike the grey-tinted sunglasses, the blue-purple sunglass variation offers a more detailed vision.
The red and pink color combination in tinted sunglasses is probably the best suited for most, if not all, conditions. You can wear them on bright sunny days or nighttime and still have enhanced vision.
Apart from that, red and pink colored sunglasses also improve your color perception. They also provide you with the ultimate contrast and depth.
The amber-brown tinted cycling sunglasses aren’t the most popular option available in the market. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it offers optimum protection from various weather conditions.
You can use them in low light and sunny conditions. Like the pink and red color combination, the amber and brown-tinted cycling sunglasses also give you better color perception, contrast, and depth.
Green-colored cycling sunglasses give you an almost eccentric look. While they’re not as common as other shades, green sunglasses are also ideal for sun protection and low light conditions.
The image quality of these sunglasses is also exceptional, but, admittedly, not as good as other sunglasses. Either way, you’ll definitely stand out wearing green-tinted sunglasses.
Biking around in the sun for too long without proper eye protection can strain your eyes. Not all sunglasses provide the needed UV protection, despite shading the eye area.
Having said that, most cycling sunglasses tend to be polarized and allow more light to enter through the lenses and change directions.
This is why you need to look out for UV protection on the label. Otherwise, your eyes may remain vulnerable to the harsh sunlight.
Frames can easily make or break your purchase. Cycling sunglasses have several options when it comes to frames. There could be frameless, adjustable frame options, and more. Check out our in-depth guide to cycling sunglass frames below.
Types of Frames
There are three types of frames. Each can be chosen based on preference and functionality. Here’s a better look at each kind below.
The only attached items on a frameless pair of cycling sunglasses are the nose piece and temples. Other than that, you’re getting a large view of your surroundings. We recommend getting frameless sunglasses if you’re an avid cyclist.
That way, if you’re going into the aero position, you won’t have the rims blocking your frontal vision.
Not only does the frameless design facilitate vision, but it also makes the sunglasses relatively lighter than framed designs. You won’t feel like you’re wearing these cycling sunglasses.
You can also easily adjust the lenses whenever you want since it’s all a single lens.
Not sure whether you want a frameless or full-frame design? Well, you can just get the best of both worlds.
You can get the sturdy feel of full-frame sunglasses and the lightweight feel of frameless sunglasses all in one.
Appearance-wise, half-frame cycling sunglasses have one frame at the brow area. That being said, half-frame sunglasses are also made up of a single lens, which means you can adjust the lenses, similar to the frameless design.
Frameless cycling sunglasses may not be for everyone. Full-frame cycling sunglasses are perfect for those who are just cycling as a hobby and also want sunglasses for everyday wear.
The plus side of this option is that you get the strongest build compared to all the other frame choices. Full-frame sunglasses are also the best option for a secure fit since the frames comfortably fit around your face.
What makes cycling sunglasses stand out from your average sunglasses is how well they stay on your face during the action.
For the most part, these sunglasses are fixed with nose and temple pads that offer a strong grip. When browsing for cycling sunglasses, you need to find the type of grip that increases as you sweat. The best ones will stay in place and aligned, specifically if you have prescription sunglasses.
Size and Weight
The size of the cycling sunglasses will probably impact how much coverage you’ll be getting. The bigger the size, the more you’ll see.
As a general rule when purchasing cycling sunglasses, the less you feel, the better. You practically don’t want to notice them sitting on your face. That’s why you may always want to go for the lightweight options.
What are the best sunglasses for cycling? Well, multiple products can spring as you search for the right cycling sunglasses for you. There are several features to pick from as well as price points.
As a whole, our top pick would have to be the Oakley Radar EV Path. These cycling sunglasses come with almost all the needed features for the perfect biking experience.
From fog resistance to an extended view, you can’t go wrong with this Oakley model. That being so, Oakley has been in the game for a while, so you’ll be getting your money’s worth when buying these cycling sunglasses.