This guide has been written by cycling review expert Alex Bristol
Last Updated on
Whether you are an amateur or a professional cyclist, wearing sunglasses can have important benefits. Some of these advantages apply to all those outdoor activities in which you are exposed to sunlight and U.V. rays for long periods; others are specific for cyclists, who can reach high speeds with their bikes and have a lot of air coming to their face along with other possible foreign matter such as bugs or dust.
Protection from UV exposure
Protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB radiations from the sun is critical to the long-term health of your eyes. Repeated exposure to such radiations will have negative consequences on your vision. Studies have shown that the risk of cataracts (a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye) is tripled by long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Such exposure can also result in keratitis (an inflammation of the cornea that can result in a temporary loss of vision in addition to a burning sensation). A secondary threat of exposure to the sun is that the eyes can dry with painful consequences.
ProtectING your eyes with sunglasses that block 100% of the sun U.V. radiations is the best way to prevent the damages stated above.
Protectiong from air and debris
The air hitting your face and eyes when you’re riding, even without reaching extraordinary speeds, is not only annoying but can also cause some troubles. Your eyes would start weeping, hurting or burning, and that’s unpleasant and can impair your view. Plus, because cars, other bikes, and your own front wheel kick up dust and debris all the time, you want to have your eyes protected from what can end up in them.
The correct lenses will improve your view when cycling. Direct sunlight in your eyes can temporarily blind you, which can be very dangerous when you’re on the street or speeding downhill on your mountain bike. You have a large amount of information to process when you’re riding (watching other vehicles, intersection, signaling; avoiding potholes, pedestrians…), and distractions such as “oh-god, I can’t see!” aren’t helpful.
Some sunglasses are provided with polarized lenses that can reduce the sun glare. Glare can shine in your eyes from any flat surface such as street signs, windows, ice and can impair your view or distract you as you ride.
When the sun is not shining
You should wear your bike sunglasses even when the sun is not shining. Bike glasses with clear lenses can also protect your eyes from the rain. Raindrops can end up in your eyes from up above, but also from cars or other bicycles in front of you. Usually, this rainwater is mixed with sand or other particles, so you definitely need protection from it.
When you’re cycling you should always give your eyes some protection. Even a cheap pair of sunglasses can work. They will give be useful, and if they’ll make you look cooler, all the better!
1. Why you should wear sunglasses whilst riding your bike – Blog Post on The Rookie Tri