You don’t have to wear sunglasses while cycling – but it certainly makes riding much more enjoyable.
For starters, sunglasses keep the sun out of your eyes. They also provide a barrier against wind, rain, and bugs.
But sunglasses do a lot more than that. They also provide a long list of health benefits, such as preventing skin cancer, macular degeneration, and cataracts. On top of that all, they look cool.
No matter your particular reason for buying cycling sunglasses, it’s important to buy the right pair. The best sunglasses for cycling are comfortable, lightweight, and fit securely. They provide stellar protection and minimize eye strain while still allowing you to clearly see the road.
Today, we show you what you should look for in the best sunglasses for cycling. We also offer reviews of our top five favorite cycling sunglasses.
There’s a reason why you almost always see cyclists wearing sunglasses. And that reason is that they make the activity more enjoyable and even boost performance.
The top benefits of wearing sunglasses while cycling includes:
The main reason cyclists wear sunglasses is the main reason everyone else does – to protect the eyes from sunlight.
Sunglasses block out bright sunlight and eliminate glare. They enable you to see more clearly while cycling.
Glare also causes your eyes to work harder. Preventing glare reduces muscle fatigue in the eyes and makes you feel less tired.
Every cyclist knows that cycling comes with a wide range of materials that seemingly want nothing more than to get inside your eyes.
Sunglasses provide a barrier against this debris. They protect against the whoosh of wind and flying bugs. They also protect your eyes from dirt, dust, and other debris.
Both road cyclists and mountain bikers need to protect their eyes from these unnatural objects.
Just because it’s raining or snowing doesn’t mean that you don’t feel like cycling.
Although it might feel counterintuitive to wear sunglasses in rainy weather, it can help prevent the rain or snow from getting in your eyes.
Keeping rain and snow from getting in your eyes is a huge safety factor for cyclists.
As nice and pleasant as sunlight feels, it is also extremely dangerous.
Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation (UV) that can lead to a number of health problems. These include skin cancer, macular degeneration, cataracts, and more.
According to the National Health Institute, wearing sunglasses greatly reduces your risk of developing such health problems now and in the future.
There’s little denying that sunglasses are stylish.
With the right pair, you’ll stand out from the pack or look the part of a seasoned cyclist – and who doesn’t like to look good.
Hundreds of models of sunglasses specifically designed for cycling are available, so you’ll be able to choose a pair that suits you perfectly.
The sheer variety of sunglasses for cycling available is nice – but it can be overwhelming.
How can you know which ones are right for you? How can you sort through all the options to buy the best pair?
We break down exactly what you should look for in the best sunglasses for cycling.
The frame is the part of your cycling sunglasses that holds the lens in place and secures the glasses to your face.
You want a frame that fits your face well, offers ample protection, and is durable. The frames dictate the lens shape, so keep that in mind as well.
Most cycling sunglasses take a wrap-around shape, although other styles are available. You should also consider the frame material. They’re commonly made from plastic, metal, polycarbonate, and nylon.
By far the most important aspect of your cycling sunglasses is lens color.
The lens color not only dictates the conditions the sunglasses are designed for, but it also greatly influences the way in which they block the sunlight.
The most common lens colors for cycling include standard shade, yellow, clear, rose, and green. They each have their own benefits in different conditions.
We recommend opting for a pair of cycling sunglasses with interchangeable lens. Buy a pair of standard shade, yellow, and clear lens for the best variety.
The main purpose of your sunglasses is to protect your eyes – but you also want to make sure that you can see.
The best sunglasses for cycling usually take the wrap-around frame design. This enables them to provide the most coverage to your eyes as possible, even from the sides and the top.
The wrap-around style’s superior coverage ensures that you’re able to see clearly.
The reason that normal sunglasses aren’t the best bet for cycling is that they aren’t very stable.
As a cyclist you are constantly moving, so you need a pair of sunglasses that is very stable on your face. That’s why a great-fitting pair (that also fits comfortably underneath your helmet is key.
The best sunglasses for cycling also have a grip on the nose and temple. These grip areas ensure that the glasses don't slip in the rain or when you're sweating.
Most cyclists prefer sunglasses that are lightweight and high-strength.
Though the weight of your sunglasses is more of a personal preference, they need to be high-strength to prevent injury.
Your cycling sunglasses need to be durable. If you are involved in a crash or accident, you can't have the glasses – especially the lenses – breaking and causing further injury.
A few other features you should look for are scratch resistant lens, glasses with a hydrophobic coating for rain resistance, and a shape that doesn’t cloud up from your breath.
Using sunglasses while cycling is fairly straightforward – just wear them like you would any other pair of sunglasses.
The main difference is that you need different lenses for different situations. You need to match the lens with the conditions for the ultimate in performance.
You can do this by buying multiples pairs of the best sunglasses for cycling or investing in a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable lenses.
We prefer interchangeable lens because it's more cost-effective. It also saves weight because you can take all your lens with you on your rides.
Note that those that wear prescription glasses can find custom cycling lens that utilizes their prescription.
Now that you know what to look for in your next pair of cycling sunglasses, here are our reviews of the top five best sunglasses for cycling.
When it comes to the best sunglasses for cycling in all conditions, few models can compare with the Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses.
These top-quality sunglasses come from a well-known eyewear brand that is famous for its commitment to using the best quality materials. These sunglasses are incredibly durable and lightweight.
Many different varieties are available, based on the color of the frame and the color of lenses that you prefer.
All models come with a lightweight plastic frame and polycarbonate lens with incredible scratch resistance. The design is simple and sleek but is extremely comfortable as well. They block the sun well and perform great in rain and snow.
The Oakley Jawbreaker is designed for world-class athletes. That is apparent with how well fitting and sturdy they are for all types of cycling, including even intense mountain biking.
If affordability is at the top of your priority list, you have few better choices for cycling sunglasses than the Tifosi Jet Wrap Sunglasses.
Created from the ground up with cyclists in mind, these sunglasses feature a nylon frame, polycarbonate lens, and an extremely comfortable design.
Durability is another major highlight. They are constructed to withstand all the abuse you can throw at them. Shatterproof lenses are a key safety feature.
These Tifosi sunglasses are available in a variety of styles. Each style has a different frame color and lens color. Select the lens color that best matches the conditions you plan to ride in.
Other key features include the soft nose piece for extra comfort, the integrated hinge for smooth folding and unfolding, and a UV resistance frame.
Another top-quality pair of shades from Oakley, the Radarlock Prizm Sunglasses provides incredible vision clarity.
The lens is made of polycarbonate with Prizm Trail polarization. This color is perfect for all conditions, including trail riding where you quickly move from sunlight into shadow.
Though the included Prizm Trail lens is truly an all-in-one lens, the sunglasses do feature Oakley’s switchlock technology which allows you to switch out lenses on the fly.
Other highlights include the grippy nose and temple pads to prevent slippage in the rain or during heavy sweating.
Our favorite feature is Oakley’s three-point fit that provides a snug, secure, and comfortable fit without sacrificing your field of vision.
With a simple and streamlined look, these smart wrap sunglasses from JiMarti are perfect for those that prefer a minimalist design.
They feature an unbreakable frame and shatterproof lens for the utmost in durability. The frame design eliminates the bottom portion of the frame for a larger field of vision.
Like most cycling sunglasses, they come in a variety of lens types. However, the lens is not interchangeable.
Other highlights include their lightweight, comfortable fit, and low price. These glasses won’t break the bank.Note that these cycling sunglasses from JiMarti are best for those with larger faces
Another high-quality option, these Smith Optics PivLock V2 Max Sunglasses are undoubtedly some of the best sunglasses for cycling.
First up is their quality. Like all Smith Optics products, these sunglasses are made with only the highest quality materials. They’re incredibly lightweight and durable.
One thing you immediately notice about them is the frame design. It's unique, to say the least. It incorporates no top or bottom frame for the ultimate in vision.
Other highlights include the strong frame material, scratch-free coating on the lens, and adjustable nose pads. You can find the perfect fit thanks to these nose pads.
Our favorite feature about these Smith Optics sunglasses is that they come out of the box with three interchangeable lenses. Quickly swap out the lens for the pair that best suits the day’s conditions.
Now, you have all the tools and knowledge that you need to select the best sunglasses for cycling.
Though the specific pair that's best for you depends on your individual needs and preferences, our absolute favorite is the Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses.
These sunglasses optimize what we love about cycling sunglasses. They are huge and provide killer coverage. They are available in a wide variety of lens colors. They are extremely lightweight, durable, and comfortable. They are even adjustable to your face.
Best of all, they don't break the bank. Though they certainly aren't the cheapest option around, they're far from the most expensive. And by paying a little more, you get much more regarding quality. Your Oakley Jawbreakers will last for years on end with proper care and maintenance.
That said, no matter which pair you choose from the five reviews above, we know you’re going to be happy with your new cycling sunglasses.
Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been doing Triathlons for a while now and am competing in 70.3 Ironman's as well come this year. I created this site to help those new to the sport and to share my journey with other athletes.