They look great, definitely. But more importantly sunglasses play an important role in protecting cyclists’ eyes from all sorts of things that are inherent in our sport, including harmful UV rays, bright light, dirt, mud and wind.
These are some of the more important features a great quality pair of bike riding sunglasses should offer:
As much as none of us want to admit it and certainly we don’t like it, the chances of us all coming off the bike at least once in our lifetime are really quite high. For this reason a shatterproof pair of sunglasses is potentially a good feature to have.
Of course this depends largely on where you go riding but UV rays can be incredibly damaging to the eye, so finding lenses that protect from this is important.
Speaking of lenses, transition lenses can be quite popular amongst cyclists who are rolling out early in the morning when it’s still dark, or heading out at night but in need of eye protection. Transition lenses adapt to the natural lighting, so when you’re outside in the full light of day the lenses will darken. Conversely as the sun starts to set and/or light levels are compromised then the lenses will brighten.
The way your head is positioned in bike riding, particularly if you’re down in the drops, means that sunglasses need to sit snug and close to your face, otherwise you will be pushing them up the bridge of your nose all the time.
Marginal gains, sure, but the last thing you want in a pair of sunglasses when out bike riding is to actually feel them. You want them to be lightweight and not pressing too hard on any area of your head or face.
When you’re doing some serious riding the odds of over-heating and fogging up your sunglasses are probably fairly good. Ventilation slits and/or de-fogging quality lenses are a handy feature to therefore keep in mind.