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  1. #1
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Sunglasses - safety or style?

    In the almost two years that I've been riding my bike on a daily basis, I have never worn sunglasses, either cycling specific or otherwise. I've been pretty skeptical of their benefits, but with the amount of riding I've been doing this summer (over 400 miles since the end of May), I'm beginning to wonder if I should take more steps to protect my eyes from UV rays and grit. I've had pebbles or sand fly up into my eyes more than once on my way to class or work. So I have two questions that I invite you to weigh in on, if you're a roadie or a commuter or a tourist, MTB'r or any other cyclist, "serious" or otherwise:

    1: Are sunglasses mostly a fashion statement with some safety benefits, or are they mostly a health and safety piece of equipment that may or may not be fashionable?

    2: If I am convinced that I probably should be protecting my eyes, what are some inexpensive, effective, fairly fashion-neutral (i.e., they wouldn't look too weird off the bike) sunglasses? And by inexpensive, I mean "as far under $40 as is reasonable."

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    You can get glasses that meet your needs for $10. Impact resistance, UV protection, the whole shot. The rest is just fluff. How much fluff you need is up to you. Glasses are a good idea, though.
    Mike
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  3. #3
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    I purchase some "cycling" specific glasses for around 10 bucks as well through Nashbar. They're very comfortable and get the job done. I rode with a guy who used to wear 150.00 Oakleys. But mine seem to work just as fine.

  4. #4
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    On my ride to school there will always be at least 1 day per week that they are mowing grass and I have to ride through the results of that. On days when I forget my glasses this sucks.

    The other main reason I wear them would be bugs. I got a gnat in my eye the other night when I went out for a quick ride that made my eye hurt for the next two days.

    They are definately for function, not fashion, especially when I'm riding at night with the clear lenses on.

  5. #5
    Senior Member here and there's Avatar
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    For me glasses are more of a health and safety piece than a fashion statement, heck my regular sunglasses are a $9 pair of safety glasses from Home Depot. However, I find the lenses of cycling glasses to have better clarity than safety glasses for cycling. It may not be a big deal to some, but I wear prescription glasses and the cycling glasses have decent enough clarity that I can go without prescription glasses.

    I have the "Dorado" glasses from Performance bike. They look nice on and off the bike, they come with 3 lenses, and are almost always on sale for $30. The only complaint I have about them is that they tend to slide down my nose alot so I may replace them with a better fitting pair of wrap around style glasses.

  6. #6
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Definitely safety. Both UV and road dirt protection. Helps a lot with the wind too. The difference in price is usually reflecting in the quality of the optics. My eyesight is pretty poor so I need every advantage. If you have decent eyesight or aren't real picky then go for the cheaper glasses.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I need UV protection, too. I picked up a pair of AOSafety X-Factor glasses at Home Depot for under $10.

  8. #8
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    Definate health and safety. I have always had pretty sensitive eyes. Running around 120 deserts in contacts that have not been changed in 2 weeks made it worse. Even in early morning, overcast days etc I use a low tint, or clear lenses while riding.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    If you buy a pair of sun glasses for $10.00, you'll look like a guy wearing ten dollar shades. My guess is you could go to a swap meet or garage sale and find a pair for one or two dollars, if that's what your into.
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    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  10. #10
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    sunglass tan lines are very bad

  11. #11
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    I wear smith and wesson safety glasses to keep the bugs and rocks out of my eyes. I think it is ridiculous to spend 150 on sunglasses. They are not bad looking and cost under ten bucks.

    http://www.safetyglassesusa.com/smithwesson2.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    I got something in my eye on a solo ride, when I was 45 miles away from my car. A few miles later, I wasn't able to see out of it, but had to continue to ride. I was practically blind by the time I got to my car. Luckily, there was a hospital just a 1/4 mile from where my car was. I had scratched my cornea, and it was horribly painful. In the ER, they had me try to read the eye chart across the room. Of course, I know that the very first HUGE letter at the top is an 'E', but I honestly couldn't make it out at all.

    Wear glasses. Eyes only come two per customer.

  13. #13
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Well... color me convinced. I think I might try something like the cheap Nashbar glasses and see how they go. I'm not looking for anything fancy, and if I can get what I need for $15, so much the better. If I look goofy, well... I'm already on a bike!

  15. #15
    ex-everything. soze's Avatar
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    It only takes one beetle smacking into your contact lens to make you go out and think nothing more of spending a c-note on Smith Sliders.

    I now ride Specialized's optics. Very, very nice.

  16. #16
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of fishing sun glasses from Walmart for $18. I love them... they're not wrap around, but they sit right up close, so I've never had anything go around them, they're light weight, no frame to block my vision when I'm in the drops, and fit securely, they've never fallen off.

    Plus, they're polarized, so when I'm riding along the river, I can see the bottom, instead of the reflection of the sky!

    The only expensive glasses I've seen that I wanted are the Razr wires from Oakley... (Oakley's with an attached bluetooth headset) I'd love to have those for my cell, but no way I can justify $300 for them!
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    $18.00 and they're polarized? Not bad at all.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    1: Are sunglasses mostly a fashion statement with some safety benefits, or are they mostly a health and safety piece of equipment that may or may not be fashionable?

    2: If I am convinced that I probably should be protecting my eyes, what are some inexpensive, effective, fairly fashion-neutral (i.e., they wouldn't look too weird off the bike) sunglasses? And by inexpensive, I mean "as far under $40 as is reasonable."
    You have to weigh the negatives of wearing glasses against the negative of not wearing them in a worst case scenario.
    Worst thing about wearing them: another piece of equipment and you might risk loosing fashion points from a stranger as you ride by.
    Worst thing about not wearing them: you might get something in your eyes and loose your eyesight.
    This doesn't seem like a tough decision. I use $12 saftey glasses at night and $90 sunglasses during the day. I believe my eyes to be worth that much.

  19. #19
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I tend to wear cheap wrap around sunglasses. A couple of years ago, I got a gift certificate to a sporting goods store, and used it to get a pair of Body Glove sunglasses, and I really like the solid feel, and they are polarized.

    I am actually considering buying a pair with interchangeable lenses or a pair with a lighter lense for overcast days.

    I always wear something, sometimes my prescription glasses, with clip ons if it is sunny, but I feel too much at risk without something protecting my eyes.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  20. #20
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    I generally get at least one bug impact on each eyeball in the first mile of any ride without sunglasses. I consider them almost as important as a helmet.

  21. #21
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    I greabbed a pair of polarized safety glasses from a tool supply store for $9.99 a few years ago. They are very lightly tinted for viewing and semi mirrored so the chicks can't tell I'm checking them out. They are very nice

  22. #22
    Senior Member arpy's Avatar
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    I wear contacts so I always wear sunglasses (clear glasses at night). The wind really seems to dry my eyes out a lot, so I don't leave home without sunglasses....plus, I've had a pebble or two fly up and hit my glasses while I was riding. While it's relatively rare that something actually hits you in the eye, and I mainly started wearing them for the wind dryng out my contacts, the protection from debris is just an added bonus.
    Oh, and I wear a pair of cheapo's (under $20.00) from Target that, in my opinion, look just as good as the $150.00 Oakleys and protect from UV just as well. But to each his own budget....and vanity regarding name brand stuff.
    80's era Puch 10-speed
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  23. #23
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby

    1: Are sunglasses mostly a fashion statement with some safety benefits, or are they mostly a health and safety piece of equipment that may or may not be fashionable?

    2: If I am convinced that I probably should be protecting my eyes, what are some inexpensive, effective, fairly fashion-neutral (i.e., they wouldn't look too weird off the bike) sunglasses? And by inexpensive, I mean "as far under $40 as is reasonable."

    Thanks!
    These sun glasses are both medical & industrial rated. I wear a pair when I ride ,drive or am working
    in my shop(clear) finding them to be exceptional for polarization, protection, and full vision comfort with
    or without my glasses on.

    These were given to me when I my cataracts removed and I quickly came to prefer them to any other
    type, or brand, of sun glasses. I recommend them without reservation for the task you asked about
    provided that you remember that protection , and not fashion, is the prime motive here.

    http://www.eyesave.com/brands/b281-d...ses/index.aspx

  24. #24
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Sunglasses are definetly a good idea. If you can find a pair you like that are UV rated at Target for $20 then that's great. I spent a little more, $60, for a pair of Tifosi becuase I wanted to be able to change lens as needed from strong when it is very sunny, weaker when it is very cloudy to clear when I am riding early morning or late evenings. Also you will find the optical clarity and scratch resistance improves as you pay more.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  25. #25
    unbent
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    I purchased a set of safety glasses at work that comes with interchangeable lenses. It included clear, amber and blue lenses with a soft case with a belt loop on it that holds all three lenses and the frames and can be attached to your hydration pack, belt, whatever. They provide 99.9 % UV Protection and don't look bad either. The amber lens is great for foggy conditions or when riding in the dark or semidark. They actually reduce haze and improve night vision, not to mention reduce glare from headlights. They're called 'CUDAS and are from American Allsafe Company. You can probably google 'cudas and find them. I won't ride without them.

    Andy
    www.myvemma.com/unbent

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