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  1. #1
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    The difference in sunglasses

    Whats the difference between the low end sunglasses at around $20 to the high ends at around $100+? I ordered an oakley flat jacket but I am thinking about returning it because i dont see much of a difference between them.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Bren's Avatar
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    Mostly? Marketing. The marketing budgets of national brands like Oakley es grande. Somebody's gotta pay for those full-page ads.

    To be fair, sometimes there are actual innovations behind the marketing. And often those innovations will cost you more money. But by and large, you're paying for a brand.

  3. #3
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I never spend more than $20 for glasses.
    And that's coming from a poser.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    Mostly? Marketing. The marketing budgets of national brands like Oakley es grande. Somebody's gotta pay for those full-page ads.

    To be fair, sometimes there are actual innovations behind the marketing. And often those innovations will cost you more money. But by and large, you're paying for a brand.
    Not completely marketing. There are differences in lens material and their UV absorption ability. If you need Rx inserts, the $20 ones aren't going to offer any help there.
    Stuart Black
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I have the Performance sunglasses and the Rudy Project. The Rudy fits my face better and the tint changes with the intensity of the sun light. I wear both but prefer the Rudy's.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Trucker_JDub's Avatar
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    If your paying big bucks for a cheap plastic lens then your just throwing your money away. The best pair of glasses I had where a pair of Maui Jim's. The ran about $250. The way the lenses where shaped polarized in such a way that any bright reflections appeared darker then the surrounding areas. This was a life saver for me considering how light colored my eyes are they re highly sensitive to bright sunlight.

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I used to think it was all about the name till I tired some Oakleys while playing ball. The lens doesn't distort my vision. When I remove cheap glasses from my face, my eyes remain crossed for nearly 30 seconds or so! Can't deal with them anymore. I picked up some Oakly MFrames from a warehouse sale for $50, not too much and well worth it!

    Of course the color the wife wants and wears never go on sale at $150

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    The lens doesn't distort my vision. When I remove cheap glasses from my face, my eyes remain crossed for nearly 30 seconds or so! Can't deal with them anymore. I picked up some Oakly MFrames
    Tifosi Optics, 60 bucks and they have decentered lenses so no distortion either, without the overhyped price tag
    Jarery

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  9. #9
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Fashion cost money. Function may cost less , or the same, money
    but will out perform fashion everytime.

    With these sun glasses you get more function than you'll ever imagine
    and not one bit of fashion. That said, I've only got one pair of eyes
    and I wanna keep'm healthy with sun protection as well as dirt and
    rock protection that these glasses offer.

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  10. #10
    Spinning @ 33 RPM Glynis27's Avatar
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    I had a cheap pair of sunglasses that distorted my vision so badly that I would miss stairs with my feet and even randomly stumble. They made the ground look like it was 8" further away than it actually was. Any type of activity while wearing them was much harder. More expensive glasses are not always about fashion and brand, but some put more money into the function than others.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I ride with a $13 pair of Stihl landscaper's sunglasses. Completely cover my peripheral vision and is impact resistant. They do NOT distort my vision and are scratch resistant. NOT sold at Lowe's or Home Depot.
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  12. #12
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    NOT hype. My Nike sunglasses are crystal clear. They were 100 retail, but I had some cashback from discover card for $80, and they were on sale, and a bunch of other stuff, ended up paying $15.17 for the glasses and a $65 retail watch!

    They dont distort my vision, and are very clear. They also fit my face very nice, and I barely notice they are on my face at all. I have a cheap pair that look a Chinese copy (the nike's are made in Italy) and the cheap ones are very stiff on my head, dont stay on as well during exercise, remind me im wearing sunglasses, BUT they protect my eyes from bugs and road dust while biking, things I WONT submit my nike shades to...The lenses in the cheapies arnt too bad, but not what I want for driving or relaxing....

  13. #13
    100% Fred LanceFanBoy's Avatar
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    I just posted about this in the Roadie forum a few days ago. I use the Performance multi-lens sunglasses. <$30, i won't care if i break them, and they look good, perform great.

    Sunglasses are such a waste of money.
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  14. #14
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceFanBoy View Post
    I just posted about this in the Roadie forum a few days ago. I use the Performance multi-lens sunglasses. <$30, i won't care if i break them, and they look good, perform great.

    Sunglasses are such a waste of money.
    +1 on the Performance glasses, though I use a couple stacked nose pads to get them to ride higher on my face when riding.

    I use expensive sunglasses when fishing, especially sight fishing, or shooting sports, where visual acuity is paramount.

    The realities of cycling are that between road vibration, sweat, angle of view, etc., the lenses are not the limiting factor for decent vision.

  15. #15
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    Well I'm sure the real expensive brands are some hype but I find some of the Brands do offer much better optics. I was using only Bolle but they sort of gave up on the North American market. My new favorites are Smiths, A big plus with Smith is the warranty my glasses had some painted chipped on the side and I was told to send them back, no questions and they sent me a new frame, great service. When I commented on this, the service rep. said "well sir that's why you buy Smiths".
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  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoss10 View Post
    Well I'm sure the real expensive brands are some hype but I find some of the Brands do offer much better optics. I was using only Bolle but they sort of gave up on the North American market. My new favorites are Smiths, A big plus with Smith is the warranty my glasses had some painted chipped on the side and I was told to send them back, no questions and they sent me a new frame, great service. When I commented on this, the service rep. said "well sir that's why you buy Smiths".
    I broke a frame on my Rudy Projects while changing lenses. I sent them back and they replaced them without issue but they sent a whole new set with new lenses and case. It's kinda worth the extra money.
    Stuart Black
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  17. #17
    Senior Member akatsuki's Avatar
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    There are a lot of decent, inexpensive choices out there. Definitely go with polarized and full UV protection. I got photochromic lenses, so they change tint depending on the light, which I thought were completely worth it. Other than that? Fit mostly.

    Steepandcheap often clears out Oakleys which are great, but usually overpriced. I've never tried Tifosi or Optic Nerve, but I am sure they are fine too. Performance has some photochromic ones right now for $30 which look fine.

    Other considerations are hydrophobic coatings which help avoid them getting steamed up (Oakley has this on some and is going to sell a treatment to be used for others) and also impact resistance which is important as well. Are you going to use them for other sports? I play squash, so I sub in some clear lenses for squash sometimes (althought the base tint is so light on mine that I often don't bother).
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  18. #18
    Lovin the O.C. abmtnbkr's Avatar
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    My two cents: You get what you pay for. When you get tired of the cheap sunglasses sliding off your face during a ride, you'll step up and buy a higher quality pair..

  19. #19
    Just a girl on a bike... SpaceNerd's Avatar
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    I have very sensative eyes and I used to end up buying around 5 to 10 pairs of cheap 10 dollar sunglasses a year or so because they would always break. Finally, I got fed up and purchased a pair of Bolles for $150. My friends went nuts and told me I was stupid. I don't regret a single penny spent on those glasses and I'll never buy a cheap department store set of frames again. The difference is not even being aware that you're wearing sunglasses. The other difference is material strength. I've had those sunglasses for 3 years now and I still wear them daily even cycling and they've held up great. I'm not saying you have to go all out and buy 300 dollar frames but you'll likely notice the difference betweeing department store frames to anything in the 100 dollar range especially if you buy polarized lenses or have sensative eyes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Oakley's have good quality polycarbonate lenses, so they won't shatter if a rock hits you.

    I wear my G.I. (government issue) prescription sunglasses, which the Navy gave me while I was assigned to Flight Deck duty.

    I used to have a pair of Oakleys, but I stopped wearing them when I quit wearing contact lenses. I had four lenses for the Oakleys; clear, dark tint, yellow tint and grey tint. I gave the Oakleys away to someone who had the same frames, but didn't have the full set of lenses.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Hello grandpa!
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  22. #22
    Spandex free since 1963! HauntedMyst's Avatar
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    You know, I have to say, having no scientific data behind it but I do think the better optics make a difference in the long term. I've had cheap glasses and expensive ones and while there is a point where beyond it you are paying for marketing, the more expensive lenses will have better optics which means less eye stress and strain. Now I only wear glasses with good optics. That doesn't mean you have to pay a lot, just find the deal. I fiigure that even if I am wrong, I figure what's my vision worth? In the end its worth more for good sunglasses.

  23. #23
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I"ve also gone with good ones and el cheapos. There's no comparison. With my cheapies I feel like I'm cleaning them fifteen times per day in order to see. With my good ones - once per day if I'm lucky. I can see so much better with my good ones I can't go back.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    I prefer wearing safety glasses. Max protection for my eyes (from UV, Impact, etc) is more important to me than a designer brand. Unless you buy really cheap no-name knockoffs, there isn't a problem with the optics or lens clarity and they come in numerous styles that rival/mirror the designer models. S&W Magnums or Olympic Flames are my favorites, meets or exceeds ANSI Z87.1-2003 High Velocity standards, and the price is right. If you lose or misplace them, scratch the lens, or after it does its job protecting your eyes, it's not going to be a budget killer to buy new ones.

    http://www.tasco-safety.com/sglasses/sglasses02.html#b
    http://www.tasco-safety.com/sglasses...s03.html#oflci

  25. #25
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    Every set of safety glasses I have tried fits my head badly.
    I am also getting sick of purchasing a set of $20 glasses every 3 months after they have fallen apart. That and the fit is substandard.
    Since I am unable to ride I think I will take the money I am saving and invest in a set of decent sunglasses. This thread seems to lead me to believe that the investment is worth it.

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