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  1. #1
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    What is the correction limit for prescription lenses in wrap-around glasses?

    The 12 month period for insurance to buy me some new lenses is coming up, and I figure that this would also be a good time to buy some frames too since I am biking to and from work every day. The problem is that I need prescription lenses and won't consider contact lenses or prescription inserts. My eyes are at -4.25 for the right eye and -3.75 for the left eye which also has an astigmatism of -0.50.

    I was over at Performance Bicycle and had a chance to try on a half dozen frames or so. What I found out was that half frames are not my cup of tea and the Tifosi Q3 lenses were the only frames I really had a good feel for. At $35 for a pair, they are pretty cheap too. Because I am located in Arizona, the Tifosi website says I won't be able to find a dealer for the Rx equivalents. It is tempting to buy the Q3s and hope I can have the lenses replaced.

    After reading other posts and threads on the subject, it looks like Oakley would be the most widely available option with a decent premium for them even if they will be lasting many years. Online is out of the question right now because I am pick about the fit of any glasses I wear; I have to try before I buy.

    So, my question is what route to go? Should I chance the frames I like with the possibility they won't work with my prescription? Or should I go to a good eyeglass store and pay a premium? Also, is there a certain cutoff point where prescription lenses just will not work on wrap-arounds? I know it takes a optician to be able to know for sure, but I want to know my general options and the direction to take.

  2. #2
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    My Rx numbers are twice of what yours are, but I've seen some recommendations here that can cut a lens to work in an Oakley-style sport frame.

    Plug this into Google:
    site:bikeforums.net prescription cycling sunglass

  3. #3
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    That's not a particularly severe correction, you could fit into most of the Rudy Project line easily, whether it be in-frame or an insert. RP and Oakley are expensive, but it is well worth the expense to have a pair of glasses that will last you a long time. I personally would not buy a pair of glasses from anywhere where I didn't have someone to work with to get the Rx right.

    Beware, however, that your eye(s) have a chance of not tolerating the curvature of the lens. I am going through this right now. I've had my right lens reground 3 times, and I still can't see clearly out of it, had all the fitters stumped. Brought one of the docs that was free at the moment in, he was initially stumped too, but then suggested adding prism to correct the issue. Prism moves the image inwards (or outwards) so that the image becomes clearer. In my case, I moved 3 base in (it's measured in bases), and I think that should finally help. I sincerely hope you do not have this problem, but be prepared for it. Normal glasses just don't curve like that so it never comes up as an issue.

  4. #4
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    Brought one of the docs that was free at the moment in, he was initially stumped too, but then suggested adding prism to correct the issue. Prism moves the image inwards (or outwards) so that the image becomes clearer. In my case, I moved 3 base in (it's measured in bases), and I think that should finally help.
    Is that what I've also heard called the "optical center"? I've been told about how firearm shooters with glasses get a set that have the optical center up higher than usual so that they can get the clearest image possible when tucked in and looking through the gunsight.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    there are sport glasses with a prescription lens mounted in a frame of its own,
    behind the wrap around , too.

    a dark flip up lens with something that you can read with behind it seems Ideal.
    see your maps and all that small display stuff that tech stuff likes to make.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Is that what I've also heard called the "optical center"? I've been told about how firearm shooters with glasses get a set that have the optical center up higher than usual so that they can get the clearest image possible when tucked in and looking through the gunsight.
    The third re-grinding of the right lens moved the optical center inward by 1mm. I was told that they could move it only 1mm more, and it would not have made much in the way of difference, the image just wasn't in the right place because my right eye could not deal with the curvature of the lens. From what I gather, prism only moves the image outward or inward. You can move the optical center (within the limitations of the lens) any direction you need, and that does make sense for someone who needs that kind of precision in their vision. For someone like me who needs to move the image substantially in a lateral direction, prism is the only way to go

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Can't give you a number, because the amount of wrap affects the maximum prescription the frame will take.

  8. #8
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Ah, just spotted this bookmark in my browser toolbar:
    http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullst...me=Tech%20News

    Look at the pics of the extreme prescriptions -- that's why I bookmarked it. Towards the bottom, he said they can do up to -15. Yow...

  9. #9
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    check out www.bicyclerx.com or www.sportsoptical.com

    bicyclerx has a "test drive" option where they'll send you frames so you can try the fit before ordering your precription lenses.
    Both of these companies can do high level prescriptions in wrap around or even multi-lens type frames. My wife and I have used both of these companies in the last year for Rudy Project and both of them did a great job.
    2013 Specialized Roubaix SL4 Expert, 2009 Ritchey Breakaway Cross, 2008 Trek T1000 Tandem, 2010 Specialized Tricross Sport, 2006 Trek Madone 5.2, 1995 Specialized Rockhopper A1 FS

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