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  1. #1
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    Advice for cycling glasses (polarized photochromic)

    Hello !

    Today, I cycled on dark country lanes + semi-lit traffic roads, and wish I had my glasses not only because of the flying nocturnal insects, but also to help distinguishing road asperities (i.e. potholes, manhole grids) and surrounding dangers (overhang branches, running deers, etc.). I hear that polarized glass actually works.

    Having just broken my cheap plastic sun shades, I am considering investing in glasses that fit the bill during sunny days, and at night too. So, anyone to recommend me a product that fulfills the following criteria ?

    * unbreakable frame (well...flexible and virtually indestructible is good enough )

    * polarized glass (to avoid night-time reflections of car headlights on wet roads)

    * photochromic (to adapt between bright-dark transitions)

    * under 50 GBP (ok, I might be a tad optimistic with this one ! )

    Thank you very much.
    Cheers, Dan

  2. #2
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    Not polarized or glass, but my $40 shades from performance bike are quite effective for changing light conditions. I use nicer polarized non-photochromic Native sunglasses when it's bright out. Here in Texas, the "bling" from shiny objects can be a hazard in the height of summer.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_D View Post
    Not polarized or glass, but my $40 shades from performance bike are quite effective for changing light conditions. I use nicer polarized non-photochromic Native sunglasses when it's bright out. Here in Texas, the "bling" from shiny objects can be a hazard in the height of summer.
    Good point, two dedicated pairs of glasses might be better than one that tries to meet all my requirements at the same time.
    Thanks !
    Dan

  4. #4
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    If it's wet...

    watch out for getting blinded by oncoming headlights when raining. Your glasses, with spots of rain on them, will make you see much less when lit up by headlights. Best to run a visor (hat or helmet) to manage in dark and rain situations

  5. #5
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    Good tip ! Thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckerMike View Post
    watch out for getting blinded by oncoming headlights when raining. Your glasses, with spots of rain on them, will make you see much less when lit up by headlights. Best to run a visor (hat or helmet) to manage in dark and rain situations
    +1 When raining, it's easier to ride without glasses. On photochromic polarized, I haven't seen that. I like to wear polarized, and I have some transitions goggles for winter. A combo sounds great, if you can find it. However, because polarization per se blocks most light waves not oriented vertically, it's probably going to be impossible to get some that allow you to see well in darker riding conditions, unless you eat lotsa carrots.

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  8. #8
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    rudy projects are expensive but the frames have a 3 year warranty and the lenses have lifetime replacement warranty (this is in the USA--you might check in your country). I have two pairs of rudy's and am very happy with them. They are not inexpensive but you won't have to buy glasses every year. And they can have prescription lenses used or rx inserts behind the lens.....so you only have to replace them when your prescription changes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eclectus's Avatar
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    I wear Oakley M frames, radar not photochromic, I change out lenses.

    If you get Rudy polarized photochromics you will have to test them in very low light, if you plan to ride after sundown. If it works, great. If it isn't working, get a set of clear colorless night-riding lenses.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckerMike View Post
    watch out for getting blinded by oncoming headlights when raining. Your glasses, with spots of rain on them, will make you see much less when lit up by headlights. Best to run a visor (hat or helmet) to manage in dark and rain situations
    +++1
    I wear prescription glasses and clear or tinted and polarized sunglasses over them at all times when riding (keeps wind, dust, debris, rain, etc. off my regular glasses and eyes). The visor trick is the best solution I've used yet. In heavy rain, the visor keeps the worst of the water off my glasses and prevents rain from coming in from the top and sides. I just keep an old freebie baseball-style cap in my bike trunk and wear it under my helmet in the rain (pull the brim down low just over your eyes). The visors that come with helmets are generally useless for this purpose as they are too small and too far up on your head.

  11. #11
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    I have a pair of Ray-Bans with yellow, photochromic lenses. They're great for night time riding. They were expensive when I first bought them, but they've lasted for years and are still going strong. Ray-Ban still makes the glasses (even though I bought mine more than 20 years ago, the styling hasn't changed) and you can buy them at Amazon.

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    Polarized may make it impossible to read your cycling computer. Proceed with caution.

  13. #13
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    I've got photochromatic, polarized wrap arounds by Tifossi (at least that's what they claim). I got them for only $70 or so at REI. They're okay for the price, but the optical quality of the lenses is not anywhere near what you'd get in a more expensive pair like Rudy or Oakley.

    Also, from a lens engineering standpoint, I think it's impossible for a lens to be both fully polarized, and also be photochromatic. You either have one or the other, or a compromise between the two. By definition, polarization only lets through a small percentage of the visible light (that which is polarized the same direction). And a true photochromatic lens will go from being relatively light to relatively dark. So how can you have it both ways in one lens? I don't think you can.

    When it's time for me to get new glasses I think I'll opt for interchangable lenses that include three separate lenses: polarized grey, yellow or orange, and clear.

  14. #14
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike View Post
    Also, from a lens engineering standpoint, I think it's impossible for a lens to be both fully polarized, and also be photochromatic. You either have one or the other.
    This is what my optician says. And if you can't get it in custom-made glasses, you won't get it off-the-rack.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  15. #15
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I wear prescription glasses, shooter yellow tint, then I wear polarized flip-up sunglasses over them.
    I have worn the yellow tint lenses for almost twenty years. I found that the yellow helps me with contrast and seems to make things sharper.

  16. #16
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
    I wear Oakley M frames, radar not photochromic, I change out lenses.

    If you get Rudy polarized photochromics you will have to test them in very low light, if you plan to ride after sundown. If it works, great. If it isn't working, get a set of clear colorless night-riding lenses.
    I have these. They are good for very bright daylight through heavy overcast light. I have used them in the dark when a ride took too long, and could see the road good enough to make it to the end of the ride. I like the polarization when the sun is low and glaring on the road. Some bike computers will show a black display, but my Polar HRM and Sigma computer are fine.

    About the comments about having both in one lens: I do notice that the polarized effect isn't quite as extreme as my regular sunglasses. The photochromic effect doesn't have a huge range, either, it goes from very dark to medium dark. It's not at all like those glasses that become almost clear.

    The only other replaceable lens I have is the clear ones. They work OK with the clip on prescription lens for night riding, but the two layers of plastic lens give me double reflections of light sources, and probably cut back the transmitted light somewhat.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 11-14-09 at 05:49 PM.

  17. #17
    MAK
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    If you want durable (almost indestructable) very cheap and polarized try what I did. I went to a local safety equipment store and bought safety glasses. I need reading glasses so I bought a model with dioptors built in and they were $7.00 each (I bought clear, dark and a light indoor/outdoor tint). Without the dioptors they would have been $2.00 each. Search for a thread called "cheap sunglasses" in the road forum for other riders opinions.

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