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Sunglasses?

Old 04-14-20, 05:09 PM
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AU Tiger
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Sunglasses?

Iíve decided to spend some money on quality Rx sunglasses for riding. The ones I have are cheap ones from Zenni which have been okay, but theyíre due to be replaced. And after having a bug fly into my eye last week while wearing them, I decided itís time for some good wrap-arounds which are made for activities like biking.

I think Iíve settled on Wiley X, either the Ignite or the Saint. The main difference between them is that the Ignite is a full frame and the Saint is only a partial frame (top only). The Saint looks like it wraps a little more, but my local Wiley X dealer doesnít have either of those models in stock for me to be sure.

Anyway, I have a few questions.

1) Does anyone have any experience riding with Transition lenses?I currently have one pair with 20% VLT amber lenses for bright days, and another pair with 50% yellow lenses for cloudy days. Iíd like to get a pair of Transitions with brown lenses to simplify things, as sometimes I find myself wearing one pair and carrying the other in my jersey pocket just in case. First of all, do Transitions change enough during rides in variable light to make a noticeable difference? And also do they stay light enough on cloudy days to still have good visibility? I really like the 50% VLT lenses and wouldnít want much darker than that on cloudy or evening rides.

2) Does anyone have any experience with SportRX? Iíd really prefer to buy from a local optician, and Iíve had a good experience with the Wiley X dealer here in town before when purchasing glasses for my son last year. But SportRX offers lenses which are designed for specific tasks, including several biking-specific lenses. The trade-off is that they are in-house lenses as opposed to those made by Wiley X (which is one of the draws of getting Wiley X glasses in the first place). Just curious if anyone here has tried any of those.
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Old 04-15-20, 06:33 AM
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I don't have experience with prescription sunglasses -- I would usually wear basic clip-ons over my regular eyeglasses. That was until I found helmets with magnetic visors. One example is linked here, though a few others exist as well. The coverage is fantastic without having glasses really tight to your face. And there's absolutely no wind in your face with a helmet like this.

It's definitely not for everybody, but it is an option that you may not have considered before.
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Old 04-15-20, 06:54 AM
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I wear rx glasses and have tried transition lenses. Hopefully, they have made advances since I tried them, or maybe the ones you're thinking of work faster at changing from dark back to light than mine do. I have settled back to wearing my regular rx glasses with clip-ons, which can be easily flipped up or down. Maybe a lightly tinted lens (not a transition) along with a helmet visor, might work for you? Are you riding road or woods? If road, you might find transitions OK, as there isn't as much variance in brightness from one area to another. I ride a MUP which has lots of areas going from full sun to shade, and also mtn.bike--the transitions didn't work for me in those areas. Didn't really use them on roads.
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Old 04-15-20, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
helmets with magnetic visors. One example is linked here, though a few others exist as well. The coverage is fantastic without having glasses really tight to your face. And there's absolutely no wind in your face with a helmet like this.
I was not even aware they made something like that. I'll have to look into that more. Thanks for the tip!

Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I wear rx glasses and have tried transition lenses. Hopefully, they have made advances since I tried them, or maybe the ones you're thinking of work faster at changing from dark back to light than mine do.
That's one of my concerns - will they adapt to conditions quickly enough to make a difference. How long ago was it that you tried them? I think Transitions is up to the 8th generation now.

Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Maybe a lightly tinted lens (not a transition) along with a helmet visor, might work for you?
That would be a good combo. Use the glasses alone in cloudy weather, and flip the visor down when the sun comes out.

Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
Are you riding road or woods? If road, you might find transitions OK, as there isn't as much variance in brightness from one area to another. I ride a MUP which has lots of areas going from full sun to shade, and also mtn.bike--the transitions didn't work for me in those areas. Didn't really use them on roads.
Most of my riding is on rural roads. While there will always be areas that are shaded by trees, I don't expect any lenses to adapt that quickly (going from bright sun into shade). What I'm hoping for is to find some that will adapt when a sunny days turns into a cloudy one mid-ride, or vise-versa. I just want to make sure it will be a big enough change to justify the expense of transitions. Otherwise, I might as well stick with two pairs of sunglasses. But that visor idea has really got me thinking now.
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Old 04-15-20, 07:22 AM
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It wasn't that long ago (maybe 2 yrs.) that I tried transitions. From your description "some that will adapt when a sunny days turns into a cloudy one mid-ride, or vise-versa", the transitions would be OK, I think. Much of my riding (and testing the transitions for riding) was done in areas which would go from sun to shade and back again. If you buy them, but find you don't like them, they are still good for walking, hiking, NOT good for driving a car-as the light doesn't hit the lenses so they don't go dark inside a car.
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Old 04-15-20, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
It wasn't that long ago (maybe 2 yrs.) that I tried transitions. From your description "some that will adapt when a sunny days turns into a cloudy one mid-ride, or vise-versa", the transitions would be OK, I think. Much of my riding (and testing the transitions for riding) was done in areas which would go from sun to shade and back again.
That's helpful - thanks again!
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Old 04-15-20, 10:40 AM
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I run a pair of RX Oakleys that I got through one of their local retailers. They have both progressive bifocals and transitions xtractive options. The extractive gets darker than those that are not extractive and are a bit more sensitive. (I got these, because they actually get darker in the car while driving, which was a pet peeve about the others that I've had. They're not super-fast to change from light to dark and back, but as others have mentioned, they'd be good enough for a sunny day that turns cloudy or back.

The other thing about transitions is that they change faster on cooler days, but again, you get used to them. My pair are Oakley Holbrook Mix and my wife has a pair of Oakley Half Jackets that are RX and have just transitions. It's better than having to carry two different pairs of glasses around.
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Old 04-15-20, 10:13 PM
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So after a bit more research, now I'm thinking the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL might be a better choice than the Wiley X. The Saint looks good, but the Flak just seems a little more cycling specific. I think Oakley as a brand has more experience with sports like biking, whereas Wiley X specializes more in shooting sports and military. I'd probably be happy with either, but I think the Oakleys are better for what I'm looking for.

That's important because it opens up the door to the Oakley Prizm line of lenses, specifically the Prizm Road - a lens designed to boost contrast for road cycling. It's not a transition lens, but it's a rose-base lens with 20% VLT. Quite a few reviews say it works well in both clouds and sun. It's probably not as dark as some would like in bright sun, but I actually like the idea of it being a little brighter for biking than what I like for general use. Gotta give it more thought, but based on what I've read Oakley lives up to its reputation and does a great job making frames and lenses for biking.

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Old 04-17-20, 09:07 AM
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I decided to get two different pairs: one with Rx lenses and one without. That way I also have a good pair of riding sunglasses for days when I wear contacts. And it will allow me to compare two different technologies.

Pair 1: Oakley Flak 2.0 XL with Prizm Road Rx lenses. Rose based lens with 20% VLT.

Pair 2: Tifosi Synapse with High-Speed Red Fototec non-Rx lenses. Fototec is Tifosi's photochromatic technology, and it has very good reviews. It is also a rose lens and adjusts from 13% to 35% VLT, which I think will be a good range for biking.


Oakley on top, Tifosi on bottom
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Old 04-29-20, 05:36 PM
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I owned a pair of Oakley Gascans. After 1 year of casual use the coating on the lenses starting discolouring/peeling.
CS told me the oil and or products on my hair caused the problem. I guess Baby shampoo is too acidic and resting Oakley's on your head is a No No.

Hopefully, their QC has improved but I'm cautious to ever buy another pair.....
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Old 04-29-20, 11:31 PM
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I love these (i'm careful not to get baby shampoo on them)

Oakley M2 Frame XL
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Old 04-30-20, 08:07 AM
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I've gotten several rides in with both pairs (Oakley Flak 2.0 XL with Prizm Road Rx lenses, and Tifosi Synapse with High Speed Red Fototec non-Rx lenses), and I'm very happy with them both. I've worn them in bright sun and heavy overcast, and they both perform well in all conditions. They haven't felt too dark or too bright. When I have time, I plan to use my camera to test out the actual VLT of them. I'll post those results when I finally get around to it. My guess, though, is that both will come out right around their advertised VLTs.

The rose color is more pronounced in the Tifosis. I like that because it really makes the green grass pop with color, but some may find it a little too much. The Oakleys are rose colored, but a bit closer to natural color than the Tifosis. Both of them seem to increase contrast more than the brown lenses I was using before.

The warning about being careful with them is good advice. I clean them with mild dish soap after every ride and wipe them gently with a microfiber cloth. After they dry, I put them back into the case for storage. The Oakleys are most definitely the sturdier of the two. I'd never even held a pair of Oakleys until these arrived in the mail, and I was surprised at how beefy they are compared to regular sunglasses. I expect that with good care, they will last many years. The Tifosis feel more like off-the-shelf sunglasses from Walmart - not bad, but certainly not as sturdy as the Oakleys.

Last edited by AU Tiger; 04-30-20 at 08:11 AM.
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