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Polarized VS Non-polarized

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Polarized VS Non-polarized

Old 10-12-21, 05:13 PM
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fujidon
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Polarized VS Non-polarized

My experience has been that non-polarized sunglasses work better on the bike. It seems that polarized sunglasses can sometime hide road hazards especially when sunlight is filtering through the trees.. Now that I'm looking for new cycling glasses, I find that everyone wants to sell polarized glasses. Am I missing something? Do others have different experiences?
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Old 10-12-21, 06:28 PM
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I agree. Polarized lenses make it harder to see in some light conditions, and they black out the screen on my phone/garmin/general electronics. I have a pilot friend who has to buy non-polarized for reading instruments and determining cloud layers from above etc, and he has a similar problem to you; canít get good glasses with non-polarized lenses without spending a fortune on special order shades.

Someone will probably be along in short order to tell us that true polarization that you get with $500 Oakleys shows you the true colours of the world, and without it youíre going to crash into a tree. Donít listen to them.
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Old 10-12-21, 06:46 PM
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polarized for fishing

gm
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Old 10-12-21, 07:42 PM
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Polarized lenses are indispensable for sailing and snow sports, nice for driving, unnecessary for cycling.
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Old 10-12-21, 10:20 PM
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I love my polarized phototec Tifosi sunglasses. With my contact lenses in my eyes are very sensitive to the light and the polarized sunglasses means I can actually see. Really cuts down on glare. The major negative is they have a narrow range of photosensitivity so even though they can adjust to how much light there is the range isn't very large. It's something like 11-25% light allowed in. I have a non-polarized pair and it lets in 11-90%. I'd still wear the polarized in most riding conditions, though.
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Old 10-13-21, 03:43 AM
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big fan of clear lenses. only wear shades when I know I will be in full sun for the whole ride. polarized vs no polarized less of an issue, but if I have a choice I'll go w/ polarized due to the inherent features & benefits. just got some non-polarized glasses at a flea market for $10. I liked the design & form factor. meaning slim design & no lower or edge frames which obstructs my peripheral vision
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Old 10-13-21, 05:16 AM
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I only wear brown polarized lenses, now prescription
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Old 10-13-21, 05:40 AM
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Interesting in that I've been really happy with fit and styling of Smith sunglasses for cycling. Curious I went to take a look online at their offerings, and actually they don't offer anything polarized in a cycling design. I can't say I actively avoided polarized but don't miss it.
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Old 10-13-21, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
Now that I'm looking for new cycling glasses, I find that everyone wants to sell polarized glasses.
Where are you looking? In my experience, most (almost all) cycling sunglasses come with non-polarized lenses. Try looking at Oakley, which offers an enormous range of lenses.
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Old 10-13-21, 10:51 AM
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I also do not like polarized glasses, almost disorienting. Some marketing department convinced people that polarized glasses are needed for all activities, so companies are caving in to unnecessary market demand.

I like Oakley's PRIZM technology. I live in SoCal, so constant blue skies. Sunglasses are important.

Last edited by Tycho Brahe; 10-13-21 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 10-13-21, 12:03 PM
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Screens on electronic devices are sometimes (often?) polarized, too, so that can be a detriment with polarized glasses - if the alignment clashes, you won't see your display at all, unless you cock your head sideways.
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Old 10-13-21, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Polarized lenses are indispensable for sailing and snow sports, nice for driving, unnecessary for cycling.
Concur - polarized for driving - unless you really want to see the reflection of the top of your dashboard in front of you. Unpolarized for cycling - because you want to be able to see your head unit.
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Old 10-13-21, 12:30 PM
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I've never had a problem with seeing my head unit while wearing polarized lenses. Maybe a low-end or decade-old unit would be improperly designed.

Anyway concur that there are a ton of non-polarized lenses. I have half a dozen Oakley lenses and only one is polarized, for good reason as it blocks reflections off asphalt on extremely sunny days while riding in the direction of the sun.
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Old 10-13-21, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I've never had a problem with seeing my head unit while wearing polarized lenses. Maybe a low-end or decade-old unit would be improperly designed.
It's not really a matter of improper design. You can polarize two ways: linear or circular. Linear is more common and less expensive, but you'll have issues if both filters aren't aligned in the same direction and, even if they are, visibility can still suffer as you move about. This isn't really an issue with CPLs, but they're definitely less common; I'm not even sure how many sunglass manufacturers make them.
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Old 10-13-21, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
It's not really a matter of improper design. You can polarize two ways: linear or circular. Linear is more common and less expensive, but you'll have issues if both filters aren't aligned in the same direction and, even if they are, visibility can still suffer as you move about. This isn't really an issue with CPLs, but they're definitely less common; I'm not even sure how many sunglass manufacturers make them.
If my Elemnt Bolt is rotated 45 degrees, I can't see it through my polarized lens. Otherwise it's fine. Seems like a design issue to me.
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Old 10-13-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
If my Elemnt Bolt is rotated 45 degrees, I can't see it through my polarized lens. Otherwise it's fine. Seems like a design issue to me.
Same with my Garmin. I can see it fine when riding, but if I look over at it when I'm off the bike it sometimes is all blacked out.

I have been using polarized lenses for so long now that maybe I've just gotten used to them and don't notice the negative aspects people are mentioning in this thread.

The next cycling glasses I purchase will be photochromatic so that they are more usable for early morning rides before the sun is up (or as the sun is rising). Polarization? Not something I would specifically seek out or avoid.
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Old 10-13-21, 04:23 PM
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I went from somewhat expensive Rudy glasses to cheapish Uvex ones. The photochromatic ability of the cheaper Uvex is better and the comfort, too.

Only slight drawback is that if I face down, they tend to slide by maybe like 0.5-1mm (though the Rudy did that too) down the nose, so when I look up, I see the frame. I don't get why people wear polarized (other than for the looks).
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Old 10-13-21, 05:15 PM
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Regarding the Oakley recommendation... I'm sure they're great glasses, but I also think they're seriously over-priced. Sooner or later my sunglasses are going to get scratched and I don't want to pay $100 (or more) to replace something that I think of as a very utilitarian product.

There's got to be something in the $20 to $30 dollar range to compete with the name brands.
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Old 10-13-21, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
There's got to be something in the $20 to $30 dollar range to compete with the name brands.
Goodr or Tifosi Swank. $25, comfortable, light, durable. Iíve had several pairs of both, lost them, replaced them. Scratched them, replaced them. Had a frame crack, the shop swapped them out for me.

Only thing Iíll say against them is the reflective coating can deteriorate badly, so I make sure to buy the versions with matt lenses.
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Old 10-13-21, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Goodr or Tifosi Swank. $25, comfortable, light, durable. Iíve had several pairs of both, lost them, replaced them. Scratched them, replaced them. Had a frame crack, the shop swapped them out for me.

Only thing Iíll say against them is the reflective coating can deteriorate badly, so I make sure to buy the versions with matt lenses.
Thanks, but I was looking for something more geared towards sport glasses. In other words, glasses that are more "wrap-around" to better deflect wind and - more importantly - bugs.
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Old 10-13-21, 07:03 PM
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Oakley sport glasses are quite overpriced but the lenses meet ANSI Z78.1 standard for impact resistance. Once, I was riding head down (yes, careless) and crashed (at low speed) into a work truck parked in the bike lane with barely visible hazard lights and no trailing safety cones. My right lens hit the ball hitch mount and the only damage to the lens was a chip in the Prizm coating. Yes, I recognize that this is only an isolated, anecdotal experience and not at all a valid test of impact resistance, but I have been a believer since then. Just buy them when they are on sale.

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Old 10-14-21, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
My experience has been that non-polarized sunglasses work better on the bike.
My experience as well.

I bought two pairs of identical Tifosi glasses, one polarized and one not. Not only did the polarization add no noticeable benefit while cycling, I couldn't stand wearing the polarized glasses while driving my car as they lenses created odd color shifts when looking through tinted windows. Polarization has it's benefits, like for reducing glare on water when fishing and reducing glare in photography, but I don't see any benefit for cycling.
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Old 10-14-21, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
Thanks, but I was looking for something more geared towards sport glasses. In other words, glasses that are more "wrap-around" to better deflect wind and - more importantly - bugs.
Yeah, you've probably been looking at eg. the Kapvoe or other odd-named brands on Amzn etc given your pricepoint. No idea why they're all polarized. Probably because they're not knowledgeable enough to know that cyclists don't really want or need polarization.
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Old 10-14-21, 10:08 AM
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my old pair of prescription glasses were polarized and i really liked them. they cut down on road glare in sunny conditions and did not effect the shaded parts much resulting is less of a light differential allowing me to see crap in the shared areas much better. i miss them.
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Old 10-14-21, 12:04 PM
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I want 100% UVA and UVB protection for my eyes to avoid cataracts. Polarizing lens is supposed to reduce glare but I have only seen this work on water surfaces and not glare from light reflected off of cars. Some LCD screens have wavy lines when viewed with polarized lenses and so I started buying "safety glasses" that provide excellent protection and I buy them in dark gray and in yellow tints. They are available as a bifocal with various levels of magnification which helps with older eyes to read the bike computer display.
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