When you scroll through the best-scoring cycling sunglasses we've listed above, you might notice there is really a wide range of options to choose from. A big part of choosing a pair is the style and personal preference, but there are a few key points that can help you choose the best cycling glasses for you...
Fit is the key aspect to get right with a new pair of cycling sunglasses. The cycling sunglasses need to be comfortable with no pinch points or excessive tightness, and they need to sit close to your face and not obscure your vision. Some manufacturers offer sunglasses in a narrow design or a women-specific fit, but the vast majority of cycling sunglasses are unisex with a one-size-fits-all design. For that reason, it's always a good idea to try some on before you buy and choose the glasses with the best fit. Our heads are all unique and hence one size and shape doesn't fit all!
Fit can sometimes be adjusted to preference. Some cycling sunglasses have adjustable arms and nosepieces that can tailor the fit, and some have interchangeable rubber parts that can customise the fit even further. You want the sunglasses to be stable so they don’t bounce around or slip forward. The rubber contact points will help the glasses stay put when you sweat a lot. Generally, a sign of good fit is that you forget you're wearing them when you're cycling.
Arms can be flexible or rigid, Most are covered with a rubber material to grip your head and stop them moving about. When you're trying on a pair of glasses, it's worth doing so with your helmet on, as some glasses can foul the straps and retention systems of some helmets. The nose piece can either be fixed or adjustable, some glasses come with several differently sized rubber nosepieces so you can get the fit just right.
Cycling glass lenses come in a huge range of tints and colours from dark black to protect your eyes in bright sunlight, to yellow for boosting contrast in poor light. Clear lenses are good for riding at night. There's now so much choice that it can be a little bewildering to pick the right lenses for particular conditions.
You need to choose a lens that matches your riding requirements. Many cycling sunglasses have a fixed lens, so you're stuck with whatever lens comes with the sunglasses. Cycling sunglasses with interchangeable lenses are common these days, and very popular, for good reason. Choose a pair of glasses with several sets of lenses and you will be prepared for most typical cycling conditions.
Some manufacturers make photochromic lenses that get lighter or darker according to the conditions, but the range they offer is more limited at present than specific lenses but can be a useful and appealing alternative if you don't want to have to worry about changing lenses.
Some lenses are vented or have an anti-fogging coating to help reduce fogging when you sweat. Some manufacturers apply a hydrophobic coating to help rain run off the glasses. You also want to make sure the lens has UVA and UVB protection. Some cycling sunglasses offer a prescription option, either with the sunglasses lenses made to your prescription or with clip-in lenses behind.
The price you can expect to pay for cycling sunglasses varies hugely. What does paying more money get you? The biggest difference is in the lens. The best cycling sunglasses boast very high-quality optics that provide exceptional clarity, and you often have a wider range of tints to choose from.
The extra money often gets you a lighter weight frame and often more fit adjustment. You can expect extras like spare lenses to suit different conditions, hard-shell cases to store them in as well as soft fabric bags cleaning the lenses and storing the glasses when they're not in use.
Let’s not forget that as well as performance, cycling sunglasses are also a fashion item, and looks are an important consideration for many. Cycling sunglasses are available in a massive range of designs and colours and there's something for all tastes and styles. But we'll leave that bit to you.