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Best cycling sunglasses in 2024

Eliška Malinová, Bc.

Medically reviewed by Eliška Malinová, Bc., Optometrist, on 5 Apr 2023. Written by Lentiamo

Table of contents

Whether you're cycling through the city or taking a relaxing ride in the countryside, cycling sunglasses are a must. Sunglasses are an essential item to increase visual acuity and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, wind and debris. The right pair will make your ride more enjoyable and keep you safe on the road.

To help you choose the best cycling sunglasses, our eyewear experts at Lentiamo have compiled a list of our top 10 recommendations. We've listed important key features and have included notable pros and cons for each pair. You can also read our answers to some frequently asked questions about cycling sunglasses to help you find your favourite pair!

How we chose the best cycling sunglasses...

  • Research – We researched frame designs, lens materials and more to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. We looked at popular brands and models to determine what elements cycling sunglasses need (and don't need!).
  • Customer reviews – We looked into our best-selling designs to see what brands and models users love, choose and actually wear.
  • Optometrist approved – Lentiamo optometrists offered their expert opinions on the best lenses, materials and designs for sport sunglasses.

Best cycling sunglasses

two people wearing cycling sunglasses and helmets

Here are our picks for the best sunglasses for your best ride yet. Ready to find your new companion for the road?

10. Cébé CINETIK 2.0

Cébé CINETIK sunglasses feature clean lines and a high-quality construction. The sunglasses conveniently offer three interchangeable lens options for different conditions.

CINETIK are no-nonsense shades that function well in different weather conditions. Keep the sun out of your eyes, increase contrast and keep your vision clear with this practical and stylish option.

Pros

  • Adjustable and anti-slip rubber nose pads for comfort
  • Supplied with two replacement lenses in different colours for great flexibility
  • Ultra-light and durable nylon frames

Cons

  • Narrow frame might not be comfortable for some

9. Evil Eye Zolid

These striking Evil Eye Zolid sunglasses are perfect for cyclists who don't want to compromise on style or functionality. The body features sweeping wraparound lenses for a wider field of vision and great peripheral views.

The mirrored lenses provide high protection from the sun's powerful rays on bright days. If you prefer a classic shape with a modern colourway, Zolid sunglasses might be for you!

Pros

  • Extremely durable polycarbonate lenses for increased safety in case of impact
  • Three-stage frame adjustment and adjustable nose pads for custom fit
  • LST contrast (Light Stabilizing Technology) optimises light intensity for neutral colour perception and high contrast

Cons

  • Slimmer frames provide less protection around face

8. Under Armour Halftime

Under Armour Halftime are great cycling sunglasses for everyday use. The grey lenses ensure true colour perception while effectively reducing bright light.

For increased protection from unexpected flying gravel, rain or insects, the larger body of Under Armour Halttime offer fantastic safety.

Pros

  • Fully-adjustable ArmourGrip nose pads for stability and comfort
  • Durable, lightweight and flexible TR90 frame material
  • Monolens for uninterrupted views

Cons

  • No interchangeable lens options

7. Nike Stratus

These slim and aerodynamic sunglasses from Nike are perfect for casual rides or recreation. They feature durable plastic lenses in a versatile brown colour to reduce reflections and increase contrast.

Nike's Max Optics lens technology ensures better clarity and accurate depth perception at all points on the lens. The mirrored lenses are also great for reducing glare on bright days in any season.

Pros

  • Vented nose pads and lenses for better airflow and less fogging
  • Unique style suitable for cycling or relaxing
  • Wraparound design with unobstructed peripheral views

Cons

  • Smaller body for less protection from the elements and debris

6. Bogner 67318 1500 130

These futuristic sunglasses from German brand Bogner combine form and function for cycling. The stylish glasses feature a gentle wraparound design for increased aerodynamics and better peripheral vision.

In addition, the large frames and lenses are great for protection from the elements. This standout option is perfect for anyone looking for quality shades with a unique look.

Pros

  • Thin and lightweight metal frames for comfort and durability
  • Yellow lenses increase contrast and depth perception in low-light conditions
  • High-quality plastic lenses for safety and clarity

Cons

  • Mirrored lenses can distort colour perception

5. Smith Flywheel

Retro-inspired Flywheel sunglasses from Smith are sure to impress anyone. The blue mirrored lenses ensure clear vision even on the brightest days.

For one-handed on and off, the glasses feature AutoLock hinges that keep the frames open. Try Flywheel if you want lightweight frames that you won't want to take off!

Pros

  • Colour-boosting ChromaPop lens technology increases visual acuity
  • Adjustable, Megol silicone nose pads for a non-slip fit
  • Smudge-proof, hydrophobic coating for clear views and easy cleaning

Cons

  • No interchangeable lens options

4. Bollé Lightshifter XL

Lightshifter cycling sunglasses are designed for peak performance on the road. They feature innovative Thermogrip rubber on the temples and nose bridge so the frames stay in place, even when wet from rain or sweat.

Modern Lightshifter XL are excellent for protection and style for urban cycling or long-distance cycle routes.

Pros

  • Photochromic lenses adapt to any lighting conditions for optimal clarity
  • Adjustable nose pads for a comfortable fit
  • Ventilation hole to prevent fogging of lenses

Cons

  • Lenses with Category 2 to 3 UV protection aren't recommended for intense sunlight

3. Oakley Sutro Lite

These semi-rimless cycling shades from Oakley offer a wide field of view with optimal visual clarity. The tall shield lenses protect your eyes and the surrounding area from rain, debris and more on the road. Oakley’s Unobtainium nose pads increase grip for a stable fit.

Oakley Sutro are popular amongst professional cyclists and occasional riders alike. These shades combine state-of-the-art lens technologies with a cool, streamlined design.

Pros

  • HDO (High Definition Optics) lenses eliminate image magnification and distortion
  • Purple Oakley Prizm lenses enhance colours and contrast to see details
  • Durable and comfortable O Matter frame material

Cons

  • No ventilation holes

Shop Oakley Sutro Lite

Did You Know? Oakley developed state-of-the-art Prizm technology specifically for maximum visual acuity. The technology enhances colour contrast and clarity in different light and weather conditions, resulting in improved vision and depth perception.


2. Oakley Radar Ev Path

Oakley's Radar EV Path feature a taller lens and semi-rimmed design for an extended range of view. The colourful shades feature ventilation holes to prevent fog during and after your ride.

When we think of athletic eyewear, Oakley designs come to mind. They offer quality optics and protection without compromising on style.

Pros

  • Prizm lenses enhance colours and contrast for increased clarity of vision
  • HDO (High Definition Optics) lenses eliminate image magnification and distortion
  • Unobtainium nose pads for increased comfort and non-slip fit when wet

Cons

  • Mirrored lenses can be more susceptible to scratches

1. Bollé B-Rock

Our top pick for the best sport sunglasses for cycling are B-Rock from Bollé. The fully rimmed glasses provide high protection and better coverage from the elements. Additionally, the wraparound monolens and high brow bar ensure a wide field of view for a clear line of sight.

With a modern look and an interchangeable lens system, you can wear B-Rock sunglasses for years to come.

Pros

  • Thermogrip rubber on temple and nose touchpoints for secure grip even when wet
  • Full coverage lenses with ventilation holes to prevent fogging
  • Blue mirrored lenses with UV 400 protection for 100% UV protection

Cons

  • High price tag

Key features of the best cycling sunglasses

blue mirror sunglasses on bike helmet with bike

UV Protection

Roads, cars and other surfaces can reflect a large amount of light back into your eyes. This can cause squinting and impaired vision. Not only is light reduction important, high UV protection is a crucial part of any cycling sunglasses so you can protect your eyes from damage. At a minimum, cycling sunglasses must offer protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Fit and comfort

Cycling sunglasses should fit tightly and shouldn't slip, pinch or fall off. The overall shape and the possibility of adjustment are key factors to consider. An adjustable nose piece works well for a snug and comfortable fit. Finding the right size frames can also determine the comfort and performance of your sunglasses.

Pro Tip: Lentiamo optometrist Eliška recommends an aerodynamic shape for cyclists when speed is important. An aerodynamic shape also has another important role – better protection. As these frames match the shape of the face, they protect your eyes from the sun's rays, drying wind and flying debris.

Lens colours

In addition to UV protection, sunglasses lens colours affect your ride. Some lenses are intended for bright daylight while others are specifically designed to enhance brightness and clarity. Here are some lens colours that are popular amongst cyclers:

  • Red lenses – Red lenses increase visual acuity with high colour contrast for yellow road signs and traffic lines. Red lenses are good for road cycling or cycling near green forests.
  • Purple lenses – Purple lenses enhance the contrast, minimise light reflections and suppress bright white colours.
  • Yellow lenses – For increased contrast and depth perception on darker days, yellow lenses perform best. They offer sharp vision in low-light conditions and on foggy or cloudy days.
  • Brown lenses – Brown lenses enhance contrast in bright as well as changing light. They are also great for accurate depth perception which is important in traffic.
  • Grey lenses – Grey lenses are versatile and ensure true colour perception while reducing glare.

Pro Tip: Purple or violet lenses are good for cycling. Lentiamo optometrist Eliška prefers purple lenses as they enhance image definition and enable the eye to spot potential dangers on the road.

Lens types and materials

You may encounter rain, bright sunshine and overcast skies all during the course of your ride. Because of this unpredictability, photochromic lenses are a fantastic option for cyclists. Also known as transition lenses, photochromic lenses adapt based on UV light exposure. The tint will darken when exposed to bright light and return to a clear or lighter state during darker times.

Sunglasses lens materials should also be taken into consideration. Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are recommended for cycling as they are lightweight and shatterproof. Avoid glass lenses for cycling and other sporting activities.

Frames

The best road cycling sunglasses frames are durable and can withstand everyday drops and bumps. The frames shouldn't obstruct your field of vision so you can easily see oncoming traffic or other obstacles. Avoid sunglasses with extra thick or wide temples as these can create blind spots in your peripheral vision.

Style

Many popular cycling shades are oversized for added protection and have a distinct athletic look. There are also a wide variety of frameless styles or slimmer bodies to choose from. There are many colours and models that can work well for your ride.

Semi-rimmed or frameless options work well as they allow better views from any angle. Full frames can offer added durability. Overall, style is important but some features come down to personal preference.

Closing thoughts from Lentiamo

Finding the right sunglasses for your ride is easy once you know what to look for. Lentiamo optometrists have offered their advice on cycling sunglasses to keep you safe and comfortable on the road. Your cycling experience will be more enjoyable when you find the right pair!

Frequently asked questions

What sunglasses are best for cycling?

The best sunglasses for cycling are comfortable, offer high UV protection, enhance your vision, and keep you safe on the road.

Look for adjustable frames or nose pads that allow for better customisation and increased comfort. Find lenses and colours that protect from the sun's harmful rays while also offering enhancements for increased colour contrast and depth perception. Durable frames and shatterproof lenses will keep you safer during short or long rides in any conditions.

Do I need special sunglasses for cycling?

It's important to find sunglasses designed specifically for cycling. Cycling sunglasses are constructed from durable materials with larger bodies and lenses to protect your eyes on the road. Debris such as gravel, dirt and more can easily get kicked up during your ride.

Unlike standard sunglasses, cycling sunglasses protect your eyes on all sides while withstanding impacts and enhancing vision.

Are polarised sunglasses better for cycling?

Polarised sunglasses effectively reduce glare and reflections for less squinting and enhanced vision to keep you comfortable and safe. However, polarisation can make it difficult to read digital devices such as mobile phones or navigation systems. Since polarisation can make it harder to spot shiny surfaces such as oil, ice or water, it's important to consider the environment you ride in.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to polarised sunglasses for cycling. Carefully consider mirrored over polarised sunglasses if your main goal is to reduce glare and reflections.

What sunglasses do Tour de France riders wear?

Of course, most professional cyclists in the Tour de France ride for teams with brand sponsors. Riders might be limited to one brand but they can opt for sunglasses that work well for them from different collections.

For example, some riders might prefer newer models with specialised lens enhancements like Prizm Road from Oakley, a technology specifically designed for road cycling. Some other notable brand sponsors spotted on riders include Smith Optics and Bollé.

Pros Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas and Mathieu Van Der Poel – amongst many others – have been spotted in Oakley models such as Kato X, Racing Jacket and Sutro in the past.


Read more

Interested in other sports? Check out more sunglasses for running and hiking today.

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