cycling sunglasses

The Best Sunglasses For Cycling

Ask most non-cyclist what sunglasses are for and you’ll probably get a puzzled look. “For keeping the sun out of course”, could be the answer….

Ask most cyclists what sunglasses are for and you’ll get a variety of answers… “protection against stones, grit, dirt, flies AND the sun”….

Cycling, at any pace, will attract these obstacles and then there’s also the wind factor to consider too. All in all your eyes need protection for a huge number of reasons and it really doesn’t matter if your name is Sir Bradley Wiggins or Joe Bloggs and if your chosen mount is a top of the range speedster and you’re in your drop bars or a moderate comfortable touring option waving at your friends en route to the pub. So, what’s important?

    • A frame that provides all-day comfort, thats lightweight and stress resistant
    • There’s also the potential for the light to change frequently, so interchangeable lenses are a great feature
    • If you are a mountain biker, then you’ll be stopping and starting, so vented lenses are a good option.
    • A frame that will protect from impact – watch out for stones, grit, bugs and dirt flying
    • Optical clarity to ensure you are always in focus and split second decisions work with those tree roots.


cycling sunglasses

What Cycling Sunglasses Are Best For me?

In our opinion, the sunglasses that fulfil all of the above come from Oakley and would include models such as the Jawbone, Fast Jacket, Split Jacket, Wind Jacket, Radar, Flak Jackets, Half Jackets, Bottlecap and the ever eternal M-frames. All sports specific frames and each of which run interchangeable lens systems giving you great flexibility with the days light and weather. They offer a much wider angle of viewing and zero compromise on visual clarity.

Oakley Jawbreaker

The Oakley Jawbone is the latest & greatest from the Switchlook technology options out there (we reckon). These are big, baby, but boy they tick all the performance boxes you can think of. Co-designed by the Manx Missile himself, Mark Cavendish, so that should settle your thoughts on this model.

Price Range: £170-200

Link: See our range of Oakley Jawbreaker’s

Oakley Radar

The Oakley Radar is a leader in its field! Radar’s host both hydrophobic and oleophobic properties to the plutonite lens to help prevent smudges and maintain sharp, clear vision. The Radar range comes as  a standard Radar and the newer versions RadarLock & Radar EV.  Look out for different lens shape options with Path, Pitch & Edge too.

Price Range: £95-205

Link: See our range of Oakley Radar’s Radarlock & Radar EV

Oakley Fast Jacket

The Fast Jacket is one of our favourite pairs of sunglasses for cycling. They are light weight, fit well and have a simple solution for switching between lenses. They are available in a variety of options and you can customise your own pair for a completely unique look and feel.

Price Range: £139-300

Link: See our range of Oakley Fast Jackets 

From a pricing aspect many of the sport frames are similarly priced, its generally the lens itself that often dictates the price difference within a style, so if you are on a budget look out for the lenses without an iridium coating to them, such as VR28 or Persimmon. But if you don’t need to compromise on expenditure then you can really reap benefits with either the new Prizm lenses, but also from either the Iridium or Polarized lens options. However you really need to be very clear on the kind of weather/light conditions you are likely to be riding in, and often with changeable weather you need to be equipped to swap lenses, so often just having one lens colour option on a sports frame can actually be false economy. Some of the models from Oakley automatically come with two lens options in the sale package – these are often created to provide you with one lens for a low light situation and one for brighter conditions.

oakley sunglasses


Which lenses do what?

It can be tricky, but arguably things have been made easier lately with the Prizm range of lenses, a lens range that have taken 15 years of research to perfect.

  • Road – the simple choice for road cycling as its great for bringing out contrasts.  Helps to make road signs & brake lights really stand out.
  • Trail – again, all about contrasts but this time working with browns so you can check the hardpack from the loose stuff & roots/rocks stick out easily.

For more info on the Trail lens, check out our Flak Jacket Unboxing Blog

If you aren’t ready for Prizm, then below we’ve listed some of the most popular lens colours to aid you in your decision. Lens options to consider:

  • Clear – Perfect when you don’t need any assistance with the light, just want the protection.
  • Persimmon – Great in low light. Boosts contrast in overcast conditions
  • VR28 – Best in low to medium light conditions (cloudy). Increases contrast and improves depth perception.
  • VR28 Black Iridium – Awesome in medium to bright light. Increases contrast and improves depth perception in a variety of conditions. Iridium coating reduces glare.