Best Cycling Sunglasses

Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

51 Models Considered
10 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
204 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best cycling sunglasses

Cycling is an exciting hobby that not only allows you to enjoy the great outdoors but also helps keep you fit. Having the right gear is necessary for safe, comfortable riding, and good cycling sunglasses should be on your list.

Cycling sunglasses are specifically designed to protect your eyes from the sun and its glare while you ride. They’re not just effective sun protection, however; the glasses can also keep dirt, dust, and other debris that might fly into your face out of your eyes. Many cycling sunglasses are shatterproof, too, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking if they fall off during a ride.

But choosing the right pair of cycling sunglasses can be difficult because there are so many options to pick from. We’ve gathered plenty of tips to help you choose the best cycling sunglasses for your next ride. Want to begin shopping right away? 

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Many cycling sunglasses come with a case or pouch for storage. If your sunglasses don’t, you can purchase a case separately.

Key considerations

Roadwear vs. mountain bike

When choosing cycling sunglasses, you can choose from two main types: roadwear or mountain bike sunglasses.

Roadwear sunglasses can be used for both road and off-road cycling. They offer rimless frames, so your line of sight isn’t obstructed.

Mountain bike sunglasses usually come in a goggle style to protect your eyes from the sun and keep dirt and other debris out of them too. Remember to consider helmet compatibility if you opt for goggle-style sunglasses.

Frame

Material: Cycling sunglasses should be lightweight for comfortable wear but sturdy enough to hold up to the ups and downs of cycling too. Glasses made of high-performance materials like nylon are a good option. However, polycarbonate frames have the benefit of being shatterproof in case they fall off during your ride. Higher-end glasses are made of even more durable — but still lightweight — materials like titanium.

Semi-frameless: Many cycling glasses have solid frames, but you can also find some semi-frameless designs in which the lens is connected to the frame only at the top and bottom. These sunglasses won’t obstruct your view of the road and usually offer excellent ventilation to keep the lenses from fogging.

Fit: When it comes to the fit, you should think about how the sunglasses fit on your face and how they fit beneath your helmet. Frames with a straight (not arced) temple design typically work best under a helmet. The sunglasses should fit snugly on your face to prevent slipping, but you don’t want them so tight that they’re uncomfortable.

Lenses

The lenses in your cycling sunglasses are another crucial element to consider. Never wear sunglasses with glass lenses while biking. Not only are they heavier than other lenses, but they can also shatter easily. That limits their durability and poses a risk to your eyes too.

Look for cycling sunglasses with polycarbonate or Trivex lenses. Both materials are much lighter and thinner than glass or even traditional plastic lenses. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses offer good protection against UV rays and are impact resistant to prevent shattering.

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Did You Know?
Photochromic lenses are an ideal option if you usually ride through areas with lots of trees. The lenses automatically adjust to the changing light and shade conditions.
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Features

Lenses

Antifogging: When you go for a long ride in humid weather, rain, or cold temperatures, it’s not uncommon for your sunglasses to fog up. Some cycling sunglasses have an antifog coating that keeps the lenses from clouding. You can also find some cycling sunglasses with special vents to more quickly clear any fog that develops.

UV protection: It’s not enough that your cycling sunglasses have tinted lenses to ward off the glare. They should also offer lenses with UV protection to protect your eyes from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. 

Photochromic: Some high-end cycling sunglasses have transition or photochromic lenses that automatically darken or lighten based on the ambient light. That makes it easy to keep riding without adjusting your sunglasses even if it goes from overcast to sunny during your ride.

Interchangeable: If you aren’t a fan of photochromic lenses, you can also find some cycling sunglasses that come with interchangeable lenses. These lenses have different tints, so you can swap them out depending on the lighting conditions during your ride.

Polarized: If you find the sun’s glare unbearable while cycling, you’ll definitely want cycling sunglasses with polarized lenses. These reduce the glare so you don’t have to squint as much. Most cycling sunglasses have unpolarized lenses, so you might have to shop around a bit to find a polarized pair.

While you don’t want your cycling sunglasses to be too tight, avoid any pairs that are too loose. They could easily fall off as you ride.

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Accessories

Cycling shorts: Louis Garneau Fit Sensor 5.5 Shorts 2
Cycling shorts are an excellent option for biking since they offer support for your hips and backside. We love these shorts from Louis Garneau because they help keep you cool in hot weather and have a wide waistband to prevent pinching.

Cycling backpack: Osprey Daylite Daypack
Bring all your necessary items like your phone, water bottle, and keys with you on long rides with a handy cycling backpack. This one from Osprey is a favorite because it has a slim, aerodynamic design that won’t slow you down. It also secures tightly around the waist, so it won’t move while you’re pedaling.

Cycling odometer: SY Bicycle Speedometer and Odometer
Keep track of how far and fast you’re cycling with an odometer and speedometer. This one from SY is a popular choice among cycling enthusiasts because it’s extremely easy to install and only requires two buttons for operation.

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Did You Know?
Some cyclists prefer sunglasses with a wraparound frame design to provide more coverage. It can keep dust, dirt, and bugs from flying into your eyes while you ride.
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Cycling sunglasses prices

Cycling sunglasses vary in price based on frame material, lens material, and other features. Most cost between $10 and $230.

Inexpensive: The most affordable cycling sunglasses are typically roadwear sunglasses that have cheaper plastic frames and lenses. You can find some sunglasses with interchangeable lenses in this price range too. You’ll generally pay between $10 and $25 for these sunglasses.

Mid-range: These cycling sunglasses can be either roadwear or mountain biking sunglasses. They usually have nylon or polycarbonate frames and lenses and often have antifogging, polarized, and/or photochromic lenses. You’ll typically pay between $25 and $75 for these sunglasses.

Expensive: The most expensive cycling sunglasses are extremely durable roadwear or mountain biking sunglasses. They have polycarbonate frames and polycarbonate or Trivex lenses with antifogging, polarized, and/or photochromic lenses. These sunglasses generally cost between $75 and $234.

Tips

  • Protect your sunglasses. When you’re not wearing your cycling sunglasses, keep them in a case to prevent scratches, damage, or an accumulation of dirt.
  • Clean your sunglasses. To clean your cycling sunglasses, use warm water and mild liquid dish soap to remove any dirt. Gently rub the soap over the lenses with your fingers, and rinse them well with warm water.
  • Dry your sunglasses with a microfiber cloth. Don’t dry your cycling sunglasses with a paper towel. The rough fibers can scratch the lenses.
  • Try soap to prevent fogged lenses. If you’re having trouble with fogging lenses during your rides, try rubbing a small amount of shaving gel or foam on the inside of the lenses until it’s completely absorbed. Buffing some liquid dish soap on both the inside and outside of the lenses with a microfiber cloth can also work well to prevent fogging and can even repel raindrops.
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Unless your cycling shirt has a sewn-in cleaning cloth, don’t use your jersey to clean or dry your lenses. The fabric can scratch the lenses.

FAQ

Q. Can I wear regular sunglasses when I’m cycling?

A. You can certainly wear regular sunglasses when you’re biking if you’re comfortable in them. However, cycling sunglasses are more durable and designed to hold up to strenuous activity. You usually don’t have to worry about the lenses shattering if they fall or fogging up during a ride either.

Q. Are sunglasses with photochromic or interchangeable lenses best for cycling?

A. It really depends on your preferences. Some people prefer interchangeable lenses because photochromic sunglasses can take some time to adjust to changing lighting conditions. Other cyclists don’t like having to stop and change their lenses in the middle of a ride.

Q. Are prescription cycling sunglasses available?

A. You can find cycling sunglasses with prescription lenses, so you can see clearly during your rides. You’ll pay more for a prescription pair.

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