Choosing the right sunglasses for mountain biking
Spring is finally here and that means longer days, more time spent in the saddle and a lot more sunlight. Eyewear is an essential piece of equipment for any cyclist, whether protecting your eyes against UV rays, dirt or even bugs, don't underestimate the necessity of proper eyewear protection. We've put together a few tips to help you choose the right mountain biking sunglasses.
We work closely with our team riders Fabien Barel, Jérome Clémentz and François Bailly-Maitre, Noah Tautfest and Billy Melone and continue to develop sunglasses that work across all disciplines in cycling.
Which frame should I choose for my sunglasses?
We get this question all the time. For mountain biking, we recommend:
- a sufficiently vented frame with good air circulation to prevent fogging.
- a frame that wraps far enough around the face to protect your eyes from debris (dust, mud, flies and other bugs, etc.) and from the sun's UV rays.
- slim temples to fit easily under a helmet and to keep you a little cooler. Larger temple arms tend to be warm causing you to heat up.
Which lenses should I choose for mountain biking?
We offer three types of lenses: from simple polycarbonate lenses (our Spectron 3) to photochromic technical lenses (our Zebra and Zebra Light) which get lighter or darker depending on the amount of UV light.
When mountain biking, you often go from shady wooded terrain to areas of full sun, fields, roads, etc. Unlike photochromic lenses, our Spectron 3 lenses don't transition when introduced to UV rays. This means that if you're in the woods, pop out into a field or it starts getting cloudy, the lens stays the same tint regardless of the light intensity. We therefore recommend our Zebra and Zebra light photochromic lenses: a single pair of sunglasses to deal with all weather conditions.
We have developed two types of photochromic lens: Zebra and Zebra Light.
The Zebra lens is photochromic and provides category 2 to 4 protection (VLT 42%-7%), while the Zebra Light lens transitions from category 1 to 3 (VLT 80%-16%). Their activation speed from the lowest to the highest range varies from between 22 and 28 seconds, the fastest on the market! This means your lenses will adapt quickly to any environment.
Both of these lenses also have an anti-fog coating as well as an external oil-repellent coating to facilitate water runoff and prevent marking. The yellowish color helps accentuate the contrast in terrain, which is very useful on mountain biking trails.
Which is the right lens for you?
- What's the main advantage of going for a photochromic lens rather than a Spectron 3 lens?
If you're going biking for a whole day, weather conditions can vary from one place to another, and you'll transition from wooded trails to areas of full sun. So it's much more comfortable for the eyes to have lenses that adapt to different light levels.
- Do you have sensitive eyes?
If yes, we recommend Zebra lenses: these lenses have the highest protection range.
- Do you bike in places where the sun is strong? (High altitude, desert, etc.)
If yes, Zebra lenses offer better protection in these environments
- Do you regularly mountain bike early in the morning or at the end of the day when the sun is low?
If yes, it's better to go for Zebra Light lenses which have a lighter photochromic range. We have riders that race at night in our Zebra Light lens as it is basiclly clear when in low light conditions and transitions to a category 3, which is the starndard tint for most sunglasses you find in stores.
To finish, we've selected three sunglasses that are ideal for mountain biking:
Check out our full performance sunglasses range here.