Prescription Mountain Bike Glasses 101 - How to Protect Your Eyes on the Trails
Whether you are trail running, hiking in the mountains, or playing racket sports, protecting your eyes from the sun is an important step. From long-term investments like a healthy diet to immediate actions like wearing the right eyewear, you can keep your eyes happy and safe.
Frames that fit well and stay firmly in place while riding through rough terrain are essential. Look for adjustability in the nose piece, large coverage areas, and photochromic lenses that transition between tints in changing light conditions.
Look For a Frame That Fits Your Face
Your eyes are vulnerable to many trail hazards, including UV rays, glare, and dust. The best way to protect your eyes is by wearing sunglasses or goggles, which will keep them dry and comfortable. Also, ensure you have a pair of eye drops in your backpack to help prevent them from drying out and becoming itchy.
When looking for a pair of glasses, finding one that fits your face and is comfortable to wear while riding is essential, frame shapes that work well for mountain bikers include angular frames, which add definition to the cheekbones, and upswept frames, which create balance with a narrower chin and high forehead.
It is also essential to look for sunglasses that offer ample coverage so that the lenses will block out any branches or other debris that might come flying by.
Look For a Lens That Blocks UV Rays
Whether hiking on a trail or taking in the beautiful vistas, protecting your eyes should be one of your top priorities. You have to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays and debris that could be blown into your eyes. Having the right pair of sunglasses can help prevent eye damage from both these factors and keep your hiking experience enjoyable.
An excellent way to test if your sunglasses block UV rays is to hold them up in front of your face and see how dark they look. Try wearing them on a bright day and see how they reduce glare.
Many prescription mountain bike glasses have various lens colors designed to work best in specific conditions. For example, tinted lenses enhance contrast and clarity while riding on desert trails. Lighter lenses are also ideal for spotting bumps, potholes, and other hazards on the trail. Some frames even come with photochromic lenses that transition from light to dark, depending on your lighting conditions.
Look For a Polarized Lens
Polarized lenses cut glare from reflective surfaces such as water, snow, and concrete. They are necessary for fishermen, skiers, and cyclists who spend much time on or near these surfaces. The polarizing filter in these lenses has slits that block light rays that oscillate horizontally. By eliminating glare, these lenses make objects appear more vivid and transparent.
Polarized lenses come in various tints, such as gray for high contrast and clarity, brown for increased color definition, and yellow/orange to reduce glare and enhance contrast. These tints also come with the same UV protection as non-polarized lenses.
To check whether your sunglasses are polarized, hold them up to a mirror or a piece of glass in direct sunlight. If the reflected light turns dark, they are polarized. If you aren’t sure, try holding a pair of polarized and non-polarized glasses before each other and then looking at an LCD screen. If the LCD screen appears darker with the polarized glasses, they are polarized. This is an easy and cheap way to test your sunglasses.
Look For an Anti-Reflective Lens
The lenses of your mountain bike glasses are exposed to all sorts of hazards on the trail: grit, dirt, falling branches, and winged insects. It’s easy to end up with dry, red eyes or snow blindness if you don’t protect your peepers properly.
Look for an anti-reflective lens. This will reduce glare from light reflecting off the trail or snow and help you see more clearly on bright days. It would help if you also tried out polarized lenses. These are ideal for water and snow sports because they block horizontal light and help improve depth perception, which is essential for mountain biking on technically challenging trails.
Finally, look for a pair that has photochromic lenses. These will change from clear to dark when you go indoors and back to clear in bright sunlight. This is an excellent feature because you can use one pair of sunglasses for year-round mountain biking in varying conditions.
Look For a Scratch-Resistant Lens
Lastly, any prescription mountain biking sunglasses you buy should have scratch-resistant lenses. Scratch-resistant lenses are critical if you plan to wear your glasses on backpacking trips. The chances are good that you will sit on your sunglasses or drop them at some point on a hike. Sunglasses with scratch-resistant lenses are more durable and are less likely to break if you are in a hurry or are careless.
Lenses with anti-fog treatment are also great for those who love mountain biking in winter. Fogging occurs when the cold air and your sweat combine to create condensation on your glasses. This can be a nuisance and is dangerous because it reduces your visibility on the trail.
Consider choosing photochromic frames if you’re looking for a pair of mountain bike glasses with interchangeable lenses. Photochromic lenses change from clear to tinted as the light intensity changes. This way, you only need one pair of sunglasses to protect you from the sun’s UV rays and changing conditions on the trail. Also, photochromic lenses are lightweight, which makes them comfortable for prolonged wear.