Monday, February 18, 2013

No More Tears: Clear Glasses for Winter

Winter Goggles
One of my biggest problems cycling in the winter used to be my eyes tearing up. It would get so bad, that the constant flow of tears would blur my vision, making it hard to see where I was going. But like many cyclists, I soon found the solution: clear glasses or goggles.

On moderately cold and windy days, I wear simple resin glasses that I am very happy with. They are unbranded, so I don't have an online source to refer you to, but many bike shops around here sell them at the counter. I bought mine from the Wheelworks, for around $20. What I like about these particular glasses is how comfortable they are, even on long rides. They sit sturdy, but are lightweight and don't press into my face or temples. The lenses are durable and the clarity is good.  

On particularly freezing days with harsh winds, I wear these wrap-around safety glasses from MSA. They cost only $4 and perform double duty as shop safety glasses for framebuilding. The MSA glasses are wonderful for creating a seal from the cold, keeping my eyes warm and dry and the sensitive skin around them protected. An additional benefit for those who wear prescription glasses, is that these can be worn over them. The downside is that they are on the heavy side, and if I wear them for too long they give me a headache - so watch out, if you have issues with that. But for short rides they are excellent, and on days that are cold enough to necessitate them my rides are on the short side anyway.

If you prefer the high-end route, I've tried and really liked the clear version of the new Lazer Argon glasses. These are in the $80-90 range and come with interchangeable lenses, which can be replaced with tinted ones. Oakley, Rudy Project, and most other athletic sunglass manufacturers also make clear or photochromic versions of many models.  

While some cyclists like to wear goggles, I am not a fan: They snag my hair and don't seem to stay put as well as regular glasses if I wear them on the bike. I find that the MSA safety glasses provide the same coverage but with less fuss.

There are many inexpensive options out there for clear goggles and glasses, so try a few and see what works. And if you need more coverage? Well, a few days ago I saw a man cycling with a clear face shield. Perhaps a new fashion trend in winter cycling. 


Post a Comment