Cycling makes you healthier, and of course, happier! According to a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, a ‘clear positive relationship’ exists between cycling and cardiorespiratory fitness in youths. So, whether you have just dabbled in cycling or are a long-time enthusiast, keep going, my friend!
However, one of the main problems that cyclists, especially those undertaking transportation bicycling, face pertains to safety. A lot of people think that cycling safety ends with helmets and knee pads. But this is not the case. The right kind of cycling glasses are essential in keeping you safe on cycling tracks and enhancing your performance during marathons.
But, if you have bumped into this blog, chances are that finding the right pair of cycling glasses has been an absolute pain for you. Well, fret not, as Specscart is here to the rescue. Join us, as we check out the A to Z of cycling photochromic glasses - one of the best eyewear gears for both avid cyclists and newbies.
What Are Cycling Glasses?
As the name suggests, cycling glasses are eyewear accessories that you wear while cycling. Unlike traditional glasses, cycling glasses are special because they cater to the special needs of cyclists.
The best-quality cycling glasses are made of hypoallergenic, flexible, resilient and ultra-light materials like TR90 and polycarbonate. These materials are impact-resistant, lightweight, durable, and comfortable for long wear.
Therefore, cycling glasses optimise your performance on the track, facilitate long hours of wear, and keep your eyes safe in case of an impact or accident. There are several types of cycling glasses, and one of the best ones has to be cycling glasses transition lenses.
What Are Cycling Photochromic Glasses?
Photochromic or transition cycling glasses are special eyewear gears equipped with photochromic lenses. These glasses adapt to light changes throughout your cycling journey. They automatically darken under harsh sunlight and become nearly transparent when it is dark or under indoor light conditions.
So, when you are riding a bicycle for leisure or your daily commute or partaking in a marathon, the constantly changing sunlight conditions will not bother you. Photochromic cycling glasses transition between ‘glasses to sunglasses’ organically and swiftly.
Thus, the main difference between regular cycling glasses and photochromic lenses for cycling is that the latter doubles up as both sunglasses and clear glasses, depending on the light conditions. On the other hand, typical cycling glasses remain clear both indoors and outdoors.
How Do Photochromic Lenses for Cycling Glasses Work?
Photochromic magic occurs because of a chemical reaction of millions of molecules, usually, silver chloride or silver halide, reacting to sunlight. Millions of silver halide or silver chloride molecules are infused into the lenses of photochromic lenses for cycling. These molecules react when exposed to the rays of the sun and the molecules move freely, change their shape and absorb light.
When the molecules infused in the lenses shift, the cycling glasses become darker and contort into a darker shade. Likewise, when the lenses are away from UV exposure, they go back to their clear or transparent state. However, the shift from clear to dark lenses (known as fadeback) takes time. The reaction starts at about 30 seconds and it may take up to 10 minutes for the lenses to fully ‘transition’ into a jet-black shade.
Simultaneously, the reversal of the dark lenses into clear lenses may take up to 2 minutes. However, the new generation transition lens technology, such as Transitions XTRActive has a 35 percent faster fade back than typical transition lenses. Thus, the switch between dark and clear lenses feels incredibly natural and seamless while cycling.
Why Are Photochromic Glasses Great for Cycling?
You must be wondering - are photochromic lenses good for cycling? The answer is a big yes! Some of the main benefits of transition cycling spectacles are -
Duo-purpose Sports Eyewear
Enhanced Visual Clarity
Protection Against Impact
Overall Road Safety
As cycling is an outdoor sport, you are bound to be exposed to the scorching sun. If you assume that just your face and body need protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, then it might be for some reevaluation.
Even your eyes need safety against the sun’s harmful UV rays. Excessive exposure to UV rays might cause vision-related problems, such as blurry vision, and retinal damage, and macular degeneration So, if you are an avid cyclist regularly being exposed to the sun, then UV protection is a must.
Transition cycling spectacles offer 100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays. So, you can go on long bicycle rides or participate in adrenaline-inducing marathons without worrying about the detrimental effects of the sun.
The second reason why photochromic lenses are an excellent choice for cycling is their duo-purpose features. With transition cycling glasses, you do not need cycling sunglasses while riding under the sun. Thus, you save money and free yourself of the hassle of switching between two pairs of sports eyewear.
Photochromic cycling glasses offer better visual acuity and clarity than regular cycling spectacles. By seamlessly adjusting to different light intensities, photochromic transition lenses ensure that your vision remains clear and distraction-free, regardless of the light conditions.
Photochromic cycling glasses are incredibly versatile as they adjust to different light conditions. Hence, they are an excellent choice if you want to cycle at different times of the day or in constantly changing environments. So, whether you are participating in a marathon during a bright and sunny afternoon or cycling back from work on a dimly lit evening, photochromic cycling glasses ensure optimal vision.
Photochromic cycling frames are composed of TR90, which is a nylon-infused plastic that is flexible. Hence, a great choice for cycling and other outdoor sports. Similarly, the lenses of photochromic transition spectacles are made of polycarbonate - a highly impact-resistant material.
So, even if you get into any untoward accident while cycling (God forbid), the lenses will not shatter very easily and your eyes will remain safe.
In the United Kingdom, the number of cyclists has dramatically increased from 2004 to 2021. Despite such a massive increase, the number of accidents involving pedal cyclists has not experienced a massive surge. According to experts, one of the main reasons behind such a hopeful and positive phenomenon is improved protective equipment, such as helmets and more awareness.
It is quite understandable that further acceptance and utility of protective gear, such as cycling glasses with photochromic lenses might increase road safety.
Photochromic Cycling Glasses V/S Polarised Cycling Glasses
The primary difference between polarised and photochromic cycling glasses is their adaptability to changes in light conditions. As we have already mentioned, transition cycling glasses change from a darker tint to a clear lens based on the intensity of the UV light rays. They become akin to sunglasses under sunlight and revert to a transparent lens in indoor lighting.
On the contrary, polarised cycling glasses maintain a constant level of tint - they do not fluctuate from darker tints to clear lenses - regardless of the light conditions. However, polarised spectacles have the special feature of reducing glare from reflective surfaces, such as the road, snow, or a waterbody.
Is Polarised or Photochromic Better for Cycling?
Both polarised and photochromic cycling glasses have relevance in specific circumstances.
Polarised cycling spectacles are great if you frequently cycle on sunny days, especially near water bodies, snowy, or other shiny surfaces that reflect sunlight. The polarised feature can enhance visual clarity and reduce eye strain. So, your ride becomes more comfortable.
On the contrary, cycling glasses with transition lenses are an all-rounder choice for avid cyclists, especially those who venture out on long rides from day to night.
However, if you choose the wrong type of transition coating, something that takes a considerably longer time to fade back, riding between stretches of shadow and intense sunlight can get challenging.
Likewise, the main disadvantage of polarised cycling glasses is that they might not be the best bet for clear visuals in low-light conditions. They can distort the perception of depth in dimly lit areas.
Now that we have touched on photochromic cycling glasses, their technology, and their utility, let us wrap up this article by checking the best tints for cycling glasses.
What Colour Tints Are Best For Cycling?
Specific lens tints are appropriate for cycling. These include -
Amber-tinted lenses enhance visual acuity and hence are an excellent choice for cycling glasses. However, these tints are best if you usually cycle under dimly lit conditions, with minimal to no sunlight.
Pink-tinted lenses enhance visual acuity and reduce eye fatigue. They are ideal for dimly lit or low-light conditions, such as foggy or misty days. Besides, pink-tinted cycling spectacles also work great on both roads and hilly or mountainous areas.
So, if you cycle regularly around colder regions, which are usually foggy, then pink tints are the way to go. But, one word of caution - pink-tinted spectacles ought not to be worn in bright light conditions.
Last but not least, yellow tints are also excellent for cycling glasses. They offer some level of blue light protection while enhancing focus, depth and distance perception. However, you should wear yellow-tinted cycling glasses during foggy or cloudy days.
If you want in-depth information on the best tints for cycling glasses, our latest blog would be a fascinating read!
At Specscart, we firmly believe that cycling glasses should be functional, stylish, and protective. Our unique and innovative cycling spectacles are customisable to transition or photochromic coatings. The Xtractive transitions coating has a superfast fade-back and is great for cycling and other sports. You can also choose to infuse your high-performance cycling monocles with prescriptions, tints and polarised lenses.
Some of our top picks are -
Whatever your eyewear needs, we have ‘AFrameforEveryGame!’ While selecting cycling glasses, choose a pair that snugly fits, is resilient, is made of hypoallergenic material, and is stylish enough to make you feel confident. Well, our cycling glasses collection, undoubtedly, check off all these checklists. So, get yourself the ‘tour de force’ of cycling safety today!