I own at least eight pair of cycling sunglasses and am not extremely loyal to any particular brand. Most of these sunglasses were impulse purchases—they were bought at a bike shop I frequent and I purchased them because they were on sale. The only pair of sunglasses I’ve gone out of my way to purchase is a pair of Ryders Eyewear Hex Polar/Photochromic Sunglasses.
Let’s get the technical information out of the way first. Like all the sunglasses I own, these provide 100% UVA, UVB, UVC protection (don’t even think of buying sunglasses without UV protection). They are polarized to eliminate glare and increase depth perception (something you really appreciate when riding in the snow). The lenses are made of polycarbonate (I wouldn’t wear any pair of cycling glasses that weren’t) and are shatterproof. Ryder also puts a scratch-resistant coating on all of their sunglasses.
The main selling feature is that these glasses are photochromic, which means they get lighter or darker depending on available sunlight and air temperature. Before I got these glasses I would often leave home with a pair of sunglasses that were perfect for full-sun, but then the clouds rolled in I could barely see where I was going. These glasses change colors (shades of grey) as needed and I have been very happy with the results.
I bought these glasses in January and have used them for over 3,000 miles of riding so far this year. They went though rain, snow and ice during the winter and through the heat of an unbelievably hot summer, yet they still look like new. These glasses are very light and have high quality optics. I’ve had them on for periods of up to five hours at a time and have not experienced any discomfort whatsoever. I am probably the least qualified person on earth to talk about style or fashion, but I like the design of these glasses. The frames only come in a gloss black. These glasses come with a well-made case, but a cleaning cloth is not included. The lack of a cleaning cloth is certainly not a deal breaker, but this is the only pair of cycling glasses I’ve ever purchased that didn’t include one.
Most cyclists will find this is the only pair of sunglasses they need. However, on foggy days I switch to a pair of glasses that have amber lenses. I also wear a pair of glasses with clear lenses when I ride at night or in the rain.
These glasses have a retail price of $90, but I was able to buy a pair on Amazon.com for only $73. If you have been cycling with a pair of sunglasses you purchased at a department store, do yourself a favor and buy a pair of these—I don’t think you will ever regret it.