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Cycling Sunglasses

Cycling Sunglasses

Key Features to look for in Wrap Cycling Sunglasses

Cycling Sunglasses - prevent bright sunlight and high-energy visible light from damaging eyes. Wrap Cycling Sunglasses are worn to protect the eyes from glare, ultraviolet (UV) rays and from objects flying into your eyes. The "Wrap" semi-circle glasses is the most popular for cycling because of the protective design and visual clarity through the full view lens. Eyes are very sensitive to light and can be burned or damaged by exposure to the sun's radiation. The visible and invisible light can cause damage to the lens and retina of the eye. Long term AND excessive exposure to the sun includes the loss of night vision and cataracts. Sunglasses protect the eyes by either absorbing or reflecting ultraviolet light frequencies.

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Sunglasses help to reduce glare and enhance vision when outside in very bright light (Sunshine). The technology behind sunglasses is focused on the filtering or elimination of UV light into the eyes. Knowing that the sun is damaging to our eyes, we use light filtering coatings to block the rays from our eyes.

Mirrored Sunglasses Lens - Some lenses are mirrored or reflective which will deflect some of the very bright light when it hits the lens. In very bright conditions like snow or water, the light is not passed through the lens to the eyes. Ruby mirrored sunglasses and Blue Mirrored Sunglasses are called blue blockers and they filter out the violet and blue rays. Sunglasses should also filter or block blue light which is part of the low frequency ultraviolet rays. A metallic or mirrored coatings can be any color. Reflecting lenses have multi-layer anti-reflective coatings, consisting primarily of metallic particles. These metallic coatings reflect all colors of light and UV radiation equally well.

Polarized Lens - An example of a "light absorbing" is a polarized lens that filters out light. Natural sunlight occurs in two waves, one in the horizontal plane and one in the vertical plane. When cycling or driving and experiencing glare, you are seeing the horizontal component - which is glare. Polarized Cycling Sunglasses lenses are made using a Polycarbonate lens that is coated with an optical filter which absorbs the horizontal component of light and transmits only the vertical component. As a result bright reflected light is eliminated and eye strain is reduced. One thing to note is that polarized lenses do not block the ultraviolet rays, so you will see that the glasses will also have other coloring tints or mirrors to provide full protection to the eyes.

Polycarbonate Lens - Most sunglasses are made from colorized plastic called polycarbonate (PC). Glass is still ground for prescription glasses but it is heavier and breakable compared to PC lenses. The lenses are molded and then coated with dyes and metallic oxide pigments to help the lens absorb or reflect the UV light.

Light Filtering Lens Coatings:

  • Gray and green lenses maintain true colors so are most often used for cycling because there is the least amount of color distortion. Gray Lenses are often Polarized Lens.
  • Brown lens cause some color distortion, but also increase contrast. Brown will screen out blue light that is very bright and does a good job of absorbing the UV light.
  • Blue and Purple reflect brightest light from snow or water often seen as glare.
  • Mirrored Reflective coating has an additional benefit of helping to hide the eyes from making eye contact.
  • Red and Rose Sunglasses Lens block the damaging UV rays with the color being largely cosmetic

Fitting Sunglasses - Nylon frames are usually used in cycling sunglasses because they are lightweight and flexible. Nylon sunglasses frames are able to bend and return to their original shape without breaking when pressure is applied to them. This flex can also help the glasses grip better on the cyclists' face. The type of nNose bridge provides support between the glasses' lens and the face. The nose bridge also prevents pressure points from the weight of the sunglasses on the cheeks. People with large noses may need to adjust to a low nose bridge and folks with small noses may need sunglasses with high nose bridges to allow clearance.

Quality Controlled - How much should you pay for your sunglasses? There is no correlation between the price you pay and the protection you will receive from the sunglasses. Also, you cannot tell from the color or darkness of the lens how well it will screen out UV light. Quality Control Reference: The U.S. standard is ANSI Z80.3-2001, which includes three transmittance categories. The lens should have a UVB transmittance of no more than one per cent and a UVA transmittance of no more than 0.3 times the visual light transmittance.

The standard includes requirements for basic impact and high impact protection. The low speed test is a 1 inch steel ball dropped on the lens from a height of 50 inches. In the high velocity test, a 1/4 in steel ball is shot at the lens at 150 degrees. To pass both tests, no part of the lens may touch the eye. Impact Resistant Lens have passed the test of a statistically significant sampling pursuant to Sunglasses Association of America Standard LT-1 (July'12, 1971 ) and 21 CFR 801,410 (Meet Current F.D.A Rulings) The records of our drop ball test are within the Test Records for Inspection Certificate No. FE20130524 MILITARY STANDARD-SAMPLING Procedures and Tables for Inspection by Attributes MIL-STD-105 All Sunglasses showing below conform to US Quality control standards for impact testing and UV transmittance.