eye protection question

Increasingly i’m feeling the need for some eye protection as I’ve recently had a near miss with a branch, and am doing more night riding now.

I’ve noticed that industrial type eye protection glasses are cheaper than cycling ones, do they have any downsides?

Re: eye protection question

Yeah, they don’t say oakley on them.

Quite a few people use them for biking, so I can’t see there being anything wrong with them. They’re apparently optically superior to anything less than the very very expensive cycling glasses too as they are usually built to some particular standard or something.


For Mtn B*king i can ride with whatever i don’t mind losing or breaking… the quality of the eyewear is pretty much determined by whether or not it will stay on my head.

however, when riding trials, i can’t wear anything but good “optically true” glasses. when focusing on a fixed point close by there is a very slight fish eye effect that greatly affects my balance. it’s hard to explain, its somthing you feel more than see.

if your looking ahead alot get something that will stay on and look cool. but if you’re doing alot of assesment about whats directly around you, as i do when i ride a uni, then i’d try to stick with somthing of quality.

the MDA approved saftey glasses have to match up to optical clarity standards, which just means they are clear and you can see through them. the optically true lenses that come on oakleys and other less expensive quality eyewear means that your depth perception and and visual relations are more likely to be accurate.

my perception has a drastic effect on my balance when it is skewed by bad eyewear.

try a pair out though, they should only be five bucks or so from your local home depot, they actually have some pretty sporty looking ones as well. some are even tinted.

if you can’t ride with them you’ve only wasted (invested) a few dollars rather than jumping to the 200 dollar pair that you may not need.

eyewear color counts too

I wear glasses so eyewear is very important to me. I’ve found that color makes a huge difference too. I do a lot of single track mountain biking and found that yellow lenses seem to work best to bring our things that might normally be shadowed.
I ride my Unicycle all over the place now and same holds true for that too. I see better with those than my prescription dark Oakleys unless straight into bright sun.
Bottom line however is protect your eyes what ever you do.
If you have good eyes and a prescription is not an issue I’d still go to a good eye glass store and have them show you all impact resistant glasses that are vision corrected. That means clear vision regardless of lens color.
Yeah they may cost a bit more but they will “see” better and last.

I’ve ridden with safety glasses for years (after getting poked in the eye about 6 years ago) and they work extremely well. Go with the yellow lenses if you can find them, they really help with better definition in heavily wooded areas

At least in the UK, safety glasses are sold as “Optically correct” with a standard called EN167 Class 1, which is detailed here http://www.safety.com.sg/eye.htm

I was told that the tolerances for this standard were significantly smaller than anyone making fashion/sport sunglasses was likely to adhere to, except possibly for a few of the very expensive brands (oakley supposedly). I don’t have a clue what those numbers mean though, so I might be wrong.


I bought a pair of cycling glasses last spring when I was on a ride. It was a pretty windy day and the pollen and dust were getting in my eyes. AMAZING!

Apparently they create some kind of good vortex effect, or avoid some kind of bad vortex effect, that keeps fine stuff from getting blown onto your eyes. I ususally use sunglasses, but have never had a pair that did this.

Now if you’re not facing 30 mph dust storms, I don’t think it matters. The optics need to be good, though (i.e., distortion free) otherwise your brain will have a hard time sorting things out. Polarizing, coatings and color tuning are nice to have, too.