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  1. #1
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    Contact lenses and mountain biking

    At 42 years young I'm contemplating the switch to contact lenses, after wearing glasses for the last 25 years. I've read all the pros and cons and I know that contact lenses are more work, but since mountain biking is my passion I want to hear from other riders about their experiences with them. I used to ride with prescription Oakleys but lost them in the Pacific Ocean after I was blind-sided by a wave. That hurt.

    Anyway, I ride mostly XC in AZ and it gets hot and can be dry in both summer and winter. If this is not a good idea I'll revert to my old ways which is certainly not a problem. Also, have you found a contact lens that suits our sport better? I'd like to hear about that as well.
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  2. #2
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    Do it. It'll be unnatural at first putting something into your eye, but it won't take long to get used to it. It's second nature for me...almost like putting on my socks.

    Definitely wear some kind of sport glasses when you're riding to keep them from drying out. I use some interchangeable lens Oakleys so I'm covered for bright and low-light conditions.

    It helps to have a few backup pairs, especially if you're traveling and away from your normal eye doc. When I go in for my eye exam once every few years, I usually buy the pair of lenses that comes with the exam and I'll order a box of 6 for each eye - was somewhere around $120 the last time I did it.

  3. #3
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    Wait till you see the trail for the first time with contacts. Contacts give you your peripheral vision back. You'll be faster without even realizing it.
    The cake is a lie.

  4. #4
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    I was in the same boat. Its amazing to buy sunglasses from anywhere you want. I can also dive and snorkel w/o special equipment. My contacts do dry out a little when going fast down hill. The vision is not quite as crisp as good glasses but its dang close. Definitely do it.

  5. #5
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    I have been on contacts only for the last ten years. I just ordered my first set of glasses in 15 years last week.
    I have NEVER had an issue with contacts when riding. My sunglasses of choice are Oakley Flakjacket XLJs.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  6. #6
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    I guess I have dry eyes? I use Acueview Oasis lenses and they are great when riding but as soon as I stop they start sticking and I can't even drive without going back to my glasses.
    " I'm not inclined to resign to maturity "

  7. #7
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    At highs speeds my eyes water up right quick with contacts, cant see ****. I'm actually about to get bifocals in the largest lense my prescription will support. At Enduro races, right at about 25ish mph my eyes just flood even with goggles. I have uber sensitive eyes though and at all other speeds my contacts work well.

  8. #8
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    I've been wearing contacts for 7 years. Get it. You won't regret it. The benefits of have better peripheral vision is enough reason to get it in my opinion. I can't imagine relying on any prescription glasses for extreme sports. Contacts + Sunglasses is the way to go.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubikeman View Post
    Wait till you see the trail for the first time with contacts. Contacts give you your peripheral vision back. You'll be faster without even realizing it.
    That's true.

    I remember the first time I used mine. Best decision I ever made..

  10. #10
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    Contact lenses and mountain biking

    Thanks for the great feedback all. I was hoping to hear this. Hopefully dry-eye will not become an issue but I'll talk to my optometrist tomorrow about an 'action' contact lens.
    Last edited by MTBeing; 07-21-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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  11. #11
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    I have been wearing contact lenses for 30 years. I am very near-sighted, -6 and -7. They work great. I don't even own a pair of glasses. If I were to wear glasses, the distortion would be so bad I doubt I could bike or drive without taking some time to get used to them. They are very comfortable -- the same thing as having normal vision, with the added benefit that they provide some physical and UV protection.

    I am currently wearing Accu-View Oasis. I get the 30-day-wear lenses, but wear them until they get the slightest bit uncomfortable -- typically several months. Look on eBay for an ultrasonic contact lens cleaner and run them thru that once a week or so.

    For sun glasses, I wear cheap hunting glasses from Wal-Mart. I like the light yellow lenses, and wear them for additional protection even when riding at night. They are wrap-around and provide good protection from sticks etc.

    Dryness is rarely an issue. Georgia climate is a lot different than yours, but I lived in S Cal for 6 years and still visit there a lot, and it really isn't a problem. In the winter when it is windy, or occasionally inside with the air conditioner blowing on them, my eyes will feel dry. Wearing the hunting glasses is usually all I need to fix them. Also, when they feel dry, it could be they need to be cleaned thoroughly, or replaced, even if the 30 days aren't up. They shouldn't hurt AT ALL. You shouldn't be able to even feel them.

    Ditto the idea of keeping a spare pair around. I keep a spare set in the ash tray of both cars. Also ask the doctor for a copy of your prescription and carry it in your wallet. That way you can walk into any optical dispenser and get a replacement.

    One caution. My lenses are approved for overnight wear (probably all of them are nowdays). However, I advise against wearing them when sleeping except occasionally when traveling, after late-night sex etc. Naps are OK however. My eyes started getting "neo vascularization" -- extra blood vessels that form due to less oxygen caused by the contact lenses. I stopped wearing them when I sleep and the new blood vessels went away, but if you let it go too long they could form over pupil and could permanently affect vision.
    Last edited by DennisF; 07-22-2013 at 05:38 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Contact lenses and mountain biking

    Yep I wear my contacts riding all the time. As others have stated I wear a nice pair of sunglasses that keep the nice and cool AZ air off my eyes also helps with the dust. Night rides I use a cheap pair of clear safety glasses. Harbor freight or home depot has them.

    I don't think I could ride without my contacts in.... heck I can barely drive with my glasses on, I sure dont want to try a trail!

    I wear an acuvue 2 lenes thats what works for me. Ya may wanna ask the Doc about hydraclear lenes I don't know if they would be good for you or not. My doc had me try them and my eyes did not like them.

    They are set up to not dry out as quickly. I was just so use to my lenes I did not like them.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Contact lenses and mountain biking

    Contacts here... I don't even think about them when I wear them anymore. I couldn't imagine riding wearing my glasses - it would throw me off big time.

  14. #14
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    I used contacts for close to 20 years - Any time I used my regular glasses for a ride I really noticed the lack of peripheral vision.

    2 years ago I opted for laser surgery - now that was a REALLY good investment!

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