Prescription Sunglass lenses for varying trail/light conditions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Prescription Sunglass lenses for varying trail/light conditions

    Curious what other folks find works best. A lot of my rides range from totally out in the open bright sunlight, then suddenly I'm flying through a very shady area with lots of shadows (and roots and rocks!). Sometimes, it gets hard to diferentiate rocks from shadows with my current sunglasses which are regular prescription sunglasses I got from Warby Parker--they're "casual", not sport sunglasses. The lenses are on the darker side, and are great in the bright sun, but not so great in the shadowy areas.
    I'll spring for some prescription sport shades if they're not too pricey. What kind of lens works best for changing conditions? A roadie buddy of mine has some prescription glasses with lenses you can swap out, but that won't work when you're flying down the trail!

  2. #2
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    photochromic/transitions lenses

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    Thanks. I've had transition eyeglasses before. They take a while to adjust in my experience---the kind of riding I'm talking about has me in and out of the trees very quickly. I guess I'm just wondering what kind of lens/tint is ultimately best for those shadowy/shady areas where the sun and trees are making all kind of patchy shadows speckled with sunlight.

  4. #4
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    if $$$ is not an issue and for safety reasons, go for trivex lenses.
    Canfield Yelli Screamy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    photochromic/transitions lenses
    If you ride anywhere with trees or otherwise mixed light/dark, I think these adjust too slow to be safe. I think the most dangerous time during a ride is every time you transition out of light into dark. I broke my clavicle in this situation after I didn't see a grapefruit sized boulder, which deflected my wheel and threw me to my shoulder.

    No more dark lenses for me, unless I ever ride desert.

    OP, if you can afford it, consider lasik. You won't be sorry.

    For lens color in mixed light/dark, you should consider a lens 30-40% light transmission and high contrast.

    I use Tifosi AC Red (41% transmission). Red brings out the contours and features. They are a little bright/squinty on the brightest days but its better than the alternative.

    You could also think about a Gradient lens (Tifosi makes some too), they are darker towards the top, lighter towards the bottom, for better trail visibility.

    Tifosi makes a prescription-ready system on some of their frames, see here:
    https://store.prolens.com/tifosi-dol...ers-p2546.aspx

  6. #6
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    I have transitions for every day wear. They are definitely too slow for the rapidly changing light conditions of a lot of trees/forest.

    Do you have any non-tinted lenses? You could try some of those awful clip on things in a variety of colors until you find a color and shade that works for you. Then order prescription glasses in the color/shade that works for you? You might try an amber or a yellow lens. Ordering lenses without trying out the color/shade first will just be a crap shoot.

  7. #7
    Magically Delicious
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    I like a medium grey for transitioning. I have prescription Oakley's and wouldn't consider anything else. Not cheap, but they're second to none.
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    Get Smith pivlocks that work with their prescription adapter. This gives you access to their entire range of lens colors. Even though I have very sensitive eyes I find that their amber ignitor lens works for me almost everywhere from bright sun to shady forest. At night I use the clear lens and in bright shadeless desert I use a yellow mirror lens.

  9. #9
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    I've been wearing WileyX prescription sunglasses for a long time now. I always get the grey polarized. Maybe I'm just used to them but they work perfectly for me for trail riding. I like em so much, I bought the same frames with clear lenses for night riding.
    They also wrap around slightly and offer lots of protection. They're safety rated.
    I like turtles

  10. #10
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    Prescription Sunglass lenses for varying trail/light conditions-image.jpg

    Prescription Sunglass lenses for varying trail/light conditions-image.jpg

    Prescription Sunglass lenses for varying trail/light conditions-image.jpg

    +1 on the pivlocks. I have the v90 and the adapter also works with the prophecy ski goggles by smith

  11. #11
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    I had been wearing ray ban prescription sunglasses for years, but always had problems like the OP in shade or on hazy days. A few months ago I purchased the Oakley Racing Jacket Prizm Trail in prescription and I can't believe what a difference they have made! I was concerned they might not be dark enough for bright days, but they have been excellent in sun, shade, sunset riding, etc. Rocks and roots are so clear, and I'm more relaxed riding because I see everything so well.

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    ^^^ I may give those a try.
    I have the same issue. I spent a lot on my Maui Jim prescrips that work great in the sun.
    I gave up wearing sunglasses completely,& just ride with my Night Drivers.
    Funny thing that after not wearing sunglasses for awhile,i get used to it,not so bad.
    The music never stops

  13. #13
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    Oakley VR28 , I ride XC with them in polarized lens glasses and when wearing goggles I have the non polarized vR28 lens.

    At a downhill park, I can blast into the trees at speed, then back out to open slope, no issue. In Korea I wore them rain or shin, in and out if the forest , no issues

  14. #14
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    I have no problem riding in mixed condition with transitions lenses.

    I will tell you I have a pair of Oakley Race jackets, a plain pair of wire frames glasses, and cheap pair of prescription safety glasses from walmart all with transitions, I end up using the plain wire frames probably the most and the Oakley's really don't breath and prevent fogging like I thought they would be cause the sit too close to your face.

    Don't go rimless glass whatever you do for mountain biking, find a frame without sharp edges.
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  15. #15
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    Crazy thing i learned is if we want polarization there has to be tint.
    The darker the tint the more effective the polarization can be.
    I found this out looking for non-tint polarz to be used for fishing on overcast days.
    The music never stops

  16. #16
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    Friend uses Oakley prizm trail and likes them. I looked through them and they seemed a touch bright in full sun. I use older prescription oakleys in G30. Riding conditions here are very variable and I haven't had a problem with this tint.
    Oh, and I don't think it's possible to make polarized without a "tint". It by the very nature of what it's doing cuts the amount of light going through so it looks like gray tint. If you could make clear polarizers camera companies would be all over it, polarizing without over a stop of light loss would be heaven!

  17. #17
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    Does anyone on here have some experience with bifocal riding glasses? I've gotten to the point where I can't read trail maps or a GPS without some help. Also, if anyone would be willing to share a ballpark range of what middle of the range prescription riding glasses is going to cost, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Does anyone on here have some experience with bifocal riding glasses? I've gotten to the point where I can't read trail maps or a GPS without some help. Also, if anyone would be willing to share a ballpark range of what middle of the range prescription riding glasses is going to cost, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks.
    https://www.rx-safety.com/

    Just go on this site and run through a pair that you like, filling in all of the choices. This is where I get all of my prescription sunglasses.
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  19. #19
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    Any of the Oakleys with Prizm Trail lenses. In my opinion and direct experience, they work well in all light conditions from early morning to getting caught out after the sun has set at dusk. The color is designed to contrast greens and browns expressly for trail riding but they're not a dark tint so they work well in low light. Most of my rides are in areas that go from exposed sage covered hills into lots of heavy oak woodland where the canopy parts letting in bright light momentarily than going shaded. I'm running a progressive Rx in these done by Oakley. My VSP insurance covered a big chunk of the bill, more than half as I recall.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Does anyone on here have some experience with bifocal riding glasses? I've gotten to the point where I can't read trail maps or a GPS without some help. Also, if anyone would be willing to share a ballpark range of what middle of the range prescription riding glasses is going to cost, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks.
    I'm running Oakley with Prizm Trail progressive lens. They cost a lot and were tricky to get set up but they work excellent now. I love being able to check my phone or fix my bike without having to get glasses out. Not sure if they can do them as bifocals though.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    I'm running Oakley with Prizm Trail progressive lens. They cost a lot and were tricky to get set up but they work excellent now. I love being able to check my phone or fix my bike without having to get glasses out. Not sure if they can do them as bifocals though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Do they do less messing with balance than most other progressive lenses? My luck with all progressive lenses for sports has been poor. I've been using distance only glasses or contacts for MTB and skiing because progressive lenses killed my already never enough skills.

    Thx.
    ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ

  22. #22
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    I'm told everyone is different when it comes to progressives. I think I'm not very sensitive. However, I still found that it was critical that the transition zone be far enough down not to interfere. The gal that measured the first pair for me had me tilt my head forward. She thought this was more like a cycling position. When the glasses arrived they were totally unusable. Fortunately, Oakley gives you two tries. They guy that measured it next was more careful and I had him set the transition farther down (much better to tilt one's head back to see close). This pair works well for me. It takes my eyes a minute or two to adjust to them but once I do I'm comfortable wearing them all day on or off the bike. The only real downside is they are expensive and the lens are thick. The final point will depend on your prescription but is also a result of len's curvature. I don't have a strong prescription and my normal wear progressive glasses aren't thick but the Oakleys are.


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  23. #23
    RFB
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    I know you are asking about prescription glasses, but I recently tried Mulitfocal Contacts and they are great. I can see close up and far away. My vision is not as sharp compared to wearing my glasses, but it is clear. What is neat about these contacts is that there is no line dividing my prescriptions. I don't have to look up for distance and down for reading. This page describes them under How Multifocal Contact Lenses Work Bifocal Contact Lenses - A Consumer Guide.

    These allow me to wear any sunglasses I want. I really like Tifosi glasses. I have both the Slip with the high speed red Fototec lenses and the Pave with All Terrain Green fototecs. I find the Green lenses work the best. I can't recommend the contacts and the Tifosi glasses enough.

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