Sun cycling glasses have a plethora of great features, from increasing contrast to reducing glare, reacting quickly in the face of sunny spells to keeping grit, grime, flies, and worse out of your eyes. With our list of the best sun cycling sunglasses, you can keep your head up and your eyesight sharp.
A pick of the best sun cycling glasses
As with any cycling product though, there are far too many brands, styles and price points for any one person to trawl through. Let’s explore all of the options.
1. Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm Road
- RRP £175
- Broad, lightweight coverage
- Easy to change lens
The style of Oakley’s Jawbreaker sunglasses was certainly polarising when they were initially released in 2015, but it’s hard to deny they reignited the trend for big sunglasses.
The 53mm tall, 131mm wide lens provides excellent coverage, with the chunky frame visible only at extreme angles.
Furthermore, the nose and earpieces are both adjustable, so you’re sure to find a combination that provides a secure fit even on the most bumpy roads, and changing the lens is a simple process.
Our only complaint is that we wish Oakley’s excellent hydrophilic treatment was applied to the inside of the lens.
2. Rudy Project Keyblade
- RRP £150
- Super clear, photochromic lenses
- Adjustable venting
Rudy Project’s Keyblade sunglasses are a great option for anyone looking for a single pair of sunglasses that can be used for a variety of purposes. They have excellent photochromic lenses and styling that looks just as good off the bike as it does on.
The lenses are also guaranteed to be unbreakable, so they should last for a long time.
The ventilation is adjustable, and our tester did not notice any fogging, indicating that it works as intended.
If you want to add prescription lenses, Rudy Project’s RX optical inserts are compatible.
3. Rudy Project Sintryx
- RRP £130
- Stylish and practical sunglasses
- Excellent lenses with options for every season
Rudy Project’s Sintryx sunglasses are a stylish and functional pair of shades that can be used for a variety of purposes.
These sunglasses are suitable for all seasons, as they come with three lenses: a lightly tinted lens for low light, a grey option for brighter days, and an orange-mirrored Polar 3FX HDR lens for glare reduction.
Changing lenses is also a breeze thanks to an ingenious, spring-loaded design.
Despite the large frames, heavily vented frames built with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software ensure consistent airflow, and we didn’t experience any fogging during testing.
While not cheap by any standard, the inclusion of three sets of lenses, of excellent quality, certainly makes this an appealing package.
4. 100% S2
- RRP £160
- Excellent lens quality
- Robust frames
Rather than simply recreating a retro design, 100% has taken inspiration from the eighties and added angular design cues to create a pair of sunglasses that look much more contemporary.
The mirrored Hiper lens has the same lens quality as any other lens we’ve tested, and the finish around the edges is noticeably high quality.
The frames are also very sturdy (though this makes changing the lenses a bit of a chore at first, until you get the hang of it), and the package includes a clear lens for bad weather and two different nose pieces.
5. Agu Bold
- RRP £40
- Good looks and protection
- Excellent price
Agu has really stepped up its sunglasses game since sponsoring Lotto-Visma, and the Bolds are genuinely WorldTour-worthy shades at an affordable price.
The Bolds are designed with a large, squared-off lens that is right on trend. Agu has set the frame slightly back from the lens to provide significantly more ventilation than would have been possible by simply placing vent holes near the lens.
This, combined with an anti-fog coating, ensured that the lens remained relatively clear throughout testing.
The minimal arms, complete with tacky temple tips and an adjustable nose-piece, provide excellent fit and comfort while remaining stable on rough roads.
6. Alba Optics Delta
- RRP £150
- Great fit
- High-quality lens
The Alba Optics Delta sunglasses appear to have been plucked from a Tour de France stage in the mid-1980s, but they were actually the first pair to hit the market from the young Italian brand.
Don’t be fooled by the retro appearance; these sunglasses are completely modern. The massive 58mm lens provides excellent coverage and clarity, but it may be a little too large for smaller faces.
The curvy arms beautifully hug your face, but they may make it difficult to store your sunglasses in your helmet, if that’s your thing.
Alba Optics does, however, offer 11 different lens options (as well as eight different frame colors), so you should be able to find something to suit your needs.
7. Alpina Twist Five CM+
- RRP £60
- Excellent fit and good build quality, especially for the price
- Good on and off the bike
The red mirror lens from Alpina adds a warm feel to the visuals and is nicely curved without causing distortion.
An adjustable nosepiece and angle-adjustable arms aid in providing a secure fit on the face.
Small screws all around the frame contribute to the overall impression of high build quality and value. They’re the least sporty and most pub-friendly of the bunch, which could be a plus or a minus depending on your preferences.
8. BBB Avenger
- RRP £50
- Three lenses included good ventilation
- Great value package
Despite being so close to the face, especially over the cheeks, the cutaways at the top of the lens allow for good ventilation. The nose-piece is adjustable, allowing you to fine-tune the fit to some extent.
Three lenses are included – a dark tint, a yellow lens for low light, and a clear lens – making them an excellent value. Changing the lenses by popping them out of the frame is a formality, and we had no complaints about the optics.
They have a broad frame, so the arms can interfere with some helmets, and we had to fine-tune the nose-piece to get the fit just right and prevent them from touching our eyelashes. However, at this price, it’s difficult to complain.
9. Ekoi PE9 Quickstep
- RRP £86
- Good lens clarity
- On-trend styling
The Ekoi PE9 sunglasses, worn by Julian Alaphilippe and a slew of other European pros, were created in collaboration with the riders of WorldTour team Deceuninck–QuickStep.
The large, deeply wrapped lens has a goggle-like feel and, as a result, provides excellent protection from the elements.
The lens clarity is also pleasing, but the standard tint is quite dark – they’re really only suitable for sunny days.
A photochromic lens may be a better option for cyclists in the UK, but Ekoi’s online store offers a plethora of customisation options for both lenses and frame colors.
10. Endura FS260 Pro
- RRP £78
- Secure fit and good value
- Photochromic lens included
Endura’s FS260 Pro is a package rather than a single pair of sunglasses. The box includes three different lenses, including a photochromic option, making it ideal for days when the weather is unpredictable.
Our tester found the fit to be especially secure, even over the most difficult terrain, so you won’t have to worry about losing them on gravel or bumpy rides.
The 52mm curved lens provides adequate protection against hazards and the elements, and the styling is more relaxed than that of many of its contemporaries.
So, if you don’t want your sunglasses to overpower the rest of your ensemble, these could be the pair for you.
What to look for when buying cycling glasses
Though their name implies that they are only for protecting your eyes from the sun, the best cycling glasses will do much more.
It is also critical to protect your eyes from the elements and hazards such as insects and road grit.
A good pair of cycling glasses, like anything else you wear on your bike, should be durable, comfortable, and ideally offer some versatility – either through interchangeable or photochromatic (light-sensitive) lenses.
Of course, they must also appear professional. Let’s be honest: choosing a pair of cycling glasses is as much about style as it is about safety, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The lens is clearly the most important component in a pair of sunglasses, so choose wisely based on your riding style and requirements.
While mirrored lenses can be eye-catching, they are really only intended for use on bright days. If you live in an area where it is frequently dark and wet, you should consider a sunglasses package that includes multiple lens options.
Alternatively, some brands offer photochromic lenses, which change their light transmission value in response to the light level, meaning they will automatically become darker when it is sunny and clearer when it is not.
Frame selection is arguably more of a fashion statement because it determines the overall shape and appearance of the sunglasses.
Big, eighties-style sunglasses are back in style right now, and while they do provide a lot of protection and coverage, their bold appearance isn’t for everyone.
Large frames, for example, can frequently hover in your peripheral vision, which some riders may find bothersome, whereas frameless models provide a much more unrestricted view.
Cycling glasses arms must be strong enough to keep the sunglasses in place even on the roughest terrain. Tacky rubber inserts are frequently used to increase friction without causing discomfort.
High-quality models will also have reassuringly stiff arms and no play in the hinges. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on sunglasses, you want to know they’re going to last.
7. Nose bridge
Because everyone’s face and nose are unique, sunglasses with adjustable or interchangeable nose pieces can provide a more personalized fit.
This is especially important with large-frame sunglasses, where it’s critical to ensure the frame doesn’t obstruct your view too much.
8. Other features
When shopping for cycling glasses, keep the whole package in mind. While some options include only a single lens and frame, others include multiple lens options, a microfiber bag, and possibly even a hard case.
These extras all add significant value and mean you won’t need to spend more money later on to get, say, a clear lens for the winter months.
Furthermore, if you wear glasses on a daily basis, it is worth considering brands that offer prescription lenses.
Contact lenses and normal lenses are both viable options, but most wearers will have had days when wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time became uncomfortable.