Whether a person is looking for protection or a way to see what is in front of them a little bit better, mountain bike glasses are an important accessory for people to invest in when on the trails.
Many people have at least one pair of glasses to turn to when times are tough, and they need clarity and protection, but it can be a challenge to find something that works every single time.
Below is a look at the best mountain bike glasses out there right now. A lot of focus is put on finding options that are anti-fog and specific for mountain bike riders because they need something a little bit different than a casual rider.
Durability is a big part of riding mountain bikes, and so is that extra bit of protection so that a person’s eyes are never in a vulnerable situation. These are the best of the best, with some very affordable solutions for those who want to stay safe.
1. Roka SL-1x
The brand is still building up credibility, but Roka has one of the better mid-tier priced sunglasses for mountain bike riders out there right now.
The Roka SL-1x (Amazon) is perfect for those looking for something very lightweight and not exactly a fan of a traditional frame. Even though it might look a little different compared to other sunglasses out there, many end up loving the frameless design that still has plenty of coverage while providing excellent airflow as well.
The frameless design is meant to cut down on weight a bit, and it does help since they weigh in at just 23 grams. They might look a little different compared to other sunglasses out there, but people either love or hate the look overall.
Those who do enjoy the look will also like some of the other details on the sunglasses that make them a bit unique.
A lack of frame does not hinder the durability of the sunglasses in any way. In fact, many people believe that they have some of the most durable options out there, as there are fewer parts that could potentially be damaged.
A lot of people will not worry about putting the sunglasses in harm’s way, and they end up holding well over time.
For those who like to try a brand out that is the most popular, this is one of the top up-and-coming options out there right now.
They can be a little hard to find when shopping locally, but it is very easy to order online and try them out at home. Since they are still relatively new, they make returns and exchanges very easy.
- The frameless design makes these very lightweight.
- Outstanding full coverage.
- Quality airflow.
- Tough to buy anywhere but online.
- Look and design is not for everyone.
2. Smith Ruckus
Some people want simplicity when they are riding on a mountain bike, and it does not get much easier to use than the Smith Ruckus (Amazon).
They are sunglasses meant to hold up through a lot of rides and abuse in a lot of ways, and switching lenses out is extremely easy.
The Smith Ruckus is touted as the easiest swapping system out there right now. The lenses do pop out very easily, yet they stay in place when a person needs them to be dependable.
The design of the frame is one reason why this is so easy, as the frameless look makes it easy for lenses to pop in and out. In just a matter of seconds, a person can switch out different lenses for just the right type of look and feel overall.
As important as it is to have lenses that are easy to adjust, it does not matter if the sunglasses do not perform well. The good news is that these are also great for ultimate clarity when riding around.
They have a technology called Chromopop, and these lenses offer outstanding optical clarity in all conditions. They offer them in specific wavelengths of light, and that gives people a little bit more definition and color when they are riding around on trails.
These lenses might look a little oversized to a lot of people, and they are, in fact, bigger than average. With all that said, most people are going to find them to still be pretty comfortable.
If a person has an exceptionally small face, they might need to look at a different direction, but other than that, a person is good to go.
- Very easy to swap out lenses.
- Outstanding optical clarity.
- Durable, despite the frameless design.
- Ordering prescription options might be a little tricky.
- People with small faces struggle to find a great fit.
3. Bolle Shifter
Most people have heard of Bolle glasses in the past, and they are certainly no stranger to people who love great looks with their shades.
The Bolle Shifter (Amazon) is a great performance pair of sunglasses that work well for mountain bike riders, while also looking stylish. Those who love the retro look, in particular, will really fall in love with what they provide.
The retro look is back in style for a lot of people, and the Bolle Shifter brings that back to life. They offer a very durable frame and lens combination overall, and the person can take advantage of anti-fog treatment, plenty of ventilation, and so much more.
The frame is out of sight for people who get the right size, so there are no blind positions when riding around.
Bolle has also made it extremely easy for those who need a prescription in their lenses to get exactly what they need. Some companies overlook this, and it hurts their marketability to some degree.
Bolle knows there are a lot of people who need corrective lenses when they are riding and having it built-in the sunglasses can be very beneficial.
The style is not for everyone, and the price tag can get a little high for some of the more premium options. However, Bolle is always going to be a brand that is considered a bit trendy for many. Give them a try, especially if a person needs a prescription pair of sunglasses.
- Excellent anti-fog system.
- Perfect for people who need prescription lenses.
- Very durable.
- The design might be a bit too retro for some.
- Do not offer changeable lenses.
4. Rudy Project Defender
Many in the cycling industry know all about Rudy Project (Amazon) as one of the top performance brands out there. They have evolved from their humble beginnings in the 1980s to offer so many different glasses for different sports.
The Defender is built well for mountain bike riding, and they offer some of the best protection a person can find while also clearing things up visually.
The first thing people notice when they put on the Rudy Project Defenders is that they have full protection around their eyes. It is nearly impossible for anything to get inside the sunglasses, as they wrap around to the point that they mimic goggles in a lot of ways.
As long as a person gets the right fit for them, and they are willing to make a few adjustments if needed, they will ride right up against the face without ever feeling uncomfortable. There are a lot of options to adjust so that there are no pressure points on the face at all.
The wraparound protection also helps very well with clarity when riding around in the sun. There are some people who can’t stand having even a little bit of sun leak through a pair of sunglasses.
That is not the case with a defender, as a person’s eyes have no blind spots or unprotected areas that are sometimes left by other sunglasses out there.
The Rudy Project Defenders do come at a pretty hefty price, but these are performance models that are meant to last a very long time.
They are strong and durable, and people do not have to baby them at any point. Feeling safe out on the trail with the right pair of sunglasses makes all the difference in the world for a lot of people, and it does not get much better than these frames.
- Full coverage for protection and sun blockage.
- Lens darkens and lightens automatically depending on the conditions.
- Hold up well for years.
- Entry-level options are still expensive.
- Ordering the right size online can be a little tedious.
5. Shimano Technium
When it comes to components, Shimano may be one of the most trusted names in the mountain bike industry. However, not everyone is gravitating towards their collection of sunglasses.
They can be a little hard to track down in stores, but they are starting to gain recognition online for being a great solution for different riders out there. The Shimano Technium (Amazon) is one of the best out there, even if they seem pretty simplistic at first glance.
Shimano designed these sunglasses in particular for very aggressive trail riding. It might throw people off initially since these are pretty basic from a look perspective.
The frame is very minimalist and rides up right against a person’s face, and the lens does not look like it is anything too crazy.
However, they are affordable options that hold up very well and feel great on the face since they do not have any wasted additions.
If there are any negatives to sunglasses, it is the fact that Shimano does not offer the most choices when it comes to the color of lenses and even the color of the frame.
However, most people are looking for something pretty basic anyway if they want a rugged solution, and this is perfect for that. A person already counts on many Shimano components, so why not count on them for some added protection in the eyes?
- Very affordable.
- Minimalist design keeps things lightweight.
- Very durable.
- Limited color choices for frames and lenses.
- Tough to find in stores.
6. Oakley Radar
For a lot of people, Oakley is the gold standard for any sunglasses for outdoor activities. They have a lot of different shapes and sizes for people to try out, and even mountain bike riders will go with a few different solutions.
However, one time-tested solution that most people love are the Oakley Radar sunglasses (Amazon). They are certainly not a cheap solution, but a pair of glasses that riders can count on for a long time.
The shape of the Radar sunglasses are perfect for mountain bike riding. They are a bit oversized compared to a lot of other Oakley options, and that provides full coverage all around the eyes.
They offer a bunch of different solutions as far as frame and lenses are concerned, so a person can get exactly the type of look they want as well.
Some more affordable options are pretty basic, but then they have other technology for those who want a sharper contrast, a more durable lens, and so much more.
Switching lenses in and out of Oakley Radar sunglasses are extremely easy. In fact, most riders will actually carry a case with them that has a few different lenses to switch out at any time.
This comes in handy if the person is going on a long ride and needs to use a different lens at a different time of the day.
Not everyone is a massive fan of going with the name brand, a trendy solution that so many people have counted on in the past.
However, it is hard to deny the success that Oakley has had over the years. There is a reason why they are one of the most trusted names in the industry, and they will continue to gain recognition as long as they are around.
- Very stylish.
- Many different types of lenses.
- Extremely durable.
- Too popular for some people.
How to Choose the Best Glasses For Mountain Biking
The vast majority of people are looking for a pair of glasses that provide a good amount of protection, perform well under various conditions, and look great.
Yes, the first two qualities of the sunglasses might be the most important, but if a person is spending a lot of money on glasses, they also want to feel very confident when they wear them. With so many options shaped for specific faces, it just makes sense to invest properly.
Shopping online can be challenging for something that comes in so many different sizes, and that is why people need to be smart about the decisions they make.
This is a guide for people who look at the top options above and still do not know which way to turn.
Fit is a challenging thing to figure out when shopping online, which is why it is always recommended to go try some on in person at first. Even if the goal is not to purchase the sunglasses in person, it still gives a pretty good idea on expectations.
Take note of measurements and use all of the knowledge online to make smart decisions to avoid having to return a lot of different options.
The vast majority of mountain bike sunglasses are going to have straight temple arms that work well with any helmet. It is obviously very important to make sure that the sunglasses fit with a helmet on because no one wants to be in a tough situation where they have to invest in a new helmet to wear the sunglasses they just bought.
A lot of sunglasses also come with adjustable solutions, so a person never has to feel like locking themselves into a certain type of fit.
Sizing adjustments might take a little bit of time at first, but they are crucial so that glasses do not move around and they feel comfortable even during long rides.
Not all sunglasses are created equally when looking at the shape of the lens, as well as the tint. For a person to feel very comfortable wearing sunglasses in various forms, they need to make sure that they get what works for them best.
The ultimate type of protection will be glasses that have large lenses that curve in very close to the face. Having the eye almost completely enclosed will protect a person against any debris that might kick up.
If a person is worried about getting anything in their eyes at any time, this is a necessary option.
A lot of glasses these days are very easy to switch lenses in and out of, which is always an advantage for people who do not want to spend additional money on many different frames.
With that said, having the right tint for different riding times is crucial. It is particularly crucial for those who actually need corrective lenses so that they can see in the first place.
The most basic type of glasses for mountain bike riding will be standard tint for helping with the sun. Polarized lenses are the preferred option for a more enhanced view, but non-polarized lenses can work in many instances as well.
Clear lenses are perfect for those who want protection but do not really need to block the sun at all. Finally, some lenses actually enhance vision during dusk so that people can see a little clearer.
Being stuck in a dusk situation can sometimes be worrisome for people who are riding.
Mountain bike lenses are as light and comfortable as possible these days, and companies are always pushing the limits to reduce the feel overall. In many cases, those who get the right fit are going to feel like they are wearing nothing at all.
This is good news for people who want to have protection at all times, without feeling like they are weighing the face down at all.
To get this great feel, people need to make sure that they order the right glasses, and they make the proper adjustments so that they do not move around the face.
Right off of the rack, no pair of sunglasses is going to fit a person perfectly. It takes a little bit of time and effort, but it is worth it in the end.
Final Tips When Shopping For Mountain Bike Glasses
A helmet is an essential piece of equipment for anyone out there, but so is having proper eyewear for any situation. Some people can’t ride without wearing sunglasses, as they need to be able to see as clearly as possible.
Others just need some protection for the eyes so that they stay as locked in with their vision as possible.