The 7 Best Cycling Sunglasses of 2021 🕶 [Shopping GUIDE]

A bunch of road cyclists

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This is my selection of the best cycling sunglasses you can get. I compared and evaluated more than 50 high-end models including those used by professional cyclists. And the overall winner? Oakley Radar EV Path. Below, you find out why I think they are the best.

In this article, you will also learn:

  • How to choose cycling sunglasses,
  • What to be aware of when choosing them,
  • What to do when you need cycling sunglasses with prescription lenses,
  • What sunglasses do pros wear,
  • And much more!

What Are The Best Cycling Sunglasses?

All cycling sunglasses in this selection provide the UV400 filter. Why is it important?


Oakley Radar EV Path (Best Overall)

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Main features

  • 20+ colors available
  • Interchangeable lens
  • Rubber nose pads and arm pieces
  • Polarized

Technical specs

  • Weight: 29 g
  • Lens width: 138 mm
  • Lens height: 50 mm
  • Bridge width: 13 mm
  • Temple Lenght: 128 mm
  • UV400 filter

The Oakley Radar EV Path sunglasses are very similar to the Oakley Jawbreaker. They slightly differ in the shape of the lens, the frame, and the lens holding mechanism.

The most noticeable difference between these and Jawbreaker is in the view field you get. The bottom part of the Radar EV Path lens is not held by the frame so it won’t interfere with your field of vision. This may be especially handy when looking behind you to check if there are any cars.

Radar EV Path shape allows good airflow that ensures that the lens will be fog free even in a humid environment. And if the lens gets foggy, it will be clear again within seconds.

Like other models of cycling sunglasses from Oakley, these are equipped with PRIZM technology. It enhances the contrast of colors so you will see potholes and bumps even from larger distance.

The main downside of Radar EV Path is that the arm pieces can interfere with a part of the dial fit mechanism of some bike helmets.


POC DO Blade Clarity (Best Universal)

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Main features

  • 9 colors available
  • Original design
  • Rubber nose pads and arm pieces
  • Adjustable nose pads
  • Interchangeable lens
  • Very good vision thanks to Clarity technology

Technical specs

  • Weight: 33 g
  • Lens width: 145,72 mm
  • Temple Lenght: 120 mm
  • UV400 filter

POC DO Blade Clarity will provide you with exactly what you expect – protection, good look, and clear vision. The Clarity technology that POC developed together with Carl Zeiss increases the precision of your vision.

This technology is very similar to the Prizm that uses Oakley. It also increases the contrast of the colors and is tuned specifically to various environments. This means the DO Blade sunglasses are very universal and suitable for road, mountain, or commuter cyclists.

These cycling sunglasses fit perfectly both narrow and wide faces also thanks to adjustable nose pads. Yet, I recommend them for narrow faces. There are better sunglasses in this selection for wide faces like Oakley Sutro.

The lens is interchangeable and you can select from 7 spare lenses (not included) in case you scratch or damage it. The lens also does very well in terms of fog.

The anti-fog coating prevents the lens from fogging. Of course, every sunglasses are prone to fogging (especially in a humid environment) yet these get clear in a matter of a few seconds.

I would say the main downside of these sunglasses is their price which is pretty high compared to the other cycling sunglasses in this selection.


100% Speedcraft (Best Looking)

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Main features

  • 10+ colors available including Peter Sagan edition
  • Worn by Peter Sagan, Alejandro Valverde, and many others
  • Rubber nose pads and arm pieces
  • Interchangeable lens

Technical specs

  • Weight: 35 g
  • Available in standard and XS sizes (excellent for small faces)
  • UV400 filter

I know that the look is very subjective. But I asked 10 of my fellow cyclists if they like the Speedcraft sunglasses and 8 of them agreed. From all the cycling sunglasses in this selection, I like these the most. And I don’t say that because Peter Sagan wears them…

Before 100% partnered with Peter Sagan in 2017, you may be familiar with 100% brand thanks to mountain/downhill biking and motocross. Their clever marketing supported by Peter Sagan resulted in the growing popularity among road cyclists too.

Peter Sagan Cycling GIF by UCI - Find & Share on GIPHY
Paris Roubaix 2018 where Peter Sagan wears huge 100% glasses

100% sunglasses are typical for their large size, sharp edges, and high-quality materials. The lens has hydrophobic & oleophobic treatment to repel water, oil, and dirt. Of course, the lens is coated by a scratch-resistant layer so you won’t scratch the lens as easily.

100% also developed lenses that increase color contrast and clarity. This technology is called HiPER and is available for selected lenses only. So keep that in mind.

The Speedcraft glasses are available in more than 10 attractive colors and in Peter Sagan’s limited editions. If you are a woman or a person with a narrow face, I recommend checking their XS version.


Oakley Sutro (Best Big Cycling Sunglasses)

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Main features

  • 20+ colors available
  • Worn by Egal Bernal and many others
  • Polarized
  • Original design
  • Prizm lens improve color contrast
  • Rubber nose pads
  • Interchangeable lens

Technical specs

  • Weight: 32 g
  • Lens width: 37 mm
  • Lens height: 57 mm
  • Bridge width: 137 mm
  • Temple Lenght: 140 mm
  • UV400 filter

Oakley Sutro sunglasses have a very unique look. Some love them, some hate them. So far, they are not as widespread as Oakley Jawbreaker, for example, so you will still grab the attention of others.

Thanks to the big lens, they provide enough protection to your eyes yet, they are still comfortable to wear. You can choose different colors of the lens and also the frame, so it is pretty easy to match them with your cycling kit.

Also, don’t overlook the Prizm technology. It increases the contrast of colors. The world will simply look better than ever before. Furthermore, everything looks clearer. This means you will be able to spot eventual danger like potholes well in advance even during sunny days.

Even though the lens of these glasses is relatively large, the lens will not fog as much due to their surface treatment. This is good news for every climber! And, if you manage to scratch the lens, you can replace it easily.

Oakley Sutro sunglasses are worn by one of the best cyclists in the world including Egal Bernal the winner of Tour de France 2019.


Are these cycling sunglasses too expensive for you? Check my selection of the best cycling sunglasses under $50.


Under Armour Youth Windup (Best for Kids)

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Main features

  • 8+ colors available
  • Smaller lenses compared to other glasses in this selection
  • Rubber nose pads and arm pieces

Technical specs

  • Lens width: 64 mm
  • Bridge width: 18 mm
  • Temple Lenght: 117 mm
  • UV400 filter

This selection of cycling sunglasses would not be complete without a model suitable for big kids or small faces. The Under Armour Youth Windup are the smallest sunglasses in this selection.

The lenses of these sunglasses are protected against scratches by the Multiflection coating. This is very important because it is highly possible your child will drop the sunglasses at least once (but most likely many more times).

The frame is also made of flexible plastic so it will tolerate light bending. This feature also increases the overall durability of the sunglasses. The rubber nose pads and arm pieces provide enough comfort.

Of course, your child can use these sunglasses not only for cycling but also for other outdoor activities like basketball, hiking, running, etc.


Rockbros Cateye (Best Photochromic)

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Main features

  • Photochromic lens
  • Lightweight
  • Only 1 color available
  • Rubber nose pads and arm pieces
  • Adjustable nose pads
  • Very good price/value ratio

Technical specs

  • Weight: 27 g
  • UV400 filter

If you look for photochromic sunglasses that you can use when cycling, the Rockbros Cateyes are the right choice for you. The lens changes its tint based on the light conditions.

These glasses are super lightweight and comfortable thanks to thin frame, rubber arm pieces, and nose pads. The nose pads are adjustable so you can improve the fit easily.

The lens is large so the glasses will provide you with the needed protection of your eyes against wind, dust, insects and other particles.

The lens tends to be fog-free even in a humid environment. Yet if they start to fog, they will get clear quickly. Their only downside is that in the direct sunlight they are not as good as dark sunglasses.

I recommend these sunglasses especially for mountain bikers that go from shadow to shadow to open fields and vice versa. But, even road cyclists and commuters can use them. Women included!


Oakley Jawbreaker (Best Iconic)

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Main features

  • Iconic design
  • 20+ colors available
  • Worn by Chris Froome, Julian Alaphillipe, Mark Cavendish, and many others
  • Interchangeable lens
  • Rubber nose pads and arm pieces

Technical specs

  • Weight: 34 g
  • Lens width: 150 mm
  • Lens height: 50 mm
  • Temple Lenght: 120 mm (adjustable)
  • UV400 filter

Oakley Jawbreaker is one of the most iconic pair of cycling sunglasses on the market. They gained popularity among pro cyclists and there is no wonder that other manufacturers started to copy their design.

But why are they so popular? Well, there are several reasons for that. First, they fit most types of faces and still look good. They are comfortable thanks to rubber nose pads and arm pieces.

Second, the shape of the lens and the PRIZM technology provides a great field of vision and enhanced color contrast respectively. Making it easier to spot holes and other possible threats on the road.

Third, replacing lenses is also very easy thanks to Switchlock technology. You may take advantage of it pretty often because there are a large variety of lenses available for the Jawbreaker model.

You may also notice the holes on the top of the lenses. These holes ensure that there is enough ventilation that leads to a fog-free lens. This is important, especially in humid conditions.

And last, the design. These glasses look super cool. You will attract a positive attention with them.


My Verdict

It was not an easy task to choose a few of the best cycling sunglasses from hundreds that are on the market. Yet, the Oakley Radar EV Path are the best in my opinion. Their design is timeless and fits most of the face shapes.

Radar EV Path sunglasses are available in more than 20+ colors so it is very easy to match them with your bike helmet and cycling kit. Furthermore, the lens is interchangeable so if you damage it, you can replace it easily.

The lenses are equipped with PRIZM technology that increases contrast and improves clarity. This means you will be able to see potholes and road bumps much clearer and well in advance.

Thanks to the shape of the lenses, these sunglasses provide a clear field of vision, enough protection of your eyes, and ventilation to keep the lens fog-free.

Yes, these are not the cheapest cycling sunglasses but they are worth the price.


Why Should You Wear Cycling Sunglasses?

I would not bother you with the reasons why I think wearing glasses when riding a bike if I didn’t believe it is important.

In the Czech Republic, we have a nice idiom: Opakování je matka moudrosti. (Repetition is the mother of wisdom.) Its meaning is similar to ‘Practice makes the master.

1. UV Rays and Weather Protection

Did you know UV rays can cause eye cancer (ocular melanoma)? Some studies have confirmed this. And according to the American Cancer Society, UV rays can also cause other eye problems:

The UV rays can lead to the formation of cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) and tissue growth on the surface of your eye (pterygium). And your cornea may even become inflamed or burned.

These effects of UV rays on our eyes are also confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO estimated that up to 20% of cataracts or 3 million per year could be due to UV exposure to the eye.

What is the conclusion then? It pays off to invest in cycling sunglasses. But make sure they have proper UV filters. Read more about them in the UV protection section.

2. Protection Against Insects & Dirt

If you have ever ridden a fast downhill without glasses, you know how annoying it is. In the best-case scenario, the wind causes you to start tearing. In the worst-case scenario, a fly flies into your eye, you lose balance and crash.

But, the protection does not end here. Insects can be unpleasant even on flats. Especially in the summer months when it is warm and they are the most active.

PRO TIP: If you want to take off your glasses during a ride, use air vents in your bike helmet or jersey collar. In these places, your glasses will be easily accessible so you can put them on when needed.

Even a small fly can throw you off balance. If you ride alone, it may not be such a big deal. But in a group ride, you can endanger others, especially if you get off your line.

You will also appreciate cycling sunglasses when riding in mud, in a forest, or in crosswinds. Just make sure you pick the right size. I explain how to do that in the section below.

3. You Are Going To Look Cool

When I was a kid, the thing I liked about professional cyclists were their sunglasses. They looked so cool. And quite frankly, cycling sunglasses are a perfect accessory that underlines your style.

The Best Cycling Glasses Under
Cycling sunglasses not only protect you but they also look cool

Make sure you match the sunglasses with your bike helmet and jersey, and you are going to be one step closer to the ‘pro look’.

PRO TIP: Always put your cycling sunglasses on top of your cycling helmet straps. It looks better and it is easier to take the sunglasses off.


What To Be Aware Of When Choosing Cycling Sunglasses?

Cycling sunglasses have many features that you may not even know about. Let me guide you through them so it will be easier for you to decide whether the sunglasses are the right fit for you.

Note: I am going to skip the sunglasses design part. We all have personal preferences so my comments on the design would be irrelevant. Feel free to choose sunglasses that you like.

UV Protection

Most of the cycling sunglasses on the market that I compared during my research have lenses with a UV radiation filter. There are 3 basic types of radiation UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C.

UV-A and UV-B penetrate the atmosphere even in the shade or in cloudy conditions. The exposure can be as high as 90%. Sand, water, and snow can heighten the effect of up to 70 %.(Source) This means wearing cycling sunglasses is especially important if you ride in high mountains or near the ocean.

The UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the Earth’s surface so I won’t talk about it further.

UV radiation edited
UV radiation

The effects I described above have a relatively easy solution. The sunglasses have to have a UV400 filter. It will absorb UV-A and UV-B radiation and protect your eyes.

All cycling sunglasses listed above have the UV400 filter.

Lenses

Lenses are the most important part of the sunglasses. They are supposed to block the UV radiation, protect your eyes against weather, eventually increase the color ratio to provide you with clear vision.

According to the EU standard (EN 1836:2005), there are 5 basic categories of light transmission of lenses. These vary in the amount of light they transmit:

CategoryLight TransmissionGlasses Usage
080-100%Interiors, night, cloudy days
143-80%Urban areas, partially cloudy (low sun exposure)
218-43%Medium sun exposure
38-18%Beaches, mountains (light reflected off sand, water, or snow)
43-8%Intense sunshine (in high mountains, glaciers, or near the sea)
Lenses light transmission categories (Source)

You can use category 0 lenses when cycling during cloudy days and category 1 during partially cloudy days. In the summer, reach for category 2 or 3 lenses. If you ride in high mountains use category 4 lenses.

What Is The Difference Between Photochromic and Polarized Lenses?

Photochromic lenses are eyeglass lenses that are clear (or nearly clear) indoors and darken automatically when exposed to sunlight, explains Gary Heiting, OR, in his blog post.

photochromic lenses
Photochromic lenses approximate transition times | Times source: onlineopticiansuk.com

The polarized lenses are explained as follows:

Polarized lenses are primarily used to reduce the sun’s glare. They always come in the form of sunglasses, never eyeglasses, and they don’t transition back and forth.

The difference between photochromic lenses and the polarized lenses is that photochromic lenses change their color based on the sunlight. The polarized lenses are tinted dark.

Prescription Lenses

Using prescription lenses when riding a bike is important if have poor eyesight. They allow you to spot holes, bumps, and other threats that could surprise you and cause a crash.

PRO TIP: Avoid wearing glass lenses during your ride. You risk hurting your eyes during a crash. Also, glass lenses are heavier compared to lenses used in cycling sunglasses. These are made from special materials.

You need to purchase the prescription lenses from specialized retailers. They can make custom lenses for almost any type of cycling sunglasses.

Just remember, prescription lenses are not included in the price so you will have to order them separately. Usually, they can double the price of the sunglasses.

Dimensions & Fit

While buying glasses, you will come across a number of different dimensions of glasses. The following picture illustrates the most important ones.

glasses dimensions
The most important glasses dimensions

The lens width and lens height are completely up to your preference. I prefer smaller lenses, yet huge lenses are very popular these days.

The temple length is also important. I recommend buying glasses with shorter temple lengths to avoid interference of the arm pieces and the bike helmet.

The most important dimensions are the bridge & frame width. These two measurements influence how well the sunglasses will fit you. People with a larger nose will appreciate the wider bridge.

If you have a narrow face, aim for narrower frame widths (around 140 mm). Otherwise, the glasses will look too big on your face and may even slip.

Disclaimer: These recommendations come from my experience and I don’t guarantee that the sunglasses with these dimensions will fit you. Every pair of glasses has a different shape that also influences how well they fit. It is always better to try the glasses in person.

Adjustability

If you want to get the most out of your cycling sunglasses, they must fit well. As I explained before, the fit of the glasses is closely related to the bridge width (nose pads) and glasses width, eventually, arm pieces length, and overall shape of the glasses.

More expensive cycling sunglasses have adjustable nose pads (e.g. POC DO Blade, Rockbros Cateye) and sometimes even adjustable arm pieces (like the Oakley Jawbreaker). Thanks to the nose pads, you can regulate how close the glasses will be to your eyes and how much space will be around them.

Remember, the closer the glasses to your face and the more curved they are, the better protection you get against the wind (even from sides). Yet, if your glasses are too close to your eyes, you may feel a little bit claustrophobic.

Adjustable arm pieces are not very common. If the sunglasses have this feature, you can adjust their length and shape so it will be more comfortable.


What Sunglasses Do Pro Cyclists Wear?

If do you wanna look like a pro, check the table below. I picked 10 well-known pro road bike cyclists and found out what sunglasses they used in the 2020 season.

Rider NameTop ResultsSunglasses Brand (Model)
Peter Sagan3× Road World Champion
7× Points GC winner at Tour de France
12× winner of stages at Tour de France
14× winner of stages at Amgen Tour of California
100% (S3, S2, Speedcraft)
Primož Roglič1/2× La Vuelta GC winner
3× winner of stages at Tour de France
5× winner of stages at La Vuelta
3× winner of stages at Giro d’Italia
Agu (Verve HDII)
Chris Froome4× Tour de France GC winner
2× La Vuelta GC winner
1× Giro d’Italia GC winner
Oakley (Jawbreaker, Kato)
Alejandro Valverde4× winner of stages at Tour de France
12× winner of stages at Vuelta a España
1× La Vuelta GC winner
1× Road World Champion
100% (S3, S2, Speedcraft)
Tadej Pogacar1× Tour de France GC winner (he was 21 y.o)Scicon Sports (Aeroshade)
Egan Bernal1× Tour de France GC winner (he was 22 y.o)
1× Amgen Tour of California GC winner
Oakley (Sutro)
Wout van AertOne of the most talented riders of these daysAgu (Verve HDII)
Diego Ulissi8× winner of stages at Giro d’ItaliaScicon Sports (Aerotech)
Mathieu van der PoelOne of the most talented riders of these days100% (S3, S2)
Julian Alaphilippe1× Road World Champion
1× Amgen Tour of California GC winner
Oakley (Jawbreaker)
Popular road cyclists and the sunglasses they wore in the 2020 season

Cycling Sunglasses FAQ


This post is regularly updated to provide you the most up to date tips on products. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

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