13 Nov Should I get polarized lenses for my cycling glasses?
Like all good questions, the answer is: “It depends”. Before we go too far, we’re going to discredit a popular misconception: yes, you can still read your Garmin with polarized sunglasses! Every cycling computer we have found in recent years works very well with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses reduce reflective glare, the kind of bright, hard light that bounces off water, snow, cars and the road.
When light shines from the sun, it travels at a vertical wavelength. When the vertical wavelength hits a flat or bright object, the light is reflected horizontally, further intensifying its brightness. Polarized lenses have a filter that blocks this horizontal light, drastically reducing the dazzling brightness.
The goal of having polarized lenses
The obvious objective to polarized cycling objectives is the reduction of glare. However, contrast is the most important aspect of cycling goggles. The contrast allows you to quickly identify bumps or debris and move comfortably through patches of sun and shadow. Because polarized sunglasses often come in darker tints, you can understand the contrast enhancement by opting for the darker, polarized lens.
On the other hand, if you opt for the lighter lens that improves the contrast, renounce the polarization protection of brightness. Deciding if the polarized lenses of cycling lenses are right for you will depend on the type of driving you do, the conditions in which you travel and your personal preferences.
Polarization is most beneficial in very sunny environments and for people with eyes sensitive to light. Therefore, if you have light blue eyes and walk in Arizona, polarized cycling lenses may be the way to go. However, if you are a mountain biker in the Pacific Northwest and you find yourself in shady conditions, lighter lenses that come in brown, pink copper and yellow tints are your best option to improve the contrast.
In short: if you are looking for versatility, contrast lenses are your choice. If you seek maximum protection against brightness, nothing beats a good polarized lens. Still not sure about polarized cycling lenses? Get in touch with one of our sport opticians, who love to talk about everything related to the bicycle and glasses.