Guide to Cycling Sunglasses
by Greg Rule

Back when I first dipped my toes into the world of cycling sunglasses, I'll admit, I was primarily drawn by their sleek designs. The aesthetics were alluring, and honestly, little else mattered to me. But as time went on and I clocked more hours and miles, my perspective evolved. In fact, during my stint racing as an elite amateur in Switzerland, it was rare to see anyone sporting cycling sunglasses. But oh, how times have changed! Over the years, not only have I seen the rise in popularity of these protective shades, but I've also understood their undeniable importance. It's not just about looking sharp on the trail or during a race (though that's a delightful bonus!). There's a world of functionality behind each pair that can make or break your riding experience.

In this piece, I aim to pass on that knowledge. Together, we'll navigate the intricate maze of lenses, pinpoint which are tailor-made for those extended rides, and perhaps debunk a myth or two along the way.

Ready to embark on this enlightening journey? Let’s roll!

For a deeper dive into my background and the events that fueled my passion for cycling sunglasses, do check me out Greg Rule Profile.

The Essential Benefits of Wearing Cycling Sunglasses

During my time racing as an elite amateur in Switzerland, the cycling scene was evolving. It's fascinating to think that there was a time when many didn't prioritize cycling sunglasses. However, with the rapidly changing landscape of the sport and the environment, wearing them has become an absolute necessity.

There are numerous compelling reasons to slip on a pair of cycling sunglasses before heading out on the road or trail:

  1. Protection from Nature's Small Hazards: Ever had a bug fly into your eye at top speed? Or maybe you've been peppered by gravel kicked up by a preceding rider? Cycling sunglasses are your first line of defence against these unexpected threats.

  2. Shield Against the Elements: Whether it's the unrelenting gust of wind trying to dry out your eyes or the unpredictable splash of mud and water, having a protective shield ensures nothing interrupts your ride.

  3. Guard Against Harmful Rays: Extended exposure to UV radiation isn't just harmful; it's dangerous. Prolonged exposure can lead to serious eye conditions. A good pair of cycling sunglasses will have UV protection, ensuring your eyes stay safe, even on the sunniest days. Check out what Ultraviolet light Meaning

  4. Making a Statement: Beyond the undeniable practicality, cycling sunglasses are an extension of your personality on the bike. With brands now offering customizable options, expressing your individual style is easier than ever. It's not just about looking good; it's about feeling confident in your own skin (or sunnies in this case).

Remember, the importance of cycling sunglasses isn't just in their function but also in their ability to boost our confidence and style on the ride. As the cycling world continues to evolve, so do the accessories we wear, and sunglasses stand at the forefront of this evolution.

Critical Features for Your Next Pair of Cycling Sunglasses

UV Protection: The Real MVP

So, you might be wondering, "What's the big deal with this UV protection thing?" Picture this: you're on a breezy, sunlit ride, the world seems perfect, but there's an invisible enemy – UV rays. These aren't the kind of rays you'd invite over for a barbecue.

No matter where or when you ride, make sure your cycling sunglasses come with a UV400 filter. This nifty feature filters out the notorious UV-A and UV-B radiation. "Why's that important Greg?" I hear you ask. Well, let's break it down:

  1. UV-A (315-380 nm): This is the sneaky type. It's like that person at a party who quietly drinks all your best wine.
  2. UV-B (280-315 nm): This one's a little more in-your-face, like the person who tells you they drank all your best wine.
  3. UV-C (100-280 nm): Thankfully, we don't have to worry too much about this one. It's kind of like the person who didn't even make it to the party because they were too busy elsewhere.

Jokes aside, most cycling sunglasses these days come with UV protection. But there are some rebels out there without it, so always double-check! Protecting your eyes from UV radiation is no laughing matter. Well, maybe just a little. 😉

More information about RADIATION from Cancer Council Australia.

So listen up please, because this is essential. Even on those cloudy days or when you're chilling in the shade, UV-A and UV-B rays are still out there, playing hide and seek. Believe it or not, up to 90% of those rays still find their way to us. And if you're near sand, snow, or water? Those tricky reflections can amplify those UV effects by up to 70%.

Now, you might've heard of UV-C, but Mother Nature's got our backs on this one. The ozone layer steps in like a protective shield and takes care of it, so it doesn’t even reach us.

But here's the kicker. The American Cancer Society warns about some scary stuff related to those UV rays. We're talking cataracts, eye tissue growth, and even a burned cornea. Wow, in some extreme cases, there's even a risk of eye cancer.

So, when I'm riding high in the mountains of Sydney outskirts or cruising in Centennial Park, I make sure my sunglasses have that UV400 filter. It's a small thing, but trust me, your eyes will thank you for it. Safety first, always! 🕶️👌


Navigating the Nuances of Lens Light Transmission

Deciphering Lens Light Transmission with Rudy Project

As guided by the EU standard (EN 1836:2005), there are five primary categories of lens light transmission. It's worth noting that while these standards are set, not every manufacturer strictly adheres to them. However, with Rudy Project cycling sunglasses, you're in good hands.

For those cloudy, overcast days, lenses falling into category 0 work wonders, while category 1 lenses come in handy for those times when the sun plays peek-a-boo behind the clouds.

When you're embracing the full warmth of summer, category 2 or 3 lenses from Rudy Project are your best companions. And for those thrilling rides up high mountains, you can rely on our category 4 lenses.

Diving Deeper into Lens Types

When we talk about lenses, Rudy Project offers a myriad of choices, each tailored to unique riding conditions and preferences. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Clear lenses or Transparent lenses
  • Contrast-enhancing lenses
  • Photochromic lenses
  • Polarized lenses

Pondering the perfect pick for your rides? In Australia, many cyclists lean towards photochromic lenses, especially due to those early morning rides before the hustle and bustle of traffic sets in. These lenses adapt to the varying light conditions, providing clarity from dawn till dusk. They enhance visibility, ensuring you spot those sneaky potholes in good time, allowing for safer navigation. We'll delve deeper into the magic of photochromic lenses in the sections to come.

Let's delve into each lens type and understand which conditions they best serve.


Adaptive Cycling Sunglasses: The Swift Transition of Impactx Photochromic Lenses

In the diverse Australian cycling conditions, one lens type truly stands out for me – the photochromic lens. Why? Because of its unmatched adaptability. Think about our early morning training rides that start before sunrise. These lenses begin as clear as day in low light, then gracefully darken as the morning sun shines brighter, offering the perfect shade.

But what sets Rudy Project's photochromic lenses apart is the Impactx technology. These aren't your run-of-the-mill photochromic lenses; they react not just to UV light but also to light intensity. This dual activation ensures a swifter transition, an essential feature when you're on the road, and every moment matters.

While there's chatter about the transition time of some photochromic lenses, I can vouch for Rudy Project's efficiency. Especially on those unpredictable Aussie weather days: you set out under a sunny sky and return under a cloudy one. With these lenses, you're always prepared, come what may. Check out Rudy Project PHOTOCHROMIC SUNGLASSES


Maximizing Vision with Polarized Lenses: The Cyclist's Edge on Glare

Polarized lenses stand out as the perfect ally for cyclists keen on cutting down glare, especially during those sun-soaked rides. These lenses excel in locations notorious for high glare, like Queensland and Western Australia. The primary allure of polarized lenses is their unmatched capability to minimize the sun's dazzle, predominantly seen in sunglasses.

If you're planning a ride by the ocean or through high-altitude terrains, polarized lenses are ideal as they curtail reflections from water or snow surfaces. However, it's worth noting that they're not always the go-to choice. On cloudier days or when you're cycling through woodlands, polarized glasses may not be the best pick. The unvarying tint of polarized lenses can pose challenges in varying light conditions. Still, on those radiant days, they truly shine, elevating your cycling experience.

Finding Your Perfect Fit: Key Dimensions in Cycling Sunglasses


The image on the left breaks down the crucial measurements to consider when selecting your pair of cycling sunglasses. It's a nuanced process since everyone boasts a distinct face shape, width, and unique style inclinations. Rather than prescribing specific dimensions, it's more about understanding these metrics and aligning them with your facial features and comfort preferences.



Shield Lens vs. Traditional Two Lens Design: Which is Right for Your Ride


When exploring the realm of cycling eyewear, two main design archetypes stand out: the classic two-lens shape and the contemporary shield lens design.

Rudy Project's Spinshield and Spinshield Air epitomize the shield lens concept. Characterized by a flatter base curve and generally more expansive lenses, shield designs amplify your field of vision. This uninterrupted, broader view is courtesy of the shield lens being a single, wide pane, eliminating any central breaks that might distract a rider.

Increasingly, cyclists are gravitating towards the shield design, not just for its functional benefits but also for its stylish, modern aesthetic. However, it's worth noting that the design's vastness can occasionally be its downfall. With such extensive coverage, riders in need of prescription adjustments may find fewer compatible options. Moreover, in humid conditions, especially during slow rides or pauses, these lenses can be more susceptible to fogging up.

From my personal experience, I find myself enjoying a blend of both worlds. While I do need prescription lenses for reading my Garmin cycling computer, they're not crucial for looking down the road. I've developed a particular fondness for the Rudy Project Spinshield Air. The expansive view it offers, combined with its sleek design, provides both function and style in one package.

In conclusion, while the shield design provides an expansive and uninterrupted view, it's essential to weigh its advantages against potential downsides, especially if you require prescription lenses or frequently cycle in humid environments.



Mastering the Perfect Fit: The Importance of Adjustability in Cycling Sunglasses


Adjustability in cycling sunglasses isn't merely about comfort; it's about maximizing performance and ensuring your ride is free of unnecessary distractions. While many low-end brands might overlook this crucial feature, Rudy Project recognizes its significance and has incorporated it into our designs, setting us apart from the competition.

You see, adjustability is not just about ensuring your sunglasses don't slide off during an intense ride. It's about preventing the nuanced discomforts that can compromise your performance, such as the pain of ill-fitting sunglasses leading to headaches, or the annoyance of the temple ends colliding with your helmet.

Today's leading cycling sunglasses, like those from Rudy Project, prioritize adjustable or replaceable nose pieces. This feature is paramount as it offers riders the freedom to customize the glasses' proximity to their eyes and their grip on the nose bridge. Equally essential are adjustable arm pieces, which can be fine-tuned for optimal comfort and snugness.

When considering the design of the temples, it's a delicate balancing act. Straight temples are more helmet-friendly, allowing for easy insertion and removal, but they might not provide the grip you need. On the other hand, curved temples ensure a secure fit around the ear, but they can interfere with helmet vents. This is why Rudy Project's adaptability is invaluable – enabling riders to achieve a harmonious balance between fit and function.

In essence, the perfect cycling sunglasses should mold to your unique contours, ensuring that each ride is comfortable and distraction-free. With Rudy Project, you're not just wearing sunglasses; you're experiencing a tailored fit designed with the cyclist in mind.


Why Rudy Project Rocks



  • Made in Italy since 1985: Authenticity and quality, a testament to excellence.
  • Revolutionary Impactx lenses: Advanced lens technology that adapts to your environment.
  • Polarized HDR lenses: Cutting out glare and enhancing your vision on the road.
  • Total Comfort: Adjustable nose and temple end tips ensure a perfect fit. Whether you have a small or large nose bridge, Rudy's adjustable features have you covered. No need for extra nose pads, and the temple tips can be molded to your liking.
  • Innovative Venting: Ensures your vision remains clear and fog-free.
  • Lightweight Materials: For utmost comfort during those long rides.
  • Tested and Approved: By over 10,000 athletes globally.
  • Quick Change System: Interchangeable lenses to suit your needs.



Our Mission

Elevating Your Perforamce - At Rudy Project, our mission isn't just about creating sunglasses – it's about elevating every ride. We're committed to ensuring that every cyclist and triathlete experiences unparalleled performance, whether gearing up for a race or simply enjoying a leisurely journey

Our Merit

Craftsmanship Meets Performance: Every pair of our cycling and triathlon sunglasses stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to quality. By blending Italian craftsmanship with innovative technology, we create eyewear that doesn't just meet standards but sets them. With Rudy Project, you don't just wear sunglasses; you elevate your performance

Our Promise

Vision, Versatility, Victory: With "Elevate Your Performance" as our guiding mantra, we promise crystal-clear vision, unmatched comfort, and durability in every frame. Our sunglasses adapt to your unique journey, ensuring that you're not just participating but pushing boundaries

Ride to Zero

Preserving the very terrains we ride on is pivotal to the cycling experience. At Rudy Project, our passion for creating world-class cycling sunglasses is mirrored by our commitment to environmental stewardship. CycletoZero is our renewed commitment, steering every initiative we undertake. Our aim? To minimize the environmental footprint at each step - from the materials and design of our sunglasses, to our packaging and operational practices. While we understand that profound shifts take time and that achieving a minimal environmental impact is an ambitious goal, our journey has begun. And as with every ride, we're committed to giving it our all.