Out cycling on the road it is important to be aware of your surroundings and what obstacles might lay ahead. 95% of cyclists wear sports glasses whilst out on the road, and they help to improve your vision whilst also keeping flies, dust and midgets out of your eyes. They also help your eyes to avoid watering on descents or in cold weather conditions. There are may different lens colours available for different situations. In summer it is pretty easy to know what type of sunglasses to wear but in Autumn, Winter and Spring there are choices that can be made that will greatly improve your comfort, safety and sometimes even your mood. These are what those choices are :
Mirror or iridium – Very strong direct summer sunlight or sunlight reflected from snow.
Dark Smoke – Normal sunlight daytime conditions.
Red/Orange – Overcast changeable conditions with chances of sunshine and dark clouds
Blue – Fog, falling snow or sitting in front of a computer screen.
Yellow – Low light conditions, early morning, dusk, night-time or very overcast and raining.
Clear – Night time or wet conditions.
It is important to care for your glasses correctly. Never use tissue paper and always use the cleaning cloth that comes with them. Tissue paper can be harsh on the lens coating when used regularly.
I use Muc-Off Visor and Lens cleaner to clean the glasses after use, especially on wet and mucky days.
The biggest problem when wearing glasses in the rain is the chance of them fogging up and they then become more of a hinderance than an asset. Wet days when the spray from the road containing all sorts of dirt and grime is when you need the glasses most, but can also be the time when you will see cyclists remove them as they have fogged up. I had to learn the hard way how to avoid this issue and will share it with you now.
One day in the Ras there was a stage finish into Templemore. It was raining hard and I was after digging in all day to remain with what was left of the bunch. I was overheating on a climb about 15k out from the finish but still hanging on, just. Then on the fast descent my glasses fogged up. I was wearing a pair of Rudy Projects with a clip on prescription insert. This meant that they became fogged up between the lenses. I am as blind as a bat without my glasses or contact lenses so taking them off was not an option. Trying to wipe them with my finger was useless and I was left trying to follow a streak of red that was descending in front of me. I could not see the rider or even make out the team jersey but I could see red. When it went left, I went left. When it went right I went right and just hoped for the best. It was the scariest descent of my life but in the Ras you do what you have to do in order to survive.
After that day I searched and searched for ways to avoid the glasses fogging up again. I bought car windscreen applications that irritated my eyes. I tried every old wives tale from Lemons to Onions(more watery eyes) to Avocados. Then I tried smearing some washing up liquid on the lenses and that worked. That was my go to solution for many years afterwards, but recently I have discovered an even better way to overcome the problem of glasses fogging up, toothpaste.
Toothpaste works even better than washing up liquid, and there is no risk of your face being covered in bubbles on a wet day.
I smear it on and rub it around with my finger before wiping it off with a microfibre cloth or rinsing it off with water. It works great and does no damage to the lens. I even tested it on a pair of iridium lenses and there was no ill effect.
See you on the road,