Best cycling glasses 2024: top models reviewed across all price points

With such a wide range of styles, brands and price points available, we guide you through the best cycling sunglasses and look at how to choose what is right for you

Male cyclist riding in the mountains, wearing a pair of the best cycling glasses for cycling
(Image credit: Future)

Cycling sunglasses are not just an expensive fashion accessory, the best cycling sunglasses perform the vital function of allowing you to see the road ahead clearly at speed by protecting your eyes from insects and grit. They also provide protection against harmful UV light, wind and rain and must do so without fogging up. 

Just like the best road bike helmets, to work they must fit securely without slipping down on rough surfaces, no matter how much you sweat, and be comfortable to wear for hours on end. 

And it helps if they look cool at the cafe too.

We've tested lots of sunglasses over many miles of riding to bring you this list of the best cycling sunglasses from a number of brands and at a range of prices.

The quick list

Best frameless cycling sunglasses

Oakley Encoder cycling sunglasses.

Oakley Encoder glasses give you the frameless pro look

(Image credit: Charlotte Broughton)
Best frameless cycling glasses

Specifications

Lens: Prizm Road
Frame type: Frameless
Modularity: Replaceable nose pads
Weight: 31g
Colors: 9

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish
+
Comfortable fit
+
Great quality lenses

Reasons to avoid

-
Lenses aren't interchangeable

If the futuristic look is for you, the Oakley Encoders offer a high-quality feel and fit securely thanks to the frameless design and jaunty cut of the lens which plays nicely with helmets and high cheekbones. 

Although the Prizm lens cannot be changed on this model, the wraparound coverage also delivers incredible contrast and excellent clarity, ensuring improved vision to help clearly navigate road surface changes and objects within the surrounding environment. On test, we also loved the protection that the large lens provides, from the elements and from airborne objects like insects and grit.

Read more: Oakley Encoder sunglasses full review

Best aero cycling sunglasses

POC Propel cycling sunglasses on a wooden table

(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)
Best for aerodynamic 'marginal gains'

Specifications

Lens: 'Clarity' and clear lenses included
Frame type: Half frame
Modularity: Adjustable side arms, three nose bridge sizes, clear lens includes
Weight: 33g
Colors: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Massive field of vision
+
Excellent lens clarity
+
Size adjustable
+
Modelled aerodynamic efficiency

Reasons to avoid

-
Cost
-
Liable to steam up
-
Improvement in aerodynamics is very modest

POCs Propel sunglasses were first spotted upon the faces of EF team racing at the 2023 Tour Down Under. It's not just the aesthetics that make them look fast, POC has designed these glasses to improve aerodynamics around the sides of a rider's face. The actual gain in watts isn't that clear and - even by POC's claims - likely to be extremely modest but every little helps, aye? 

Away from the aerodynamics, the Propels provide an absolutely outstanding view of the road. The massive lens allows a huge uninterrupted field and the Clarity lens really does what it's named to do. As the Propel has such good close coverage then they do tend to fog so they're not ideal for moist days or sweaty riders. You can adjust the fit of the Propels though, with a choice of three nose bridges and sliding arms - something that isn't seen on many cycling glasses. 

At $275 / £230 they're not going to work out well on any cost-per-watt ratio, but we were very impressed with the fit, and their adjustability means that this should be the case for pretty much everyone.

Read more: POC Propel sunglasses full review

Best budget frameless sunglasses

Tifosi Rail cycling sunglasses

The Tifosi Rail boasts a frameless design for improved vision and lower weight

(Image credit: Future)
Best budget frameless sunglasses

Specifications

Lens: Clarion Fototec phtotchromatic
Frame type: Frameless
Modularity: Removable sidearms, nosepiece
Weight: 32g (claimed)
Colors: 9

Reasons to buy

+
Photochromatic lens at a lower price
+
Good light transmission range
+
Good fit without slip or fogging

Reasons to avoid

-
Not quite the transmission range of some options

The Tifosi Rail is a large lens rimless design with good wraparound protection. We reviewed the Clarion Fototec lens version with a light-sensitive lens with between 14% and 74% light transmission, so it will handle the full range of daytime conditions.

We found the fit to be good, with no tendency to slip when riding and there's little misting. The Rail is a good alternative to pricier photochromatic glasses from other brands, even if the response to changes in light conditions isn't quite as fast as it doesn't go quite as clear as some of the pricier alternatives

Read more: Tifosi Rail Clarion Fototec cycling sunglasses full review

Best budget photochromic sunglasses

dhb Vector Photochromatic cycling sunglasses

The dhb Vector glasses are a budget photochromatic option

(Image credit: Chris Marshall-Bell)
Best budget photochromatic sunglasses

Specifications

Lens: Photochromatic
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Replacement nose pads
Weight: 37g

Reasons to buy

+
Great clarity
+
Very trendy
+
Excellent field of vision
+
Cheaper than rivals

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit heavy on the nose

The photochromatic version of dhb's Vector is roughly half the price of the Oakley EV Zero Blades, and the outcome is just as good. Depending on your preference, you might even say the Vectors are more beautiful too - they certainly are more in-touch with today’s full-face trend. 

dhb has produced a series of oversized sunglasses that are not only stylish but offer excellent clarity, brilliant ventilation and a rigid, sturdy frame that never looks like it will snap and break. The way the lens adapted to the changing light conditions impressed us immensely whilst testing.

The added weight did cause a bit of pressure on the nose at times, but the soft nose pad and extendable arm all add up to a pair of glasses that are designed to ensure a secure, comforting fit.

Read more: dhb Vector photochromatic lens full review

Best photochromic sunglasses

Oakley EV Zero Blades photochromic sunglasses

A photochromic lens ups the versatility of the Oakley EV Zero Blades

(Image credit: Future)
Best photochromic sunglasses

Specifications

Lens: Photocromatic
Frame type: Half frame
Modularity: Replacement nose pads
Weight: 29g
Colors: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding clarity
+
No fogging up
+
Very lightweight
+
Secure and comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
No replacement lens
-
More expensive than other models that are a similar spec

There’s very little to be critical of with the Oakley EV Zero Blades. The photochromic version -  there are six colorways in total - is an excellent shoulder season and winter pair of sunglasses that not only keep the dust and grit out of your eyes, but also offer unobstructed viewing, and clarity that is so good it took us a while to believe it.

It didn’t matter if we were riding on a bumpy or smooth piece of road, the glasses stayed in place. Neither was it a concern that they would fog up, ensuring that perfect clarity and vision were available at all times.

They’re not the cheapest on the market - this is Oakley, after all - but they are a guarantee of excellent fit and vision with a big tick in the stylishness box too.

Read more: Oakley EV Zero Blades photochromic full review

Best retro look

Salice 022 cycling sunglasses

Salice offers Italian chic without the cost

(Image credit: Salice)
Best retro look

Specifications

Lens: RW lens
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens
Weight: 34g
Colors: 24

Reasons to buy

+
Great fit
+
Quality optics 
+
Effective design 
+
Lightweight option
+
Bold looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of adjustability 

The Salice 022 sunglasses go large with the retro visor look, allowing them to rival many of the highly desirable brands for looks and, thanks to their simple yet effective design, performance.

We liked that the minimalist wraparound lens coverage kept the weight low and, with their forward-angled design, they were better at keeping the lenses free of sweat streaks than glasses that sit closer to your face.

With the fact that they’re made in Italy and of course that they have the bold looks of the Oakley Sutro, the Salice 022 sunglasses are a great lower-cost alternative to the premium cycling sunglasses brands.

Read more: Salice 022 sunglasses full review

Best for aesthetics

Rapha Pro Team Full Frame cycling sunglasses

High performance from Rapha without a huge price tag

(Image credit: Rapha)
Best for aesthetics

Specifications

Lens: Rider Optimised Surface Enhancement lens (ROSE)
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens,
Weight: 30g
Colors: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Great coverage
+
High performing lens
+
Secure fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Slight intrusion on peripherals from vents

With the aim of disrupting the likes of Oakley's market share, the Rapha Pro Team Full Frame glasses arrived with a surprisingly more accessible price tag than expected.

The road-riding wrap-around sunglasses pack some well-considered touches, such as the light-reactive lenses, into a stylish package. They're high performing, especially when riding in dappled or changing light conditions, which is on par with both Oakley's Prism and 100%'s HiPER lens.

The overall fit is snug and secure, but our tester was aware of the side venting, which did take a little getting used to.

Cheaper than a lot of the staple cycling brands make these great cycling sunglasses for anyone wanting labels for less, without sacrificing performance.

Read more: Rapha Pro Team Full Frame sunglasses full review

Best for smaller faces

Koo Demos cycling sunglasses

Koo Demos is a good option for smaller faces

(Image credit: Michelle Arthurs-Brennan)
Best for smaller faces

Specifications

Lens: Zeiss Polycarbonate
Frame type: 3/4 frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens
Weight: 35g
Colors: 9

Reasons to buy

+
Great lens clarity
+
Lens versatility
+
Stylish design 

Reasons to avoid

-
No spare/ clear lens
-
No hard case

Designed with the Trek-Segafredo pro teams in mind, it's no wonder that the Koo Demos hit the target when it comes to performance.

Our small-faced rider found that the one-sized (medium) glasses fitted comfortably straight out of the bag, although it's worth noting that they do come with an interchangeable nose piece to ensure a perfect fit.

Thanks to the Zeiss polycarbonate lens, the glasses provided excellent clarity;  four effective ventilation ports prevented fogging even on heavy-breathing rides on cold winter days.

They are priced well against their peers, undercutting similar options on the market by a fair margin in some cases, making these a great pro-level option for many riders.

You can read the full review of the Koo Demos glasses here. We've also reviewed the Koo Spectro and Koo Supernova if you fancy something Koo but don't fancy the Demos.

Read more: Koo Demos Sunglasses full review

Best classic cycling sunglasses

Oakley Jawbreaker cycling sunglasses

The Oakley Jawbreaker delivers a classic design with an easy lens swaps

(Image credit: mike prior)
Best classic cycling sunglasses

Specifications

Lens: Prizm
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens
Weight: 34g
Colors: 11

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple colors
+
Different lens options
+
Easy swap lenses
+
Great peripheral vision
+
Robust construction 

Reasons to avoid

-
Large fit will be too big for some

They might be oldies, but they're goodies, and no "best of" guide would be complete without their inclusion.

Still one of the most popular cycling sunglasses across the board, the Oakley Jawbreakers provide a great fit, managing to stand the test of time in terms of looks and performance as we've found on many tests.

The large frames might not be the best for those with small faces, but there is an element of adjustability of the arms to help obtain a good fit.

There's a wide choice of frame and photochromatic HDO optic lens colors to choose from. All come with their own protective lens cleaning bag and hard case for protection when not wearing.

Read more: Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses full review

Meet the testers

Anna Abram Fitness Features
Anna Marie Abram

Anna's been hooked on bikes ever since her first lap of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit at age 12. For a time, her cycling life centred around racing road and track but has since broadened to include multi-day two-wheeled, one-sleeping-bag adventures over whatever terrain she happens to meet. However, she still enjoys racing and recently competed in the British Gravel Championships and Gritfest 2022, where she made the podium.

Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website ever since.  Obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. 

Charlotte Broughton

Charlotte is a British rider, racing for the AWOL O’Shea UCI women's cycling team. An accomplished writer, she is a regular on the pages of Cycling Weekly magazine and also contributes to The British Continental. 

The best cycling glasses: what to look for