Best cycling glasses 2022: what to look for in new riding sunglasses

What should you be looking for when buying the best cycling glasses or sunglasses, how much should you pay, and should you go for one of the big brands?

Image shows a rider wearing some of the best cycling sunglasses.
(Image credit: Future)

The best cycling glasses seem to be getting bigger and bigger every season, with plenty of amusing memes floating around online where the lenses clearly threaten to engulf the entire face of the rider beneath.

But the best cycling glasses are not all about fashion - they are an essential item for riders throughout the year. 

Much like the best road bike helmets or the best cycling shoes, cycling glasses need to be fit for purpose for the day or type of riding you're about to undertake.

In the warmer months, they do as you'd expect and keep too much sunlight out of your eyes, but also dust and bugs. The best lenses will also include tech to increase visual acuity, so you can pick out what's in front of you more easily as you ride.

In winter months, there's still the sun to consider, which may be low in the sky and dazzle you. The best cycling glasses also provide a barrier to snow, rain, wind, road spray and mud. 

You name it, if it can possibly be airborne, your eyes need protecting from it. But what should you be looking for in a pair of the best cycling glasses that can be used all year round?

Best sunglasses deals Cyber Monday 2022

Why you can trust Cycling Weekly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Cycling sunglasses can be expensive, which makes finding a bargain during Black Friday deals season all the more satisfying.

Here's just a couple of our top picks – if you're after more deals, why not check out our Cyber Monday Cycling Clothing Deals hub page, or for a more general collection our main Cyber Monday Bike Deals hub has all the best offers we've found from around the web!

dhb Vector photohromatic lens sunglasses: £90 (opens in new tab)

dhb Vector photohromatic lens sunglasses: £90, now £45 at Wiggle (opens in new tab)

The Vector features a contemporary design with a single vented lens that's designed to maximise a rider's field of vision. The photochromtic lens adjusts to changing light conditions, making the Vector a pair of glasses you can use from sun up to sun down - and they only weigh 36 grams a pair!

Oakley Jawbreaker Matte Black PRIZM Dual Lens Sunglasses: Was $282 (opens in new tab)

Oakley Jawbreaker Matte Black PRIZM Dual Lens Sunglasses: Was $282, now $150 at Wiggle (opens in new tab)

The Jawbreaker is something of an icon, inspiring many copycat shades in the process. They're optimized for cycling thanks to an extended field of vision when you're in the drops. Features include two pairs of lens, one for low light conditions, and specially designed earsocks and nosepads for increased comfort.

Our pick of the best cycling glasses

Image shows the Oakley EV Zero Blades photochromic sunglasses

(Image credit: Future )
Highest quality sunnies with a photochromic lens

Specifications

Lens: Photocromatic
Frame type: Half frame
Modularity: Replacement nose pads
Weight: 29 grams
Colours: Six

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
No replacement lens
-
Expensive

There’s very little to be critical of with the Oakley EV Zero Blades. The photochromic version -  there are six colourways 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 offer unobstructed viewing, and clarity that is so good it took us a while to really 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 steam or fog up, ensuring that perfect clarity and vision was guaranteed at all times.

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

Read more: Oakley EV Zero Blades photochromic full review

Image shows the dhb Vector Photochromatic cycling sunglasses

(Image credit: Chris Marshall-Bell)
Best value sunglasses with a photochromatic lens

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit heavy on the nose

At $120 / £90, the photochromatic version of dhb's Vectors are 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 have 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 was truly impressive.

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

Image shows Oakley Encoder sunglasses.

(Image credit: Charlotte Broughton)
Best frameless cycling glasses

Specifications

Lens: Prizm Road
Frame type: Frameless
Modularity: Replaceable nose pads
Weight: 31 grams
Colours: Nine

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 secure fit 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. 

Read more: Oakley Encoder sunglasses full review here

Oakley Radar EV Advancer

(Image credit: Future)
Best long term favourite cycling sunglasses

Specifications

Lens : Nylon photochromic glasses
Frame type: Half frame
Modularity: Replaceable nose pads
Weight: 29 grams
Colours: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Great looks
+
Secure fit
+
Good lenses
+
Comfortable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
None to mention

The price might be in typical Oakley territory, but the quality of the Radar EV sunglasses is just what you'd expect from the American brand. We're huge fans, and with these making our Editor's Choice Awards for three years running, it's clear the Radar EV Advancer are a pair of our favourite cycling sunglasses.

Both the frames and the lenses ooze quality, and although there are no replacement lenses, the ones supplied are so adaptive that you can happily wear them all year round in a wide range of conditions.

We've also tested the Youth Collection variant of the Radar EVs. A great option if you've got a smaller face, they're not just for adolescents.

Read more: Oakley Radar EV full review

tifosi crit glasses

(Image credit: Future)
Best cycling sunglasses on a budget

Specifications

Lens: Fototec photochromic (alternative Interchange three lens model)
Frame type: Half frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lenses, ear pads and nose pieces
Weight: 31 grams
Colours: Six

Reasons to buy

+
Quick changing photochromatic lenses
+
Lightweight option
+
Adjustable fit
+
Two fit options
+
Attractive price point
+
Night lens option

Reasons to avoid

-
More classic styling

The Tifosi Crit glasses are fantastic value for lightweight sunnies with photochromatic lenses. In fact we rate these excellent cycling sunglasses so highly, that we selected them for a Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice Award.

There are two fit options, with the smaller option fitting the face of our super-picky tester just fine. There's loads of adjustability to the nosepiece and the side arms. Good venting works for sweaty or rainy rides up your favourite mountains and the lenses change fast enough to get you through rain or shine.

If you're wanting the best cycling sunglasses without the triple digit price tag, then these are perfect.

Read more: Tifosi Crit sunglasses full review

100% S2 cycling sunglasses

(Image credit: Cycling Weekly)
Best alternative brand cycling sunglasses

Specifications

Lens: contrast-defining HiPER lens (photochromic options)
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens, nose pads
Weight: 30 grams
Colours: 12

Reasons to buy

+
HiPER lens works well
+
Extensive lens coverage
+
Quality build

Reasons to avoid

-
Lens can smear

Case in point re the new generation of large lenses! 100% is well known for its outspoken designs, but with pro rider Peter Sagan favouring them for his Paris Roubaix victory, they're clearly winning cycling sunglasses.

On test, we also really liked them, and so much so that we had to include them on the Editor's Choice Award list, as even on our slimmer faced tester 100% S2 fitted really well.

If you're looking for great eye protection, but not the usual brands, then these are a great alternative pair of the best cycling sunglasses. The HiPER lens performed exceptionally well, though we wouldn't recommend choosing a pair without this option.

Read more: 100% S2 cycling sunglasses full review

PRO TEAM FULL FRAME GLASSES

(Image credit: Rapha )
Most desirable aesthetics

Specifications

Lens: Rider Optimised Surface Enhancement lens (ROSE)
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens,
Weight: 30 grams
Colours: Six

Reasons to buy

+
Great coverage
+
High performing lens
+
Secure fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Slight intrusion on peripherals from vents

With the aim of directly interrupting 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

Salice 022 sunglasses

(Image credit: Salice )
Best affordable cycling sunglasses to rival premium brands

Specifications

Lens: RW lens
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens
Weight: 34 grams
Colours: 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.

The minimal wraparound lens coverage helps keep weight low and, with their forward-angled design, they’re 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 (opens in new tab), the Salice 022 sunglasses are a great lower-cost alternative to the premium cycling sunglasses brands.

Read more: Salice 022 sunglasses full review

Image shows the Koo Demos cycling sunglasses

(Image credit: Michelle Arthurs-Brennan)
Best cycling sunglasses for affordable performance

Specifications

Lens: Zeiss Polycarbonate
Frame type: 3/4 frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens
Weight: 35 grams
Colours: Nine

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 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, and with four effective ventilation ports to prevent fogging, even on the heaviest breathing rides on cold winter days.

They are priced well against 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

Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses


(Image credit: mike prior)
Best cycling sunglasses with a classic design

Specifications

Lens: Prizm
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens
Weight: 34 grams
Colours: 11

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple colours
+
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.

The large frames might not be the best for those with small faces, but there is an element of adjustability with the arms.

There's a wide choice of frame and photochromatic HDO optic lens colours 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

Rudy Project Cutline Sunglasses

(Image credit: Future)
Best cycling sunglasses for customisation

Specifications

Lens: Multilaser Orange
Frame type: Full frame
Modularity: Interchangeable lens, frame, nose piece, arms
Weight: 36 grams
Colours: 11