Back in Spring when the days were getting warmer, longer and hotter, any thoughts you had on Sunglasses were probably more focussed on keeping the sunlight out of your eyes. Now that winter is coming, sporting eyewear for cyclists fills the more pressing need of keeping rain and road grit out of your eyes.
Especially when group riding in the colder months you will get much more ‘stuff’ thrown up from the wheels in front than in summer. At least that’s what I find.
It definitely makes sense to me that I wear some form of eye protection. Sometimes there can be sun and often that sunlight will be coming from lower in the sky, in those condition there is a low-level need for restricting some of that light from going in your eyes but perhaps also there can be glare off a damp road.
Even in summer I find that the Surrey Hills have many downhill sections with low light conditions from tree cover, wearing especially darkened sunglasses there can be somewhat dangerous.
So you will be looking at some form of eye protection that meets these characteristics:
- Eye protection (grit, water)
- Eye protection (low-level sunlight, also suitable for generally low light levels)
- Better vision (reducing glare/reflection, clarifying what can be seen with improved contrast)
- Is cool. 😉
You are essentially looking for polarized lenses that have a high degree of visible light transmission.
I have been known to use cheap £/$3 pairs of plastic builders sunglasses from Screwfix direct but they certainly fail to me the last of my 4 required characteristics from above.
However that ‘obvious’ solution is perhaps not the best one. A cheap, clear lens probably is pretty good for night riding but it will not improve vision in evenings and overcast days.
SunGod do offer a clear lens but a better option is their 4KO Pace Hi Vis Blue lens. This has a base yellow layer with a subtle polarized blue finish on top. That’s also often a good solution for a lens for skiing/snowboarding as it increases contrast and visibility in darker, flat light conditions, generally allowing you to see more surroundings giving everything a brighter ‘finish’.
4KO Pace Hi Vis Blue lets through 44% of visible light (the SunGod 4KO Pace Clear lets through 89%) but traditional ‘summer’ sunglasses from SunGod only let through between 11% and 16% of the visible light. So the 44% 4KO Pace Hi Vis Blue is the one you want for low-light, non-summer cycling.
The following image gives you a rough idea of the kind of difference these lenses can make. The TOP one is the Winter lens.
I can see clearly now the rain has gone and I can definitely see all obstacles in my way. I’m sure it’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day.
And I can even see when there are clouds, rain and not so much sun on a less bright day.
Customising SunGod PaceBreakers For Winter Cycling
Every pair of SUNGOD PaceBreakers can be customised at the ‘normal’ price. These are the components that you can choose:
- Various glass colourations in both polarized and non-polarized, the latter are cheaper. There are a variety of colours based on blues, greens, clear, orange and pink;
All the lenses offer 100% UV protection and, as part of the customisation process, you are given information about the suitability of each lens colour/type for various light conditions as well as an indication of the Visible Light Transmission (VLT) index – ie how dark they are! The polarized lenses let though less light.
SunGod PaceBreakers Review
Here is the full SunGod PaceBreakers Review for those of you who want to dig deeper.
OTHER SPECIFICATIONS & TIDBITS
- The lens is designed with athletes in mind by extending the field of VERTICAL view (top of the lens is extended and the side edges of the lens are unobstructed)
- There is a “lifetime guarantee against breakage” – I’d check the small print on their site when you buy but it looks like it genuinely covers the frames but would not, for example, cover a scratched lens.
- The hinge mechanism has a ‘snap lock’ – ie it snaps-to-position when open or closed but not in between
- Flexible frame – SUNGOD brand their frame as ‘Adventureproof’ and they are made with a material they call TR90 memory polymer. The frames do maintain their shape when flexed and seem to tolerate a few cms of flexing with no ill effects, although I had no intentions of testing to anywhere near breaking point.
- Sunglasses that sit further off the face, like these, are less likely to suffer fogging.
- The specific model I had was not great when on a trial under trees with mixtures of sunlight and shadow from the tree cover. These are fairly demanding light conditions for most lenses and a lighter colour/higher VLT would have been more suitable for that specific use-case scenario.
- The lens is clearer towards each outside edge. This might aid visibility and light transmission.
KEY SELLING POINTS – Covered in SunGod PaceBreakers Review
- Price – Seems competitive
- Sports-specific durable design
- Free Customisation
- Good optics
- Fully able to view a running watch or cycling computer by glancing UNDER the lens
PRICE, COMPETITION & AVAILABILITY
The lenses are interchangeable. If you are looking to get a pair of sunglasses you might consider also getting a spare lens as a backup OR as a colour/VLT alternative for ‘special’ sporting occasions 😉
The competing Oakley Radar EV costs £180 for custom polarised
EU and International Shipping options are offered.
Polarsied PaceBreakers cost £85 and non-polarised cost £60 that’s a significant discount over the Radar EV
Purchase/Further Info Link: http://sungod.to/WfTxtAbX