Pure action. Unadulterated adrenaline. The sense of freedom as you race downhill or the challenge of pumping the pedal to make that uphill climb. These are the reasons why biking is a passion. Whether for weekend warriors who speed through the week looking forward to that time on the road or for sports enthusiasts, the call of the road is irresistible. The sport can cover a wide range of cycling activities – recreational cycling, mountain biking, biking as part of a triathlete regimen or road biking.
However, this sport is not without its dangers, not just to your body but also to your eyes. For one, the extended time on the road exposes you to the sun's ultraviolet rays, as well as the rays reflected on the surface of the road. Exposure to the sun can result in premature macular degeneration, sunburn to the cornea (photokeratitis), pterygium, cataracts and even cancer of the skin surrounding the eyes. Cyclists are also vulnerable to ocular trauma – scratches and scrapes to the eyes caused by flying debris or being hit by an overhanging branch.
As you put on your helmet, gloves, body armor and other protective equipment, you should also put on sunglasses to complete the ensemble. Here's what you should look for when choosing the perfect wholesale sunglasses for biking:
- Sun protection. The lenses should be equipped with 400 UVA/UVB protection to protect from the sun. Make sure that the sunglasses have UVA/UVB protection and not just tinted glasses. Plain tinted glasses actually do more harm than good since the dark lenses cause the eyes to enlarge and let more of the sun in.
- Sturdy lenses. Ideally, the lenses you select should be impact resistant. Cycling can mean unexpected twists and bumps on the road. Small rocks or debris can come flying and hit your sunglasses. Sturdy lenses (usually made from polycarbonate) won't shatter during crashes or blows. The lenses should also repel oil and other liquids such as rain or sweat.
- Polarized and photochromatic lenses. The asphalt, the metal and glass of cars and puddles can reflect light. This glare can strain the eyes. Polarized lenses filter out the glare.
- The color of the lens. The lens should be tinted so as to protect from the degree of sunlight you are exposed to. With the sunlight coming directly at you, you may be temporarily blinded and distracted – a dangerous situation when you're on the road. Green or gray colored lenses are best for very bright light (to block 75% to 90% of bright light). Rose or brown tints are great for overcast lighting conditions (to filter out 35% to 50% light) while yellow or clear lenses work well at night or during cloudy days. If you want a pair of sunglasses that work with any light condition, you can also look for photochromic lenses that react to the amount of light and adjust the lightness or darkness of the lenses accordingly.
- Wrap around style. This prevents air from coming into the sides and getting into your eyes. The same goes for insects and dirt. If you're wearing contact lenses, you also prevent your eyes from drying up from the air exposure.
- Smaller rubber nose grip. The grip should securely hold the sunglasses while minimizing the obstructions.
- Half-rimmed style. This is to ensure that your peripheral vision remains unhampered.
- Padding and ventilation. This ensures that your glasses don't fog up.
- Lightweight frame. The sunglasses should not be unwieldy.
- Elastic Strap. This will keep the sunglasses in place.
- Budget. Your selected sunglasses shouldn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Olympic Eyewear provides a wide range of sunglasses for wholesale purchases. You can find a good pair of cheap sunglasses in bulk that can suit your needs.