An introduction to sports eye wear Part 2: Cycling in focus

The most common sports eyewear we supply is for cycling. Often cycling is deemed as low risk when considering eye injury but, the need for sports eyewear is not restricted to the protection of the eyes from trauma. As a cyclist, you have many things to consider when you choose a sports frame. Your frame must be comfortable and secure to ensure it does not come off when riding at speed. You need protection from wind, dust, larger foreign bodies and glare. If you are riding off-road, consider the possibility of overhanging branches and protection from flying mud and stones. Depending on your prescription either the lens in the frame can be made to your prescription or a separate insert containing your prescription lenses can be fitted. There are pros and cons to each which we are happy to discuss.


To offer you the best protection from glare, a tinted lens or filter when riding is advisable. A problem with tinting the prescription lens is that only one level of filter/tint is available on each pair of spectacles. The beauty of our Shoptic frame by B&S optical shown below is that multifunction clips are supplied which can be purchased and swapped around dependant on the light conditions, the grey polarising lens can be utilised on those bright sunny days that are so few and far between. In overcast or evening conditions an orange tint will give good contrast and protection from glare from low sun, while a yellow or orange tint will cut through the haze on those misty days. Of course, don’t forget riding at night with lights will require the same level of physical protection but an untinted lens for best vision.




Unfortunately the yellow tinted lens fell out of favour in the late 1990s early 2000s due to “Ali G” and its benefits seem to have been all but forgotten except for a few aficionados who bucked the trend and stuck with their yellow tint. The yellow tint is ideal for you when cycling and will enhance contrast by eliminating the veiling background haze and light scatter due to blue and ultraviolet radiation. Your eyes are most sensitive in the yellow part of the spectrum so vision in low light or hazy conditions will be enhanced by the use of a yellow tint.

specs yellow


Research has shown a direct link  between the quality of visual information and sporting performance3, therefore our job at Tomlinson Opticians is to help you maximise your potential whilst ensuring your eyes are fully protected.

We are happy to explain to you the benefits of:

  • High index materials to reduce thickness and weight
  • Combination of wrap compensation and aspheric lens design to minimise peripheral aberrations
  • Combination of anti-reflection coating and hard coat to help sustain lens performance and transmission
  • Hydrophobic and oleophobic coating to keep lenses clean and water repellent
  • Trivex and polycarbonate materials to protect the eye and surrounding area from damage
  • Use of polarising lenses to reduce glare

As discussed in the previous post often cyclists can be in denial about the need for eye protection….. and the decision not to use sports safety eye wear might be due to your perception that they are expensive, restricts your vision and the perceived social stigma towards people that wear sports eye wear1. With the right advice, none of these should present an obstacle.

For absolutely optimum vision, lenses should be custom manufactured to allow for the wrap-around nature of the frame. The diagrams below show the distortion present through a lens which is highly curved or tilted – the darker the colour in a particular area, the more the distortion. With the latest freeform design and manufacturing technology, this can be eliminated as shown in the right hand diagram. In simple terms, this means that you can now expect clear vision throughout the whole of your field of vision.

Astigmatism sv lenses

Astigmatism vari lenses

As for price, we know there are cheaper sports frames and lenses out there – indeed, we can offer you cheaper alternatives ourselves – but we are confident that our prices are very competitive for this quality of cycling eye wear and remember, if you use the box on the right of this page to sign up to our Premier Club, you will receive a £25 discount voucher off your first purchase.

As a final thought, have you considered contact lenses? Offering a degree of visual freedom that even the best glasses won’t match, with a good quality pair of non-prescription glasses for sun/glare protection, contact lenses might just be the solution you have been looking for. We are currently offering a free trial with contact lenses including the brilliant new Proclear 1 day multi-focal which has opened up the possibility of contact lens wear to millions of people over the age of 45. Don’t delay – to experience the freedom of contact lenses, call us free on 0800 977 5994 to book your free trial, or book on-line using our fantastic new and easy Live on-line booking. For a quick tutorial how to use the on-line booking click here.


1 Griffiths, G. (2008) ‘Dispensing for sport – eye dominance’, Continuing Education and Training, May, pp 30-39, [Online].

2 Meister, D. (2013). Understanding the position of wear. Available at:

3 Griffiths, G. (2013) ‘Match! Finding the best lenses for sport part two, Continuing Education and Training, May, pp 4-8, [Online]

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