Author Topic: RX Cycling Sunglasses  (Read 4595 times)

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Offline SilasTarr

RX Cycling Sunglasses
« on: August 04, 2011, 02:53:24 pm »
Greetings, my friends!

Today, I come to you with a topic that has been discuss many times before on this forum, but now I have a few specific questions and would love to hear some experienced opinions, as well.

I am currently in the process of choosing and purchasing prescription sunglasses that would be ideal for my multi-month bicycle tour in the United States.  Following the advice found in older threads, I looked into ordering from Sport RX to get some personalized, experienced recommendations.  Based on my measurements (small frame size & mild prescription), they recommended the Revo Chasm for my needs.


http://www.bicyclerx.com/product.php?code=REVO3

If anyone has experience with this particular brand or model, I'd love to hear your impressions!  However, I want to also ask you all about your opinions on specific options/additions which were also recommended by Sport RX:

Polycarbonate Lenses - Recommended by Sport RX for its durability and light weight in general, but also specifically for the Revo Chasm model since the lenses is connected to the glasses frame only on the top.  Adds $25 to overall price.

Transition Lenses - The Sport RX representative I spoke to said she "loves her transition lenses" and recommended them for me, despite first expressing through e-mail that these may not be a good choice for a cyclist moving at high speeds in & out of shaded areas.  Adds $79.

Black Flash Mirror coating - Recommended to reduce glare and overall incoming light.  Adds $60.


Overall, the price for these glasses comes to a whopping $468.  Now, I haven't bought prescription sunglasses specialized for cycling before, so is this about the right price range I should expect?  Are there less expensive options without sacrificing quality?  Are the additional options like transition lenses or flash mirror finish not worth the extra cost?

Thanks ahead of time for your feedback!

Offline rjones35

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 03:05:37 pm »
I don't know anything about Sport RX, but I do know glasses are expensive.  For me personally, I have to try the glasses on before I buy them.  As far as polycarbonate lenses, I'd say yes.  They are lighter and tougher.  Transition lenses, I'd say yes as long as they will get as dark and/or as light as you want them.  I don't about the black flash coating, if it helps with glare, I'd say yes.  Have you checked into Oakleys or Rudy Projects?  I like the Rudys myself and they have some different options for lenses too.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2011, 05:55:44 pm »
Is "black mirror" "transition" what replaced "polarized sunglasses"?  ;)

At a certain age, I don't think you need to worry about style, unless you just decide you want to.  The black mirror is stylish, but it really sounds like polarized would be at least as good ("polarized" does have a specific meaning).  If "transition" means you have darker lenses on top, that sounds like more style -- doesn't add much, if anything, to the glasses.

Of course, I may just be a grouch because I can't wear polycarbonate.  My prescription is NOT moderate, and polycarbonate lenses to my prescription would be so thick and heavy I'd have to get a head strap to hold them up.



Offline whittierider

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2011, 06:01:21 pm »
I just got some new ones because my old ones that were perfect for cycling (although not sporty-looking) cracked and a lens fell out beside the road and I was not able to find it to fix them.  The new ones I got are sportier and have Transitions lenses but I am very, very unhappy with them.  #1: They do not darken up significantly unless the sun is shining directly on them.  Just being outdoors in bright, glaring light is not enough.  #2: The bows (temples) and the ends of the front part of the frame are kind of wide like in your picture, and it limits my peripheral vision.  I don't need correction way over there, but I ought to be able to see motion, but it's blocked.  #3: When I tried them on in the glasses store, they sat on my face a bit crooked and weren't very comfortable, but I figured the people there would shape the bows like they did in all the previous glasses I had, after the lenses were made.  When I picked these up, the woman was not acting like she was going to do that, so I asked about it.  She said, "No, you just put this strap around the back and you're all set."  They hurt my ears though, so I can't wear them for long periods.

I've had very large, actual-glass glasses back when bigger ones were in style, and the weight never was an issue.  It was never uncomfortable, and they stayed up just fine.  I have some lighter plastic ones that won't stay up for anything, and they're less comfortable.

Some of the glasses I looked at when shopping had soft rubber around the nose.  My concern with that is that skin oils are not friendly to rubber, so it might not last.

Make sure you get glasses that come up high enough and essentially go against your eyebrows so you're not looking over the top all the time in your low riding position.  Metal glasses don't qualify, because the nose pads are always held out by metal arms, so the glasses are held away from your face, always producing a big gap at the top.

Polarized is nice, but it will never lighten up much like you would want if you don't reach your destination by sunset.

Offline SilasTarr

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 08:08:59 pm »
@pdlamb

Is "black mirror" "transition" what replaced "polarized sunglasses"?  ;)
Actually, I have the option to get polarized lenses in addition to all the other features I mentioned in the first post.  Polarized lenses adds another $79.   :-\

Also, "transition" lenses actually automatically change how dark they are (and thus, how much light they block) in response to the lighting conditions your in.  Not 100% sure how it works, and I'm even less knowledgeable about how well the work for cycling tourists... which is why I'm asking here!   8)


@whittierider, thanks for the tips!  You provided a lot of good information for me to think over and ask about!

Offline BigPapaK

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 08:39:00 pm »
I can't wear those slick trim, sporty looking glasses because my eye sockets are on the larger side and I end up with larger lenses. Aviators are my friend. For bicycling I went out and bought a titanium aviator style frame and had polarized sunglass lenses in them~ a couple of hundred bucks. Yeah, glasses are expensive, but this ala carte stuff will empty your pockets.

Offline whittierider

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 08:47:06 pm »
I should have added that the glasses that cracked and one lens fell out as I was riding were Fotogray (sp?) instead of Transitions.  I was very happy with Fotogray, but I found it's only available in real glass.  The only thing I could say that's less than stellar for Fotogray was that they took a long time to lighten up when I went indoors.  They darkened up quickly when I went out though.

I would also recommend getting bows that are flat, not round, so you can mount a mirror on them and not have the problem of it rotating down around.  My wife made that mistake, so she can't put a mirror on her glasses.

Offline bogiesan

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2011, 06:27:25 am »
You got the recommendations for all of the unnecessary upgrades.
Transition lenses are unnecessary and they don't react quickly enough to make any difference. transitions are what we used to call photo-gray lenses. Plastic lenses are good but high grade polycarbonates are not necessary for bicycling unless you know why you might want the additional impact/shatter resistance. You can research lens materials fairly easily. Optional mirror coatings are stylish but add oohing to the functionality of the glasses. Scratch protection is more important that anything called anti-glare.

I bought very expensive wrap around Oakley frames because I knew I was going to invest in superb lenses that had my bifocal prescription ground into them. I can see my bike computer and maps with ease. Do you need bifocals? There is only one lab that can put them into spherical or wrap around lenses that I know of. SportRx actualy quoted me a price higher than what I paid from my doctor's supplier.

There's nothing special about biking glasses or even sport glasses for that matter. Give your optometrist and local discount suppliers a chance before you order online. Even if you  decide to get all of the options offered by SportRx, the total price will not be very much higher if you support you local businesses, maybe less than 10%.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline whittierider

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 09:36:28 am »

Quote
transitions are what we used to call photo-gray lenses.

Again-- I was very happy with my Fotogray lenses, but I hate the Transitions which don't work nearly as well.  I was told Fotogray is only available in glass, and Transitions in plastic/polycarbonate.

Quote
Plastic lenses are good but high grade polycarbonates are not necessary for bicycling

How's the difference in scratch resistance?  I was concerned that all the salt from my abundant sweat drying on the glasses would scratch the lenses when I clean them.  I've always gotten real glass until the ones I got a couple of weeks ago, because I keep my glasses for ten years or more.  I still have virtually the same prescription I got 23 years ago (only 1/4 diopter different, which is the minimum).

BTW, I find plastic (polycarbonate) is more difficult to get smear-free when cleaning than glass is.

Quote
unless you know why you might want the additional impact/shatter resistance.

When I mentioned glass to the people at the glasses store next to the optometrist, they thought that was terrible because it could shatter and get glass in your eyes.  I told them that when we were kids, they were all glass (tempered, unlike what our grandparents had), and we all got hit in the face with balls on the playground many times, and the glasses never broke on our faces.  Never.  What did happen sometimes is that the glasses would get knocked off and fall and, on very rare occasion, break when they hit the concrete-- but never on our faces.  One woman there had a "horror" story about someone she sold glas to who got in a car accident and the edge of the lens was pressed into the skin above the eye and cut it; but the lens did not break.  It only got popped out of the frame.  The same thing could have happened with plastic.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 02:27:19 pm »
How's the difference in scratch resistance?  I was concerned that all the salt from my abundant sweat drying on the glasses would scratch the lenses when I clean them.  I've always gotten real glass until the ones I got a couple of weeks ago, because I keep my glasses for ten years or more.  I still have virtually the same prescription I got 23 years ago (only 1/4 diopter different, which is the minimum).

BTW, I find plastic (polycarbonate) is more difficult to get smear-free when cleaning than glass is.

I finally got new normal glass lenses this winter after 10-12 years because I'd worn off the scratch-resistant coating.  Poly is usually softer than glass, and it's difficult to get a hard coating to stick to a softer substrate.  I'd suggest you try rinsing your new glasses in the sink (running water) when possible.  Doesn't do much for wiping sweat off on the road, I know.  :/

Quote
unless you know why you might want the additional impact/shatter resistance.

When I mentioned glass to the people at the glasses store next to the optometrist, they thought that was terrible because it could shatter and get glass in your eyes.  I told them that when we were kids, they were all glass (tempered, unlike what our grandparents had), and we all got hit in the face with balls on the playground many times, and the glasses never broke on our faces.  Never.  What did happen sometimes is that the glasses would get knocked off and fall and, on very rare occasion, break when they hit the concrete-- but never on our faces.  One woman there had a "horror" story about someone she sold glas to who got in a car accident and the edge of the lens was pressed into the skin above the eye and cut it; but the lens did not break.  It only got popped out of the frame.  The same thing could have happened with plastic.
[/quote]

Same here.  The only lenses I broke were my first ones, when they fell out of my book bag and the neighbor ran over them with her car.  However, to get my new high-index light weight blah-de-blah lenses I had to sign a waiver to acknowledge they were too thin for federal regs.  Should I wear goggles while road cycling?

Offline SilasTarr

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 01:35:06 pm »
Hello again, everyone.  Hope you don't mind if I revive this thread.

It's been almost a month, and I'm still agonizing over finding a good pair of prescription sunglasses.  I had finally decided that I'll need to be willing to dish out a few hundred dollars to get a good pair, but I can deal with that as long as the frame lasts a long time.

However, after searching through reviews of even Revo or Oakley brand models, the troubling trend I found is that good customer reviews come from those who praise the glasses for their style and fit, and bad reviews come from customers with prescription lenses and who complain about poor durability.  Whether I'm going to spend $400+ on sunglasses or not, I desperately need to know I'm getting a frame that can handles (even mild) prescription lenses and can survive daily use for years with no problems.

Are there ANY sunglasses out there that take prescription lenses, are very durable/long-lasting, and have an ideal design for bicycle touring??  ???

Offline staehpj1

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2011, 02:34:30 pm »
Hello again, everyone.  Hope you don't mind if I revive this thread.

It's been almost a month, and I'm still agonizing over finding a good pair of prescription sunglasses.  I had finally decided that I'll need to be willing to dish out a few hundred dollars to get a good pair, but I can deal with that as long as the frame lasts a long time.

However, after searching through reviews of even Revo or Oakley brand models, the troubling trend I found is that good customer reviews come from those who praise the glasses for their style and fit, and bad reviews come from customers with prescription lenses and who complain about poor durability.  Whether I'm going to spend $400+ on sunglasses or not, I desperately need to know I'm getting a frame that can handles (even mild) prescription lenses and can survive daily use for years with no problems.

Are there ANY sunglasses out there that take prescription lenses, are very durable/long-lasting, and have an ideal design for bicycle touring??  ???
You need frames that fit your face and can handle your prescription, so what works for you may be different but...

I have been on a couple longish tours in my Project Rudy Horus frames and trail run 5 times a week in rain, freezing rain, mud, snow, sleet, or hail for a 2.5 years.  I have fallen numerous times while trail running and have had them knocked off my face a few times.  They are holding up fine.  All parts can be replaced separately, but they have needed nothing.

Offline dombrosk

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 07:48:50 am »
I'd echo the positive comments on Rudy Project... I've had Rudy Project glasses with prescription bi-focal inserts for eight or so years now... love them and had my optician make the prescription inserts (and remake them when my RX changed.)  Many 'Rudy's" take RX implants, so I'd get to a bike shop that carries them if you can and try on a bunch.  I found huge differences in comfort and one that was immediately 'right' --- only trying them on would have done that for me.

The biggest advantage I've found with this style of sport glasses is keeping wind/dust out of my eyes.  Also, the Rudy lens material is somehow hydrophobic and easy to wipe clean in the rain even with a wet glove.

For lenses, I'd avoid any kind of 'transition' lens.... my choices are:

Red - daily riding... oddly enough they cut the glare but make it easier to see in the shade.
Yellow - rainy day riding.... make every day a sunny day.
Dark grey- open prairie / alpine / snow
Clear / Smoked - just eye protection for headlight riding

They are expensive, but if you get 10 years plus of use, the expense is worth it to me.


Offline Tourista829

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 09:50:15 am »
I would recommend polycarbonate lens, they are stronger and lighter. Polarized lenses keeps the sun out. Anti-reflective coated lenses keeps the glare out. Transition although good initially, the lens will not come back to clear after awhile. Regarding cost, I would get an inexpensive vision policy for about $16.00 a month in Florida. It would pay for your annual eye exam (less a $10 dialation copay) and gives you approximately $300 towards the cost of your frames and lenses. If you are interested and email me offline, (in my profile) I will recommend a 50 state plan for you. P.S. I would have an inexpenses back up pair.

Offline whittierider

Re: RX Cycling Sunglasses
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2011, 11:53:48 am »

Quote
Transition although good initially, the lens will not come back to clear after awhile.

Will they darken more as they get older too?  My complaint about my new ones is that their threshold to darken is too high, and they hardly darken unless sun is hitting them directly, which doesn't normally happen when I'm on the bike.