• This topic has 29 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by 40mpg.
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  • Questions on prescription glasses, photo lenses for riding etc
  • Premier Icon 40mpg
    Full Member

    After 30 years of contact lens wearing for sport, I’m having more and more trouble (age related I guess). Twice recently I’ve had a lens pop out while riding, but just just find them uncomfortable most of the time now. Got a check up booked, but I think its time to ditch them.

    So any recommendations for:
    a – frames for multi sport / activity but mostly riding bikes, maybe something that would nt look out of place in a pub or office environment too – bit of a do-it-all. Basically something which won’t slip down my sweaty noggin constantly like my current prescription glasses do.
    b – lenses. If I’m riding in these they need to be used in all conditions from sunshine to night. Do photosensitive lenses work / go clear enough? React quick enough? Any makes better than others?
    c – anything else I should watch for – is this a Specsavers job or talk to a specialist / local optician? I guess go for thinnest lenses to save weight?

    Mr Magoo

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    @scotroutes probably best to answer

    Premier Icon martinb
    Free Member

    I bought some Oakley frames off ebay with plain RX lenses, so designed to be glazed, mine are marshall MNP, not too big for my -7 prescription with varifocal bits. The Oakley frames stick to your head fairly well.

    Had them glazed with my prescription in ASDA of all places, photochromic thin plastic varifocallenses for £100. they do some good offers for 2 sets.

    Very pleased wit the result, they go from completely cleatr indoors to dark outside, they go dark outside very quickly

    I never wear contact lenses anymore, but I’m old, only time I might would be a bike race in the rain.

    Premier Icon towzer
    Free Member

    FYI, apologies if you know, and I’m wording this badly, but as a sports player make sure you get high performance glass, it’s thinner (so lighter) for the same optical performance, so more comfortable.

    I’d also recommend the flexi arms ones (hinge where the arm joins the main frame should bend out a bit as well as fold, as they help with comfort and impacts – like a tennis ball right in the face.

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    This may be of use

    Premier Icon swanny853
    Full Member

    In the two, maybe three, months since getting some prescription rad 8 504 glasses I think I’ve worn contacts once. I had meant to use them for night rides, running and whatnot and stick with contacts for Saturday mornings, so make of that what you will! The lenses go ‘clear to fairly dark’ rather than ‘dark to fairly clear’ and I find that works. They also do a pretty decent job of not fogging up, you just have to watch the coating on the insides of the lenses as it’s easier to scratch- my other half didn’t realise this and had been casually wiping sand off with her jersey. Non prescription lenses are thankfully cheaper to replace.

    I’ve also had some Specsavers sports things for five or six years. They are… entirely fine. The lens distortion to fit my prescription (-5ish) into wrap round frames at the price of ‘the second set you get from Specsavers’ is fine for looking straight ahead but gets pretty gopro if you look out of the corners. To be fair to specsavers they advised against it and I told them I’d risk it, and I’ve ridden and run several times a week with them and they’ve done the job.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    Just ordered my second pair of Rad8mtb glasses (504 model) Had my first pair for 4years and used them every ride. Optical quality is great as is the photo chronic transition. I wear them for night riding too.
    The guys at Rad8 are great too & have lots of spares if you break anything (two arms in four years of clumsy use)
    They do a few frame designs but I find the 504s ultra comfortable.

    Premier Icon coatesy
    Free Member

    Also worth checking ou RX Sport, their site is very informative, they’re very helpful, service is excellent, and prices are competetive too.

    Premier Icon Fat-boy-fat
    Full Member

    Another Rad8 fan here. Not used contacts since I got them and I think I’m something like 6 years in with them. Fantastic quality, hardly ever fog up, don’t slip and they play nice with my helmet and my aftershox headphones. Couldn’t recommend them more.

    Premier Icon konanige
    Full Member


    Premier Icon konanige
    Full Member

    Rad8 again

    Premier Icon konanige
    Full Member

    Oh and have I suggested Rad8 yet!

    Premier Icon bri-72
    Full Member

    Oakley transitions here. Good In most light conditions other maybe than night riding (always have slight tint so not clear).

    Mine 5+ Years old and for all scratches etc still do job given usually mud splattered anyway!

    High st maybe slightly more expensive but VE do there 60 day refund or exchange thing. I did indeed return a diff pair of oakleys after a month use and £350 refunded no quibble. Worth knowing.

    Premier Icon aP
    Free Member

    I’m -11 and consequently have to use frames that take inserts which may not be your thing. Rudy Project were glasses that I used for about 15 years but the UK importer store doing then and the guys at RP told me to order direct from them if I wanted any more when I met them at an event in Italy a few years ago. Their impactX photochromic lenses are very good.
    Currently I’m using adidas zonyk with the clear photochromic and I like them a lot.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Rad8, £300 for thin lenses but a game changer, should’ve got prescription sunglasses 20 years ago!

    However I’ve just ordered ‘normal’ prescription sunglasses as I found I was wearing the close fitting wraparound glasses more and more whilst off the bike

    Premier Icon kjadams
    Full Member

    I got some from Naked Runner https://www.ndrsports.com/collections/prescription-sports-sunglasses/products/prescription-sports-sunglasses-primary?variant=36604359147678

    work well for me and much cheaper than my normal daily specs.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Full Member

    Any fellow foureyes use vari/bi-focal?

    I was prescribed glasses for reading a couple of years ago. General riding I can do without a prescription lens but really struggle to read the bike computer.

    Any issues with such lenses paired with photochromic tint?

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I’ve got some Oakley minutes and Oakley half jackets which are both glazed with prescription polycarbonate lenses by ciliary blue. They’ve now changed the company name to reglaze glasses direct I think.

    Minutes are perfect but I lost the arm sock things so they need to be held on with a strap – works for hockey and with some mtb helmets but absolutely not with a full face.

    The half jackets fit with all my helmets although the fitting of the lenses in those is a bit clunky how it’s been done. Does the job though and I ride my bike with them all the time.

    I ordered some rad8 frames to check for size and they seem ok – I was hoping they could glaze them in clear polycarbonate but apparently they only do the photochromic lenses. So I’m not sure what to do – I find going light to dark (I.e from open to tree cover) the worst thing for me – and what I read is that a lot of these changing lenses don’t change quite quick enough.

    Wondering whether I can get the Rad8 frames glazed in polycarbonate somewhere else 🤷‍♂️

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    As @houns paged me…

    I’ve been using Oakley Half Jackets with the XLJ lenses for about 12 years (might be more actually. I’m currently on my second set of lenses as the first were getting marked and my prescription changed. I could just about do with a new set of lenses now but the frame is still fine. My last lenses came from RX Sport.

    I use the Grey Transition lenses for all my riding. Day, night, open, forest. They’re fine for all of that.

    I’m now considering a different style. I could do with something with more coverage as I’ve found my eyes prone to watering (mostly on faster descents).  I tried the (now unavailable) WindJackets with the gasket thing but found misting up could be an issue. While I’m happy to wear the HalfJackets in a casual / non-sporting  context, I suspect my next frames might look a bit out of place. Not a major concern as I also have a set of non-transition specs for wearing while driving as the Transitions don’t darken while in the car.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    I’ve got Specsavers varifocals in some Converse frames which are large and sit high enough to work even for road cycling. Two pairs; one clear and one reactive. They don’t slip because the ear stems have been fairly strongly bent so they hold tight enough without being uncomfortable. I use them on and off the bike and they work great for both (I have single vision intermediates for work, staring at screens all day, though the varifocals work ok for laptops and tablets).

    The reactions are good; to be honest I don’t really notice them changing, and the tint is enough to take the edge off really bright days but not so strong as to be useless under trees. That said, I’ve found that even on sunny days I’ve become accustomed to just wearing the clear ones.

    My experience with mail-order varifocals was not good, so I’ve preferred compromising slightly in terms of non-sports style frames than the optical accuracy. If you’re a single focus wearer then the world’s your oyster: just find frames that suit (provided they have two separate lenses rather than one across the entire frame) and then you can get custom-made lenses with reactions, mirror tints and all the other gubbins you fancy. I did that with the last pair of single-focus glasses I had and still paid way less than my plain varifocals. And I’m not bitter about it at all 😂

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex
    Full Member

    I have the rad8 505. Fit is great for me, really good coverage and wide field of vision, no distortion to speak of with my -3.75 prescription. Did a flat out descent on the roadie yesterday, not a hint of watery eyes.
    Only thing is that I didn’t realise they don’t have anti-fog coating and they fog up badly when you stop. The description wasn’t that clear but then I didn’t read it properly. Rad8 were great though and sent me some anti-fog spray which works pretty well, they also said I could have a full refund if I still wasn’t happy, can’t fault the CS. They have also updated the website now to make this clear. Would recommend

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    Oakley Flak xlj with grey transitions. Got the cheapest frame i could find and got RX lenses to my prescription. Must be 6 years old so due new lenses.

    Great for tennis matches that last from sunshine to floodligts (clear is actually about 5% tint). Transition is slow in sun to shade forests which is unnerving.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Got crosslink fits with transitions from rxsport.

    Won’t be doing the transitions thing again tbh.

    Night riding with them is terrible it’s like riding in a cloud. They never go fully clear when cars approach etc it sets them off dark.

    Like wise driving at night they dull everything down.

    And then in bright sun they don’t go fully dark. Worst of both worlds ime

    Seemed like a good idea but wasn’t.

    Premier Icon markwsf
    Free Member

    I’ve got a pair of Rudy Project Rydons from Extreme Eyewear, with their “ : Xtreme Transitions Brown Gold Mirror” lenses.

    They’re brilliant. They go completely clear for night riding but are proper sunglasses in the daytime.

    Premier Icon fatbikeandcoffee
    Full Member

    I used to be an Oakley user, given my varifocal and photochromic needs but like many others on this thread jumped to radio and no regrets.

    Fit initially nit perfect but when I contacted them they were returned changed and sent back really quickly with a conversation with their optician too to ensure they did it right first time.

    Not only brilliant customer care and kit but saved me over £100 on Oakley:/

    More for shiny bike bits.


    Premier Icon z1ppy
    Free Member

    Any of the Rad8 users want to comment on if they 505’s steam up easily? I had the sample frames sent though and am not a fan of the 504 but the 505’s are a lot closer to my face than my normal glasses.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I’ve got the 505s with the thin type lenses that come with the superclean coating.

    I’m sure that helps over standard lenses, but I only get minor steaming when I stop riding save stand around chatting, I just move them down my nose a fraction to allow air to circulate behind them.

    Probably the best I’ve had for not steaming up.

    Premier Icon davosaurusrex
    Full Member

    @zippy see my post 3 or 4 above yours.

    are yours prescription? I’m sure the prescription lenses don’t have any anti fog coating

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    @davosaurusrex Correct I don’t think they have an anti-fog coating. It doesn’t specify on the website but ultra-thin lenses are often supplied with an ultra-clean coating as standard which can reduce smudging, water runs off more readily and reduce fogging. I suspect these are ultra-clean as they are very easy to clean smudges, and when it rained I didn’t get much water beading.

    (Not from Rad8)
    UC Ultra-Clean

    Reduces smudging and steaming up stays cleaner and easier to clean.
    Perfect for sports inserts, less steaming up.
    Prevents reflections from the surface of the lenses.
    Available on all lenses
    Good for rimless as much (90%) less cleaning needed.
    Includes UV, Anti-Scratch (HC) and Anti-glare (MAR).
    Improves the cosmetic appearance of the lenses

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Full Member

    Update – got some Rad8 504’s photochromic. Have used them a few times now and early impressions are very good.

    Comfy, don’t slip on my sweaty nose at all, vision is very good. Peripheral vision is a little reduced compared to contact lenses obviously – have to make a proper twist to see behind on the bike rather than just a glance – but I was anticipating this.

    The photochromic lenses are very good for riding – not too dark so plunging into the woods doesnt present a problem, and go almost completely clear. I’ve used them for night riding a couple of times with no problems.

    Had my first biking/camping weekend last week and not having to faff with contact lenses when camping is a godsend. Especially if bikepacking / wild camping, sooo much simpler now. And theyre great for working on the bike too as don’t slip or lift up if you’re head down tweaking brakes etc.

    Service was great too – turnaround was a coupe of weeks but communication good, they even called back to check my prescription as the one I sent was a couple of years old (hadn’t changed but I’d lost the new one in a house move).

    So thanks all who recommended them!

    Edit – the prescription lenses don’t have anti-fog coating but do come with an anti-fog cloth which I guess is impregnated with something as has a limited number of uses. Haven’t been in damp/humid enough conditions to try this yet.

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