Prescription cycling eyewear?

I’ve always cycled in either my normal prescription eyeglasses with polycarb, photochromatic lenses, or in my contact lenses with non-prescription sports sunglasses such as these budget Tifosi sports shades


I’m considering sunglasses with prescription lenses such as one of these specs from Sports RX.

I’m a longtime fan of the budget shades from Tifosi, and I see SportsRX even has a private label line of inexpensive sunglasses. Of course they also have the high end brands like Smith, Rudy, and Oakley.

If you wear prescription sunglasses, what do you recommend? Is helmet strap compatibility a thing?


  1. I love my Oakley Jawbones. I paid too much for progressive lenses, but every time I wear them I’m happy. Oakley didn’t do the exact leans I wanted, progressive and vented, so my doc went with Hoya lenses.

  2. I’ve been wearing SportRX house-brand prescription sunglasses for years. The polycarb lenses are very scratch-resistant and the house-brand frames are durable and comfortable and really cheap. The rubber nose pads wore out and the company sent me a new set for free. Unlike some higher-quality frames, the nose pads are not adjustable, which could be a fit issue for some people. The wrap-around style really helps to keep wind and dust out of your eyes when riding. One problem is that (depending on your prescription, of course) the lenses can be quite a bit thicker than non-prescription lenses and do appear to be slightly bulging out of the frames. The company does tell you what prescriptions will fit in their frames. Lens weight hasn’t been a problem, even though the lenses are much larger than on regular eyeglasses. Also, you can’t try on the glasses for fit before buying. I wear a size large helmet and the size large SportRx Streak glasses fit me great. I got the photochromatic lenses which do turn clear enough for night riding and dark enough for the Northern California summers.

  3. Also a big fan of Oakley Jawbones (now racing jackets I guess). I used to wear my normal glasses, but after getting prescription sunglasses, I won’t go back. So much more comfortable both in summer heat and winter cold/wind etc. Not cheap, but my vision insurance at the time paid for most of the frame. Transitions lenses are great for cycling if you don’t want to shell out for multiple lenses (and it gets real expensive real quick).

    I also have a pair of Smith’s being built with their RX adapter (purchased primarily for my ski goggles). I was about to find a pair of pivlocks for ~$70. So I might see how I like those (as changing lens color only involves the front shield, its much cheaper). Not sure it will replace my jawbones, but we’ll see.

  4. My ordinary glasses have photochromic (“transitions”) lenses, so I don’t need special eyewear for cycling. I use a fairly large lens, so that I get better peripheral vision, and cable temples so that glasses don’t slide around even if I get sweaty. The helmet straps are compatible with my glasses—it has never come close to being a problem.

  5. Hey, Everyone!

    We’ve got a great glasses discussion going on here! Oakley Racing Jackets/Jawbones are some of our all-time favs, too!

    Ken – Thank you for your feedback! We’re glad you’re getting great use out of your glasses. Also, you can try on glasses through our Test Ride Program. Just let us know what frames you’d like to explore and you can try ’em before you buy ’em.

    If you have any questions (or need some new nose pads!) feel free to hit us up!

    -SportRx Team

  6. Your image is of Tifosi glasses. They are Made in China, but I love mine, and the company has been totally awesome from a customer-service standpoint. Huge thumbs-up.

  7. I’ve been using Rudy Project RB3, discontinued, interchangeable lenses and Rx insert for the past 10+ years. They weren’t cheap but I’ve replaced the temples once and the nose pads 2X. I run clear in the winter, red in the spring and fall and the dark in the summer. I like that I can flip the colored lens out of the way when I enter a building. So I don’t need to carry a second pair of glasses if I stop some place. Also I’ve had the insert set up as the classic bi-focal because I never adjusted to progressive lenses.

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