Getting mud and grit in your eyes can be both painful and dangerous on a bike, and the chances of that happening are greatly increased in winter mud and rain. One way round the problem is to invest in some clear riding specs. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get decent quality.
And if you've already got a well-worn pair, now could be the time to upgrade. Scratched lenses, bent arms and a wonky nosepiece won’t be much help in keeping your vision clear on muddy trails or paths.
Here, we round up six of the best pairs of winter cycling glasses that should see you through the worst the next few months have to offer.
Adidas Evil Eye Half Rim
£125 / US$127
SO GOOD… The Evil Eyes come in two different frame sizes to fit different head sizes. The arms have three vertical positions to chose from and are easy to adjust to tailor the fit and lens position. Although these only come with one set of lenses, the secure lens lock mechanism makes it easy to remove them. The anti-fog coating on the inside of the lens is effective and lasts a decent length of time – they resist misting really well.
NO GOOD… For this price, we want the sweat catcher that comes on the Pro version too.
From: Adidas Eyewear
£79.99 / US$N/A
SO GOOD… The deep, malleable nose-piece makes for a comfortable fit, and the well shaped arms with rubberised ends help make these some of the comfiest glasses on test. They’re pretty durable, and flexible enough to cope with some abuse if you leave them at the bottom of your bag. The lens offers great coverage and, thanks to the independent nosepiece, completely uninterrupted vision. The lens is also light sensitive. We like the subtle, yet race-bred, styling too.
NO GOOD… Currently, Scott aren’t selling replacement lenses.
From: Scott Sports
£34.99 / US$N/A
SO GOOD… If you’re looking for good value specs then the Wishbones should be on the shortlist. The flexible frame means they can take plenty of abuse if you tend to be a little careless when packing your kit bag. They’re comfortable too, thanks to the bendy portion of the arms and soft rubber nosepiece. Included in the hard carry case are another two sets of lenses – an orange set and a dark tinted set.
NO GOOD… These are more about function than form – not everyone will like the basic, cheaper look. They also tended to get fogged up quite regularly.
£74.99 / US$N/A
SO GOOD… The fit of the Shumbas is great. They feel snug without being tight on the head, thanks to the easily adjustable temple tips. The light reactive lenses work well, adjusting to the suit the conditions rapidly and without you really ever noticing they’re working. We didn’t have any problems with fogging, thanks to the subtle, yet well positioned venting on the lenses, even on the sweatiest rides.
NO GOOD… Although you do get used to the full-frame design, we still prefer the half-frame design. And the angular frame shape might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Fox Duncan Sport Carbon
£115 / US$180
SO GOOD… The Duncan Sports offer great coverage thanks to the large, high quality, changeable lens, which is deeper and squarer than others here. The nose-piece is soft, making the Duncans really comfy, even on long rides. Airflow around the bottom of the lens is good, and they resist fogging really well, which is great this time of year.
NO GOOD… Testers with smaller heads felt the shallower bend on the arms didn’t grip their heads quite as tightly as other glasses on test when the going got really tough. The replacement lenses, although great quality, are pricey – £55 a pop.
£79.99 / US$N/A
SO GOOD… We like the sturdy frame design – it gives the Torsion a robust, durable feel. You may think £80 is a little steep, but you get plenty of bang for your buck here, in the shape of two additional sets of lenses, a different nose bridge set and a hard case to store them in. They’re comfortable to wear and didn’t interfere with our helmet retention cradle
NO GOOD… It’s great to have a second nose bridge set, but when we tried to swap to the larger option to get a better fit, we found that it was pretty tricky to change them and get them re-seated properly. The lenses pop out a little too easily too.