Though their name might suggest they’re just for shielding your eyes from the sun, the best cycling sunglasses will do much more than that. Protecting your eyes from the elements and hazards, such as insects or grit from the road, is also incredibly important
Like anything your wear on the bike, a decent pair of cycling sunglasses needs to be durable, comfortable and should ideally offer some versatility – either through interchangeable or photo-chromatic (light sensitive) lenses.
Of course, they also need to look the business. Let’s be honest and admit that choosing a pair of cycling sunglasses is as much about fashion as it is about protection, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
As with any cycling product though, there are far too many brands, styles and price points for any one person to trawl through. With that in mind, our expert testers have selected what they believe are the best cycling sunglasses on the market right now.
Once you’ve finished exploring all of the options, keep reading to check out our buyer’s guide to cycling sunglasses.
The best cycling sunglasses in 2019, as rated by our expert testers
Bollé Shifter: £149
Tifosi Amok: £70
Agu Bold: £40
Alba Optics Delta: £150
Ekoi PE9 Quickstep: £86
Endura FS260 Pro: £78
Lazer Eddy: £110
100% S2: £160
Scott Sport Shields: £60
Bollé’s Shifter sunglasses. Bollé
- RRP £149
- Comfortable and stylish
- Available with prescription lenses
Bollé’s stylish Shifter sunglasses have an angular look that somehow manages to be both thoroughly modern and also a little retro.
The impact resistant, single-piece lens offers great clarity. It’s also well vented and has an anti-fogging treatment applied, so they don’t steam up too easily in humid conditions.
The reassuringly robust frame has a premium feel and the kinked arms grip your head very well.
The thickness of the frame does mean it shows up in your peripheral vision, but it didn’t bother our tester.
There’s also a prescription option available, for those who need it.
Tifosi’s Amok sunglasses. Tifosi
- RRP £70
- Comfortable and stylish
- More affordable than premium brands
The Amok sunglasses from Tifosi are well-priced compared to more expensive options from premium brands but still offer top-notch performance.
The full-frame design features a mid-size lens (you only get one, but it’s easy to switch out if you buy another separately) and it works well in a range of conditions.
The glasses are also comfortable to wear, with sticky temple tips and an adjustable nose-bridge to keep the shades secure.
Agu’s Bold sunglasses. Agu
Since Agu started sponsoring Lotto-Visma it’s really stepped up its sunglasses game, and the Bolds are genuinely WorldTour-worthy sunglasses, available at a great price.
The Bolds are built around a large, squared-off lens design, that’s right on trend. Agu has set the frame slightly back from the lens to offer much greater ventilation than would have been achievable by simply putting vent holes by the lens.
This, combined with an anti-fog coating, means the lens stayed pretty clear throughout our testing.
The minimal arms, complete with tacky temple tips and adjustable nose-piece mean fit and comfort is great, and they stay put on rough roads.
Alba Optics Delta
Alba Optics’ Delta sunglasses. Alba Optics
The Alba Optics Delta sunglasses might look like they’ve been pulled straight from a Tour de France in the mid-’80s, but they’re actually the first pair to come to market from the young Italian brand.
Don’t let the retro look fool you though, these are thoroughly modern sunglasses. The massive 58mm lens offers great coverage and clarity, but they might be a touch too large on smaller faces.
The curvy arms hug your face brilliantly, but can potentially make it difficult to store the sunglasses in your helmet, if that’s your thing.
Alba Optics does offer 11 different lens options though (and eight different frame colours), so you should be able to find something for all conditions.
Ekoi PE9 Quickstep
Ekoi’s PE9 Quickstep sunglasses. Ekoi
Worn by Monsieur Alaphilippe and a host of other European pro’s, the Ekoi PE9 sunglasses were developed in collaboration with the riders of WorldTour team Deceuninck–Quick-Step.
The large, deeply wrapped lens gives an almost goggle-like feel, and consequently provides great protection from the elements.
Lens clarity is also pleasingly good, but the standard tint is quite dark – they’re really a sunny day only option. A photochromic lens might be a better choice for cyclists in the UK, but Ekoi’s online store fortunately offers a huge array of customisation options for both lenses and frame colours.
Endura FS260 Pro
Endura’s FS260 Pro sunglasses. Endura
- RRP £78
- Secure fit and good value
- Photochromatic lens included
Endura’s FS260 Pro is more of a package than a single pair of sunglasses. There are three different lenses in the box, including a photochromic option, making these ideal for days when the weather is changeable.
Our tester found the fit to be particularly secure, even over the roughest terrain, so you won’t need to worry about losing them on gravel or bumpy rides.
The 52mm curved lens offers decent protection from hazards and the elements, and the styling is a little more relaxed than many of its contemporaries. So, if you don’t want your sunglasses to overshadow the rest of your outfit, these might be the pair for you.
Lazer’s Eddy sunglasses. Lazer
- RRP £110
- Well vented with good protection
- Sharp styling
Presumably named after one of Belgium’s greatest Eddys, these sunglasses perhaps don’t quite live up to his G.O.A.T status, but they are very good.
Sharp, classic styling means you can easily imagine they’re something Merckx might choose to wear though. Thanks to the inclusion of three different lenses, he’d be able to find something appropriate for all conditions too.
The tightly hinged and well sprung arms also mean they’ll stay in place even when riding over the roughest Belgian cobbles.
100%’s S2 sunglasses. 100%
Rather simply recreating a retro design, 100% has taken inspiration from that eighties style and added angular design cues to make a pair of sunglasses that look much more contemporary.
The lens quality of the mirrored Hiper lens is as good as any we’ve tested, and the finish around the edges is of a noticeably high quality.
The frames also feel very robust (though this does make changing the lenses initially a bit of a slog, until you get the hang of it), and the package includes a clear lens for poor weather conditions and two different nose pieces.
Scott Sport Shields
Scott’s Sport Shield 60th Anniversary shades. Scott
Based on their original 1980’s design, Scott produced these sunglasses in celebration of its 60th anniversary.
The enormous lens measures over 60mm at certain points, giving these an incredibly bold look. It would be tempting to predict that sunglasses of this size would only be suitable for larger faces, but the Yates brothers of team Mitchelton-Scott clearly disagree.
The frames have a sturdy, premium feel, and the single piece lens itself performs brilliantly. The coverage and protection is, thanks to their size, fantastic.
The price is good, though the package only includes one lens tint, which somewhat limits their all-conditions versatility.
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Buyer’s guide: what to look for when buying a set of cycling sunglasses
The lens is clearly the most important component in a pair of sunglasses, so you need to consider your choice carefully, based on your riding style and requirements.
While mirrored lenses can look cool, they’re really only designed for use on very sunny days. If you live somewhere where it’s often dark and wet, you’ll want to consider a sunglasses package that includes multiple lens options.
Alternatively, some brands offer photochromic lenses, which react to the light level to change their light transmission value, meaning they’ll automatically get darker when it’s sunny, then clearer when it’s not.
Frame choice is arguably more a matter of fashion because these dictate the overall shape and look of the sunglasses.
Big, eighties-style sunglasses are back in fashion at the moment and these do have several advantages, such as massive amounts of protection and coverage, but their bold looks aren’t for everyone.
Large frames, for example, can often hover in your peripheral vision, which some riders might find annoying, whereas frameless models offer a much more unrestricted view.
The arms of cycling sunglasses need to be robust enough to safely hold the sunglasses in place over even the roughest terrain. Often, tacky rubber inserts are added to increase friction without causing discomfort.
High quality models will also have reassuringly stiff arms and hinges, without any play. If you’re spending a quite substantial sum of money on sunglasses, you want to know they’re built to last.
Everyone has a different shaped face and nose, so sunglasses with adjustable or interchangeable nose pieces can offer a more personalised fit.
This can be especially important on sunglasses with large frames, where it’s key to ensure the frame doesn’t impinge on your view too much.
When shopping for sunglasses, it’s worth considering the overall package. While some options just include a single lens and frame, others will include multiple lens options, a microfibre bag and possibly even a hard case.
These extras all add significant value and mean you’re unlikely to need to keep spending more down the road to get, for example, a clear lens for the winter months.
Additionally, if you’re a glasses wearer in everyday life, it’s worth considering brands that offer prescription lenses.
Contact lenses and normal lenses are certainly a viable option, but most wearers will have experienced days where wearing contact lenses for long periods of time can start to get uncomfortable.