Sometimes bike riders mountain bike at night because there’s not enough daylight like in the late fall, and sometimes it’s because they truly enjoy it. In either case, mountain biking at night presents different safety issues, the first being you need to protect your eyes while you are biking. Not all manufacturers make clear glasses for night so I put together a list of the best choices there are. Some of these glasses are also on my best cycling glasses list as my favorite glasses work in both daytime and nighttime.
The best night mountain biking glasses are ones that are completely clear, have a full frame, and have sturdy plexiglass lens. These will allow you to see everything in front of you, while still being able to take a hit from a branch and protecting your eyes at the same time. For the money, Giro Goggles are the best you can get.
The 7 Best Clear Cycling Glasses You Can Buy
Sometimes on an early morning ride or late evening trek, you’ll find that you don’t need or want tinted sunglasses.
When there is low light, you’ll want clear cycling glasses so that you can see easily, but still provide plenty of eye protection. There are still dangers from dust, debris, branches, and wind.
Most guides focus on regular sunglasses which makes it harder to find clear glasses for low-light or night riding.
In this buyer’s guide, I’ll give you several great options for clear riding glasses that will fit almost any budget.
These are the very best eye protection you can get when riding at night. They are heavy-duty with a reinforced frame.
- Lens: True sight Polycarbonate Lens with Expansion View (EXV) Technology
- Weight: 200 grams (full goggles with strap)
- Frame Type: Full frame
- Adjustment: Adjustable Goggles Strap
- Recommended Use: Downhill/Enduro
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Full frame glasses for maximum eye protection
- Ability to wear them over normal prescription glasses
- Anti fogging
- Expansion View (EXV) Technology has amazing peripheral vision
- Very comfortable to wear
- Could possibly interfere with non-Giro bike helmets
For my money, these are the best way to protect my eyes riding at night. These are actually goggles so they are a bit heavy duty but they protect your eyes like no other. The full frame is a key reason these goggles are so durable.
If you are doing either downhill or enduro riding you need to protect your eyes from branches that the light just doesn’t catch. Downhill has a lot of obstacles and speed and a lot of other things going on at once. It’s really easy to miss a branch until it hits you in the face. These are about the best protect you can buy.
If you’re looking for heavy duty glasses for night mountain bike riding, or really any riding, these are the best in my opinion. They mix high quality construction with a very reasonable price from Giro which is a well-respected company in biking equipment.
Giro created something they call Expansion View Technology for these goggles. In reality, what it means is that the peripheral vision is really good with these goggles and it has a clear and not-distorted view. Basically they maximized the clear lens and minimized the frame so that when you ride you see nothing but what’s around you and don’t even notice you have goggles on. That’s the mark of well-made goggles and when you combine it with all of the benefits of clear goggles, they are a sure winner.
I don’t wear prescription glasses, but if you do, these goggles are marketed as being built big enough that they will fit over glasses. Not having to get special lenses for your glasses or goggles is a nice money-saving method.
My next though went to fogging up since it seems almost all goggles I’ve had over the years fog up in 2 minutes flat. I was pleasantly surprised to see that these have anti-fog coating on them to prevent the goggles fogging up.
Here’s a little tip for goggles that I don’t hear mentioned very often. Wipe a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the inside of a pair of goggles and then wipe it out and they’ll fog up far less. I learned this when I first scuba dived and it holds true on any goggles you have, whether for biking or wearing them while cutting wood.
The other thing I personally like is the strap to hold it in place. I’ve always liked goggles just the way they stay in place.
Read more: Giro Tempo MTB goggles full review
Oakley is a well-known brand and these glasses are photochromic so they’re clear at night and tinted in the day. They are expensive which is why they’re #2 in the list.
- Lens: Prizm HDO optical lens
- Weight: 29 grams
- Frame Type: Half frame
- Adjustment: Adjustable nose piece and arms
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Recommended Use: Cross Country / Mild Downhill
- Oakley is well-known for their quality so you know it’ll be a good set of sunglasses
- Prizm lenses provide great contrast and clarity
- Very light and comfortable to wear for hours
- 100% UV protection (UV400)
Oakley is a well-known brand and they do have one version of these glasses that are Clear to Black Photochromic that more or less adjusts the tint to the outside light conditions.
These are mostly aimed at the 24 hours endurance tests but they can work well if you like the fit of Oakley glasses because at night they become clear and completely transparent.
Oakleys are a bit pricey but they really do fit well. They don’t give out replacements so easy now and they don’t cover scratched lenses (though you can buy replacement clear lenses on Amazon). I rate these high on the list because they are well-known and they are well-built, but they are also expensive so if you’re in that boat I have some very reasonably priced glasses coming up next.
Oakley is a well-known brand and I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone that these glasses are very high quality.
Oakley makes their glasses to last and withstand a lot of abuse which is really the reason for their higher price. I myself have never had the actual glass structure break although I find lenses can get scratched easily if you’re not paying attention. If they get dirt or mud on them, making sure to rinse them good before you rub them clean so you don’t rub in the rough dirt.
These glasses are comfortable with the nose and ear pieces. No real surprise there.
These are pricey glasses for sure, so make sure either you don’t care about the money, or that you choose them for situations where they likely won’t take too much abuse like XC biking or road biking. For downhill these can easily get damaged so I’d choose the goggles above.
We have a review on the Oakley Radar EV Path which applies to the photochromatic / clear version. They are both available under the same links and choosing the clear lens for the lens color is this version.
Read more: Oakley Radar EV Path sunglasses full review
These sunglasses are Oakley so you know they’re good. They adjust to fit multiple helmet sizes and it’s easy to switch out the lenses.
- Lens: Prizm HDO optics lens
- Weight: 34 grams
- Frame Type: Full frame
- Adjustment: Adjustable nosepiece and arms
- Large lenses for an unobstructed peripheral view
- Lightweight and very comfortable and they stay in place
- Hydrophilic rubber nose pads and ear pieces
- Oakley Prizm optics provides enhance view
- Sharp looking
- Depending on face size, the frames may be visible when riding
The Oakley Jawbreaker is one of the original cycling glasses with the big lens and it’s a design that is still available today.
The Jawbreaker offers a wide field of view thanks to those big lens, and it also helps protect your eyes especially from things like branches you may not see in the low lighting environments.
The nosepads and arms stay in place due to the hydrophilic rubber that actually grip even better the wetter they get.
They fit great and stay in place no matter how rigorous the path. They are lightweight and they just plain work.
The Prizm lens in the Jawbreaker has amazing clarity and contrast even in the clear lens.
The Jawbreaker is a tried-and-true set of cycling sunglasses that won’t let you down!
These sunglasses are very modular and easy to change out parts like the lens or arms. They are light and very comfortable to wear.
- Lens: ImpactX Photochromic 2 Black lenses
- Weight: 36 grams
- Frame Type: Full frame (has removable upper and lower bumpers)
- Adjustment: Adjustable nosepad and temple tips
- Full frame design with removable lower bumpers
- Wide lens with quick-change system
- Adjustable anti-slip nose pads and anti-slip temple tips
- Supports prescription lens insert
- Sharp looking
- Many vents for anti-fogging
- Very comfortable and they stay in place
- 100% UV Protection (UV400)
- The Prescription lens insert fits on the inside so eyelashes can hit them
The Rudy Project Cutline is one of the most customizeable cycling glasses I have ever seen. They are incredible easy to take apart and switch lenses or even change out parts like the arms.
Since you can easily switch out parts like the arms and nose pads and bumpers, you can really dial these in to fit your face perfectly.
These Rudy Project glasses are photochromic which is why they work so well in all lighting environments. They have a LTV (Light Transmission Value) of 9% – 74%.
During the day, these will darken to let through only 9% of light meaning they are great in even the brightest sun light.
In low light situations, they will let through 74% of the sun light. They are just a slightly darker tint in night riding than the RockBros below which will let through up to 80% of the light at night. I would say the tint in dark conditions is about average of the glasses I’ve reviewed. However, the glasses themselves are far above average in quality.
These glasses change colors very fast when the light conditions change quickly such as going between a sunny field and then into the wooded trail.
You can also get prescription lens inserts so that you can use these instead of your regular prescription glasses.
Not fogging up is very important in low light conditions, and these glasses have plenty of vents to let through air to keep them from fogging while you are moving along.
The Cutline remains one of my top recommendations as they work amazing, have a fit that rivals Oakley, and just plain work. You really can’t go wrong with a set of these!
These Tifosi Veloce glasses are photochromic so they are clear at night and tinted during the day. They have a high-end frame along with adjustable nose and ear pieces.
- Lens: Light Night Fototec photochromic lens 75-25% LTV, Shatterproof lenses
- Weight: 28 grams
- Frame Type: Half frame
- Adjustment: Adjustable nose pieces and ears
- Recommended Use: All types
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Fully adjustable and light for a great fit and comfortable to wear
- Hydrophillic nose pieces and arms
- Prescription lenses available
- Vent lenses to prevent fogging
These Tifosi glasses are a set I’ve had my eye on for a bit. I haven’t tried them out myself but here are the reasons why I think I’m going to grab a pair shortly:
- Adjustable Nose Piece
- Adjustable Ear Pieces
- Vented Lenses so they don’t fog up
- Lightweight – They seem lighter than other sunglasses I’ve used and I like the idea of glasses light enough I don’t even think about them.
- They look really cool – These are a look you don’t see on many other glasses with them almost completely clear, even the frames.
These glasses have both the hydrophilic rubber and they are adjustable. This type of rubber resists sweat so they stay in place no matter how much you sweat. Couple that with being able to adjust the glasses entirely and you have the perfect glasses.
These glasses are not only cool looking, but they are made from a nylon material that is very light and durable so you’ll barely notice you have them on from a weight perspective.
Both the ear and nose pieces are fully adjustable like I mentioned above. Glasses just have to sit right to be happy with them.
The lens in these glasses are also pretty well made. They are shatterproof and they are consistent in that they won’t cause distortions in your field of vision.
These glass are photochromic so they’ll be clear at night and tinted during the day. They are made of plastic with an anti-scratch coating so they are very durable.
- Lens: Photochromic lenses (transmittance between 18 and 80% depending on light, category 3 lenses)
- Weight: 30 grams
- Frame Type: Full frame
- Adjustment: Adjustable nose pads
- Recommended Use: All Types
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Full frame glasses for excellent eye protection
- Plastic lens that are anti-scratch
- Photochromic glasses
- Weight of only 30 grams for light full-frame glasses.
- No vents for air so they could be fogging in certain environments
RockBros makes an excellent set of photochromic sunglasses that go nearly clear at night, while providing excellent protection with the full-frame glasses.
At 30 grams they are lightweight, and with the adjustable nose pads they become unnoticeable to wear after a few minutes.
The reason these sunglasses are in this list is that they are photochromic, so they go from regular tint in the bright sunlight, to nearly clear when there is low lighting. They are perfect for those early morning rides that get brighter as you ride, or riding in the evening when it’s slowly getting darker. It’s really nice not having to change glasses partway through.
At night they go all the way down to 18% tint which is perfect for low lighting situations. That is about as light of a tint as you are going to get, second only to completely clear lenses.
These RockBros glasses are full-framed glasses so they’re sturdy and they’ll keep your eyes safe. They’re rather light, too.
You’ll want to consider the RockBros photochromic glasses if you do a lot of early morning, late evening, or night riding. They are full frame glasses so the lenses are well-support in case a twig or branch hits them.
These glasses wait only 30 grams so they’re really light, almost to the point you don’t notice them on.
Read more: RockBros Photochromic sunglasses full review
Conquer the trails with clear vision and a secure fit – Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses, the ultimate companion for epic mountain biking adventures.
- Lens:The Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses boast shatterproof and scratch-resistant lenses, providing clear vision and 100% UVA/UVB protection.
- Weight:Weighing in at just 23 grams, these sunglasses offer a feather-light feel for all-day comfort during your active pursuits.
- Frame Type:The durable Grilamid TR-90 frame ensures longevity and resists damage from chemicals and UV rays.
- Adjustment:With hydrophilic nose pads that increase grip as you sweat and Tifosi Glide technology for an anti-bounce fit, these sunglasses offer customizable adjustments for a secure and personalized fit.
- Recommended Use: All Types
- Rating: 4.7/5
- Price: Tifosi sunglasses for under $20 is an amazing price!
- Optimal Lens Clarity: The Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses provide exceptional lens clarity, allowing riders to navigate challenging terrain with enhanced vision and depth perception.
- Fog Prevention: The vented lenses effectively increase airflow, minimizing fogging even during intense climbs and fast descents, ensuring clear visibility at all times.
- Lightweight and Comfortable: With their feather-light weight of only 23 grams, these sunglasses won’t weigh you down or cause discomfort during long rides, allowing for uninterrupted focus on the trail.
- Durable Frame Construction: Crafted from Grilamid TR-90, the Tifosi Intense sunglasses feature a robust frame that withstands the rigors of mountain biking, providing durability for those inevitable bumps and drops.
- Secure Fit: The hydrophilic rubber nose pads and Tifosi Glide technology work in tandem to deliver a secure and snug fit, even when tackling rough trails or hitting jumps, preventing any distracting bounce or slip.
- Excellent UV Protection: The 100% UVA/UVB protection coating on the lenses shields riders’ eyes from harmful sun rays, reducing eye strain and ensuring long-lasting eye health during extended rides.
- Versatile Performance: These sunglasses are designed for a range of outdoor activities, making them suitable not only for mountain biking but also for trail running, hiking, or any adventure that demands reliable eye protection.
- Stylish Design: The Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses boast a sleek and modern aesthetic, allowing riders to look good while shredding trails and capturing attention both on and off the bike.
- Easy Maintenance: The included microfiber cleaning bag simplifies lens cleaning, ensuring riders can quickly remove any dirt, dust, or smudges for crystal-clear vision throughout their rides.
- Non-Polarized: These sunglasses do not come with polarized lenses, which may limit their effectiveness in reducing glare from certain angles.
- Limited Lens Color Options: While the Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses offer clear lenses, additional color options for different lighting conditions would provide more versatility.
- Narrow Fit Range: Although suitable for small to large fits, individuals with wider faces may find these sunglasses less accommodating.
- Limited Warranty Coverage: While the lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects is commendable, it’s worth noting that the warranty covers specific issues and is at the discretion of Tifosi Optics. Luckily Tifosi is well-known for their quality.
Alrighty then! Let’s dive right into this review of the Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses, a pair of shades that claim to be the perfect fit for all you sporty folks out there. Whether you’re teeing off on the golf course, smashing it in pickleball, sprinting like a gazelle, or slapping that tennis ball, these sunglasses are ready to accompany you on your athletic adventures. And boy, do they come packed with some nifty features!
First things first, let’s talk about the frame. The Tifosi Intense sunglasses are made from Grilamid TR-90, a material that’s tough as nails and as light as a feather. It’s like wearing a pair of sunglasses made by the gods themselves. Not only are they built to withstand the rough and tumble of your active lifestyle, but they also fend off chemicals and UV rays like a boss. Talk about a durable frame that’s got your back!
Now, let’s shift our focus to the lenses. These bad boys are made of polycarbonate, which means they won’t shatter into a million pieces if you accidentally drop them (because let’s face it, we’ve all been there). And the best part? They eliminate any wonky distortions or weird magnifications that could mess with your game. Say goodbye to those annoying distractions and hello to crystal-clear vision! Plus, they provide 100% UVA/UVB protection, shielding your precious peepers from those harmful rays. Can I get a hallelujah?
But wait, there’s more! The Tifosi Intense sunglasses come equipped with lens vents that allow for some serious airflow. No more fogging up like a steamy bathroom mirror. These vents keep your lenses clear, so you can focus on the task at hand without any hazy distractions. Talk about a breath of fresh air!
Let’s not forget about the rubbery goodness that keeps these shades snug on your face. The hydrophilic rubber ear pieces are like little superheroes, ensuring a secure fit even when you’re dripping with sweat. They won’t let you down, no matter how intense (pun intended) your workout gets. So go ahead, run that marathon, climb that mountain, or conquer the world. These sunglasses aren’t going anywhere!
And hey, did I mention the Tifosi Intense sunglasses come with a microfiber cleaning bag? That’s right, folks. You’ll have everything you need to keep these shades looking spick and span, ready for your next adventure. It’s like having a personal stylist for your eyewear. Fancy, huh?
But wait, there’s more! Tifosi Optics stands behind their products like a knight in shining armor. They’ve got your back with a lifetime warranty against any pesky manufacturer’s defects. If something goes awry, they’ll either repair or replace your sunglasses, no questions asked. Now that’s what I call top-notch customer service!
So, my friends, if you’re in the market for a pair of sunglasses that can keep up with your active lifestyle, look no further than the Tifosi Intense Sports Sunglasses. With their durable frame, vented lenses, and secure fit, these shades are ready to take on any challenge you throw at them. Slip ’em on, feel the power, and let your sporty side shine. Your eyes will thank you!
What Should You Look For In Clear or Night Biking Glasses?
All of these above have the set of traits to make these durable, useful glasses when you trail ride at night. Here are the high-level things to look for in night cycling glasses:
- Clear lenses – You don’t want anything impeding your view at night. Not even yellow lenses which have been proven to filter out some of the light.
- Durable – You want a set of glasses that will take a normal 1/4 inch branches on trails. Many times you just don’t see them since you are focusing on the trail itself and they are in the perimeter. If you are doing rough terrain with lots of trees and such, you’ll want full frame glasses. If you are doing cross country, enduro, or road biking, then a half frame is plenty.
- Shatterproof – You don’t want the lenses cracking and sending material into your eyes. Ideally they have passed the ATSM F803 safety standard.
- Anti-fog coating – Again, you don’t want anything impeding your vision and fog is definitely something that will affect your view. You’re going to be breathing hard and you need glasses that won’t fog up because of it.
The anti-fog thing is interesting because it’s a feature I want, but I learned a tip when I started scuba diving of how to make any goggles, or in this case glasses, anti-fog. All you need is a little bit of toothpaste about the size of a pea. Rub it around inside the lenses and then use a clean cloth to clean it out. Voila! Both effective and free!
With the right cycling glasses night riding can be both safe and fun.
Why Do Cyclists Wear Clear Glasses?
Cyclists wear clear glasses to protect their eyes from dust, debris, wind, and generally anything they want to keep out of their eyes. Protecting your eyes is important to say the least.
Clear glasses are for when you want eye protection but you don’t want tinted glasses to block out sunlight. They are for cycling in low light conditions, which are typically early morning, late evening, or night biking.
Clear cycling glasses give you eye protection without making it hard to see when there isn’t much light out. If you are into those really early morning rides when it’s peaceful, then you’ll want either clear glasses or photochromic glasses.
Why Do Cyclists Wear Yellow Glasses?
Cyclists wear yellow glasses when they want eye protection plus extra contrast of the surrounding area, but in lower light conditions.
Typically, yellow cycling glasses are used in early morning hours or late even hours when there’s still some sun out, and the yellow lens will help differentiate objects on the trail and make it easier to see what is going on.
When Should You Wear Clear Lenses When Cycling?
Clear lenses should be used in any of these lower light conditions:
- Early morning riding
- Late evening riding
- Night bike riding
- Riding on a cloudy or overcast day
More or less, the general rule of thumb is to use clear cycling glasses when you want eye protection but you don’t need to filter out sun light.
If you are looking purely for budget or cheap sunglasses that are well under $50, then I put together a post over here on the cheap cycling glasses you can get.
You may have noticed that very few of these sunglasses are polarized. They do have UV protection, but polarization on clear glasses is far from common since they are mostly used in low-light situations.
Whether you choose any of the glasses I mentioned above or you choose your own, make sure it can stand up to your daily usage and keep your eyes safe. Mountain biking can be dangerous but with the right equipment and preparation it can be a safe and exciting sport.