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Why Are Cycling Glasses So Big?

Woman with big cycling glasses

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When you look at modern cycling glasses, they are pretty large compared to cycling glasses from only a few years ago. Sometimes they’re just plain huge.

Cycling glasses are designed to protect your eyes from the sun, wind, debris and other dangers on the road. They have to be big enough to cover your eyes from all angles and provide maximum protection. They also need to be large enough that the frames don’t block your view of the road. Ideally you want to get the best pair that make sure your eyes don’t get damaged.

Because they need to protect eyes from every angle, they need to be oversized larger glasses. If they weren’t as big, then they wouldn’t be able to protect nearly as well. Remember that your first priority should be that cycling glasses protect your eyes.

Why Do Cycling Glasses Have Such A Large Frame?

Because the lenses need to be large to properly protect your eyes, it follows that cycling glass frames have to be rather large as well. They have to be at minimum as large as the lenses.

Frames also need to be out of your view whenever possible so they don’t block your view of the road. To get a good 180-degree view of the road the frames end up being a bit past the edges of your eyes so that they don’t block important things on the road.

It is possible to get partial frame cycling glasses that only have frames on the top so that you don’t have frames around the sides and bottom. This will lessen the look of big glass frames and is fairly standard if you look at professional riders. Many glasses like Oakley Radar and Smith sunglasses have a large look but it’s very effective when out riding.

Some cycling glasses are large just because they are for prescription cycling glasses. These ones are typically the size of goggles and they are meant to wear your normal prescription glasses under them.

What Is The Best Type Of Lens For Cycling Glass That Are Big?

Cycling glasses are a must for cycling enthusiasts, and frequently they can be on the large side. The best type of lens for cycling glasses is wraparound lenses as they curve with your face to provide the best side protection and also appear a little less large.

Wraparound lenses are the best type of lens for cycling glasses because they offer good protection from the sun’s rays and the glare you can get from the side while riding. Even sun glare like that can really make it hard to see.

You also get wind and dirt that can blow in from the sides. Getting the large cycling glasses with wraparound lenses goes a long way to making them very effective at protecting your eyes. Remember that you need to first look towards the design of the lenses before price and there are many to choose from that will ensure your eyes are well covered.

What Is The Purpose Of Cycling Glasses?

The best cycling sunglasses protect eyes from the sun, wind, and debris:

  • The glasses block out wind, dirt, and debris that can fly around.
  • They have UV coating to protect eyes from UV-damage.
  • They are polarized so they protect against sun glare.

Sunglasses protect your eyes against all of this and much more. For the low price that you can get quality sunglasses for, it’s a very smart investment in your eye safety. That’s in fact why cycling sunglasses have gotten larger: to provide maximum protection and coverage. That in fact is the reason why cycling glasses are worth it.

If you go riding at night, I highly recommend looking at clear cycling glasses online and finding a pair you like so that you can make sure dust and debris from the road or trail doesn’t get in your eyes.

How To Choose The Best Big Cycling Glasses For Your Face Shape

Choosing the best cycling glasses for your face shape can be a daunting task. However, if you know what to look for, this task becomes much easier. The first step is to identify your face shape. Once you know your face shape then you can narrow down the selection of glasses by looking for ones that are designed to fit that specific shape.

There are three basic shapes of faces: square, round and oval.

  • Square faces have a jaw line that is wider than the cheekbones and have an angular appearance.
  • Round faces have cheekbones that are wider than the jaw line and appear round or full in shape.
  • Oval faces have a jaw line and cheekbone width that is fairly even with each other and have an oval appearance.

Once you know the shape of your face, it makes it far easier to pick cycling glasses that match your face shape so that they can follow the contour of your face and protect your eyes from all angles.

When you are talking wraparound glasses, this is very important to properly choose the most effective sunglasses. Most effective and large coverage does not always mean they are expensive which you can see for yourself looking at our recommended cycling glasses lists.

Once you know what type you are looking for, then at that point choose what options you want such as polarization and budget, and then look for cycling glasses that fit all of these things.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed