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Why Are Cycling Glasses Yellow?

Torege Sports Sunglasses

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Each color cycling lens is designed for different situations, mainly due to lighting. The most common lens colors are black, blue, yellow, and clear.

Yellow cycling glasses are popular because they provide good contrast in low light conditions while still providing protection against UV light, dirt, and debris.

Benefits Of Wearing Yellow Glasses For Cyclists

A lot of cyclists wear yellow lenses to protect their eyes from the sun. But is there a benefit to wearing these glasses?

Yes, wearing yellow lenses is best for cyclists because it helps them see better in low-light conditions. The color of the lens blocks out blue light, which can help improve contrast and make it easier to see in the dark.

Why Cycling Glasses With Yellow Lenses Are Better Than Regular Colored Lenses After Dawn?

Yellow lenses are better than other color lenses in lower light conditions because they cut down on the glare from the sun and oncoming headlights. This is mostly because they filter out the blue light which leads to improved contrast of objects in the road. Sometimes yellow lenses are even called night vision glasses.

Regular sunglasses during this time mostly filter out all light, so they get rid of glare but it may become hard to see with a lack of lighting.

As it becomes even darker, I prefer to go to fully clear glasses for eye protection. If your night riding is on roads near car headlights, it’s possible yellow glasses will filter out the headlight glare better. There are many clear cycling glasses made just for riding at night.

Are Yellow Cycling Glasses Better Than Clear Cycling Glasses?

This is a question that has been debated for a long time. There are many factors to take into consideration when answering this question. For example, the intensity of light is different in different environments and what environment (such as city, urban, or forest) are involved.

Yellow cycling glasses are preferred when there is less light like near dawn or when there is high contrast between light and dark areas in the environment (e.g., snow).

Clear cycling glasses are preferred when there is very low light like night riding when only protection of the eyes is necessary.

Both yellow and clear cycling glasses can have very good UV protection and protect equally well against debris that gets thrown up. Both types also come as polarized glasses as well. Whether polarized lenses are right for you depends on many things beyond the scope of this article but well worth a read.

You can find many of these things like yellow lenses, clear lenses, UV protection, and polarization even in a cheap pair of cycling sunglasses if you know where to look. If money is a concern, you’ll find at least a couple of winners on that list.

If you’re cycling or biking at night, I recommend full frame glasses so that if a low hanging branch hits right in the glasses they’ll hold up. Better make sure they are shatterproof too.

Do Yellow Sunglasses Work Well During The Day?

Yellow sunglasses are a great choice for people who have light-sensitive eyes. They can help to reduce the amount of glare and improve contrast in bright daylight.

Tests show that darker sunglasses will filter out more light than yellow sunglasses. Being that the end result of how much light gets through really depends on the rider, then which one works for you truly depends on how much light you like to filter out. I myself prefer more light, but rest assured yellow sunglasses are effective enough to use in bright daylight.

I should note here that there are yellow photochromic cycling glasses but they are generally not preferred for cycling as lighting conditions can change fast when riding and photochromic lenses may not change that fast and actually be a hindrance to seeing the path.

Yellow sunglasses may work best for you, or perhaps clear or tinted sunglasses may work best for you. The best cycling glasses for you really depends on how, when, and where you ride. Many riders find that getting two different sets covers the bases easier. Tifosi Optics is one of the best cycling sunglasses when it comes to yellow and clear lenses.

One last thing to note is that although they are either yellow or clear cycling glasses, you can get them in polarized cycling glasses to get the best of both worlds.

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