Cycling glasses fogging is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a cyclist. It can be really hard to see where you’re going and it can be dangerous too.
There are many different reasons why cycling glasses fog up, but there are also some ways that you can stop them from doing so. Most of the time it is due to environmental reasons like the temperature or humidity, and knowing the cause makes finding the solution that much easier.
This article will go over all of these ways and give you some tips on what might work for you to stop glasses fogging up on you.
Introduction: Why Do Cycling Glasses Fog Up?
When you are talking about foggy glasses, what you’re really seeing is condensation in action. You yourself put out a lot of heat when you are biking. When the temperature outside if very different than your body temperature, you can get droplets of moisture to form on the glasses where the two temperatures meet. It’s a little bit like how a storm front is two different weather temperatures meeting.
You can actually cause it easily by exhaling warm breathe onto a surface. The heat and humidity from your breath will cause a fog or condensation on the surface. That’s how many people clean their glasses on the fly actually.
So it’ll become evident that really stopping the fogging ends up being not allowing moisture to build up on the glasses, but it still really depends on the scenario. Since it’s water droplets, most if it comes down to temperature and humidity.
Since the issue stems from the clash of two different temperatures, naturally the temperature outside when you are biking plays a very big role. Glasses fog up far more in cold winter temperatures than in the warmer summer temperatures. There still needs to be humidity to have a fair amount of water in the air, but a large difference in temperature between your skin and the temperature outside is the most important factor. As you would expect, mountain biking at night with changes in lower temperatures makes fogging lenses even more common. So even if you are wearing a set of clear cycling glasses you can still get fog.
Ambient Humidity Level
Without moderate to high humidity levels, fogging is far less common. After all, it’s the water in the air settling on the glasses that causes the fog in the first place. You can somewhat look at your location and environment to get a good idea of how likely fogging up will be. Places like Arizona have close to 15% humidity in the winter but at the same time Florida may have 90% humidity.
Warm air with humidity brings a lot of water droplets and thus water vapor occurs on your glasses.
Weather (Rain, Snow)
The weather you are riding on, or was just happening, plays into the humidity level in the topic above. Rain and snow are both notorious for adding more moisture into the air and resulting in 70-80%+ humidity levels during and following weather such as rain or snow.
How Your Glasses Are On Your Face
How far your cycling glasses are from your face can sometimes be a really big factor in fogging up. If you wear your glasses a little further from your face, if possible, the air will flow and cool down the inside of of the glasses and make fogging up far less likely. When glasses are a cool surface it makes fogging far less likely.
When you are riding or running or things of that nature, the sweat dropping down your face causes high humidity and heat and naturally causes water vapor to stick to your glasses.
Type of Cycling Glasses
You can wear cycling glasses are either simple glasses, wraparound, or even cycling goggles. The more open the glasses, the more air that can flow and even out the temperature. Cycling goggles tend to have less air flow than other eye protection and because of that, fogging is far more common.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose your dream glasses, it just means understand that it is different to avoid foggy glasses it takes a little different method.
Of note is that it has nothing to do with whether or not you have awesome cycling glasses or not, it’s an issue with riding conditions which affects all glasses. Even a set of cheap cycling sunglasses will have this same issue.
How To Stop Your Cycling Sunglasses From Fogging Up
Stopping your sunglasses from fogging up has a number of solutions that all come down to the same thing: preventing water droplets from forming on the surface. There are both products you can buy and home methods you can do that are all pretty effective, depending on which one you like.
Anti Fog Wipes
Although I’ve used all of the methods described here, this is my favorite one and I’ll tell you why after I fill you in a little more. Anti Fog wipes like this one on Amazon are very effective and they get rid of fogging in moments with using one of the wipes. Assuming nothing happens to the glasses, you can get a day or two of use before having to use them again. In reality they clean the surface in a way that water droplets won’t stick, so then no fog.
I prefer wipes like these for a few simple reasons.
- Cheap – You get 100 individually wrapped wipes for only around $15 in this case.
- Portable – You can throw a few of them into your backpack so you can use them if you need on your ride
- Effective – They work and work instantly.
- Safe – They work on all glasses without creating any issues
I really like the portable aspect most. Since each one is individually packaged and sealed like a moist towelette, they take up almost no room and I can throw a few in my backpack in case myself or someone I am riding with needs them. Really can you ask anymore?
That and it’s far easier than carrying toothpaste and towels to do it while riding and the wipes look way cooler.
This one I actually learned while scuba diving years ago. I got some new scuba goggles and my instructor said to use toothpaste to clean the surface of any oil, etc, to avoid them fogging up while under the water. And he was right!
This one is easy because you (I hope) have toothpaste and you can put a couple pea-sized spots on the inside of your glasses and lightly rub it in and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.
One thing you realize is that fogging up, whether it’s your glasses or your car windshield, all happens for the same reason. While I would say don’t use toothpaste on the inside of your windshield, you’ll see that many glass cleaners like Invisible Glass work well and even make specific anti fog cleaners so you can solve your fogging issue effectively.
So now that you can fix your fogging issue easily, you can keep them on the whole ride and get out and do some more cycling!