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What Is the Difference Between Photochromic and Polarized Cycling?

Cycling can be a thrilling activity, whether you're exploring scenic routes or competing in races. However, with cycling comes the risk of exposure to the sun's harmful rays, which can cause eye damage and fatigue. That's why it's important to protect your eyes with the right cycling lenses. Two popular types of cycling lenses are photochromic and polarized. In this blog, we'll explore the differences between these lenses and help you choose the right ones for your cycling needs.

revo cycling sunglasses

Photochromic Cycling Lenses
Photochromic lenses, also known as transition lenses, are designed to adjust to changing light conditions. These lenses darken when exposed to bright sunlight and lighten when it's cloudy or indoors. This feature allows you to wear the same lenses in different lighting conditions, eliminating the need to switch lenses or carry multiple pairs.

Photochromic lenses are made of a special type of lens material that contains photochromic molecules. These molecules react to UV light, causing the lenses to darken. When the UV light is removed, the molecules stop reacting and the lenses lighten.

One of the advantages of photochromic lenses is that they offer UV protection. UV rays are harmful to the eyes and can cause damage over time. With photochromic lenses, you can protect your eyes from UV rays without having to wear a separate pair of sunglasses. Another advantage of photochromic lenses is that they come in a variety of colors, including gray, brown, and yellow. Each color offers different benefits, such as improved contrast or reduced glare. Some photochromic lenses also have an anti-reflective coating, which helps reduce glare and improve visual clarity.


cycling sunglasses for men

However, one disadvantage of photochromic lenses is that they may not darken enough in very bright conditions, such as during a midday ride on a sunny day. In these situations, you may still need to wear a separate pair of sunglasses to reduce glare and eye strain.

Like photochromic lenses, polarized lenses also offer UV protection. This is important because UV rays can cause eye damage and fatigue, especially during long rides or races. One disadvantage of polarized lenses is that they can make it difficult to see some digital displays, such as the display on your bike computer or GPS. This is because polarized lenses block horizontal light waves, which are used to create some types of digital displays. To avoid this issue, you can choose non-polarized lenses or lenses with a lower polarization level.

bleu lens cycling sunglasses


Choosing the Right Lenses for You
When it comes to choosing the right cycling lenses, it's important to consider your individual needs and preferences. If you frequently ride in changing lighting conditions, photochromic lenses may be a good choice for you. However, if you often ride in bright, sunny conditions or near bodies of water, polarized lenses may be a better option.

It's also important to consider the color and polarization level of the lenses. Gray lenses are a popular choice because they offer true color perception and are suitable for a wide range of lighting conditions. Brown lenses are another popular choice because they enhance contrast and are ideal for partly cloudy or hazy conditions. Yellow lenses are best for low light conditions, as they enhance contrast and depth perception.

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