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Best cheap cycling sunglasses: protect your eyes on a budget

Cyclist magazine
24 Jun 2020

The best cycling sunglasses for those on a budget, starting from just £3.99

Spending a small fortune on cycling gear is as easy ABC. Expensive wheels, costly helmets and lavish sunglasses.

In fact, most high-profile brands retail their cycling sunglasses for three-figure sums claiming a myriad of benefits as to why they are so expensive and spending in the region of £150 is not uncommon for most of us.

However, you do not need to break the bank for a solid set of sunnies to guide you through a summer’s worth of cycling. Realistically, there are only a few things you need from a set of cycling sunglasses to make sure they do the job.

Firstly, they offer UV protection. If they don’t, they won’t actually be protecting your eyes from the sun. Secondly, they’re comfortable and fit well because nobody wants their glasses falling off on a descent. And, lastly, you like how they look on as a set of sunglasses is probably the most prevalent fashion statement of any cyclist.

Luckily, this can be done on a much more acceptable budget and we have collated seven of the best options from as little as £3.99

Best cheap cycling sunglasses

Endura Char Photochromatic sunglasses

Buy now from Wiggle for £56.99

Transitional lenses were all the range in the early part of the century and while they may have gone out of fashion in the real world, we believe they very much still have a place in cycling.

The benefit of a photochromatic lens is its ability to adjust to changing light conditions. Considering a ride during the UK summer can see you experience several seasons in a 20-minute window, having a set of sunglasses that can keep up is certainly a big bonus.

The lenses used by Endura claim to respond to light exposure in just seven seconds, offering full UV protection. Endura has also vented the lenses to prevent fogging while an adjustable nose piece and arm tips allow even the most stubborn noses and head shapes to feel comfortable.

Buy now from Wiggle for £56.99

Carnac Matis Evo Sunglasses

Buy now from Planet X for £29.99

Have you ever seen that meme of two Spidermen pointing at one another? That’s how I imagine the Oakley Racing Jackets would react in a meeting with the Carnac Matis Evo sunglasses. To say there’s some design resemblance would be an understatement.

Either way, the Matis Evo sunglasses offer UV400 Cat 3 UVA/B protection through impact-tested lenses that you can get in an HD silver mirror or red-black revo finish.

These lenses can be removed, too, for easier cleaning while the venting around each lens will ensure they do not fog up when the weather turns.

Buy now from Planet X for £29.99

DHB Vector Sunglasses

Buy now from Wiggle for £70

If looking like the great sharpshooting wrestler Brett Hart is your thing, the Vector sunglasses from Wiggle’s in-house brand DHB could be your bag.

They are bang on trend using a single, oversized lens to offer category 3 UV protection, which is best suited to the brightest conditions. The Vectors also utilise venting on the lens, like most others in this list, to prevent fogging.

Available in a frame colour of white, black or fluoro orange, these are a great option for those who value style as well as substance.

Buy now from Wiggle for £70

FWE Helios Revo polarised sunglasses

Buy now from Evans Cycles for £24.99

When sunglasses are described as polarised, it does not mean they have been radicalised by those pesky Arctic bears. It means their lenses have been manufactured in a way that only allows vertical light through to your eyes.

For a cyclist, this means any light being reflected from a car bonnet or your mate’s shiny rear derailleur will be blocked out, which ensures a clear line of sight when riding.

At £24.99, the FWE Helios sunglasses offer polarised technology at an affordable price in a design that would also look half acceptable off the bike, too.

Buy now from Evans Cycles for £24.99

Rockrider 100 sunglasses

Buy now from Decathlon for £3.99

No, you’re not mistaken, that does say £3.99. Decathlon is the master of low cost, effective cycling gear and there is no exception when it comes to cycling sunglasses.

The category 1 lens is best suited to foggy conditions but will offer you full UV protection, allowing 8 to 18% of light through, which is incredible considering they cost less than an inner tube.

The design is fairly basic, boasting petrol station sunglass vibes, but they do a job of being lightweight and easy to clean thanks to the polycarbonate plastic arms and frame.

Buy now from Decathlon for £3.99

Madison Coasters sunglasses

Buy now from Tredz for £14.39

The Madison Coasters sunglasses are very reminiscent of specs worn back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Wide, narrow lenses that wrap around the face and perch comfortably on top of the dome, it’s a look we like.

The dark-tinted single lens works best in bright conditions and wraps around the face to offer extended protection in the periphery from not only sunlight, but dust and rain too. The arms are wrapped in rubber to ensure security when worn or slid into the vents of your helmet.

Buy now from Tredz for £14.39

Tifosi Swank sunglasses

Buy now from Wiggle for £30

If you’re new to cycling and would rather have a set of sunglasses that are less ‘pro athlete’ and more ‘casual rider’, then the Tifosi Swank sunglasses offer the perfect option.

Cut similarly to a set of wayfarers, Tifosi offers up eight frame colours with a range of coloured lenses covering all outfit choices both on and off the bike.

The smoky polycarbonate lenses offer full UV protection with an incorporated glare guard to help combat light reflection. The Grilamid TR90 frame is lightweight while also offering a degree of flexibility that could prevent snapping if you were unfortunate enough to come off on the bike or accidentally sit on your glasses.

Buy now from Wiggle for £30

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