No matter the terrain or weather, it’s important to protect your eyes while on your bike. We round up 2024’s best cycling glasses for attacking the asphalt or ripping up MTB trails…

If you’re thinking your beach sunglasses are going to cut it after your new year’s resolution to make that summer sportive or to hit the trail centre more often, then think again. The best cycling glasses will prevent everything from sweat or dirt in your eyes to missing essential details in your environment, be that an oncoming truck or off-camber roots.

And if you’re looking for a competitive advantage when racing, it pays to maintain your poker face and remember what Fausto Coppi said: “Only my eyes can show the suffering.” So, read on to discover the best cycling glasses, tried and tested by us.

How we test the best cycling glasses

Our cycling product tester Matt Ray put each pair through their paces, wearing them on extended rides on a variety of terrain and different lighting conditions to see which were best for overcast, bright and changing light and whether they shone particularly on road or off-road cycling sessions.

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These are the best cycling glasses

  1. Oakley Plazma
  2. Rapha Pro Team Frameless
  3. Oakley Kato Cavendish Edition
  4. Koo Demos Glasses
  5. Endura Shumba II
  6. Panda Fixed Sport
  7. Oakley Kato Trail Torch
  8. SunGod Velans

Oakley Plazma (w/ Sapphire Polarized Lens)


Product shot of Oakley Plazma Prizm glasses

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Light transmission:12%
Features:Suitable for prescription lenses, durable O-Matter frame
Lens colours:7 colours available
Frame colours:7 colours available

Clarity: 5/5
Design: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5

If you’re after the best cycling glasses, look no further. When every cycle optics manufacturer under the sun is making massive single-lens shades, Oakley has gone old-school and produced these dual-lens beauties that give a nod to its popular Race Jackets from yesteryear.

That’s not just a style choice though, as these Plazmas rake at the perfect angle to grip your head snugly, making them an ideal choice for aggressive MTB blasts. While testing, I found that the super-sharp lenses hug your face too, to achieve the same kind of coverage and field of view as their more sizeable rivals.

These are also the only polarized lenses I tested, and yes they really do stand out for ultimate lens clarity. I’d feel happy taking these comfy shades on longer road rides, aggressive MTB blasts and most things in between.

Read our full Oakley Plazma review

Rapha Pro Team Frameless Glasses (w/ Purple/Green Lens)

Product shot of Rapha Pro Team cycling glasses

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Light transmission:From 21% (pink-blue lens) to 10% (black mirror lens)
Features:Megol arm grippers / hydrophobic anti-fogging lens
Lens colours:Rose, pink blue, bronze, purple green, black mirror
Frame colours:Silver, sand rust brown, black, white, dark navy, blue

Clarity: 4/5
Design: 5/5
Comfort: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

For cycling shades with a true racing pedigree, look no further than Rapha’s Pro Team Frameless shades. Oozing effortless style, I found that these classy glasses offer an uninterrupted field of vision, stunning optical clarity and excellent ventilation.

I wore these UV400-rated sunglasses on an exploratory road and gravel ride, and their purple-tinted optical clarity was good enough to keep my head on a swivel while taking in unfamiliar landscapes, checking for traffic, and coping with rapidly changing road surfaces.

The five available lens colours give you a range of light transmission from 10% to 21% with the rose or pink-blue being the best choices for mixed conditions. If you’re looking to win races with style, you can’t go wrong with the best cycling glasses from Rapha.

Read our full Rapha Pro Team Frameless review

Oakley Kato Cavendish Edition

Cyclist Mark Cavendish wearing a pair of his signature Oakley Kato glasses

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Light transmission:11%
Features:Adjustable rake, swappable nose pads
Lens coloursBronze
Frame colour:White

Clarity: 5/5
Design: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Costing no more than the standard Kato (which is just as well), this Mark Cavendish signature edition is the perfect choice for fans of the Manx Missile. Released in honour of his attempt to become the Tour de France record holder for stage wins this summer, these mask-like shades could become a collectors’ item if (or when) he succeeds. I felt like a cycling superhero from the 25th century while wearing them.

Your investment will also buy you superb coverage, class-leading optical clarity and confidence-inspiring performance in changing light conditions. When I was riding on a bright day, with the sun high in the sky, it really showed off the qualities of the lens, which transformed every scene into ’golden hour’.

Read our full Oakley Kato Cavendish Edition review

Koo Demos Glasses (w/ Orange Mirror Lens)


Product shot of Koo Demos cycling glasses

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Light transmission:12.5% – 69%
Features:Megol temple inserts, 4 lens ventilation ports
Lens colours:9 colours available
Frame colours:10 colours available

Clarity: 5/5
Design: 5/5
Comfort: 3/5

With a crystal-clear Zeiss lens to rival any of the Oakley optics, Koo’s Demos eyewear manages to come in $100 / £100 cheaper than any of them. Some of the best cycling glasses on the market, you’ll also be spoilt for choice with regards to frame and lens colours – the latter giving you a huge range in light transmission from 12.5% to 69%.

I appreciated the four ventilation ports, which minimise the chance of the lens fogging, along with the Megol grips which ensure your eyewear stays put, however dynamic your riding. Their full-frame design makes them well suited to the rigours of mountain biking too. Also, I often have to take my shades off when riding in the forest, but the mirrored-finish Demos could cope equally well in bright sunshine and in the trees.

Read our full Koo Demos Glasses review

Endura Shumba II


Product shot of Endura Shumba II cycling sunglasses

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Features:Adjustable rubber nosepiece, 100% UV protection, extra clear and bronze lenses
Lens colours:Mirrored red, blue, yellow
Frame colours:Grey, yellow, white

Clarity: 3/5
Design: 4/5
Comfort: 4.5/5

Total coverage and maximum field of vision don’t have to cost the earth, as this budget option from Endura shows. I found that its exaggerated wraparound design provided total protection from debris and the elements. They don’t have quite the same clarity as Oakley or Zeiss lenses in my opinion, and I found the rubber on the arms to be less grippy and the ventilation to be slightly poorer, but they punch above their weight in terms of all-day comfort.

Three sets of lenses (clear and bronze as well as the mirrored main lens) give you the option to swap out as conditions change, with the mirrored lens coping admirably with batting back glare. An EVA hard case makes this a great value package.

Read our Endura Shuma II review

Panda Fixed Sport (w/ Hot Ice Lens)

Product shot of Panda Fixed Sport Hot Ice shades

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Light transmission:9.9%, 13.5%
Features:Impact-resistant PC lens, adjustable nose grip
Lens colours:Mirrored red and orange, gold
Frame colours:Hot ice, iridescent

Clarity: 4/5
Design: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Panda brings all its ski goggle know-how to bear in these bargain-price cycling specs. Some of the best cycling glasses out there, you get the same kind of coverage as you’d expect on the slopes and lenses that are made to cope with bright blue skies and sparkling snow.

That transfers well to scorching summer rides on road, gravel or chalky trails, keeping eye fatigue to a minimum. In fact, even after a long day staring at a sun-blasted white chalk trail, I had zero eye fatigue, which definitely wouldn’t have been the case wearing most other shades. While I wouldn’t recommend them for mixed days of sunshine and cloud, they excel in bright sun. And you’ll appreciate the neat touches like ventilated arms when the heat is really on.

Read our full Panda Fixed Sport review

Oakley Kato (w/ Prizm Trail Torch Lens)

Product shot of Oakley Kato Trail Torch glasses

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Light transmission:35%
Features:Adjustable rake, swappable nose pads
Lens colours:7 colours available
Frame colours:6 colours available

Clarity: 5/5
Design: 4/5
Comfort: 4/5

If you’re looking for some of the best cycling glasses to deal with the ever-changing light conditions of off-road trail riding, then the Oakley Kato with the Prizm Trail Torch lens is well worth a look (through). High contrast conditions and sudden changes from light to dark or dappled sunlight are no problem a lens with a substantial 35% light transmission.

I tested the Oakley Kato Trail Torch on a fast gravel ride through Epping Forest, where the ground was baked hard, and the sun was high, sending shafts abs of light down through the branches overhead. The lens dealt admirably with the sudden shifts of light in these high contrast conditions.

Of course, you have to pay handsomely for these bad boys but what you get is a robust and highly adjustable frame, complete coverage and pin-sharp vision in all conditions except the brightest of sunshine. There are six other lens options to choose from too.

Read our full Oakley Kato Trail Torch review

SunGod Velans (w/ 8KO Iris HV Blue Photochromatic Lens)

Product shot of SunGod Velans Men's Fitness Endorsed badge

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Light transmission:34% – 79%
Features:Colour customisation, swappable half-jacket or full-frame kit
Lens colours:12 colours available
Frame colours:12 colours available

Clarity: 4/5
Design: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5

If you’re looking for high-performance eyewear you can put your own stamp on, look no further than the Velans. UK firm SunGod offers its cycling shades in an almost infinite variety of colours. Not only can you choose from 12 lens and frame colours, you can also select from nine colours for the bottom frame, the logo and the ear socks.

Add that to the options for half-jacket, full-frame and a novel ‘top and full’ best-of-both model and you really will be spoilt for choice. But the Velans aren’t just about pimping your shades; both its 8KO Iris and Smoke Iris lenses offer remarkable clarity. I found that the former, in particular, is an ideal choice for overcast or changeable conditions.

The clarity of the lens was great but couldn’t quite compete with some of the high-contrast competition during testing. The light-reactive tech is the clear focus with this lens. Having to faff about with gear really kills my flow, so I appreciated how the lens did the adjustment for me, in changing conditions.

Read our full SunGod Velans review

What to look for when buying cycling glasses

Dedicated cycling shades will have other performance benefits too. Huge single lenses and frameless or wraparound designs ensure you have maximum field of view. Adjustable arm rake, Megol grippers or swappable nosepieces will guarantee your shades won’t budge even on the gnarliest of off-road descents.

Lenses can have a wide variety of ambient light transmission, meaning you can select the best specs for the light conditions. It’s worth considering glasses with interchangeable or photo-chromatic lenses, both of which will help your eyes adapt to changing light conditions.

Should I wear polarised lenses for cycling?

Polarised lenses are another premium feature worth considering. These have a special chemical coating that stops some of the light passing through the lens. Filtering the light like a window blind, these lenses help reduce glare and improve colour contrast in bright light. This brings benefits like enhancing visual clarity and reducing eye strain, both of which you’ll appreciate, particularly on longer rides.

Impact- and scratch-resistant lenses are worth considering too, as these will protect your glasses from general wear and tear or in the event of a tumble. Lenses that won’t scuff up easily will ensure you keep see clearly, ride after ride.