I’ve got a problem that a lot of people my age encounter – I wear glasses in my day-to-day life. It’s never really an issue except when it comes to riding and running. Riding with your everyday glasses isn’t ideal as they don’t give good protection from the wind while riding, and they tend to slip down your nose while running. So the options are to get a pair of prescription lenses or wear contact lenses. There’s a couple of problems I’ve encountered with both of these options.
Prescription lenses in sports glasses are expensive and most options seem to have a small optical lens sitting behind a sunglass lens and frame (manufacturers do this to reduce cost and visual distortion caused by wrap-around optical lenses). Prescription lenses are also usually quite heavy and tend to slip down your nose, particularly during running when you start to sweat.
Contact lenses are a great option that I use because you can use them in all three legs of a triathlon instead of using prescription goggles and glasses. This is particularly important in the swim because if you get your goggles knocked off then at least you can still see when you are wearing contacts. But there’s a problem I encounter wearing contact lenses.
I’m short-sighted, so I only use glasses to see things in the distance – I actually can’t read very well with my glasses on, so I take them off to read. This means, when I wear contacts, I have difficulty reading things like my Garmin bike computer or Garmin Fenix multisport watch! I have to hold my watch way out in front of me or sit up on the bike to see the data. This was a BIG PROBLEM – until I discovered the BZ Optics Bifocal Sunglasses. These sunglasses come in a variety of great colour frames (graphite, black, white, pink, yellow), as well as blue or ‘fire’ lens colours, or photochromic lenses which darken with UV light (high-def or clear). More importantly for me, they also come in +1.5, +2, and +2.5 bifocal lenses. The bifocal lenses are moulded discreetly into the bottom of the lenses (see picture below). What the bifocals do is effectively reverse the effect of my contact lenses so that I can see my devices and also read the paper or my phone when I stop for a coffee! Of course, if you are long-sighted and only require glasses for reading, then these sunglasses could be the perfect solution – they’re basically like reading glasses for sportspeople. Check with your optometrist or a suitable medical professional to help decide the best option for you.
Apart from the above features, they are also a fantastic lens in their own right. I use the blue lenses when I am riding or running and the sun is going to be out the entire time. The high-definition photochromic lenses are fantastic when I start a ride early in the morning before the sun comes up or when it’s overcast, as they enhance vision in low light and then when the sun comes out they darken to function like normal sunglasses. I’d recommend BZ Optics even for people who don’t need corrective glasses.
If you have any questions about how to choose the right frame and lens, shoot me an email, I’m happy to help a fellow bespectacled athlete (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Riding the famous Queen K highway in Kona, Hawaii, in blue and white BZ Optics bifocals with +2.5 lenses.
By Stuart Harsley – Pushys Sponsored Athlete
Categories: Product Review