Prescription Biking Glasses

Starting the Outlaw Trail 100 with my old sunglasses.

For years, I’ve worn the same sunglasses for biking that I do for anything else.  They’re at least five years old, with glass lenses. (Although the lenses appear amber in the picture, they’re really dark gray — the early morning light has a weird effect.)

When I got them, I asked that they just contain my  distance prescription, because I felt at the time that I didn’t need bifocals outdoors.  They’ve been okay.  They’re a little heavy, because of the glass lenses, and the prescription could use a little more oomph now.  I think the next pair of cycling glasses I get will also have the bifocal prescription, which would help immensely when I have to do bike-related things like read the pressure gauge on my tire pump, or try to follow a cue sheet on a long ride. They’re not particularly stylish.  (Not even remotely.)

Stylin' the oldies but goodies at the MS 150.

But they are a little better than the ones I experimented with at the MS150 earlier this year.  These, too, have only my distance prescription. Surprisingly, the prescription  is still good — a bit better than my everyday sunglasses.  They’ve got gray lenses too, but there’s a bit of vermillion mixed in, and when they pick up the red color of the frames, the lenses look dark red.  But they’re at least 15 years old, and they look it.  After seeing pictures of myself in them, I stopped using them.

So lately, I’ve been thinking it’s time for some new biking shades.  One thing that’s always appealed to me about biking glasses is their wraparound style.  But because of the curved lenses, I wondered if they lent themselves to complex prescriptions.  I’ve poked around online a bit to see what’s out there, and the ones that are most interesting to me are also the most expensive (Of course, it works that way with bikes, too).

Yeah, something like these.

I noticed that Performance has a moderately-priced wraparound sunglass with interchangeable lenses — and it can also take a clip-on adapter for your prescription.  You just attach it to the nose bridge on the inside of the glasses.  If it’s any good, it might be just the ticket.

But I have to defer to the expertise of Bike Noob readers.  Do you wear cycling glasses with prescription lenses?  What kind?  How well do they work for you?  Do you have experience with the clip-in prescription adapters?

Will Bike Noob have to continue wearing his flat lenses and being uncool out on the roads?

Bike Maintenance Books

I suppose anyone who has been into biking even for a little while attempts to do some maintenance on their bikes.  I know I have.  That’s problematical, because I’m no great shakes when it comes to anything with tools.

So, being the academic I am, I turned to a book.  In my case, it’s the Bicycling Magazine Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair for Road and Mountain Bikes by Todd Downs.  It’s been helpful to a certain extent.  I used it to guide me through some derailleur adjustments earlier this summer, and they turned out pretty well.

Some of the other adjustment and repair jobs detailed in the book are beyond the scope of my abilities — at least for now.  And while the derailleur adjustment chapter was easy to follow, others don’t seem as clear to me.  Maybe it’s just me.

A friend once told me his favorite bicycle repair manual is the Yellow Pages — for the number of his LBS.

Have you latched onto a particularly good bike maintenance book? — one you would recommend to a friend?  Tell us about it.



You know you are way into cycling when:



  • You see someone riding a bike and immediately look at their pedaling cadence.
  • You spend more on a piece of bike clothing than on regular clothing.
  • You know how to pronounce peloton, allez, Merckx and Hinault.
  • You are familiar with Scott, Jamis, Pinarello and Orbea.
  • You spell none: N-u-u-n.
  • The term “shot block” is not a reference to basketball but something you eat.
  • You and your friends debate the best way to drink from a water bottle.
  • You hate the wind.
  • To you “bonk” is a dirty word.
  • Your bike is worth more than your car.
  • You ride your bike more miles than you drive your car.
  • Riding 90 miles with 5,100 ft of climbing sounds appealing.
  • Your bike has its own room in your house.
  • You sneak in your latest biking purchase so your spouse does not know.
  • Your wardrobe of cycling gear expands from one drawer to two drawers to a closet.
  • Your cycling tan causes you to get odd looks at the beach.
  • You are at your LBS so often that they let you stay in after closing.
  • You feel lost when your bike is at the shop for maintenance.
  • The round-trip distance you drive to a group ride is farther than the ride itself.
  • You get up at the crack of dawn to watch live the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

Anyone want to add some more?