Why Mountain Bikers Should Wear Goggles
Mountain biking is a big sport that’s a mixture of exploration, careful maneuvering and hard physical activity. It’s a sport that’s very demanding on the most serious riders, and one that requires adequate eye protection to perform safely. Not only do protective eye coverings like glasses or goggles keep debris out of your eyes on muddy or dusty trails, but they also help ensure that you maintain a high quality view during sunny conditions so that you can continue riding safely along any given course.
Choosing Between Goggles and Sunglasses
Many mountain bike riders still feel uncomfortable when heading to the trails with a pair of protective goggles over their eyes. It’s easy to feel as if you are overcompensating and that you might be standing out, but the truth is that in a lot of situations it just makes more sense to have goggles on than it does sunglasses.
Sunglasses were the old standard when it came to mountain biking, and there are some advantages to wearing a good quality pair of glasses instead of goggles, but there are disadvantages as well.
Consider Comfort on Hot Days
On cooler days you won’t notice much of a difference between how goggles and glasses feel on your face. You’ll feel a bit more air flowing over your head and will be a bit cooler in those conditions with glasses, but goggles will be quite comfortable. On hot days, however, you’ll likely be more comfortable in sunglasses than goggles for lengthy rides. That’s because they allow air to flow over your face and head a bit more, and don’t hold in heat as much. You’ll sweat a bit more on those hot days, and that’s one of the only reasons to consider using glasses during some of your rides and why proper mountain bike clothing is also an important consideration to make before a ride.
Protect Your Eyes
There’s no arguing that mountain bike goggles are more effective for protecting your eyes than sunglasses are, especially in group riding conditions. Not only do goggles cover more of your face from flying debris, they also provide more impact resistance from larger objects. When you’re riding close on the heels of another biker you’ll enjoy the added safety from rocks and mud, and you’ll be able to ride with more confidence. Sunglasses tend to let in little bits of debris and you could still have to wipe your eyes from time to time, and will likely have to stay farther back from other riders in your area with glasses on.
Keep Your Vision Clear
Both sunglasses and protective biking goggles are designed to keep your vision clear and enable you to ride safely throughout the day. You should wear mountain bike goggles for sharp vision because they s tend to accomplish this goal a bit better than sunglasses do. It’s true that both sunglasses and goggles can come with anti-fog, moisture and oil resistant lenses, and the top ones do, but the really high quality goggles provide you with more peripheral vision as well, so that you can ride capably and see more that might be blocked by frames in normal instances.
Finding the Right Goggles for Effective Riding
Now that you know the differences between glasses and goggles, and why so many riders tend to prefer the goggles, it’s time to learn what to look for in a high quality pair. The best goggles come with interchangeable lenses, have peel off or roll of lens covers, are comfortable and secure and come equipped with protective lenses to keep your eyes comfortable during use.
Look for Interchangeable Lenses
Many high quality goggles and sunglasses designed for mountain bikers are made with interchangeable lenses. These lenses pop in and out and have different coatings to meet different weather conditions. For instance, heavily tinted glasses can make biking in very bright conditions comfortable, while lenses without tint would be important for low-light riding conditions. When you get goggles that enable this capability, it makes it easy to adapt to the situation and continue riding comfortably throughout the year.
Consider Roll off Technology for Muddy Riding Conditions
When you pick out a pair of goggles for mountain bike riding it makes sense to look for roll off technology for particularly muddy conditions. If you’re riding with other bikers, there is bound to be some flying mud. That mud can accumulate on your goggles over time and make it difficult to see. Some riders will wipe this away over time using a cloth or another tool, but it’s much more efficient to be able to peel off a protective layer and free up your view immediately. With roll off technology you can do just that and keep your vision clear throughout the ride.
Comfortable and Secure
The pair of goggles that you decide to use should remain firmly attached to your head, no matter how much you move it around during standard riding conditions. Not only that, but they should be padded well on the inside to protect your head and keep it comfortable during extended use. A high quality set of goggles will come with a thick protective layer of foam and silicone or other gripping band securing them in place. This will keep them securely attached to your head, while providing comfortable protection during use.
Finding the perfect pair of mountain biking goggles isn’t too difficult to do when you know what to look for. As long as you select a brand that comes with interchangeable lenses you can prepare for most riding conditions, and you’ll know that your eyes will be protected so you can enjoy yourself throughout your ride. They are one of the most important pieces of bike gear that you’ll own, no matter which types of mountain bikes you like to ride.
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