In about 1990, maybe 1991, I started wearing glasses pretty much full time. Following a springtime trip to Ireland I decided things had got to a point, and it was time for some assistance. This was also about the time I began to give more thought to what I wore while riding. Over the intervening years I have worn everything from my everyday prescriptions, to those same prescriptions with magnetic shades, cycling-specific sunglasses with prescription inserts (two lenses in other words) and, most recently, Oakley sunglasses with prescription lenses. I have crashed with various of these on before, and probably received some facial lacerations (nothing major) because of them. As a result I have often wondered about how safe some of the choices out there on the market actually are.
Well, I received an email and link to a study the other day which examines some of these concerns. While the study centers upon eye protection relating to incidents that are likely to be encountered on a shooting range, it is not a difficult leap to compare the findings to situations which we might encounter while riding (or crashing). The study looks at several makes and models popular with cyclists, including Oakley and Smith Optics, and considers such things as shatter-ability, energy absorption, and frame design and stability. I don't know about you, but I have given aesthetics top priority when selecting glasses, but always at the back of my mind have been concerns like some of those addressed in this study. You can check out the full report at the LuckyGunner Labs website.
hmm, that's what i wear