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The 9 Best Bike Glasses & Sunglasses of 2021

We’ve all run into the guy wearing construction safety glasses out on the trail. Heck, plenty of us have been that guy, pedaling hard, while a pair of cheap transparent glasses with the styling of a pair of white Sketchers balance precariously on the end of your nose. It’s not great. But it’s better than mountain biking without eye protection. Luckily, more and more brands are recognizing the need for good bike-specific eyewear, so there’s less of a reason to go pedal around the woods in repurposed safety glasses, and more mountain bike glasses to choose from.

These are the best mountain bike glasses we’ve found. These are the ones that stood out with lenses that work well in the changing light conditions you’re likely to find on the trail, that fit well with a wide variety of helmets, and do a good job of protecting your eyes from trail debris. So leave those safety glasses in the aisle next to the shovels, and grab one of these mountain bike sunglasses instead.


Julbo Rush Reactiv

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

Julbo got their start making high-performance glacier glasses, and they haven’t strayed far from that original goal. They make glasses that work really, really well. The Rush Reactive is designed to work as a sunglass that you don’t ever need to take off or swap lenses, no matter what the weather does. Julbo accomplishes that with a photochromatic lens that changes tint depending on how much light is hitting it. So when you’re riding through dense forests, the lens automatically gets lighter to allow you to see more in the shadows and then darkens up to protect your eyes when you reenter bright sunlight.

Julbo doesn’t sacrifice comfort for performance either. The nose pads are ultra adjustable so you can find a fit that works well all day, and non-slip patches on the arms keep them steady no matter how much you’re sweating. If you hate having to swap lenses to deal with different amounts of light, the Julbo Rush Reactive is a no-hassle option that protects your eyes and adapts to any scenario.

LensFrame Size Original Price
REACTIV Photochromic LensesMedium$229.95

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Smith Wildcat

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

Smith’s Wildcat may as well be synonymous with the “high-coverage, high-comfort” sunglasses category at this point. And they’re popular for good reason. There are few sunglasses models on the market that offer this level of coverage while also looking and feeling good. Their lens size is similar to smaller goggles, but the cleverly designed frame keeps them away from your face and lets air circulate to cut fogging. It’s also easy to swap out different lens tints depending on conditions, and they come with a spare clear lens.

Smith’s ChromaPop lenses are some of the best we’ve ever used, they work well in a wide range of light conditions and offer nice contrast even when things are super dark, or blown out. For folks with smaller faces, the Wildcat may not work well with some bike helmets, but if you have a medium to large face, and are looking for great protection and performance, the Wildcat should be high on your list.

LensFrame Size Original Price
ChromaPop™Extra Large$209

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Oakley Sutro Lite

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

If you’re looking for something with a little more of a classic retro style, with the same high performance as the Oakley Encoder, the Sutro might be up your alley. It’s not quite as fast looking as the Encoder, instead, it has a medium-sized frame with a partial rim and the same high-end Plutonite lenses. It’s also available in a whole range of colorways, from classic to retro.

The Sutro might not have the biggest lens on this list, but it still offers excellent eye protection thanks to its sculpted design that’s optimized to hug your face. They’ll stay put no matter how rough the trail is, and still, look good sipping a beer on the patio after. If you want a technical sunglass that looks good in more casual settings too, the Sutro has you covered.

LensFrame Size Original Price
Plutonite® Prizm™ LensMedium$184

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Smith Flywheel

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

If you’re looking for something with similar styling to the Wildcat, but with a smaller lens, the Flywheel is a great choice. Its medium lens still offers plenty of coverage but doesn’t have such an aggressive size as the Wildcat. Like the Wildcat, it’s available in a variety of ChromaPop lens tints that work well in different light situations, and it’s got adjustable nose pads to help you dial in the fit.

The Flywheel is also designed to work with Smith’s integrated sunglasses carry on their bike helmets. So you can securely lock them into your helmet when you don’t want to wear them on the ride. The frames are also made from a 53% bio-based material, so they have less of an environmental impact. If you want all of the style with none of the bulk, slip on a pair of Flywheels and forget you’re even wearing shades.

LensFrame Size Original Price
ChromaPop™Medium$119-$149

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Oakley Encoder

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

Oakley has been making bike sunglasses for a long time, and the Encoders build on that legacy with performance features and styling that help them feel as fast as they look. The Encoder’s frameless design gives them a wider field of vision and keeps the bulk down. Even though they have a large lens, Oakley carefully designed the Encoder to fit closer to your face so it won’t bump into hats or helmets.

Oakley’s Plutonite lens technology does a good job warding off fog and delivers crystal clear vision in a wide range of conditions. The nose pads and arms have a special hydrophobic coating that helps them stay put in rain or when you’re soaked in sweat, and the Prism lenses offer sharp detail even in deep shadow. If you like to go fast and need glasses that can keep up with you, the Encoder is up to the task.

LensFrame Size Original Price
Plutonite® LensLarge$248

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Smith Pivlock Ruckus

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

Smith’s Ruckus is designed to be technical and comfortable, but also supremely flexible. Smith realized that most swappable sunglass lens designs aren’t actually that easy to swap. There’s a lot of fiddling involved and it’s easy to smudge or scratch the lens as you try to get it out of the frame. That’s why they designed their Pivlock system that makes it incredibly easy to swap lenses on the go. This way you can be prepared for whatever the weather throws your way.

The Ruckus even comes with an extra low light Rose lens included, so it’s like getting two pairs of shades for the price of one. The grippy arms and nose stay put and comfortable through long days in the saddle, and you never have to decide if you need a high or low light lens again, just bring both and swap them out in seconds when you need to with the Ruckus.

LensFrame Size Original Price
ChromaPop™Medium$159-$219

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Julbo Fury

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 

Julbo has a long legacy of creating high-quality eyewear, starting with some of the first glacier glasses commercially available. The Fury is designed as a bit of a do-everything pair of glasses. They’re not bike-specific, instead, they come with all the features that mountain bikers need, with a flexible style that works well on runs, hikes, boating trips, or ski days as well.

The Fury isn't huge, so it will work better for people with smaller faces, and is less likely to bump into helmets. However, it still offers plenty of eye protection for riding, and won’t look out of place at a BBQ either. Julbo markets the Fury for “going fast” and we’d have to agree. If you like to go fast, whether that’s on a bike, a run, or a standup jetski, the Fury are some of the best mtb sunglasses that you can choose.

LensFrame Size Original Price
Spectron 3 polycarbonate lens. 12% VLT.Medium$129

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Smith Attack MTB

Best mountain bike glasses of 2021
 
 

The Attack MTB are premium riding sunglasses with all the features you’d expect. Smith spared no expense with these, and it shows. The Attack’s lenses are easy to swap with a magnetic system, so you can adapt to changing light conditions on the fly. Every pair comes with two lenses, one optimized for high-light intensity situations, and another for lower light times, like dawn or dusk.

The Attack MTB isn’t the cheapest option on this list, for good reason. Its fit is well-thought-out, it comes with bonus lenses, and the ChromaPop lenses are some of the best we’ve used for helping your eyes adapt to higher and lower light conditions. As far as size and coverage, the Attack falls somewhere between the smaller Julbo Furry, and the larger Smith Wildcat. Overall, it’s a large fitting frame built for a large field of view and protection from wind and the elements.

LensFrame Size Original Price
ChromaPop™Large$259

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Oakley Radar EV Advancer

Best bike glasses of 2021
 
 

Oakley has long been a leading brand in mountain bike glasses, and their Radar EV Advancer might just be their most technical option yet. These are for folks who want to go fast, all day, every day. With this goal in mind, they’re packed with technologies to help them perform at the highest levels.

The Radar’s frames are carefully designed to stay comfortable and in place, no matter how rough the trail is, or how much you’re sweating. And Oakley’s Prizm lens tech does a great job of increasing contrast on the trail, even as the light changes. The Radar EV Advancer are not mellow glasses for mellow riders. Instead, they are designed for folks that demand the best mountain bike glasses. If that sounds like you, these may be perfect for you.

LensFrame Size Original Price
Prizm™ LensMedium$206 - $226

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