In some states of the USA riders don’t have to wear a helmet, but they must have eye protection, while helmets are mandatory in Australia and glasses are not.
It seems strange that eye protection has not been made mandatory in our nanny state. After all, your eyes are the most important thing to protect when riding.
Most riders have visors on their helmets, but those who don’t or who ride with them open in summer, should have decent eye protection.
Normal glasses just aren’t tough enough to stop an errant piece of gravel flicked up by the rear tyre of your mate’s bike in front of you.
It’s not just pieces of gravel, dust and other detritus that cause problems, but also wind. It can dry your eyes and make them sore or water, which impairs your vision.
Glasses and goggles
Here at MBW HQ we have a range of special riding glasses and goggles.
Riding glasses and goggles should feature ballistic lenses that can withstand impact.
For daytime riding, UV protection is also important.
At night, we suggest clear glass, although some people believe yellow lenses make objects stand out better.
We like glasses with a foam gasket insert to block the wind from sneaking in behind the frames, although not all glasses trap all the air.
You should ask if the store has a return policy in case you find the glasses don’t keep out all the wind when you go for a ride.
As for goggles, we’ve worn everything from ski goggles to MX goggles and retro designs.
We are yet to find a pair that feel comfortable on a long trip.
Most seem to pinch our nose, making it difficult to breathe, while the foam just feels uncomfortable against your face.
These Italian-made Ariete Vintage goggles have just been added to the Australian market through Link International.
They are not cheap at $179.95 but they are certainly stylish and feature vented chromium-plated frames and hand-sewn natural leather and weatherproof suede.
There is no information on whether they have impact-resistant lenses, but they are UV-protected and treated with anti-fog material.
The headband has a double buckle for adjustment, and a non-slip silicone band on the inside to keep it in place on the helmet.
They come in black and brown.