Have you ever had to stop riding and swap your sunglasses for bifocal or prescription glasses to read a map or your instruments?
Soon you may not have to stop and swap!
A small family company based on the Gold Coast claims to have developed the world’s first photochromic bifocal sunglasses for motorcycle riders so they can see the road ahead as well as their instruments clearly.
Kevin Barr of multi-award-winning company Barz Optics says they have been working on the sunglasses for the past year.
The high-definition sunglasses are polarised to reduce glare and photochromic which means they change tint in the sunlight.
They also feature a unique close-up “reader” section in the bottom of the lenses for those who require glasses to read instrumentation, a map, mobile phone, watch, menu or to work close-up on their bike.
Kevin says about 40% of the population are long sighted which means they have difficulty reading close objects.
The bifocal lens section in his sunglasses is moulded into the base of the rear of the lens. They are are available in +1.50, +2.00 or +2.50 powers.
“The reader combined with the photochromic means that they do not have to be taken off while indoors – so if you’re in the local hardware or bike shop checking pricing or small parts, they are perfect,” he says.
The high-definition photochromic lenses pass the US Z87 standard for impact resistance.
They are tinted category 1 copper which has about a 15% tint in low light. As the sun and UV intensifies they tint to category 3 brown which is about a 75% tint like normal sunglasses.
Kevin says the photochromic effect works with an open-face helmet, but may not work in full-face helmets if the visor is UV treated. However, the tint will darken if you raise the visor.
“We have had riders testing the glasses while riding in the night and they were ok on freeways but we will look at adding clear photochromic lenses to the rage in future,” Kevin says.
The lenses are also polarised which cuts reflected glare, making riding safer.
Kevin says the sunglasses will fit comfortably under full or open face helmets as they have slim arms, weigh only 26 grams and have an adjustable nose bridge to fit all face shapes.
Kevin points out that 60% of Australian males have had a broken nose.
“So this is a must to achieve optimum fit,” he says.
The sunglasses are also curved to wrap around your face and reduce wind and debris in your eyes.
“As nobody has produced such a lens previously the cost of the initial set up is extremely high and to offset this we have decided to crowd fund 30% of the initial costs on crowdfunding web site indiegogo.com,” Kavein says.
“We also figure that by going the crowdfunding route it will give the glasses great exposure.
“We have decided to offer around 40% off the retail price to anyone who supports us on Indiegogo.”
The polarised high-definition photochromic bifocals will cost $A225, but they are on offer on the crowdfunding site for early supporters at $140.
There are also other discounts for other Bars Optics sunglasses available.