Ryders Face Sunglasses

This is not exactly a review for cycling sunglasses. Originally it was supposed to be, but things don’t always go according to plan.

Vision loss makes people sensitive to lighting conditions. I used to think the people who wore sunglasses indoors were trying to be cool or assholes that don’t want to make eye-contact. Now I get it. Different lighting affects different people differently. I have also learned that most visually impaired people end up gathering a collection of glasses in various tints.

These Ryders Face glasses were originally purchased as cycling glasses, but they basically became my favorite everyday glasses. This post focuses mostly on why they are good for everyday use, and what their limitations are.

Ryders Eyewear Face cycling sunglasses

So how did these become my everyday glasses? Three main things

  1. Impact resistant – When you’ve basically only got semi-crap vision in one eye you want to protect what’s left from getting jabbed by sticks, pencils, q-tips, or whatever other stupidness could make life suck.
  2. Yellow tint – Black and yellow is one of the most common colour combinations to increase contrast. You’ll find these types of glasses used in lots of sports like shooting, driving, cycling and snowboarding.
  3. Photochromic tint – Basically this means that the sunnier it gets, the darker the tint. I thought it’d allow me to transition from bright light to dimmer environments more easily, and it does allow me to wear them in a wide variety of conditions. It means going out with one pair of glasses for cloudy or sunny conditions instead of carrying two pairs of glasses.

These are good for riding in bright sunlight. however there are two issues I have with them. If things get very sweaty, they steam up as these do not come with an anti-fog coating. Ryders does sell other models that are yellow tinted, photochromic, and anti-fog coated, but unfortunately those do not fit my face. The second issue is that light changes have too great an effect on my poor vision. If I wear these sunglasses in shady areas or trails covered by trees then I lose too much detail in the shaded trail floor. Basically, once moving at speed on a bike, it’s easiest to just not wear sunglasses, and let the visor on my MTB helmet provide glare protection, which means I need to get some clear, anti-fog glasses.

So basically, the glasses I bought for cycling are awesome, but I don’t use them for cycling. They are fantastic everyday use glasses and good for urban biking or commuting.

At this point I want to mention that i’m not paid for this review, and wasn’t given these glasses by Ryders Eyewear. I purchased them on my own… twice. I thought I lost them, so I bought a second pair and of course later found the first pair. When I received the second pair, something weird happened. The newest pair, while otherwise identical, has a much lighter yellow tint to them.

Newer pair on the bottom

On top you can see the older yellow tinted glasses which are visibly more yellow. In contrast, the newer ones on the bottom are much more subtle. For everyday use, i prefer the more subtle, newer version. On overcast days, that stronger, yellow tint pair are good too. I’m happy to have both. The following photographic comparison is not perfect, I just held the glasses in front of my camera, but it gives you an idea of the difference between no glasses, the newer Face sunglasses, and the older Face with a stronger yellow tint.

I reached out to Ryders Eyewear to inquire about this change but did not hear from them. For that reason I can’t say for certain which pair you might receive if you ordered a pair. I assume it’d be the lighter newer ones. I also hope that these glasses could be made available to CNIB members at a discounted price, particularly to younger visually impaired members. A lot of glasses for visually impaired people are, to be quite honest, fugly, and I imagine a lot of younger, blind people would be happy to have a pair of much cooler mountain biking glasses that are affordable, and offer good features.

What I like:

– This model, while a little large, fits my small face better than Ryders’ other yellow tinted models

-Impact resistence (not tested by me yet, but good to know)

-Auto tinting with changing light conditions is great.

-Yellow tint does well in enhancing contrast

What could be better:

-I wish these had an anti-fog coating, and that Ryders Eyewear offered more styles for small, narrow faces in the high-contrast yellow coating.

Feel free to check out the glasses here. I won’t get a nickel from this, i’m just trying to connect good people to good products. Ride on!