When you start riding, you’ll quickly find that, absent a windshield, there is a lot of junk that flies into your face. Whether you’re riding on a hard packed dirt trail, your local bike path, or on a road in the city, your eyes are constantly filling with gunk.
The more you ride, the more you’ll encounter mayflies, dust, and even loose pebbles that shoot up off of car tires and toward your face. If some of these catch you off guard, and hit you directly in your eye, they can really ruin your day, harming your vision or causing a crash. That’s why it is so crucial to wear glasses while you ride.
The reality is our eyes were not built to protect us from things moving at 30 mph, and if it’s coming off a car, road debris can move even faster. And even the smaller stuff can really be a bother. I first started looking for eye protection when the dust from my NYC commute had me blinking at my desk for two hours after making my way to work.
The cycling world is full of companies offering sleek, purpose built, but often expensive options. What’s more, many of these glasses look a touch too sporty when you’re not riding the bike. But thankfully, you don’t need to break the bank to protect your eyes.
I love riding in Neff Brodies. They’re inexpensive, offer an enormous amount of protection, almost like a windscreen, and they don’t look too bad either, so long as your style trends towards the ridiculous—think Hawaiin shirts and mullets—which mine does. Or, at least can bend a little bit that way.
I knew I needed glasses that wouldn’t be afraid to ride in, to fall off my face and toss in my bag after a ride. Which is where both the durability and affordability of the Neff’s make them a winner. You can buy a pair for less than $50, and they often go on sale. What is more, most styles come with a secondary lens to allow you extend the life past a single scratched shield, and a padded carrying case for increased protection.
Fit-wise, they are better than cheaper sunglasses as well. The rubberized nose bridge pops off when you need to replace the lens, but also has two separate mounting points that help you adjust how high on the bridge of your nose, and your face, the glasses sit.
The glasses are also ridiculously big, in a good way. The lenses cover a huge swath of your face and even wrap around to close off the gap that exists between your brow and cheek bone in most glasses. This increased protection means that even less junk from the road makes its way up into your eyes.
You can go extravagant with sunglasses in cycling, but if you’re just gettin started and looking for something with a lot of coverage for not a lot of money, Neff Brodies are more than up for the task.