- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 15 January 2016
When the new season eyewear comes out and the pro cyclists parade them on the world stage, style is still meant to be a secondary factor behind the practicality of shielding the eyes from wind and protecting them from glare and UV. For cyclists who rely on prescription lenses, clear visibility is simply crucial for safety.
Australian company BZ Optics have released eyewear which they are announcing as a world-first. Targeted towards cyclists who rely on glasses to read, they have released photochromic bi focals. BZ Optics Managing director Kevin Barr says “This lens was developed for those who wear glasses to read – in particularly cyclists so that they can read their bike’s computer while cycling. Otherwise they would have to stop and put their reading glasses on. Also great when you have finished your ride and your reading a menu or a paper at your local cafe.”
“The lens options are +1.50, +2.00 and +2.50. Someone who is a +1.50 and if they have a large computer or watch face will be just able to read them without assistance but someone who is a +2.00 or +2.50 will have major issues – particularly while riding,” Says Barr. “The lenses are moulded discreetly on the rear of the lens (they aren’t that easy to see when people look at you especially when they are dark. The lenses are fully UV treated so are just on 100% UVA , UVB protection at Cat0 or Cat3”
I asked how fast a lenses change in light and dark considers, Barr noted, “The lenses activate in full sun from clear to dark in about 30 seconds and about 60 to 90 seconds going from full sun into total darkness. The reaction is best viewed when the glasses are held facing the sun with one lens half covered with your hand. After 30 seconds if you take your hand away you will notice the difference between the two categories.”
For riding situations with rapidly changing light conditions, such as through forests with bright sunlight interspersed with shade, Barr suggests that the glasses will remain in a mid-tint.
The retail price is $159,95 for the photochromic bifocals. A photochromic version (without bi focals) is priced at $129.95 and a blue mirror version is $89.95. Details and ordering from: bzoptics.com