BZ Optics release Photochromic Bi Focals for Cyclists

BZ Optics Photochromic Bi Focals

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”

Photochromic Sunglasses Cycling

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:

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About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

5 responses to “BZ Optics release Photochromic Bi Focals for Cyclists”

  1. sarina says:

    When will sunglass manufacturers actually put these glasses on while riding a bike, hands on bars and looking ahead?
    With these chunky big plastic bars up top, it is slap bang in the middle of your vision.

    Photo chromatic lenses changing in 30seconds? Not fast enough. If you’re riding, shade from trees can plunge you into darkness immediately and by the time you’re through the dark shade -out into bright light again your glasses are only just adjusting. I have bought a few pairs of these glasses -Rudy Project and another brand and they always get ripped off and stuck in a back pocket out of frustration – useless.
    While MTBing they’re even worse. They can’t adjust fast enough from shade to sunlight.
    They also scratch easily & fog up.
    I have found contact lenses the only option. You can ride in dust, dirt, rain and they won’t fog or scratch. When you need to read your garmin, a map, fix a flat or have a mechanical, read a menu…..CONTACT lenses are the way to go with a pair of sunnies with no top rim (Adidas have some good ones) or clear Bunnings protective glasses @ $15 a pair for night/dark riding.
    I have not looked back since wearing contact lenses. Cheaper too. $90 for 3 months (monthly contacts you take out each night and put in, in the morning) of contacts. wear them all day, every day and SEE, with or without sunnies. Bliss.

  2. Kevin Barr says:

    Hi Sarina – thank you for your feedback.

    The BZ Optics have been developed by Scott Birdsall a long time cyclist and myself with 30 years in the optical and 40 years in the action sport industry.

    May I enquire, do you wear your contacts for distance or reading?

    These glasses were developed for people who require glasses to read – so that they can view their bikes computer night or day or read a menu or paper after the ride.

  3. Russell says:

    Definitely NOT a world first. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of Bolle wrap around, photochromatic, multi focal (my distance vision is over 6, so I am also quite short sighted) riding glasses. Not cheap, but very effective.
    I would not describe the BZ optics glasses as bi focals if they only have a reading lens and no distance lens.
    The price for the BZ Optics glasses is quite reasonable, and I like the rimless style.

  4. Kevin Barr says:

    Hi Russell, these are the first commercially available bi focal photochromic cycling glasses in the world. The top of the lens is plano (no power) and the readers have power. Your Bolle’s in theory were but as they are prescription they were made to your requirements and aren’t off the shelf so to speak. A minus 6 distance lens in a wrap style you had to have a really good and creative Optom. Was it Tony from Individual Eyewear in Cronulla. Rudy also do distance prescriptions (the most technical prescriptions). Oakley and others also do but they aren’t as technical as the Rudy Project lenses.

  5. Megan says:

    I just saw this article and thought I would “chime in”!
    I purchased a pair of these glasses last month and have found them to be the best glasses I have worn whilst cycling.

    I don’t need a distance prescription just something to help my old eyes read.

    They are brilliant to wear on dusk as they go clear so I can still read my equipment. I have not used them on sunrise but I imagine they will work the same way.

    They fit well under my helmet and are so comfortable.
    I have now been wearing them in the car to read the dashboard and they are great for reading the menu at my local cafe after our ride.

    I would recommend these to anyone and everyone.
    I am about to buy the plain photochromic ones for my son for his birthday.