Having a pair of cycling sunglasses is an essential part of your riding equipment to increase your cycling experience and to improve your safety as well. The eyes are one of the most fragile parts that have to be protected well. When driving, there are moments where we encounter reflections that might hurt us and damage our sight irreversible. That is why is important to get a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from those unexpected flashes and also repel wind and dust get into your eyes.

However, the dilemma is still present whether to buy polarized or photochromic lenses. They both have their benefits and setbacks but they all do their job done since these are the best options on the market. If you want to know what option is the best you will have to think about what are you going to use them for and how, because they have differences depending on the situation.

To help you with the dilemma, we made this article, to show you the differences between those two options and to do a regular comparison so, in the end, you will know which is a better option for you. But, before that, we will have to say a few words to explain what are actually those lenses.

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What are these lenses?

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The polarized lenses are made to prevent unexpected flashes and are really great for outdoor riding in places where you might encounter those flashes. For example, if you cycle next to snow, the reflection might hurt your eyes. Also, it is a great UV repellent. The photochromic lenses are specially made glasses that have a formula that makes them darker whenever they are exposed to light and they come back to their original color in dark places. This is great to prevent longer exposure in light places.
Since we have seen what actually are those lenses, not it is time to compare them in different situations and see which one is the best for you.

Protection from unexpected flashes

When driving you might come to unexpected flashes that might hurt your vision. This can happen if you drive near water surfaces or near snow or ice. Since they reflect the sun’s rays, your eyes can suffer and that would be irreversible sometimes. That is why we should use sunglasses especially polarized ones because in these situations they are the best choice as suggested by otticasm.com. The photochromic ones will be good against the regular light but are not so good against flashes so they come short in these situations.


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The weather conditions can change pretty quickly when you are out for a cycling session. Instead of bringing another pair of glasses if the conditions change, the photochromic lenses automatically adjust to the light. If it is sunny, they will go dark, if it becomes cloudy, they will come back to normal so you don’t have to bring another pair.

So, if you happen to live in a place where the conditions change pretty often, you’ll know exactly what you need to get.

Which ones are better for reading

You might come across a problem when wearing the polarized glasses when it comes to checking your smart devices because the mechanism of the glasses blocks the light of the display and you will have difficulty looking at it. Sure, you can always move or take your glasses off, but if you get a photochromic pair, this will not be a problem for you and you will not need to take them off just to check something.

Which one gives better vision

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They are both great when it comes to this topic. Since it is really important to be able to see well while cycling in every situation, the polarized one might be better when it comes to this. Since they offer protection against unexpected flashes, your vision will not be impaired and you will be able to see well during your activity.

The other option is still great but it is as not as good as this.

UV protection

We all know how harmful UV rays can be and why it is important to avoid exposure. Actually, this is one of the reasons that we wear the shades. In this situation, both of these options are great because they offer great protection, some of them offer complete repellent, and some of them are only partial, but they are still great.

Other situations

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As we have seen some are better at some things and some at others. The photochromic option is suggested to be avoided if you plan on using them when the conditions are icy. However, they are great for any other use. The polarized are great next to lakes, ponds, rivers, or the ocean but when it comes to winter sports, they have their setbacks.


This is really subjective to the person, someone may like something that the others are not into and that is okay, you are buying this item to be satisfied not to prove something to others. Both of these options come in different shapes and colors that you can find what suits you the most. But, you have to keep in mind that the photochromic option is way more long-lasting than the other one.


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This is really something that everyone can afford because there are a lot of options that you can choose from, some of them are expensive and some of them are not. This goes for both sunglasses. You have to keep in mind that you don’t buy them every day, and you don’t need to cheap out on something that protects you. If you make a comparison between the two options, the photochromic ones are somehow more affordable, although it is dependent on what you need them for. It is not important if one is cheaper if the other option is better for your circumstances.


Before deciding which to get as your next pair, you have to understand what do you need them for. That is why we wrote this article to see which option is better for a different situation. If you have made your mind, get a good pair and use them happily.