Sunglasses are an absolutely essential piece of mountain bike gear, but they are often overlooked, or at least misunderstood. With prices ranging from $15 at your local convenience store to well over $200 for a pair of name-brand shades, it can be difficult to decide what you really need in a pair of sunglasses.
I’ve found that with shades, as with most things, you get what you pay for… though it’s often difficult to identify the benefits of the most expensive products. If you’re operating on a budget, the best idea is usually to aim for a product somewhere in the middle that provides real performance at a real value, and Ryders Eyewear does just that.
The Seeker Black TR90 glasses I recently received come complete with photocromatic polycarbonate grey lenses with 100% UV protection. They feature standard anti-slip nose pads as well as strips of rubber above the ears for comfort.
On the Trail
From the first moment I tried them on, I could tell that the Seekers were designed for use on the trail. Despite the beefy arms they are still lightweight, and those arms wrap around the sides of your head and hold on tight! In addition to performing well on the mountain bike, these would be perfect for trail running and other activities. I’ve even worn them for a long game of ultimate frisbee under slightly overcast skies: perfect!
The tint on these shades feels like it was purposely designed with deep-forest singletrack in mind. The tint is very light compared to many other sunglasses, and while they do cut the glare in direct sunlit mountain meadows, it doesn’t feel like quite enough protection in full sun. That’s OK though, because in the deep woods where I ride these glasses are truly in their element!
The tint is dark enough to cut down on glare from the sunlight filtering through the limbs while not being too dark in the deep shadows, even during early morning and late evening rides. Before the Seekers showed up on my doorstep, I was trying to get back into the habit of riding sans glasses, as my current pair were just too dark. However, riding with glasses does provide the general dust-blocking, spiderweb-breaking, whippy-branch-deflecting benefits over just rolling shade-less. But in order to do that in the deep woods, the tint has to be perfect.
One last thought on the tint: while this may just be personal preference, I’ve been enjoying the straight black tint without any change in color. For the past couple of years I’ve been riding with a pair of light brown shades that were an amazing pair of glasses, but every time I got on my bike it felt like I was entering an alternate dimension of dull brown and orange. The straight black tint of the Seekers makes all of the colors feel so real out on the trail, and it helps me enjoy the beauty of creation around me without having to squint my eyes all of the time.
The model of the Seeker I tested had photopolar technology, which combines technology from several of their other glasses, and MSRPed at $89.99. Other models of the Seeker with less expensive lenses range in price all the way down to $39.99
If you are looking for a pair of shades to use while mountain biking under heavy tree cover that offer serious performance at a reasonable price, be sure to check out the Ryders Seeker!
Thanks to Ryders Eyewear for providing these glasses for review!