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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently testing the waters for my very first set of cycling specific prescription sunglasses. I'm wondering if I really want to cough up the extra $ for a digital lens instead of getting a standard prescription lens option. Does anyone have experience with both? Pros and cons besides price variation?

Thanks,
Jarod
 

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had never even heard of digital lenses before your post...

have had cycling-specific Rx sunglasses for a few years now...best piece of riding gear I own.

they weren't cheap (high-end frames, polarized, no-line bifocal lenses) but worth the cost.

would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of regular vs digital...
 

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I don't have experience with them personally but they sound like something my coworker got , and loved. At least with progressive lenses. The complaint I had is that progressive lenses, well, basically, suck. Not so bad for distance but the more you progress to the reading area the smaller the "sweet spot" gets. So even something simple like glancing down at the dashboard of a car can't be done without pointing your head somewhat towards where you want to look. I hate that. My coworker agreed but commented her new glasses cost her more for "some new thing they can do" and the peripheral vision was worlds better because of it. My guess is they are what is being called "digital". One of the things digital lenses claim to do is have less peripheral distortion compared to traditional progressive lenses. That is if you care. But with any of this it will depend on who does it and how you personally react to it. To me it would come down to price. If I had 100% satisfaction guarantee I'd spend a good bit more if it's really true.

Luckily I can still wear some single vision contact lenses for riding. I can still see the computer on the handlebars clear enough but the text on the phone not so much. Give me a year or two and I'll be in the same market you are in. Apparently Costco now does them. They would stand by them and their prices for progressive, polarized, sunglasses was easily 1/2 of all others when my wife needed them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
currently, I am still in the single vision camp. If the digital lenses are of most benefit to bifocal users, then I should probably pass on that upgrade and save the money. I just wanted to see if anyone was using them and had anything besides the manufacturers' claims to say about them.

on a side note: I'm upgrading from my standard Rx sunglasses that frequently require mid-ride adjustments to keep them in front of my eyes.
 

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How well progressives work can depend on your prescription. They work great for me. In my case, I'm basically nearsighted (and presbyopic) so can read and work at the computer without glasses, and need moderate correction for distance. The lenses go from no power near the bottom to moderate negative power in the center and tops.

I did try conventional bifocals and didn't like the abrupt discontinuity at the division. Many people do wear them so I'm sure you can get accustomed and adapt to it.
 

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currently, I am still in the single vision camp. If the digital lenses are of most benefit to bifocal users, then I should probably pass on that upgrade and save the money. I just wanted to see if anyone was using them and had anything besides the manufacturers' claims to say about them.

on a side note: I'm upgrading from my standard Rx sunglasses that frequently require mid-ride adjustments to keep them in front of my eyes.
So, I'm assuming contacts are off the table? I know they aren't for everyone but I sure love them for cycling. Any eye wear works. Even none (like on slow, hot climbs). Also I wound't write off digital because you are only singe vision. I've seem claims where it still should really benefit peripheral vision, especially with glasses that wrap more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, I'm assuming contacts are off the table? I know they aren't for everyone but I sure love them for cycling. Any eye wear works. Even none (like on slow, hot climbs). Also I wound't write off digital because you are only singe vision. I've seem claims where it still should really benefit peripheral vision, especially with glasses that wrap more.
this is what I've read from the lens manufacturers, but I was trying to find someone with personal experience.

Contacts are another avenue; I prefer to not wear them because they have the habit of drying out at the worst times for me.
 

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I am an optician and I ride bikes. The digital lens will definitely give you more peripheral area even with a SV lens. Optics get crappier as you move from the focal point. The effect is worse in a wrap frame, and worse with higher rx's or more astigmatism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I chose Oakley flak 2.0 at my optometrist sales counter. My PD was measured at 56 and oakly has a minimum of 60, which seems like a lot to me but I was advised to give it a try since Oakley allows one free "do over" if my eyes reject the lenses. I think Oakley only does the digital lenses so that should be what I got.
 

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At 5'11, 175 my pd is 63. I'd say 60-64 is average. 56 is kind of narrow for an adult. If the frame measures 64 eye and 16mm bridge, it has a total width of 80mm across the front. To place the focal point in front of your eye, you move the optical center so that it sits in front of the pupil. With these meaurements, each lens will be decentered by 12mm. (80-56) / 2. The lens blank is not large enough in diameter to allow to be moved so far over. It physically will not cut out and fit in the frame.
 

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I've been using Oakley Flak Jacket (the original 1.0 version) for years. I have three lenses (clear, amber and medium gray). I got the lenses through lenscrafters, and I buy the frames on ebay fairly cheap.

I'm due for a new prescription, and will probably look for something new, depending on what's available...
 

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I am an optician and I ride bikes. The digital lens will definitely give you more peripheral area even with a SV lens. Optics get crappier as you move from the focal point. The effect is worse in a wrap frame, and worse with higher rx's or more astigmatism.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
My experience agrees with this. I'm nearsighted with very bad astigmatism. I used to wear lined bifocals and had a separate pair of glasses for computer work. I "converted" to progressive lenses about 2-3 years ago and had a bit of an adjustment with the peripheral vision issues, but got used to it. My last pair of regular glasses were Costco's version of the new "digital" lenses and there is some improvement in the peripheral vision. I also shopped for some wrap-type frames that would accept sunglass lenses in my prescription. Boutique shop prices were (IMO) outrageous--$750-$1K, and I couldn't get any shop with a guaranteed return if they didn't work to my satisfaction. I met a very experienced optician at a local Walmart who went over options with me. They had 2-3 levels of progressive lenses, but this woman told me that in the wrap-type frames it would definitely not be worth the up sell because wrap frames are just not able to handle peripheral vision well to begin with. I ended up buying their mid-level progressive lens in a wrap frame. As predicted, the peripheral vision is noticeably worse than non-wrap frames. But the good news is that I have no real trouble for straight ahead viewing. I can easily read my bike computer while riding.

I've seen websites that claim to be able to get cycling-specific wrap lenses to work very well, but, again VERY expensive and I'm not sure they would be much better than the $400 (frame and lenses) pair that I have now.

I'd be interested to learn more about others experiences with getting a good progessive lens pair of cycling-specific glasses. There's definite room for improvement in what I have, but I'm not sure how much can be realistically expected and what the cost might be.

STP
 

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I have been using progressive cycling glasses for several years. I have a pair of Oakley racing jackets from Sport RX that are exceptional. They have enough wrap to keep your eyes from tearing up on fast descents and provide really good peripheral vision.

I ordered my last pair with two sets of RX lenses (one light "transitions" and one darker polarized). Both work really well.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
My experience agrees with this. I'm nearsighted with very bad astigmatism. I used to wear lined bifocals and had a separate pair of glasses for computer work. I "converted" to progressive lenses about 2-3 years ago and had a bit of an adjustment with the peripheral vision issues, but got used to it. My last pair of regular glasses were Costco's version of the new "digital" lenses and there is some improvement in the peripheral vision. I also shopped for some wrap-type frames that would accept sunglass lenses in my prescription. Boutique shop prices were (IMO) outrageous--$750-$1K, and I couldn't get any shop with a guaranteed return if they didn't work to my satisfaction. I met a very experienced optician at a local Walmart who went over options with me. They had 2-3 levels of progressive lenses, but this woman told me that in the wrap-type frames it would definitely not be worth the up sell because wrap frames are just not able to handle peripheral vision well to begin with. I ended up buying their mid-level progressive lens in a wrap frame. As predicted, the peripheral vision is noticeably worse than non-wrap frames. But the good news is that I have no real trouble for straight ahead viewing. I can easily read my bike computer while riding.

I've seen websites that claim to be able to get cycling-specific wrap lenses to work very well, but, again VERY expensive and I'm not sure they would be much better than the $400 (frame and lenses) pair that I have now.

I'd be interested to learn more about others experiences with getting a good progessive lens pair of cycling-specific glasses. There's definite room for improvement in what I have, but I'm not sure how much can be realistically expected and what the cost might be.

STP
 

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I have been using progressive cycling glasses for several years. I have a pair of Oakley racing jackets from Sport RX that are exceptional. They have enough wrap to keep your eyes from tearing up on fast descents and provide really good peripheral vision.

I ordered my last pair with two sets of RX lenses (one light "transitions" and one darker polarized). Both work really well.
Thanks. I've checked out their website and it looks promising. More expensive than what I have but looks like < $600.00--not bad.

STP
 

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Oakley are really expensive, my Crosshairs were over $600. Thank God I have an eyecare plan at work.
On the bike I use Ray Ban Daddy-O, but I don't think they still make them. Excellent peripheral vision and they keep my eyes from drying out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got my Oakley flak XLJ glasses and they fit well. I have no trouble seeing out of them with the change in pupillary distance. Peripheral vision is great. I used my vision savings plan and paid only about $240 out of pocket. Loving them compared to using regular prescription sunglasses.
 

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"Digital" prescriptions grind the whole surface of the glasses to match your exact eye's needs. It's probably not as necessary on a bike, but I suppose it would be nice if the cost isn't a problem.

I have progressive lenses on my regular glasses.

For my bike glasses, it's a single vision insert. When I had it made some years ago, I didn't really need bifocals. Since then, I added a stick on bifocal, cut way down with a razor blade. It only needs to be big enough to see the bars.

I don't have any trouble switching between my progressives and these lined bifocals. For the first few rides, it was annoying, but then my brain adapted and I don't even see the bifocal line any more.

The prescription insert allows me to clip in different lenses, from clear to very dark. And I can get the insert re-made and still keep all those lenses.

The biggest disadvantage is at night, I get double reflections from the two layers.





Stick on bifocals

Optx 20/20 is one brand. They should be available at the drug store chains, or by mail.

These do a kind of "static cling" that's very grippy. I wash my inserts under the tap, and they don't come loose. They are too stiff to cut with scissors, use a razor knife. I kept trimming mine down until they focused on a 2 foot wide space at arms length.
 

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"Digital" prescriptions grind the whole surface of the glasses to match your exact eye's needs. It's probably not as necessary on a bike, but I suppose it would be nice if the cost isn't a problem.

I have progressive lenses on my regular glasses.

For my bike glasses, it's a single vision insert. When I had it made some years ago, I didn't really need bifocals. Since then, I added a stick on bifocal, cut way down with a razor blade. It only needs to be big enough to see the bars.

I don't have any trouble switching between my progressives and these lined bifocals. For the first few rides, it was annoying, but then my brain adapted and I don't even see the bifocal line any more.

The prescription insert allows me to clip in different lenses, from clear to very dark. And I can get the insert re-made and still keep all those lenses.

The biggest disadvantage is at night, I get double reflections from the two layers.





Stick on bifocals

Optx 20/20 is one brand. They should be available at the drug store chains, or by mail.

These do a kind of "static cling" that's very grippy. I wash my inserts under the tap, and they don't come loose. They are too stiff to cut with scissors, use a razor knife. I kept trimming mine down until they focused on a 2 foot wide space at arms length.
Where do you get your inserts? And do they work with all frames?
 
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