The key to wearing sunglasses that never slide off your face is to never sweat, to begin with. But you and I know that this is not going to happen while riding a bike, especially in warmer climates.
Many cyclists have worn sunglasses that don’t slide off when they sweat by wearing various attachments or caps. These items either prevent sweat from sliding down the glasses or help hold the glasses firmly behind the head for added security.
Read on the find out some of the methods cyclists have used to keep their sunglasses on their face and not let this ruin their ride.
1. Cycling Specific Sunglasses
The type of glasses we are talking about here refers to cycling glasses which are designed for the sport. The sunglasses most people wear casually or prescription are not designed for sport. Although many corrective glasses and others have to meet certain requirements as cycling glasses do, cycling sunglasses give added support for this activity.
Features To Look For In Sunglasses:
- UVA/UVB Protection
- Close Fit
- Vented properties
- Wrap-around design
- Polycarbonate lenses versus glass
- Interchangeable lenses
- Lightweight build
The advantages of having cycling-specific sunglasses are that they generally have lenses that give more clarity, frames are flexible, glasses are lightweight and fit overall is better. Many cycling glasses are vented in the right areas and provide better protection for the eyes than regular glasses do.
Many will look at cycling glasses compared to cheaper non-specific cycling glasses and see no need for sporty ones.
Some cycling glasses can cost from $100 – $200 + and some cyclists can’t justify paying that much for something so minor.
I would agree that the price can be expensive and not as cost-effective. But after seeing Oakley’s demonstration, for instance, at the Amgen Tour of California, I was convinced that high-quality sunglasses are really designed for protection and aid in performance while riding your bike.
You might choose to forego the high-end cycling glasses in the beginning. Once you start riding more and in different climates or terrains, the need for better quality glasses will become a necessity.
Many cheaper non-cycling glasses will probably not stay on well while sweating or lack UV protection and grip. It’s worth it to give higher-end cycling glasses a try as many benefits will outweigh the cost.
2. Wear Glasses With Nose Pads
Most cycling glasses will have some type of rubber near the nose and ear areas that grip even during sweating. The common rubber nose pads used are made from hydrophilic rubber.
Some prescription glasses may contain this type of rubber as nose pads but many will not hold up under sweat. I also do not recommend cycling with regular prescription glasses even going short distances.
Here are the benefits of hydrophilic rubber:
- Special rubber that provides grip
- The material expands with sweat ensuring a non-slip grip
- Comes in many shapes to fit the nose and temples
- Adjustable form-fitting rubber
- Rubber that seals around the ears, nose, or temples
- You will notice the difference between nose pads made from hydrophilic rubber versus other materials. Some nose pad materials made with silicone, for instance, may feel soft and comfortable but will be slippery when wet.
Silicone pads will wear over time with use and might need to be replaced regularly. The pads may also lose their shape making them uncomfortable.
Another type of material used for nose pads is TPE. TPE stands for, thermoplastic elastomer. This type of material is made of plastics and rubber. You will get the strength of plastic and the flexibility of rubber.
The main difference between hydrophilic vs TPE rubber that I have found are:
- the cost
- how they are made
Some sources state that hydrophilic rubber is natural rubber filled with superabsorbent polymer particles. This combination of this type of rubber comes at a higher cost.
While TPE rubber is found in almost all rubber materials due to its low cost. This type of rubber is easier and faster to make. So it may be more common to use this TPE rubber in cheaper glasses.
3. Adjust Your Glasses
An easier option to wear sunglasses that don’t slide off when you sweat is to adjust your glasses to fit you.
It may be a challenge to have sunglasses fit right as our heads, noses and ears come in various shapes and sizes. Many cyclists that wear prescription eyeglasses most likely adjust their glasses at the eye doctor’s office. Others may purchase an accessory that sits behind sunglasses using a fit-over option.
For most of us who do not use prescription eyewear, it may not be an option to get sunglasses adjusted at an eye specialist’s office. This is where you may consider measuring your face and head size to obtain the right fit.
Most people would not think of measuring their face or head but there is actually an app for this that might help. Vistech Project has developed an app called My Face Shape Meter and many others. These apps provide a measurement toolbox for finding the right fit for glasses.
Since some of these apps are in beta testing it may not find you the perfect fit but some ideal measurements without having to visit a store. The sites you may visit for cycling glasses will usually have a guide on how to find the perfect pair of glasses to fit you.
Some other things to consider:
- Nose type
- Face Shape
- Frame size
- Glasses with or without a frame
- Close fit or Gap fit
All sunglasses will eventually need adjusting to fit your face properly. You can try a DIY approach to adjusting your frames and nose bridge or leave it to the professionals. Once you have the right fit, wearing your sunglasses will be less of a slippery slope and more attached to you.
4. Use Lanyards Or Croakies
Some cyclists use sunglass retainers which are used to hold your sunglasses on your head. They come in different textures and names such as Croakies, Chums, and Terracords.
The purpose of wearing sunglass retainers is to keep your sunglasses in place and prevent them from sliding down the nose. In addition, to prevent slippage down the nose, sunglass retainers provide ease of convenience.
The way lanyards or croakies work is by sliding your sunglass ear stem into the opening of the retainer which locks it in. These work very well and fit snug around the ear stems.
Most retainers are either wired, made of some type of neoprene material, or cotton. They also are lightweight, don’t absorb perspiration, and last for a long time. You’ll also appreciate the fact such an inexpensive device will protect your sunglasses for a while.
6 reasons you may consider lanyards or croakies to hold up your sunglasses:
- Cheap quality glasses
- Abnormal head shape
- Asymmetrical ear-to-nose distance
- Flat or deviated nose
- Lack of nose pads
- Excessive perspiration
Instead of needing to carry a special case for your sunglasses when you’re not wearing them, retainers allow you to hang them on your neck. This will be especially important when you invest in expensive sunglasses and don’t want to risk dropping or breaking them.
To be honest, if your sunglasses fit properly and have the hydrophilic rubber on the nose and earpieces you should be fine.
5. Attach Cable Conversion Temples
What in the world are cable temples? This style was popular with old vintage eyewear to aid in keeping one’s glasses secure.
The idea behind this attachment was to apply a curved piece to the glasses’ arm ends that would wrap around the ears. This would give a snug and secure fit around the ears without adding any extra weight.
There are some sunglasses that have a slight curvature around the arm ends that help some. But to really get that snug fit, it may take a DIY approach to add this attachment to your glasses.
You may find many new sunglasses today that have a bend near the arm ends that will give you the ultimate fit. When searching for these type of sunglasses add the word “temple flex” which will give you better results in google search.
6. Wear Cycling Caps
I use to never wear cycling caps due to the fact that they are not that appealing. But there are many cyclists who wear them and swear they will never cycle without one.
One of the benefits of wearing a cycling cap is that it will keep sweat out of your eyes. It acts as a headband or bandana. It works by wicking away sweat which also keeps your head cool or warm depending on the weather and cap material.
The main reason I bought a cycling cap is due to genetics handed down from family. I’m bald and my head sweats like a pig when I’m out riding in warm climates. A cycling cap is one of the most functional accessories I own besides bike lights.
Although cycling caps are not for everyone, anyone can wear them whether bald or not. They can keep long hair down or even tucked away under the cap.
Most cycling caps, when worn appropriately should fit under the bike helmet comfortably allowing room for air.
According to Amazon.com, the following are the best cycling caps for men:
- Tough Headwear Sweat-Wicking Helmet Liner
- SKULLCAP [BLACK 2 PACK]
- RockBros Men’s Cycling Cap
- Buff UV Headwear
- Giro Peloton Cap
- Weimostar Polyester Men Cycling Cap
Almost all cycling caps are one-size-fits-all. This is made possible due to the elastic bands and the stretchy material they are made from. A proper cycling cap is made from cotton.
Some of the popular cycling caps are made from moisture-wicking polyester, wool, eco-friendly like hemp or bamboo.
According to Amazon.com the following are the best cycling caps for women:
- Uriah Cycling Cap Breathable Fits Under Helmet
- Vintage Euro Team Cycling Cap
- Uriah Women’s Cycling Cap Breathable Sun Protection
- Pace Sportswear Cycling Cap
7. Apply Antiperspirant
This is by far the most overlooked remedy to help with sunglasses sliding off the nose. Some may be against trying this method due to the possibility of irritation but it’s worth a try.
A sweaty nose is a sure way to let your sunglasses slip. If you apply a small amount of antiperspirant to your noise it will keep it from getting sweaty. It may be surprising that someone would apply antiperspirant to their face, but this is very real.
There are some deodorants that can be used on the face, then there are others that may not be recommended. The most common ones that can be used on the face and other parts of the body are, SweatBlock, Maxim, and Mitchum.
The reason why deodorants work to prevent sweat on the nose and many areas other than the armpits is due to the ingredients. Most deodorants contain aluminum chloride which plugs the sweat ducts.
I actually experienced relief using deodorant to stop a scalp cut. I remember a dermatologist told me once that this could help stop bleeding. So one day while I was shaving my head I suffered a cut in my scalp that would not stop bleeding. After applying a small amount of deodorant the bleeding stopped to my amazement.
Now with any remedy like this, it’s important to use it with caution. Some people may suffer irritation or allergies from the ingredients found in deodorant. If that may be the case then it’s probably best to check with a medical professional before applying something like this to your face.
8. Try Nerdwax
If after reviewing the different ways that cyclists have worn sunglasses without sliding down the nose, and you’re not convinced, then try this wax. Nerdwax raises the bar sort of speak when it comes to preventing slippage.
Nerdwax is an all-natural ingredient made up of Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Gum Rosin, and Peppermint Oil. This was originated by Don Hejny and his intentions were to rid ones who struggled to keep their glasses on during warmer weather.
Don founded this product and even appeared on the tv show Shark Tank. I remember him pitching this product to the sharks and thought this was bogus and would not work.
I’ve struggled with sunglasses slipping mainly because I have naturally oily skin which I’m sure many of you reading this now might be suffering from.
These are the ingredients that make the Nerdwax product work:
- Gum Rosin
The two ingredients contribute to creating an adhesive. The wax is then applied to the edges of your glasses and suppose to stick to your skin. The ingredients in the wax create friction between your glasses and skin, preventing them from slipping.
Many customers swear by this product living up to its hype and have held accolades as the #1 best seller in the Safety Eyewear Retainers space.
Troy StampsTroy Stamps is an avid cyclist based out of California. Road cycling is his passion which he's been doing his whole life and he has even competed in some local races. He loves getting new people into the sport and teaching them how to change their life through cycling.
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