By Colin Dennis
Eye protection when cycling is paramount, we all understand that, but those with reading glasses tucked neatly away in their back pocket haven't always had an easy ride. But thankfully, bi-focal glasses have turned trendy and cheaper thanks to the superlative G5 glasses from Dual Eyewear.
'There's no pushing back the glasses with my fore finger to read my speedo', regardless of how bumpy the ride. Off-road the G5's stay exactly where they should and refused to slip down my nose.'
Plenty of variations on the theme with different sizes and lens strengths and colours available from the importers at 2pure and other cycling outlets.
From first-hand experience, Bi-focal glasses for cyclists have always been a bit of a poke in the eye in the past and hard to come by and can also be very expensive and more than a little cumbersome. Eyes can tire quickly when constantly trying to re-focus when switching from the road or trail ahead back down to the cockpit area to read the small digital readouts of a bike computer or GPS.
Thankfully though, Dual Eyewear have come up with a clearly workable and much cheaper answer. The G5 glasses are snug fitting, look really good, and are super-comfortable whether you vote for in or outside of your helmet straps.
They’re also incredibly light, and at around 20g, or 1oz in old money, there are no uncomfortable weight issues on the bridge of my nose; even after a five hour ride. The G5 glasses are purposely designed for narrower, more streamlined heads and they feel comfortable and secure on my head. This is something I've not always found present from some other manufactures who don't offer varying width options.
Another bonus to wearing these lightweight optics is that here's no pushing back the glasses at all with my fore finger to read my speedo', regardless of how bumpy the ride. Even off-road the G5's stay exactly where they should and refused to slip down my nose.
Dual Eyewear proclaim the G5’s to be shatterproof and scratch resistant, thankfully I’ve not been in a position to test that theory, but us cyclists being what we are, glasses tend to go through quite a bit of daily abuse and the G5's are holding up to any unintentional neglect.
Dual Eyewear also claim them to be 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection and the brown lenses were clear and distortion-free, and I've no reason to doubt them. Clarity is excellent and the stock brown lenses offer a good balance for the changeable British climate keeping out the worst of the eye-watering low September sun, but yet let in enough light to see clearly on all but the gloomiest of days.
But like a pair of padded cycle shorts; these glasses work best when you’re out riding your bike rather than wearing them full time; horses for course and all that.
It's nice to see that company jargon rings true too. The G5’s really are so light you hardly notice them in front of you. For me this has proven to be spot-on. Over the last few years, getting to see the readout from any on-board tech has been a little frustrating and finding something that works so easily without any kind of weight penalty is a real boon as far as I'm concerned.
I only discovered Dual Eyewear when I was halfway through a recently published guide book and although there is always a Garmin perched on my stem, the glasses also came in handy when resorting to good-old fashioned map reading along a route. Until your eyesight starts to creep further and further away, you don't realise how frustrating reading anything smaller than a motorway sign becomes.
There are several lens strength and colour options and the G5's came with the obligatory soft wipe case. The test pair were +1.5 in lens strength, but +2.0 and +2.5 are also available. For riders of all abilities and ages that need reading glasses, the G5’s from Dual Eyewear should provide relief and clarity. Other head widths, colour options and lenses are available across the range aftermarket.
In summary: You may want to take advice and double-check your eyesight with your local optician, but the G5 Dual Eyewear Glasses have definitely changed my riding experience for the better. It really is this simple, one glance down through the small tear-drop diopters and that once hazy-looking readout in the cockpit area becomes much closer as it turns sharply into focus. No more wrong turns or breaking the speed limits for me - I wish!