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BUYER'S GUIDE

Best cheap cycling sunglasses 2024 — protect your eyes on the bike without breaking the bank

You don't need to spend a lot to protect your eyes while you ride with our pick of the best cheap cycling sunglasses

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While it’s certainly possible to spend a lot of money on cycling sunglasses, this guide and the products recommended in it demonstrate that you don't really need to nowadays. We've picked out what we think are the best cheap cycling sunglasses, priced from just £4.99 up to £59.99. 


Cycling sunglasses aren't just for keeping the sun out, and even in winter the early sunsets low in the sky mean they can be essential. They also protect your eyes from bits of grit, debris, rain, climate-defying insects and the like. 

Not very long ago though, cheap cycling sunglasses were best avoided, with poor optical quality and designs that made you look like an extra from a bad low-budget sci-fi film... but those days are gone. Eyewear manufacturers have raised their game for both quality and style, and enforcement of standards means you can rely on even cheap cycling glasses to protect your eyes from potentially damaging ultraviolet.

While big-name cycling sunglasses come with three-figure price tags, you can get very good glasses for as little as five quid. All of the sunglasses featured in this guide have an RRP under £60. 

How we review cycling sunglasses

road.cc reviewers don't just test products for a single outing; they put them through at least a month of rigorous use before delivering their verdicts. This ensures that the sunglasses undergo extensive use to gauge their overall quality. 

Our cycling sunglasses reviews assess various factors such as the quality of construction, durability, comfort, weight and performance, which we believe provides a comprehensive evaluation and provides valuable insights into what the sunglasses would be like to wear regularly. We're not lab testing (hence 'review', not 'test') but we reckon the best way to truly judge how good a product is, is to go out and use it for its intended purpose. 

Why you can trust us

When it comes to road.cc buyer's guides, we will only ever recommend products that fared well in reviews. All the cycling sunglasses featured here scored 4 out of 5 stars or more overall from our reviewers, indicating very good or excellent quality according to our reviewers' opinions. 

Our reviewers are all experienced cyclists, and so are the road.cc team members who put these guides together. That means you can be sure the product selections are our genuine top picks, not just a round-up of things we can make a commission from.

Now, onto our recommendations! If you've got a bigger budget, or simply want to see what else is out there, you can also check out our overall cycling sunglasses guide with options from 20 quid up to £200-plus. 

The best cheap cycling sunglasses: our top picks

Galibier Regale Ultra Optics

Galibier Regale Ultra Optics

9
Best overall cheap cycling sunglasses
Buy now for £39 from Galibier
Great value for money
Loads of coverage
Great clarity
Comfortable fit

The Galibier Regale Ultra Optics sunglasses are great all-round glasses. They are cheap as chips but don't sacrifice quality or performance. They're well made and offer great clarity of vision. The frameless design means that nothing is there to block your vision when looking in front, to the side or even over your shoulder. 

Tester Stu also found that the fit was great and that they were comfortable thanks to the minimal pressure from the arms. He said, "For me at least, Galibier has got it spot on – there's just enough pressure to keep them in place, but not enough to cause discomfort. That's a bonus on longer rides."

The prices vary for each model, but basically, they're all a bargain! The red, blue and gold plasma models are £46, and the clear plasma option is £39. All but the clear ones have a Cat 3 rating (meaning they're tinted for strong sunlight), while the whole range offers UV 400 protection (the highest level, which blocks at least 99% of ultraviolet light).

Rockrider ST100 sunglasses

Orao Arenberg Cycling Sunglasses

8
Best on a really tight budget
Buy now for £4.99 from Decathlon
Light
Comfortable
Cheap
One size - for medium to large faces

Previously known as Orao Arenberg Cycling Sunglasses, the Rockrider ST100 MTB sunglasses cost less than a cake and a coffee and for a mere fiver, it's hard to see how you can go wrong with these bargain cycling glasses from Decathlon. 

If you can put up with the inevitable 'safety glasses, aren't they?' jibes, these are a light and comfortable pair of cycling glasses. The wraparound design delivers a very wide field of vision and tester Mike says, "in use, the sides and top of the lens are only visible if you really try to look at them, and the lower edge is low enough to afford both protection and ventilation". 

You can also get the ST100s with a black or yellow lens for bright weather and overcast/foggy conditions, all for £4.99 each. All three are made from 100% UV-blocking impact-resistant polycarbonate.

Galibier Surveillance precision optics glasses

Galibier Surveillance Precision Optics glasses

9
Best casual cycling sunglasses
Buy now for £29 from Galibier
Quality optics
Look great off and on the bike
Large design might not suit smaller faces

Galibier's Surveillance Precision Optics cycling sunglasses provide excellent all-round vision. They're light, very comfortable to wear, and an excellent price for the quality, whether you are out for a bimble or blasting along in a chain gang.

Tester Stu says, "What I like the most, though (aside from the price), is that the slim frame provides such a close and secure fit without restricting your vision at all. With some full frame glasses you can easily lose a car behind the edge of the frame when giving a quick glance over your shoulder, but you get none of that here. The frame is never in your line of vision."

Magicshine Windbreaker Classic Sunglasses

Magicshine Windbreaker Classic Sunglasses

9
Best value lightweight cycling sunglasses
Buy now for £33.99 from Amazon
Comfortable
Adjustable nose-pad
Good optical clarity
Rugged semi-hard case
Very light
Great value for money
Nose-piece is just about visible in wear

Magicshine is a company much better known for its well-priced bike light but their sunnies are great too and their Windbreaker Classic Sunglasses punch far above their weight for the price. They are nicely shaped, comfortable, and ultra-light coming in at 30g on the road.cc Scales of Truth. 

They offer good levels of protection and this classic model, with wraparound style polycarbonate lens, has a mirrored Revo coating on the outside for reduced glare, enhanced contrast and clarity, and an OAR coating on the inside to reduce reflected glare. There is also a polarized version which retails at £59.99 and scored highly in our reviews. 

Reviewer Lara says, "As a lifelong Oakley devotee, I'm now finding it hard to justify the massive jump in price that requires when faced with superb value sunnies such as these. They might not last a couple of decades as my Oakleys have, but perhaps I just treat those better because of the price". 

Madison Stealth glasses

Madison Stealth glasses

9
Best cheap cycling sunglasses for performance
Buy now for £29 from Start Fitness
Clear vision
Comfortable
Secure
Great price
Slightly visible edge to the lens

Madison's Stealth glasses are brilliant riding shades at an exceptional price. The frameless design gives an almost uninterrupted field of view, while the bronze mirror lens is lovely to look through on overcast to bright days.

If you're after a great set of sunglasses that don't cost a fortune, these are an excellent choice. They provide great coverage, stay secure on your face, are comfortable on long rides and have excellent lenses.

There's also the option to fit Madison's £4.99 RX insert if you need prescription lenses.

The best of the rest: more of our top cheap cycling sunglasses recommendations

Tifosi Swank Single Lens Sunglasses

Tifosi Swank Single Lens Sunglasses

8
Buy now for £23.95 from Fawkes Cycles
Inexpensive
Decent lens quality
Helmet-friendly fit
Casual looks
Fit isn’t adjustable

Tifosi produces a truly impressive range of high-quality technical eyewear, all designed with cycling in mind, but these are designed to be as much casual as technical. The Tifosi Swank Single Lens Sunglasess are genuinely useful on the bike, but also don't look out of place mooching down to the pub or coffee shop. Think fashion shades that you can wear on your bike that will still protect your eyeballs.

The frames are made from lightweight Grilamid TR-90 nylon material and the lenses are scratchproof and shatterproof polycarbonate. They come in a massive array of frame/lens colour combos. 

Tester Lara writes, "The frames and nose-piece are non-adjustable, but I found them comfortable with or without a helmet on, and the subtle shaping of the arms kept them secure to my head without gripping too tightly or interfering with my ears or helmet if I was wearing one". 

BBB Avenger Sunglasses

BBB Avenger Sunglasses

8
Buy now for £34.99 from Winstanleys Bikes
Unrestricted vision
Plenty of coverage
Great value
Lenses aren't the easiest to change and they'll be covered in fingerprints

BBB's Avenger sunglasses are a great package that shows you don't need to be spending into the hundreds for a quality pair of cycling glasses. With excellent coverage, a range of lenses and impressive weight there is very little to dislike.

The Avengers use a large single-piece wraparound polycarbonate lens which really keeps the wind and grit out of your eyes as you ride along, even at high speed. In the pack are two other lenses alongside the smoke one you can see fitted in the pictures, a yellow option and a clear.

Thickness of the frame has been kept to a minimum, which makes for a great field of vision with nothing in your line of sight when you check over your shoulder for traffic. Clarity from the lens is good, if not the sharpest, and you don't get any distortion from the curved surface.

Lazer Waymaker 1 Way1 Glasses

Lazer Waymaker 1 Way1 Glasses

8
Buy now for £34.99 from Swinnerton Cycles
Look good on and off the bike
Variety of frame and lens choices

The Lazer Waymaker 1 Way1 glasses are perfect for casual riding around town, and look good on and off the bike. They're not designed for head-down, fast-as-you-can sprinting or long endurance rides, but if you're cycling to the shops (or walking!), these do the job well at a great price.

The frames are quite square-looking with curved corners, and they sit comfortably on your face with no slippage. The lenses are big enough to offer all-round eye protection, with enough coverage to keep sunlight out of even the corner of your eye. The glasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection, so no nasty rays will get into your eyes. 

Lazer describes the Waymaker 1 Way1 as 'lightweight leisure' glasses, and though they don't boast the same technical spec as fancy framed/advanced-lens options costing loads more, they will keep sun, grit and rain out of your eyes while looking good. 

Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three-Lens Pack

Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three-Lens Pack

8
Buy now for £50.99 from Cycle Store
Serious value for money
Great coverage
Easy to use lens swap system
Twist lock system can scratch the lens
Can be a bit tricky to put back together

The Madison Code Breaker Glasses Three-Lens Pack provides a sharp-looking pair of shades with decent coverage, strong performance and lenses for every occasion – at a wallet-friendly price. 

The lenses offer pretty respectable coverage with little of the frame getting in the way. The frames are comfortable too, and only get more so with the lower section fitted.

Swapping the Code Breakers' lenses is simple thanks to its twist lock system. A swivelling lock at the centre of the upper frame turns and, with the arms at 45 degree angles, the lens and lower frame falls away. Then it’s just a case of bending the lower section to unclip it from the lens.

Tifosi Swick Onyx Blue Fade/New Blue

Tifosi Swick Onyx Blue Fade/New Blue

8
Buy now for £22.99 from Fawkes Cycles
Nicely designed
Lightweight
Good value
Some glare artefacts in the lenses
Fit not adjustable

Tifosi's Swick sunglasses are technical enough that they work well on the bike, but not so bike-specific that they look odd off it. They're a good choice if you want a pair of sunglasses for mixed use. 

The large, square lens of the Swick glasses, along with the two-tone polycarbonate frame, gives them a fairly classic look. They're not obviously riding glasses: the shape doesn't really wrap around your face, and there are no adjustable nose-pieces or interchangeable lenses or vents. That being said, they're pretty good for riding in.

Tester Dave writes, "They're comfy and versatile; optically they're pretty good, and £30 isn't exactly top-end wedge for a nice pair of sunnies". 

Magicshine Windbreaker Polarized Sunglasses

Magicshine Windbreaker Polarized Sunglasses

8
Buy now for £59.99 from Magicshine
Excellent lens clarity
Nice, lightweight design
Good looks
Comes with hardshell case
Some issues with steaming
Lack of colour options

Sneaking into our budget glasses guide is the polarised version of Magicshine's Windbreaker shades, that carry a £20 premium over the non-polarised version we've recommended further up the page. 

Described as having excellent lenses by our reviewer, these shades are lightweight at just 30g and the build quality is impressive for the reasonable price. The lenses are large, in keeping with the latest cycling shade trends. The polarised lenses reduced glare and delivered a crisp and clear image while riding. 

Our reviewer experienced a bit of steaming and there aren't too many colour options, but if you want polarised tech on a budget the Windbreakers are a solid choice.  

How to choose from the best cheap cycling sunglasses

faq-icon
Are expensive cycling sunglasses worth it?

Previously, cheap cycling sunglasses were best avoided, with poor optical quality and designs that made you look like an extra from a bad low-budget sci-fi film; but as we've already mentioned, that's not the case any more, and you can get your hands on a high-quality pair of cycling sunglasses for less than £60. Enforcement standards mean you can rely on even cheap cycling sunglasses to protect your eyes from potentially damaging ultraviolet, and eyewear manufacturers have raised their game for both quality and style. 

So, is there any point paying over £100, or even £200, for a pair of cycling shades? It's unlikely spending more will actually afford your eyes greater protection from the sun, because any sunglasses that meet the CE or UV400 standards can do the job. At higher price points, you can expect to see technology like photochromatic lenses, that transition to darker or lighter colours depending on the light conditions. You might also get polarised lenses on higher-end glasses, that can reduce glare and strain on your eyes, while many of Oakley's lenses feature its Przym technology, designed to enhance colour and contrast by filtering the light spectrum.

Paying a premium might get you glasses that will last longer, and could provide a more pleasurable experience for your eyes, so weigh up whether you think any of the bonus features we've mentioned above are worth it to you. If you just want to keep the sun out, stick with budget shades. 

faq-icon
Can I wear regular sunglasses for cycling?

Regular sunglasses serve as effective eye shields, providing protection against harmful UV rays, wind, insects, and dust, much like cycling sunglasses. However, there are notable differences in design and functionality between the two.

One of the key differences lies in their shape - cycling sunglasses typically feature a more wrapped-around lens design which offers greater coverage, enhancing eye protection when riding. Cycling sunglasses also often feature a frameless or semi-frameless design to optimise visibility and ensure an unobstructed view. Additionally, cycling sunglasses are designed to fit comfortably and securely under a helmet, ensuring there are no pressure points. 

There is now a wide selection of cheap cycling sunglasses that combine the technical features of cycling glasses with the design of standard sunglasses, making them suitable for both on and off the bike wear.

faq-icon
Should cyclists wear polarised sunglasses?

Whether you need polarised lenses for cycling depends on your personal preference and the specific conditions in which you ride. While polarised lenses won't protect your eyes from UV damage more than standard 100% UV lenses, they can give clearer vision and alleviate some eye strain by reducing glare from reflective surfaces. 

faq-icon
Can you put prescription lenses in cycling glasses?

Yes, some cycling sunglasses can accommodate prescription lenses and this doesn't have to be expensive. Madison's Stealth glasses featured in this guide are compatible with prescription inserts which is a cost-effective way to turn a regular pair of cycling sunglasses into prescription sunglasses. 

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

Add new comment

9 comments

Avatar
NPlus1Bikelights | 1 month ago
0 likes

Victory Chimp Evo too. Very reasonable price and tons of lenses. These Magicshine above look great too.

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grasen | 1 month ago
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and what about bifocal glasses ?

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Rendel Harris replied to grasen | 1 month ago
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grasen wrote:

and what about bifocal glasses ?

Plenty of opticians could put bifocal lenses into the prescription frame that comes with many cycling sunglasses, not sure how useful they'd be though? Reading the Garmin I suppose but surely easier just to make the figures bigger?

Avatar
grasen replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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I was thinking more of Rudy Project Rydon Readers or BZ Optics PHO Photochromic POLARISED Bifocal Lens or others ???

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Hirsute replied to grasen | 1 month ago
0 likes

Or 6 quid stick on half moons from eBay (up to 3.5 correction).

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grasen replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
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have tried those - they usually fall off

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Hirsute replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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Hard to read the top line messages and maps though.

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IanGlasgow replied to grasen | 1 month ago
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Madison Stealth take Rx inserts. RxSport say they're compatible with bifocal lenses. I usually wear varifocal contact lenses when I'm cycling to get around this problem.

https://www.rxsport.co.uk/product-category/prescription-ski-goggles/pres...

EDIT: the Rx insert for Madison cycling glasses is smaller than the one for ski goggles and I can't see any info about bifocal or varifocal lenses. For £5 it might be worth getting one and taking it to your optician to see if it's suitable for bifocal/varifocal lenses. You might need to take the sunglasses it's going to be fitted into - they'll need to see how high they're going to sit so they know where the transition between the distance and close vision parts of the lenses sits. Maybe worth purchasing a pair from a retailer who accepts returns.

https://www.madison.cc/product/madison-eyewear-rx-prescription-holder-in...

Avatar
grasen replied to IanGlasgow | 1 month ago
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Look a bit silly with snow goggles on a road bike. I use BZ bifocals and they are fine  - but the gap between the eyes is too open so I keep getting bugs in my eyes. Would like to find something like Rudy Project Astral as a reader.