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Thread: Polarised sunglasses and helmet visors

  1. #1
    Trip 7s colyvon's Avatar
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    Unhappy Polarised sunglasses and helmet visors

    I had a pair of prescription sunglasses made through Oakley (via my optician), the lenses were laser cut and fitted by Oakley in Ireland and delivered to me and it was cheaper than buying a pair of sunglasses here and then having tinted lenses fitted. I decided to go for polarised lenses to cut as much glare as possible and found them really nice... until I wore them on the bike and closed the visor. The polarisation creates a mottled effect with the visor and was quite disconcerting at times. Riding back from Ellisras yesterday I found just how problematic it can be, we came up behind a slow vehicle and the two riders in front of me overtook and I followed on seeing only a clear road ahead. As I was passing the vehicle "all of a sudden" there was this dull red Golf heading towards me, fortunately the CBF has a good turn of speed and I kicked down and managed to get past leaving one really upset Golf driver to swear about "these idiot bikers".

    I truly did not see him; with a combination of the mottle of the sunglasses and the colour of the road at that place, the colour of the Golf blended totally in and was literally invisible to me. Needless to say I will not be wearing the sunglasses to ride with again unless I find a helmet/visor that does not create the same problem.

  2. #2
    Evil Biker Scum Johnny's Avatar
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    I ride with polarized Oakley half jacket sunglasses wearing a Shoei XR1000 without any problems. Do you have some special kind of visor?

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    Grammar Nazi (Wish I was a biker) Buelligan's Avatar
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    Hi Colin
    There was a thread about this issue. I had EXACTLY the same problem. Even down to the same brand of sunglasses
    Cars windows also looked as if they had oil on them.....

    Problem is alleviated a bit if you have a clear visor i.e zero tint

    Curvature of the lens, which in my Oakley's was quite radical, also plays a part
    I gave up wearing them and instead got a pair of relatively flat lensed RayBan sunglasses without polarisation, put it down to school fees
    Looking for a new onw...some Mad Scot stole mine

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    Trip 7s colyvon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    I ride with polarized Oakley half jacket sunglasses wearing a Shoei XR1000 without any problems. Do you have some special kind of visor?
    No, maybe just cheap? I will take the glasses with me when I buy my next helmet or replace the visor so I can check first. Maybe I'll just buy a helmet with a built in sun visor.

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    Grammar Nazi (Wish I was a biker) Buelligan's Avatar
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    Hi Johnny, just curious, are yours prescription lenses ?
    Looking for a new onw...some Mad Scot stole mine

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    Hardcore Biker spirit's Avatar
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    Same brand of glasses, also prescription, same problem. Find the problem is worse if I am tired.

    It becomes fun when you hit a bug patch and perform mass bug extermination - as then there is even more distortion to deal with

    ThnAir has Raybans with prescription lens and he does not have these problems with his shades.
    I've got an great ambition to die of exhaution rather than boredom! Thomas Carlyle. And I soooo agree with him

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    Trip 7s colyvon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buelligan View Post
    Hi Johnny, just curious, are yours prescription lenses ?
    Quote Originally Posted by spirit View Post
    Same brand of glasses, also prescription, same problem. Find the problem is worse if I am tired.

    It becomes fun when you hit a bug patch and perform mass bug extermination - as then there is even more distortion to deal with

    ThnAir has Raybans with prescription lens and he does not have these problems with his shades.
    To add to Buelligans question, did you have your lenses polarised, or just tinted? I believe it is the polarisation which causes the problem.

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    Evil Biker Scum Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buelligan View Post
    Hi Johnny, just curious, are yours prescription lenses ?
    No, just normal polarized Oakley's. I used to wear contact lenses but had my eyes lasered a year or so ago, so no prescription lenses are needed.

    Similar to these ones:

    oakley-half-jacket-XLJ-sunglases-03-650-1-550x275.jpg

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    Hardcore Biker spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colyvon View Post
    To add to Buelligans question, did you have your lenses polarised, or just tinted? I believe it is the polarisation which causes the problem.
    Think mine are polarised, his plain tinted.

    Also ThnAir has to wear glasses almost the size of Jackie O's due to skin cancer on his face - covers his face with his helmet on - he chose a Rayban with a wide lense on purpose either Wayfarers or Aviators - whereas mine are narrow glasses - we thought it was due to the difference in the size of the lenses surface, mine are about a quater - to a third the size of his - that it could be adding to the distortion.
    I've got an great ambition to die of exhaution rather than boredom! Thomas Carlyle. And I soooo agree with him

  10. #10
    Grammar Nazi (Wish I was a biker) Buelligan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirit View Post
    Think mine are polarised, his plain tinted.

    Also ThnAir has to wear glasses almost the size of Jackie O's due to skin cancer on his face - covers his face with his helmet on - he chose a Rayban with a wide lense on purpose either Wayfarers or Aviators - whereas mine are narrow glasses - we thought it was due to the difference in the size of the lenses surface, mine are about a quater - to a third the size of his - that it could be adding to the distortion.
    Size of the lens is not the problem, as mentioned it's the curvature of the lens that causes the problem.
    When marshaling at the race I relied a lot on peripheral vision for flagging.
    Oakley lens have a very pronounced curve to them, so if I look straight at an object it is 100 in focus.
    But when looking at an angle i.e more through the side of the lens, I can not see a vehicle's number clearly
    Flat lenses, no problem......

    So, with prescription lenses you can look larney, but not see larney
    Optometrist confirmed this with tests
    Looking for a new onw...some Mad Scot stole mine

  11. #11
    Hardcore Biker dave31's Avatar
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    It is the polarization that does it.... had a pair of sunglasses with the polarised lenses. Could never ride with them under the visor. Now never buy polarised lenses on purpose.

    Use a blue Iridium visor on my race helmet and a flip down tint on my road Nolan. Wear specs with the Nolan and contacts with the race helmet.. my prescription sunglasses were offerred as Polarised but declined
    Dunslop lover....

  12. #12
    N00b Slip_Stream's Avatar
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    Picking up on this thread as I am serious about getting a fully polarized helmet visor.

    Is that possible?

    Personal opinion is that bike riders are prone to skin cancer on the face due to helmet visors with zero radiation protection. Instead of spreading layers of toxic sun screen cream on nose and cheeks, I want to know if a polarized visor can be clipped on or if there are visor stickers available to deal with UVA/UVB radiation.

    Any suggestions?

  13. #13
    Hooligan Biker DouglasN's Avatar
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    Polarised glasses are not always the best option, they can make reading smart phones, GPS & LCD/TFT screens, car dashboards much more difficult depending on whether what you have is horizontally or vertically polarised.

  14. #14
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    I don't know about polarised visors. I do know you get UV protective
    clear glasses lenses though. You also get helmets with an internal
    sun visor and you can also get tinted pinlock inserts should your
    visor support it.

    There's a compromise with each though like with tinted visors/
    inserts that need to be switched out at night.

    Polarised lenses are a known issue in some cases. They aren't
    recommended for pilots by the Federal Aviation Administration
    for one.
    (See: No polarised sunglasses for pilots)

    I have a normal full face helmet. I use a pair of cheap cycling
    sunglasses from Decathlon with that. They're light, simple and work
    really well (I have the same pair for running). I don't mind if they
    take a beating after getting a good few uses out of them with that.

    As for skin protection, I hear you. The problem I have is usually
    that sunscreen has a terrible taste that really carries. Maybe you
    should look to more natural/organic type sunscreens if you're worried
    about toxicity. They're an alternative, but not always as effective.

    Also, Eye Buy Direct has been great.

    See:
    Internal sun visor
    Pinlock inserts

  15. #15
    Biker Medres's Avatar
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    I use polarised prescription sunglasses and have no issues, that being said my lenses don’t have a major curve.

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