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Are expensive sunglasses worth the $ ?(30 posts)

Are expensive sunglasses worth the $ ?ortman
Jul 23, 2003 1:36 PM
There are now sunglasses out there costing $200, while others can be had for $50 (Ryders) or less. Even the cheapies claim to offer 100% UV protection. I realize fit and venting and coolness are all factors, but if eye protection (from UV A and B, etc.) and vision quality alone are considered, are the expensive ones really that much better for any reason than the cheapies? Is there any significant reason to purchase $200 Oakleys over the $20 Performance sunglasses? Are there any optometrists out there who can address this? Opinions from non-medical cyclists welcomed as well, of course. Thanks.
Compared to the glasses I wear everyday...Scot_Gore
Jul 23, 2003 2:00 PM
...my sunglasses were cheap. My everyday glasses are Titanium memory metal, supper thin, anti glare, scratch resistent, with polished edges. My RX sunglasses were about half the price.

Now, if I didn't need a RX to see, I'd likely wear the Walmart cheapies.

Scot
nomohair_chair
Jul 23, 2003 2:07 PM
I use a pair of $27 glasses I got at Performance. They work as well as any $150 pair of Oakleys. I think they look better too. In fact, they don't look ridiculous when I wear them off the bike like some of the other 'cycling' glasses out there.

The best part is that when I inevitably lose them or break them, I'm only out $27.
IMHO, yesK_Zero
Jul 23, 2003 2:48 PM
I pay premium price for my Oakley because I find its fit, optical quality, durability to be far superior compared to cheapies (or "jokeleys", as my friend calls them) that I've tried in the past. My M-Frame has survived counteless flying pebbles (mountain biking), and Oakley's customer service has always been top-notch. That being said, if you can't tell the difference you shouldn't pay the extra money.

I think its just like buying $160 Giro vs $40 Bell. They'll both protect your head, but I find my Pneumo a lot more comfortable.

K-Zero
Longer the ride, the more it mattersTheKid
Jul 23, 2003 2:52 PM
There was a previous discussion in which one reply focused on the optical quality of Oakley sunglasses. On a short ride he did not notice much of a difference. On a longer ride, I think over four hours, there was a noticeable difference in how his eyes felt. I have Oakleys and Performance sunglasses and agree the optical quality of the Oakleys is noticeably better. By just switching from one to other and looking at the same thing you can see the distortion in the Performance sunglasses. My experience is a bad pair of sunglasses causes eye strain and headaches after spending time outdoors.
On long rides my glasses are clouded by dried sweat.dzrider
Jul 24, 2003 4:58 AM
I look for glasses whose styles remain unchanged year after year. It makes me feel like I'm paying for function rather than fashion.
Agreed! my eyes have weird depth perceptionc722061
Jul 24, 2003 5:15 AM
after 2 hours riding, wearing cheap RPJ (Rudy Project) glasses. I took off the glasses and immediately noticed that everything seemed shorter than normal. I switched to a lower line of Oakley (not M Frame) and did not have the depth perception problem. So, the high price in sport glasses is actually worth it.
You don't get what you don't pay for....newridr
Jul 23, 2003 3:14 PM
Are expensive glasses better? Generally, yes. Are they overpriced? Definitely, but that's an altogether different topic.

Many of the more expensive glasses are nice because they give you the option of switching out lenses for different lighting conditions. The optics are better as some others have mentioned. One of the biggest differences in better glasses is that many are now available with polarized lenses which cut glare significantly. I have a pair of oakleys and smiths for riding, but my everyday sunglasses are maui jims. Do yourself a favor, check out some polarized glasses - especially for everyday driving - and you'll NEVER buy non-polarized glasses again.
re: Are expensive sunglasses worth the $ ?longfellow68
Jul 23, 2003 3:20 PM
I mean the expensive ones are marked up to begin with.
If your team or something is sponsored by a eyewear company, there are serious price cuts. One of the advantages of being in a sponsored club.

I don't think the optical quality of cheap sunglasses is up to par, I always got headaches.
No, buy Smith, Bolle, or Oakley glasses on clearancejtlmd
Jul 23, 2003 4:21 PM
If you watch Bike Nashbar or Performance catalog you can always find a pair of high quality glasses on clearance. These usually cost $50 or less. Sure the style is one year old but who can tell? When you pay over a hundred dollars for these same glasses you are paying too much.
Hey53T
Jul 23, 2003 5:28 PM
When you see Oakleys on clearance pick me up a pair, I'll pay you $10 premium if you buy them for $20 less than retail.

Of course I'll never have to pay.
I see Oakleys all the time for $10.00 a pair !mfuchs1
Jul 24, 2003 2:23 AM
Right next to the $90 Rolex's? (nm)53T
Jul 24, 2003 5:18 AM
I'm looking at Nashbar right now. Bolle $10-$40.jtlmd
Jul 24, 2003 6:06 AM
Smith $50. You're right that the Oakleys are on sale often. I was just telling the guy he shouldn't have to pay so much for high quality glasses. If you guys have all that money to spend, go ahead.
No seriously53T
Jul 24, 2003 1:03 PM
You seem to be serious. Where did you see Oakleys on sale? I have never, and I'm not talking about the $10 Foakleys mentioned above.
No seriouslyjtlmd
Jul 24, 2003 7:57 PM
I am sure that I've always seen the smiths and bolle's on sale. Can't remember specifically if and when it was oakleys though. Didn't Colorado cyclist put them on sale a year or two ago?
Sierra Trading Post...geeker
Jul 24, 2003 3:33 PM
Recently got a catalog with plenty of Oakley "closeouts" marked down well over $20. Didn't check if they were cycling models; still too pricey for my taste.
To some degree I think soPhatMatt
Jul 23, 2003 5:31 PM
I have been using Oakleys for several years in the IPSC (competitave shooting) and Love the Oakleys. I have also used the Smith's and Bolle's. However I have just went back to the Oakleys. I feel they fit better and seem to me to be much more clear. I loved my Bolle's witht eh Rx inserts, but still not quiet as nice as teh Oakleys.

IMHO
Matt
YESSSSSSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!tirider
Jul 23, 2003 7:27 PM
This Saturday, while riding with a buddy past a golf course on our regular route, I was hit in the face by an errant golf ball. While I did get my first ever ride in an ambulance, my Smith Sliders ultimately saved my right eye. The ball impacted the lower portion of the right lens. Amazingly the glasses did not break. Some stitches, a fracture and a black eye were small consequences compared to what could have happened had the lenses shattered. Also the glasses took some of the energy from the impact. I'm more than happy to have paid full retail on an expensive pair of sunglasses.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!longhorn
Jul 23, 2003 8:44 PM
Wait a sec. You caught a slice from some weekend hack in the eye and the glass didn't break? That's pretty incredible. Glad to hear that you are ok.

Can we get someone with actuarial skills to determine what the chances of something like this happening are? I think you have a better chance of getting eaten alive by ants or something like that.
noooooSteve_0
Jul 24, 2003 5:34 AM
4 dollar safety goggles and 20 dollar shooting glasses are equally shatter resistant.

For what its worth, glad you weren't seriously hurt.

As for me, Revo Drivers.
UMMMMMMMMMMMMMM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!mohair_chair
Jul 24, 2003 6:15 AM
I'm sure your Smiths are great, I even have a pair of Toasters myself, but this is hardly a scientific study. Correlating the price you paid for glasses with the protection from errant golf shots is ridiculous. Go back and try the same thing with a wide range of sunglasses at different price points and see if they act any differently. Almost all lenses are made of plastic and plastic is not going to shatter. Most glasses will act exactly like your Smiths did in this case.

I assume you will now pay twice as much, maybe even four times as much, for sunglasses, to get even more protection from errant golf shots? That's the message.
Might I suggest, mohair_chair, that.....tirider
Jul 25, 2003 6:06 PM
...you are unequivocably the biggest moron I've dealt with in some time. Where did I suggest that in any of this a scientific study was inferred or that price was proportionate to protection from a friggin' golf ball? I'll clue you in since obviously you are a bit too obtuse and caught up in your own perceived brilliance to realize something.... my comments were merely tongue in cheek. I was thrilled that my injuries were not more severe than they were and that for me a hundred dollars for eye protection is a small price to pay. Since you've thrilled us with your grasp of science, praytell show us your data that all plastic will not shatter and that all glasses will act like my Smith Sliders under these precise conditions. And no, I wouldn't pay twice or even four times as much for sunglasses, unless of course, I could place them on your face and practice my golf shots at them. That's the message.
I would have to say yes..gav
Jul 23, 2003 9:29 PM
The nicer glasses are optically perfect, so there's no distortion on the sides. Some people can get headaches from distortion.. And if you've ever looked through a pair of Oakley's and then switched to a cheap pair right away, you'll have noticed that the Oakley's (at least the lenses I have) do not make everything turn into a shade of amber, they just enhance the colours.. And, to top it all off, they look way better and fit better when you're running around.. I've been an Oakley boy for years and will never go back!
Not worth it....lemmy999
Jul 24, 2003 5:02 AM
If you are talking eye protection, then none of these over priced designer glasses are going to cut it. You need some real safety glasses. I ride in some safety glasses that I got from my work. (free). When I am posing around town and care about looks, I have some nicer glasses that I bought on the streets of Washington DC off some Asian girl for $6 (with hard case) that won't protect my eyes as well, but look better. Never had any eye problems no matter how long the ride and I still have better than 20/20 vision.

Fogging is more of a problem for ATB (at least for me) and I kept buying all of these high dollar glasses and they all either fogged or had the problem of when I looked up the trail, all I saw was the top rim of the glass. I got the safety glasses from work and now I have no fogging problems and the top rim of the glasses is higher up and out of my vision. Now I spend my glasses money on my bicycles.
Oakleys - never again!Nessism
Jul 24, 2003 6:47 AM
A few years ago I sprung for some M-frames (or whatever they were called back then) and after less than one year the frames cracked. Shop gave me some new frames...which also cracked in less than one year. Got a second replacement which...you guessed it, cracked in about a year. I gave up and just taped the frames together after that.

I liked the lenses just fine but the frames are pure crap.

Receintly I bought a pair of Bolle Vigilante's from Performance for $40. Came with two sets of lenses and the quality/fit is excellent. 90% as nice as the Oakleys for much less money. Went back and bought a spare pair.

In my opinion, Oakleys are one of the most overpriced products in the market today. Right up there with Ksyrium's.

Just my $0.02. And worth every penny!

Ed
That sounds exactly like my storyGregJ
Jul 24, 2003 7:28 AM
My last pair of Oakley M frames broke and was replaced once, although they refused to do it when they broke again, the second time they wanted to charge me because they were out of warranty. I bought some Bolle's on closeout for 40 bucks somewhere and I like them fine, and they are holding up well.
That sounds exactly like my storyshoalin
Jul 24, 2003 8:05 AM
Oakley M frame user to make with clear plastic. It cracks all the time. New M frame is making with plastic and very flexible now. Oakley M frame is very nice. You can get one on ebay for around 100.
A variety of things to evaluateMel Erickson
Jul 24, 2003 9:02 AM
Fit is one and that's very personal. I tried on probably a dozen different brands and style of sunglasses and settled on Rudy Project because they FIT me the best and had the most adjustability. Optical clarity is another. You will generally get better clarity from more expensive glasses but there is a limit. From my experience Oakleys are no better than many other major sunglass makers. Again, my Rudy Project RB3's have excellent clarity and very low distortion (there is no such thing as no distortion). You generally get more versitility in higher priced frames with adjustable nose pieces, bows and bow ends, temples, interchangeable lenses but again some moderately priced frames have many of these features. There's the cool factor and that's totally personal. It takes a little time and research but you can find some excellent and moderately priced sunglasses that combine almost of the these features and qualities. They just won't be Oakleys cause they never go on sale and they are way overpriced for the quality and features they deliver, IMHO. Now, if they're the only ones that fit you well then you're stuck because I would never buy a pair of sunglasses that didn't fit, no matter how cheap or good the optics. I've been wearing glasses my whole life (since 5 years old and I'm 50) and I'm pretty picky.
do you need Rx?tarwheel
Jul 24, 2003 9:35 AM
If you need prescription sunglasses, then it might be worth it buying some of the more expensive brands. I got some cheaper Bolles w/ optical inserts on sale a couple years ago and they've been OK, but are hard to clean. Just bought some RayBans with prescription lenses and no inserts a few weeks ago because I had 50% off coupon. They cost me at least half the price of Oakleys and should last me a long time. Oakley frames just look too flimsy to me, regardless of their reputation. Personally, Rudys and Smiths seem much better made than Oakleys.