Readers & Bifocal Sports Sunglasses & Other Options

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by WheresWaldo

Not everyone here on WeightWeenies is a twenty-something with perfect vision. I was surprised to see that there was not one single topic for bifocal wearers in Cycle Chat. There are a handful of mentions, but no standalone threads. Maybe we can have one where some of us older WeightWeenies can find valuable information on the topic.

My experience is that I need reader (magnifying) lenses to read anything arm's length or less to my eyes. I have perfect vision for distant objects. I prefered to ride with wrap-around sunglasses to keep my eyes from watering. But, what I found over the last two years was that it was getting harder and harder to see my Garmin Edge out in front of my handlebars. It wasn't the size of the fields. If the fields were bigger they were bigger and still out of focus. This caused me to learn to drop my head and place the Garmin in the center of my field of vision and then concentrate on focusing. The concentration time was lengthening as time went on. It was at a dangerous point as it took too much focus from where I was going to even see the simplest information on the Edge.

So I went looking on various cycling forums for information on bifocal. Much to my surprise, there is very little. I did find that only a handful of the top tier sport glasses manufacturers actually make readers. Almost all will have some sort of RX solution, but not too many have a way for people like me to see clearly.

I did find that Tifosi, whom I have never had any experience with, did have several pairs of glasses with interchangeable lenses that are available in multiple diopters of magnification. I chose the Veloce with a +2.00 bifocal lens.

I have now been on a few rides with the Tifosi and I can tell you that they work. I am having to relearn not to drop my head to focus because if I do I am looking through the top unmagnified part of the lens and it's fuzzy again. But it is like switching from Shimano shifting to SRAM double-tap and back, it should be an easy transition to learn to keep my head up and looking down the road and just glance at the now tack sharp Garmin Edge. There are a things I like and dislike about the Tifosi. I like the bifocal and it's lower location on the lenses. I like the shape of the glasses and the fact that the Veloce fits larger head sizes. I don't like the lack of adequate adjustability in the nose piece (it does adjust some) and I don't like the way the lenses sweep inward towards your cheeks as they are just a bit much and the bottom of the lenses touch my cheeks.

I am really hoping others will add to this discussion and tell us about other glasses they are using or have used in the past, including stick on types. How effective they are and how they fit would be nice to know also.

Here is a link to the specific Tifosi sport glasses I purchased: Tifosi Veloce Matte Black Smoke Reader +2.0 They are also available with their Fototec lenses.
Last edited by WheresWaldo on Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by sanrensho

Project Rudy also make bifocal readers. Although I have no experience with them.

(After my Garmin stopped uploading via Garmin Connect, I've been using Strava on my phone and just tucking it in my jersey pocket. I have to admit that I enjoy the clean look on my bars and riding by feel rather than staring at data. Back to your topic though...)

by Weenie

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by thprice

I have been using Dual Eyewear bifocals for the past few years.
They are now an essential item when I ride :shock:
Typically I use clear or smoke lenses, but recently they introduced photo-chromatic lenses :thumbup:
Just hope one day soon they introduce +1 on the main lens and +2 bifocal as age is catching up with me :cry:

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by dmp

another vote for Dual- I have been very happy with the fit, optics and comfort. I've had mine for about 2 years, too. I was going to get a set of the bifocal lenses for my Rudy Projects, but this was much cheaper.

Getting old stinks. I still have 20:15 distance vision, but I can't read a damned thing without readers!

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by Juanmoretime

I like the idea. I can see my Garmin 520 fine even the incoming message phone call alert. I do have problems with reading messages on my phone on the bike at times but can usually struggle thru it. But why struggle?

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by beanbiken

A third vote here for the Dual Eyeware. Have 2 pairs and for me they are essential. Without them the Garmin is but a small brick
Ahhh, coffee & carbon

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by eric

I need reading glasses for reading and close work on mechanical stuff but not for riding. Yet.
I have a bunch of Tifosi glasses. I got two pair for cycling and liked them so much I bought another to use as sun glasses.

The light night Fototec's tint is very light. I use them for night riding and MTB riding during the day, when I'm on dark forested trails.
I also have a pair of darker tinted Fototecs for daylight road riding. They are polarized. If I look at my Garmin 500 from an angle the characters on the display disappear! It's not a problem riding, only off the bike. The polarization makes certain types of asphalt look like it's coated with oil, so you have to get used to that too. OTOH in bright sun the polarization causes a noticable reduction in glare.

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by WheresWaldo

That is nice to know @eric I am thinking about picking up a set of Fototec's since I ride in open and tree covered areas on every ride. The Fototech is available as a reader also.

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by alistaird

I sometimes ride in my Photo-chromatic Varifocals but they are not wrap around. I use Bolle with an insert as I'm short sighted but now also need magnification for reading - hence the Varifocals. I do find though that not being able to see too much on the bike computer is liberating :-)


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by Rick

I have been wearing progressive lenses for a long time.
Just contact a local eye-doctor. They are everywhere these days and you can focus at every distance. Sport-RX also sells them on line.
Great for being able to glance down at the computer, look slightly ahead on the road, or look at something in the far distance. All in perfect focus.
They are also available in wrap-around designs these days, although I think the total wrap-around is limited, but good enough for me cycling.
This is what I have

by Weenie

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