With the dramatic rise in the number of older cyclists (the definition of ‘old’ being 15 years older than you are today), there must now be millions of riders around the world who need reading glasses. For cycling, these would ideally be wrap-around bifocals so that you can read both road signs and your GPS screen or map.
But what do you find when you go to your local bike shop, or any of the major online cycling kit dealers? Absolutely nothing.
I found a solution on eBay by searching for “safety bifocals”. This turns up a lot of options, some of which are indistinguishable from sports glasses and do the job a treat. I wear clear ones all year round for protection against flying debris and insects but you can also find dark tinted versions and glasses with yellow lenses. Prices start from about £5 per pair, a fraction of the price of designer sunglasses that appear to be almost identical, bar a logo.
Searching on “bifocal sports glasses” brings up even more options, although my impression is that adding in the word “sports” seems to make exactly the same products about 50% dearer, and one that boasts “Italy Design” is around twice the price of most of the others, but looks no different.
Nearly all of these glasses come from the US, so it’s worth buying a few at the same time so that postage doesn’t add too much to the cost of each pair. In my experience, every time you show them to another cyclist who’s long-sighted they’ll say, “you don’t happen to have a spare pair, do you?”