Bike Shorts: One Quick Trick To Avoid Foggy Sunglasses While Cycling

October 26, 2022 0 Comments

Two male cyclists stopped on a mountain road with snow-peaked mountains in the background.

Cyclists love the summer months. Those long, bright days mean plenty of time for riding and enjoying the time outdoors.

That doesn’t mean they’re ready to park the bike when the cooler days of autumn and winter settle in. Serious cyclists will look for any way to extend the riding season as long as feasible, even year-round. They’ll prepare for those chillier rides with every possible piece of cool-weather cycling gear.

No matter how prepared they are, though, one nuisance of cold-weather cycling often strikes them unaware. And when those cycling sunglasses start to fog up and panic sets in, don’t worry, we’ve got a quick trick to avoid foggy sunglasses, thanks to longtime cycling coach Darryl MacKenzie.

When Fog Hits, Don’t Follow Your First Instinct

When you’re cycling, there’s not much more challenging than not being able to see,” says Coach Darryl.

That’s why, when you’re suddenly struck with foggy glasses, your instinct might be to pull over and pack them up. But you shouldn’t.

Cycling sunglasses protect you in more than one way when you’re riding. There’s the obvious fact that they shield you from harmful UV rays. But, even in winter, when sunlight may be in scarce supply, sunglasses serve a few important purposes.

First, they keep the wind out of your eyes. That wind can stimulate tears, which will obstruct your vision when riding. Second, along with the wind, they also keep out dirt and debris, which can cause more problems with your vision on a ride.  

So, don’t take those glasses off! Instead, you just need a quick trick to deal with the fog on your sunglasses when it forms.

The Science Behind Foggy Glasses

Before we get to the solution, though, it may help to understand what’s happening when your sunglasses fog up on a ride. It’s simple condensation, and that’s why there’s an easy way to fix it. 

When you’re riding in cooler weather, the cool outside air continually blows against the front of your lenses, while your warm breath rises up behind them. This creates a significant temperature difference between the front and back of your lenses. That moist, warm air soon condenses onto your cool lenses and — you guessed it — fogs up your view.

This can be especially pronounced when you ride downhill. And fog, when you’re traveling 30 miles per hour — or 45 feet per second — is a serious hazard, so it’s not something you can simply ignore.

 What To Do When Your Glasses Fog Up

The good news is that you don’t have to ignore it — and you don’t have to stop, either. All you need to do is break the condensation cycle. You need to get more cool air around the back side of your lenses, and there’s a simple way to do it.

Just nudge your glasses down your nose.

That’s it. 

It doesn’t have to be far, either — just far enough to let some cool air in. Within 10 seconds, your glasses will defog and your view will clear up. It’s worked for Darryl a million times, and it will work for you. Try it out on your next chilly ride. 

Wondering what kind of sunglasses you need for cycling? There’s one particular kind you shouldn’t buy. Find out more here.


Look for more insights from Coach Darryl over at his website.

Photo by Hannes Glöckl on Unsplash