Meet Robert Squire, our cycling prescription eyewear sport specialist. As a native Utah cyclist, Rob first demanded the biking community take notice as he climbed his way to a podium placement in the U23 Pan Am X Country Mountain Bike Champions. Impressively the very next year Rob made the switch from mountain biking to cycling with a US U23 Road Race Championship. If that's not impressive we're not sure what is?! Cycling has allowed Rob to travel the world competing and training, and also provided him the opportunity to call Italy home while he competed and trained for the US National team as well as the Ceramica Flaminia and Amore& Vita teams. For 2017 Rob has joined the Canyon Bikes Racing Team with a group of other strong competitors. Rob's accomplished history in cycling has made him both an expert and guru on the best biking gear and performance eyewear the industry has to offer. While we could go on-and-on with a list of Rob's accolades we've chosen to get down to the nitty gritty of Rob's top eyewear recommendations from frame styles to lens tints. However, for those of you wanting to learn more about Rob and his cycling carrier be sure to checkout the latest athlete profile that PEZ Cycling News put out on him. We promise you won't be dissapointed you did!
Athlete: Robert Squire
Homebase: Salt Lake City, Utah. Global Competing and Training
Location: Valleys, Mountains, Heavily Shaded Forests, and Barren Deserts
Terrain: Dry and wet pavement, canyons, heavilly shaded and wide open roads
Light Conditions: Everything from strong alpine sun to low light rainstorms and blizzards.
Rob's Cycling Eyewear recommendations:
Lens Tint Recommendations: Professional cycling doesn't take a break when whether turns foul, so I have an array of prescription sunglass lenses to be prepared for any light situation that arises. My favorite and go-to lens is Oakley's Prizm Road prescription sunglass lens. Being a professional cyclist I have a myriad of lenses for bright days but when the light gets low I can always count on the Prizm Road lens. I use the Prizm Road lens for everything from overcast days to downright nasty, zero visibility, heavy weather days. One of the best features of the lens is that during the course of a race, the light conditions can change drastically and the Prizm Road lens tint has a versatility that is paramount. The rose base lens makes objects more visible in torrential down pours than a standard clear lens while also offering enough vision protection if the storm breaks and the sun comes out. As an athlete I know there are plenty of good options out there but for me nothing fits the one quiver lens better than the medium light transmission of the Oakley Prizm Road lens.
Frame Style Recommendations: Sports frames for sports, casual frames for casual. When cycling I like a frame that is both lightweight and sits comfortably on my face. For a cycling sunglass, breathability is a key factor as a poorly vented frame/lens will fog up and impair vision. With that said, I feel the difference between sports frames from brand to brand is negligible as most companies tend to have something that sits well on your face.
The semi-rimless frame styles work even better simply because without the frame on the sides and bottom of the lensee, you get increased peripheral vision and increased airflow that helps prevent fogging.
Over the years I have learned that for me, the most important feature to look for in sports sunglass for cycling is not necessarily the frame but the actual lens and optics. Due to the curved, wrapped, and sporty nature of sports Rx sunglasses the lenses tend to be curved which in a prescription lens can really mess with what you are seeing when you're looking through different parts of the physical lens, specifically your peripheral view. At 60+ mph on my bike, this is not ideal and is the reason why I prefer the uniform "output of the Oakley Rx" or simply stated a digital lens. In my Oakley prescription sunglass lenses everything looks the same regardless of what part of the lens I am looking through and there aren't any drastic changes around the perimeter of the lens as I have experienced with other lenses.
In addition to the vision performance, a lens with a hydrophobic coating on it is a must for me. When it starts raining during a race, glasses are prone to getting covered inwater and mud that is spraying off the road. Since I unable to take off my glasses and still be able to see, being able to just wipe them clear of all that debris and have clear vision again is superb. In my experiecne a lot of other lenses just smear when you whip the debris away and actually make my vision worse but with the hydrophobic coating this is no problem. It's almost like having tear aways for my racing specs.
Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Lenses: I have worn polarized lenses but I don’t opt for polarized prescription lenses in my cycling sunglasses. I switch lenses often and I like to have uniformity between lenses when switching them out and not all tints are available as polarized.
Progressive Lenses: I don't wear progressive lenses yet, so this isn't an issue for me.
Mirror vs Non-Mirror Lenses: For cycling sunglasses I prefer a mirrored lens for the increased light protection it provides in the mountains. In addition, I think mirrored lenses aesthetically look much better and I also like the fact that a mirrored lens hides my eyes from my competitors for the added intimination factor.