Cyclists who use reading glasses — I buy the ones sold at bookstores — can’t easily use a handlebar-mounted computer because those its-bitsy digits are too small to read. And you have to fish your eyeglasses out of a back pocket when you stop to make a call on your smart phone, send a text or reply to an urgent e-mail.
Dual Power Eyewear
Website: Dual Eyewear
The Scoop: Low-cost sunglasses with built in magnification zone that makes it possible for sight-challenged riders to comfortably read the numbers and words on bicycle computers, GPS devices and cell phones.
Pros: As effective as reading glasses for focusing your eyes on the tiny digits on your computer (or mobile devices) while riding (or driving); choice of three styles and two lens colors; low weight and low price!
Cons: Lenses not interchangeable; takes a period of adjustment before you’re comfortable using them.
Boulder, Colorado, entrepreneur Louis Viggio has brought to the market a range of sunglasses under the Dual brand whose lenses have what he calls an Optimized Magnification Zone, with a +1.5, +2.0 or +2.5 lens power. And they’re just as stylish as shades that cost three times Dual’s suggested retail price of $49.95.
Viggio, who’s been involved in the bike industry for more than 20 years, said it was important to keep the price affordable — in the same range as buying a bike computer — because he recommends that the two products are displayed next to each other at bike stores.
There are three models, the Dual V6, S4 and SL2, and each comes with smoke or brown lenses. They have impact-resistant frames with comfortable non-slip rubber nosepieces and arm inserts, shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and FDA-approved UV protection.
I’ve been using the SL2 model for several weeks when riding my bike, running and driving cars. I liked the tiny 20-gram weight and the lens color, and soon adjusted to the position of the OMZ on the lower inside of the lenses; on a bike, you don’t move your head, you just glance down to read those small numbers.
You do the same to see the odometer when driving, but when you’re standing still you need to tilt your head at a slightly different angle than what you’re used to with reading glasses. And that’s a small inconvenience when you weigh up all the benefits of these new-to-the-market shades.