There are times when the moto-life may seem a little less sweet to those of us who wear glasses. Even Ewan McGregor had a little grumble about the inconvenience of spectacles before he departed for his epic Long Way Round trip. If, like me, you belong in the four-eyed league, you may find these issues familiar:
- Spectacle temples (those stems which go over your ears) just don’t fit well into your helmet.
- Can’t easily wear sunglasses.
- Risk of breaking or losing glasses.
- Full face helmets are inconvenient to put on.
And this list isn’t the end of it. Without having to resort to contact lenses or LASIK surgery (which Ewan McGregor opted for, despite the small risks), here are some hacks that have made my bespectacled riding life easier.
Spectacles vs Helmets
To accommodate spectacles, some helmets are designed with more room in the temples where the stems can slide in with ease. Most of Shark helmet models, for example, come with Shark Easy Fit, which is Shark speak for those temple grooves.
The Shark Spartan model can be found at Regina Specialties for SGD 620-690 depending on shell design. Note though, that you’ll still risk breaking your spectacle temples if you handle them roughly. Flex them enough, and they will break! Ask me how I know….
I strongly recommend holding the middle of the temples when sliding the glasses in, instead of gripping too near the lens and allowing for flex!
Spectacles vs Sun Glare
You know all those cool cats who are always photographed cruisin’ the streets with sunglasses under their lids? It’s hard for us spekkies to pull off the look, unless you opt for clip-on shades.
Transitions lenses, you say? Hate to break it to you, but those don’t work well under UV-blocking helmet visors.
Luckily, there are quite a few helmets in the market which address sun glare with built-in features. The Shoei GT Air comes with a retractable sun visor, while the Arai Rapide-IR ProShade has an external sun shade. The Klim Krios Pro goes one step further by integrating transitions lens technology into their face shield – which means the visor changes from being absolutely clear to dark as sunglasses, depending on light conditions. All three helmets accommodate spectacles.
The Klim Krios Pro is available at Regina Specialties for SGD 1,199.90.
Breakage or Loss
Ever tried to go about daily life without your spectacles? Difficult for sure, and it will be downright impossible to ride if your degree of myopia is high enough.
Breaking or losing your glasses can spell the end of a motorcycle trip. Such scenarios are not hard to imagine: relaxing under a waterfall, only to have your glasses washed away; mistakenly stepping on them in the dark of your tent…
Best to be safe rather than sorry, and always carry a spare pair of spectacles. I do on every trip! I haven’t had reason to use them yet, but just like insurance, you’ll be glad to have them when the need arises!
Spectacles vs Convenience
If you wear spectacles with full-face helmets, this will surely be a familiar process: 1) take off glasses, 2) put on/take off helmet, 3) put on glasses.
Those extra seconds add a world of stress when you’re riding in a pack and trying not to get left behind. If getting better riding buddies is not an option, an alternative would be modular flip-up helmets – which are bulkier and offer less integrity to protect your chin in a crash.
Well, there’s no escaping the myriad little inconveniences of being short-sighted, bespectacled and a die-hard rider. At the end of the day, it’s no show-stopper, and there are plenty of work-arounds. Do you have any tips to share with your bespectacled brethren? Let us know in the comments below!
Richard finds that riding a motorcycle is less nerve-wracking than navigating around the potholes of art world politics. He is just as happy gripping a paintbrush as a throttle.