The annoyance of riding with eyeglasses

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by feline, May 25, 2015.

  1. feline

    feline Purrrrrrrrrrs!

    Aug 13, 2007
    northeast PA
    I've worn contact lenses most of my adult life (and glasses since age 7). Now that I've gotten older, I find myself dealing with dry eyes, and I can't tolerate my contact lenses anymore. So now I have to wear dreaded glasses, and I am having a hard time with them on the motorcycle. They fit fine with my helmet, but my issue is the miniscule vibration of them on my face, which shakes my vision around. Make sense? After one ride I even felt dizzy when I got off the bike. Do any of you glasses-wearers have issues with this, or do I just have to get used to it somehow? I'd give my last penny to be able to have Lasik surgery, but my vision is so bad that Lasik wouldn't fully correct it.
  2. Titlerider

    Titlerider Been here awhile

    Aug 31, 2013
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    :puke1I've always had prescription glasses and sunglasses while riding and have never noticed vibrations. The annoyance to me relates to getting my helmet on and off -- carefully removing the glasses and putting them down where they won't fall onto the ground.
  3. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Apr 1, 2013
    Western Mass.
    I have also always worn glasses and never had any sense of a "vibration" issue. I suspect that as a first-time wearer you are sensitive to this movement but should adapt to it over time. I find that it is much easier to be a glasses-wearing rider with a modular (i.e., flip-up) helmet (and by shopping for frames with helmet available to try them on).
    steve3b3 and R100PDave like this.
  4. Weldman

    Weldman Long timer

    Mar 9, 2010
    I invested in some Ray Ban prescription sunglasess when I was about 19 and have worn them riding ever since. Very solid, comfortable frames. I'm on like my fifth prescription in them now. At night I just wear my regular glasses with a faceshield.
  5. tominboise

    tominboise Long timer

    Jun 17, 2007
    Boise, ID
    Been wearing glasses for 35 years (have worn contacts in there a couple of different times). Haven't had the problems you mentioned with vibration. As mentioned above, most of the pain is with taking glasses off to put a helmet on or off. An advantage wearing glasses I like is still having eye protection when I flip my visor up and want to ride with more ventilation.

    You might try different glasses. Maybe a different helmet if it's causing some weird vibration interface between them.

  6. johnwoodsrides

    johnwoodsrides Been here awhile

    Jul 5, 2013
    E-town, PA
    I started having the same issue when I got a new pair of very light titanium frame glasses, I find that I need to push them up the bridge of my nose higher than I wear them when not riding. Try getting a spare pair that are sturdier framed, worked for me, though I don't realy like them.....:brow
  7. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

    Oct 11, 2009
    Blue Mnts Ozstralia
    Are you on multifocal lenses?
  8. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

    Oct 18, 2005
    I never had this issue you described. Did you try different helmets? My glasses stay very secure, tight with the helmet. Like somebody else mentioned, I get it all the way on the bridge of the nose. I wear bifocals. Asked my doctor for surgery he said my problem would reverse itself in about 3-4 years, requiring another surgery. I just learned to live with it.
  9. Humblebub

    Humblebub Adventurer

    Jun 1, 2009
    My solution is the same as Weldman.
  10. ktmMike

    ktmMike Long timer

    Aug 10, 2005

    YES, I have experienced this, and I found the solution too (a long time ago).
    I have lots of helmets. I noticed your vibration problem with SOME of my helmets and not others.
    If the padding inside the helmet touches the "temples" (side pieces) of your glasses AT ALL, the vibration of the glasses will cause dizziness.

    Find a helmet that COMPLETELY clears the temples of your glasses.
    (or I suppose you COULD find glasses that completely clear the padding inside your helmet:lol3)

    I absolutely REFUSE to put on my glasses AFTER I put on my helmet.
    Modular helmets are the way to go if you wear glasses (and insist on a chin bar), because they allow you to put your helmet on and take it off with your glasses staying where they belong, on your face. I think they must have been developed by someone who wore glasses, because they are excellent for that purpose.
    Three quarter (or open-face) helmets work fine for the same reason.

    Also FYI:
    Do not use no-line bifocals on motorcycles, ESPECIALLY if you are carrying any kind of speed at all.
    With no-line bifocals (as any optometrist will tell you) you must change the angle of your head to change focus on nearer or farther objects like speedo, mirrors, near road and far road etc.
    If you need bifocals, you want LINE BIFOCALS for riding motorcycles, because if you are riding fast on twisty roads, you PHYSICALLY don't have time to move your head that many times and that fast. With LINE BIFOCALS, you only need to move your EYES, not your head.


    davidji likes this.
  11. Dave in Wi

    Dave in Wi Long timer

    Feb 25, 2007
    Madison WI (40 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality)

    I have the same issue. My glasses correct for nearsightedness, and the prescription sunglasses I have also correct for astigmatism.

    I was out for a ride last week and it was particularly bad. I was on a slightly bumpy interstate, going about 70 while passing a semi. The blurriness was so bad I had vertigo for a few seconds.

    I have noticed that my helmet is older and does not fit as snugly as it should. It moves around and shakes in the wind blast, which also moves & shakes my glasses. I've noticed that it's not nearly as bad on my snowmobile, my snow helmet fits much more snugly. I'm going to try a new helmet that fits better because I can't ride much more the way it is. I wish I could still wear contacts but my eyes won't have them any more.
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    May 28, 2008
    Huntsville , Al
    I've been wearing glasses and riding for over 25 years. I have not really have this problem except slightly with one or two helmets. I found that if the foam of the helmet lifts the glasses from your nose, they will vibrate. You probably need to try either a different helmet or different glasses. You might be able to bend your glasses a bit to eliminate the problem. I'm talking the parts of the frame that go back to your ears.
  13. Rhino-1

    Rhino-1 Been here awhile

    Aug 17, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    It really is about the helmet/glasses interface. You will need to try a different helmet or a different pair of glasses. The next issue after the vibration will be how some helmets make your glasses literally press on the bridge of your nose, causing some compression pain there.... *sigh* wearing glasses sucks... :1drink
  14. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

    Dec 30, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    I found I couldn't tolerate riding with multi focal 'fashion' style glasses. By fashion style I mean small lens which allow you look above or below the lens. This gives just one more different focus for you brain to deal with. It was all the changing focus as your eyes constantly scanned up and down that was making me feel quite ill.

    Solution was to buy the cheapest frames possible in an large aviator style single focus (distance) and use glass lens. A rider whose wife is an optometrist advised glass lens are superior to plastic, don't ask me to remember why but as I recall it was something like glass having a more uniform perspective across the full lens surface. With a full face helmet and visor I'm not that concerned about glass lens and don't find the lens suitable for me to be noticeably heavier than plastic. Glass also doesn't scratch, well at least easily like plastic lens.

    With cheap frame riding only glasses just bend em to be tight around the sides and back of your ears to stop them moving around. Replace the cheek pads in your helmet every so often no only to keep your helmet a safe firm fit, but to also to stop the glasses moving around. I fit the largest cheek pads available for my Shoei because they compress down pretty quickly.
  15. Paladin53

    Paladin53 Adventurer

    Nov 16, 2013
    With my Arai XD 4 I get a little buffet that is annoying. Taking the beak off helps.
    I tried my older Shoei RF1100 and it was much quieter, and the buffeting mostly gone even when following a large vehicle.

    But my very light flexible titanium frames are much harder to slip on with the Shoei.

    I noticed while slowly standing up (while riding) there was a spot an inch or two above the seat that the air noise was quieter. My takeaway is that maybe a slight adjustment in windshield (lowering in my case) height-angle may help with buffeting and vibration.
  16. feline

    feline Purrrrrrrrrrs!

    Aug 13, 2007
    northeast PA
    My glasses are not bifocals. I appreciate everyone's responses and suggestions, and am relieved I'm not the only one with this issue. I'll switch out the pads in my helmet and see if that makes any difference.
  17. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    Have worn glasses (and riding) since I was a kid some 50 years ago, and find photochromic lenses convenient. I prefer an open face helmet, and seldom use a visor.
  18. acsteele

    acsteele Adventurer

    Dec 9, 2014
    South-Central Kansas
    I went with a "skull fit" frame on my latest glasses, much easier to put on after the helmet is on. They seem to stay in place better, too.
  19. Bucket1960

    Bucket1960 Been here awhile

    Jul 16, 2014
    NW Sydney, Aussie
    You are not alone out there feline :lol3
    I have ridden for 48yrs & with glasses since 16yo.
    It seems to be a speed & helmet thing with me. Some helmets I notice the vibration & not others.
    I have multiple combinations of bikes & helmets & even glasses too :eek1
    I just push them back on the bridge when I get annoyed :clap
  20. toowheelsgood

    toowheelsgood Adventurer

    Jan 29, 2015
    Central Oregon
    I used to hate hate hate dealing with the whole glasses/helmet thing. Got lasik, problem solved :clap
    windblown101 likes this.