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With most people focusing their attention Wimbledon this week, it’s easy to imagine that tennis is the only big, current sporting event. Here at Edmonds & Slatter Opticians we have been looking at yellow tennis balls AND yellow cycling jerseys! Have you seen any of the Tour De France this year? Cycling is a sport where concentration is required to travel at speed. Competitors may have the best bike and the most aerodynamic kit but they also need to consider another important tool – their eyes!

A study by the respected Sports Vision Institute in Loughborough highlights the importance of perfect vision and high-performance eye protection for professional cyclists. Adidas Eyewear's Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro led the field among a selection of popular sports eyewear worn by professional race cyclists. The coaching staff for the Spanish Movistar team believe that visual performance is a key element to ensuring success and this was part of their preparation for the 2014 Tour de France.

This was confirmed in the study by Nick Dash, Director of the Sports Vision Institute. In cooperation with athletes from the Movistar team, Mr Dash examined the importance of vision in bike racing as well as the associated challenges for sports eyewear. He compared the Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro with other sport performance models worn by professional cyclists. He found that the Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro’s wide field of vision resulted in a significant improvement in peripheral vision. This panoramic view provides athletes with enhanced perception of their surroundings, avoiding the need to rotate their head or upper body. "The research shows that the Adidas Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro improves all-round vision by 16 percent in comparison with competing models, resulting in a 66 percent reduction in riders' head movements. Cyclists therefore expend less energy, tire less quickly and have a significantly more stable and secure position on the bike" explains Nick Dash.

Cyclists wearing Movistar Adidas glasses

As well as opening up an outstanding visual field, the Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro also ensures consistently good vision thanks to its Light Stabilizing Technology™ (LST™) within the lenses. LSTTM works like a colour equalizer, enhancing the perception of pure primary colours. This is designed to compensate for strong light variations and increase contrasts. In addition, a patented lens change system allows quick and easy replacement of lenses. The eyewear is particularly light thanks to the durable and flexible SPX™ frame material. Removable brow padding protects the eyes from perspiration and draughts, which could otherwise dry the eyes during high speed cycling. A special temple design allows the Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro to fit under any cycling helmet and always sit perfectly on the face. The individually adjustable nose pads and temples also ensure an optimal fit.

Even as a hobby cyclist you can improve your experience vastly with the correct eyewear; after all, you will be able to see what you’re doing!  Sunglasses are not just for sunny days; they are also worn to keep things out of your eyes, like wind, flies, and dirt. A fly in the eye at speed can make you lose control, while the wind in your face will make your eyes water.

There are many visual distractions that you may not have even considered when taking to the road. The obvious one would be clarity of vision.

•    Do you have the clearest vision possible with the widest field of view?
•    Are there specific times when things become noticeably blurry and harder to see?
•    What about sun glare and UV protection on the brighter days?
•    Did you know that coloured tints can help give better contrast on the road, giving you the visual information you need to take the best path?

For the professional cyclist, as well as physical and mental strength, having the right equipment is an essential requirement. The Movistar Team riders will be lining up with the Evil Eye Half-Rim Pro in the Tour de France, which is packed with technology to offer the best visual performance.

Of course for the non-professional cyclist comfort, fashion and safety are just as important too. We have the specialist knowledge, products and skills to advise you on the best eyewear for your sporting needs. We stock Oakley, Adidas and Maui Jim sports prescription and non-prescription eyewear.

If you would like more information on what is available, please contact our practices in Blaby, Glenfield or Lutterworth to arrange a consultation.