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big kat

Varifocals! (And Associated Problems With Them)

16 posts in this topic

I wear varifocal glasses all the time and can't see very well without them. The problem I have with them is my spatial awareness when standing up on the bike is, unless I'm looking straight down, is ****e!

I was wondering if other spec wearers have this problem?

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..absolutely have the same problem, plus mine are also Reactolite so struggle riding in and out of shade too. I've found one particular old pair are best for riding in so maybe try a new prescription and ask the optician for advice on lenses??

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I have the same problem When I got my last pair the optician moved the distance part of the lens down I do not use them in trials yet but need them to drive on the road (to be legal)I also find when making part they look bent when they are really straight

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I wear bifocals all the time as cannot tolerate the varifocal type lens. The bifocals give me the distance and the fine reading, which is what i use when riding. I also have a pair that are bifocal for mid range and reading e.g. good for work on the computer and reading but also great for working on the bike and then on the bench e.g. taking the carby out and then reading the jet sizes. Have been thinking about trying these http://www.neweyeco.net where you have a prescription insert that you can swap in and out of different frames including safety glasses.

Edited by peterh

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Yes I'm 57 and same problem here. To see well when riding trials I have had a set of single focus (distance) lens glasses made and they are really great for riding trials. Only problem is I cant see clearly up close so using a smart phone or fiddling with carby jets is not on.

I also had bifocals made with only a tiny bottom lens but I didn't like them anywhere near as much as the single focus pair for trials riding

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When I first got varifocal glasses, spatial awareness was pretty bad.  Walking down stairs was particularly scary and I used to take them off for stairs.  Over time I became used to them but still did not wear them for trials.  I think your brain learns to interpret what your are seeing.  Last year, I started wearing them for trials but struggled.  First, they magnify the bottom of obstacles and make them look 30% bigger.  Second,  looking up and down by moving your head gives a different result than looking up and down moving your eyes.  I had a good fall which I think was due to that spatial awareness issue so I stopped wearing them.  I tried again while setting up a trial over a period of weeks.  I was riding quite a bit but not challenging myself much and sort of adapted.  I think your brain just needs a little time to adapt.  Prior to using them to ride, I used to wear them most all of the time.  When I took them off and started to ride, everything would look rather strange for 10 or 15 minutes and then I would adapt.

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I changed to varivocals many years ago I was a machine tool fitter and have always thought they were the best thing since sliced bread no problems distance or close up

Don't know if it's because I always have had Zeis lenses.

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As a retired Dispensing Optician and a, very retired, Trials rider, this is an interesting question. As I have never riden a bike seriously with varifocals on I can't speak from experience, but I do know from many years of fitting and advising people about varifocals that it is extremley important that the measurement and fitting of the varifocals is spot on. The modern individual design lenses are much less likely to induce these feelings of spatial displacment, although they are expensive, but how much did you pay for that latest trials motorcycle?

 

mcman56 makes the very true statement that the brain learns to interpret what you see, after all every thing the eye sees is presented up side down to the brain.

 

Overall I would suggest separate distance specs for riding and a cheap pair of ready readers in the pocket for adjusitng that carb.

 

 

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I've needed spectacles for distant use and different for close up for years and stopped using varifocals years ago simply because of the problems of needing to look down, such as when descending stairs or worse still, grassy slopes.  I shudder to think what it would be like on a trials bike.............

 

But, first and foremost in my mind is safety, so I will continue using two pairs, one for all normal activity including driving and a separate pair in my pocket of 'reading' glasses (I have a neat folding pair that fits into a small alloy tube rather like a cigar tube, so it's not a problem.)

 

I have had Zeiss lenses, but the best ones I ever had were from Leica.  Nowadays the plastic lenses are getting far more development effort and the strong Reactalite type lenses in plastic are surprisingly effective and much quicker to react both lighter and darker these days.

Edited by laird387

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Hi I had the same problem wearing my varifocal lenses, a few years ago I mentioned this to the optician and he said why not try contact lenses, I was not too sure about poking something in my eye but gave it a go, the result is I now wear mono vision lenses (distance lense in one eye and close up lense in the other [it's that brain training thing again]) for trials and they have been a excellent.

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Lots of comments over a short period, we must all be old on here !!! I use varifocals all the time except for trials. Even the helmet affects position of your specs. I use contacts and they are great and have advantages in rain or when you get hot and steam up your glasses. I'd suggest you give them a try, might even make you look younger - bonus

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I use varifocals & have never thought about it either on my road bike at 100 mph or my trials bike in a section

May explain why my trials riding is getting worse

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I've used varifocal glasses for everything including trials and mountain biking, with no problem whatsoever for several years now.

I got used to them fairly easy, as others complained they had difficulty climbing stairs and such.

The same goes for the bifocal glasses I use at work.

 

The only problem I have, is adjusting to my sport glasses wich are single distant focus. They make me slightly dizzy when looking at obstacles close by. It takes about 15 minutes to get used to them. 

 

I've tried contact lenses but couldn't get used to them, to much irritation.

 

I'm hope I can get my eyes "lasered" one day, when my eyesight doesn't deteriorate anymore.

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Varifocal wearer too. I can ride trials wearing them but they're not ideal.

 

I bought some cheap ready made distance glasses that have been great. I tried on various strengths until I found 1.25 were perfect. They sharpen the near and mid distance that helps me focus on the ground I'm about to tackle. I don't need to read while riding so don't miss the varifocal part. They only cost a fiver and have flexible metal arms that avoid putting pressure on my head so are comfy and less chance of breaking. I have just bought a second pair to wear on my road bike. 

 

 

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I had Lasik done earlier this year at 57 yrs old,absolutely made trials riding much more enjoyable. I carry some readers in my toolbag as I can't see squat close up to fix anything,but I had lost my near vision anyway so at least I have distance vision now. Money very well spent!

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