Choosing Dirt Bike Goggles
With so much dust, dirt, kicked up rocks, and high speeds, dirt biking is far from a clean sport. After a ride, your jersey and pants are caked with remnants of the track or trails. This is why having the right dirt bike goggles is so imperative. Not only do they need to fit perfectly, but the lens must cater to the light conditions of the time that you're riding. If you're in the market for a new pair of goggles, it's easy to find the best ones to suit your needs and head size. There is so much more at play outside of choosing a pair based on looks. Before settling on a pair, here are the most important factors to consider. These prioritize eye protection and comfort, which are two things you can't ride without!
Peripheral vision is crucial for safe riding, whether you're racing or simply enjoying a ride with friends on the trails. With an outrigger strap, helmet compatibility is increased, so they'll work with a wider range of helmets. Overall, frame outriggers are a must for your dirt bike goggles.
The Goggle Lens and UV Protection
It's important that your dirt bike goggle lens is optimal for the day's weather and the type of terrain you're been riding. The different colored lenses available each have specific uses for riders. Some are ideal for glare reduction, while others aid in depth perception. For example, you would select a blue lens if you're hitting up some really muddy trails, as the blue contrasts the mud to help you see more clearly. What about overcast days? Yellow, amber, or orange. Are you a night rider? You won't need anything to improve visibility and reduce glare, so you'd go with clear. On super clear, sunny days, opt for brown, grey, smoke, or mirrored lenses to reduce the impact of glare.
The goggles you choose should also feature UV protection. It's not a given that the goggles you're considering offer it. For the best protection, pick dirt bike goggles that explicitly offer 100% protection against UVA, UVB, and UVC rays.
Another lens quality to look out for is scratch resistance. Your goggles will come up against roots, as well as tree branches, stray rocks, and other types of airborne debris. You don't want to spend on goggles just for them to get scratched up right away. As an additional safeguard, look for a shatterproof pair that will keep your eyes safe should you get into a collision. Ensure they meet safety certification standards. For the United States, that will be ANSI Z87.1 for high-velocity impact. For the EU, you're looking for EU 1938 for MX goggle requirements.
Tear-Off and Roll-Off Systems
These systems are crucial for dirt bike racers, as they each offer a quick solution for ridding the lens of dirt. Several layers of clear films are applied across the lens that can either be torn off or rolled off depending on the type. This is crucial for visibility while racing.
Tear-off film features a tab that can be easily grabbed and torn off. They're very simple but have become problematic as riders toss spent film onto tracks.
Many now choose roll-off film, which works by pulling a cord that rolls a layer of film back and replaces it with a fresh one. This way, no film is littered, but collected onto a roll for later disposal.
For dirt biking, the more ventilation, the better. Ensure the pair you're considering offers a number of vents around the top and bottom of the frame. The greater the air flow is, the less chance for your goggles to fog up. Plus, it'll help manage moisture too.
While most lenses are treated with an anti-fog solution, you can apply your own if you aren't sure the pair you want has the treatment.
Goggle Face Foam
The best comfort comes from multi-layer foam. Not only will it help keep your face comfortable (too little foam is tough on your head), but multi-layer foam also wicks away moisture and helps minimize fogging. With single layer foam, there is a higher chance that the pressure from the tight fit of the goggles will pinch and begin to pain your skull. You can see whether or not goggles have multi-layer foam by looking at them. You will literally see the layers!
Now, you should feel much more informed about the protective and comfort feature dirt bike goggles have to offer. Since they can be relatively pricey, you want your investment to be a sound one! Don't be like somebody else and buy on looks alone. The quality of the features behind the awesome colors and graphics is what counts while riding. Some of the top brands for dirt bike goggles are Fox Racing, Oakley, KTM, and EKS. Find your perfect pair and head to the trails or track with a new outlook.