We recently read “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott and while most of the book’s lessons do not apply to triathlon (though every few months we tend to have fierce conversations with ourselves about saying no to that piece of chocolate cake), one definitely stood out. We’re talking about the concept that most problems tend to start gradually and then rear their ugly head suddenly. This pretty much sums up the problem for those of us without perfect 20-20 vision who rely on contact lenses. You think you can get away with not having a proper pair of prescription sunglasses. That is until the morning you wake up and your eyes simply will not let you put those contacts in. This leaves you with a few simple choices – crawl back in bed and miss a key workout, train half blind, or force them in and say to hell with your eyes (all the while forgetting you only get one set of eyeballs). This is where a company like SportRx plays a crucial role.
SportRx’s goal is to set you up with the perfect pair of glasses no matter what your need is. For us, that actually meant two pairs – a primary racing pair as well as an everyday pair that could act as a backup. For the past year we have been living in theses lenses, using them for everything from our regular rides to running errands around town. We wanted to see just how well the lenses stood up to sweat, grime, and regular everyday abuse. We also wanted to see how often we ended up using them once we had added them to our collection, as well as just how often we’d fall back to them when our contacts failed us.
Buying from SportRx
A new set of lenses, frames, or both starts with a phone call to SportRx – (888) 831-5817. Yes, they have a website, but like we said in our First Ride, don’t bother visiting it. And if you do, be sure to jump straight to the live chat. Trust us when we say you’re going to want to talk to someone who can help you find the perfect lenses and/or frames for you based on your exact needs. Are you someone that tends to have problems with sweat on your lenses? SportRx is going to find you a frame that helps with that. Or maybe you hate any and all light that sneaks past your frames? They can cover that for you as well. And don’t forget to let them know your specific optometric issues. They have opticians on staff ready to help.
Originally we intended to just get a set of prescription lenses for a pair of Oakley Fast Jackets we had lying around, but before the team at SportRx would let us place an order they wanted to make sure these were the proper frames for our needs. They helped us realize that the Fast Jackets weren’t the best fit since we tended to look over the frames, rather than through them, when deep in the aerobars. Instead, they recommended a set of Oakley Racing Jackets (with the additional nose piece), this would help to push the lenses high enough so we would no longer fight against the frame.
A few weeks later, our new custom Racing Jackets (in green, of course) showed up sporting both a set of blue Rx lenses for daytime riding and clear prescription lenses for night/early morning rides. We also ended up ordering a set of black prescription lenses for the Fast Jackets. Now is a good time to mention SportRx’s See Better Guarantee. If you’re not 100% happy with your glasses within the first 45 days, SportRx will take them back for a full refund or credit toward a new pair. We ended up taking advantage of this immediately because all three prescription lenses didn’t work for us. What went wrong? It turns out that curved lenses, like those found in the Racing Jackets, can easily distort your prescription. To compensate for this, SportRx makes small modifications to your original prescription. For most people, this creates the optimum lens. But for Mike (he was our tester this time around), this actually distorted his vision and made all three sets of lens completely unusable. So after a quick phone call the lenses went back in the mail. And after just another week or two, we had three new pairs of lenses that all worked perfectly.
Over the last year we’ve taken all three sets of lenses through all kinds of conditions. The Racing Jackets became Mike’s standard riding frames, while the Fast Jackets were his every-day glasses. SportRx shipped the Racing Jackets with the original Oakley non- prescription lenses as well as their custom prescription lenses, so we also spent plenty of time comparing the tinting and visibility between the two.
The first thing (and really the only thing) you notice about the prescription lenses is just how thick they are. When holding a pair of stock lenses next to the prescription lenses you can easily see and feel the difference. If you think a few millimeters in your lenses may make a difference with your frames of choice, take note. Though luckily most racing frames now offer different nose pieces that can compensate for this.
Now the big question is how did the lenses hold up, and how did they compare to the stock lenses? The short answer is that we noticed almost no perceptible difference. The prescription lenses are strong and look almost as good as new a whole year later. After most workouts we simply rinse and clean them with the multiple SportRx lens bags that came with our lenses and have been good to go. In bright outdoor light both the custom blue lenses on our Racing Jackets and black lenses on our Fast Jackets have stood strong.
In fact probably, the biggest compliment to SportRx is how much less Mike felt the need to wear his contact lenses. Finally having a proper pair of prescription sunglasses gave him the ability to rest his eyes much more often, which is something his personal optometrist appreciated.
No one likes a sudden problem, especially if that means you have to give up a crucial training day. So for those training and racing in contact lenses, having a proper pair of prescription glasses that can keep up with you on the bike and run is a must. SportRx is up to the challenge of making sure that every day can be a training day regardless of how your eyes are feeling. And their See Better Guarantee means that you are going to get the perfect pair of lenses and frames for you, no matter what it takes.