why do mountain bikers wear goggles

Why Do Mountain Bikers Wear Goggles

why do mountain bikers wear goggles

Wearing goggles for mountain biking has become more popular over the years. Before that riders would either wear nothing or sunglasses. So I have researched the reasons for the increase in goggles.

Why do mountain bikers wear goggles? Mountain bikers wear goggles in order to protect their eyes from bugs, branches, dirt, mud, and snow. They keep sweat out of your eyes, and stop your eyes from drying out due to wind. Goggles are comfortable, durable, and fashionable. Plus they use more advanced technology to benefit riders even more.

Not all riders wear goggles, but the ones that do usually have a good reason for doing so because of past experiences not wearing them. Let’s find out more.

What Are Mountain Bike Goggles Good For

  • Depending on where you ride most mountain bike trails take you through the forest. Forests have more bugs, insects, and ticks. You don’t want any of these getting in your eyes or near your eyes. If this happens you could crash and or your eyes could become injured or infected. Goggles will protect you from this danger.
  • On the trail there are trees and tall bushes. Sometimes their branches hang out over the trails. If you are going fast around turns and downhill on a singletrack there is no time to move your head out of the way. Goggles are great for plowing through these branches without getting scraped.
  • The front tire can be a problem for mountain bikers especially if it is a knobby tire with good traction. Dirt, sand, mud, snow and water can be kicked up into your face and eyes. This can impair your vision and harm your eyes. You don’t want to squint your eyes the whole ride or only use one eye. Goggles will take care of this.
  • Its hot and you are sweating. So naturally your forehead gets all sweaty and sweat starts running down into your eyes. This is annoying as you need to keep wiping your eyes. Also your eyes may begin to sting because of the salt in your sweat. Goggles will soak up the sweat and wick it away.
  • The name of the game for cross country riders and downhill riders is speed. Going fast causes a lot of wind resistance on your face and eyes. This constant wind can dry out your eyes after some time. Goggles are a good wind shield to keep your eyes from drying out
  • Goggles are comfortable which makes mountain bikers want to wear them more. They are equipped with padding to protect the area around your eyes from impact. They will stay securely fastened to your face and won’t fall off no matter which type of terrain you are on.
  • When you are riding in a group or in a race there will be rider that are ahead of you. They will be riding fast and usually their rear tire has very good traction. The rear tire will kick up dirt, mud, pebbles, sand, and debris. Because of the speed it will kick up faster and with more impact.
  • Durable goggles are important in this situation. If you are going to keep up with the other riders and eventually pass them, riders wear durable goggles. Weak eye protection can be scratched, dented, or broken from the strong spray of a rear tire. Fortunately goggles are durable.
  • Goggles these days are more advanced which attracts more riders to use them. They use roll off technology so that when water and mud hits the goggles it will just roll off instead of sticking to your goggles. This saves you the hassle of having to wipe your goggles while riding.
  • Lenses are interchangeable, you can use a tinted lense on a sunny day and protect your eyes from glare and the brightness of the sun. When there is less light switch to orange lenses which will increase the contract allowing you to see the trail in more detail. Finally, lenses are anti-fog. You won’t have to stop to defog your lense, offering you with a clear view all the time.

When Should You Wear Mountain Bike Goggles The Most

If you wear a full-face helmet then goggles are a must. Goggles go very well with a full-face helmet. Sunglasses are not going to work well with a full-face helmet. Other types of helmets which are new are more goggle compatible than before.

Goggles are especially helpful during the fall and winter months. These are times when it is dryer, dustier, and colder. These types of conditions will effect your eyes more by making them dry and itchy. Goggles will keep your eyes moist and warm.

If you wear glasses it is more difficult to wear sunglasses over your glasses. Many goggles nowadays have prescription inserts. This is much more comfortable and it is equipped with anti-fog features. 

Some people think goggles are goggles and they can be worn anytime for activity, this is not true. See our article on mtb goggles vs ski goggles which explains the differences.

What Should You Look For When Choosing Mountain Bike Goggles

  • Choose goggles which have a large field of view. This is so you can also use your peripheral vision. This is important for mountain biking because you need to see and notice any detail that can help you on the trails.
  • Try on many pairs of goggles so you can find the best fit. The best fitting goggles should have padding in order to cushion the area around your eyes. It should also allow you to breath easily through your nose. It should not compress, squash or pinch your nose.
  • Your goggles should have vents in order to allow air to flow through behind the lense so that it does not fog up. These vents should be at the top of the goggles. You want to be able to remove the lenses easily and quickly. Then you can adjust the goggles for different light conditions.
  • A 45mm strap with silicone stripe. This will make sure the goggles are securely fastened to your head. The strap will course be fastened around your helmet and attached in the back. The lense should meet standards for impact resistance and offer 100% UV protection.
  • Make sure the goggles don’t dig in to your face or pinch anything. If you are an aggressive rider find out if the strap is easily replaceable if it snaps, and check to see how adjustable it is. This probably won’t happen too often but it is good to know.

Mountain Bike Goggle Tips

Putting On

  • When you are putting on your goggles be sure to put them on back to front. Put the strap at the back of your helmet or head. Then pull the lense ahead of your face and place it on to and over your eyes. Use two hands when placing the lense on your face so it does not snap on to your face.

Taking Off

  • When taking off your goggles, take them off the same way you put them on. Use both hands and pull forward the googles away from your face and bring them up and to the back of your head. You do not want to unstrap them from the back because they may snap forward.


  1. Keep your goggles clean. If there is a lot of mud on the goggles you can just rinse off the goggles with a hose or in your kitchen sink running warm water from the faucet.
  2. Place your goggles in your sink and fill up your sink with warm water. Use laundry detergent and pour in 2 ounces of it in to the water. Let you goggles soak for a minute and then stir the goggle around in the sink.
  3. Take out your goggles and clean the lense inside and out using a paper towel or a microfiber cloth. Lightly clean the lense, do not scrub it. This will prevent scratching it. Especially if you use the microfiber cloth which is very soft.
  4. Turn the faucet on and use low pressure. Use cold water to rinse off all the soap suds. Make sure all the detergent is gone. Allow the goggles to be air dried. Don’t dry them with paper towels or a cloth otherwise you will see streaks. Hang up the goggle outside or in the bathroom to dry.