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Thread: eyeglasses and helmet choice

  1. #31
    Registered User ezwicky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    what anybody else says is pointless
    not in my case. i appreciate hearing other peoples' advice, and several of the replies to my original question have given me a few things to consider that i had not thought about. i certainly don't know it all, and in this case, i know very little.

    when i last rode bikes (i had several old harleys since 1975 and a '76 R75/6 for most of the 80s but sold them all in '92 to raise a family) helmet choices were a lot more limited and the one FF helmet i was given by a friend was not much more than a shell with minimal padding, no ventilation and a flimsy shield. but i mostly used an old half-shell police helmet or went helmetless.

    now that i have rejoined the ranks of motorcyclists, the helmet choices are much more diverse, and i benefit from seeing what other peoples' experiences are.

    thanks,

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  2. #32
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    FWIW, my Nolan plays havoc with my glasses more than the C3, but the C3 is harder to put on.

    Ideally, you should have glasses just for when you ride or drive. Now that most frames are made in China, you can pick up frames for a decent price.

    As an Optician, I would recommend that you start with your glasses. Or at least the frames. For example, my 30 year old Carrera frames work perfectly with both of my helmets(Nolan N100E and Schurberth C3) because they have plain, smooth temples. My other glasses(John Lennon) have arched temple pieces and don't work worth a darn with any helmet I have tried on.

    Don't worry about the brand of the frames because most well known companies have been bought out and the quality is lacking to compared to twenty years ago. The important thing is that the frames fit you and are comfortable. Any frame problems will be compounded by your helmet. Look for frames with plain temples and strong hinges. I would also stay away from any frames that do not enclose the lens. That includes Rimlon frames too.

    When it comes to lens, you have many options to choose from. A poly lens with a good quality AR coating would be my first choice. Many of the less costly coatings do not hold up well, so don't cut cost in this area. Personally, I use Crizal.

    Other features for your glasses are a matter of personal choice. If your glasses darken in sunlight, the visor of your new helmet may block UV rays and keep that from happening. Also, if your glasses are polarized, you may have problems with some helmet visors.

    In a perfect world, you should be able to don or remove your modular helmet from the rear of your head and also by rolling the helmet up and forward without disturbing your glasses. Please let us know what helmet you end up with. Maybe even a picture
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  3. #33
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwicky View Post
    not in my case. i appreciate hearing other peoples' advice, and several of the replies to my original question have given me a few things to consider that i had not thought about. i certainly don't know it all, and in this case, i know very little.
    Nobody else has your head shape and that's why only you can find your own answer. Your head is the big variable. I've been hearing about people with glasses/helmet trouble for years, but have never experienced any trouble at all myself. This includes MANY helmets and MANY pairs of glasses.

    For the first time in this thread, I've heard people say they don't want to take their glasses off to put their helmet on. That's a different problem than whether or not their glasses fit under their helmet, isn't it?
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  4. #34
    Registered User ezwicky's Avatar
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    doggone if i know, tom. but it seems silly to spend so much time going on and on about it, so i'll let it go.

    i just traded the RS1 for a nolan N104 and it fits great, i put it on my head while leaving my glasses on, and after closing the chin piece my glasses feel a whole lot better than they did under the RS1.

    thanks everybody for your input!

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  5. #35
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Glad you found something that works.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  6. #36
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    I like ArgentBicks comments about getting the right kind of frames. I am one of those lucky folks who is a bit far sighted in one eye and near sighted in the other- so really need my glasses only to improve depth perception at night. I can (having forgotten to put them on) operate a vehicle comfortably at speeds well north of 150 without them. But the difference a really well made and well chosen set of frames makes in comfort, durability and utility is astonishing. Years ago I had stuff with spring loaded ear pieces, rimless to reduce weight, etc and thought all of them had various defects. I'm a scientist by training with many hours using some of the world's finest crafted optical tools so am accustomed to the "good stuff"- and thought most of the frames were pretty crude junk. even the expensive ones. Then, I moved and got a different optometrist who is about as fussy and opinionated about frames as I am. What I use now are 2 kinds of Mykita frames, made in Germany, Screwless hinges, extraordinarily light, and rugged nearly beyond belief- I really believe these could be a "lifetime" item as mine have already outlasted a couple sets of high end lenses. For the lens, I am also lucky enough to be able to get very thin and light plastics to keep weight down and get the benefits of reduced reflections, etc etc from the best of modern technology. My second pair is sunglasses in a slightly larger but otherwise identical frame, made in amber polarized for top performance for fishing.

    If you're reading this, its likely you bought a pricier than average BMW motorcycle when you could have a less expensive Japanese brand. Presumably you spent the extra $ because you appreciate the difference and have a taste for higher end stuff. So you might find it worthwhile to spend some time with one of the good optical shops in your area (probably a local independent rather than one of the chain type at your local WalMart) and get some info on the high end stuff available these days. I don't spend extra $ just because I can and was a bit dubious about the cost of the frames I currently use- but my optometrist was so enthusiastic about them and used them himself so I took the chance- when a pro picks something for his personal use, its generallyworth a closer look! One of the smarter things I've done for sure and perhaps not the best business choice for him because they look ready to last forever when I'd be on my 3rd set of some other type. Soemwhere out there is probably your ideal set that you just haven't found, yet.

    I got another data point on modulars today. Mid morning, the buddy who first bought a Neotec and showed it to me stopped by so I could take a look at his 05RT that had an erratic idle issue. While I was hooking up my GS-911 and looking at the bike, I told him I had bought a Neotec exactly like his. And without my asking any questions about it, he said that while he liked his Neotec, he missed the lighter weight of his older full face type.

    As a track instructor (cars), I have seen the chin bars of full face helmets shattered on impacts yet they protected the user from any jaw injury. This gives me pause about using a modular as my only helmet. My Neotec does not carry a full set of ratings from all certifying groups and though it appears decently made, I have to wonder about its potential performance in a hard chin area hit. Chin area hits make up slightly less than 1/5 of impacts, according to published data, so this is not a trivial difference. What part of such impacts might be hard enough to break the chin piece is not known but, like I said, I've seen it for full face ones so it certainly is possible. Still, any good helmet is way ahead of those worthless pots favored by some. I've never even had my bell rung in any vehicle impact and have never had a significant track crash or any on the street on a motorcycle in 50 years of riding. But prepping for the worst can save your life. I've never personally tested how well my HANS device works in track crunches but I had and was using one from the time they were introduced. I pretty much lost all respect for NASCAR as a sanctioning body when it took them 4 preventable deaths to adopt that device that had been mandatory in the much faster F1 cars since its introduction and had already allowed F1 drivers to survive crashes with greater than 200 G forces. Especially after one sees the test data and films for the HANS, you have to wonder at such arrogance- the device's ability to prevent lethal head/neck separation is extraordinary- so much so that several other similar safety research programs in progress for F1 were immediately halted when the HANS data became available as it was completely clear that it was going to be somewhere between difficult and impossible to design something any better, let alone at that low price point...

  7. #37
    Registered User ezwicky's Avatar
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    racer 7, my biggest problem with glasses is getting a pair of progressives that has more than a degree or two of beamwidth for any particular mode. for example, in order to read a book or my laptop screen, the usable area of the lens is so small that i have to move my head instead of my eyes. same with the distance and middle areas. i am always cocking my head at weird angles just to find the tiny area of lens that works. i've been to three different eye doctors in the past six years and they all end up the same. maybe i should go for regular old bifocals.

    i thought about lasik but then i'd have to live the rest of my life with a pair of reading glasses tethered around my neck. my dad had cataract surgery and they fixed him up with a long-distance left eye and a "reading" right eye. as weird as it sounds, he said his brain got used to it, so maybe i'll have a look at contacts that use the same idea.

    but i've been wearing glasses since 2nd grade, and i'm 55 now, so i'm used to them.

    btw, my bike is a '76 R90/6 that's a fixer-upper, but it is one of the (potential) finer things in a way i guess.

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  8. #38
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwicky View Post
    i've been to three different eye doctors in the past six years and they all end up the same. maybe i should go for regular old bifocals.
    Bifocals can be very hard to get used to. I gave up after a month when I started wearing them 20 years ago. What happens is that you suddenly look through the alternate focal length and your brain can't process it. It's easy to become disoriented and fall down. I guess I lucked out with optometrists, I've got a good one and she can dial the progressives right in.

    And to racer's point, I use an old world optical shop that looks straight out of 1955. The old German guy there, who rides, is a huge help at picking out the right hardware. He "gets" it. If he isn't around on the day I go, I wait until he is. That said, the big chains do have good people working for them, but getting one of them is a crap shoot. I had a good one for awhile, but they wanted to promote her. She had no intention of being promoted, but they gave her no choice. She left.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  9. #39
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwicky View Post
    he said the modulars are not as safe in a crash as a one-piece. he also said the one-piece is lighter gerenally.
    He had a helmet he wanted to sell you.

    Both of those comments are generalizations that may be true of one pair of helmets and not true of another pair of helmets.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  10. #40
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    I use a Nolan 103 and can put it on and off with my glasses on.

    I wear the aviator style with the bayonet temples. The frames are by American Optical and they have a presence on the web.

    Note: using this type glasses frame I have been able to don every style of helmet, full face, 3/4, and modular while wearing glasses.

  11. #41
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    Some interesting feedback in this thread, and only have a personal comment (or two) to add....

    FWIW, I'm an old, but not bold, rider, and just completed my 49th season riding motos. Worn glasses for as long as I can remember, and had to go the bifocal route quite a long time ago. Started wearing full face helmets in 1980, and rarely wear anything else. I've tried a few modulars on, but I don't see that much advantage, and do worry a little bit about the integrity of flip face helmet. I suppose a big part for me was that I got accomodated to wearing full face helmets and having to do the eyeglass shuffle quite frequently, so now it's just routine. On the few occasions I've ridden with other folks, noted that I'm on the bike and ready to roll just as quickly as those who wear the modulars. Nothing against modulars, but I do prefer feeling a little bit more protected. (FYI, first full face was an Electro, then Shoei for several years, and Arai since '92. The Shoei's and Arai's I've had seem to have a joint in the padding that provided a place for my specs....)

    As to the bifocal thing, tried progressives once, against the advice of my eye doc, and quickly went back to conventional style. My eye doc is a good one, and after he inquired about my hobbies, asked if I would like to have a set of sunglasses with bifocal lengths set up for my riding position and distance to the instrument cluster. So I rode the bike to his shop and we took some measurements. The bifocal divide was set up to specifically fit my head position and distance to the gauges. Don't have to move my head at all to read my revs or speed. Sure is convenient! He just recycled an old set of my frames with new lenses, and since then upgraded the lens prescription only once. I'm glad my eye doc has his own shop...and he's much younger than I am, so I expect him to be in business long after I need him!

    Cheers!
    Bill Johnston

  12. #42
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    He had a helmet he wanted to sell you.

    Both of those comments are generalizations that may be true of one pair of helmets and not true of another pair of helmets.
    +1 on Paul's comment. The generalizations he made simply aren't necessarily true.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  13. #43
    Registered User ezwicky's Avatar
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    opticians and progressive lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    I guess I lucked out with optometrists, I've got a good one and she can dial the progressives right in.
    i either have a really tricky optical system with a very esoteric set of faults, or i have just totally bombed with eye doctors. i just can NOT get a good result with progressives.

    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    And to racer's point, I use an old world optical shop that looks straight out of 1955. The old German guy there, who rides, is a huge help at picking out the right hardware. He "gets" it.
    three optometrists ago, i went to just such a shop here in media PA. a really old guy who i hoped would prove adequate, but such was not to be the case. it was the 2nd-worst pair i have had. the next guy, in glen mills, was a kind of optometrist-to-rich-folks and so i thought he must be good. but from him i got the worst pair i have had yet.

    if any optometrist is reading this, and if you guys have a professional network, can you recommend somebody in the philadelphia PA or wilmington DE areas? alternatively, my real home is richmond VA and i get back there several times a year. will actually be moving back in less than two years, so anybody in central VA would work as well.

    sorry to take this helmet discussion off-topic. mods, please let me know if i should cool it.

    thanks,

    -eric
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  14. #44
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    Use a helmet liner

    I use a helmet liner, sort of a thin cloth skull cap that I bought years ago (yes, it's washable) because I sweat a lot and because it helps the helmet slide on and off without snagging on my eyeglasses.

    My new Shoei Neotec does fit more tightly than previous helmets so I do have to remember to pull sideways on the straps to get it on without dislodging the glasses. It does have a groove for the temple arms and these are appreciated.

    Interesting thread.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  15. #45
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    I've worn progressive lens glasses that change tint "lighter/darker" automatically for over 30 years. When buying a helmet I always wear glasses. My HJC modular can be donned while wearing glasses while my full face SHOEI must be put on while not wearing glasses. Flip up the shield and glasses can be put on. In high heat/humidity modular helmets are far more comfortable and I think comfort aids in safe riding. Wind noise can be muted with disposable ear plugs but, I can still hear well enough to be aware of traffic. If I have to ride after dark my yellow tinted shooting glasses are used. RIDE SAFE
    Cave Contents: 1980 R100RT/Ural Sidecar, 2004 R1200CLC, 2006 HD FSXTI
    Ride Safe

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