It becomes more and more common to find commuters bike helmets with integrated visors (the transparent "plate" in front of the eyes). Provided that the shape of the visor is compatible with prescription glasses, do they provide an improvement in visibility for those who wear prescription classes when riding in the rain and/or in cold weather - water drops on the glasses, and/or steam? (I imagine that the lack of direct contact between the glasses and the air limits the drop of temperature of the lenses, and hence limits condensation.)

If yes, are there key features for the visor to pay attention to?

(example of such helmet - not an endorsement though)

enter image description here

  • How could any helmet that did not interfere with vision, not be better? Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 21:00

4 Answers 4


Thinking in terms of rain on the outside, the visor is probably easier to wipe than glasses, but probably needs more frequent wiping. It doesn't get any protection from the overhang of the helmet, and the effect of raindrops will be worse at that distance than on the glasses themselves.

Motorcyclists sometimes wear visor wipers over their gloves to get the rain off their visors. They'd work with thick cycling gloves but may be too big over thin gloves.

Another option is to coat the visor (or indeed your glasses) with a product like Rain-X that helps the water run off more easily. If you're applying surface coatings, I'd treat the inside with an anti-fog product - the one I use for swimming goggles works on sunglasses but only until I have to wipe them.

  • 1
    I'd still worry about a visor like that fogging up in humid weather even with anti-fog products. The humidity, and the warmth and lack of airflow inside the visor combined with the cool air blowing on the outside of the visor is going to create conditions for fogging that any anti-fog product is going to have problems preventing. Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 14:14
  • @AndrewHenle it is, with the exertion of cycling leading to sweat on the forehead especially. But when you consider what people do with aero helmets that have visors and poor ventilation, it must be fairly workable
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 14:23
  • These days you can buy motorcycling visor wipers (like windscreen wipers for cars) which can also be used on other kinds of visors, as long as you have the right place to mount them. I have seen them in use (video only) in Velomobiles but reputedly they also work on bicycle helmet visors. But glasses inside helmet are known to fog over if the heat stays inside the helmet.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 9:33
  • @Willeke good point. I've seen them on a velomobile but only from a distance; I've handled (though never used) the glove-mounted sort
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 9:36

I commute in all weathers, and ultimately nothing will keep your glasses/eyes dry.

Rain and wind will almost always find a way to push moisture to your lenses, and the more layers there are, the more surfaces to hold water

Also, the more layers, the harder it is to wipe the internal layers.

I need prescription lenses, so I ride with cycling glasses that have a small insert behind that hold my proper lenses. The front surface collects most water and is easy to wipe with a gloved finger.

I also have a cycling cap (casket) to provide protection from the low evening/morning sun. This helps to shade the glasses from the weather, but also encourages fogging when I stop at the lights.
The only solution is to stop and immediately tip glasses forward/down the nose a little, providing more air space between me and inside of lenses. They do tend to clear in seconds once I'm moving again.

I also wash my glasses in plain warm water every week or so, which is about 10 hours usage. Do not use soap or solvent or any cleaners.

I've tried Rainx on the outer later of lens and it helps for a couple of days, but not longer. Would not bother.

Ultimtely you have to learn to look through raindrops. I find it helps to move the angle of head a few degrees frequently, so you're looking through other parts of the lens.

In torrential rain, a short sharp jerk downward (like a sneeze) can help to shed some raindrops and improve visibility.


Consider that you are riding in the rain in the direction of the arrow, wearing a helmet (green) and prescription glasses or sunglasses (blue).

An additional visor will still collect rain. You will still need to wipe it routinely.

A casquette (red) is a much better option.

tilting one's head while wearing a casquette under a cycling helmet

You then need to tilt your head just enough so that your line of sight (orange) is slightly higher than the horizon. On a road bike, you will be tilting your head regardless.

Some rain (purple) will fall on the casquette (where, incidentally, they'll climb higher and evaporate due to the heat of your head—which is why the fabric of a rain casquette cannot be cotton, as cotton absorbs more water than it evaporates).

Here is the key point. Those raindrops that are not caught by the casquette will not fly horizontally. They will still fall by gravity and land some point lower than your (sun)-glasses. That point depends on how fast you're going. You'll still need to wipe once in a while, especially if it's a downpour, but for routine rain you'll have unoccluded vision most of the time.

Even if you're not wearing glasses, the rain's pH will disturb your eyes unless you're wearing a casquette. Even if it's not raining, a casquette becomes necessary when the sun is low in the sky (early or late in the day) and you're traveling in that direction.

The visor in your image becomes valuable when you're riding in cold weather. Below -5°C the rider's eyeballs start freezing. At some wind speed blinking is not enough to keep the eyes warm, and a wind cover is necessary.

By the way, with its continuous cooling effect a safe ride through summer rain is delightful. Though your bike may disagree.

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    I observe that this type of helmet is typically used by older e-bikers with them sitting in a very upright position. casquettes and helmet screens will probably be less effetive with that riding style Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 14:28
  • Freezing eyeballs, really? Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 11:43
  • @user2705196 Unnecessary if you're just commuting for 20-30 minutes (even if you're at 65-Latitude: youtu.be/Uhx-26GfCBU?t=708). For 60+ minute rides in -10C, you do need to cover your eyes, as you would while skiing. A balaclava will not be enough.
    – Sam7919
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 3:00

Situations I've personally experienced:

  • no visor - glasses (I am around 8 dioptres or 9) become basically useless
  • visor - no idea, tried that 3 times or so, seems to be almost useless at the purpose
  • contact lenses - rain hurts, vision obstruction is significant but not like with glasses (40% vs 90%)

Bottom line: wearing contact lenses together with transparent glasses(== retractable visor) which can be stowed away without the "if someone doesn't take me home ... ..." has been a personal preferred solution for up to 10 hours of rain or so to me.

Also in MTB anything except contact lenses is pretty absurd. Even in Gravel.

  • 1
    I have a less severe need for glasses and prefer to ride with glasses over without glasses in rain. Which only shows that you have to try out what works for you.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 14:39

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