REVIEW: Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses
by Caven O'Hara
The frame will be the talking point. It won't suit or appeal to everyone, but there is no doubting the quality of the lens.
REVIEW: Oakley Jawbreaker Sunglasses
Oakley is a brand name synonymous with cycling. From the weird to the sublime, the American company have been at the forefront of innovation. Their initial product lineup had nothing to do with eyewear, but motorcycle grips before branching out into googles and then glasses ten years later.
More recently they have been the go-to eyewear for many top athletes from golfers to skiers to cyclists. Their latest incarnation, the Jawbreaker fitted with Prizm lenses is set to keep them at the front of the queue for riders wanting the best eyewear for racing, riding or just chilling.
With arm length adjustability and an easy mechanism for swapping between lenses, the Jawbreakers are set to continue the Oakley dominance. The other noticeable improvement was the lack of steamy windows on those rides with a bit more moisture in the air, where your glasses can steam up when you climb or make an effort and then stop at lights. The frame will be the talking point. It won't suit or appeal to everyone, but there is no doubting the quality of the lens.
Easy fit and large coverage
adjustable arm length
Their tag line for the new lens technology is 'see what you've been missing.' The truth is just that, the lens do such a good job of filtering the light you can see exactly what you've missed previously.
Oakley state they have fine-tuned the lenses depending on what sport you are participating in. The idea behind the lens technology is the daily polarized colours that look dull become warm and richer offering a sharper contrast. This in turn offers a more relaxing visual experience and allows the rider to enjoy the journey suffering less fatigue or glare so your eyes have a much better time of it.
The colour is emphasized where the eye is most sensitive to detail. The benefit of this to improve performance and safety by improving and enhancing your vision.
Even when dirty visibility is still good
One of the offerings Oakley brought to the table a few years back were the jawbone range. Looking somewhat aggressive with their fill frame lens surround. Despite looking cool there were some concerns the frames wouldn't suit everyone and could restrict the vision on your periphery. The new Jawbreaker offer a bigger lens area to circumvent this, giving the rider more viewing space.
You still have the ability to swap lenses by undoing the nose piece which is a cinch to do. The other neat little trick the Oakley Jawbreaker's incorporate is the ability to lengthen the arms. Glasses are unique in that frames can look very different on individual faces. It isn't a one set suits all approach. The option to adjust the arm length is a nice idea, and again, an easy operation by flicking up the catch on each arm. Adjust to the best length for yourself and then close the catch.
To stop unwanted movement the arms have block gaps in the adjustment area that, when the catch is closed, engage with the arm to prevent movement. Simple but effective.
Taking out the lens is straight forward
In action at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege sportive
The frames, as with the Jawbone before, will be a bit of a marmite job. Some will love the fully enclosed effect, reveling in the larger lens size. However, just as the frames won't suit all shapes of faces, the drop on each side won't suit everyone either.
For me the benefit of using Oakley's is the lens quality. The Radarlocks suit my face better and without the completely enclosed lens I don't feel my periphery vision is compromised either. The frame edge is a slight inconvenience when I'm checking behind me. This is not to be confused with the clarity of the lens. The Prizm lenses have performed extraordinarily well in all conditions and light. From bright sunny days with lots of glare and low sun to rainy, grey days.
The frames are robust and easy to clean. The Prizm lens likewise - a quick wipe down and they are good to go and have proven to be fog free. The glasses come with two different nose pieces so you can adjust slightly how they sit on your nose which helps fine tune that position. The rubber on the arms does a decent job of keeping them in place but if you get particularly sweaty they can slide forward a tad. Not enough that they'll come off, but enough for you to have to pop them back in place.
All in all, very smart and effective.
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