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Review: Oakley Jawbreaker

We take a look at glasses that were 2 years in development

5Nov

Oakley’s new Jawbreaker glasses are probably the most technologically advanced cycling glasses ever produced. They have been created with the help of Mark Cavendish, impact tested like a car, the needs of the cyclist have been tracked with sensors, and even the aerodynamics around ventilation has been a key aspect.

So how do they fare?

Fit & Look

Despite being a whole new design from Oakley, there is little argument that the basic shape and design of them has certain nods towards the Oakley Factory Pilot worn by Greg LeMond in 1986. It certainly has a modern look, but the similarity in shape alone are clear.

They also look good, with a large fully enclosed lens, which is available in several different colors of both frame and lenses. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and perhaps these may look a bit odd in a casual setting, but on the bike they look great.

The fit is fantastic too, with the nosepiece using Unobtanium (Oakley’s patented material to increase the grip when wet) it almost sticks to your nose, meaning there is no slip at all.

Adding to this great fit is the adjustable arms, which can be changed to three different lengths. This means that those with larger or smaller heads do not need to sacrifice the fit for other aspects of the glasses.

Quality

The quality of construction on these glasses is superb, not least the mechanism in which the lens is replaced. Here the whole frame opens up (hence the Jawbreaker name) and the lens is then added or removed. It means that everything is secured in well and feels solid.

A big part of cycling glasses is the protection they afford. This comes from the lens in the Jawbreaker, which has been extensively tested. It has some of the best impact and scratch protection that I have used, and despite considerable wear in challenging conditions they are still in an as-new condition.

Performance

One of the key points in Oakley’s description of how these glasses were developed is their analysis of where cyclists look when they are riding. They subsequently created a pair of glasses that could give them the field of vision to allow for this. They have certainly achieved this, with these glasses beating almost any that I have tried before.

Given that they are full frame, they do not need to sit further off the brow, which can restrict views when looking forward in a sprinting position. Also, due to the full wrap, there is no frame visible in your peripheral vision. Helping this is the use of the Prizm lens with HDO, which despite sounding like marketing blurb, does genuinely improve the clarity in your vision.

Another major aspect of cycling glasses that distinguishes the weak from the strong is the extent to which they fog up when you are getting hot. Like every single pair of glasses I have ever worn, these fog when you are sat still, but they clear at even the slowest speeds. I tested this by letting the glasses fog up completely and they still managed to clear themselves within 5/6 seconds of starting up again.

Price

There are several different models available, with different colours and lenses ranging from £170-£210($200-$280). The model we tested is £180 ($220), with Prizm lenses.

In terms of competition at this price, there are POC Do Blades, Adidas Evil Eye and other Oakley models too. They are top of the range, with very few available for more money, but they perform well amongst this esteemed company. I would therefore say that despite being expensive, they are not unrealistically priced and are a fair outlay.

Overall

These glasses offer everything that I would want when on the bike and the best thing I can say about them is that you can fully forget that you are even wearing them. They stay in place regardless of conditions, offer fantastic protection and great field of vision. This combined with the definition enhancing Prizm lens means that they are one of the best glasses I have tried. 

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