First look: Oakley Jawbreaker
Just when you think Oakley can't innovate any further, POW, along comes the Jawbreaker and Prizm lens. Now I don't yet have a set to test (they are on their way), but I am very excited about testing these out.
It's clear that I am an unabashed Oakley fan; I just don't think any other sunglasses are good enough for eye protection on the road.
You can read my previous Oakley reviews here,
For those who haven't seen a Velonomad sunglasses review before, here's the normal stuff I look for:
- A good nose pad (replaceable) to keep the glasses on my nose even in sub tropical humid and sweaty conditions and on bumpy rides
- Excellent peripheral vision for shoulder checks in races and on winding country roads
- Excellent eye cover to prevent wtaery eyes on long Alpine decents
- Excellent airflow to counteract any humidity build up and consequent foggy lenses
- Easily replaceable lenses (swap outs)
I don't really care about what sunnies look like, as long as they don't look like those GHASTLY sunglasses Ryder Hesjedal's been wearing (for those interested, they're made by POC. I actually wouldn't mind checking them out.).
The new Jawbreakers tick all the points above and improve in 2 key areas.
- Peripheral view
- Contrast (Prizm lenses)
They also look pretty sweet.
These glasses now have an extended peripheral region that optimises field of view for cycling. Whilst the Radarlock XLs are great, I am interested to see if Oakley can do better.
I'm particularly keen to see how they lens frame affects peripheral vision if at all. The reason for this is, when wearing Oakleys Racing Jackets, when you do a shoulder check, the thick frame significantly obscures the vision back over your shoulder. This means you need to turn around more (dangerous) or less (you see less).
Contrast on the road
More importantly, Jawbreakers they now boast improved contrast on the road via Prizm lenses (now available on a wide range of Oakley sunnies and snow goggles).
One thing that bugs me about ALL sunglasses—and it's something that's potentially unsolveable—is that dappled light makes it hard to see changes in the road surface.
The light in the area I live in is just so bright and clear that on sunny days it's a real issue. This is because so many local roads are set in subtropical rainforests, so the light is almost always dappled. This isn't so much a hassle on ascents, or on gloomy days, but on descents it's really, really hard to identify potholes in the road or other obstacles like sticks or big f$ck-off brown snakes. (Pythons are less of a concern, they lie there like big galoots and by the time they know what's happened, you've probably ridden over them and gone. And no, that won't kill them. You can drive your car over a python and its response will be something akin to Monty Python's Black Knight.)
Potholes are a significant issue as local councils (hi there, Ballina, Lismore, Byron and Richmond Valley councils) are 100% incapable of building properly-engineered and surfaced roads that don't turn to pothole-laden deathtraps in the first downpour.
Where I live in northern NSW, the roads can only be best described as being some sort of inter-village 1900s goat track-cum-illicit-moonshine-trail network.
Here's the milkman, delivering milk to our road.
What they're really like is a quiet German country town's road network post RAF overhead night raid with Lancashire squadron, followed by long range artillery bombardment by (several hundred artillery regiments).
Yes, they are that bad.
The roads are littered with potholes both fresh and repaired. Some stretches of road are simply potholes (there's no original road). Stretches near our place are variously populated with potholes up to a meter wide (on narrow country roads), chunks of asphalt and other debris.
And so, at first glance, the new Prizm technology in Jawbreakers looks very promising in making rides less injurious in the conditions I've highlighted.
Look at the image below: this would be a (nightmare) scenario familiar to my fellow snow goers (helloooo backcountry Hotham, Big White and WH20!). This is basically dappled light on the road x 11/on steroids.
And here's the same view through Prizm. Flamin' hell: total improvement yes? (Total floaty BS180-land there!)
It's with great interest that I await the delivery of some Oakley Jawbreakers for further testing. Hopefully I can get my hands on some in time for the Peaks Challenge on the Gold Coast, where significant portions of the day will be spent on forested roads and descending very steep climbs, probably in quite warm conditions, along with 3000 riders.
Therefore, lens quality, airflow and peripheral vision will be key.
If you need some of these now, grab them from ProBikeKit. (They are not yet available on Wiggle et al, but you can click the banners in the sidebar to check. These are affiliate links and if you buy something from these links, we get a small commission. This helps keep the lights on, as well as buying these products to review and they don't cost you anything.)
A significant amount of time and effort goes into these reviews, all with the aim of helping you. As lots of readers say, I give way too much information away for nothing, and it really does take a lot of time and effort (but I do love doing it!).
If you found the site useful, and you didn’t need a SIM card or ebook, I’d really appreciate it if you dropped something in the Paypal tip jar below. Or if you’re buying something online, use one of the affiliate links below the Paypal button.
Paypal tip jar (choose your own amount)
These affiliate links provide me a small commission (2-4%) on each sale and they don’t cost you a cent extra.