Without doubt Oakley have been the industry leader in sports eyewear for many years. Every new model seems to become the ubiquitous eyewear of athletes the world over.
Oakley however are not the type of company to rest on their laurels, and in their latest creation have collaborated with the “Manx Missile”, Mark Cavendish to produce a product that fits the bill for cycling and also triathlon.
From Oakley’s website:
The idea of Jawbreaker was inspired by professional cyclist, Mark Cavendish. Whether it’s measuring his own wattage output, pinpointing his drag coefficient in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel, or adjusting his seat position by a fraction of a millimetre, he leaves nothing to chance in his preparation. This obsession led to a unique collaboration with Oakley. His challenge was to design an “armor for speed.” And after more than 100 design iterations, 9,600 hours of lab and field testing, 27 eyewear components and two years in the making, Jawbreaker™ is born.
Oakley were kind enough to send me a pair for an all too brief test run, but it was long enough to see how the changes they have made the new Jawbreaker Oakley’s best cycling specific glasses so far.
The most notable thing about the Jawbreaker is the larger lens, almost reminiscent of the old skool Oakley Factor Pilot Eyeshades. Over the years Oakley have had all manner of shapes and designs with the intention of eliminating the frame from the field of view. The M Frames and Radars have been among the most popular lens shapes for triathletes but the new Jawbreaker raises the bar, or more precisely raises the frame to give a greater unobstructed field of view whether you are sprinting head down like Cav or more importantly for Triathletes, in the aero position. The lenses are also engineered with “integrated surge ports” for ventilation which are designed to enhance air flow and reduce fogging.
With my bike on the trainer I swapped through my suite of Oakley glasses to check the impact of raising the frame and it was indeed pronounced. Up until now my old M Frames have been my glasses of choice for Triathlon racing, however as good as they were, and still are when gettin aero there is still the hindrance of the upper frame and he need on occasion to hoose to look over under or sometimes through the frame.The Jawbreakers with their increased unobstructed field of view, especially above the nose, moves the frame out fo the field of view for all but the most aggressive positions and even then I only found the frame visible in my preipheral vision.
If this is the type of issue that bothers you I would throughly reccomend getting down to your Oakley stockist and trying on a pair while replicating your aero position. If nothing else Im sure it will keep the staff amused and you may well be surpirised at just how well the Jawbreakers do their job.
As you would expect with any new Oakley product there are more technological advancements in these glasses than you can poke a stick at, but for triathletes the unencumbered fied of view is the real standout and this factor alone makes the Jawbreakers a winner.
As with most Oakley products they do come at a premium, and at $279 they are not cheap, but as you can see from my collection, you can get many years of quality eye protection from a well looked after pair of Oakleys.
As with all Oakley products the visual clarity of the lenses is second to none.
A comparison of the different lens shapes and sizes over the years.
One of the Jawbreakers features is the ability to adjust the arm length.
The noise piece acts as a lock allowing the frame to break apart for easy lens removal.
Oakley have also released a new version of the Radar the Radar EV to their collection and a new lens series, the Prizm lens (read about them here) . Hopefully we may get a chance to cast an eye over them when they become available.
In the mean time I need to decide which colour of Jawbreakers I need to add to my collection. I'm torn between the Tour De France Prizms and the Uranium.