It’s not very often that one needs to write a review for sunglasses. I mean, how important can something so seemingly insignificant of an accessory be?
Seemingly. That’s the key word there. A sunglass is very important and if you don’t think for functionality, then at least think about form when you cross the finish line; don’t you wanna look your cool and “I mean business” meanest at the same time? Well, if you are running, you may think of sunglasses lesser than those who bike, and let me not even stress the importance of the right swim eyewear.
But why Jawbreaker?
Recently, I got my hands on the Jawbreaker series, the latest from the Oakley platform. And these, let me clarify right at the very outset, are not intended for everybody. Sure you can use them for a run, you may even use them while catching a morning flight, but where they are most at home is when you are gazing out at the world from the comfort of a bike saddle. (But runners, don’t leave yet, there’s something for you as well here.)
Jawbreaker, (honestly, I find that name disturbing and far from reassuring) is the latest from the Oakley platform, a collaboration between this sporting brand and famed pro-cyclist Mark CAVENDISH, whose obsession with precision and aerodynamic form is exemplary (read: borderline-obsessive ). Over a 100 models and 2 years later, they have put these on the market, glares made to handle all that cyclists would require, nay, demand, from their ultimate eyewear.
So here’s what makes the Jawbreaker cycling-specific: (*) It rises high over the brows so even when you are down on the drops the view isn’t obstructed by the top-frame. (*) The large lens allows for a wide viewing angle. And the most useful, (*) the temples (or side-sticks) are customisable for length, and that is quiet the boon, for almost all other sunglasses, no matter which brand, normally get caught in the helmet or have to be wedged in somehow, whereas with these, you can just reduce the length so they don’t wrap all the way around and thus stay away from the helmet-band perimeter. I have been using them on the shortest length and even when not on my bike they stay firmly put.
In fact, I have barely had them and still managed to use them for a good few races and sessions and they seem to hold up rather well. The wide lens may feel a bit less airy than my Radarlocks but the visual advantage while cycling does weigh in their favour. That said, the Jawbreaker too does have air vents to facilitate air-flow but given their wider footprint, they just feel a tad less conducive for ventilation. On a humid morning run, I was almost tempted to peel them off and feel some air brush by.
As for the rest, the Unobtainium (the ‘stickier when wet’ material that is ideal for nose-pieces and temple grips), the hydrophobic (water-repelling) lenses, and the general jargon of HDO (High-definition Optics) type, although salient and indispensable are still pretty much standard with all performance wear from Oakley. Even the Switchlock technology which helps for easy exchange of lenses is not a new feature but how it is executed here (by lifting the nose piece) is different from, say, the Radarlock series.
But, the best, I saved for last.
Ladeez n gennelmen, do have a look, pun intended, at PRIZM, the latest lens technology from Oakley. Without getting into the technicals as to how it was developed, mostly because I can’t do it justice and you, frankly, dear reader, couldn’t give a damn, safe to state that it provides some pretty good contrast and apart form cutting glare, it reduces colour noise so what you see appears crisp and vivid. This can be useful as it removes the blinding effect that one can encounter on a bright sunny day. Best yet, it isn’t just made to combat the sun; say while on the move on a sunny day, you go through an intensely shaded patch, a portion with no direct sunlight at all: unlike photochromic lenses or dark tints, all light isn’t cut off here and the PRIZM affords you a lot of visibility. So basically what we have here is a lens that can provide high contrasts under the sun and still not blackout completely in the shade: this one feature makes them utterly desirable and is the deal-maker.
PRIZM has a trail and a road version, and then even a golf version. For reference purpose, I consider golf as much of a sport as catching a flight connection. Oh no, not even…
Here’s a press release I was provided from the company so am sharing it here as is
So, all said and done, a great frame with an excellent new lens. Now, the sum-up
PROs: Cycling-geometry, Wide viewing angle, Easy lens-change with Switchlock, adjustable temples, Unobtainium grips, lightweight, shatterproof
CONs: None really except that runners may not like/need them as much.
And then there is the PRIZM lens:
PROs: Super contrasts, Don’t blackout in the shade, impact protection
CONs: Only available for certain frame types so might require you to change frame-platforms