We get a lot of things come across our desk at BikeExchange, and I will often get excited at the prospect of testing something that is new and cool. These Oakley Jawbreakers broke new ground on my excitement barometer! Their latest offering has been many years in the making and did not disappoint.
However, in order to maintain my impartiality, I’ve broken the Jawbreakers down into three sections and given a summary on each. To me the three most important aspects of any product are:
1. Performance – how well does it do what it is supposed to do?
2. Functionality – is it easy to use?
3. Aesthetics – does it look cool?
As I said, this latest creation has been years in the making. Oakley has worked closely with Etixx - QuickStep's Mark Cavendish, one of the fastest sprinters on the planet, to fine tune and improve on the exceedingly popular sports range.
The biggest issue Cav had was the limited view when he was on the drops and sprinting for the line. This makes perfect sense, because as you are more horizontal in this aero / sprinting position you have to look up, mostly viewing through the top third of your lenses. Conventional glasses however, don’t take this into account and instead focus their field of view through the central third. With the use of eye tracking technology, Oakley expanded the lenses and frame to take this into account and created a higher profile, thereby eliminating any black spots you may otherwise have. It seems so simple and logical but this feature is very evident. You can’t see the top of the frame when riding normally, and when your head is down and bum is up, your view remains the same.
Another common issue is the lenses fogging up. The jawbreakers have strategically placed vents to prevent this and while I can’t speak about whether or not they ‘optimises airflow’, I can say mine did not fog up once! I’m not sure if it is the placement of the vents that prevents your eyes from drying out or the increased size of the lens but either way, this wasn’t an issue for me either.
A couple of great features worth chatting about here.
For anyone with a small head, or for those of us with melons, the Jawbreakers have you covered. The arms can be adjusted within a matter of seconds to three different lengths. This is also useful for crossing over into other disciplines like MTB, skiing etc… where helmet size can differ dramatically. That old saying of, ‘you don’t know what you got til it’s gone’, rings true here.
Going back to my old pair with standard arms, the first thing I wish I could do was adjust the length. This is because on colder mornings (which there have been a lot of lately) I’ll put a headband on, meaning the fit isn’t quite as snug as it would otherwise be, being able to change the arm length would solve that problem.
Changing between lenses is equally as simple. A flick of the switchlock on the nose piece is all you need to do to release the frame and change over lenses.
This is potentially the most important feature and one that will polarise people (pun intended).
As previously mentioned the frame and lens size have been increased, meaning the glasses take up more real estate on your face. They aren’t subtle and if you pair them with some bright colours you will be noticed. This is either a great thing, or not so much for some, and the only point of contention I can see for the prospective buyer.
I love the look of them and if you're into the retro range that was recently released you will be a fan of these, too. They do come in many colours though, so if you wanted a slightly toned down version you could get the black-on-black with a grey or black lens.
If they are good enough for Cav, they are good enough for me!