Oakley brings a new heavy hitter to the market with the Jawbreaker.
With a colourful guy like Mark Cavendish as a major contributor for design, it is no surprise these glasses are both extremely functional and excessively flashy. If you instantly feel like robo-cop when you put them on, don’t worry, that is totally normal...and you aren’t the only one with that funny feeling.
Upon initial trials, the first thing we noticed was the size of the lens; which can be defined as really freaking big. The new design incorporates a lens with a generous upward curve and there is more room around your cheekbones with an exaggerated, rounded curvature to the frames themselves.
The extra coverage is entirely enjoyed by our Freehub crew. When riding in groups, we felt good about having the extra coverage to block trail dust and foliage that somehow always makes its way to your sensitive eyeballs. When riding solo and pushing the MPH, we did not have any issues blinking due to wind blowing through/around the lenses.
Although the lens is quite large, the glasses never felt bulky on the face or clunky when stashed in the helmet. Overall, Oakley did well developing a light-weight, high coverage kind of system. Most of the time, unless there is a chunk of mud in the field of vision, I barely notice the Jawbreaker’s on my face.
Oakley’s Prism Trail lens; we have had good results here. With Bellingham WA as the test location, the Prism lens is up against a tough environment. The local trails are pretty much always dark and tree covered, even when it is sunny. Generally on clear days the sun spots breach through the canopy to make the imposing root and rock textures difficult to read.
Our lens of choice in the past has always been clear. We either choose a pair of super slick, $5 safety glasses from the local hardware store or swap the clear lens on our favourite action/sport glasses. It was hard to move away from the norm of clear lenses, so we tried the Prism lens out with high scepticism. We were pleasantly surprised. The colouring is tuned to boost reds and browns, so in some sections of woods the trail almost seemed brighter. When the sun spots are out in full force, the Prism lens did well adjusting.
It was never too dark, nor did large chunks of unexpected sun blow your concentration with brightness. The venting around the edges of the lens helped with any fog issues. Even when riding in an environment of 100% humidity, we did not fight any blinding fog (unless we stopped moving).
The lenses were easy to swap and all mechanical functions of the glasses worked well. The construction is solid and durable. The glasses held up to some falls and rapid ejections from the face. It is not like we ran the shades over with the truck tires or anything, but they have been a durable product made in the good old USA. The lenses are easy to clean and we have not had any excessive scratching.
Final thoughts: Great eye protection at a fair price. You get what you pay for; big coverage, high performance styling, easy-to-swap lenses, and a really nice Prism lens that adjusts well to varying light conditions. My new favorite glasses.