Mark Cavendish has collaborated with Oakley to produce the firm’s latest eyewear, the Jawbreaker. We’ve just received a pair to review so here’s the tech lowdown before we hit the road.
Cavendish is a long-time Oakley-sponsored rider and served as the inspiration behind the Jawbreakers – and the result, excuse the pun, is no-doubt eye-catching.
That’s thanks to the Jawbreaker’s huge lens, a loose throwback to Oakley’s first sunglasses, the Eyeshade, and more recently’s POC’s Do Blade sunglasses. Oakley say the Jawbreaker’s are engineered to extend upward field of view (the top of the lens rises significantly above the nose clip) and improve ‘optical precision’ by 44 per cent (compared to the ‘average’ pair of sunglasses). The idea is that the Jawbreakers will provide a wider field of vision on the bike, reducing the chance of the frame obscuring a rider’s eyeline – something Cavendish may have experienced given his low, aggressive position when sprinting.
“The Jawbreaker really started with a conversation at a pretty casual dinner with Mark Cavendish,” says Ryan Calilung, director of concept development at Oakley. “The one statement that really stuck with me from Mark is that when he puts on eyewear, it’s like he’s putting on armour.
“We actually tracked the movement of riders’ eyes and there were not only portions of the lens that people aren’t looking through at all, there are portions of the frame that people were attempting to look through.”
Oakley say the finished product is the result of more than 100 design iterations, 9,600 hours of lab and field testing, and 27 individual components, having been two years in the making. You may have spotted Cavendish wearing the Jawbreakers in recent months.
The Jawbreaker name comes from the mechanism which separates the lower half of the frame from the upper to remove and change the lens. Lift the nose clip up, unhook it from the top of the frame, and the lower half swings down on two hinges to expose the lens.
The Jawbreakers are available with a new lens, dubbed Prizm Road, which is said to “emphasise colors where the eye is most sensitive so riders can spot subtle changes in the texture of road surfaces.” Our experience with Oakley lenses to date is superb and we expect that to continue here. Other lenses, all said to be ‘impact resistant’ available include Prizm Trail (for off-road use), Grey Polarized, Sapphire Iridium and Red Iridium Polarized. The frame, meanwhile, is available in seven colours.
Ventilation ports above and below the lens are designed to keep air moving around the glasses, particularly important given the size of the lens, and reduce fogging. Meanwhile, the temple earpiece can be adjusted in length, with three lengths and Oakley say this is to improve helmet compatibility. As for weight, we’ve put the Jawbreakers on the scales and they weigh 35g.
The Oakley Jawbreaker will hit UK stores in mid-April, though pricing is to be confirmed. We’ll be putting the Jawbreakers to the test over the weeks ahead. Watch out for a full review.