Oakley have got the peloton covered and are already celebrating the maillot jaune.
Sunnies aren’t just sunnies, every cyclist knows that, the sport requires performance eyewear. Some may jest, and often they don’t come cheap but they are essentially a safety device too, protecting from UV and stray airborne objects. It doesn’t hurt that they look great too.
Oakley was founded in 1975 by James Jannard, ten year’s later Greg LeMond’s Eyeshades were arguably brighter than his performance in the Tour. Then came Lance, and they dominated the peloton, if there was a ‘Kona bike count’ for sunglasses they’d win. The past few weeks has seen their unmistakable lens at the forefront of Greg van Avermaet’s attacks, hiding the tears of Richie Porte and Mark Cavendish, and protecting the poker faces of Team Sky. The keen observers spotted Michael Matthews sporting an even whiter pair following his win on Stage 14, in fact Oakley covered the entire podium that day, plus the yellow and polka dot jerseys.
This was 2017’s Tour de France edition of the Jawbreaker, along with the Radar EV Path and EV Zero Path, they’ve all been given a respray in matte white (no, not the guy from Backstage Pass) and what we assume is a yellow brick road motif, symbolism for the maillot jaune on the road to Paris, or a whimsical nod to Oz, and metallic highlights to match a Prizm lens with a special etching. The Path nomenclature defines the lens shape, with that concaved bottom edge, and the EV is an initialism for Expanded View.
The trusty hardware underneath remains the same, the main feature is the Prizm Road lens, helping deal with contrast and glare on the road and highlighting shadows and colours. It’s like seeing the world in HD, or for Gen Y’s it’s like the ultimate Instagram filter for life. Jokes aside it offers serious protection against anything that might might fly off the road. Oakley lens tests are even weirder than hydraulic press videos.
The Jawbreaker provides the most protection and versatility, the lens changing system is fast and the arms are retractable fitting the most aero of helmet styles. The Radar EV Path has longer arms and sits a little lighter on the cheekbones, and for ultimate Euro flair there’s the EV Zero Path, minimal and ultra-light, Warren Barguil has no trouble taking it up the climbs.
The Tour de France collection is available now from the Oakley website, the links and prices are below: