The Choice is Yours - Oakley Jawbreaker or Radar EV Shades
With both cycling and triathlons growing in popularity in the UK, at Sharks Swim Shop we now stock top quality shades, manufactured in the US, including the Oakley Jawbreaker and Radar EV shades.
Our customers often ask us which are the best and we always advise that it’s down to personal choice. However, if you’re still undecided, then here’s some additional information about both brands that may make your decision easier.
The Oakley Jawbreaker Shades
The Jawbreaker Shades have been developed by the Oakley brand in conjunction with the world champion and the fastest sprinter in cycling, Mark Cavendish. They have been designed to overcome the limited field of view in conventional eyewear and to raise protection and ventilation to a new standard of performance.
With true full-frame protection that extends around the entire lens perimeter, the Jawbreaker shields the eyes with impact resistance without compromising the field of view or ventilation. What’s more, the specially designed ventilation system optimises airflow helping the cyclist to stay comfortable whilst preventing fog build up. The vent placement keeps drafts away from the eyes to prevent distraction.
Jawbreaker also boasts the most advanced version of Oakley Switchlock Technology, a hassle-free interchangeable lens system which adapts the cyclists vision to the environment and helps to keep up with changing light.
The Oakley Radar EV Shades
The Radar EV is an evolution of the original Oakley Radar design. EV stands for ‘Expanded view’ and one of its key features is a raised lens (approx. 5mm) at the top of the frame, providing better vision in the usual ‘head down’ position of cycling. The ventilation of these lenses has also been improved with the port and channelling at the arms brought forward and refined in conjunction with the new vented lens. Radar EV Shades utilises Oakley’s sport-specific ‘Prizm’ lenses designed to improve visibility by increasing contrast in specific conditions.
Compared with the original Radar, the EV’s fit remains extremely similar, with the same curved and lengthened arms wrapped in Oakley’s non-slip and replaceable ‘Unobtanium’ ear socks. Using the same rubber as the ear socks, a choice of two different thickness nose pads are provided to work with a variety of nose shapes for extra comfort.
The Oakely Jawbreaker vs the Radar EV Shades
Designed exclusively as cycling sunglasses, the more expensive Jawbreaker is the Oakley model is made up of 27 pieces, far more than the relatively simple Radar EV.
Some cyclists complain about occasional helmet compatibility when wearing the Radars, while the Jawbreakers don’t have the same issues. This model’s small plastic arms are length-adjustable through the sliding/lock mechanism which means they don’t come close to contacting helmet retention systems and allow for greater adjustment to different head shapes.
In addition, the Jawbreaker is manufactured using Oakley’s unique Switchlock system enabling the frame to be unlocked and swung out of the way for very simple lens replacement. Another benefit of this locking system is that it takes stress and flex off the lens, removing lens distortion. However, most cyclist who have tried both models have been unable to detect a difference in vision between the Radar EV and Jawbreaker.
Despite its lower frame, the Jawbreaker’s large lens offers impressive peripheral vision. However, it’s tough to beat a lack of lower frame and so the Radar EV has the slightest edge when quickly looking back for cars. It’s also worth noting that the Jawbreaker carries extra weight due to some of its unique features, weighing in at around 34g.
In general, most cyclists who have tested both the Radar EV and Jawbreaker models would happily use either (both on and off road) so the choice perhaps comes down more to desired style than performance.
So our general advice is if you're looking to replace lenses or want more control over the arm fit then the Jawbreaker is the better option. Otherwise, the simpler and lighter construction of the Radar EV is something that many cyclists appreciate.
Both makes of shades are available at Sharks Swim Shop in Sketty or they can be purchased online at www.sharkswimshop.co.uk