Sunglasses are an essential accessory for serious cyclists. More than a fashion add-on, cycling sunglasses will shield your eyes from harmful radiation, cut down glare in traffic and protect your eyes from wind, dust and insects.
Seeking out the best sunglasses for cycling is not an easy task given the vast variety of shapes, styles and lens options but some features are crucial to good bicycling while others can be considered less critical.
Oakley performance eyewear is virtually synonymous with cycling sunglasses as the company has done more than any other to improve the technology in both lens and frame manufacture.
Oakley cycling sunglasses differ from other eyewear models in several ways. Most models come with a wraparound frame design, so they hug the face and offer the maximum protection.
Cycling sunglasses lenses are also more robust, shatterproof and manufactured in a wide range of tints to suit all types of weather conditions. Some even come with interchangeable lenses for use in different lighting conditions.
Before looking at Oakley's range of cycling sunglasses here is some advice on what to look out for when buying a pair for cycle riding.
Fit and grip: A good fit and a tight grip are essential when choosing regular sunglasses but even more important when in the saddle. Cyclist's don't want sunglasses that slip down the face or those that need constant adjustment when your hands should be on the handlebars. The fit needs to be light and comfortable with no pinch points and with arms that will slot neatly beneath the cycle helmet.
Eye cover and protection: A wraparound frame is excellent for covering the eyes, but the cyclist needs good peripheral and downward vision too. Many cycling sunglasses these days come with interchangeable lenses, so the cyclist is ready for most cycling conditions.
Oakley has become almost synonymous for cycling glasses thanks to years of research and development into sports performance eyewear. Oakley glasses for cyclists demand a premium price, but the cyclist can expect top quality eyewear with many features not found with other manufacturers.
Aggressive lines give Jawbreakers a 'winner takes all edge' and excellent overall vision and eye protection. The single piece lens is angled to improve upward peripheral vision and comes into its own with head down racing. Oakley Switchlock technology allows quick lens changes without damaging frame or lens and adjustable arms ensure a perfect fit under any helmet. Designed with advice from top British cyclist Mark Cavendish, Jawbreakers have become the de facto standard for cycling sunglasses.
More on Oakley Jawbreaker glasses.
An upgrade to the famous Flack Jacket, these sunglasses push the boundaries of performance eyewear with some keen styling, improved comfort and greater wraparound coverage. Conventional half-rim double lenses set these apart from one piece lens performance eyewear, but users report excellent visibility from the XL sized frame and the tight wraparound 8.75 base curvature. Light and comfortable they come with a range of lens coatings and tint options.
More on Oakley Flak 2.0 XL.
A combination of traditional twin lenses and the lens switching capability puts Oakley Racing Jackets at the top of the lost for many cycling enthusiasts. A replacement for the earlier Jawbone cycling sunglasses model, Racing Jackets come with vented lenses to combat fogginess and the Oakley Switchlock system that lets you swap out interchangeable lenses quickly and easily. Other touches include swappable temple icons and a removable retainer strap. Contoured for comfort, they come with soft hydrophilic synthetic ear socks and nose pads that keep a tight grip in all conditions.
More on Oakley Racing Jacket.
These futuristic-looking shades boast a one-piece lens with an extended view (hence the EV in the name) thanks to a half-rim taller lens design for upper peripheral vision and a redesigned ventilation system to reduce fogging. The durable, lightweight frame offers a snug fit, and the curved arms are tipped with patented non-slip Unobtanium ear socks, although, unlike some other models, Radar EV glasses don't have adjustable arms.
More on Oakley Radar EV.