Extras Featured Reviews

Oakley Jawbreaker

Oakley JawbreakerThe Oakley Jawbreaker is a collaboration between one of the world’s biggest names in eye-wear and Mark Cavendish, one of the biggest names in cycling, but the results are likely to leave people as polarised as the company’s legendary lenses…


‘Aggressive’ is the adjective most often used to describe the aesthetics of Oakley’s output – there are a few exceptions such as the sleeker RadarLock range – but for the most part there’s a somewhat bolshie angularity to their glasses and the Jawbreaker is no exception. The first thing you’ll notice about the Jawbreaker is the size – these are true XL glasses that provide an exception field of vision; they appear disproportionate without a helmet, but once suited up it all falls into place (guess Cav and Oakley really do know what they’re doing…)


Comfort levels are exceptional here with weight coming in just under 35g – the lower frame is perfectly curved to sit snuggly against the cheeks and the arms are hinge-locked to provide a range of lengths to fit perfectly under any helmet. The downside here, particularly if you are reckless enough to try and adjust them on the fly, is that it’s possible for the entire arm to disconnect with catastrophic results.


Oakley JawbreakerThe Jawbreaker has a hinged lower frame that gives them their somewhat aggressive (there’s that word again) name for fairly quick lens switching, which is only fiddly on the first couple of tries. Ruggedness has been upped by the addition of a tiny metal cam, which sits behind the rubberised nose bridge, and replaces the more traditional weakest link plastic affair on other Oakleys.


As you would expect from Oakley, when it comes to the lenses they are outstanding with a range of tints and polarized options for every conceivable condition (conceivable, so long as you have the budget of course with additional lenses starting at around the £70 mark.) On the subject of price – the Jawbreaker starts at £170 – we still feel slightly short-changed that Oakley only adds hydrophobic coating to the outside of the lens but will happily sell you, for £17, the Nanoclear treatment for inside application. Also the specific Oakley Jawbreaker Cavendish Edition – with the dinky CVNDSH logo on the lens – is at a premium of an additional £20…


Oakley JawbreakerThe Oakley Jawbreaker clearly brings plenty to the table, not least a slightly old-school aesthetic, and if you want the added kudos of wearing glasses that have had input from Cavendish then these are the sunnies for you. Venting is excellent, optics uncompromising, and comfort superb – if you can live with ‘aggressive’ and are willing to spend upwards of £170 these won’t let you down.


Further details of Oakley Jawbreaker at – available online for purchase from, amongst other places,

Extras Reviews

Orao Griffith Sunglasses

Orao Griffith SunglassesCyclo loves a good surprise (unless it involves clowns) and testing out the Orao Griffith sunglasses, costing an almost embarrassingly cheap £19.99, has proven one of the biggest surprises of the year.


To be found in the aisles of sporting megastore Decathlon, the Orao Griffith sunglasses could – like a lot of lower-priced apparel and accessories – be easily overlooked as being too cheap to possibly be of quality. Let’s not make that mistake – the Orao brand is growing in popularity and those in the know are tipping a nod at the Griffith.


Whilst you might expect sunglasses costing sub-£20 to be a one-piece affair with little in the way of personalisation the Orao Griffith ship not only with interchangeable nose pieces, but three interchangeable polycarbonate lenses. Switching between the lenses is a relatively simple affair – circumventing all of that fiddly tech solution you find on the likes of Oakley in favour of pulling up gently on the top frame or pressing a finger nail into the small hole to release the one-piece lens and clipping in its replacement. Absolute simplicity and it doesn’t appear to apply excess pressure on either the frame or lens and because the fingers are really only in contact with the centre it doesn’t leave smudges all over the place.


Orao Griffith SunglassesThe three lenses that ship with the Orao Griffith sunglasses are smoked, filtering 18% to 43% of light, orange which does a good job of increasing contrast and filters 8% to 18% of light and clear which filter up to 8% of light and are ideal for simple ‘windscreen’ protection from the environment. All, of course, provide full UV protect and the optics, whilst basic, deliver decent clarity without distortion.


Comfort level is good with soft rubberised tips to the arms adding grip without pressure and the substantial nose piece holding the wrap lens far enough away from the face to help reduce fogging.


Of course there is always some degree of getting what you pay for and those upper end glasses are probably more likely to last you a lifetime – or at least until you leave them at a feed station – but don’t be fooled into thinking that a £200 pair of sunnies are going to be ten times as good as a £20 pair. The Orao Griffith sunglasses – which even ship with a soft carry pouch – look set to give even Wiggle’s similarly pitched dhb range a run for their money.


The Orao Griffith Sunglasses RRP £19.99 are available online at and instore. For an even more bargain spare pair of sunglasses Orao also have the Arenberg glasses for a mere £4.99 – details here.


Extras Featured Reviews

Oakley Radarlock Pitch

oakley radarlock pitchTo our eye there often seems something aggressively angular about Oakley sunglasses – whilst the bulkier Jawbone or Racing Jacket may look good on the hunched over form of a pro cyclist we’ve never found anything quite to our liking; that was until putting the Oakley Radarlock Pitch to the test…


The Oakley Radarlock Pitch manage to perfectly combine both aesthetic desirability and outstanding performance (the latter no great surprise from Oakley) and their stripped back design and lightweight construction – a mere 30g – make them ideal for rides of any length.


Using their bespoke ‘Switchlock Technology’, which makes swapping lenses effortless and ridiculously quick, the Radarlock Pitch – unlike both the Jawbones and Racing Jackets – are frameless below the lens, making them both lighter and less intimidating-looking. The lack of weight also improves comfort; there are no pressure points around the ears as, instead of hooking the ear, they simply rest above them gripping the sides of the head with sleeves made from brilliantly named ‘Unobtainium’ – we hate to be reductive, but suspect ‘Unobtainium’ is basically rubber.


On test with Cyclo the Radarlock Pitch fitted perfectly, stayed absolutely put and remained comfortable for extended periods. There are plenty of options for fine-tuning the fit too including changeable nose pads, a nicety you won’t find in £10 bargain sunnies.


When it comes to lenses Oakley are, quite rightly, considered second-to-none. The Radarlock Pitch ship with two standard lenses, in the case of the ones RunningMonkey were testing: Jade Iridium and the VR28. The former used for medium to bright light with a neutral lens tint for truer colour perception and an Iridium coating to reduce glare and the latter for less harsh conditions and when greater contrast is required.


Jade Iridium option proved outstanding in dazzling conditions and when the sun was low and the double venting to the top, outer edge (also featured on the VR28s) prevented all fogging. Despite the generous wrap of the single piece lens there wasn’t even a hint of distortion, even at the very periphery of vision and it goes without saying that they filter out 100% of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays…


The Oakley Radarlock Pitch will set you back a mighty £195 but are, by far, one of the best pairs on sunglasses we have come across.


Further details of the Oakley Radarlock Pitch at


Extras Featured Reviews

Salice 005

Salice 005When it comes to choosing sunglasses there are many criteria to consider when investing – and given some of the prices around ‘investing’ is the correct term… Not least of these considerations is manufacturer credentials and heritage (not always failsafe as even the mighty Oakley have, in our opinion, occasionally missed a trick). Consider Salice, then; with almost a hundred year’s of experience in producing quality eye-wear this Italian giant has reputation aplenty – how though do the new Salice 005 measure up?


If the name 005 feels less than inspired (something like Eye-Armour X2 always sounds so much harder working), Salice can perhaps be forgiven; it appears most of their effort has, quite rightly, gone into designing the actual glasses.


Beyond the aforementioned manufacturer’s credentials there are a number of crucial points to consider when picking new glasses. Firstly: pure aesthetics. Horses for course and no one design is going to be to everyone’s taste, but in our opinion the 005s look damn look; available in a positively phantasmagoric array of colour combinations and lens types. Cyclo was testing Salice’s trademark ITA design that hints at the country’s tricolore with green, white and red flashes across the upper front frame; a full wrap, with elegantly tapering arm, they manage to look good without seeming to try too hard, with the added benefit of not appearing overly engineered or unnecessarily fussy. ‘Simple and elegant’ is perhaps the reductive way to put it.


Moving on to comfort. The Salice 005 aren’t exactly featherlight, but weighing in at less than 30g and with a flexible, adjustable nose piece they sit perfectly comfortably with generously large rubberised grips on the arm ends keeping them securely in place. The frame and lens curve is such that even those with the lashes of a cow shouldn’t experience any close-call discomfort and although they lack the multi-flexibility that gives some maker’s glasses an almost bespoke feel the overall level of comfort is more than adequate.


Polarized and photochromic lens options are available, whilst Cyclo was testing the more workmanlike mirror options. With to-be-expected 100% protection against UVA, B and C rays, these antiglare lenses performed admirably even riding into setting sunlight, with contrast strong and negligible image distortion even on the very periphery of vision. Unlike the 006 iteration, the Salice 005 features two individual lenses which, with triple-vents to the top and semi-open aspect to the sides, failed to fog even on our hottest test ride. The lenses are interchangeable (they ship with clear, low-light appropriate options for when you just need a ‘windscreen for the eyes’) and snap in and out effectively with little fuss or recourse to checking complex instructions. That alone is refreshing and makes them worthy of recommendation.


The ITA design with mirror lens ships at £69.95, whilst the transitional photochromic option costs £74.95 and the polarized £84.95. The price-point, whilst hardly in the budget category, hits the mark dead on for the quality of both build and lens, making the Salice 005 a solid option that adds a dash of Italian dolce vita. Still a shame about the name 005…


For further details see:


Extras Reviews

Rudy Project Rydon II

Rudy Project Rydon IIRudy Project have been making the highest quality sunglasses for the best part of thirty years and the Rudy Project Rydon II remains one of Cyclo’s firm favourites. These are everything we have come to expect from Rudy and pretty much everything we look for in cycling sunglasses. Attention to detail, classic yet somehow endlessly contemporary design, superb fit and feel and lenses that simply will not let you down.


Comfort – key, we think, to the success of any pair of sunglasses – can be broadly achieved in two areas. Firstly weight; the Rydon IIs utilise a combination of carbon, aluminum, magnesium, silicon and titanium (already sound cool, don’t they?) that provides strength and flexibility whilst weighing in at just 25g. That featherweight touch comes close to feeling like there’s nothing on your face/head at all.


Secondly in the comfort stakes comes arm and nose bridge fittings. Both of these on the Rydon IIs are rubberised to prevent slippage from sweat but flex and warp in a seemingly infinite number of ways for a fit that ends up feeling bespoke. If you can’t get comfortable in these Cyclo suspects that sunglasses aren’t for you, period…


Of course no amount of comfort counts if the lenses don’t do their job, but here again Rudy (forgive the phrase) shine. The ‘ImpactX lenses are made from a material apparently developed for the US military – incredibly lightweight, strong and shatterproof to the point where they are guaranteed unbreakable for life. Both polarised to prevent glare and photochromic to keep pace with changing light conditions, the lenses in the Rydon IIs deliver a crisp clean ride that doesn’t distort even in the extreme of periphery vision. Additional, tinted, lenses can also be fitted and, assuming money is no object, prescription sets can also be ordered up.


The Rudy Project Rydon IIs not only look the part and come in a choice of colour-ways, but also deliver on every level. Sure, they’re not cheap at close to £150 and leaving them at a feed station is likely to require professional psychiatric assistance, but if you care about looking after your eyes (and you should) and want to look the part on the bike (and why not?) then the Rydon IIs can’t be recommended highly enough.


More details on Rudy at, the Rydon IIs are widely available online.


Featured Reviews

Oakley Jawbone

Oakley JawboneThere’s nothing more likely to give Cyclo that feeling of conflicting emotions than taking delivery of a shiny new pair of cycling sunnies. On the one hand there’s the knowledge that they will make you (hopefully) look and feel good but on the other there’s the underlying sense that they are something of an indulgence. And starting at £190 the Oakley Jawbones can unequivocally be described as such.


Having seen them sported by the likes of Lance Armstrong, Mark Cavendish and Thor Hushovd we certainly had high hopes for these unconventional looking shades and in most respects they held up well to testing. The lens quality is, as you would expect from these market leaders, excellent – offering 100% UV protection with superb hydrophobic properties, meaning they will repel sweat and rain rapidly. There is virtually no image distortion even at the very edge of peripheral vision and there are a good range of optional lens replacements available (at, it goes without saying, considerable cost) making them suitable for almost any ride conditions.


But it is this ability to switch lens that, in our opinion, begins to let this model down. The hinged lower frame swings away to let you flip out one lens and replace it with another (a feature that gives them their Jawbone moniker) but this feels considerably over-engineered and adds overall weight to the glasses, meaning they sit quite heavily despite a customisable nose bridge. It’s a nifty sounding feature on paper, but in practice is far less successful.


If you’re after a pair of glasses that will make you look like – even if not necessarily ride like – one of your cycling heroes then the Oakley Jawbones could be for you. Similarly if you are looking for frames that can accommodate a range of lenses (including prescription options) then again these might be for you, but make sure you try before you buy as the heft and weight distribution of these will certainly not suit everyone.


Extras Reviews

Rudy Project Rydon ImpactX

With the sun (mostly) shining on us now, Cyclo thought it high-time to take a look at some more sunnies and, having previously cast our eyes over the cheaper end of the market (dhb and Madison Vision, click here for review), we thought that the budget-busting Rudy Project Rydon ImpactX shades deserved a look. Renown Italian designers Rudy Project have worked closely with pro cyclists for more than a quarter century – Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali amongst their collaborators – and are the official suppliers to, amongst others,  Rabobank and Omega Pharma-Lotto, all of which means these guys really know what they’re talking about.


So, how do the Rydon ImpactX measure up? In a word: beautifully. A blend of sci-fi sounding materials are employed in their construction including Carbon, Aluminum, Magnesium, Silicium, Titanium and Kynetium and although we’re pretty sure they made that last one up it all adds up to an almost weightless experience. Pretty much every inch of their construction can be gently flexed and adjusted for a fit that feels utterly bespoke and the ventilation system ensures that nothing ever fogs up the view. In terms of the lenses themselves, again the Rydons are almost impossible to beat. The “ImpactX” classification means that they are guaranteed (for life) as indestructible and the combination of polarization and photochromic (changing in tune with light levels) elements give a crystal clear image. The change in lens darkness is also impressively fast, whilst some photochromic lenses seem to take forever to adjust to sudden loss of sunlight the Rydons react like a switch has been flicked.


Additional and replacement lenses can be bought for around the £30 mark (prescriptions available for considerably more) and should you wish to switch them mid-ride the quick release system is efficient and effective – unlike, say, the over-engineered Oakley Jawbones. At the best part of £150 a pair you certainly wouldn’t want to lose your Rydons, but one thing’s (officially) guaranteed – you’ll never break them…


Extras Reviews

dhb VS Madison Vision

dhb and Madison glassesCow poo, gel wrappers and bees. Just some of the things that haven’t hit me in the eye recently. A pair of shades isn’t just for looking good (though it helps) but as they say that the eyes are the windows of the soul I’d rather not get stuff all over my windows thank you. Yet sunglasses – just like umbrellas – are something you never fully own, they’re just on loan to you until you leave them on a fence/train/pub table. For this reason Cyclo has been looking at two similarly priced and styled sets of budget glasses.


The dhb Triple Lens are certainly not the most technical accessory in the world but they are tough, well appointed and light on the face. The three interchangeable lenses – grey for bright sun, blue for enhanced contrast conditions and clear for when you want them to act purely as a windscreen – repel sweat/rain well and are, naturally 100% UVA and UVB absorbent. Switching one lens for another is tricky (certainly not something we’d relish doing mid-ride) and puts the kind of strain on the frame that seems likely to be the way of their final destruction. In comparison the Madison Vision d’Arcs Triples ship with three lenses (dark for sun, yellow for low-level, clear for windscreen mode) that are much easier to clip in place but we found a far greater level of image distortion here which hinted at the budget nature of the optics. Both the dhb and Madisons, which have straighter arms, fitted well and stayed put and both had good wrap-round protection – in Cyclo’s opinion the Madisons were more inclined to pinch slightly above the ear but this is, of course, open to individual experience.


Naturally try before you buy but for our money the dhb have the slight edge over the Madisons.  At around £25 for the dhbs and £30 for the Madisons clearly neither are in the league of the upper reaches of, say, Oakley but they do the job well enough and are less likely to provoke tears when you leave them in a pub garden.