Review: Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses

Oakley launched the new Prizm Jawbreaker sunglasses early last year to much fanfare. Designed with great input from Mark Cavendish, no detail was spared in their pursuit of the ultimate riding sunglasses.

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The Design

There is no way around the fact that on their own the Jawbreaker looks massive but take the time to study them closely and you will soon find they are stacked with technology and clever design features. Twenty seven separate parts go into making one pair of Jawbreaker. The lower edge has a slight convex shape to provide a little more room around your cheeks whereas the top of the lens features an upward curve to provide a bigger field of view, particularly when riding in a low and aggressive "eyes-up/ head-down" body position.


The design is not all about road cycling though, as extra ventilation at the bottom and top of the lens also come in handy on slow, technical climbs when out mountain biking.


Cycling glasses are usually a trade-off between field of view, maximum protection and ventilation. Oakley say that the large size is intended to give the user all three – an increased upward field of view with ventilation and protection.


"Jawbreaker has a level of vision and protection without compromise, beyond what the consumer has seen before. It’s a statement piece with real performance benefits.” - Ryan Calilung, Oakley concept development director.


Like the Jawbone, the Jawbreaker features a hinged lower frame to lock the lens in place, but that is where the similarities end. The Jawbreaker uses a huge single shield instead of separate dual lenses and there is a metal cam device built into the nose-piece instead of snap-together plastic bits. This makes for a more secure fit and lends the Jawbreaker a sturdier overall feel. Out back, Oakley have incorporated rubber-covered earpieces that can be adjusted in three different lengths to better fit a wider range of rider head shapes as well as helmet retention systems.



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  • Prizm is a revolution in lens optics built on decades of colour science research. Prizm lenses provide unprecedented control of light transmission resulting in colours precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility.
  • Extended field of view in the upper peripheral region to optimize for cycling
  • Unobtanium earsocks and nosepads keep glasses in place, increasing grip despite perspiration
  • Switchlock interchangeable lens technology makes the process of lens changing fast, easy and hassle-free, this technology uses a simple switch mechanism to release the mounted lens so a new one can be locked in instantly. It lets athletes adapt their vision and keep up with changing light.
  • Patented High Definition Optics (HDO) provides superior optical clarity and razor-sharp vision at every angle. HDO is a collection of patented technologies that allow Oakley eyewear to meet or exceed the testing standards of the American National Standards Institute for optical clarity, visual fidelity, and impact resistance.
  • Light Transmission: 20%
  • Light Conditions: Changing Conditions
  • Contrast: Increased
  • Base Lens Color: Indigo
  • Recommended retail price: R 2,625
Included with the Prizm Jawbreaker is a Microbag with lense pouch, a Soft Vault Case and an extra nose pad.


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On the Bike

Once on your face, with your helmet on your head, they do not look as big nor do they feel nearly as over-sized as they appear. Hit the road and you'll soon realize just how great the fit and field of view is with almost none of the frame being visible, unless you move you eyes straight down or as much to sides as you can. Oakley claims a 44% increase upward field of view and it certainly shows.


Out of the box the fit was perfect for my liking and, at a scant 34 grams, I hardly noticed them once riding. Despite the "full width" coverage there is no distortion and fogging hasn't been an issue at all thanks to the vents and well thought out design.


Our test pair arrived with Oakley’s latest Prizm lens. A new philosophy in lens tinting that aims to highlight desirable hues and shades while at the same time tune out unwanted ones. According to Oakley, the pavement-specific Prizm Road lens boosts road texture, painted lines, and traffic lights while also enhancing greens and blues. The mountain bike-specific Prizm Trail version was designed to boost reds and browns while also making plants look more vivid.


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I'm happy to report that this is not just marketing talk. A real testimony of the power of Prizm was when, with a bit of effort, I tried them out off road on my motorbike. Going in and out of shade on a corrugated gravel road is not fun on a motorbike as you can't always see potential hazards and uneven sections, making line choice difficult. Also, going from full sun to shade leaves you with a compromise of either no tint in the sun or the risk of too dark in the shade. This where the Prizm Trail proved it's worth by making the terrain much easier to read. The Prizm effect was also noticeable with the road version fitted while on the road bike, highlighting varying road surfaces and lose debris.


I have been riding with the Jawbreaker since its local launch and they are showing no signs of wear despite never using the hardcase and very seldom storing them in their microbag. I'm working on that!



Easily my favourite and the most comfortable riding glasses I've ever worn. Fit, features, comfort and the quality of the optics are all outstanding, cementing Oakley's reputation as a premium manufacturer. Even on the roughest of trails they always stayed put with little to no movement.


I can only imagine what they could possibly come up with to supersede these.



Christian van Zyl, Feb 10 2016 08:26


'Dale, Feb 10 2016 08:52



Herman Joubert, Feb 10 2016 10:05

Hi Iwan, give Ryders Anti Fog a go as well: http://www.vitalmtb....ews/2062/expand

You will be surprised!

Wez-O, Feb 10 2016 10:30

Very happy with mine.

Rick Sanchez, Feb 10 2016 10:30

Love mine :)

Carpediem, Feb 10 2016 10:40

Best pair of cycling sunglasses I've owned... Love them.

Absolutely Brilliant!

Pieterlab1, Feb 10 2016 10:43

I just love my Photochromic Jawbreakers. Best Oakleys I ever had for mountainbiking.

Jaco-fiets, Feb 10 2016 03:45

Also have the photochromic! Best cycling glasses I have ever owned

Lukep, Feb 10 2016 06:35

I currently have the Rudy project Rydon, does anybody have any feedback on the Oakley Jawbreakers vs the Rydons.

Jaco-fiets, Feb 10 2016 09:01

I currently have the Rudy project Rydon, does anybody have any feedback on the Oakley Jawbreakers vs the Rydons.

I had the rydons and also have the stratofly and noyz. I am sorry to say none of them come close to the jawbreakers

madbradd, Apr 01 2016 11:06

Has anyone had a problem with sweat on the inside of the lense with Jawbreakers?