Oakley’s new Radarlock is visually similar to the current Radar but it’s actually an entirely new piece with Switchlock interchangeable lens technology and specific lenses (James Huang/Future Publishing)
Oakley launch the fourth member of their
Switchlock collection of interchangeable-lens eyewear with the introduction of
a new Radarlock model, which will arrive in stores beginning this summer.
styling is similar to the current Radar — which will remain in the lineup — but
a clever hinge mechanism makes for easier lens changes and according to Oakley,
even less lens distortion than before for more accurate optical performance.
Switchlock technology incorporated into Radarlock is similar in concept to
Oakley’s Jawbone model — which, notably will revert back to the Racing Jacket moniker and get new earstocks in 2012 — in that there’s an actual, hinged mechanism built into
the frame that secures the lens in place. The hinge allows for easier lens
swaps without the use of force. Radarlock’s execution is quite different,
though, and the styling is far more subdued than Jawbone’s decidedly
Catharine Pendrel (Luna) wore the new Oakley Radarlock glasses at the opening round of the UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
this case, users simply slide over a small switch on the inner surface of the
frame and then pivot the earstem back. When the switch is engaged, the edge of
the frame pivots along with the earstem, removing the fixing pin for the lens
and allowing it to easily pull away from the frame. Oakley engineer Ryan Calilung,
that he originally designed a fully symmetrical system with two sets of hinges
but eventually realized it wasn’t necessary so production models use a simpler
fixed pin on the opposite side.
lenses on Radarlock is far easier in practice than it seems on paper and while
we’ve never had issues with the standard Radar system ourselves, it’s a notably
less violent process here. In other words, Radarlock users won’t be nearly as
likely to cringe in fear of breaking something when switching tints — you
unfortunately still have to touch the lens with your fingers, but it feels
downright civilized in comparison.
Radarlock’s Switchlock feature
will offer Radarlock in both standard and XL lens sizes with the latter
offering several millimeters more height for time trial/triathlon specialists
or anyone who simply desires a bigger field of view. Lateral coverage is
identical on both and in fact, the frames only differ by their nosepieces.
speaking, the nose bridges are interchangeable but Oakley doesn’t recommend owners
attempt it on their own — the technique is a bit tricky and Calilung says the
plastic can only withstand a finite number of swaps — so consumer frames will
be specific for a particular lens size.
either case, though, Oakley will offer the usual “Asian fit”
nosepiece pads to help custom-tune the fit.
Oakley will offer Radarlock in both standard and XL fits with the latter option offering more lens coverage, particularly up top. The frames differ only in the nose piece but Oakley doesn’t intend for the pieces to be user-swappable. As before, standard and Asian-fit nose pads will be available, too
a shared aesthetic between Radarlock and Radar, the lenses aren’t interchangeable
between the two families. Earstem length is unchanged as well but the overall
flex pattern is a little more even so riders with wider heads should experience
less unpleasant pinching. One side benefit of Radarlock’s more complex,
multi-piece construction, however, is the infusion of more colors for greater
will be offered in nine standard frame colors and there will be twelve lens
tints in total including polarized, Iridium, and photochromic shades. Standard
Radarlock kits will include two lenses while photochromic models will include
just one. Pricing will range from US$220-300/£195-235/€239-289 with upcharges
for custom options.
New casual sport
prescription Crosslink model
Radarlock for 2012 is the new Crosslink frame, boasting a more casual everyday
look for prescription wearers but also more sport-oriented features for riders
that don’t necessarily want to go all-out appearance-wise when they hop on the
The Crosslink features quick-change earstems to change its
look almost instantly (two sets of earstems come with each frame); loud and proud for your activities, and more subdued for
back in the office after the lunch ride
three-point fit is similar to Oakley’s more bike-specific pieces with
hydrophilic ‘Unobtainium’ covers on the straight earstems and interchangeable
standard/Asian-fit nosepieces for a secure hold even when wet. Adding a bit of
customization and flair are multiple frame colors, each with interchangeable
temples (one additional set is included) covered in contrasting shades.
standard Crosslink is made of Oakley’s standard O Matter plastic and will cost