Aggressive positions on the bike come with all kinds of complications, not the least of which is trying to maintain a good sight line while your neck muscles are screaming and your chosen eyewear is threatening to completely fog over. What’s worse is that a large part of the “sport-specific” sunglasses aren’t really designed for the bike, which leaves you with the top of the frame running right across your sight line from T1 exit to T2 entrance. Simply put, this sucks. So we’ve been looking into options that solve all of these problems, which is where Oakley, and their Radarlock XL, comes in.
With the Radars, Oakley gave triathletes a frame that could be used for both the bike and the run, came in nearly any color of the rainbow, and with almost any lens type you could want—although switching them was a pain. Then Oakley introduced the Radarlock, which brought their Switchlock system to their large-lens platform. This allowed for quicker lens changes than a pro’s T1 time. However, aggressive riders were having trouble with the placement of the top of the frame appearing in their sight line. Enter the Radarlock XL – 7mm taller from nose bridge to frame top than the standard Radarlock. But does 7mm do the trick?
For us, absolutely. We’ve struggled with having to look out over our sunglasses just to get a clear sight line, but the Radarlock XLs seem perfectly designed to our face and position. The top of the frame is still visible, but only as a slight orange haze at the top of our vision; exactly the way it should be. The venting on the lenses help with keeping the fog down on morning runs even with our Florida humidity. And even when a bit of fog creeps in at the edges of the lens, picking up the pace even just a little quickly restores them to crystal clarity. It’s worth noting that on the bike, we haven’t noticed any fogging whatsoever, which is impressive considering that our early morning rides are more typically categorized as riding through soup rather than air.
Speaking of the bike, the Radarlock XLs seem to clear the sweat that accumulates on the lens better than anything else we’ve ridden in recent memory, and leaves little to no trace of it, either. Oakley’s hydrophobic coating must be working overtime, and we’re decidedly impressed with it.
Our initial impressions are simple enough: Oakley has outclassed itself where triathlon-specific eyewear is concerned with the Radarlock XL. It appears to solve every problem we have had previously with sport sunglasses, and even comes in a polarized version for light-sensitive triathletes. We will see how the anti-fog and anti-sweat coatings hold up, but for now, color us impressed.