Oakley has officially introduced their new RadarLock model, the fourth member of their Switchlock line. The new shades are styled similarly to the current Radar, but feature a hinge mechanism to aid in swapping lenses.
Thanks to the new hinge, which is activated with a small switch (the namesake of Switchlock) on the inside of the left temple, swapping lenses requires much less force than with the standard Radar. Simply open the hinge and pop the lens out of the nosepiece, and the rest comes free easily. The whole process is even easier to perform than to describe.
Sadly, the new RadarLock lenses are not cross-compatible with older Radar frames, or vice versa.
The RadarLock will be offered in two sizes, Standard and XL; the latter will offer slightly larger lenses. The only difference to the frame between sizes is in the nosepiece. Oakley will also offer an Asian Fit nosepiece.
Oakley will offer nine frame colors and twelve lens options. For $220-300, depending on model, you get a RadarLock frame and two lens options.
On the road
A keen eye may have spotted the RadarLock on pros for the last two months or so, first with an all-black stealth model, and more recently in regular color schemes. Fabian Cancellara and Mark Cavendish are but two of the top riders who received early models.
VeloNews also received a pair a few weeks ago, and we’ve been putting them through the ringer since.
The Switchlock system is indeed a huge improvement on the twist-and-pop method used with the old Radars. With a bit of practice, it is even possible to pop the lenses out touching only the edges of the lens — no more greasy fingerprints.
Fit is nearly identical to the old Radar, as is lens coverage. Our standard-size pair looks good on medium to small faces, just as the Radar does. The polarized lenses offer stellar optics, as we’ve come to expect from Oakley. Ample venting across the top of the lens eliminates fogging, even when stopped.
The Switchlock system adds complexity to the glasses, and the RadarLock’s use an incredible 27 individual pieces. The result is a slightly more flimsy feeling — grab both arms and twist, and the RadarLock’s make a little squeaking noise as the plastic bits grind together. However, once on your face, there is no squeaking and the glasses feel solid and as high quality as usual with Oakley.
Bottom line is that if you like the Radar, you’ll dig the RadarLock. It offers the same fit, similar styling, and the same excellent optics with the benefit of vastly improved lens swaps.