Review: Oakley Prizm Sunnies

Sick of hitting potholes? These sunnies might be the solution.

Winter cycling can be as dangerous. Forget the inattentive, texting soccer mum, her swing-the-door-open-in-the-cycle-lane kids or the tradie with a few beers under his belt who “bloody hates cyclists” and wants to give riders a scare.

No, in winter, it’s difficult to judge the road surface and misinterpreting it can result in a serious prang. How many times have you ridden over a “shadow” only to feel a ball-crushing jolt as you hit a monster pothole at 30km/h and thought, “Shit, that could have been bad”?

Oakley have released their EVZero range of sunglasses to, “help endurance athletes spot subtle changes in the texture of road surfaces so they can react faster and perform at their best.” The new glasses employ “Prizm Lens technology”. This isn’t just some fancy marketing term. It’s complex optical engineering that enhances color separation to build depth perception. In essence, it makes things more vibrant and distinct. Have a look at They have a slider that demonstrates the distinction.

That’s all well and good, but we wanted to try them ourselves so we got a pair and went for a ride in the Tallebudgerra Valley on the Gold Coast, a shadowy 40-km ride with patches of good tar and also some crap bits with monster pot holes.

The first thing that hits you about the EVZero is their weight. At only 24grams, they are light and very comfortable. They wrap nicely around your face and being rimless offer an unobstructed view, even in your peripheral vision. On the road they stick nicely to the face and don’t budge when you make sharp head turns to check for cars. Vision-wise, they are crisp and do produce noticeably different image from standard cycling sunnies. The road surface does tend to “jump” out more and you get a better sense of depth when it comes to changes in surface, the road’s shoulder and aforementioned potholes. Style-wise, they’re pretty disco, but if you’re a middle-aged man in skin-tight lyrca, colourful sunnies are the least of your worries. On the ride, all 3 of us had a go at them and we all agreed they were worth the money. They may not stop the soccer mum or the angry tradie, but they might help you see them coming.

Cost: $199.95.

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