Are these the best cycling sunglasses on the market?
In this Oakley Radar EV review, we’ll look at one of the most popular choices of glasses for a lot of cross-country riders and racers, these most notably being Julien Absalon’s go-to model for World Cup XC races.
The Radar EV, and the Path edition specifically are Oakley’s cycling-specific frame and lens combination, with the shape and optics designed around the demands of both road cycling and mountain biking.
In the box, you get the Radar EV frame, the lens you’ve chosen, a cleaning cloth and a nose piece, as well as a solid carry case to boot.
As you can see, these are the “Uranium” edition with the Prizm lens, which offer a striking look. This is a standard pairing and one of about 6 Radar EV colour ways you can choose.
THE RADAR EV FRAME
The frame is built of a tough plastic that feels a lot sturdier in person than it might look. It’s shaped to fit the head securely and does a really good job of gripping on to your head when the trail gets rough thanks to it’s fairly narrow fit.
The glasses may be a little on the narrow side for the largest of heads, but are used by a range of different-sized riders on the XC-circuit, so most shouldn’t have too much of an issue.
The rubberised arms and nose pad don’t get slippery when wet with sweat and help things stay in place nicely. The nose pad attaches using hooks on the frame which drop inside the pad, and stays in place most of the time during activity.
HOW THEY FIT
What’s also great is Oakley’s attention to detail when it comes to fitting the glasses with a helmet.
In practice, the glasses sit very securely over helmet webbing and fastening mechanisms, and doesn’t create any significant pressure points on the head.
The Radar EVs slip snugly between the ears and the helmet, with the arms extended back enough to grip the head well but not interfere with the rear of the helmet.
As a word of warning though, be careful not to lose the nose pad, since it can come loose and fall off if you remove the glasses or switch lenses regularly.
The frame also features similar air vents to earlier iterations of the Radar series on both sides, which do a decent job at channelling air between the glasses and your face as you ride. Do expect things to steam up a little when you stop or slow down though.
PRIZM AND AFTERMARKET LENSES
One of the most striking features of the Radar EV is the the shape of both the frame and the lens, which has been developed to give increased vision when your head is low and the eyes are looking up, making them noticeably larger than previous Radar models.
In practice though, the extra size works well at increasing your peripheral vision and improves your ability to spot trail obstacles further ahead, which is only going to help you go faster down the trail.
What’s more, the Prizm lenses are designed to offer greater contrast and to highlight features more clearly, which they do a great job of.
The model in this video is the Road version of the lens, but it still works well in all but the darkest of off-road conditions.
There is a trail version of the lens, which is a better bet for mountain bikers and performs better in lower light situations.
Oakley also offer a range of other aftermarket lenses too, including both vented and non-vented models. FYI, I also have a set of clear lenses for muddy races and riding in very dark conditions, which I’d advise for most riders.
The lens fits snugly into the Radar EV frame using Oakley’s familiar snap-in system. Even after owning these glasses for over 18-months and switching out lens on a fairly regular basis, there doesn’t appear to be any difference in how well they fit in there.
The Radar EV’s have proved to be pretty flawless for racing, daily training and also wearing casually. The lenses have suffered some scratching as you can see, but this is to be expected after so much use.
Having had the previous regular Radar model, it’s clear the Oakley have vastly improved the fit and quality of the glasses.
Little touches like the better sculpted rubber on the arms and a greater coverage lens really make the slightly higher price tag worth the money.
If kept in the supplied carry case and drawstring bag, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.
OVER TO YOU
What do you think of the Radar EV’s? Drop a comment below.