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Sink your teeth into 'em. Not literally, though.
When Slipstream picked up a title sponsor in Transitions eyewear, they also picked up Oakley as a sunglass sponsor. Nice score and great tag-team in terms of eye protection. The initial package put Transitions SOLFX treatment into Jawbone lenses. The Transitions technology added to Oakley's lenses gives an extra dimension to their normal premium eye protection. Lenses that adjust to varying light conditions make sense. It's not so much that you don't have to fiddle with lenses before the ride, but that you don't have to take off your glasses during the ride. This is a feature all cyclists, whether they ride on the road or in the dirt, can appreciate.
To make the Transitions lenses respond to UV light, photochromic molecules are applied to the surface of the lens in a dye. When there's no UV light, like when you are indoors, the molecules are naturally at an angle to one another, and the lens is at the lightest end of its shading. When UV rays hit the lens, the bond holding the molecules together breaks, turning them flat, and showing the tint.
The lenses are the big deal with the Jawbone Transitions, but the Jawbone itself is still the amazing lightweight, strong frame with the distortion-free method of capturing the lenses in place. The Jawbone lens is clamped into place by the hinged jawbone on the lower part of the glasses. Oakley calls this Switchlock technology. Pull up the hinged nosepieces and the jawbones move freely. Open the jaw, take out the lens, and insert another. The clamp doesn't exactly hold the lens. This is why the Jawbones do such a great job. The clamp retains the lens within the frame; the actual lens holding is accomplished by a soft liner inside the frame on which the lens rides. It's a suspension system that allows the frame to flex a bit without distorting the lenses and your view.
Oakley has done an impressive job to work their sizing magic; these should sit well, comfortably, securely, and protectively on most faces. Since variation is inevitable, the Jawbones come with interchangeable nosepieces. If it feels like the frames aren't sitting as they should, pop out one set and insert another. Chances are, you'll find the right fit. The O-Matter frame material is light and sturdy. And to keep them on your face, even when you sweat profusely, the nosepieces and ear socks are made of Unobtanium rubber. This stuff gets stickier the more you sweat. And if it ever wears out, the Unobtanium pieces can be replaced.
The Oakley Jawbone Transitions SOLFX comes in two color combinations, each with their own lens options -- Infrared w/VR50 and Silver w/Clear Black Iridium. The VR50 is short for Violet Rust 50% light transmission. It's a high-contrast tint, great for low and flat light. The Black Iridium is a Grey tint, and it shows everything true to the color. Jawbones come with a soft vault and cleaning cloth/bag. Oakley doesn't include spare lenses with their Transitions eyewear as they believe the single set of lenses will work in all conditions. However, extra lenses are available as well.
- Low-profile Switchlock design lets you change lenses in a flash
- Photochromic lenses tint automatically changes to match the light conditions
- Interchangeable nose piece creates a custom, high-performance fit
- Includes Oakley Nano-Clear hydrophibic lens cleaner pen to keep your vision crystal-clear (good for up to 10 applications)
Share your thoughts
Found these ideal for sunny early morning rides when you start in shade and emerge in bright sunlight. They were dark enough for me on bright sunny days at 6,000ft, though I'd hesitate to use them on snow. They stayed clear while riding despite my sweaty uphill exertion.
The whole point of the Jawbone is ease of lens changeability, so having a photochromic lens (from Transitions) kind of defeats that purpose. But if you plan on trail riding, winter commuting, or any scenario where your lighting environment changes rapidly over the course of the day, taking only a single pair of lenses with you is always worth it. These Oakley lenses are made by Transitions, who make some of the best photochromic treatments in the business. They adapt quickly to UV light (quicker in colder conditions), and have retained those properties over the several months that I've used them. Note that it takes direct UV rays to activate the color-changing particles in the lenses, so these are not optimized for driving. I got the Dark Grey lens option which goes perfectly clear for night use - no contrast, but the most versatile lens I own. If you're planning on a road ride and you expect to be under direct sunlight the entire day, neither of these photochromic lenses will get dark enough to give you protection for that kind of exposure - that's where the Jawbone interchangeability comes into play. I would suggest getting an Iridium lens like Black or Fire to keep on hand for those types of outings.
Otherwise, the Jawbone frame itself is awesome - oversized, and slightly aggressive. Hinges are smooth, and the Switchlock mechanism is simple to engage. An absolute must-have for the multi-sport, multi-environment athlete.