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  1. Ventruck

    Ventruck Oakley Expert

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    Been over two months since the R2 models hit shelves and while I picked up the Jawbreaker instantly, I held off on the Radar EV until now. F&F and passing by the store put me in the inevitable position of going home with a pair (like virtually everyone else on OakleyForum).

    So that being said the purpose of the review is to help others who are unclear or undecided on Oakley's 3rd iteration of the Radar series and 6th member of their current shield collection. I personally was on the fence, already owning the Radarlock, M2, and Jawbreaker. In this review I will address the Radar EV in general and in comparison to those pairs, as well as in the context of cycling. I bought the Pitch Cut in Matte Uranium with Prizm Outfield lenses* (note at the very end of this review). Included was the typical Vault, instructions, and warranty papers. The frames weren't perfectly straight, but I've had this happen with a brand new Radarlock and in the practical sense it can't be felt.

    I will add more pictures to illustrate more details I described, but for the time being I didn't want a case of typing something up and then getting deleted somehow.

    Contents (ctrl+F to skip):
    1.1 Fit and Coverage
    1.2 Features and Details
    1.3 Lens Swap Design
    1.4 Final Thoughts
    -1.4.1 Radarlock Comparison
    -1.4.2 Jawbreaker Comparison
    -1.4.3 Final, Final Thoughts

    1.1 Fit and Coverage

    Standing for "Extended Vision" the, Radar EV offers a taller profile than the equivalent Path or Pitch cut of the original Radar and Radarlock. Also extended is the peripheral coverage as evidence by the edges running past the frame. The edges don't go as far as the M2's cut, but with the close fit it's hard to find gaps in all directions and the frame is well out of sight. The nose stem is also a bit slimmer - partly because the taller profile puts the pads further from the frame - and appears more carefully-shaped. Like I described the Jawbreaker, you'd have to try to find an obstruction or gap in order to catch anything. Only exception is perhaps bigger faces.

    Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev lock front.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev lock side.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev jawbreaker side.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev jawbreaker front.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - radar ev width.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - radar ev nose.jpg

    As you can see in the photos, the Radar EV runs a bit taller than the Radarlock (both being Pitch cuts). Remember when it's up in your face, mere millimeters will feel like a bigger difference. Against the Jawbreaker, a lot of the difference is just the presence of the lower jaw. Lens sizes alone are similar, although the EV actually runs a bit wider as I curiously tried to slip the lens in the Jawbreaker frame, where the extended sides blocked off closure of the jaw.

    The Radar EV stays true to the Radar lineage in incorporating hammer stem profiles. This results in some of the firmest (not necessarily tight) fits in Oakley's sport line. In a relative perspective, the ends finish a tad wider than the Radarlock, virtually on par with the Jawbreaker (stems at longest setting), and narrower than the M2 (which has shorter stems).

    Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev lock width.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev jawbreaker width.jpg

    While I like this firm fit, the EV's hammer profile is more forward than the Radarlock, specifically more forward than some helmet straps which include my own. I personally strive for "un-interrupted" contact, currently also coping with this when using my prime option Jawbreaker. It's not something that I think comprises fit or security, but just pokes at my own obsessive awareness.

    Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev lock top.jpg Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev jawbreaker top.jpg

    In terms of shape the EV's stems curve more than the contact areas of Radarlock, drawing back to the original Radar profile and arguably being more ergonomic. This, paired with the wider and longer earsock design were upsides for me as I felt reduced feel of pinching over long periods of time.

    In debating between Pitch and Path, it's really just a matter of cheek clearance. I started with Path when I used my Radarlock, but upon literally getting my last lens, I realized I can actually get away with Pitch — so as it turns out, I got the EV in Pitch.

    1.2 Features and Details

    Continuing from the comments regarding hammer profile being more forward, there are potential upside/purposes to being designed as so. A quick one to spot is to aid clearance with TT, batting helmets, headsets, and virtually any headwear that covers the ears. Usually, riders had to opt for the original Radar again in TT's or use straight stem Radarlocks. Another upside on this design is that the Radar EV has seemingly departed from the "surge port" design and instead employs a more sideways-facing cutout. At least from my observations, the "surge port" really served no major purpose. I believe Oakley promoted it as a cooling measure (of your temples?), but really the stems of these pairs aren't so wide that heat build up/conduction would be a big deal, if at all. Another issue is that hair or helmet straps can block air flow anyway, really making the surge ports seem meaningless beyond aesthetic.

    In the case of the Radar EV's ports, it seems like they'd be more ideal for ventilation. The finishing profile emulates more of an exit than entry. If that wasn't enough, air can escape above and below the protruding profiles of the stem. This all compliments and perhaps compensates for the wider coverage and reduced dead-space that would be found in the Path/Pitch cuts of the Radar and Radarlock.

    Ventilation continues with the Radar EV lenses using the "new generation" vents similar to the Jawbreaker: one pair at the rising points of the frame and another pair at the nose bridge. One thing I noticed is that the cuts aren't as large as the Jawbreakers. I'd figure Oakley determined this was appropriate without the presence of a lower rim. The last detail I'd like to touch on is the finish of the lens edges. Not anything exceptional in the eyewear world, but the fact that they don't finish flush under the frame should be ideal for managing heat/airflow as well. In practice, this works superbly without any buffeting behind the lenses. However, in the case of wearing a mask or baclava, fog does build up more easily in my experience. I experienced this with the Radarlock and it would seem the Jawbreaker excels in this scenario because the jaw keeps the lenses spaced away and so the low vents aren't blocked.

    The EV stem tips feature flares like the Jawbreaker, which I find to be another improvement over the Radarlock. Paired with the slightly narrower end opening, the Radarlock can be a fiddly one to put back on one-handed, like when on the bike. A nice touch to the EV earsock design is the widened profile at the front, which seems to serve as a dedicated gripping service for handling the pair.

    There are no mounting holes for a strap. I assume Oakley decided that it wasn't a popular accommodation for sports pairs as of late as I believe the M2 was the last pair to have the holes. In regards to the target market of cyclists, most would just put their eyewear in their helmet if they had to remove it.

    Lastly, Oakley moved the stem hinges more rearward so the tips don't hit the lens when folded — something people found undesirable about the Radarlock.

    1.2 Lens Swap Design

    The Radar EV uses the typical "clip-in" method found with most half-rim shield designs, including the original Radar. It's a proven and robust design, especially since the nose piece acts as a secondary measure of retention.

    Maybe it's the case of still being in new condition, but I found re-installation a bit tough. My only comparison of this type of swapping method is the M2, a Tifosi Logic, and some Rudy Project pair whose name escapes me, and those were far easier for me. The EV seems to have tighter tolerances and runs a bit stiff, and this includes unclipping the nose piece. If I didn't have the Uranium pair, I wouldn't have realized I didn't have one side completely seated upon re-installation, which led to an unpleasant "pop" (but thankfully no damage).

    I wouldn't call this an actual con for the Radar EV, especially when the user figures out how to feed the lens back into the frame. I perceived the Jawbreaker as a fiddly process at first, and now see it as a simple ordeal. The Radarlock can be an 8-10 second complete swapping process with familiarity and purpose, but what's the rush? Swapping time is a bit irrelevant in my view as majority of people won't find themselves needing to swap lenses on a frequent and urgent basis, let alone on-the-fly and without smudging the lenses. Between pairs we're talking seconds, and at worst (with meticulous care) just a couple minutes.

    This sorta goes back to my speculation of Oakley looking towards a one-lens-do-all approach. In the context of the Radar EV, it's very unlikely to need to change lenses mid-ride. Only scenario I can imagine is riding into dusk or out of dawn. Prizm Road further attempts to simplify this situation, but in all fairness the Radar EV doesn't hold a singular purpose for cycling. The example I reviewed is a lens targeted towards Baseball outfielders.

    1.4 Final Thoughts

    • 1.4.1 The Radarlock Comparison

    If you decided to skip the wall of text before this (don't blame you, even this is a lengthy section), my comments pointed to a lot of improvements I found with the Radar EV:
    +larger viewing range
    +simpler design
    +vents on the lens and frame are more strategic,
    +less prone to pinching with virtually the same hold quality
    +easier to put on because of the flared stem tips
    +gripping points to handle the pair
    +revised hinge placement to avoid stems hitting lenses when folded

    The only things the Radarlock has going for it are the extra lens (which is pretty much the reason for the price difference) and aesthetic if that's up your alley.

    Now it is true that you could deduce that the Radar is also a smarter pair than the Radarlock and so against the Radar EV there's less significant of an upgrade to be had, especially when you tie in the Radar XL which will offer a similar addition in upper field of view. What's left for the EV's advantages is peripheral vision and improved vent design. Despite finding even more upsides over the Radarlock, you don't need to jump ship from either predecessor; but if I had to start fresh and pick just one Radar iteration, it would be the EV. This isn't something as forced as upgrading iPhones or game consoles; Oakley didn't frame the previous Radar iterations to be outright obsolete in due time, they just found honest ways to improve.

    • 1.4.2 The Jawbreaker Comparison

    If you've read my Jawbreaker review (namely the conclusion; Long thread on Jawbreaker impressions and pics | Oakley Forum ) one thing I touched upon was the strong possibility I'd find that the Radar EV was the more practical buy: cheaper, simpler, yet the comparable coverage and function. I find there is truth to those sentiments, but you have to weigh-in on each aspect to determine if it's really the better buy.

    One big upside to the Jawbreaker is the glaring difference between the pairs: the bottom rim/"jaw". Not only does this aid in wind deflection and potential added protection, but simply handling of the pair. Every time you remove and replace it on your face, every surface you set it down upon...a sense of delicacy goes away with the Jawbreaker vs. the half-rim shield bunch.

    Do adjustable stems really matter? To be honest I don't see the point of the shorter stem settings since that should make things looser. If anything I find the advantage of the Jawbreaker's stem design to be that they're already thinner/flatter, and are therefore more likely fit under TT helmets and headsets...but maybe there are advantages realized in practice to run shorter (full face helmets, perhaps?).

    Yet when you sum it all up, the complexity of the Jawbreaker isn't an issue once you're set, and we're talking about a $30 difference in retail pricing — the kind of difference not to fuss about if you're in the market for such pairs to begin with. So if anything, fit is the prevailing factor in deciding between the two pairs. If that's even, then comes down to which one you think looks cooler. It's just hard to go wrong.

    If I personally could only pick one to set off with, it would be the Jawbreaker; but again that really doesn't imply anything negative about the Radar EV.

    • 1.4.3 Final, Final Thoughts
    It may look like Oakley toned down from their radical aesthetic, yet the original M-Frame really had little going on in that department save for paintjobs, and yet it became immensely popular, applicable, and imitated worldwide. If you make more out of less, it's more impressive from an engineering standpoint. Right now Oakley's signature shield pairs are by Mark Cavendish (Radarlock and now Jawbreaker). Spiffy sprinter and personality, but before that there was a much bigger name wearing the M-Frame — the name that first comes to mind for almost anyone when it comes to cycling: Lance Armstrong.

    Unlike my Jawbreaker review, I don't have a "tl;dr" list of pros and cons. I find the best way to judge the Radar EV is on how it improves on the original Radar design. It's a strong execution of Oakley paying attention to details that add up to a considerable refinement of their original design. That being said I'd like to reiterate that this isn't something that makes the previous iterations obsolete. Seems like we've seen Oakley replace pairs more so than improve them, leaving us to get hung up on a hit-or-miss mentality in retrospect. I think the EV really is all about building on a good thing. When (or if) the original Radar ever gets phased out, I don't think people will say "what were they thinking?" because I'd say it's pretty evident.




    ____________________________________________________
    *note from the very beginning of the review: lolme, I actually thought I got Prizm Road at first and only realized it was Outfield when I peeped the box at home. I don't hate the sport of baseball, but I'm so distant from it, and so I'd never get this lens intentionally. Forum member pistolpetefan23 did inquire about the LT% differences here:

    Oakley's new Prizm Lens Line | Page 2 | Oakley Forum

    Road is at 20% while Outfield is probably at 20-30%. Personally, I'd believe it was actually 20% based off perception and purpose. The difference I register is that Outfield has a stronger red tint. Functionally it works similarly to Road, and in essence is tuned to induce even higher levels of light/dark contrast and depth perception. Road retains a bit of violet/purple, which if I get my "optical logic" correct, maintains color perception better in comparison and reduces "washing out" reds in the environment. On the bike, Outfield feels at home. I wouldn't be surprised if some people found it better since we all have slightly varying color perception at the least.

    The Iridium coating on Outfield is less reflective but has more consistent color with less "fade" to yellow at the edges. It's pretty nice overall. Not only did I find favor the Pitch Cut because I had no clearance issues, but the straight look compliments the frame better imo.

    Oakley Radar EV Pitch Review - ev lock side.jpg
     
    Last edited: 6/15/15
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  2. OakleyFrankFMJ

    OakleyFrankFMJ The Legend - - Vlad the Impaler Premium Member Lifetime Member

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    Wow. :shock:

    That review is just amazing.


    I was impressed that I found only 1 error throughout the whole thing also. It's right after "unlike my Jawbreaker review"


    Great great review. :)
     
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  3. washi me sensie

    washi me sensie The Oakley Rōnin

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    Great review bro
     
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  4. flyer

    flyer Oakley Expert

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    Well done.
    As a cyclist, I appreciate your observations re: helmet fit.
    No one has addressed that in a review!
     
    Ventruck likes this.
  5. Rustpot

    Rustpot M Frame Lover Premium Member

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    Great thoughts!
     
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  6. thisguy

    thisguy Oakley Expert

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    Such a comprehensive review. Thank you for taking the time to type this out! I have been looking at purchasing a radar ev, the only thing stopping me is not trying them on before I buy. By the time I try it on though I might be able to customize a pair, hopefully.
     
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  7. MQPhung

    MQPhung Oakley Beginner

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    Very informative, good job and thanks!
     
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  8. OakleyFreak

    OakleyFreak RIP RoTors

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    Very Nice review
    Thanks
     
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  9. Ventruck

    Ventruck Oakley Expert

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    Thanks for the kind words everyone. Added a couple pics to show the added width on the lenses vs the Radarlock, and the narrower nose bridge setup. I'm hoping the fluo/retina rubbers from the jade pair are released separately.

    lol hopefully the edit I made was the right one

    I was poking around to see replacement lenses and was surprised that they're only $60 for Iridium lenses and up to $90 polar. I'm not sure if that's an error as I could've sworn it usually costs $120-30 for the Radar and Radarlock. This includes Fire, Black, and OO Red.

    If Chrome was released, I would've jumped on it. I'm generally not a polar guy otherwise.
     
    Last edited: 6/15/15
  10. OakleyFrankFMJ

    OakleyFrankFMJ The Legend - - Vlad the Impaler Premium Member Lifetime Member

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    • 1.4.3 Final, Final Thoughts
    It may look like Oakley toned down from their radical aesthetic, yet the original M-Frame really had little going on in that department save for paintjobs, and yet it became immensely popular, applicable, and imitated worldwide. If you make more out of less, it's more impressive from an engineering standpoint. Right now Oakley's signature shield pairs are by Mark Cavendish (Radarlock and now Jawbreaker). Spiffy sprinter and personality, but before that there was a much bigger name wearing the M-Frame — the name that first comes to mind for almost anyone when it comes to cycling: Lance Armstrong.

    Unlike my Jawbreaker review, I don't have a tl;dr of pros and cons





    highlighted it a little for you. :)
     
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