Finally in 2014 we have the next generation. Seeing as it's been 15 years since the introduction of the New M Frame I suppose it was time for an overhaul. Personally I was hoping for the 2.0/3.0 to be the inspiration for the M2, but design cues are noticeably shared with Oakley's other sports releases of the last few years such as the Radarlock, Half Jacket 2.0, and Fast Jacket.
The biggest change is the most noticeable - the lens shape is all new. The M2 has been released with a single lens shape. The look of it may seem a bit funky, but I must admit it is extremely functional. I have a large face and traditionally wear M Frame Heater and Strike lenses almost exclusively. The M2 lens isn't quite as big as I'd prefer, but it doesn't leave large gaps in coverage like the smaller M Frame lenses, or the Path lens from the Radar line.
Overall size I'd say is similar to a second generation Hybrid from the M Frame line. The M2 is front and center, with a Hybrid and Hybrid S flanking. The rear row are Slash, Strike, and Heater lenses. It certainly doesn't have the panache of the Heater, or the attitude of the Strike. View attachment 12384
Another immediate difference is that the M2 is a smaller pair. The frame is thinner and the stems are shorter, akin to removing the hammer fangs from an M Frame. The hammer of the stem is also less defined. The wing is redesigned and is interchangeable, hinting at possible future modifications, straight stems, or other possibilities. View attachment 12385
A curious design note is a ridge on the inside of the frame in the center above the nose. I tried fitting the Helo Kit, which attaches to the New, 2.0, and 3.0 frame, but was unsuccessful. It does seem this could be used for a future wind gasket, or other attachment. View attachment 12386 View attachment 12387
The Helo kit profile fits the lens, and it can technically be used, but the top of the Helo's orbital interferes with the brow of the M2. View attachment 12388
M Frame lenses ARE forward compatible. Previous lenses fit with little fussing. There is sufficient tension to hold the lens, but I'm not sure about how it might stand up to serious performance or impact. View attachment 12391 View attachment 12392
The frame's flexibility can likely be pointed at as the cause of the lens interchangeability. The lens channel is traditionally the stiffest portion of an M Frame frame, with minimal flex required to fit and tension a lens. The M2 requires significantly more frame manipulation to fit its native lens. This is a new frame and may be stiff yet (which sounds funny because it's quite flexible), but lens changes are somewhat cumbersome in comparison to the M Frame, but the method is identical and learning how the change the M2 will come with time. Hopefully a wide range of M2 lenses are offered in the future, one of the big draws of the M Frame has been its wide array of lens options.
Staying on the lens topic, I will note that using the Heater and Slash lenses in the M2 felt quite awkward. I haven't tried to figure out why, it's just not something I'd plan on doing. Hybrid and Strike lenses were much less offensive.
Hello from Greece!
Very informative review indeed! I would like to ask you if I can fit an m frame 2.0 or 3.0 ballistic lens on my m2 frames since you posted a photo of strike lenses with the m2 frame.
Keep up the good work!
Fantastic post, thank you for putting it together. I don't know if anyone pointed this out in the previous comments but the first generation of Oakley SI Ballistic M frame glasses is missing from the guide, also commonly referred to as the Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 1.0 ... that's why Oakley then went on to name the successor as 2.0
What I'm trying to find out is when they were first released, if anybody knows?
Here are my Ballistic M Framr Alpha 1.0 honestly I like the way this frame holds the lense and like the straight across on top instead of that newer thicker piece in the middle, I just think they look more distinguished, thays not to say I wouldn't like the 2.0 or the 3.0 but I dont on them yet so staying open minded