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Model Focus – Oakley – Merlin Cycles Weblog

Created by Jim Jannard in 1975, Oakley wasn’t initially concerned in eyewear. He invested a complete of $300 to create the corporate, named after his canine Oakley Anne, from his storage. Jim started by making handlebar grips for motocross bikes, which he bought from the again of his automobile at motocross occasions. They had been created from a fabric he had created and patented himself referred to as ‘Unobtanium’.By 1980, after 5 profitable years of making numerous motocross merchandise, Oakley expanded into manufacturing BMX, motorbike and ski goggles. Sun shades adopted in 1983. Oakley used Unobtanium for all ear socks on the glasses.

Fast Growth

Throughout 1984 was when Oakley and biking related, thanks in no small half to the legendary rider Greg Lemond. Lemond had bough a pair of eyeshades, beloved them and contacted Jim to get some spare lenses for the Tour De France. 1985 noticed Lemond and Australian rider, Phil Anderson being the primary Oakley sponsored athletes (Along with their common crew sponsors). By 1987 a lot of the peleton had been using Oakley sun shades.


Throughout this period it’s truthful to say Oakley didn’t have issues all their very own method. Rivals resembling Briko, Rudy Venture and even French model Look, all had a go at taking a few of Oakley’s market share. A mix of superior optics, sturdy supplies and nice design ensured Oakley would stay the glasses most riders wished.

How A lot?

By 1995, Oakley was value $820 million and have become a public restricted firm, and Jannard grew to become the second richest member of the Orange County. In 2007, Italian group Luxottica merged with Oakley for a complete deal of $2.1 billion.Shifting into attire and helmets has helped the model break new floor and broaden its viewers. The broader vary of merchandise has additionally enabled Oakley long run customers and followers to speculate additional within the model, and revel in prime quality, nicely designed merchandise.

All through its historical past, Oakley has collaborated with Fox Racing. The 2 corporations joined collectively to donate specially-tinted sun shades to guard the 33 trapped Chilean miners eyes’ upon their rescue after 3 weeks underground in 2010.

oakley 1991 advert greg lemond

Greg Lemond / Oakley pictures courtesy of – Many Thanks

Since then Oakley have continued to innovate and create a few of the most recognisable and desired sun shades not only for biking however a wealth of sports activities, sporting superstars and even navy use.

There’s additionally a full informal and technical clothes line for a variety of sports activities, footwear, baggage and watches.

Highlights within the Oakley biking glasses vary through the years…

1984 – Manufacturing facility Pilot Eyeshade

Oakley Eyeshade advert greg lemond

These had been the primary sun shades produced by Oakley and those that launched them into the large time. The Manufacturing facility Pilot Eyeshade was launched in 1984 and revolutionised the biking sun shades market. These new light-weight impact-resistant thermoplastic glasses had been a significant change from the standard Ray Ban Aviators most cyclists used on the time.

They had been so completely different from anything on the time and immediately grew to become a success.

1985 – Frogskins

Oakley Frogskins advert

These had been the informal sunnies from Oakley and had been widespread with surfers and skaters attributable to their old fashioned form however with fashionable colors.

They had been re-released just a few years in the past in much more color methods and barely completely different shapes.

1986 – Razor Blade

Oakley razor blade advert greg lemond

These had been the second biking particular glasses from Oakley and for those who had these you had been even cooler than the children with Eyeshades. Introduced again just a few years in the past and made me want I’d by no means bought my white ones.

Oakleys Blades

The Blade got here out quickly after which had a barely larger lens and straight arms.

The Blades had been my first pair of Oakley’s and I keep in mind saving for ages then deliberating on which color to get. They needed to be Iridium lenses and this was the most well-liked color method on the time.

1990 – M Body

Oakleys M frame old

Most likely probably the most iconic Oakley sun shades and possibly the largest vendor as they’ve been produced for 25 years.

They made altering lenses a doddle and because the body was normal you would put any M Body lens type or tint you wished in just a few seconds. The unique variations like these pictured had sq. formed arms with hinges. The subsequent model was a one piece forehead/arm however these days they’ve gone again to the hinged model.

Additionally permitted to be used with the US navy(!)

Oakleys razor lens

These had been the M Frames made well-known by LeMond on the 1990 Tour de France. They felt like they channelled extra air into your eyes than deflected.

1993 – Zero

Ooakley Zero old

I completely beloved these glasses; they weighed next-to-nothing, offered nice protection and had a specific amount of favor.

1998 – Racing Jacket

Oakley racing jackets 1998

One rider is synonymous with these sun shades and that’s Geraint Thomas. He has all the time worn the white ones since 2010.

The one piece body and arms took a little bit of getting used to however gave good safety for the attention. They by no means had been as well-liked because the M Body although.

2001 – Over The Tops

Oakley Over The Top 2001

Don’t know what Oakley was pondering with these however they actually received individuals speaking.

David Millar wore a pair below his time trial helmet within the Tour de France in his notorious Cofidis period.

2007 – Radar

oakley radar

The radar was the brand new model of the M Body and have become the M Body for the 2000’s period of cyclists. These are glorious glasses and possibly the one ones to come back near the enduring M Body.

2009 – Jawbone

Oakley Jawbone

These created fairly a stir after they first got here out as they had been a full body around the lens. Nevertheless, the ingenious hinge allowed simple lens modifications, one thing which wasn’t accessible on the Radars.

Mark Cavendish was the poster boy for these and received fairly just a few Tour de France phases in addition to many different races in these giving them plenty of publicity.

These have now been up to date and given a brand new title – ‘Heritage Racing jacket’ in homage to the ’98 mannequin.

2012 – Radar Lock

oakley radar lock

The one draw back with Radars is that you would be able to’t change lenses; I’ve seen some individuals do it however not satisfied.

Fortunately Oakley got here up with the Radar-Lock which makes use of a small inconspicuous hinge on the body to permit a lot simpler lens altering however retains the basic Radar styling in up to date colors.

2015 Jawbreaker

Launched in 2015, the Jawbreaker was one other iconic mannequin. The putting design was launched together with Mark Cavendish. They grew to become an prompt basic with an intensive vary of shade and lens choices to go well with all tastes.


Whereas barely paying homage to the unique Blade, the EVZERO blade is a putting fashionable rim-less design. Impressed by streetwear tradition and international influencers.

See the complete present vary of Oakley merchandise right here;



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