The Tour de France gets underway soon and eyewear manufacturer Oakley have released a signature collection to celebrate the Grand Tour.
The range includes special edition Eyeshade, Racing Jacket and Radarlock glasses. Each shares the same white frame with the yellow, green and polka dot classification jerseys represented with a small stripe across the frame.
Most interesting is perhaps the Eyeshade. First launched in 1984, this was the company’s first sports-specific eyewear and was made famous by Greg LeMond, who first raced in them in 1985. Before then the majority of pro cyclists rarely wore sunglasses, but Oakley’s sponsorship of LeMond changed all that forever.
This video by Canadian Cycling Magazine sees LeMond retelling the story of how Oakley approached him to wear the Eyeshades, and how wearing sports glasses soon spread through the peloton.
If pros did wear sunglasses back in the day, it was most likely an aviator-style sunglasses. But you only need to look at archive photos to see that most didn’t wear any glasses at all. Now you’ll be hard-pressed to spot a pro in the bunch that isn’t wearing some sort of sports-specific eyewear. Oakley succeeded in convincing cyclists they needed eyewear. Add in helmets, and it's certainly harder to pick out cyclists in a bunch than it ever used to be.
Along with the reintroduction of the Eyeshade, Oakley have also released Tour de France editions of the more contemporary Racing Jacket (above) and Radarlock Path (below) glasses.
More at http://uk.oakley.com/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.