Tag Archives: bicycles

Oakley M Frame sunglasses – The review

I bought my Oakley M-Frames in 2002 – my first set of big-boy cycling glasses. Let me say upfront that this is a purchase that I have never for a moment regretted. They were expensive but they did the job brilliantly and with style.

But after about 15,000 km on the road they finally failed. The abrasion of lots of tiny dust particles over the years made the mirror finish a bit porous and hard to polish. More importantly the lenses has lost a bit of their coating at the edges and no longer provided a friction fit with the frames. After they fell out on a bumpy road I decided it was time for action. (BTW, this paragraph is a classic example of a #firstworldproblem!)

Photo of Oakley M-Frame
Oakley M-Frame

First a bit about Oakley M-Frames. They were one of the top sunglass models at the time. Like all the competitors they offered outstanding clarity and excellent UV protection, but their key feature was that they had no hinges and did not fold. That allowed the carefully calibrated “Unobtanium” frame to stick to the head like glue without any sensation of pressure. And in 15,000 road km (plus a fair number of lumpy off-road trips) they never once even suggested that they might fall off.

Moreover Oakley was the choice of Lance, and Lance was the greatest cyclist of his era. (And he still is, but that’s a subject for another post).

So that’s why I bought the Oakleys. And now faced with replacing them I looked at the options and decided that I had no reason not to stick with such a well-designed product. I was all set to drop £180 on the latest M2 model but the nice folks at the Oakley shop in Covent Garden mentioned that they could replace the lenses of my 13 year-old no-longer-being-made glasses for a much more reasonable price.

Top quality and outstanding customer service – I think when/if these ones wear out I will be making a bee-line back to my Oakley dealer. Highly recommended.

Photo of Oakley sunglasses.
Oakley war-face. It strikes me that I really do look a lot like my brother!


Keywords: Oakley sunglasses, Oakley M Frame

Road cycling – In order to go faster you have to go faster

Cycling and the importance of speed training

Riding long distances at moderate speeds is a good way to build up a base, but if you want to ride fast you have to push yourself. Racers do this in a structured way using tempo and interval training, but if you’re a recreational rider you can just build speed training into your normal rides.

  • A few ideas: If you see a rider ahead of you in the distance, make a hard effort to chase him or her down.
  • On one of your normal cycling routes, find a section of 10 or 15 km that starts after you have had a chance to warm up well. A loop is ideal. Zero out your computer and then ride hard with a target in mind – e.g. maintaining an average speed of 30 kph. Check the computer at the end of the section and note how fast you went. Once you can do this without blowing up adjust your target upwards by 1 kph.
  • Pick a target speed for specific points on your regular routes. No matter how tired I was I always tried to hit 30 kph at the top of the short hill leading past the Woodsman Pub in Fernham.
  • Put in a few sprint efforts during a ride. Telephone poles work well for this. While riding at a normal pace, pick a telephone pole in the distance. When you get to it sprint all out to the next pole, then spin easily for a bit before speeding up to your cruise pace. Repeat as necessary.
  • Best of all, ride with a group where you have to push fairly hard to keep up. (Make sure you can find your way home if you get dropped!)

One last point. Don’t do hard efforts every day. Speed training takes a lot out of you. If you don’t rest sufficiently between hard days you will end up going slower and be grumpy to boot!