Wild new Oakley sunglasses spotted at Vuelta a España

Prototype single lens sunnies sported by Chris Froome and Sam Bennett over the weekend

Chris Froome

An unreleased set of Oakley sunglasses has been spotted at the Vuelta a España on the faces of Team Ineos Grenadiers’ Chris Froome and Deceuninck–Quick-Step’s Sam Bennett.

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Featuring a large, single lens design with a minimalist frame, the new pair is quite unlike anything else in the American company’s range.

Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett of Deceuninck–Quick-Step was also wearing the prototype shades.
David Ramos/Getty Images

The most striking characteristic is how the lens extends down and wraps around the nose.

This feature could be incorporated simply to extend coverage and prevent any frame material from intruding in a rider’s view, but, given the lens is so large, it’s similar to the visors found on time-trial helmets, so we might speculate that it could have a small aerodynamic benefit too.

After all, Oakley has dipped its toes into aero cycling kit previously, with a range of helmets released back in 2017.

Sam Bennett
The sunglasses have a large wraparound design, somewhat similar to the visors found on time-trial helmets.
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

That said, it’s entirely possible it’s just been done because it looks cool – big sunglasses have been one of 2020’s hottest cycling trends.

When can I buy them?

Official details are scant at this point. Oakley confirmed to BikeRadar that it is “a yet-to-be-released prototype model scheduled for release in early 2021”, but wasn’t able to share any further information.

Of course, if we’re able to glean any more information from Oakley or from spy-shots, we’ll be sure to update this article in the meantime.

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