Bike shops may be selling fewer pairs of Oakley shades but the brand is expanding its ophthalmic offering. Many cyclists - well, just Chipps, really - wear Oakley prescription glasses...

Oakley expands prescription eyewear line

Oakley, Inc. has today announced three new collections that will expand its line of ophthalmic eyewear frames.

Two of the new designs are made of O Metal, an alloy developed by Oakley for ultra-thin ophthalmic frames. Oakley has also launched a new quick-release lens system. Thissystem will enable eye care professionals to assemble instant samples for customers, combining four different frame designs in the complete ophthalmic frame collection with 17 different lens configurations.

"These latest innovations allow us to compete much more aggressively in the prescription eyewear channel," said Oakley’s Chief Operating Officer, Link Newcomb.

The properties of the new O Metal alloy allow Oakley to make frames 80 percent thinner than those produced with the company’s C-5 alloy. For an adaptable fit, the new alloy offers substantially more flexibility than conventional metal frames while maintaining the durability synonymous with Oakley eyewear, said a statement from the company.

Available in three distinct lens geometries, Oakley’s new ophthalmic ThreadO Metal frame has a rimmed lens configuration and is made of the company’s proprietary O Metal.

Oakley’s Split Thread frame is a rimless design composed of O Metal, making it one of the lightest eyewear inventions ever developed by the company. To attach the frame components to the lenses, Oakley developed a rimless mounting technology that ensures a secure mount.

On the Oakley wearing front, Chipps said:

"I used to be a big fan of their prescription glasses, wearing Frogskins and later Straitjackets. However, I’ve worn Smith’s for the last three years because Oakley no longer make my prescription.

"I’m long sighted,+3.25 and Oakley now only do up to +3.0 – though they go down to -10 for nearsighted wearers – so, unless you’re Alex Zulle, you’re not going to get glasses from Oakley if you’re outside the bell curve of the population.

"I don’t think that Smith go to +3.50 either, but they’re easier to get glazed by opticians because they don’t have proprietary lens profiles that I think Oakley have."

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