Half-rim sunglasses comparison: Oakley Radarlock (Path) vs Tifosi Logic
*Updated with slightly clearer pics, and the obvious look-through I never captured. Some proofreading although I'll admit I'm not the best writer.
With a bit of spare time I'm making another review on eyewear. Maybe you've seen my previous review/comparison between the Rudy Project Hypermask Performance and Smith Pivlock V90 Max - both of which I still own.
Rudy Project Hypermask Performance Review.
I've been keen to make this comparison as both glasses are half-rimmed but on opposite ends of the price spectrum.
I'll go as far as admitting I've been dismissive of Oakley stuff early on when I had the Tifosi's since they seem so cliche and cost so much more. I bought the Logic's in the first place actually because of a previous thread that complained about the unreliable nosepiece, but seeing the promotional picture was so awesome - really wanted these because of the price and aesthetics. They were my first "fancy" pair of cycling eyewear.
Tifosi Logic seen with "Smoke with Red Glare Guard" lenses. The Crystal Smoke frame is no longer in production but could probably be found NOS on eBay, etc. I still think these are of the coolest looking frames ever. Has adjustable nose and earpieces, and vented lenses at an incredible pricepoint.
I actually had an itch for some Oakley Radars last year as I wanted to know what the hype was all about, but I ended up with Rudy Project Hypermasks over the holidays instead. Found a good price recently and I got a RadarLock pair in my hands. I always was aware of the high praise for Oakley's lens quality as well as seen their demonstration video, which had me interested in "premium" eyewear in the first place. Maybe I'll never deal with such scenarios, but I wouldn't dare be caught unprepared. Since I particularly had the newest iteration of the Radar, this review would seem more relevant for eyewear shoppers.
Updated:Oakley RadarLock Path with vented Positive Red Lenses. Since last November I came to a more preferred setup
I've become quite the advocate for half-rimmed glasses. Before I was leaning to a completely rimless stance, but the continuous hassle of wiping off eyebrow smudge marks on my Smith Pivlocks. My Rudy Project Hypermask performances were an exception with the "Brow Interface" attachment. Still half-rimmed glasses offer just as much visual range, and have the ideal interface to prevent smudging, so onto it...
Sizing comparison and fit:
The Tifosi Logics are listed at 132mm on the lenses and overall 143mm wide frames. With a caliper that frame measurement seems to be based on the outer sides. Inside (which I figure to be the more practical reference) appeared to be 135mm. As far as I know, Oakley doesn't put out dimensions about their glasses. My RadarLock Path measurements had the lenses at 130mm before they flare at the bottoms and 140mm for inner frame width. My face can work with both over the helmet straps.
Notable feature about the Logic is that both the nose and ears are adjustable, while neither can be adjusted on the Oakley's. That can irk the consumer at first glance, because at retail the Oakley's are three times that of the Tifosi's. However, the ears of the RadarLock close in more dramatically than the Logic does without adjustment. As you see in the overhead view pic, I did adjust the Logic earpieces inward. Fit snugly for me, who wears a 57cm helmet. Emulates that tight 3-point fit the RadarLock's have.
RadarLock nosepiece, which imo has a nice rubber. UPDATE: over time I found that I never needed the narrower nosepiece since the frame holds tight enough and lets me have the lens as close as possible
Logic nosepiece. Note how much I've taken advantage of it with how narrow it's set in comparison
On the note of wider faces, there is a noticeable tolerance at the frame/lens interface of the RadarLock. Tthis is a feature also found on the Jawbone (and I guess previous Radars).There's allowance for the frame to flex without flexing the lenses themselves, therefore maintaining optimal, optical clarity. Tifosi's answer to wider faces would be the Logic XL variant, which is essentially the same design but wider. And from what I understand, the XL lenses are not compatible with the standard Logic. Both the lens and frame widths are different. The Radarlock has the opposite: smaller "straight stem" as well as "Asian fit" offerings, but there also exists multiple lens shapes, including an XL size - all of which fit the same frame.
A notable difference in fit at this point is how far the lenses are from the face. The Tifosis sit pretty far in comparison to the Oakleys, which is seemingly dictated by the lens angle. It never actually became an issue in practice as far as wind and light exposure goes. Just feels a bit silly at first.
The Tifosi Logic has a swapping mechanism very similar to the original Oakley Radar, but without moving the nosepiece. In practice I found it a bit crude. All 3 of my included lenses have some dumb scratch on the inside, which nonetheless is hidden behind the nosepiece section of the frame. Removal is a bit fiddly, and you really want a firm hold to keep from having a violent motion. There is that bit of fear of breaking something.
With the RadarLock adopting Switchlock technology, I actually was still left a bit unimpressed. It's a smoother experience than the Logic, but not really butter like the Oakley Jawbones. The switch mechanism itself is perfectly fine. It's the lens movement that's a bit rough and ends up leaving a fair share of fingerprints anyway. It does get easier with practice, though - don't get me wrong, I really like the system over the Logic.
A design cue I like about the Oakley's is that the ear ends aren't rubber, so sliding the glasses on is smooth without any snagging. The Tifosi's dont have this finish, but the rubber ends are a bit hard to the touch, and slide easily enough for me.
With a higher pricetag would presumably come a better finish. Interestingly, the frame seams are decently noticeable on the RadarLocks while they're surprisingly non-existent on the Logics, but this might just be due to the matte vs gloss finish. My matte Smith Pivlock reveals seams while my Rudy Project Hypermask hides them strategically.
Another thing about the RadarLocks I'd point out is that the side without the SwitchLock mech has the cuts (and I guess separate pieces) as if Oakley tried to make things look both sides look identical for style's sake. Some may appreciate that as attention to detail, I would've preferred they didn't do that - similar to how Lamborghini didn't bother with one of the Mucielago's right side vents and closed it off because frankly there was no oil cooler to cater to.
When I first had the Logics, they would creak, but now (err, nearly 2 years since purchase) they're silent. The RadarLocks are silent off the bat. The open and closure of the arms are a smooth but positive motion - in fact I consider them a step up in such a regard over all my other glasses as they're spring loaded hinges. There's no feel for friction as you open the arms up. It's not the deal breaker, but it's a nice measure of perceivable quality.
The arms nicely sculpted, with flowing lines going about the logo.
Flowing and most importantly functional, but simple in comparison to the RadarLock arms. But like I said before, I highly regard the Logic aesthetics
Both glasses fit snug with hardly any need to scoot up. The clarity between lenses is very comparable. The Oakley lenses seem to have a bit more give/flex, although Tifosi claims their lenses can take blows of a hammer unscathed.. Regardless, both brands meet ANSI Z87.1 impact standards, so there's a strong degree of confidence that should come with wearing either of them.
Fogging with either lens is a non-issue, as well as smudging. I don't have a scale but the Oakleys feel heavier in the hands. Hardly matters on the face though.I'd make a more direct comparison of the contrast lenses if I had VR28 lenses, which are not available for the RadarLock Paths atm.
**One update to this review is I finally have more comparable lenses. With the Tifosi Logic I have the "Smoke with Red Glare Guard" lens (15.4%), and with the RadarLock I now have "Positive Red Iridium" (15%). Both are meant for sunny days, both have that reflective coating to tune contrast and cut glare, and both have a red aesthetic. Oakley makes their case on their website about how much better their clarity is over other brands, but as far as my iPhone can capture below, the Tifosi's do well. I've been impressed with my first look-through of the Radarlocks, but I never thought the Tifosi's came up short in any way.
Look-through of the Tifosi Logic's "Smoke with Red Glare Guard". That blue tint is real, and overtime I've found it a bit much, provoking headaches late in some rides. It would be great if Tifosi added "Smoke with Blue Glare Guard". I've tried those with their Dolomite frame and they got a more neutral tint.
Oakley RadarLock's "Positive Red Iridium" Does seem a bit clearer, but maybe it was inconsistent photography. Neither picture had a filter or edit applied.
As far as comfort goes they're both great. No irritation at the ears. The RadarLock does seem to have a bit more give, but it made no difference to me. Can wear either all day.
For what it's worth, I can stuff my face well into a sandwich with either pair and come up with no stains.
Took me quite a while before I ended up with Oakleys and make what I expected to be a strong comparison. The last thing I'll take account of is pricing + package. The Tifosi Logic starts at $60, and includes an AC Red and clear lens along with whatever primary lens comes with the frame. I counted 8 variants of the standard model atm, and 4 variants of the XL. The Fototec (Photochromic) version of the Logic/XL is priced at $70. Lenses start at $20. Also to note is the Tifosi Altar, that has the same fundamental shape as the Logic, but with a smaller lens shape. I've seen these advertised as a "women's pair", although the frame width is listed the same as the Logic. Crystal Purple color looks pretty cool.
Tifosi's website says the Altar has adjustable ear pieces, but it doesn't look like it. I don't recall a video demonstrating that function. Still has the same lens swapping setup like the Logic
The RadarLock comes in 4 non-polarized variants, 4 polarized variants, "Straight stem" and "Asian Fit" offerings, and some Photochromic modesl. There is also Oakley's custom option for a mess of combinations, and various lens shapes. The starts at $220 for the non-polarized model with a secondary Persimmon or Gray lens. Photochromic and polarized models are $300, with the latter supplied with an extra lens with varies with model. Custom models start at $240. Lenses start at $65, with various trims and sizes.
Bottom line price comparison shows you'd be paying 3-4 times as much with the Oakleys. Is it justified? In the realist sense, the Tifosi's don't have any inferiority, have remarkable quality, and even come with more adjustable features. You really don't need to spend further if they fit. So why spend on the more expensive Rudy Projects and Oakley's? Is it just snob factor? To be honest it's a real tough question to answer despite owning such pairs...
As listed just earlier, the RadarLocks have much wider selection for lenses, sizes, and general customization. On that last point, most you can do with the Logics is buy white and silver nosepads and ear pieces. Odds are, though, between the Logic and the XL offerings you could find something that will be enough, especially on a functional standpoint.
Part of the pricetag some with where these glasses were made. Tifosis clearly list themselves "Made in Taiwan" while the Oakleys were made in the USA (though this may no longer be the case). Hard truth is that "premium" has always existed: production costs and the ever increasing exclusivity of not having something made in Asia - not that it's a bad thing, many great quality cycling products come from there.
Lastly, there's R&D. Oakley has been around. Been pro sports - particularly cycling - and developed their products closely with pro cyclists, with prototype models being spied on some riders' faces before release. Maybe it's a matter of media coverage, but I've never seen a spyshot/leak of other brands' prototypes. Usually everything seen on such riders' faces have already been released in the public. And I don't know any pro-team using Tifosi eyewear.
That's not to say Tifosi has zero know-how. They're quickly growing. Their site used to point out a statistic saying they were top in increased sales or something. Reviewers get their hands on pairs more often.
So in all, don't snub the guy with his "low end" Tifosi's, as well as don't scoff at guy who "has too much money" with his Oakley's. The Logic and RadarLock are both superb imo. If you can afford it, the Oakleys do come with that slightly more refined feel and more selection. But if the price isn't right, then there's nothing wrong with the Tifosi's. They are by no means "poor man's" eyewear.
With the update of this review, it's become apparent that I got a second RadarLock setup. It's mostly due to circumstance (deals) and pursuing the exact colors wanted as I originally bought a display model where I had no say in such regard. Would I get a second set of Logic's? If there was a Blue Glare option perhaps. As it is I'm trying to avoid the idea I'm actually "collecting" eyewear.
Last edited by Ventruck; 05-11-2013 at 06:59 PM.
Excellent review, thanks.
My eye doc though not Oakley affiliated has given them high praise on lens quality. I have a handful of Oakley sun glasses.
I just got my first pair of Oakleys, found the jawbones for 50% off. I never understood the hype until I got my hands on a pair. I would never buy them at full price though.
Really good point about paying full price. My RadarLocks came at less than half retail (and yes they're real, in fact I don't know of a imitation pair in existence yet - ha).
Originally Posted by Sean.B
One part about thinking in retrospect is there's the matter actually getting a feel for them before purchase. I'm not knowledgeable about Oakley (or Rudy Project for that matter) offering trial uses before committing to a purchase. I can't blame anyone for turning away fast because they never get to have a thorough impression beyond what they felt in the store. Purchasing my discounted pair was still considered a blind risk imo.
But with having the opportunity to put them into longer use - and accounting for my experience with other glasses - I personally would go back and save up some more pennies and take up custom RadarLocks, which imo gets the most out of the investment. In the process I'd surely parting with one of my current pairs. Don't want to sound like a shill, but I personally am most confident about "doing it all over again" about my RadarLocks over the other pricey (at retail) sunglasses I own.
Same story for the Tifosi's; I'll go for another Logic pair without hesitation if mine breaks since they're at a much lower pricepoint.
Last edited by Ventruck; 11-12-2012 at 11:46 AM.
I have had numerous pairs of Oakleys through the years. Wore the religiously since high school. Last year I bought a pair of Revo glasses. That was the first time I realized how much more hype than substance Oakley glasses are. I will not buy another pair. The Revos are far more comfortable and the optics far superior. They are pricey as well so are used as my good glasses.
Since then I have bought 2 pair of Tifosi. One is dark polarized Photochromic for daytime outdoor activities. Other pair is clear to tinted.Photochromic for dark riding and other early morning or cloudy activities. Both pair are far better than my Oakleys. They are more comfortable, vented, comparable optics at least, and far cheaper. They even come with a case which Oakley charges extra for. I would buy Tifosi over Oakley any day of the week.
Specialized Allez Comp Apex- '12 56cm
Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro- '12 56cm
There's a very good eye doc who posts about various ski goggles and sunglasses on the Brking Bear forums.
His top two for sunglasses are Maui Jim and Smith Optics. He said Oakley is mostly marketing hype, and Revo has really gone downhill since they were bought by one of the big conglomerates.
I am a long-time Oakley faithful, and I agree that there may be some 'premium-ness' going on. However, Oakley is now able to be sold by all retailers with varying prices. Amazon has most of the Oakley models, with the 2 or 3 most common color/lenses at about 30% off retail. (ex: Flak Jackets are about $110, compared to ~$150 retail). To me, that brings the prices much more reasonable.
Actually Revo Rayban and Oakley are owned by the same company. However Oakley still maintains its original plant in USA. Oakley Radar and Radar lock are almost identical only slight differences and the radar lock is SO much easier to change lenses. You gotta try this lens color for cycling. Oakley Polarized Radarlock Path Sunglasses available at the online Oakley store Matte Black Ink/OO Red Iridium Polarized & comes with a Clear Vented lens also. This is my newest pair and the new color lens really does work as it was designed with Road cycling in mind. Great polarized lens that seems to never be to dark even on shaded roads. I actually sell all the brands mentioned in previous post. Oakley also just released a cycling specific progressive Rx sun lenses. What other company cares about cycling? Rudy projects are also a nice pair for cycling. Maui Jim does make great lenses they are just to dark for road cycling mainly designed for water sports. I still stick with Oakley they are light and durable and support cycling! my 2 cents
Curious to try out the OO Red Iridium Polarized as I typically use red lenses for riding. Very pricey option though (literally more than I paid for my pair). Part of why I got the deal on my RadarLocks is because of the limited selection.
Originally Posted by Optiwizard
I used the Positive Red Iridium on some Half Jackets this summer. They were a good neutral tint, not too dark (18%). Enjoyed them. I think the OO Red are similar. I did an Oakley research study where they were going to market the OO Red as 'Driving', which makes sense that they are good for cycling.
Also used G30 (golf specific) for riding, especially in the dawn/dusk. The rose base really makes things pop while riding. And spectacular on the golf course.
Just sold off my Half Jackets and lenses, looking to go Flak Jackets next. Needed a change.
I must a few flak jackets that I would be willing to let go cheap! Mainly as I like my radars that much more.
Last edited by Optiwizard; 11-16-2012 at 03:39 AM.
updated the OP a fair bit. Original pics were too dark and half a year later I ended up with a new RadarLock setup. Added some details - most significantly the look-through pics.
Conclusion is still the same. You can't go wrong with either and just take what fits your budget best. I kinda want to try the newer Tifosi Altar which has the same fundamental design with what I'm guessing to be some refinements. Lens might be smaller as I've seen the glasses marketed for women.