Comparison of the Oakley M2, M2 XL, and M Frame
The M2 is the newest iteration of the venerable M Frame dynasty, and it brings a fresh perspective to a classic design. In an unexpected decision, Oakley only offered one lens shape for the M2 when it was first released in 2014.
The new M2 lens form combines elements of the Heater, Hybrid, Strike, and Sweep lens designs previously available for the M Frame, however it may not be the best hybrid for all wearers. Dissatisfaction with the M2 was voiced mostly by cyclists, who found that the shorter lens shape did not give enough protection from the wind, which may cause tears to form in the eyes, on downhills. In the autumn of 2015, in response to this comment, Oakley released the M2 with an XL lens.
Here we'll go through the technical specifications of these lenses and how they compare to the M Frame lenses that came before them so you can choose the best option for your needs. To be clear, there is just one size of the M2 frame. Lenses for the M2s may be switched between the regular and XL sizes.
Differentiating the M2 and M Frame
The M2 lenses are wider, thus they won't fit in the M Frames. Although it is possible to fit them within the frame, doing so creates a few issues.
- It's hard on the frame and the lens. The additional strain may cause the frames and lenses to break.
- Over time, the additional stress on the frame will make it difficult to insert the original lenses without them feeling too loose.
- Possible distortion results from a shift in the lens's wrapping around the glass. For the best possible vision, the lenses were designed with a certain base curve; if you install a lens that doesn't quite fit, you'll be compromising the optics.
You could try putting lenses meant for M Frames into the M2s, but they won't fit very well. In the event of a collision, the lenses are prone to fly out due to the loose fit.