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Let’s Compare: Oakley M2 vs M2 XL vs M Frame

By Kirsti Smouse

February 8, 2016

Let’s Compare: Oakley M2 vs M2 XL vs M Frame

By Kirsti Smouse

February 8, 2016

A Comparison of the Lenses for Oakley M2 and M Frame

The latest in the long-running M Frame dynasty, the M2 is a new take on the old style. When Oakley introduced the M2 in 2014, it made a surprising move — the M2 came with only one lens shape.

A hybrid of all 4 existing lens styles for the M Frame (Heater, Hybrid, Strike, and Sweep), the new M2 lens shape isn’t suited to everyone. Cyclists, in particular, expressed dissatisfaction with the M2, as the shorter lens style doesn’t provide enough coverage on downhills where whipping wind causes the eyes to tear up. In response to this feedback, Oakley introduced the XL lens for the M2 in the fall of 2015.

Following is a breakdown in the specs of these lenses and a comparison to the previous lenses for M Frame so you can get a better sense of what size lens might be optimal for you. Just to clarify, the frame itself — the M2, is one size. The standard lenses and the XL lenses are interchangeable within the M2s.

Specs for M2 Lenses

M2 lenses

While specs are helpful, it can be hard to visualize how those numbers translate to how the lenses sit on the face. Here are some front and profile pictures of how each style looks on an actual person.

M2 Standard

M2 front
M2 Side
lens comparison

M2 XL

M2 XL front
M2 XL side

M2 vs M Frame

The lenses for the M2s shouldn’t be installed in the M Frames — they’re wider. Although you may be able to squeeze them into the frame, it causes a few problems.

  1. It puts extra stress on both the frame and lens. This stress could cause the frames and lens to crack from the added tension.
  2. The extra pressure also causes the frame to stretch out over time, making for a loose fit if you decide to put in the original lenses again.
  3. It changes the wrap of the lens, which could cause distortion. The lenses were created with a specific base curve for optimal vision — if you install a lens that doesn’t technically fit, you’re messing with the optics.

Although you may be able to fit a pair of lenses for M Frames into the M2s, I wouldn’t recommend it. The fit is fairly loose, and any sort of impact will likely cause the lenses to pop out.

If you’ve had experience with M Frames and want to see how they stack up next to the M2s, here’s a guide for you.

lens comparison
lens comparison

You can find replacement lenses for M Frames here.

If you found this guide helpful or have any questions, please leave a comment below!

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    […] But, just to be sure, check out this blog post to verify which generation of M Frames you have. If you came here searching for information on the M2, go to this blog post instead. […]

  • Chris

    Thanks for the help! My old M frame hybrid and the replacement M2 XL are a perfect fit!

  • http://www.spencerpablophotography.com SPtheALIEN

    But do you guys have M2 XL lenses? If so, I can't find them (just the aero).

  • Aubrey Williams Svendsen

    Hello. I would assume that it won't work but can a M2 XL lens be used on the M2 frame?

  • Nahuel Menendez

    Hi. Can a M frame Strike lens be used on the M2 frame XL?

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