On show: Interbike 2009 Part 17

Oakley debuts stunning C SIX plus other new glasses and watches

Highlighting the Oakley booth at this year's Interbike show was its outrageous new C SIX - a US$4,500 pair of sunglasses with a carbon fibre frame CNC-machined from a single chunk of composite.

Adding further to the spectacle was the fact that the display set was locked inside a glass enclosure with a giant steel chain and padlock and that they were Lance Armstrong's personal pair - still stained with the Texan's sweat (Oakley eyewear brand manager Andy McSorley says they are accompanied full-time with a note that says 'DO NOT CLEAN!').

Materials engineers will undoubtedly scoff at how Oakley has totally ignored the proper way to ideally use carbon fibre as a structural material for its Elite line flagship but the way the diamond-tipped cutting bits slice across the fibres is what gives the C SIX its distinctive look.

Paper-thin titanium hinge assemblies keep up the high-tech look and feel too, and also lend the temples a degree of flexibility.

Naturally, the lenses utilise Oakley's panoply of optical technology, including XYZ lens geometry, Iridium coatings, and hydrophobic/oleophobic surface treatments. If this is all just too over the top (and too expensive!), there's the slightly less outrageous C SIX Aluminum version at US$1,500.

A more affordable Elite line option - though still US$595 a pair - is the Pit Boss, a slightly more conventional design using Oakley's O Matter moulded frame.

Styling is reminiscent of other options in the Oakley family like Monster Dog and Straight Jacket but Pit Boss does them one better with its specially shaped titanium outer plates, which are perfectly contoured to match the rest of the frame and bolted in place.

Thankfully there are plenty of other developments from Oakley for 2010 that are more in the range of mere mortals: the squared-off Gascan has been updated to form the new Fuel Cell, Jawbone is now available in Oakley's custom program for a near-endless array of colour combinations, and there are three new women's models on tap. Rounding things out are additions to the company's timepiece, clothing, and footwear divisions.

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