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Lance and Oakley(35 posts)

Lance and Oakleyfbg111
Aug 16, 2002 7:01 AM
I was looking at Oakley reviews on, and saw one review that said something interesting about Lance. It said that back when Lance was diagnosed with cancer, all his sponsors dropped him and no pro team would accept him. All except Oakley, who put him on their payroll and let him use their insurance to help pay his medical expenses. Anyone know anything about that? Is it true?
don't think nike dropped him either (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 16, 2002 7:03 AM
Yes, read his bookhycobob
Aug 16, 2002 7:04 AM
Its all there...
re: Lance and OakleyDave Hickey
Aug 16, 2002 7:05 AM
I'm not sure about the insurance but Oakley and Nike were the only two companies that stuck with Lance during his cancer.
The insurance bit is correct,TJeanloz
Aug 16, 2002 7:11 AM
Their policy was structured in such a way that they could take him on as an employee, and have their medical insurance cover his treatment, and that is what they did.
Not true.Len J
Aug 16, 2002 7:33 AM
Oakley, Nike & Giro were the only three that stuck with him. He is quoted in the book as saying, "As long as I ride, I'll be wearing a Giro helmet, Oakley sunglasses and whatever Nike wants me to wear."

Re Oakley, The president of Oakley threatened his health insurance carrier with losing their entire business if they didn't cover Lance's Health costs during his Cancer. Lance's Cancer was diagnosed in that period of time between leaving his old team & being covered on his new team. He was faced with having no Health coverage for the cost related to the cancer. When the President of Oakley heard this he told Lance not to worry, he would take care of this. Who says all capitalist CEO's are greedy & Cheaters?

Makes me want to go buy a new pair of Oakleys. Actually...jtferraro
Aug 16, 2002 7:56 AM
the Smith sunglasses I have right now always fog up on me from sweat. I bought them for only $55 on sale @Performance and chose them b/c they have changeable lenses and come w/yellow, orange, and grayish lenses. I belive the model is called the Slider. Can anybody recommend some nice new Oakleys that don't fog and are great for cycling? Do they make any multi-lens models?

Swapping on any M-frames is easy.brider
Aug 16, 2002 8:06 AM
The extra lenses don't come with the glasses, but they aren't all that expensive compared to the full package. I have the smoke and persimmon.

As for the fogging issue, it depends on how close they fit you. Mine fit very close all around (Pro-M's), so they do fog a bit. If I pull them away from my face a little, it allows enough airflow to defog without a wind drying my eyes out.
Oakley Pro M's or Rudy Project Graal FyolPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 16, 2002 8:12 AM
I'd recommend the Oakley Pro M's which Lance wears in the Tour. The only problem is they are one of those sunglasses that are really hard to look good off the bike.

If you want a pair of more casual glasses look into the Rudy Project Graayl Fyol. I used to have the Sliders and they drove me insane because they scratched up the lenses when changing. But with the new Rudy Projects they come with 3 sets of lenses and they pop in and out with no hassle, no scratches. Even Oakley doesn't come with extra lenses, they need to be purchased after.

Also if fogging is an issue let the sunglasses move a bit down the bridge of your nose so theres a space between your forehead and the top of your sunglasses. If that isn't there you can huff and puff all you want and they will fog up no matter what. I know from experience!

Thanks for the info guys! (nm)jtferraro
Aug 16, 2002 9:08 AM
Makes me want to go buy a new pair of Oakleys. Actually...fbg111
Aug 16, 2002 9:49 AM
Try the Wire series also. They sit a little further off the bridge of your nose than the M's, which helps prevent fogging. I've had Square Wires for the past three years and have used them both casually and for offshore sailboat racing. Now I'm using them for running and biking too. Fit great, excellent optics, no fogging, no sweat, no rust.
racing jackets are the best, imoyeah right
Aug 16, 2002 9:57 AM
be like Georgie!!!seyboro
Aug 16, 2002 6:18 PM
...and get some Racing Jackets. I love'em, especially the no-hinges frame and ventilation holes.
I, too, will wear Oakleys only and here's why: I dropped my glasses from the roof of the Jeep and drove over them. Sent the lenses (only slightly scratched) back to Oakley asking them to please fix them up with a new frame and send me the bill. They sent me a completely new pair. And since I'm an idiot, I made the same stoopid mistake twice (force of habit, what can I say?). Oakley came through again, and I didn't even ask. They stand behind their product and I will recommend them to anyone!!
greedy & cheaterscyclopathic
Aug 16, 2002 10:09 AM
it's like he made a bad investment: Lance for life ;)

Lance problem was that he had a pre-condition, not lack of insurance, and the law wasn't in effect then so his Cofidis carrier could and did not cover him. Oakley paid for it dearly when plan was renewed.
I'm sure they did.Len J
Aug 16, 2002 10:34 AM
Pay for it that is. I would bet that Oakley was basically self-insured and therefor not only paid for the claims, but paid in a higher attqachment point in the next renewal.

In terms of it being an investment, in hindsight it certainly was, however at the time it would be hard to argue that it was a good business decision based on the odds Lance had of surviving. Maybe I'm naive, but I think that Oakley's CEO was just "doing the right thing".

Call it what you will (Lack of insurance or disallowance due to a pre-existing condition), the result was the same, he would have had to pay for treatment out of his own pocket. He was already selling artwork and cars in order to come up with cash to pay his medical bills.

yeah it was "the right thing to do"cyclopathic
Aug 16, 2002 11:34 AM
at worse noone could ever bet that LA would survive or if he did he'd race ever again. Even less that he would ever win TdF. On other hand it is unclear how much they (or LA) knew at that point and how his chances were rated then.

Either way LA, his fans and US cycling in general should be thankful to Oakley for what they did.
yeah it was "the right thing to do"fbg111
Aug 16, 2002 11:42 AM
Well, I understand Lance's cancer started as testicular cancer, and had spread to his lungs and brain by the time he was diagnosed. I'm pretty sure that cancer in the lungs and brain doesn't have a high survival rate. I think the folks at Oakley, Nike, and Giro knew that, and knew that their chances of seeing any marketing return from that investment were slim to non-existant. But they helped him anyway.
The thing is how much does Oakley make a year???PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 16, 2002 11:57 AM
The CEO knew that and as such did the right thing which I respect him greatly for. But ultimately Oakley isn't losing that much profit because of it and with Lance's amazing comeback they are making even more.

How much does Oakley make a year?TJeanloz
Aug 16, 2002 12:31 PM
It's easy to find out:

Looks like about $50 million lately. In 1996 it was around $45 million.
My point exactlyPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 17, 2002 5:06 PM
For some good publicity at the time and doing the right thing at the time they didn't have anything to lose. Now they have an Olympic medalist/multiple Tour de France rider. What around comes around I guess. And it came around very good for them.

..not a risky investmentTypeOne
Aug 16, 2002 12:01 PM
I think the cancer had progressed so far and the chance of survival so low that Oakley, Nike and Giro - while doing the right thing - couldn't think they would have to cover much before LA died from the disease.
For whatever reason the CEO's had, I'm glad they did it.
Aug 16, 2002 9:17 PM
about testicular cancer and lungs, not sure about brain. I believe the insurance deal was done before he was diagnosed with brain tumors. From the time LA was diagnosed with brain cancer to the time surgery was done took around 24-48hr. Before that his chances were more or less reasonable.

To be objective with respect to marketing investment even in worse case scenario it was not a complete waste, companies spend more to improve their PR image. There's no doubt it wasn't the motivation.
Incorrect.Len J
Aug 17, 2002 1:07 PM
He started Chemo on a Tuesday & they detected the Brain Leisons the following Thursday, the following week He had Brain Surgery and began another start at Chemo, 5 days later the CEO from Oakley commited to Health Insurance. (From Lance's Book)
the right thing?mr_spin
Aug 16, 2002 2:19 PM
No offense, but I definitely wouldn't call it "the right thing." What Oakley did was "a good thing." It wasn't a moral choice of right over wrong.

The CEO liked Lance, so he bullied the insurance company into paying for Lance's care. I am thankful for what he did, but saying it is "the right thing" implies that there was an obligation of some kind. There wasn't.

Sometimes people do good things simply because they want to.
this is a quotecyclopathic
Aug 16, 2002 9:00 PM
from JFK speech it implied a moral obligation, obligation by choice.
You & I grew up in different worlds..........Len J
Aug 17, 2002 12:59 PM
if that is what you believe.

I believe that it is morally wrong to turn your back on someone in need. The "Obligation" is one to all humanity. So I repeat, The CEO from Oakley did the "right" thing, not just a good thing.

re: Lance and Oakleybigdeal
Aug 16, 2002 7:45 AM
Wow. That's all I can say. And that I'll stop wearing Pearl and/or Castelli and start wearing nike.
You can send your clothing to:PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Aug 16, 2002 8:14 AM
You can send your old Pearl and Castelli stuff to:

Nick Corcoran

hehe jk! Unless you do really want to get ride of it!

re: Lance and Oakleyfbg111
Aug 16, 2002 9:56 AM
Thanks all. I've always loved Oakleys for their excellent optics, and it's nice to know it's a company run by decent people. Next helmet I get will be a Giro, and I already have a closet full of Dri-fit. I'll check out Lance's book when I'm done with Zinn and Barnett and a few others.
Lance's BookDCP
Aug 16, 2002 10:28 AM
Lance's book is a good read. It's an interesting transition of Lance from someone who (if you believe him) was pretty difficult to like to someone who is very easy to admire. I somewhat wonder about his prior years. After all, if he were such a jerk, why who anyone stay with him like the president of Oakley? In any event, read the book.
Fake Oakleys!!!!empacher6seat
Aug 16, 2002 8:08 PM
Are where it's at!! At the beginning of summer I was walking around campus when I saw a sunglass vendor by one of the buildings. I picked myself up a pair of fake Oakley straight jackets for $10 Cdn. They are a tad heavy, but the lenses are just as good as my Nike's which cost $110, and they fit just as well! Plus, it's nice to have a cheap pair of shades I don't have to worry about getting scratched or something. I was suprised at how good a replication they were, too. I compared them to a friends real straight jackets, and it was extremely hard to tell the difference between them (besides weight, of course). However, a few days ago I was playing basketball with some friends. While we were taking a break, someone's shot bounced off the rim and smacked me in the face! My glasses fell off and broke into SIX DIFFERENT PIECES! I guess that's where the extra $250 is in the real Oakleys. It's nothing a little super glue can't fiz though =)
Fake Oakleys!!!!Rich_Racer
Aug 17, 2002 3:41 AM
You may feel like the lenses are just as good but you have no way of really knowing anything about the filters in them. Bad sunglasses are worse than no sunglasses at all because you open yours fully to the light which then frys your retinas because the UV/IR filters aren't there. And yes, Oakleys seem to be pretty much bullet proof too!
Fake Oakleys!!!!fbg111
Aug 17, 2002 4:38 AM
I lived in New York City for several years and saw plenty of fake Oakleys. I tried a few but could never find any with the optical quality of real Oakleys. I'm very picky about optics, and all the fake ones I've seen are inferior.
The difference is in optics,TJeanloz
Aug 17, 2002 8:24 AM
A team that I rode for, back when Oakley was big in sponsoring everybody, was given free Oakleys, which we used for a couple of seasons. After our deal with Oakley ended, we switched to another well-known cycling brand. It wasn't a night and day difference, but at the end of the year, we realized that we had broken a lot of these new sunglasses, which we had never done with Oakleys, and that after long days (6-7 hours on the bike) our eyes hurt a little bit- which we initially didn't think was strange (I mean, everything else hurt, why not our eyes?). But then when we switched back to Oakleys, it was obvious. The optics were so much better, the glasses were so much stronger. There is a reason that they are able to charge a premium price, above and beyond marketing. I have never used another sunglass that had the optical quality of Oakleys.
Aug 17, 2002 10:15 AM
Forgot to mention that the optics of other good brands, not just the cheap ripoffs, I've tried don't measure up either, imo. Vaurnet, Serengeti, Bolle, and Costa Del Mar - Oakley still tops them all.