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Week in Review–May 18th, 2014

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The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRainmaker.com posts this past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.

Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: The May Day Giveaway Results!
Wednesday: A look at Garmin’s new ANT+ Speed & Cadence magnet-less sensors
Friday: A Lisbon (Portugal) Week of Runarounds
Friday: 10-Day Sale: Garmin FR910XT down to $249, Suunto Ambit 2S down to $263

The Queue:

These are items that hit the queue over the past week or so:

Wahoo RPM: Dual ANT+/BLE Version

There’s other stuff in the queue of course, but these are ones that don’t have ‘First look’ posts elsewhere.

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) SRAM wireless electronic groupset analysis: James did a great job in detailing out what’s coming up from SRAM.  Pretty cool stuff.  It’ll be interesting to see what wireless protocol they’re using (ANT or Bluetooth Smart).  I’d be willing to bet it’ll be ANT (not ANT+) for a few reasons.  One is that the founder of Quarq is heavily versed in ANT+ and I’ve long had discussions with him about his thoughts on using the technology elsewhere on the bike.  Given that he’s now in a much more influential role in SRAM these days (after the Quarq acquisition), I’m betting we’ll see ANT being used.  Further, that would set them up for integration with head units down the road (like the Garmin Edge 1000, and Mio Cyclo 505).  Of course, right now competitor Shimano runs all private-ANT (for integration with the Edge/Mio units) and there isn’t yet an ANT+ public profile for shifting out there.  So unless the two companies are sharing (highly unlikely), then it’s going to be a bit of work duplication for a while.

That was followed up the next day with this video from GCN showing a bit more:

2) 3-Part Webinar Series: How to train with power: This webinar was put on by Hunter Allen (basically one of the top names in the power meter world).  You can watch all three segments above.

3) Google adds elevation profiles to bike routes: Very nice, and quite handy for not only bike routes, but also just runs too. (via Michael R.)

4) Watch this guy ride his bike completely parallel to the ground: Ok, that’s cool.  Full video at the link.

BikeSideways

5) First video from Shimano Action Cam: Interesting stuff. Though, more interesting is what’s not actually shown.  For example, any ANT+ data – which is one of the core selling points on this camera.  Whether the power meter, heart rate, speed, cadence, etc…. data was left off on purpose (rider/team competitive reasons), doesn’t work at all yet (beta), or just simply wasn’t connected would be worthwhile knowing.  I’ll definitely be looking to review the Shimano Action Cam down the line.  But at present, getting Shimano to answer an e-mail has proven impossible.  Thus, I’ve got no recommendations there until I’ve had one in my hands (I’m simple that way).  Nonetheless, enjoy the cool video:

6) Spinlister: A way to rent bikes from random people while travelling.  Very nice! (via reader Tom)

7) Jimmy Kimmel – What is Gluten: Love this.  I’m all for people eating (or not eating) anything you want.  Just…you know…be sure you know you’re doing what you’re doing.  Else, this:

8) Early morning NYC Central Park joggers get tickets: Ok then, noted.  Don’t run early in the morning in NYC next month. Check. (Via Competitor DC)

9) DOD Announces start of centimeter-accuracy GPS: Sweet, more accuracy is great for sport devices! (via Ira)

10) Kenyan runner’s dramatic finish. But is it an “insult” & “slavery”?  A good piece as usual from the Science of Sport Guys.  In reference to the video below:

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

Most of this content used to be found within the main section, but I figured I’d just call it out up here and make it easy to find. I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects. Note that as always with crowd funded projects, assume the project will be late and will under-deliver on features. Thus far, on the numerous products I’ve helped ‘fund’ (except a leather bike handle), that’s been the case.  And

There was a TON of stuff over the last two weeks.  Apparently everyone woke up from a winter slumber.  I’ve pared it down to the ones that I thought were most interesting.  Plus, I’ve got one more that I’ll feature on Tuesday (since I actually have the product during their campaign).

CLUG – cycle storage that’s like a hug… for your bike: This is cool, and, most importantly, appropriately cheap.  I ended up buying a four-set.  Sweetness. (Thanks to Peter H. for sending in)

Lumafit – Earpiece Fitness Tracker for Activities and Wellness.

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners is perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?

Site/Firmware Updates:

Adidas adds .CSV & .TCX File Export (already had .GPX): Woohoo, this is massive and great to see (screenshot below).  Further, on the Smart Run GPS it is now possible to customize your screens to include average pace and average speed.  Plus a whole bunch more tweaks at link above.

clip_image001

Garmin Express software update: A small list of bug fixes.

Garmin Edge 1000 Firmware Update: A small list of bug fixes.

Garmin Fenix1/D2/Tactix Beta Update: Improvements with mobile uploads.

Garmin Monterra Firmware Update: Umm…they were really busy.

Garmin Vivofit Firmware Update: Bug fixes and a few tweaks.

Sport Tracks adds GMail workout calendar publishing: Pretty cool little feature.

Training Peaks rolls out iOS app revamp: Ahh, much better. So.much.better.

iPhone Updates:

photo 1  photo 2

photo 3 photo 4

photo 5 photo 3

photo 4 photo 1

photo 3 photo 4

photo 5

iPad Updates:

photo

Android Updates:

Screenshot_2014-05-11-06-06-14 Screenshot_2014-05-11-06-06-23

Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-07-32 Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-07-42

Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-07-48 Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-08-20

Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-08-31 Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-08-57

Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-09-17 Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-09-40

Screenshot_2014-05-18-09-09-54 Screenshot_2014-05-11-06-06-36

Windows Phone Updates:

wp_ss_20140518_0001 wp_ss_20140504_0001

Thanks for reading all!

34 Comments

  1. Nigel Pond

    Ray, I just bought an Edge 1000 and installed the most recent update. Since then I have had consistent problems with the Bluetooth connection with my iPhone dropping out. Called Garmin support who said the update fixed some Bt issues but broke it too and to expect another update shortly.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, mine appears relatively unhappy too as of today (BT-wise). Also worth picking up the Garmin Express update since that fixes an issue where it wiped out the WiFi settings if you plugged it in (also noticed today when it wouldn't sync via WiFi).

      Reply
    • Nigel Pond replied

      Garmin Express, ugh...

      Reply
  2. Tom

    With respect to the GPS improvements, I'm assuming that will require new receivers and won't really help any existing equipment right? From the description it sounds like they are adding two new frequencies that will help by allowing receivers to cancel out atmospheric disturbances, which I'm guessing would require more sophisticated radios in GPS receiver chipsets as well?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I actually don't know if that's something that requires additional hardware or just a firmware update. I've seen some indications that it's software based, at least for some Marine folks GPS units I saw notifications for.

      Reply
    • slowepoke replied

      I'm really looking forward to GPS accuracy improvements - I think it's big. 13 GPS satellites are in orbit and broadcasting the new signals, 14 by the end of summer (out of 32, so that's pretty good). Commercial GPS units have had the hardware to handle the additional frequencies for several years now, but I don't know if the likes of Qualcomm, Broadcom and CSR (the top 3 consumer GPS providers) have it in hardware yet. My guess is yes, but not in firmware or apps. Battery drain and antenna implications are unknown to me as well.

      What little I do know is that the DoT fought this and lost because their argument apparently had no merit and commercial and military interests really wanted it now. Interesting stories link to gpsworld.com link to gpsworld.com

      I hope some consumer GPS watch/device maker has been anticipating this as much as commercial makers have, and introduce devices in the next year that can take advantage of it!

      Reply
    • Reid replied

      It really just depends on the receiver implementation. The waveforms and satellite implementation has been on-going since the late 90's (as noted in the article), so there's technically no reason why, say, Garmin couldn't have built the capability into the 620.

      There will be additional processing required (possibly a significant amount), so the miniaturization of hardware capable of taking advantage of these signals could take some time to catch up to what we currently have (and/or we'll see a hit in battery life). Fortunately, all signals are still well inside the UHF range, so the antenna design won't require much tweaking. It's also not beyond the realm of possibility that the little antennas in our devices won't have the gain to get the SNR up to a usable level for the new signals...in which case we're stuck without them until those crazy EE people get their heads together and find a solution.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      And thus proving there's amazingly always someone that's a reader that has detailed knowledge on anything and everything I can imagine. :)

      Thanks for the clarity!

      Reply
    • slowepoke replied

      I'm one of those crazy EE people (thanks for the compliment!), and to make a short story long it's easier to pick up the new L2C signal than it is to pick up the existing signal our GPS watches use. In addition to seriously increased accuracy, many "urban canyon" and tree issues will be significantly diminished.

      The issue of inaccuracies while weaving/turning/switching back, while solvable today with better software using already embedded accelerometers, will also be diminished greatly if more samples per second are taken, but that will have a battery, data storage and computation impact.

      Reply
  3. Mihai Raducan

    Just a heads up: Suunto Ambit 2 also received an update.

    Reply
  4. I guess rules are rules, but OMG to those guys getting those tickets! Who would think that was even possible?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'd put that in the category of getting a speeding ticket on a bike on flat ground (in something like a 35MPH zone)...almost frame-worthy.

      Reply
  5. slowepoke

    A sign I'm getting old: when I looked at the awesome gif of the biker going sideways, my first thought was "Wow, he did that without arm or elbow pads!"

    Reply
  6. Chris

    Regarding electronic shifting: i always thought it would be cool to have automatic shifting. Data is available to have system automatically select best gear (speed, cadence, gears installed, approaching hill?) Maybe a 'beep' a half second before change so that you can lighten pressure? Of course over-ride buttons when desired. It's all there, just needs to be integrated (not that it would be easy).

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, I think that's definitely where things are headed. There are some hurdles there to get through - for example, security of the wireless system (to ensure someone else can't shift you mid-race). Both BLE and ANT+ support encryption of that channel and authentication though, so it's more of a platform agreement thing than anything else. My bet is 18-24 months until you can buy such a system (I expect we'll see announcements/leaks sooner though).

      Reply
    • chris thompson replied

      I'm waiting for the column shifter on the stem. :)

      Reply
  7. Alfie

    The runner getting a ticket for an early morning park run was pretty highly publicized in Runners World in this article back in February: link to runnersworld.com. (I see the article noted was from March)

    The final outcome of this was then posted last week here: link to runnersworld.com.

    Lesson: Don't try to stay fit in NY before 6 AM.

    Reply
  8. Eric Lofgren

    The android update to MapMyRun made Live Tracking a premium feature ("MVP"). Can anyone who hasn't updated yet tell if Live Tracking is still working for free users?

    For MVP users it looks like a good update - Virtual coaching, long on iOS, is now available.

    Reply
  9. John C

    Did you see the Gymwatch on indigogo? It seems exciting to have the potential of that much data to interpret!

    Reply
  10. Brett E

    Ray, have you been able to get Garmin Express to recognize a 310XT? I can download workouts via the ANT + stick but not through Express.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I haven't tried my FR310XT, but I have done the FR910XT without issue. Are you sure that the ANT Agent is disabled/turned off (the two conflict)?

      Reply
  11. Kyle L

    Ever since I downloaded Garmin Express my Garmin 910 has been reading the elevation as 65,000 feet. Setting a known location with elevation hasn't helped. Garmin told me to reset the watch which erased all my settings but didn't fix the problem. In Garmin Connect the elevation is always 22,000 feet with or without elevation correction turned on. Sounds like one of my friends is having the same problem. Anyone else doing their workouts above flying jets? Found a solution yet?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      That definitely sounds like a software issue. However, anytime there are barometric issues it's worthwhile ensuring something hasn't gotten stuck in the barometric altimeter (which would result in that).

      Reply
    • Kyle L replied

      Thanks, Ray. I just did another search and on a Slowtwitch forum quite a few people has described succes with washing the watch in warm, soapy water making sure to clean out the barameter holes. The forum starts in 2012 so it didn't seem relevant but something made me click on it and sure enough, lots of people had this same problem and it sounds like the washing worked for many people.

      Reply
  12. Mr Nofish

    It would be ultra-cool to have increased GPS accuracy on our existing devices, and I'd be plenty happy to see anything close to 1 meter.

    I'm a little worried by the prospect of drivetrains going electronic, it increases the complexity of a bike exponentially, it allows enforcing artificial limitations that will likely hurt cyclists in the wallet, and, like for cars, it introduces the need for certain equipment to be available to perform some operations (no computer? no fix). Worse, some operations might be only performed by those owning expensive/restricted-access software or hardware.

    In short, bicycles have already reached unhealthy levels of cost and closedness (think of all the stupid proprietary bottom bracket standards that solve no practical problem and just lock you in) and electronics have huge potential to make things even worse.

    Reply
    • Kostya replied

      "In short, bicycles have already reached unhealthy levels of cost and closedness (think of all the stupid proprietary bottom bracket standards that solve no practical problem and just lock you in) and electronics have huge potential to make things even worse"

      I sort of agree with that.

      Reply
    • Mr Nofish replied

      Only sort of? :) Now I'm finding myself willing to know more...

      Reply
    • Kostya replied

      Well there is a legitimate desire of companies/inventors to come up with new features to stay ahead of competition and just general desire to come up with better things. You can not blindly claim that all that comes ONLY for the sake of "lock in". But yes when something is invented then lock in strategy does play a role. Everyone wants to make as much dosh as possible

      Reply
    • Mr Nofish replied

      It would be foolish to reject electronics altogether, but both Campagnolo and Shimano have a long history of introducing and abandoning more of their fair share of proprietary solutions that were hardly flawless in the first place and are now simply a pain in the ass for those left to deal with them.

      Electronics are a terribly powerful weapon, that can be used to make great things, turn life to hell or anything in between.

      Now there's nothing wrong with making money, but open systems can make a firm very well provided for, so it's basically a choice between doing things right and pursuing what some backward-thinking board might think is the firm's best interest i.e. squeeze every last penny.

      Bikes have remained largely built out of open systems, and that in my opinion, is both a great thing in itself and also one of the great things about bikes.

      It's still early times for electronic shifting, but I think it's important these matters are discussed aplenty: some of the things I've read about Di2 are not very encouraging at all, and I won't even mention EPS because Campagnolo.

      We'll see how the SRAM system will turn out; having built bikes myself, I'd say a wireless system could make for significant time savings, but having to juggle a lot of batteries does not exactly sound like my idea of fun.

      Reply
  13. Patricia Didone

    I loved the clugs.

    Reply
  14. Baldest1

    Just bought the Clugs. Love the idea and it will open up floor space! It certainly didn't hurt that they were fellow Canadians :)

    Reply
  15. I also loved the clugs, and not just fellow Canadians for me, fellow Vancouverites. I should go down there and convince them that the hybrid tire size would be a huge seller for them. Would love to get the bikes and out of the way in my condo.

    Reply
  16. Just thought people hanging out here might like Douglas Spotted Eagle's Ultimate POV Shootout post. It covers GoPro 3+, GoPro 3 Black, Sony AS100, Sony AS30, JVC Adixxion, Midland XTC400, Polaroid XS100, ReplayXD Mini, Liquid Ego, Drift Innovation Ghost S and the Garmin VIRB, and you've just got to love his headmount with all of them attached at the same time. Ray, are you still planning a spring Action Cam roundup?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yup, still working on one. That's definitely a crazy helmet.

      I'm working to try and make my recommendations a little more realistic. I feel like so many of the shootouts today aim for a 'Best Camera' rating. And honestly, that's rarely all that useful (or correct). I feel like factors such as whether you care about GPS, or care about 2.7K/4K video, or care about downloading to your phone tend to be bigger factors. In either case, it'll be out either this week or the next. About half-done already.

      Reply

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