Heads up! Big sports tech sales have begun! Check out the massive list of everything, from 20%-30% off all smart trainers, to $200 off the Garmin FR945 LTE & $150 off the Edge 1030 Plus. Then $240 off Garmin’s Rally power meters (including MTB edition) and $200 off the Wahoo POWRLINK Zero Speedplay power meter. Plus deals on Varia Radar, rocker plates, more watches, action cams, drones, and more. Realistically the best deals we’ll see till November. Enjoy! Full and updated list here.
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.
Interview with ‘Running with Miles’ blog. The folks over there had a bunch of interesting questions around how I blend travel with running. Fun stuff, go check it out!
Significant price reductions of note
This is probably worth mentioning up here. On Thursday PowerTap (yes, that’s the organizational name now) dropped its prices for the PowerTap lineup pretty significantly. Enough to cause what I’d consider to be a pretty big shift in the market. Their PowerTap G3 hub is now $790 (as a reminder, the Stages power meter is $699), and their full wheel-set is only a $200 more at $999 (just the rear-wheel is $890, half-way in between). These basically dropped $500 overnight. No doubt this is in response to the Garmin Vector investor call announcements made this past Wednesday. Given retailers around the world have been leaking out information there, PowerTap likely has a pretty good idea of what pricing might be.
With that, here’s where things stand for the current generation of direct force power meters on the market today:
Oh, and obviously if you use any of the Clever Training links above you’d get 10% off your shopping cart with coupon code DCR10BTF, as well as free domestic shipping. All of which supports the site.
Now, what’s somewhat interesting (and many people seem to have forgotten), is that these were actually the original PowerTap prices back two summers ago when they reduced everything ahead of the G3 launch. Except, that never actually happened. Instead things ended up stabilizing a lot higher. You can see my post from June 2011 with the planned launch prices (and cuts to the previous PT Pro lineup) from back then as a bit of proof. This time though, the prices have already been implemented.
So where does this leave you as a consumer? Well, that depends a bit. Obviously, this is heavily aimed at Stages – bringing the price to basically $100 more makes it a very competitive decision. Though it’s still crank vs. wheel, so there are tradeoffs to make there (plus the accuracy side of things). I think the most interesting next chess-move though is actually Quarq’s (SRAM’s technically). As a number of folks have pointed out, you could basically get two PowerTap’s for the price of a Quarq. For most folks, that covers race and training wheels. I don’t think that Power2Max has any change to make (they’re sub-$1K). And if the rumored Vector prices end up being accurate (as well as the product being accurate), I actually don’t think they have an immediate move to make either unless Quarq budges. I think that ultimately people who planned to buy Vector (and waited) will probably still buy Vector as long as it meets the accuracy/durability bar. Finally, I don’t see this having any impact on Polar’s solution until they get their Bluetooth Smart chip sorted out and a functional head unit. And I don’t see any changes in the SRM camp either, at least until next spring.
Anyway…definitely lots of interesting times ahead, and no doubt, lots of interesting moves ahead in the coming months.
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:
2) Garmin Vector out by end of September: Per their earnings call on Wednesday, the unit will be available within Q3 (ends this September). Also per that call was that mass production is already underway. Official pricing hasn’t been released yet.
3) The Secret Pro, post-TDF: Another good episode of this series from an anonymous pro-tour rider about the inner workings of the peloton.
4) Summing up running in a comic:From the person behind the Oatmeal comics, very well done. And, it’s much longer than the single screen snippet below – in fact, it’s 5 pages. Yes, pages. It’s like an encyclopedia of running comics.
5) A look at wetsuit testing: I thought this was pretty interesting. There’s some good questions and answers in this Slowtwitch thread. Some complained about brands being left out (they included 9 brands, yet there are likely 30+ wetsuit brands alone out there). Having done these type of tests before with large numbers of devices and participants, I’d say that people generally underestimate just how complex they really are to pull off with the attention to detail that is demanded. Really, it’s not as easy as it looks. Be it weight scales, GPS accuracy, power meters (or wetsuits in this case), there’s so many ways to screw it up and that gets exponentially bigger with each product or person included. Including a larger sample size is interesting, but I’ve found that when you expand test sizes getting folks that can follow extremely specific procedures repeatedly is actually more difficult than you expect. No doubt, I’d love to have seen a couple more swimmers – but I think it’s a good first step.
13) Spot releases new Gen3 device: A new release for the satellite-focused company, aimed primarily at wilderness adventure folks (though I’ve used it on long rides too).
Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:
This is a bit of a new section. 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.
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?
You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2021 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s Gear Guide too.