Week in Review–October 12th, 2013

Week days signpost

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.

Sunday: Week in Review–October 6th, 2013
Monday: My 2013 ANT+ Symposium Keynote Presentation
Tuesday: A brief weekend at home celebrating
Wednesday: An In-Depth Visit Behind the Scenes at Saris/CycleOps/PowerTap Headquarters
Friday: Samsung to add ANT+ to full range of mobile devices, plus a look at the S Health app

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) The 8 Stages of Running a Marathon: Yup, that pretty much sums them up.  Now just tack on the 112 miles of cycling and 2.4 miles of swimming and it’ll be just like all those competing in Kona today. (Via Wahoo Fitness Facebook)

2) Oiselle holds running apparel fashion show…and actually uses real-life athletes on runway: Pretty cool of the company, and if you’re in the market for such items – likely worthy of a quick browse.

3) Pro Cyclist posts video of his kid on rollers: And in the process, Niki Terpstra’s young boy makes us all look inadequate.  (Via reader BCVelo)

4)  Four brothers racing Ironman Kona…3 of which are sub-9hrs: And that 4th one? Just over 9 hours…with a few flats.

5) A Strava Flagging Proposal: DJ brings up some good points about flagging segments in light of the government shutdown actually making some segments much safer (vehicle traffic banned). Good read.

6) Three FAQ’s about Training Peaks Coach Matching Service: I thought this was interesting for one reason only: It’s actually not automated, but a human. Go figure (in a good way).

7) A very funny video on unboxing calculators: There’s a long history of funny unboxing parody videos – and this one continues in that tradition. (via reader Steve)

8) New York City Marathon & Marine Corps Marathon ban backpacks/Camelbaks: Additionally, all costumes (gorillas included) are also banned.

9) Ironman Mallorca (the full 140.6) announced: This adds the full Monty to the already existing 70.3 that’s hosted on the Spanish island (the one I visited this past spring).

10) Yikes, sporty US stamps banned! Apparently cannonballs are considered too dangerous for kids, and thus the little stamp-drawings of kids cannonballing has lead to the entire batch being destroyed.  This story, you’ve gotta read.  Height of stupidity all around.  (via Joe Lindsey)

11) Cycling in Norway – beautiful photos/video: Basically, this is just blatant bicycle scenery porn.  That’s all.  Go forth and enjoy.

12) Stand-up Paddle (SUP) Boarding between Russia and the US: Just to further instill how wimpy our SUP attempts were in warmer waters.

13) Rutgers Women’s Soccer Team uses HR training tech in detail: Pretty interesting look at how Rutgers is using some of the functionality (including group aspects) of the Polar system.  This is similar to the educational system The Girl used to use when she taught High School students in a class about heart rate training. (via Polar Twitter)

14) Ski season…in North Korea!  Yeah baby, waiting for that action-cam skiing video.  All three chairlift’s worth of the new resort set to open this weekend.

15) Kona 2013 “Bike Count” numbers: These are tallied up each year and cover everything from bikes to hydration equipment to power meters.

16) The Armstrong Lie – Official Movie Trailer Released: This looks like it’ll be a semi-limited release, but might be interesting based at least on the trailer.

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.

Cardio Wristband: A Smart Heart Rate Sensor: Similar to some of the other units on the market, such as the Mio Alpha.

See Sense : The intelligent bike light with road sense

Your most memorable adventure displayed as personalized art

(All of these found via Eli, thanks Eli!)

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:

Mio Alpha Update: They’ve updated the units that were sent to Kickstarters.  Details are slim, but in the backer-only post they noted “With this update you can expect that your Kickstarter Mio ALPHA will show improved HR reliability, accuracy and responsiveness.”.  The link at left only works for those who backed the project on Kickstarter, but, this really only applies to you if you’re in that category anyway.

Elite myETraining App: Elite Trainers released this to connect to some of their trainers and provide data logging/visibility.  This version is optimized for the iPhone (versus the previous for the iPad).

CycleOps Virtual Trainer App: I previewed this app back at Eurobike.  This is notable because it not only controls the CycleOps Trainers, but also the Wahoo KICKR.

Garmin announced API for Corporate Wellness programs: Creating the API for the corporate side (health insurance plans that pay for devices) is Standard Operation Step 1 towards moving into the health/activity monitoring space (i.e. FitBits).

iPhone App updates this week:

IMG_3046 IMG_3047

IMG_3048 IMG_3050

iPad App updates this week:



Android App updates this week:

Screenshot_2013-10-12-21-08-51 Screenshot_2013-10-12-21-09-20


Windows Phone app updates this week:

(No WP app updates this week for my phone)


Thanks for reading!


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  1. Dave

    Are you planning a 2013 review if cycling trainers? I’m trying to decide on a high end VR trainer. Thanks

  2. Eric

    I’m in the process of trying to hunt down an application similar to the Cycleops version that’ll allow me to ride routes or Strava segments at home on the trainer. I’m currently using the Cycleops SuperMagneto Pro and would rather not buy a new trainer if I don’t have to. I’m using a SRM powermeter and am hoping I can simply connect to the app (either desktop, OS or iOS…non Windows) via an ANT+ plug/key…I know I won’t have trainer wattage control a la CompuTrainer or Kickr but that’s ok.

    A quick read of the hardware requirements on your latest app review “Virtual Trainer” has lead me to conclude that since I’m an Apple user, this app won’t work for me….

    Do you have any alternative suggestions that might work with how I’m looking to use the app (described above)?


    • They’ve just come out with an iPad version, and you can use that to connect to a speed sensor and get some of the same stuff. Check out the link to my August post on it where I show some of that in practice.

  3. Dave

    Thanks Ray. I really appreciate your reviews. Its obviously a lot of work. Thanks again.

  4. Patrick

    It would be awesome if one of your blog posts outlined other blogs or daily/weekly reads that you would recommend that are somewhat similar to yours.

  5. Alfredo

    Hi Ray, not sure you already covered in your previous posts the firmware upgrade recently issued on Garmin 910XT (ver 3.0).
    It focused especially on improving stroke and pool count detection in pool swimming, and in my case it made the difference between being almost useless and being accurate. I am a bad swimmer and I frequently make pauses, and also following your precious recommendations I wasn’t able to get an accurate detection of pool count/length. Now with this upgrade to 3.0 version it rocks and also in my case it’s very accurate and makes no big mistakes.
    Thanks, ciao,

  6. Kasey

    DCR, you’ve assembled a fantastic amount of practical, in-depth information. Wow! As I’ve become more serious about running, your site has revealed how much fitness tech is available for data analysis – and how many incompatible choices there are.

    I’ve been an iPhone/Runkeeper user for a few years and that’s been fine for tracking my modest runs and a bit of social support. But, now I run with an H7 bluetooth HR monitor, my smartphone, the WahooFitness app, and record everything into TrainingPeaks with a quick upload from my phone wherever I finish my run. I really need to get accurate pace feedback on the road beyond the inaccurate GPS of my iPhone5. Is there a Smart Bluetooth option for accurate pace while training? Or should I just go with a separate, but more accurate GPS watch for pace and accept that my speed won’t be coming through my headphones with my HR and distance updates?

    I suspect there will be a cluster of Smart Bluetooth products coming around the corner. Ideally there would be an accurate Smart Bluetooth GPS watch that would take the place of my iPhone and upload my HR data, pace, and route info when got into wifi range at home or work. But I’m just a lazy runner and want to just drink my chocolate milk and pat myself on the back when I get done with a good run.

    Cheers and keep up the great work!

    • There’s no accurate pod that I’m aware of today that works with any of the apps out there. I do think we’ll probably see something though. I know the Wahoo folks and I have chatted that they find that piece slightly frustrating at times, since their units are subject to iPhone GPS accuracy.

      I think long-term we’ll continue to see convergence between what is defined as a ‘Smart watch’, and that as a ‘Running watch’. Right now, the FR220/FR620 gets fairly close there – and had they opened it up to 3rd party uploads (i.e. from watch to app to 3rd party sites – such as Strava/TrainingPeaks/etc…) then I think people would be happy.

  7. Tyler

    Have you set a date for the 620/220 review?

  8. Chris G

    Hi Ray, minor thing, but the embedded videos sneak ‘under’ the sidebar on the right… Yes I know I can go watch them elsewhere, just askin’ if its easy to fix? Chris

    • Strange – typically if on a iPad and/or desktop computer it should be fine. Some other devices may have trouble as I have to hard-set some of the embedded videos resolutions.

      Out of curiosity, what device is it showing as over?

  9. Andrew

    I have been experiencing that too. It is not happening on my laptop though. I run the desktop version on my iPad, if that is important.

  10. Champ

    Rey, calculator unboxing was so funny

  11. Chris G

    Cheers Ray, it seems very churlish to mention! Its happening to me on Safari (MacBook Pro if that matters). It isn’t really that important though… Chris

  12. Eli

    Wireless ulock: (uses bluetooth and an app on the phone, makes it easy to share a bike between people)
    link to kickstarter.com

  13. Helm

    Hello Ray, Sense (bike light) is an interesting kickstarter project and it has a functioning prototype (they claim). It is so different from other products you tested and other lights, because it monitors motion, orientation and light. Why not test it?

    • HI Helm-

      Generally I try and focus mostly on technology products, just because I’ve only got so many hours in the day (I have day job), and there’s so much interest in the other tech products.

      That said, it’s a cool concept and I look forward to poking at it someday, even if not part of a review.