Week in Review–March 22nd, 2015


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 in the past week:

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

Sunday: Heads Up: Garmin FR910XT for $249, TomTom Cardio for $219 (optical HR GPS)
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: PowerTap announces P1 Power Meter Pedals, also PowerTap C1 chainring unit
Friday: Epson Runsense SF-810 GPS watch with optical HR: In-Depth Review

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) Randy (my awesome editor and occasional writer here at DCR) has been writing some sweet IM Pro Race write-ups: TRS triathlon (from The Real Starky) has brought Randy onboard, and he’s been rocking it with probably the best pro race result pieces in the business.  Here’s one he wrote up on Ironman New Zealand, and another on Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, and then this one from just today on the Asia-Pacific Championship.  Congrats Randy (but don’t worry, he’s still helping out here)!

2) A look at Apple’s Fitness Lab: Interesting stuff, though, like most things Apple many are overthinking this.  Every major sports tech company has similar facilities, and others have far bigger data stores of fitness data (i.e. Under Armour/MapMyFitness/Strava/etc…).  Still, cool to see attention paid to accuracy.  Looking forward to see how that manifests itself next month.

3) Behind the song that’s on so many GoPro videos: Really well done piece by Engadget on the music that you hear so often, especially associated with various GoPro and Action Cam videos.

4) Paris to go Go Car-Free for One Day in September: As for the details on how exactly that’ll happen…well…they’ll get there.  In the meantime, it’ll go 50% car free on Monday.

5) 2 Years of Shooting 5TB of photos in Austria: No endurance sports connection here, just a really fascinating video with amazing sound-work done to keep you totally immersed.

6) Almaty is Ready For the Olympics, But is the IOC Ready For Almaty? For whatever reason I’ve always been interested in the whole Olympic candidate city process, and this is a fascinating look at what’s lining up between the only two cities on the docket for the 2022 Winter Olympic selection process just a few months away.

7) New Balance renting workout gear at Westin Hotels: While I’ve seen variants of hotel gear rentals before, this is the first time I’ve seen both a review of it, as well as co-branding with a major company in the space.

8) How a pro cycling team and its sponsors prepare equipment for the new season: A cool look behind the scenes at a lot of the logistical aspects of outfitting the team.

9) YouTube starts supporting 360° videos: While they announced this back in January, it’s actually available now.  Now while many cameras are or will support the service (YouTube has a listing), I reached out to VSN regarding their V.360 (the one I just unboxed about two weeks ago) to see if they’ll be supporting it.  They replied that no, they wouldn’t, because they want to instead launch on a different 3rd party platform that you’ve never heard of.  As such, they don’t plan to support 360° videos on YouTube.  I haven’t quite had the heart to write them back and explain that if they don’t support YouTube, they might as well go out of business now and save some cash.  I’m serious.  What if GoPro said: “We won’t support YouTube?”.

10) Top tips for on-the-bike dog encounters: A good piece by Ella Cycling Tips (that’s the side focused on women) on how to navigate tricky canine terrain while cycling.  Regrettably, I don’t see my favorite tip: Stick your bike on an eggplant truck to get past the dog.

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects.  If you’re unfamiliar with projects, read my detailed post on how I decide which projects I personally back.  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.

Sealz rapid sunglass to swim goggle transition glasses (sent in via Andrew)

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?

Nike partners with a lot of sites, including Garmin: Ok, this happened a week or two ago, but I didn’t have a Week In Review at the time. They also partnered with TomTom and Wahoo Fitness.

TrainerRoad and Sport Tracks hook up: They’ve now got direct sync between the two of them.  Sweetness!

Garmin Edge 810 beta firmware: A bunch of minor additions and some bug fixes.  Cool to continue to see new features being added here. (via GPS Information)

Garmin Edge 510 beta firmware: Same as above.

That’s it, thanks for reading folks!


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  1. Hi Ray…
    One more for your Week in Review please!!!
    The article is written with the hope of sharing in internet . We are a modest Spanish blog, but this time we decided to publish in English because we know that there is nothing like the internet .

    Greetings and congratulations for your excellent website. you are our inspiration on many occasions.

    Allow me to include the link in the comment:
    link to blog.zitasport.com

    • Hi Gabriel-

      You’ve done good work in collecting that data. But the reason I haven’t included it in my week in review posts is that I truly don’t believe people should be basing purchasing decisions on a GPS chipset – when it’s been well established that GPS chipsets are actually the least important aspect of a unit’s GPS accuracy. Things like antenna position, GPS chipset firmware, and watch firmware have time and again proven far more important.


    • Hi Ray

      thanks for replying

      I totally agree, but we found curious that did not exist, at least , a list of GPS chipsets.

      Now the list exists!!!


  2. GT

    Wow VSN have really taken a leaf out of the book of stupid.

  3. John S.

    I’m surprised to see that you didn’t mention that Bia is shutting down. Will there be a separate post on this? I was a backer on Kickstarter and had been hopeful that they would be successful, though I honestly hadn’t been particularly happy with the product I received and sold it to someone else a while ago. I am interested into seeing your insights into what went wrong.

  4. Fabrizio

    Hi, for dog “encounters”, in countries where it’s legal, I find is realty helpful (and also armless to the dog) to use some (many) very small firecrackers.
    They make enough noise to scare away even a pack of dogs and are safe to operate since the explosive potential is extremely limited, usually they are safe also if the dog eats them (or if they explode in your hands).

    • Will

      I like you Fabrizio, but you’re crazy.

    • Fabrizio

      Maybe I am :)
      Anyway here in Italy there are some firecrackers that are available even for children (13+), these are really harmless, since you can let them explode in your hand… but the noise is enough to scare away some dogs. In southern Italy there are many stray dogs and making some noise is a good way to have fun :)

  5. tim

    Is there any way to pull nike+ data (history) on to other sites, or even mass download the files? Your post on nike+ made me realize that I still had an account there from when I first started running many years ago. Apparently I have 259 runs orphaned on that platform which I’d love to bring over to Garmin or trainingpeaks.

  6. Scott E

    Very nice write-ups Randy, well done.

    Still, the other forum doesn’t allow you to express sentiments like, “…rainbow color pony farts..”, which is permissible here at DCR.

    Always fun to catch Ray’s articles when he is void of sleep.

    • Randy Cantu

      Thanks Scott E,
      Actually The Real Starky’s podcast interviews with the pros (including one with Ray) push the envelope to the point where discussions about farts of any color are mild by any comparison. TRS is known as the ‘the Howard Stern of Triathlon’, so I just kind of keep him balanced.

    • SS Commuter

      hi Randy
      Just read your Asia Pacific recap. Excellent work. Really enjoyed your coverage.

  7. Wendy

    please use that phrase in a sentence, “rainbow color pony farts.” I think I need to work it into regular conversation.

    • Allyn Crowe

      I have an official work documentation package with “rainbow colored unicorn poop” right smack dab in the middle, with a picture… And yes it got sent to the client… They laughed almost as much as I did… Technology CAN be fun!

  8. gingerneil

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on runscribe. They have shipped to early backers – I should get mine tomorrow. Maybe a little presumptuous, but I’m assuming you’ll be getting one to play with!?

  9. A S

    Ordered a Scoche Rhythm+ on your code! Thanks for years of awesome reviews and insight!

  10. Andrew Garcia

    Thank you, as always. The dog question is a major one where I ride on the weekends: do you try accelerate and try to outrun them; or, do you use a water bottle or horn or other device to deter them? The other day I was given a really ration piece of advice that I intend to try out, slow your bike to a complete stop and put your hand out just like you would to any new dog you are meeting for the first time. After all, in my case, I am far more fearful of the damage from a dog induced crash than from the dog itself (then again I am a big dog owner).

    • Scott E

      Not being an authority, and not yet bit, common among dogs is position of hand placement. Holding a hand/fist above the head – bad, holding it at or below eye level – good. Has to do with dominance and threat to the position on the dogs neck.

      Grew up on a ranch with working dogs and the hold your ground model over the chase model generally works better. Your Country and dog breed mileage will vary.

    • Gunnar

      Old school frame pump works great for charging canines. Works well for pumping up tires too….

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Apple Fitness Lab & data sets: quantity vs. quality matters. In the clip, you see participants wearing extra gear for some specific instrumentation. I doubt if even Firstbeat has similar volume of data behind their algorithms. (That’s assuming that the lab doesn’t just sit idle when the cameras aren’t rolling.)

    • Nah, that gear is pretty common actually. Firstbeat and others have the same stuff, these are merely portable units, whereas most labs will go with less-portable units to save money. Ultimately, when it comes to calorie burn, there’s only so many ways to slice that pie – and those metrics are generally well understood already by what is effectively a small community of researches. There’s minor variations in each implementation, but it’s pretty close. I’d argue most of what you saw is for show.

      What’s for more challenging is mapping the optical sensor readout vs actual HR, and ensuring those two align. Additionally, I suspect they may be including HRV data. It’s expected that Valencell will roll it out later this year, and they’ve been testing it for a long time (I got some demo’s of it already).

      Climate chambers are also semi-common, for example Adidas has them (much bigger ones actually) that I saw while there. Some day I’ll likely build a DIY variant for testing (not anytime soon though).

  12. E Kutter

    my experience with dogs is a stern and confident “no, no” is usually sufficient to keep them at bay. Probably wouldn’t work with packs or feral dogs but most domesticated dogs will respond. Having the water bottle handy is definitely a good idea if they are being particularly aggressive. Fear and panic is the worst response as they pick up on it, although sometimes beyond your control.

  13. Noelle

    Not sure if anyone has commented about the Nike/Garmin/etc. partnership, but I linked up my Nike+ account with Garmin connect and the results have been TERRIBLE. It seems to be more of an issue with longish runs, but I ran 13 miles last weekend and Nike+ interpreted the Garmin file to be 31.1 miles, and today I ran 8 miles and Nike interpreted that to be 26. o_O

    I’ve since un-synced the accounts….not worth it.

  14. I’m suprised you didn’t mention this big news:

    link to lezyne.com

    • Yeah, noticed it this weekend, just forgot to include it. Will probably add in for next week. Undecided on whether it’ll be meaningful though. There’s been a lot of attempts to make an Edge 500-like product, and the area most companies fail is the software side of it (both uploading/connectivity), as well as the user interface and the options. Many companies dismiss how much functionality is really packed into the Edge 500, and to a large degree that’s why it’s so loved.

      Still, always good to see some additional competition. The features certainly look promising.

    • Graham R

      I find the form factor of the mini interesting – could be perfect for my wife to track her rides and stroller walks with our son :)

      The power seems to be a sweet spot for me too… depending on the interface – Coming from a Tomtom/iphone setup i have all BT LE accessories, so finding an “Edge 500” that could use those has been a challenge.

      Price point seems reasonable for all three two.

      Thanks Alex – I totally missed this one!

  15. Stipek

    Actually, the vid about Austria is a bit endurance sports related. The lighthouse, that you can see in the video is the starting point for Austria’s oldest long distance triathlon in Podersdorf :)