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Week in Review–April 26th, 2015

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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 in the 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
Wednesday: The DCR Podcast Pilot Episode is Now Available!
Thursday: The Mid-Week Review – April 23rd, 2015
Thursday: My Brief Thoughts on the LIMITS power meter
Friday: The DCR’s on Vacation Fenix3 Giveaway

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) A look at the US based manufacturing facility developing the Recon Jet: Definitely unusual to see companies doing technology device manufacturing in the US, especially for tech startups.

2) The Boring Office Job GoPro Commercial: Perhaps the best GoPro spot to date. (via Aleks)

3) Great Coaches Are More Than Results, They’re Magic: An article on the Triathlon Australia pro/ITU coaching scene.

4) In Paris on June 14th? Don’t forge to come out to the Champs-Elysées and ride a bike on it car-free!  And then of course again, on the final day of the Tour de France in late July.

5) People Riding Bikes Minus the Bikes Is the Best Use of Photoshop Ever: Yup, can’t argue with that.

6) The fans that keep the Paris-Roubaix cobbles perfect: Pretty interesting look at what goes into those stretches of pain and suffering. (via Revolights Twitter)

7) Pro Triathlete led the Boston Marathon: Well, for about 4 minutes anyway.  Here’s the details behind it.

8) The Recovery Market Has a Fake Food Problem: McDonald’s Happy Meal or PowerBar? Might not be too different. (via Steve Fleck)

9) Snowsports helmet certified safe for GoPro usage: Many might be aware that there’s recently been concern about using action cameras on helmets, mostly ski/snowboard related.  This might solve that.

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.

LIMITS Power Meter: A $250 power meter that fits in between the pedal and the crank arm. (previously noted earlier in the week)

Widerun – The first full immersive VR biking experience Having done VR on a trainer before, it’s not quite all you want it to be.  Essentially you either get motion sick, or you fall off.  (sent in via Edward)

Super light weight Carbon Bar end cap for road bikes (sent in by Ted)

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?

(Note: These two were actually last week and I missed them, as I thought they were the week prior)

Polar V800 Smart Notifications: Also increased 3rd party power meter support. See full details in post.

Polar M400: Running Stride sensor support, along with faster GPS acquisition.

Fitbit Surge GPS Bike Support: This is focused on the GPS side, it doesn’t help the optical HR sensor during cycling activities (that’s still useless).

With that, thanks for reading, have a great remainder of your weekend!

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22 Comments

  1. IzzyODT

    Apparently an action-cam mount (GoPro) on a skiing helmet was the reason for the severe head injuries of the Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher

  2. Joshua

    Ray, you mentioned in a previous post the only watch you took with you on vacation was your F3. Curious to know how it’s performed for you while traveling with regards to pace and distance. I’ve reordered one (from CT in order to support this site) hoping that garmin is a bit closer to a fix to the many reported issues with short distance and all over the board pace that many users are reporting, including my own personal experience. In the meantime I’m still hanging onto my 920 for function before beauty as it were.

    • From looking at some of the trends of those having distance-short issues it almost exclusively looks to be related to trail runs/rides with lots of turns and essentially shorting the distance on the turn. I did some trail runs, but most of mine were a bit straighter or less switch backs. So I didn’t see any issues there, but probably more related to my routes.

      For city running definitely not seeing any issues there (or really any other activities I do). I did grab a second F3 on my way out the door on vacation, which I used as a reference on my swim (in swim buoy).

    • Joshua

      Thanks for that quick reply. My runs and poor user experience were in light foliage, I live in an urban area of St. Louis down the street from forest park, so it will be interesting to see if the extra foliage in the park now that spring has arrived in full bloom have an affect on performance. Obviously you weren’t able to compare your F3 to any other benchmark like a 920 since the only watch you had was the F3, it would have been interesting to see if there was any discrepancy.

      I will say a previous post of yours which noted the data fields to train by has greatly enhanced my running experience. I no longer rely on Instant Pace but now use lap pace, avg pace, HR and cadence as my main fields. It’s allowed the anxiety of watching instant pace to dissipate quite a bit.
      In your opinion, are the issues being reported by those users on the F3 fixable with updates?

    • I would guess it’s likely just a case of over-smoothing, which could be addressed via firmware. My guess is that they are trying to walk a delicate line. Undersmooth and you get messy tracks, oversmooth and distance is shorted. I suspect we’ll continue to see them tweak things.

    • Josh

      My hope is that will be the case just as they were able to greatly improve the 620 over time. Thanks for your communication and hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation.

    • Jon Niehof

      I have noticed the instant pace on my F3 is a bit laggy, moreso than on the 310. That, coupled with the fact that any GPS measure occasionally just goes “blurp,” makes chasing the needle even worse; some people may be noticing that. Distance post-run seems reasonable.

    • GregTR

      Based on my extensive testing I’d say it’s far more than just a case of over-smoothing. Granted, there is a chance I just happened to have gotten a dud but the issue is not over-smoothing. The issues is signal to noise ratio in the unacceptable levels that *require* said over-smoothing. If that wasn’t the case then the Fenix 3 would use identical algorithms to the FR920XT.

      I also found that it’s not just tree cover or switchbacks that cause problems. Weather induced limited GPS availability causes just as much of an issue and that would affect suburbia runners as much as it does trail runners.

      The most infuriating in this whole situation is Garmin’s (non)reaction and utter ignorance of the customer complaints.

      link to forums.garmin.com!)

    • Jon Niehof

      My run yesterday morning went down a narrow tree-lined street (no leaves on them yet!) and I definitely see the problems now; the instant pace on the Fenix 3 was useless. Jumping from 9:00 to 4:50 pace from one reading to the next. It’s that way in the Connect log, too. I don’t expect perfection, but I’d like the instant pace to be good to within at least :30 while I’m holding a steady pace. It really makes me doubt the overall, too.

  3. Pete

    Not sure if I missed it elsewhere – are you in queue to get an Apple watch for a review of the sport capabilities?

    • Yes, there’s one awaiting me back at home once I return.

    • Paul S

      The first report I saw didn’t look too promising.

    • Pete

      Looking forward to that review, Paul – good initial read, while not promising – my initial thought is that all those items are software related which doesn’t concern me this early in a release, much of that can be easily fixed and I’m sure Apple (or 3rd parties) will fix that in a matter of weeks/months. I am most concerned with the quality of the data and accuracy of the sensors and reliability. for an out of the box setup it seems to have done a good job of distance measurement without being tethered to the iphone…. we’ll see how it lines up against the rest of the competition.

      I don’t expect it to compete with a $500 Garmin during intense workouts… I have no intention of replacing my garmin, I just want to make sure it can compete, scratch that, exceeds the current fitbit lifestyle fitness type devices. I’ve held off on these types of devices figuring if I can get an apple watch that is as good if not at the top of the range and comes with all the extras… it’s a no brainer(for me) for an extra $100.

    • andy from embsay

      That chap hasn’t read the user guide – the info is uploaded to the “activity” app on the watch – still pretty limited info, but you can get more than distance and calories burned. The main issue I found is that it seems that if you’re running another GPS app (I was running Strava as there’s no way of getting the data out of the Apple app and into Strava etc) then it seems the watch can’t access the phone’s GPS so just uses the accelerometer.

      It’s certainly not a replacement for our Garmins, that’s for sure.

    • andy from embsay

      Oh, and you can set the screen up to show more than just distance and time – you have three data fields to play with.

  4. Alex

    If I may, Recon is a Canadian technology device manufacturing in the US. Still great that they can manufacture in North America.

    • No doubt, probably didn’t need the US three times in there which confused things. But the manufacturing is all US-based, while the design is Vancouver based (actually been to there offices a few years back).

  5. Clai Selden

    Any insight on the current timeline for the Polar M400 to add the Smartphone notifications? They rolled out for the V800 but delayed for M400. Thanks for all your great reviews.

  6. Eli

    Looks like garmin is concentrating on improving courses and course navigation on the Edge 810 with their current firmware development:
    link to www8.garmin.com

    Edge 1000 also got an update but not mention of course changes so not sure if the course algorithms are shared between devices:
    link to www8.garmin.com

  7. Eli

    Trailer for jogging:
    link to kickstarter.com
    (ok its meants for running with kids in the back being puled but could hold other stuff too but pricy)

    Rear camera to identify cars behind you:
    link to kickstarter.com
    (uses a cell phone so not so sure I’d want my phone battery to be drained on a long ride as image processing may use lots of cpu and kill the battery)