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Week in Review–May 17th, 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:

Sunday: The Apple Watch Waterproofing Extravaganza: Swim, High Diving, Test Chamber
Tuesday: The Garmin FR225 with optical heart rate: Everything you ever wanted to know
Wednesday: Strava news of note: Fitbit integration & Local Routes

The DCR Podcast:

A new podcast went up this past week (as usual now)!  But, perhaps more interesting, over the last week or two we’ve rocked the iTunes charts – eventually hitting the Top 5 for ‘New and Noteworthy’ podcast category, as well as hitting the tops of the charts on the ‘Tech’ podcast category. Double down!

This week’s podcast includes:

– My solution for 50 women to Kona
– Using a GPS watch for 30hrs+ ultra runs
– Getting power on mountain bikes
– …and more!

Thanks for listening! Subscribing and rating in iTunes is much appreciated, and be sure to send in your questions via the voice mail widget at the bottom of the podcast page!

Clever Training Sports Tech Deals: Garmin FR220, FR620, Fenix2, Saris/CycleOps Trainers/Racks

As is usually the case, we see Garmin fitness devices sales this time of year.  And, given all the various new products, seeing these slightly older products hit the sale train makes sense:

Garmin FR220: Down to $175 including rebate ($249 normally > $199 on sale > $25 mail-in rebate = $175)
Garmin FR620: Down to $299 including rebate ($399 normally > $349 on sale > $50 mail-in rebate = $299)
Garmin Fenix2: Down to $239 ($399 normally > $239 on sale)

If you click on any of those links, you can also see the heart rate bundles too, as well as the various colors/versions.  Note that the DCR Clever Training discount is not eligible on the Garmin items, though the free shipping is.

Additionally, you’ve got Saris/CycleOps getting into the action, this time with the DCR reader discount still eligible (plus free shipping):

All CycleOps Trainers 20% off (+ another 10% for DCR readers with DCR10BTF)
All car racks 20% off (+ another 10% for DCR readers with DCR10BTF)

And free shipping on all those items too!  PowerTap items are not eligible for this sale.

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) Pro Triathlete tracks Timex One GPS+ watch (has 3G cell chip inside) after it gets stolen: You’ll remember that this watch broadcasts your position in real-time, continuously.  Pretty awesome read. (And yes, I’m working on a review of it)

2) TRS Radio does full day of live YouTube interviews at Ironman Texas: This is probably the single most impressive live-interview session we’ve seen in triathlon in as long as I can remember. Some 6+ hours of live broadcast interviews with the sport’s top pros, all live streamed to YouTube.  Very cool.  Full playlist below.

3) First solar bike path generating more than expected: Pretty nifty, though I’m not quite sure that 230ft equaling only one house’s power consumption for a year is the best ratio – but ya gotta start somewhere.

4) Hyperlapse launched for stabilizing action cam footage: While we saw the demos a long while back, you can now download the desktop app (or mobile app) and run your own action cam footage through it.

5) London’s Boris Bike gets app that allows you to pay via app: Nice, would love to see pay via phone also come to the Paris Velib system as well (currently we can just search availability).  This type of thinking is ideal for getting tourists to use the platform.

6) Afghan Girls forbidden from riding bikes are now skateboarding: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. So awesome. (via Jon Ostrower)

7) Amateur doping in Australia – a personal story: Here’s a look from the non-professional side of the sport, with the article written by the doper himself.

8) Italy’s Giro action cam footage in one easy spot! I like when people make things simple. Here’s all the on-bike action cam footage found on Velon’s page.

9) The Voodoo of Elevation Gain and Strava: If you like super-in-depth geeky posts, this one is about as good as it gets. (via Tim J.)

10) Questions arise over how Pennsylvania Dad qualified for Boston: This story seems to have simmered down from a week or two ago – anyone know if there’s been further detail since? (Side note, it’s a really good piece by Runners World on it).

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.

Lily: Lots of you sent this in to me. I’d urge you to watch the video, it’s pretty cool. But it goes to ‘crazy cool’ status when it gets dropped in the water.  Now, while I did lay out some cash to back it – I actually don’t recommend others do the same. First off, their timelines are just way too far out.  Second, their tests with various media outlets last week didn’t go well (none of them). Third, they aren’t using a common crowd funding platform, but rather going with their own site – which gives you far less visibility into where they stand (or others to band up with down the road).  Fourth, much of the footage shown in the video appears from a gimbal and appears to be too good to be true for this unit’s specs.  Still, the water part sold me (:55s into video).

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?

Zwift goes open-beta: You no longer need to wait to use Zwift, it’s now in open beta. In addition, they’ve expanded the map set a bit as well.

Epson site update: Meant to post this a week or two ago, but Epson has now enabled Strava transfer.

Sport Tracks releases new PR timeline: That’s a pretty nifty way of showing PR’s. Much better than others that are just ‘here’s your top PR’.  Oh, and they released a crapton of other stuff too (just read their post).

Garmin Time Zone update: A bunch of Garmin watches got timezone updates over the last week or so, so you might have seen those show up recently.

Thanks for reading!

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28 Comments

  1. Josh Parks

    Jeffery Friedl, the author of the Strava elevation write up, is also the author of the Smugmug plugin for Lightroom. Unless I’m completely missing the boat. If this is the case then you’ve found a brother in Arms Ray. Who knew Jeffery was a cyclist too? Great write up. Small world. (I can’t imagine there’s another similar fellow living in Japan, but there might be)

    • Tim Johnson

      Josh – that is the one and the same Jeffrey Friedl. I found the article because I follow his blog, and I follow his blog because he makes a number of very useful Lightroom plugins. Based on his blog, it seems that he has only gotten into cycling relatively recently, but it’s cool to see him turn his computer science / software engineering bent towards a cycling ‘problem’.

      He has also made a follow-up post about cycling GPS and elevation data here.

  2. Hans

    Nice analysis of elevation data issues. The Galileo vector based maps are a good tool. Strava probably uses some fixed value for segments that it recognizes. Elevation between segments is likely complete voodoo.

  3. cara

    we paid by iphone when we used velib for the day in Paris last fall. This was through the website, not the app, but it worked just fine and much easier than trying to do so at the kiosk

  4. scott dunsmuir

    Reading the Strava elevation article raises doubts ive always had about the android/ios strava apps accuracy. I personally wont use the app to record a workout except in a pinch since it seems to wildly over estimate pace, etc. Ive noticed where im located a vast majority of KOM’s are set with the app versus a standalone gps ie a watch. Dont think its a conspiracy just the accuracy of the devices used. That said if i really want a KOM or segment id use the app

  5. Arn

    The Strava elevation data link was interesting. I think that Strava must be transitioning to using some type of “big data” solution for elevation to augment the digital data it is sourcing from somewhere for elevation. The reason I say this is that during the past year, the Strava corrected elevation data here in Boulder (a place with lots of Strava usage) has gotten much less inflated – and in fact is sometimes a deflation from Garmin 510 derived data. It is still the case if you ride rarely ridden roads that Strava produced elevation is crazy high, but if you stick to well travelled roads – flat or hilly – I rarely see things beyond +/- 15% from the 510. And, if they aren’t using a “big data” approach to zero in on the actual elevation gain of a particular segment, they should be!

  6. Laszlo G

    Making solar bikepaths/ rodaways aren’t feasible: link to youtube.com
    Just put yourt panes on the rooftops!

  7. Jono H

    Hyperlapse launched for stabilizing action cam footage

    I wonder if your Alpe d’Huez Triathlon 2014 footage would benefit from Hyperlapse? (hint… hint…)

  8. falconeye

    Yes, a waterproof drone would be very cool. But I have seen no RC controller. What happens if he loses the connection to the tracking device? Will the drone land immediately or go back to the starting point? And without a gimbal the footage can never be as good, as for example, from a DJI drone with Zenmuse gimbal. But perhaps I am wrong. We wil see.

    • The little pod is your controller, similar strategy as Airdog does. I suspect the pod would also allow relaying of more detailed commands from a phone. I believe in Airdog’s case it just does a standard return to initial landing spot (common for any drones that lose connection).

      But do definitely agree on gimbal. Technically they could do it digitally to a degree (like the Bepop drone does), but that’s nowhere near the quality level.

    • falconeye

      I also think, that it would normally go back to the starting point when it loses connection. But in their examples, it could be very timeconsuming for the user to come back to the startingpoint and fetch the drone,when you are skiing or mountainbikeing or something like this. So better use it with at least two people in the case it loses connection.

    • Indeed, that would especially suck in the kayaking example. Hadn’t thought of that.

      Though, I suppose most drone companies recommend use of a second operator with follow-me mode. For example, when I did all the stuff earlier this year, The Girl actually had the controller in case it went wonky.

    • Martin

      Taken from the FAQ page on the Lily Website:

      What happens when Lily loses track of me?

      Lily will hover in place and try to recover the signal. As soon as it finds you, It will go back to whatever mode it was in before it lost you.

      What happens when Lily runs out of power when it is in the air?

      The tracking device will send you pulse vibrations when the battery is running low. If you don’t land it, Lily will smoothly land before running out of battery.

    • Odd that they don’t return to home if it runs out of battery (or return to you, or really return to anywhere).

    • falconeye

      Yes, perhaps it will land smoothly. But where? In the tree, water, on the roof. The probability is high that you will never find it anymore.

    • falconeye

      If my girl would have the controller, it would really become wonky ;-)
      Far too dangerous for the drone.

    • Digi

      Can you imagine the ski resort example – hundreds of kids with their drones, running into each other and trying to run it down after a collision? Do resorts even have drone policy? Cool concept, but ymmv.

    • Yeah, I think eventually we’ll see something there.

      Some of the drones are now utilizing various technologies to prevent collisions. It’s just in the very early stages, but the results on various videos I’ve seen are promising. And more importantly – the technology is moving at incredible speeds month by month.

  9. Marc Simkin

    There have been some new firmware releases for the Garmin VivoSmart and FR620 over the last two weeks.

  10. matt

    what chance a 4iii review this decade?

  11. Hendrik

    Hi Ray,

    Have you got any news wrt planned Firmware updates and/or website updates for the Mio Fuse.
    Those updates are planned since launch (end 2014), yet basically nothing has happened yet aside from a small update to display HR graph in the Android app.
    I am using my Fuse daily to track HR while training, but this device was supposed to do so much more (sync/backup data with Mio website, sync with Google Fit / Apple Health, sleep tracking, …). And furthermore there are a serious amount of bugs to be solved (unit often not responding to buttons, should enable lock while swimming, no daily info is shown in the app anymore (steps, calories, …), …).
    I remember you mentioned getting beta updates frequently for the unit, which makes it even more surprising that no official update has come out yet…
    Hopefully you can give Fuse users some info on what is going on.
    Thank you

    • Michl

      I’d advise you to stop holding your breath. They also promised updates to the Mio Link just after it launched and people complained about reception issues, yet each and every single date they announced passed and an update has yet to materialize – almost 2 years later

  12. MattS

    Sorry to bother you Ray, but can you confirm that the 620 has an HR alert that can just be set with a high and low? Without having to do a full advanced workout. It seems silly to ask, but I got burned on my 310XT with a firmware update that dropped a basic pace alert inserting the advanced workout instead. Since I’m just a basic runner and hardly ever connect my watch to a computer I want to make sure the basic HR alert exists. The Garmin website doesn’t list it specifically (probably because it’s ass-umed).

    As an FYI I was buying new shoes at my local running store and while discussing watches I mentioned “I go to a blog that does tech reviews” and the salesperson asked if it was your site. So you are fully on the radar in Grand Rapids Michigan :)