Week in Review–June 21st, 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.  Sorry, been a bit slammed this past week or two with travel:

Monday: A Night at Diner en Blanc 2015!
Tuesday: Riding Velibs on the famed cobbles of the Champs-Élysées

The DCR Podcast:

Here’s the low-down on what was covered this past week in the DCR podcast:

– My thoughts on the Intel acquisition (in more detail than down below)
– Current state of power meter pricing
– Fitbit IPO (and lawsuits)
– Garmin Fenix3 Updates
– Whether or not I’d be an early adopter of technology if not for the blog
– Calories within the Apple Watch and how it works with the optical sensor
….and a ton 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!

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) Doping in Triathlon: On the list of worthwhile reading/listening pairings, I’d put this article in conjunction with TRS podcast interview with high performance coach Joel Filliol. Very good insight into what is (probably) happening in both amateur and pro ranks alike.  For example, he estimates some 30% of the pro field at Kona is doping. Yikes.  Also of note is this.

2) Don’t run past this Elk with your dog: Sorta like the ‘you don’t have to outrun the bear, just your friend’.  Same thing kinda applies here.

3) YouTube now hosts 8K resolution videos: So yes, your fancy 4K footage is sooooo yesterday.  Of course, I don’t seem to have anything in my house capable of playing such 8K videos – but that’s not the point…right?

4) The Secret Pro: As always, a must read column for any fan of the pro scene in cycling.

5) Discussion of ‘One and Done’ athletes: Good stuff here.  I generally agree – to each their own, do whatever floats your boat (as long as it doesn’t sink my little boat).

6) Dan Empfield of Slowtwitch on his views of equality in sport: If you’re a longtime Slowtwitch reader, this is probably one of the posts not to miss.

7) Estimation of core temperature during workouts using via Golden Cheetah: An interesting concept.  Would be cool to see some folks (somehow) prove/disprove the methods.

8) Police use ultrasonic device to teach drivers 3ft/1m law with cyclists: That’s pretty darn cool. Actually, super-cool. (Via Abraham)

9) Training and strategy for the Ride Across America race: This event started over the past few days, and is now in full swing.  Pretty interesting piece on how Australia’s first all-female team trained for it.

10) Intel buys out Recon Instruments: I tweeted about this a little bit earlier in the week, but figured I’d mention it here.  While obviously both Recon and Intel say this is the next greatest thing…I’m not so sure.  In general, when massive companies like Intel/Google/Microsoft/Apple swallow up little companies (especially hardware companies), it’s rarely good for an existing consumer.  Those products often get quickly left by the wayside as the acquiring company usually has other plans.  In the case of Intel, they did buy Basis last year, but from a consumer standpoint we haven’t seen much beneficial coming out of that.  Mostly because Intel hasn’t historically been a consumer-facing company.  Instead, the vast majority of their products are within other products.  Now while Recon did release the ANT+ Power Meter support the next day, that’s long since been planned – so hardly indicative of future plans.  I’d really like the company to stake out a bit of a public timeline software update roadmap for Jet specifically (their heads up display aimed at cycling/running).  Otherwise, I’ll be very hesitant to recommend it going into my In-Depth Review.

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.

KUAI – World’s First Multisport Biometric Headphones: Well, “World’s First” is sorta a misnomer, since there have been many others.  For example, Dash, also a Kickstarter project.  As to why I didn’t post about them separately – the answer is simple: They are unable to prove to me in person the product actually exists.  That proof is required in the form of a physical product that I can touch (at any stage, functional or otherwise).  That’s sorta my rule  (95% of the time anyway).  It sounds like the first opportunity for that won’t be till October.  Which tells me there isn’t a chance in heck they’ll hit November shipping timelines.

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?

Garmin Epix firmware update: A handful of bug fixes.

Garmin Fenix3 firmware updates: Bug fixes, some minor feature adds, but not yet a fix for the GPS shortening issue (On a semi-unrelated note, I saw that Garmin released their aviation variant this week using the same base hardware as the Fenix3.  This is very common for the company.  Just thought it was worth noting.  Note that separate teams work on that software.)

Garmin FR920XT firmware update: A whole bunch of bug fixes, plus some new minor stuff.

Polar Flow Update: Improved workout exporting.

Recon Jet Power Meter Update: This will now allow you to connect to ANT+ Power Meters.

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Tim

    Out of curiousity do you have a guess at how many teams Garmin has across some of their devices? Specifically 920xt vs fenix 3 vs forerunner 225 and epix? (Are they all separate?)

    Or why the 920xt seems to do semi-frequent public Beta software while I can’t recall seeing any for the fenix 3?


    • Foreunner and Edge: Fitness Team
      Fenix3 and Epix (and VIRB): Outdoor Team
      Airplane Stuff: Aviation Team
      Boating stuff: Marine Team

      These are all separate divisions, however in recent years there has been much better collaboration, especially between Fitness and Outdoor teams as those products overlap.

      A bit more of a look at things: link to dcrainmaker.com

  2. AndiT

    What is the actual improvement in the Polar Flow exporting? Apart from the lay-out change?

  3. MattB

    Interesting article from ST…. Though I’m not completely convinced by one of Dan Empfield’s reasons for the male-bias in their forum population. Ray – given your experience as an American male living outside America, are you substantially more or less male now than when you lived in the States?!? :P

  4. giorgitd

    The ultrasonic device to sense 3 ft passing is interesting, especially since Chattanooga, TN is leading the process. Now, I’ve thought about attaching a wooden dowel with an outward facing nail with length three feet from my handlebar…but I’m sure that I’d be on the pavement within the first five miles…

  5. I have a live experiment underway right now in the bike race known as Race Across America (raceacrossamerica.org). 1800 miles or so done, 1200 to go. The current top American Dave Haase is in second and is using a core temp sensing pill and bio harness from Equivital to monitor very precisely his core temp (among other things). Over half of the racers in the much shorter Race Across the West that started at the same time DNF’d due to heat exhaustion. The Sonoran Desert was 110F as we crossed. Monument Valley 108F. Read about the story and see pics of the equip and phenomenal scenery here > link to ibmbigdatahub.com
    P.S. You were my first resource getting ready for this gig. I could tell you some stories that will make you laugh and cry.

  6. MikeDozer

    So many bugs and other weakneses of epix and such small update :(

  7. daniel

    You wrote that separate team work on the software; do you mean that the aviation watch can have different GPS software compared to the F3?
    And the 920 software is also developed by a different team?
    If thats the case, they should fire the Fenix-unit immediately because both the F2 & F3 are full of bugs ;)

    (and I do pray every morning there’s a GPS update, because it’s really annoying. Especially when compared to the price you pay for the new top-watch and the accuracy of the old models. Maybe just go back to the Sirfstar units)

    • ekutter

      By that logic, they’d have to fire the entire fitness team as well as there have been numerous significant bugs in every device they release. My edge 810 still turns off mid ride when viewing the map. My 920 still would lose BT/Ant+ connection mid workout until I rebooted it (already returned it for the 2nd time so won’t know if this update fixed the problem). The Fenix 3 (a trail running watch) has poor GPS accuracy for trail running. Unfortunately, feature/size wise, they still offer the most promise of any device out there.

  8. mortz

    Hi Ray,
    I was about to pull the trigger and get the F3 but I wasn’t aware of any GPS shortening issues. I remember while reading your in depth review, that you mentioned that you hadn’t found any significant bugs or GPS inaccuracy issues. Is this still the case?

  9. daniel

    199 pages of inaccuracy… ;)
    link to forums.garmin.com

    It shortens most of the runs, cuts corners and is very unreliable when there’s a tiny bit of foliage nearby. But there are SOME good watches around. DC posted some garminconnect pictures 1 or 2 weeks ago with very good accuracy that some user never have achieved.

  10. Chris Elam

    How’s that Apple Watch review coming along?

  11. Kyle

    Im sorry but its hilarious and embarrassing that they can fit 8gb memory for music and whatever else in the headphones but Garmin still has 25mb in the Fenix 3.

  12. Greg P

    Did you notice the additional sleep metric information in Garmin connect? Can you comment on it a little as far as how to understand and use it?

    • James

      Also the Sleep data entry on Connect no longer allows you to enter your sleep mood. I found that those reports were helpful as some days I still feel fine with less sleep. I will no longer be able to see that nice pie chart showing my sleep moods going forward.

    • Dave Moor

      James if by sleep mood you mean the smiley faces, I can still do that on my iPhone app. You need to click on the dashboard sleep row, then click the pen as if you are editing the time, it gives you your smiley options there.

    • James

      I use the Connect website to edit my sleep data. It is now missing on the web site and I noticed today is is showing the deep and light sleep bars instead on the movement graph in the widget.

  13. EB

    As regards the core temperature Access to the full research is behind a pay wall. As such can’t see the formula. The description in the abstract is very different to continuous exercise and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is inappropriate. Also the 95% range was over 1 degree C – that would concern me. Maybe averaging would help, but can’t see without the full paper.

    It wouldn’t be that hard to show if it works on a turbo trainer with a rectal temperature probe. Running and swimming would be more problematic.

    There would also probably be variation between people and most people would want to know about themselves – so you’d want something live and non-invasive. I can think of a few surrogate things that could be measured that you’d need to check matched real core temperature eg. Easiest would be too take a standard clinical ear temperature sensor, pair it with an ANT/BT chip and make a headphone case for it. I doubt many would be very keen on putting something up their bum in the transition tent. You could make a temperature sensing capsule that transmitted the data wirelessly, but then you’d they’d need to sift their poo for it after every race.

    I used to do experiments on rats. There are some really cool implantable sensors that just require a small operation…didn’t ever use a temperature one but I bet they already exist…

  14. Kyle Lehenbauer

    Looks like Garmin has released a software update for the Fenix 3 (version 3.6) that might fix the GPS issues.

    So now I want to know when they are going to add the advanced cycling metrics. Ray said they would have these soon in his original in-depth review. I’m guessing Garmin was working on the GPS issues and that put the cycling stuff on the back burner.

    I’ve had great GPS maps with my Fenix 3. Wonder why some seem just fine and others are buggy?