Week in Review–September 6th, 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.

Monday: A look at Canyon’s new Android Wear based Smart Bike Computer
Monday: Eurobike Power Meter Tidbits: SRM, Limits, 4iiii, Verve, Pioneer, Look
Tuesday: Kinetic announces new ‘Smart’ trainer lineup, and subscription service
Wednesday: The Tacx NEO Smart Trainer: Everything you ever wanted to know
Wednesday: Zwift rolls out first real world course: UCI 2015 Road World Championships in Richmond
Friday: An Esbjerg (Denmark) Runaround

The DCR Podcast:

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

– Interesting things I saw at Eurobike
– Apps for synchronizing data between platforms
– Comparing training log sites
– Whether or not bike fit apps are worth it
– Plus, we’ll both be at Interbike doing a show together, details on that!

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!

Labor Day Weekend Gadget Deals:


There’s a handful of deals that I’m super-late on posting, that have popped up for basically the last few days and ending at the end of Monday.  All of these are available at Clever Training, and include free US shipping.  But they aren’t combinable with the usual DCR 10% off coupon.

CycleOps Trainers 20% off: This is most likely because of all of the other competitive trainer models announced at Eurobike.  While CycleOps makes good trainers (no issues there), the single issue for me is the lack of dual ANT+/BLE right now, which is tough when apps are so heavily split on which sides they support (iOS on BLE/Android), ANT+ on PC and Android).  CycleOps currently makes a BLE-only model, and a ANT+ only model.

All Saris Racks also 20% off: Generally speaking when CycleOps runs a trainer sale, they throw the Saris racks in there as well.

Garmin FR15 Running GPS for $105: This is down from $169, which was definitely previously overpriced.  But I find $105 a very good price-point for this combo GPS & activity tracker.  Garmin just announced their newer FR25 last month, but if you’re looking to get some fall running in and want a very good priced GPS, this is a solid deal.  My full in-depth review here here.

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) Course cutting is the new doping: Or, at least it is for this one athlete from BC who’s been doing it for years on world-stage triathlons and getting Kona tickets too!  I’ve been following this over the past few weeks via Slowtwitch Forums.  Absolutely crazy stuff to read.

2) What did you learn being a USA Pro Challenge Sport Director: Pretty interesting little look at all of the random things one has to coordinate being a director on a pro cycling team. 

3) How pro cyclist agents work and how deals are negotiated: A small look behind the scenes at three of the players for some of the biggest riders out there.

4) New Warren Miller video: While Warren Miller’s annual ski movies may be fading a bit in popularity compared to others out there, it’s still the one ski film as a kid I always looked forward to going to.  The trailer is out for this year’s movie. (via Gear Junkie)

5) Mountain Bike Photo Contest at Crankworx – impressive stuff: Really cool to see this kinda mash-up contest at events.  Would be neat to see something similar at places like Ironman Kona and others.

6) TomTom releases new Cardio Spark GPS with wireless music: Definitely looks like an interesting device – and many of you have asked for a reason I haven’t posted on it.  The answer is simple: I haven’t touched one.  My general rule of thumb is that unless I’ve had some level of hands-on time, I won’t create a post on it.  This is especially true here where they’ve changed the optical sensor from Mio to a relatively unknown brand.  It’s easy to make the optical sensor work on a show floor of IFA – but getting out and running intervals with it is where it counts.  Same goes for Bluetooth connectivity on earphones (something that devices like the Adidas Smart Run GPS struggled with early on).

7) Pro Triathlete Andrew Starykowicz in SI on Recon Jet: While a bit marketing-like, it’s an interesting little snippet into a pro triathlete actually using the heads up display product day in and day out.  I’ve known for quite some time he’s been very active in development, but this is one of the few times that’s been shown outside of some circles.

8) Philips introduces smart watch for medical reasons: I’d watch this space over the next 6-12 months, I’d be willing to bet Philips makes a play to try and get into consumer fitness devices as well.  One has to remember that the Mio optical sensor is licensed from Philips.

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.

REMOVU S1 – GoPro Gimbal Stabilizer with Remote: Pretty cool looking product.  Though, I just purchased a few days ago something similar and should have it in my hands in the next few days (I’ve previously used the handheld version of it with great luck).  Also a little bit concerned on this Indiegogo project that they don’t have any actual footage from it (nor is the prototype unit working at IFA as seen in their videos that posted). Still, cool concept.

ShockStop: The Shock-Absorbing Bike Stem: This is from the folks behind the Redshift aero system that I’ve previously reviewed (and liked).  Another interesting product.

Scottoiler CYCLE S1 – Automatic Bicycle Chain Lube System: I saw this at Eurobike and talked with them a fair bit, definitely interesting (you’ll see a bit more in a post tomorrow on it).  As one though who almost never lubes their bike chain, I’m not 100% convinced though I need a product to do it every day, all day.  Still, for some it probably makes sense.  And they’ve done some testing around reduced losses in wattage in the drivetrain transfer, which would definitely be real from a power transfer standpoint.

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?

Recon Instruments adds new features to Jet: Lots of new stuff here, including much appreciated changes to the way the camera works.

SportTracks adds Epson partnership: You can now sync directly from Epson’s activity log platform to Sport Tracks. Nice!

SportTracks adds Moxy support: Cool to see this added to various platforms.

Sport Tracks adds GPS elevation correction: SportTracks has been busy the last little while, also adding in elevation correction for imported activities.  Don’t worry, you can turn it off.

Polar V650 Mapping Support: Rolls out previously communicated mapping for V650.

Garmin FR920XT Beta Firmware: Minor tweaks.

Garmin Edge 20/25 Firmware Updates: Fixes some bugs.

Garmin Forerunner 25 Firmware Update: Fixes some bugs

Garmin Fenix3 Firmware Update: Adds in ability to use footpod for pace/distance instead of GPS while outdoors, also a bunch of other features and fixes.  Epix is also getting this capability too.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Charlie

    The title for Scottoiler CYCLE S1 doesn’t seem to have been ended (see the sidenav)

  2. Dom

    Typo alert: “ability to use foodpod”.
    Unless the F3 now comes with a builtin lunchbox for long days out?

  3. Josh

    Ray, congratulations on being named one of the 50 most influential folks in runners world. I saw that and was like, dude, that’s Ray!
    Do you expect we will see the same ability to use a footpod with the Garmin 920 as we are now seeing in the Fenix 3? This capability alone makes me want to give the Fenix 3 another try!

    • Thanks! I’ve heard about it through the grapevine, but the iPad/iOS app hasn’t quite updated with the new edition yet (or…I’m blind – also totally possible). :)

      I’ve asked for clarity on the FR920XT but haven’t heard yet. That said, I’d be stunned if it’s not added, given the largely shared base between them.

  4. Joez

    about the fenix3 firmware. Does this means that you can have your instant pace from the footpod while still having the distance from the gps ? The change log text from garmin is not very informative :
    “Added ability to configure foot pod speed and distance (Settings > Sensors > Foot Pod).”

    • Dom

      You can select either pace or distance from the footpod to be used always, never, or indoors (ie when the GPS is off). So now you can have a perfectly stable pace from the footpod and record distance from GPS. In that case, lap pace will be calculated from GPS, not footpod.

  5. Nick

    I am in need of a new trainer, and I want to get a smart trainer for consistency’s sake. I was thinking of waiting till after Interbike to see if prices drop. but this 20% sale at Cyclops has me intrigued. Anyone have any thoughts on whether it be better to wait, or take advantage of the sale?

  6. Niklas

    I doubt the Shock stop will be succes, unles it will get a good paralellogram like the old Softride. As it is now, it seem to remind too much of the Gerwin flexstem, which was dredful when it dived.

  7. Ian dg

    a lot of word on tomtom and a bit harsh on them :-) I’m sure they will send you one.

    • Yeah, I guess I’m attempting to educate folks that the two things TomTom has introduced in this new product have a long history of challenges. Further, normally you’d be able to rely to some degree on past components being known good (the optical sensor). Whereas here…no much so much.

    • Graham

      Honestly as someone who grabbed a multi sport watch based both on your review and the wonderful community engagement at the time I don’t think it’s too harsh.
      At that time there was regular feedback in the forums, road maps and monthly updates. Those slipped and eventually stopped with features that had been mention in updates (and in some cases printed user guides) getting dropped.
      I don’t have the confidence in that company to manage the challenges that come with a non-mio sensor when they couldn’t even get an indoor workout (no gps signal, let you start something) working.

    • Mr. T

      I agree with Ian. But as Ray seems to indicate…it’s okay to be harsh. However, I don’t think that harshness is spread evenly across brands, just my opinion.

      Personally, I’ve had no problems with Tom-tom, of course I had the TomTom Runner and I’m pretty low maintenance. I still think their vibration alert is the best of all the brands…by far…and that’s kind of the point of the vibe alert. I’m interest in seeing the Spark.

      The thing about these reviews I would love to see is people who’ve been using it for more than a month tryout give their take. I know with Ray’s schedule it’s impractical and doesn’t really work, but I’ve found so much more depth from using a product for months than I ever found in a review. I find the comments from people just as useful as the initial review..if not more so..in evaluating my purchase decisions.

  8. Steven

    I doubt the scottoiler is going to make a difference on a crit or any other single day race. I do see its advantage on long rides (touring/rando/tour divide) especially those longer races where sleep deprevation comes into play and weights are less of an issue. The only issue there becomes specialty parts/complexity of the system — do I need a special cage derailleur?

    • Neil

      Hmmm, so Scottoiler are resurrecting their bicycle product line? Scottoilers for bicycles were first produced decades ago but even the local Scots, who have notoriously harsh winters (requiring road salt & grit) that ruin bikes and especially chains, didn’t take to them. I wish them well…..

  9. anders majland

    I have been using chain oilers on my motorcycles for more than 10 years. When adjusted to put out a bit more than strictly necessary the are very good at dissolving dirt and debris and fling it out.

    So on a commuter / touring bike i can relate to the idea – but i guess that you will still have to clean it trough manually to keep the gears changing smoothly…

    I’m not so sure how much there is to gain in wet and muddy mtb race…

  10. More

    If I undestand well the bePro’s full review was planned to come out the past week. There were problems?
    Thank you.

    • No problems, just working through Eurobike backlog.

      In short, here’s the bePro review in a bulleted paragraph:

      A) Somewhat finicky installation the first time you do it, but by time you do it 3-4 times it’s super-easy.
      B) The power meter definitely takes 2-4 rides to ‘settle’ after any installation, similar to Vector or Quarq
      C) The accuracy of the power meter is spot-on. I’ve seen zero issues there.
      D) I am concerned about the built quality of the shell/components, mine already look pretty rough and the plastic door constantly falls off (bePro seems aware of this, given they ship you extra doors)
      E) I’ve seen some battery drain issues, such as driving with it seemed to cause it to drain batteries faster (didn’t go to sleep).

      For the money, it’s a good deal, but my only (singular) concern is would it last a full winter?


    • More

      Thank you for the response. About the “winter scenario”: does not apply for the Vector too? Or that’s because Vector pedal are apparently more solid (and tested)?
      (btw sorry for my English)

    • Correct, my concern is in the build quality of the bePRO pods. I’ve no concerns with Vector standing up to winters (and they are well proven from a built standpoint).

      I’m just looking at basically 45 days of usage and things are looking pretty rough already, and that’s on mostly warm/sunny rides with only 1-2 rainy rides.

    • More

      Can you put some photos of the product “after usage” in the final review? Thank you once again.

    • Yup, just about to walk outside and take those now actually.

  11. Eli

    I wonder if Philips cracked the r-r timing issue optical heart rate has so they can do hrv

  12. Stephen

    The Deep Winter version of the Mountain Bike photo contest in Whistler is also excellent. Great concept, great results.

  13. Adventure Cyclist

    Your review of the Fly6 lights and cameras seems fairly positive, but you overlook a fairly large part of the cycling population. My cycling, in many parts of the world, is long distance self supported touring. I have two expensive rear lights that are great on road bikes where the day rider carries nothing but a repair kit and a spare tube, but are impossible to use on a loaded touring bike. How are these rear lights supposed to attach to a touring bike loaded with panniers (covering the strays) with saddle bag (hiding the seat post) and handlebar bags cluttering up most of the handlebars? ? ?

    • Hmm, with the Fly6 you could just find a creative way to attach it to the back of the saddle bag. Though I’d be surprised if you didn’t have any seat post availability up/down.

      I think the thing to keep in mind though is that the overall market for long-range touring cyclists compared to bike commuters is probably 1%, roughly, compared to 99% bike commuters/general roadies. Not saying it’s not important, but just giving a bit of perspective.

      With the Fly12, being the GoPro mount, makes it a million times easier to find a creative mounting solution. For example you could go below the bars, or even probably on one side of the drops.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Surprised to see still no beta fw for Edge 520 to address the HR drop-outs with HRM-RUN.

  15. Jimmy Stevenson

    As a TomTom user I am interested to see what they have done with the Spark. I only have a few problems with the TomTom Multisport (namely lack of multisport mode and open water swimming). I have recently started thinking about upgrading to a 920xt, but love my Bluetooth sensors. IF TomTom can finally provide even a decent option for triathlons and open water that could keep me rolling with TomTom.