Week in Review–February 20th, 2016


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 and Facebook, 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: Week in Review–February 14th, 2016
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend in Mallorca
Tuesday: Understanding continual (24/7) optical HR data and resting heart rate
Wednesday: The Love You Wanted: $600 Gadget Giveaway (Ends Saturday Night!!!)
Friday: Garmin announces Vivoactive HR & Vivofit 3

The DCR Podcast:

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

– We chat about my side trip to Spain and why I was there
– Initial thoughts on SRAM RED eTAP first rides
– Whether or not electronic shifting makes sense for consumers
– Discussions about PowerPod and my pending in-depth review
– How new power meter companies keep driving prices lower
– Using Strava as a coach
– How to get routes/courses onto your Garmin devices
– Choosing a budget bike computer
– Whether or not to get a power meter
– Heart rate variability
– Return of the Gingerbread man!

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!

Sports Tech Deals of Note!

Three worthwhile deals in the sports tech realm of note, some of which end on Sunday:

Pebble 20-25% off: Right now the majority of Pebble watches are 20-25% off at Clever Training.  This deal ends Sunday night, so if a Pebble is in your future – you better hop to it.  Fwiw, The Girl has been using (and loving) the Pebble Time Round for the last few months.  It’s her newfound favorite.  Note: Deal does get free shipping, but not stackable with DCR discount.

Polar Balance Scale Deal: If you buy the Polar Balance Scale ($99), you can pickup the Polar Loop 2 or Loop Crystal for $50 off (starts at $119).  So all in, you’re looking at about $170US together.  This ends next Friday, and is not combinable with the DCR discount code (but you do get free US shipping!).  My in-depth review of the scale is here.

GoPro Hero4 Silver & Black Deal: If you pickup the GoPro Hero4 Silver or Black, they’ll toss in a GoPro remote (1.0 version), as well as a wrist housing kit.  The Hero4 Silver continues to be my favorite all-around action cam, so not a bad deal if you’re in the market for one.  This IS combinable with the DCR discount (DCR10MHD), so all in you’re talking $359USD (+free US shipping).

My YouTube Videos of Note!

Here’s what’s new in the realm of YouTube videos I’ve published this week:

Airdog Unpacking Explainer: How long it takes to prep for cycling.  In this I go start to finish on unpacking the follow-me action drone, and then a few tiny snippets of video footage from my actual ride.

Courchevel Ski Holiday The Ultimate Recipe: Ok, so technically I didn’t edit this one.  But, I did collect a bunch of footage for it, and, I’m in it.  And that’s close enough for me!  Instead, our friend David put this together about our ski trip two weeks ago.  It’s pretty awesome.  Additionally, his wife posted a blog about the trip with a focus more on the logistical side of things.

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) The Husband-and-Wife Team Behind the Internet’s Most Infuriating Outdoor Retailer: This story is absolutely nuts.  Definitely a must-read.

2) Stationary bike washes your clothes: Or rather, you wash your own clothes by pedaling.  I feel like there’s a bit of a ‘circle of life’ moment here though in that while you’re washing one pair of clothes you’re inevitably making another kit dirty.

3) The Secret Pro is back: As always, required reading for anyone into the pro cycling scene.

4) Both Russian Anti-Doping Heads Drop Dead: Yes, totally normal for two seemingly healthy dudes in related positions to randomly die of a heart attack after getting some bad press… (via Steve Magness)

5) Training Peaks now integrates HRV data: If you use ithlete Pro, you can now sync your HRV data over to Training Peaks.  I haven’t tried it myself – but am definitely interested in those that have.  This would actually be one of the first notable new ‘sensor’ types that Training Peaks has integrated in a really really really long time.

6) Garmin’s 2015 Financial Results: I thought this was interesting for a few reasons.  First, Garmin sold over a BILLION dollars worth of Fitness & Outdoor devices last year.  Second, this appears to be the first year that the Fitness & Outdoor segments (combined) have now outsold the automotive segment.  The Fitness segment is things like the Forerunners, Edges, and Vivo stuff.  Whereas the Outdoor is the Fenix lineup and some related hand-held devices that I imagine don’t sell in big volumes (unlike the Fenix lineup).

7) Crazy multi-sport snow athletic event: No swim leg that requires a dry suit sounds like it’s going to end up all rainbows and butterflies.  This event sits on the fine line between looking really cool, and really miserable.

8) Adidas starts providing fitness device support via Skype: Pretty cool, and especially useful if you’re out of the country and need support and can avoid calling costs.

9) Will.i.am doesn’t take the hint, makes another smartwatch: I loved the title that The Verge came up with.  Go give them credit and read the details.

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.

Tempo Power Meter: Hmm.

(No project video on this one)

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?

Polar A360 Firmware Update: This adds ability to keep display on during workouts, it also enables support for the Polar Balance scale, among a few other minor items.

Polar V800 Firmware Update: This fixes some issues with the last release related to running cadence from the wrist (that update was pulled), and it also adds in a few minor new features.

Polar Flow adds Training Load/Recovery for cycling units: This rounds out the Flow picture for both the V650, as well as the M450 – making their capabilities in that area the same.  While the Flow team was at it, they also tweaked a few other items.

Garmin Fenix3/Tactix Bravo/Quatix BETA firmware update: This adds in some new features like Auto Lock, as well as a slew of bug fixes and tweaks.

Strava integrates with Peloton: Peloton, which I covered in this CES post, now can push to Strava.  Good deal.

Thanks for reading all!

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  1. Happy Runner

    There’s a new Varia firmware update. As with many Garmin updates, listen to Nancy Reagan and “just say no.”

  2. Roel

    The first and only backeron the tempo power meter that I see so far, that must Mr. Rainmaker himself, right? If so, they can put it in their credentials :)

    • No…not exactly.

    • A. Non

      I’m not very hip on the kickstarter thing, what’s the problem with the tempo?

    • Matt

      Ray has mentioned many many times in articles that it’s not that difficult to produce a power meter that provides data. It’ll be a power meter that does well 90% of the time … but that last 5-10% of the time (the corner-cases) is where most companies get stuck for months and years. We aren’t being given any comparison data at all, so I’m extremely skeptical. But I am still super excited to see yet another budget contender coming online!!

  3. Jens

    Sorry to ask again here, are there posts being written that don’t end up on the main page?
    I don’t want to miss out on any of your great posts :=

    • Sometimes I write guest posts elsewhere, that’s why I differentiate it above. Though, I haven’t done that in a while.

  4. Benedikt

    The skiing video is blocked in Germany because it could contain Sony Music rights and YouTube and GEMA are fighting for royalties.

    • I believe if you watch it on a desktop player it’ll work fine (it’s some weird restriction for mobile players in certain countries – France among them as well).

    • Jonas S.

      Nope, doesn’t work either. :-/

    • Hi Jonas! Thanks for trying and sorry you can’t access the video. David’s sister also lives in Germany so we are aware of this issue. Most videos we post have the same problem. You can try ClipConverter online to download the video to your computer (not sure if that would work). Let us know!

  5. Marc steingrand

    Hello do you know if the crank length for the P1 is know back

    • I do not believe it is in that specific build (haven’t checked, but it’s not listed), but it is coming back.

  6. Sean

    Wow, Stages has a Kickstarter? Weird.

  7. Great film about running the UTMB and CCC just came out, you’d appreciate it, especially considering where you live now. link to youtube.com

    Definitely trying to qualify for next years event.

    • Wow, that’s a great find. Just watched the whole thing. Awesome – adding it to next week’s post!

  8. tfk

    re: Garmin results & share price rise
    1. company figures weren’t that amazing (compared to prev yar or prev qtr) BUT they exceeded analyst expectations and that was prob why the recent share price spike. Good sign for Garmin’s future – esp with this week’s product announcements which look profitable.
    2. interesting comment in the Earnings Call about the FENIX3 being the standout performer in terms of $$$£££ (I forget the exact wording). I would have though 920 sales were similar (obviously not). Maybe you have a view based on your affiliate revenues?

    • 2) Yeah, the Fenix3 was a runaway success for them. They never expected it anywhere near those numbers, in large part because they were assuming success levels on-par with the Fenix2. However, what was critical to the Fenix3 that wasn’t there for the Fenix2 was the fancier bands (wider appeal), and cleaner look. That made it popular well beyond multisport athletes. Heck, the vast majority of my former co-workers have Fenix3 units, and they mostly don’t work out. They like them for totally different uses (one sailing, one just the CIQ apps, another related to driving, etc…).

  9. Peter

    Can we tweet questions???????

  10. I use the ithlete pro integration with training peaks (for 4 days now). Worked flawlessly so far. Just creates a metric entry in training peaks at the time the hrv measurement is taken. If you take two in a day, it synchs both.

  11. Jonas S.

    Ray, do you have plans on testing other Garmin GPS devices that are also usable for biking like the Garmin GPSMAP 64s? I haven’t found anything on the 64 series, would be nice to see your opinion.

    • No, probably not at this time. I’m pretty swamped as it is, and unfortunately I don’t see a ton of interest in them. :( I wish I had more time, as they might be fun to play around with.

  12. Mike Richie

    One complaint about “The Ultimate Recipe” – no Ray dancing on tables. You will have to do a sequel!
    Although the Lucy cameos were epic. ;>)

  13. Marcel Wilschut

    Re: Training Peaks now integrates HRV data

    Hi Ray,

    Some thoughts on this subject. I’m recording my resting HRV for 4 months in TrainingPeaks. So the news in this article is not about integration of HRV, but about integration with ithlete Pro.
    Manually input HRV is only possible on the website of TrainingPeaks. The app on Android has no possibility to input HRV. This is what the servicedesk of TrainingPeaks confirmed.
    Because I use a Garmin HR strap I need an app that can receive ANT+ HRV. The only option I found was Selfloops HRV (ANT+ and BT) . All the other use only BT. But no integration with TP. So I manually transfer HR and HRV to TP.
    I’m interested in the usefullness of HRV but also in the apps for recording and automatically transfer the data to TP.
    Something for a new post?


    • Ahh, very nice. I didn’t quite get that it was there before but this was just the sync. Appreciate the details!

    • Aaron

      If you’ve got a Garmin HRM some of the watches (such as the Fenix 3) will allow you to record HRV values directly into the FIT file just like any other workout.

      SportTracks supports importing these HRV test values and displaying them in the health page.

      You can read about how to enable that on the5krunner.com

  14. Sean Ormerod

    I was wondering if you had seen this on Kickstarter and if you had any opinion/thoughts?

    link to kickstarter.com

  15. Eric Hanneken

    “Yes, totally normal for two seemingly healthy dudes in related positions to randomly die of a heart attack after getting some bad press…”

    According to a source quoted in the article, Vyacheslav Sinev left Rusada in 2010, had been ill with heart problems, and was expecting a heart transplant.

  16. Eli

    Insole based running and cycling power meter?https://www.rpm2.com

    Something seems like they are over promising

    • Yup, we’ve been chatting. They were planning on sending me a unit out of a production batch that was supposed to arrive this week.

  17. Eli

    The return of brain wave based sleep tracking: link to kickstarter.com