Week in Review–February 28th, 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.

Saturday: Week in Review–February 20th, 2016
Sunday: Hands-on with Samsung’s new Gear 360° camera
Monday: Garmin’s new Vivoactive HR & Vivofit 3: Hands-on & First Run
Tuesday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Thursday: The Love You Wanted: $600 Gadget Giveaway Winner!
Friday Morning: The Apple Watch: Sport and Fitness In-Depth Review
Friday Evening: Garmin Fenix3 HR In-Depth Review

(For those keeping track at home, this is the first time I’ve ever released two In-Depth reviews on the same day!)

My YouTube Videos of Note!

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

First up – hands on with the Garmin Vivoactive HR:

Then a bit of how it looks while running (very short clip):

And finally, some goodness from the Samsung event with an overview of their upcoming 360° camera:

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) Awesome 20-minute documentary on Mont Blanc trail running race and Nike running team: Really well done, definitely worth the time to watch over lunch (or breakfast, or a TV dinner). (via William M.)

2) RunKeeper shifts to Spotify Running service: This is the Spotify platform that basically picks songs to match your current running pace.  Cool stuff.

3) Velon’s partnership & sports tech: Some interesting tidbits in a article regarding Velon’s desire to bring more technology to the pro cycling realm.  Actually, someone tipped their hand on what’s likely coming in a new GoPro in this…

4) Rumors for Wanda sports to buy ASO (and thus the Tour de France) resurface: Somehow though, given the general resistance of the French towards outsiders buying up French organizations – I don’t see this is as likely.  Especially given how big a symbol the Tour is in France of French culture.

5) Measuring activity makes it less enjoyable: Well, for some anyway. (via Michal Z.)

6) Tipping in bike shops: A relatively simple guide.  Though, having been living in France for a while now, this whole tipping thing for everything thing takes some getting used to each time we fly back stateside.

7) Oral-B introduces smart toothbrush: I’m just waiting for it to start talking to boxes of candy and tell me things I don’t want to hear.

8) Fitbit blows away 2015 numbers: The previous week we talked about Garmin, this time it’s Fitbit.  Very impressive numbers.

9) One of Those Days – 3: The 3rd iteration to one of the most epically viral ski videos out there.  A must watch.

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.

Sleep Shepherd Blue: A new brain-wave based sleep tracker (kinda like the now defunct Zeo).  (Via Eli)

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 Edge 1000 Firmware Update: This brings Varia Vision HUD support, and another bunch of other tweaks.

Garmin Edge 520 Firmware Update: Also adding Varia Vision HUD support.

Garmin FR630 Firmware Update: Fixes pace alert issues (and other bugs), adds in ability to download HR data from HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM straps

Garmin FR230 Firmware Update: Same as FR630 firmware update.

Garmin FR235 Firmware Update: Same as FR230/630 firmware update.

Garmin Fenix3 Beta Firmware Update: Numerous new features, plus even more fixes/tweaks.

Polar V650 Firmware Update: Fixes Stages power meter support.

SRM PC8 Firmware Update: Adds in a whole host of new widgets (views), and other features.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. AndiT

    Billy Yang, who did the Mont Blanc documentary is pretty cool! Saw some of his other documentaries (Sally McRae’s Western States 100 or 15 minutes with Anton Krupicka) and they are all very well done and pretty awesome subject matters.

  2. Ah tipping. One of the reasons things look cheap in America. We’ve written a price on it, but that’s not how much it costs, you need to add tax and tips to that. It’s like a game of shopping roulette.

    As a Brit, this blows my mind, and makes Americans hate me. You write a number down; I’ll pay you that number. Simples. I’ll even do it in your currency despite it looking like monopoly money if you insist. You want better wages? Speak to your boss.

    Yes, the British are mean. We don’t even nod when we run, let alone smile or wave. We are proud to be miserable Bastards :)

    • Mike

      As a German, I feel you. And I’ve done the same because it’s ridiculous. I give tips for outstanding service, not “because that’s how it’s done”. That’s not what a tip is supposed to be for.

      That said, in doing so nothing will change, you (and me) are not making a political statement, we’re jsut hurting the individual that has worked for us. It sucks, really.

    • ” I give tips for outstanding service, not “because that’s how it’s done”. That’s not what a tip is supposed to be for. ”

      Totally agree with this statement. If we should tip everything then why don’t we give something to the pilot of the plane, bus driver, postman, policeman etc? This tipping habit is so annoying. Right, I feel your service was beyond expectation or BAU, ok, I can leave something but from this to being mandatory to leave 10-20-30% of the value? WTH?

    • Brad

      I’m an American living in America and also find this tipping business in the US (New York, anyway) loony and out of control. I’ve never tipped on a bike repair. When necessary I take my bike in and pay the associated fee. End of story. Luckily for me there is often no charge for simple items (maybe because I’ve purchased many bikes and accessories from the shop).

      My wife insists on tipping for many things and I find it infuriating. At Christmas time tipping the mail lady, the garbage men, the kids’ school bus driver – plus end of school year “gift”. And why do so many retail places have a tip jar? Not everything deserves a tip – it’s called doing your job.

  3. Steen


    Any news about when Garmin will add Ant+ FE-C to the Edge 1000?

    • It’s still planned, but it’s unclear what the timelines are. I suspect the release this past week for the Edge 1000 was basically branched at the last moment to go ahead and get the Varia Vision support out the door so that when those units starts shipping next week, they’d actually have something to work with.

      Meaning, my bet is that they temporarily pulled the FE-C stuff that was in there, just to get this done. My guess is that it’s not far behind.

  4. What about Tempo power meter in kickstarter?
    An initial thoughts?
    link to blog.zitasport.com

  5. Mike

    Thanks for the firmware update notes!

  6. Re: the 6.00 update for the Edge 1000. I was dismayed to see this was a major release, but doesn’t have ConnectIQ support.

    Any idea when this will become real?

  7. DC Runner

    The results on the effects of measuring progress on the casual athlete are not at all surprising. For a lot of people just taking up a sport (be it running, cycling, triathlon or whatever) monitoring progress can really help them through their first even, first year, or even first few years. But I’ve noticed over the last 6-8 years that a lot of the new runners who get into technology the most also drop out.

    Achieving personal goals is important, but non-professionals older than college age run for health/fitness and for enjoyment. Taking a break from tracking on your slower paced runs and during your off-season can help make fitness a lifetime habit by keeping it enjoyable. Much like taking a break from your cell phone or computer I think this is an important part of using fitness tch.

  8. Doug

    From 3 minutes in Candide Thovex’s video is nothing special. It’s just like skiing in Scotland ;)

  9. Nedim


    do you expect Garmin to update the FR620 as well?

  10. Joe

    Any chance you’re pushing forward your fitbit blaze review since they seem to be shipping early? A few deals have been popping up but I want to see your hr graphs before buying.

    • Yup, I’ll publish a Blaze review likely either Tues night or Weds morning. HR graphs aren’t looking terribly awesome.

    • Joe

      Looking forward to the review and I suppose I’m glad I didn’t pull the trigger yet. That’s a shame about the HR though. I just don’t love the look of the Garmin Vivoactive HR quite as much and the Fenix3 HR is way outside of my price range. I think I saw you had mentioned somewhere that the Vivoactive HR should be the same HR performance as the Fenix3 so I’ll probably go for that as it should be good for me as a daily tracker/smartwatch for nonformal settings. Looking forward to that review as well whenever they start shipping that.

    • Joe

      Actually, is there anything else you would recommend looking at? I basically want reasonably accurate heart rate monitoring during workouts in a wearable with standard fitness tracking and basic smart notification features. I don’t need GPS and would rather save money. As far as I can tell the options are the Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Surge, and Garmin Vivoactive HR but I’m not sure if I missed anything.

  11. Alexander

    Seems like watteam is shipping. US at least.

  12. Is anyone else having issues getting the 6.30 update on their FR920xt? I’ve tried multiple times but can’t get it to update – the device and Garmin Connect say I’ve still got 6.10, but Garmin Express says it’s 6.30. It’s driving me nuts because I can’t look at my stats on my phone, I have to wait to use a computer.

    Any resources on the subject would be appreciated as well – I haven’t been able to find any yet.

  13. Shawn

    As a former bike mechanic I find that tipping article silly. I’ll note that in the 6 years I spent working in shops I never received a tip from a paying customer. On occasion a customer needing a last minute repair would bring in a 6-pack for the inconvenience, though the service manager would take those jobs. Not to mention in those days I couldn’t legally drink the beer even if I wanted to. I never expected anyone to give me a tip.

    I did manage to get tips from non-paying customers. I loved getting sent to go work charity bike rides. The shop payed me my hourly rate to sit outside and fix riders bikes. Enjoying the outdoors in a fun environment was awesome enough. Amazingly as this was a free service for the ride I received lots of tips, which made those days even more fantastic.

    I should mention that when I worked in shops the pay was horrible. I did it because I loved bikes, and I preferred to work on bikes instead of taking an equally horrible paying job doing something I hated. The shop discount also stretched my money a lot further. I never felt like the customers should be paying me more on top of what the shop charged. In fact I couldn’t believe how much people were willing to pay for the simplest tasks. Knowing my hourly rate and what the shop charged for my service I did often think I deserved a larger portion of that money, but that is a different topic.

    • Richard

      I’m a Brit living in the USA and despite also not liking the whole lets tip everyone thing, on two occasions
      I’ve given gift cards for service that I’ve received that was way beyond what I would’ve expected from my Local Bike Shop.

  14. Robby Parker

    Can the Garmin FR 630 be used for swim training at all? In the pool or open water?

  15. Hi Folks !

    Is there any luck that Garmin adds support for the Varia Vision HUD on the Fenix 3. Would be great for triathlon !


    • I think we’ll eventually see it. Only because the Vivoactive HR got support for it – so it’d be a bit odd for a watch 1/3rd the price to get it.

  16. Mikedozer

    And Epix as usual forgotten…

    Im still living with hope, that when Beta program for F3 will end, all features will be added to Epix…

  17. Jonas S.

    Have you heard about them before: link to rpm2.com
    Looks like an interesting concept… but not so sure really…

  18. Dan

    Off topic. But is there any way to stop or at least the slideshow at the top of your blog page w/o diving into one of the stories? I find I never have enough time to read the sample text before i’m whisked away to the next slide.

    • Unfortunately not. However, the quicker way is to just go to dcrainmaker.com/blog – which gives you all of the posts. Or, you can click the big ‘Blog’ button up top from just dcrainmaker.com. Still gives you the little snippets of text too.

    • Dan

      Ahhh. That did it. Thanks Ray.

  19. pmodern

    Hi Ray, Any thoughts on the launch of RPM^2 footbed based power meter for run/ cycle? Interesting concept if it works well.