Week in Review–March 27th, 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 – March 19th, 2016
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Paris Super Sprint Triathlon 2016 Race Report
Thursday: Testing in the Win(d) Tunnel: Garmins, Action Cams, Mounts, and more!
Friday: The DCR Easter Bunny $600 Gadget Giveaway

The DCR Podcast:

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

– Ideas on how to attach a power meter to a running stroller
– What to do if you’ve got moisture under your GPS watch screen
– Trainers, new trainers, and whether or not to pickup a KICKR now on sale
– Calibrating footpod fun
– Whether or not companies like Garmin/Suunto/etc… should try and let academic types tap into data
– How to get resting HR (RHR) data from under mattress type systems
– Whether or not the Vivoactive HR will record resting HR data properly

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) Which is faster: Garmin bike GPS or bike courier? Fun little test done as a race across London. (Via reader David)

2) Pebble laying off 25% of staff: Can’t say this is a huge surprise, as competition from the historical fitness majors (Garmin/Fitbit/Polar/etc…) combined with new fitness majors (Apple/Microsoft/Samsung/etc…) are making it harder and harder for smaller players to compete. But, I think Pebble is generally well positioned to tweak their strategy and move forward.  Their existing extremely loyal fan base is key to that.  However, expanding beyond that base is realistically far more important – which is of course Pebble’s real challenge.

3) Secrets to crowd funding hardware: A worthwhile read into the reality of getting a hardware Kickstarter (or similar) to reality.

4) SpeedX heavily integrated tech bike: Pretty fascinating looking bike, with what is essentially a GPS bike computer built in (along with lots of other interesting features).  I’ve been chatting with them about a possible test ride, though, likely won’t happen before the end of their campaign.

5) Amazon Echo links up with Fitbit now: Interesting, this might be an excuse fascinating enough for me to actually pickup an Echo to try out.

6) Rio Olympics Velodrome Test Event Cancelled: Yikes. Just yikes.

7) Seattle bike sharing director fakes its membership numbers, among other issues: More yikes, wow. (via Bike Hugger)

8) New POV camera aimed at cycling streams without phone: Pretty interesting concept, we’ve seen similar concepts historically, but never quite panned.

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 got a huge update: Some massive new map sections, and other awesomeness.

Polar V650 Firmware Update: Largely bug fixes, but fairly important ones.

Quarq Riken AL adds power balance: This was actually added to new units a bit ago, but now you can update your existing unit.

Apple watchOS 2.2 firmware update: Increases background heart rate measurements, among other things (via Shaun M.)

Garmin Index WiFi Scale Firmware Update: Various fixes around WiFi & user selection.

Garmin Fenix3 HR BETA firmware update: Loads of additional new features. Note that the regular Fenix3 BETA firmware update containing these same features came out already.

Garmin FR920XT BETA firmware update: Just some swim algorithm fixes.

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Giles

    Hey ray, have you heard any more on the Fec update for the kickr? It’s long overdue relative to wahoo’s estimates…..

  2. Eli

    If you get an echo don’t put it right up against the wall and if you can keep the volume away from max. (Helps with the way it handles echo and noise cancellation)

    As to Kickstart, I’ve always thought projects could do better with pricing or rewards. I understand the desire to have people sign up early to get more interest in your product but think the lowest price early bird option shouldn’t also be the earliest shipped. Seems like they could have a higher priced option for those who want the product early and a low priced but last shipped option for those who just want it cheap. Might be able to get more money that way

  3. Max

    Hi Ray,

    What do you really think about the SpeedX Leopard? Is it worth to invest in the bike (I am really surprised to get a full carbon and Di2 groupset for less than 2000$ ….). If you have chatted with them, do you know if the built in sensor will be able to be connected to other devices than the built in computer (like a 920XT …). Also I did not see any map navigation in the promo video…?!


    • Eli

      It seems like they are trying to do too much. Designing a carbon frame and building it is not cheap or easy but they are doing that along with all the new electronics? What type of frame is it? Stiff so meant as a racing frame (Tarmac, Modone)? comfort (think Domane, Roubaix)?

    • I agree that it seems like biting off a lot. And I think the timelines are super-aggressive as well. But, happy to be proved wrong.

    • Steven M

      Same question also for me.

      Just a note, I’ve found that they already built the gps integraded bike computer (it replace bike stem), and it’s called Speed Force (179 $)
      link to indiegogo.com
      link to beastbikes.com

      Maybe you can ask them to try one of this.

      Bye and thanks for all your interesting news and reviews.

    • I think they did offer one of the other units. Let me circle back with them.

  4. dano

    As software upgrades are released, at what point will you re-evaluate the HR features on the Garmin HR or other HR watches? Glitches gone, replaced by….

    • For the most part, the HR sensor is the same on all Garmin units. Over time the software in it updates, so I’m constantly trying new software (for example, trying new Fenix3 HR beta software constantly).

      If I see something major of note, I’d update accordingly.

    • Tony Vollmers

      That beta Fenix 3 HR update appears to be buggy. I’ve lost HR functionality and some other bugs seem to have manifested (compass not working, the unit is noticeably slower, etc). Any problems with your update?

    • For me on the latest beta, there are other bugs I’ve run into – though not the ones you listed. For me my altimeter stopped working, and I’ve had some crashes.

      I suppose it’s why it’s beta…

  5. Mike

    The SpeedX is super interesting but maybe the worst stack/reach combinations ever. The stack/reach are all super short and long, meaning you are taking the most aggressive road bikes geometries and making them shorter and longer. Hello early 1980 steel bike geos…. this will be very uncomfortable to ride with suspect handling.

  6. How pregnant is Mz. Dcrainmaker aka The Girl? I keep hoping for a pic.

    Pebble- they’ve had a lot of sales lately. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  7. Mike S.

    Hi Ray,

    Any info on Lumo and their delaying of shipping the Lumo Run until July? Any cause for concern?


  8. mahead

    Hi Ray! It would be interesting to hear how you see Polar V650 against competitors currently. V650 has evolved quite a bit since it’s release, but no doubt others haven’t been sitting on their thumbs either. Personally I’m missing only turn-by-turn navigation and wireless sync. Luckily the latter seems to be very near, based on last release notes.

  9. I “need” you to do a review on this watch:
    link to wsd.casio.com


    • Yeah, I looked at that a bit at CES in this post: link to dcrainmaker.com

      In short, it’s laughable. It doesn’t have GPS, and feels (and is) super-plasticy (though does have a baro altimeter). Basically, had they had GPS it might have been interesting, but without it it’s just a horribly overpriced Android Wear device.

  10. Samtrz

    The first thing I noticed about the Leopard, after the Win Tunnel post the other day, is that the computer protrusion isn’t flat. Tsk, tsk…

  11. Cool site, and thank you for linking to http://www.Readwrite.com. I take it that this is a community for sports tech enthusiasts, and an engaged community at that. Contact me if you’re interested in being added to the RW mastermind group for devices.

  12. Scott Buchanan

    Sorry to put this here but there doesn’t seem to be a more appropriate place….. what’s going on with “Modern” Garmin Connect? Ever since its release it’s been slow as hell, I’ve NEVER been able to get it to load first time and it repeatedly takes 3 or 4 attempts. In the past its not been a problem as I’ve been able to use legacy Garmin Connect which has been 100% pain free. Tried to go there tonight and it appears that Garmin have switched it off as it keeps reverting to broken “Modern”. After 20 minutes I’ve not been able to load an activity :(
    What the hell is going on?? :(

    • Phil A

      Never had a problem with modern Garmin connect loading, and working properly after about the month or so it was around, but it appears they must be doing something to their site today, because it has been wonky all day.

    • It ate too many chocolate bunnies over the weekend. Slow and sluggish today.

    • ekutter

      yea, I was kind of bummed they removed access to the old version. I still would use the old course creator since on my big monitor, the new one only lets me use the top half of the screen for the map & elevation profile. Given its been like that a couple years now, I doubt they will fix it.

  13. DJH

    Quarq’s website doesn’t say anything about a firmware update… the last firmware date on their website says Version 24
    June 17, 2015
    Anyone try to update their Quarq PM recently??

    • Yancey arrington

      It isn’t a firmware update, just connecting the 1.8version of Qualvin to the powermeter enables the power balance feature.

    • DJH

      Thanks, I had to figure out how to get Qalvin 1.8… it’s not available on Android. It’s on the PC, though, and I updated both of my Rikens. Looking forward to seeing L-R data now!

  14. William

    Any thoughts on the Quatix 3 that has just come out?

    • It’s essentially the Fenix 3 hardware, but just with a few software tweaks for the Quatix 3, focused on the marine crowd. We’ve seen Garmin do the same iterations previously with the Fenix1 and Fenix2 lineup (among other watches).

  15. Francisco Araujo

    Yikes indeed!
    Brazil, which is as big as Europe, currently has zero indoor cycling tracks…

  16. Thomas

    Hallo Ray,
    there was a campaign on Indiegogo called Speedforce. A cycling computer which is integrated into the stem. It seems to be from the same guys as the SpeedX.
    link to igg.me
    What do you think about this thing?
    Best Regards

    • It’s interesting looking. Though personally I prefer to have a computer separate from the bike ‘frame’, so I can easily take it with me or move it to other bikes.

      (Using ‘frame’ in a more general sense this time)

  17. Huy

    What do you guys think about the Shimano Dura Ace power meter confirmed (lol) rumors ?