Week in Review–June 26th, 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–June 19th, 2016
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Hands-on: New Totally Silent STAC Zero Trainer
Thursday: In Just 7 Days…
Friday: 13 Tidbits from a Week in Park City

It was a bit of a quiet week as I was travelling a bit and preparing posts for this upcoming week, for things being announced/etc…

Sports Technology Deals:

REI’s got their massive 4th of July clearance/sale event going on right now, and some pretty sweet deals mixed in the some 6,000 items on sale.  I’ve been sifting through some of them trying to find the diamonds in the rough.  Note that many won’t last long.  Also, most sports technology deals are in these 6 pages (GoPro mounts, Garmin VIRB/Edge mounts, numerous Suunto units, some much older Polar stuff, etc…).  Here’s the best of those deals:

Withings Activité Sapphire – 20% off: Down to $359 from $450.  The main difference here being this model uses Sapphire glass.  Or, ‘Saphir’ as REI apparently calls it.  My in-depth review on it can be found here.

Garmin Vivosmart – $36: Yes, really.  Personally I wouldn’t buy this unless you were planning on getting a cheaper Vivofit in the $50-$75, and at this price ($36), heck, you get smartphone stuff.  Obviously this unit is a fair bit older, but still has all the basics and Garmin Connect Mobile integration.

PowerTap G3 hub – 50% off: Down to $399USD for the G3 hub.  Never seen it anywhere near this low, and is solid.  The G3 hub transmits ANT+, though you could easily buy the dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart replacement cap if you wanted Bluetooth Smart down the line.  While I don’t know if anything is coming to replace the G3 hub, I’d have no issues buying this today, and am fairly tempted actually to pickup another one at this price to round-out my testing fleeting. And…this is already sold out/gone.

YouTube videos I made:

First, don’t forget you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here, thus allowing you to get instantly notified when I upload video awesomeness.

Just two videos this past week.  The first being my bobsled run I did in Park City.  It’s pretty nuts.

And the second being an overview of the STAC Zero trainer.

DCR Podcast!

Here’s a handful of the topics discussed in this past week’s podcast:

– Discussion of STAC Zero Trainer
– A few thoughts on running/riding in Salt Lake City
– Using indoor mode on Garmin FR620 (Tip: You can also just tap top of screen to disable GPS)
– Finding a job in the sports tech world
– InsideRide and FE-C support
– Windows Phone (and related) support and why companies don’t do it
– Is it the strap or the pod that matters?
– And more of course!

Listen to the full podcast here on the Podcast player, or just download it directly 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) The Marriage That Led to the Russian Track Team’s Olympic Ban: Really fascinating article if you’ve got a bit of time, as it dives into one of the athletes who became a major whistleblower in the Russian doping case.  Fascinating stuff.

2) Fitbit rolls out new sleep-focused functionality: The idea to give you more proactive guidance on getting better sleep based on your data, rather than the current industry trend of just telling you how you slept.

3) Team Lotto demands apology: A pretty good example of this very mainstream media not properly fact checking over hidden motor claims.

4) Swimrun in Scilly drone video: A really well done drone video of this swimrun event.  Given the terrain, one of the few cases where going with a 100% drone-shot video actually makes a ton of sense, and doesn’t feel forced.  Oh, and the event itself looks awesome.

5) Floyd Landis transitions business interests to selling pot: Yes, really. The Twitter be all up in great jokes about it.

6) GoPro Care – Like Apple Care: Interesting, GoPro has announced new ‘insurance’ style policy for GoPro units. Sounds like a ‘no questions asked’ we’ll replace/fix it type of service.  From $40 to $100 depending on model.  While maybe a tiny bit high, I think the prices are in the ballpark of fair.  I’d be tempted to buy-in for my next purchase.

7) Rio drug testing lab suspended: Will be really interesting to see what happens over the next 45 days or so leading up to the Olympics, and whether WADA will institute a temporary lab or re-instate the existing one.

8) Woman runs across Iran…solo: It’s a 1,144 mile trek that took 54 days.  She also holds various running world records as well.

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 are 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?  Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin firmware updates.

Polar A300 firmware update: Just bug fixes.

Wahoo ELEMNT firmware update: Bug fixes (follows last week’s major firmware update)

Recon Jet Firmware Update: New video related functionality, along with a few other tweaks.  Good to see them still chugging away at this.

PowerTap now allows firmware updates via desktop: You can now use the VirtualTraining app to update various new PowerTap products using Bluetooth Smart.  Note you need not pay for VirtualTraining to use this functionality.

Garmin FR230/235/630/735XT BETA firmware updates: This is a refresh of the beta updates we saw last week adding in new Connect IQ support.  Virtually all of these are identical in terms of minor bug fix changes related to Connect IQ.

Garmin Vivofit2 Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Youssef


    Polar flow is down for almost 3 days now,

    I think you should announce it here, as a lot of people “including me before” are doing master reset, which is helpless

    as per them they are gonna fix it by tomorrow

    “u owe me a give a way now :D ” lol

    • I re-tweeted their brokeness on Twitter. Sounds like you should follow me (or them) on Twitter. ;)

      Now, the whole topic of them being broke might be worthy of discussion in next week’s ‘Week in Review’, depending on when they actually get up and working again.

  2. Stephen Thomas

    For the podcast caller that wanted a cycling computer and didn’t have a Mac or a PC (he had a Chromebook), I’m surprised you didn’t suggest the Wahoo ELMNT. It works perfectly without a PC at all.

  3. Paul Furniss

    Is Garmin done updating the 920?

    • No. They noted last week it’ll get a variant of a Connect IQ update. I suspect we’ll see the beta versions of those updates in the next week or two (just a guess).

  4. ekutter

    FR 630 got an update that adds the foot pod as a speed source. This is a long time coming for their premier running watch. I know you didn’t seem to have too many problems with instantaneous pace, but for me as well as many others, it was pretty much useless.

  5. John

    Ray, thanks for publishing that article from the Times. Really interesting.

  6. Will

    I was wondering if there are any physical differences between the fenix 3 and the quatix 3 as far as sensors go.
    As well, I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with downloading quatix 3 or just general sailing apps onto the fenix 3.
    (any comments would be much appreciated)

    • Andrew Kuhn

      I have fenix 3, and have downloaded and used the sailing and tide apps from quatix, you can even get the watch face. Don’t have garmin boat sensors though so maybe that is what the quatix can do that fenix 3 cant….

  7. Tobywankenobe

    Thanks for the video of Kristina. In a time of so much murderous violence, it is comforting to see incredible feats dedicated to peace and understanding.

    • PhilBoogie

      Seconded! And props to you for writing such a simple sentence, touching on all the aspects. I wholeheartedly agree.

      @Ray: we could do with a voting system here. Though if you’d move to Disqus I’m outta here: it’d attract too many trolls for my taste.

    • Fear not – no plans at all for Discus here!

      I have thought about some sort of voting system, which would be especially useful for in-depth reviews where the comments easily number into the thousands.

    • PhilBoogie

      That’s a double-whamoo™ then!

      Good to read that you are indeed looking a a commenting system, ánd no Disqus.

      BIG thanks!

  8. tim

    Have you heard any more about limits power meter. Interested in a review.

  9. Gabe

    Ray – when is garmin announcing the latest edge devices or when does garmin typically make the next product announcements?

    • Historically speaking they’ve done so at Eurobike or CES most years. However last year they dropped the Edge 25 and Edge 520 in June/July. So kinda all over the map.

    • Gabe

      Thanks! I’m looking forward to your edge 820 reveal. I sold my 810 as soon as the leak (by Garmin) happened.

      Im still a little confused why they call it an 820 in a 500 series body just with navigation. Didn’t see a microsd slot anywhere either..

  10. Patrick

    The NYT story is jaw dropping. China has also been sanctioned for something very similar. That, Zika, and the ridiculous pollution will make the upcoming Rio games almost unbearable to watch. Is anything what it seems?

  11. Steve

    What, no Strava segment for the bobsled run? I’ve love to see the speeds throughout the course. :-)

  12. Andy

    Ray, you wouldn’t have any ideas of where to rent some road bikes in or near Rome to get some riding in while in Italy?