Week in Review–November 13th, 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–Nov 6th, 2016
Monday: 5 Random Things From a Week in Colorado
Wednesday: GoPro Karma In-Depth Review
Thursday: Huge Sale: 20% off all new trainers, Fenix3 HR, and boatloads more
Friday Morning: Garmin’s new TrueUp multi-device activity tracking sync: Here’s how it works
Friday Evening: Garmin enables migration from Fitbit: Here’s how it works

More Sports Tech Deals!

I’m sure everyone saw a few days ago, but since then I’ve been adding in other deals as they come available, including a boatload of Garmin deals as well as various other smaller things that I find here and there.  All of which is found on the deals page here.

YouTube Videos I Published:

I published a bunch of Karma drone videos this week as part of that review.  Here they all are:

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) A bit more behind GoPro’s Karma drone recall: Most of this isn’t surprising, but if you haven’t seen the mid-air crash videos, then that’s worth a few seconds of your Sunday.  I think GoPro has approximately a week, give or take, to make an announcement on if they actually plan to come back to market with Karma anytime soon (i.e. this year).  The fact that they actually cancelled all outstanding pre-orders is extremely telling in my mind.  Personally, if they can’t have drones re-shipping by December 1st, then I’d argue it’s a loss and they should just move on to V2.

2) How to eat 13,000 calories a day while running across America: Really, I’d prefer to skip the running across America part and still eat 13,000 calories a day (and somehow stay fit).

3) X-Shifter: A Kickstarter Wireless Shifting System: This is interesting, though I wish there was some better 3rd party validation of this platform.  The founder guy actually seems like he’s probably legit, but elements of the video have me worried a bit (as does the timelines).  Those timelines seem optimistic given this only gives them about 45 days from Kickstarter campaign completion to manufacturing facilities closing for the Chinese New Year. (via Paul R.)

4) Using drones to deliver avalanches charges: Pretty logical idea, cool to see the mapping interface as well. (via iJustinj)

5) I don’t know anything about cliff jumping: But, I still found this interesting.  Lots of examples of this in other extreme sports.

6) High Altitude Training in Bed: Kinda reminds me of this post a long time ago that Lindsey Jerdonek did as a guest post on my blog when she was training for a high altitude ITU race.

7) Study on PowerTap P1 Power Meters: While a smaller sample, it’s still interesting nonetheless. (via Fred G.)

8) Running While Female: A really well done (both content as well as presentation) piece from Runner’s World on what it’s like to run as a woman.

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.

Garmin Edge 520 Firmware Update: Incorporation of latest Connect IQ bits.

Garmin Edge 820 Firmware Update: Also latest Connect IQ bits, and one bug fix.

Garmin Edge 1000 Firmware Update: Latest Connect IQ bits, one bug fix, and new time in zone data fields

Garmin Fenix Chronos Firmware Update: Unknown changes.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT Firmware Update: Running Dynamics Bug Fixes.

Garmin Vivofit3 Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Firmware Update: Added Image Stabilization to 2.7K (that’s a solid update), and added a nice pile of other features, plus borrowed some UI elements from GoPro Hero5 (like graying out unavailable frame rates for a given resolution).  Very solid looking update.

Suunto Spartan Firmware Update: A bunch of bug fixes primarily. Though, Suunto also updated their Spartan firmware roadmap at that link as well.

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Steve Martin

    Thanks for the tip on the Garmin 920XT price drop. I ordered one through Clever Training.

  2. Mark

    Any updates on the tacx flux? Most of the U.K. Websites show 14th November but some show December. Tempted to order a wahoo kickr 2 but trying to be sensible

    • Nov 14th won’t happen for retail (Monday).

      I chatted with them Friday afternoon. They were still doing some more tests over the weekend around accuracy. If everything checked out, they were hoping to send one of the first production units to me early in the week (Mon/Tues). Then they expect to send out units to distributors.

      However, keep in mind that the first week’s batch was set to go to the US (since it then has a 3-5 week boat journey), then the second week’s batch would be for Europe, since that only would have a few day (up to a week) delay as it works it’s way through distributors to retailers.

      When they shoot me a note that the unit to me has shipped, I’ll get further clarity on what retail units look like. If I don’t hear by EOD Wednesday, I’ll check with them and update accordingly in the comments on the Tacx Flux post.

    • Mark

      Awesome thanks for the information.

      If a kickr 2 ends up being in a sale over here before the flux is released then I’ll have to go with that. I’m getting impatient :)

  3. John B

    Did Garmin take away the ability to update Edge 520 firmware from an iPhone or am I missing that menu item?

    • Anonymous Coward

      IIRC, the Garmin Connect app won’t show the firmware update if the device doesn’t have enough free space to install it. Deleting old workouts should get the update to appear.

      Would be nice if the app recognized this and prompted the user to free up space. That’s what Garmin Express seems to do.

  4. Artur G.

    Interesting study of P1 vs. SRM. I wonder if it’s actually published elsewhere, but his web site.

    I found another study of the same group on the same topic, except with an n=1 (link to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Certainly, increasing the n to 5 is better. Not grownbreaking, but confirms that 99% of athletes don’t need SRM.

  5. Ben

    Hi Ray,

    About the Xshifter, what elements of the video have you worried a bit ?

    • The look of those 3D printed prototypes show they are probably still a long way off getting the product line/manufacturing sorted. Hopefully they can sort out something neater/that will do less frame damage than the zip ties.

      For me the lack of ANT+ seems like they are going for a completely isolated system – which is a disconnect from what most people are after. Using the existing bike computer ANT+ gear selection display I would think is essential, and the ability to use the Di2 hood buttons to control your computer is it’s standout feature (even if it uses proprietary communication). This remote should be able to do anything the Garmin ANT+ remote does.

      I can’t imagine anyone on a mountain bike enjoying trying to use that remote… Need more speed for that jump coming up. Quick change to a higher gear. Oops, put the seat post up instead.

      Lastly, they obviously haven’t started to implement an Android app yet, and dealt with the BLE struggles on older versions (from the Kickstarter comments):

      malcolm jacks 4 days ago
      Paul, Will the app work with, Androids, ipods, and iphones. and from to which versions please. thank you.

      Paul Gallagher Creator 4 days ago
      Hi Malcom, Don’t worry. We’ll be sure it is compatible as far back as practical. It’s a pretty simple APP so should be no problem.

    • Sometimes it’s silly things, but silly things means that internal direction in the company isn’t understood. In the video, much of the outdoor content is focused on casual riders wandering through the park (with running shoes) in mostly hybrid bikes.

      The challenge there is that it deeply misunderstands the target audience for this product. That’s not the target audience. The target audience is cyclists who are wearing a full cycling kit and on more expensive road/mountain/etc bikes. I think/hope the founder in the video understands this, but I suspect didn’t have enough experience to clearly articulate this to the outsourced video crew. If he didn’t have that experience to override his film team, then how will that translate to manufacturing?

      All of which may sound overkill, but after seeing so many Kickstarter pitches over the years, I’ve kinda gotten really good at understanding a gut feel and picking apart the videos to know where there are gaps. To me, small alarm bells go off. That’s all.

    • (Looks like we just posted at same time)

      Yes, totally agree on your comments as well. Especially the ANT+ piece. All gear shifting companies have adopted that, and missing that (or not even considering it), tells me that again, they completely misunderstand their actual target audience.

    • Benjamin

      In addition to the items already said, the video is exaggerating the cost of electronic shifting. An etap drivetrain is ~$1600 and that’s the most expensive option on the market right now. You can get a full ultegra di2 groupset including crank, chain, and cassette from one of the UK sites for around $1000. The kits for just the shifters, derailleurs, and wires/batteries are usually around $700 or $800. The xshifter dual on kickstarter is $250, with retail indicated to be somewhere around $450. Which would you rather buy, a shimano di2 gear kit for $7-800 or the xshifter for $450 plus whatever additional to bring your own derailleurs and brake levers?

    • Something you might have wrong DC is that this may create a different target market – casual riders. Yes, advanced riders want electronic shifting… as it is right now at it’s current price. But if it’s cheap and mostly works, then casual riders could want it too. Remember, the number one bike retailer in the USA is Walmart. (unfortunately)

    • Mike Richie

      $450 just for just the wireless portion of your derailleur is close to what casual riders are paying for their bike (less at Walmart). I do think that this technology will find it’s way to casual riders, but not at this price. With lower cost power meters connected to wireless shifters you could create constant effort auto transmissions.

    • True. So… half the price = half as serious as the current customers. That’s at least double the customer base. Or if the customer base is on a curve like most things, then could be an order of magnitude more potential customers when you cut the price in half. But that’s only if the product is nicely manufactured and marketed… which seems iffy in this case.

      And also as you approach “cheaper”, people just don’t give a crap. They can’t even keep their tires aired up and their seats are so low, their knees are hitting their chests and they pedal in giant gear at 3 mph. They can’t imagine paying more than $100 for a bike at Walmart, electronic shifting is like putting a sno-cone dispenser on their head – pointless.

    • Thanks to DCRainmaker for posting about us on his blog. We really do need to hear what people think about this product. Especially the criticism is important so we know where to improve. We brought this product to Interbike in September. Many people saw and tested the system. We received an overwhelmingly positive response. There is a very thorough 3rd party review on Bikerumor

      link to bikerumor.com

      This product started very small, almost a hobby. It was something I thought had “some” market potential so I decided to pursue it. But it has grown into something really, really big. I am getting overwhelming interest from distributors and OEM all over the world. As a result we are trying to make the first version of this product satisfy as many market segments as possible. Of course we can’t satisfy everyone. But the nature of this product is extremely flexible and scaleable. We have only scratched the surface of its potential. Our plan is to build an entire product line that will truly fit any bike on the market.

      This product is not intended to compete with Di2 or eTap. It’s a very different product. The strength of XShifter is its cost, flexibility and scalability. There is no other product like this on the market. This is the only solution for many different bikes. This is the only product that has true multiple wireless remote controls. This is the only product available that fits such a wide range of bikes. This is the only solution available for IGH.

      The XShifter is connected to a mobile device. Think of the possibilities. We’ve already tested voice command shifting, and it works surprisingly well. Of course that’s not for everyone, but it’s a huge breakthrough for disabled people and Paralympic athletes.

      This product allows custom builds that were not even thought of before. You can custom build your own cassettes; you don’t have to worry about the spacing. The spacing doesn’t even need to be even. You can build a bike with a gear range much wider than possible with mechanical, and just lockout the big/big and small/small combinations. You can create a hybrid, geared bottom bracket and rear derailleur. It’s limited only by your imagination.

      Yes our timing for production seems tight. But this is an extremely simple product to produce. Very few moving parts. And we have already begun tooling design. We are confident we can start shipping product in March. I’m not a rookie to manufacturing. I’ve been doing it my entire life. I’ve launched many successful products, even in the bike industry.

      ANT+ is something we really didn’t consider. As I said, this started as a simple cost effective wireless alternative. We didn’t even consider that pros would want it. But now we are getting many pros wanting to use the XShifter, so we need to consider pro features. We are trying to include ANT+ in the first release.

      As for using Di2 or eTap hoods, that will certainly be possible. But even better than that, we will be making a wireless “module” that can use any pushbutton input. So that means that every brake hood manufacturer in the world will be able to easily manufacture hoods for a wireless system. Custom builders can 3D print their own hoods or remote. Just imagine that!

      Sorry for being so long winded. There is too much to say about this. And there is a lot more that I can’t say yet, due to intellectual property concerns. I’m more than happy to talk to anyone one on one about this product. I hope you can support us on Kickstarter and bring this product to the market.

    • Ian Ballantyne


      Did you get a chance to look at progress XShifter at the latest interbike? Thinking that it may be a good for use on a tandem

  6. KenZ

    Explosive delivery drones made easy. What could possibly go wrong?

  7. bikegeek

    Ray – have you experienced any issues uploading activities from the Edge 1000 via BLE smart using a mobile device since the firmware update to ver 11.10? Its been consistently giving me an error saying upload failed. Tried repairing the E1K to the iPhone but the error prevails. Appreciate a response.

    • I don’t think I have the Edge 1000 paired to my phone right now, just the Edge 820 via BLE/WiFi, and the Edge 1000 via WiFi.

      Unfortunately Garmin Connect Mobile actually has a limit on the number of concurrent devices you can pair to it, and I’m constantly having to remove devices to stay within that limit (5 I believe).

  8. Jesper Nygaard


  9. Jesper Nygaard

    On the Karma Drone: Isn’t the sound of the props , just because they spin up from windmilling? If they were truly under power, I’d think the impact would have prop baldes fly around…