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Week in Review–December 18th, 2016

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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.

Monday: The 3rd Annual DCR Open House–Recap and Photos!
Tuesday: The Santa Corrida de Noël 10K Race Report (2016)
Wednesday: ProShift Automated Bike Shifting System Review

Thursday and Friday were then spent with both companies in town, as well as testing out new tech that’s just arrived.  It’s the interesting convergence of things that have recently arrived from previous announcements, with new things coming up for CES in a few weeks!

New Sports Tech Deals!

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, most of the sales have continued.  We saw a pretty solid renewal of sales this past week, with Garmin and others lighting up many of their previous deals.  Wahoo also did a one-day sale, as well as a longer sale for smaller items.

This weekend we’ve got the Scosche Rhythm+ on sale as well, so that’s definitely a good option for those looking to get into the optical HR game.  Same goes for the Withings WiFi Scales.

All of which is found on the deals page here!

YouTube Videos I Published:

Here’s some YouTube goodness that I published this past week:

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 One Hour Climb Record: An interesting idea proposed, and one that honestly seems a whole lot more exciting than the one hour distance record.

2) Can you power your home via bicycle? And YouTube (with NPR) has an answer for everything. (Via WashCycle)

3) GoPro – Behind the Dunes: The company has been releasing some great videos as of late (all marketing/promo focused).  Though I really enjoyed this behind the scenes video, especially some of the setup pieces.  I assume this was shot sometime this past June-August, prior to the Hero5 release.  Also explains why they were using older DJI drones (which support the GoPro Hero cameras).  Also, reminds me of my skiing with sand dunes trip…

4) Bluetooth 5.0 Released: This will speed things up on both the data speeds, as well as range fronts.  Of course, keep in mind that it’ll be months (at the earliest) before we start seeing shipping devices (requires new hardware). And just because the spec allows for features, doesn’t mean companies will implement them either.  For example, BT4.1 allowed for multi-master sensor connectivity, but no fitness company has adopted that in the last two years.  Still, speed increases are definitely good news for getting that data to your phone (and thus Strava) quicker!

5) UCI Indoor Cycling Gymnastics: This kinda reminds of the spin bike championship series of past.  Except, only more incredible.  The main link here has plenty more videos to check out.

6) GoPro Hero5 dropped in liquid nitrogen: Note to self, must add this to my action cam tests going forward.  Hmm…where the heck do I order that in Paris?

7) IOC wants to lessen Olympic bid losers: Perhaps, just perhaps, if the IOC process wasn’t so corrupted, then maybe more countries would stay in it.  Just a thought.

8) Vote for best cycling photograph of the year: Some amazing shots in this gallery.

9) New reports on Russian doping scheme: Shows some 1,000 athletes involved across over two dozen sports.

10) But it’s not just the Russians: As Jordan Rapp notes in this tweet, it’s easy to forget that other countries and federations also turn a blind eye (the US at times too of course). Or at best, make it too easy.

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.

Airdog Firmware Update: This one is largely performance/bug fix focused.

Garmin Edge 520 Firmware Update: Adds incident/crash detection, plus other improvements.

Garmin Edge 820 Firmware Update: Touchscreen performance tweaks, added bike light control via Di2 remote controls, plus other tweaks.  Fixes ANT+ FE-C trainer control issues.

Garmin Edge 1000 Firmware Update: Fixes ANT+ FE-C trainer control issues, plus other tweaks.

Garmin Fenix3 HR/Fenix3/Tactix Bravo/Quatix3 BETA firmware update: Bug fixes

Lezyne delays route building update: A minor setback, but hopefully it’s on the road shortly.

Nikon Key Mission Firmware Update: Mostly bug/compatibility focused.

Polar A360 Firmware Update: Minor fixes/tweaks, plus three new languages.

Wahoo ELEMNT Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

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31 Comments

  1. Bene

    Liquid nitrogen is really easy to get. Just look for companies offering Services in mechanical fields like power stations, raffineries or just any other area where bushings Need to be replaced.

  2. Long Eun Nick

    Just tried the indoor cycling gymnastics in my garage. Had a hell of a time to get my bike to go backwards and crashed, putting a dent in our clothes dryer.:)
    Harder than it looks. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all. Nick

  3. Mark

    Liquid N:
    – Medical supply. At least in the US, GPs can use it to remove warts…
    – If you remember the company Airgas, welding supplies, etc, it is a US subsidiary for Air Liquide. Air Liquide’s HQ is in Quai d’Orsay, less than 4km from Norte Dame ;)

  4. BTW. LN2 is really cool (ha ha). Works well for making ice cream too, so maybe a summer addition The Girls shop??
    link to youtube.com

  5. Tim

    Speaking of Bluetooth versions… I’ve been wondering if the Edge 520 has a better version of BLE than the fenix 3?

    I ask because I know version… 4.2? Increased the max packet size quite a bit for BLE and it seems as if the 520 syncs rides wildly faster than my fenix.

    Using both with an iPhone 6s if it matters.

    • Hmm, not aware of anything either way.

      The F3 hardware is no doubt older by a fair bit though (underlying hardware). Though the two products also come from different teams. Entirely possible different code.

      And finally, the Edge 520 actually pairs over Bluetooth (full) for the app,and then has a secondary BLE connection for smartphone notifications. My bet is that the full BT connections gives more bandwidth (well, I know it does).

    • Tim

      Good point for full BT, that’s likely the difference. It seems to complete nearly instantly while the F3 can take forever (and now and then fail repeatedly until a cabled or wifi sync is done)

  6. Juan Becerra

    Hi Ray, I am not sure if you covered this before. I tried to find in in your blog but I couldn’t.

    Do you have a noise comparison chart for smart trainers? What is the most silent smart trainer in the market? I live in Manhattan, and I have a very sensitive neighbor. I currently have the 1st version of the Kickr.

    Thanks for your help!

    Juan.

  7. Kyle

    Not going to lie the BT and ANT+ issue is stupid to say the least. Literally the only company who uses Ant+ is Garmin and one of the few if not only things that use Ant+ are power meters. I just dont get why everyone doesnt move to BT. Its used in PCs, Mobile devices, watches, pretty much anything you can think of. There is no reason why I shouldnt beable to connect to my said sensor with my phone or watch. I shouldnt have to worry about if its ant+ or BT. As you said Ray, 4.1 introduced multi sensor connectivity and nobody introduced it. Its just mind boggling.

    • To be fair, everyone else in the cycling industry uses ANT+ as well, especially for power meters – but also for other devices. As you noted, the biggest oddity is why others didn’t adopt multi-master sensor in 4.1 two years ago. Especially Polar. In doing so, they left open one of the biggest excuses for not using BLE.

      This article from a month ago also covers a lot of other good reasons why it hasn’t happened: link to keithhack.blogspot.com

    • Tim

      Sure, eventually BT may finally win but all I seem to see are compatibility issues (different firmware versions have different issues with different sensors). Until it can be as clean as ANT connections it can’t fully take over.

      It would be nice if Garmin at least started to support both protocols in their units… at least if ANT ever did lose favor they wouldn’t be “up a creek” due to lack of implementation and experience :)

    • Greg

      So I don’t know where else to put this, but an interesting thing happened today along these lines. I was pairing a BT HR monitor to my android tablet, and my Fenix3HR came up on the list of available HR monitors. Does this mean that the latest firmware release has made my Fenix able to broadcast the optical HR on BT? I don’t have Ant in my tablet, so I don’t know why else this would happen. Maybe it’s just seeing it as a BT device, but it’s never happened before. Anybody know anything?

    • Ifor

      It just indicates that the software is not checking the type of BTLE device before presenting you with this list of devices. It’s not that uncommon as there are a good number of bugs in the Android driver stack if you try and filter the devices by there type. If you selected the Fenrix3 you would not get very far. The same is if I select my TV which shows up on these lists I don’t get very far.

    • Greg

      Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense.

  8. david_n

    There was also an update for the Polar V800:

    link to support.polar.com

  9. BikeGeek

    How’s the Cycleops Hammer looking so far??
    Thanks.

  10. Steven Knapp

    Any idea what the 520’s “Improvements to Workout Data Screen” update is? Seems the same.

  11. Good to see the “bike-powered house” myth debunked again. I think pops up pretty regularly on social media propgated by the charlatan-in-chief David “Avocado” Wolf…

  12. John

    Is there an accelerometer in the Edge 520? Wondering how they could implement incident detection without that…

  13. Joel Mulligan

    The Garmin 920xt received a firmware update as well. Added in automatic live tracking and connectIQ 1.4.1

  14. Alex

    I really like that Garmin continue to bring new features to the Edge 520. However it’s a bit irritating that every time they release an update it resets your FTP or power zone calculation type.

    Any idea why every update seem to cause this? Obviously it’s easily fixed, just annoying.