Week in Review–February 12th, 2017


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–February 6th, 2017
Monday:5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday:ISPO 2017 Roundup: Kuai Fit, Coros, Garmin, Salming RunLAB, Digitsole, LG, Casio, Kettler, Bonx Grip, Wiralcam
Thursday: Hands-on: Staaker Action Sports Drone

DCR Podcast!

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

– Ben’s selling the Airstream
– My Dad and LinkedIn
– Will we see new metrics like blood saturation level on Garmin devices?
– Quantifying left/right leg balance on trainers
– Swappage of cassettes on trainers or not?
– Where the heck is my Garmin Edge 820 review?
– And the Edge 820 touch screen
– A new and cheap Bluetooth Smart footpod
– Where the heck is Recon?
– What about a new Polar V800?

Listen to the full podcast here on the Podcast player, or just download the audio file from the same spot.

February Sports Tech Sale Continue:

In case ya missed it a week or so ago (details here), here’s the list of active sports tech deals going on over the next week or so.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Garmin Edge 1040 - $100 off$499The is the lowest price we've ever seen on the Edge 1040, and only the 2nd time it's ever been on sale in two years. It's still Garmin's top-end units, and still receiving new features via quarterly firmware updates.
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar - $100 off$649
Garmin Edge 540 - $50 off$299First time this has been on sale, and the lowest price to date. I personally prefer the Edge 840 due to the menus being a bit easier to use with a touchscreen. Both Edge 540/840 have identical buttons though for days you don't want the touchscreen.
Garmin Edge 540 Solar - $50 off$399
Garmin Edge 840 - $50 off$399This is, best I can tell, the first time Garmin has put the Edge 840 on sale.
Garmin Edge 840 Solar - $50 off$499
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $200 off!
$499⚡⚡ This is an incredibly strong deal. Especially viewed in light of all the non-Garmin AMOLED competitors charging far more for far fewer features. This non-sapphire edition doesn't have multiband, but testing has pretty clearly shown that Garmin's Epix non-multiband GPS is basically on-par with their competitors multiband config (see my NYC tests for that).
Garmin Epix Pro Series (All variants) - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is only the second time we've seen these on sale. This is probably my go-to watch these days (middle-sized one), with the singular reason I tend to choose it over the Forerunner 965, being the built-in flashlight for night.
Garmin Fenix 7 Pro (All variants) - $200 off (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$599+⚡ This is only the second time we've seen the new Fenix 7 Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. The smaller Fenix 7S Pro watch has become my wife's go-to watch since it came out, for all of her training and 24x7 usage.
Garmin Fenix 7 Series (All Models/Styles) - $200 off!
$449+⚡This is a strong deal if you don't care about the new optical heart rate sensor (including ECG) of the newer Fenix 7 Pro, especially given the Fenix 7 series has received virtually all of the Fenix 7 Pro's new software features, keeping them essentially identical. $449 is the lowest price I've seen to date.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music - $100 off!
$299This is Garmin's mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics. This model also includes offline music such as Spotify and Amazon Music.
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $100 off!$399This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and it's back down to the lowest price ever. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. Note this is the base edition without solar. It'd be hard to find any better deal in sports watches today, from any company (given this has full mapping, tons of new features even this week, etc...)
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar: $100 off!
$499See everything I said above on the Forerunner 955 base, except this one also has solar.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off
$149This is Garmin's standalone radar/taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. This product is universally loved, and works with Garmin/Wahoo/Stages/Hammerhead/etc, and other bike computers.
Garmin Venu 3 - $50 off!
Garmin inReach 2 Mini Satellite Communicator (2-way) - $100 off$299⚡ This is my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks over the past two years when well outside of cellular service, both in a 24x7 tracking mode for friends and family, but also there in case of emergency. Would strongly recommend for anyone doing anything in the wilderness.
Google Pixel Watch 2 - $70 off!$329
Suunto Veritcal (Solar edition) - $50 off$699

And of course, using any of the links above helps support the site.  Enjoy!

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) NBA bans teams from using wearable data in contract negotiations: Seems like a bit of an odd ruling to me, and one that likely won’t stand the test of time.  Plenty of other sports use sports tech data in hiring, such as cycling with power meter data, or even the speed a pitcher throws a ball in baseball.  Not sure why this would be categorized any differently.

2) Verizon announces their own Android Wear watch: Kinda comes out of nowhere…yet not surprising at the same time. The carriers are constantly trying new wearables, and have an entire division of folks dedicated to trying to stock just the right ones.  I’d look at this as a random experiment the company is doing, more than any strategic direction.

3) Suunto opens up Summit 2017 application site: This is the summit I mentioned a week or two ago, designed for ‘passionate’ Suunto users/fans.  Note that this would be a bit different than a media event.

4) Baby Climbing Mockumentary: A short and funny video about competitive infant climbing.  Any new (or probably even old) parents will enjoy and likely relate.

5) AirDog opens up funding round: With SeedInvest you can actually put down your money for a stake in the company.  So it’s like Kickstarter…except you actually have ownership vs just a project reward.  Interesting to see the numbers of units shipped.  I hope that’s early Q3 2016, but would have expected it to be higher by now.

6) Unlockable firmware features: Good or bad? Good write-up on re-using the same hardware with differing software levels. (via Keith Wakeham)

7) Paris offers runners a way to water plants: Or…something like that.  These public urinals will in turn water the flowers.  One probably needs to understand that in Paris it’s completely normal to see folks peeing on the side of buildings/windows. We *see* it happen at least once a week at the DCR/Bertie’s Cake Studio locale.  And that’s only the times we witness it.

8) Jawbone to pivot to medical space: In a move that should surprise no one, Jawbone will likely soon end their consumer focus of activity trackers and instead focus on the medical side of the house

9) TrainingPeaks updates on API, and backtracks a bit on WKO closures: TrainingPeaks has made a bunch of API changes, and then they had previously announced that older WKO+ users would no longer be able to install the software they bought on new computers (i.e. moving to a new computer).  Since that announcement, they’ve come to their senses and will now allow users to install for another year.

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 V800 GoPro Update: You can now control your GoPro. Details in my post here.

Stryd Power Meter Update: Some improvements to the cadence algorithm, as well as other tweaks.  This is good, because I haven’t seen the indoor accuracy previously being all that great.  As an aside, TrainingPeaks now offers running power zones with an update this week.

Tacx Neo Firmware Update: This one isn’t really detailed anywhere yet.  But, it includes what they call ‘Smart’ Cadence, which will calculate the gear ratio and store the values.  They’ll in turn use that data to cross-check speed and then allow more accurate cadence calculations.  Next, there’s been changes within Erg mode, which should both increase the speed of power adjustment but aimed to minimize overshooting the power goal during large shifts, they did this by decreasing the virtual mass (in ERG mode specifically) to minimize the overshoot.  Lastly, for downhill simulation, they increased the limit from 30KPH to 40KPH, including adding this when unpowered.  Also, they made tweaks here that ensure that if you accelerate during downhills, that it’s accelerating from 40KPH and not from 0KPH (in terms of power).

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Sean Murray

    What happened to the AW Series 2 review coming Thursday or Friday?

  2. Bob190

    Was kind of wondering about that too. I thought it would have been posted by now.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Me, three! Where the heck is the Apple Watch Series 2 review? :-D

    • Coming up tomorrow. Sorry, pool closures for holidays was a bit unexpected. Couldn’t get the final shots I wanted on Thurs/Friday. :( First up tomorrow morning.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Awesome; thanks!

      In my experience, it’s not the closures that are unexpected, it’s the unexpected holidays. “Oh, yet another ‘pont’ again.” :-D

    • Yeah, the little one isn’t in regular school yet – so I didn’t expect the school closures (which is odd because last time they were open longer for the school holiday days…sigh.).

  4. Sal

    Did I miss the NB RunIQ blog-article? I like your Hands-on video, especially the last 2 minutes :-D

    • Nope, I haven’t quite written anything yet. I just did the unboxing video and will go from there into some sort of review likely.

      As for the final two minutes…it’s what happens when you get distracted editing and didn’t put in the marker for that section to come back to it to finish. Doh!

    • MAGNUS

      Ha… I figured you were “over it” by the time you got around editing and said screw it… I’m leaving it in… Good stuff.

    • While that was probably true, it wasn’t international to leave there.

      The actual unedited unboxing was over an hour. Lots of stuff I ended up cutting around pairing/etc because it was just so clumsy.

  5. Yancey

    Ray, wahoo also updated the firmware on the Kickr (Gen1) to 1.5.63 (from 1.4.47). I’ve been unable to locate patch notes but I’ve noted that it does provide progressive resistance now when powered but not connected to any external device… dumb trainer mode.

    • Just did some digging, here’s the firmware page for the KICKR: link to support.wahoofitness.com

      I had created an alert on the ELEMNT one, but didn’t have one setup for the KICKR. Added…

    • Robert


      I just did the update but could not find any patch notes.
      It also offers an advanced spin down in the wahoo utility. (Android version)
      If you choose that option the app warns you that after that adv. spin down the strength gauge will be disabled permanently. Seems like they switch it to the New Kickr mode.
      I didn’t do it because of the warning that it is not reversible. I wanted to do some research first but couldn’t find any information on that feature nor patch notes.
      Any infos on that patch would be very welcome.

    • Robert

      I just submitted a request on their web page to publish the patch notes.
      Let’s hope for some info.

    • Robert

      Just found out that you can turn on the strain ( not strength – sorry for that) gauge again via an option in the hidden menu of the app. There is also a short patch note in the hidden area ->
      improved power measurement
      improved responsiveness
      Studio mode has been added

      But it does not tell you if you should do the advanced spin down.
      I do not have a power meter to compare the two modes.
      It would be great if somebody could test both options and post the differences.

    • Robert

      Just got this answer from Wahoo support.

      Hello Robert-

      Thanks for using the KICKR. The update notes will be posted shortly to this link: link to support.wahoofitness.com

      This video outlines the features of the new update.

      link to youtube.com



  6. Jesper N

    Ray. I have a suggestion/request of kind: Just like you did here, with the Neo sw, if would be really nice, if you could give a line or two, about Garmins updates. And yes, I know there is A LOT of products and a LOT of updates. Not asking you to rewrite their change log, but “just” a brief mention, when there is a noteworthy fix/feature for their top of line products. Like Edge 1000/820/520, Fenix 3/5 and Forerunner wysf (what you see fit)

    Like Edge 1000 11.10. It added IQ 2.2 support. But what does that really bring to the party?
    Like Edge 1000 11.20. “Improvements to Workout Data Screen”. Could be a big thing. Could be “not worth the upgrade”

    The Garmin sw seem to just be left with the link. It goes a long way, in most cases, but it’s hard to find more info than what Garmin posted. Other that starting poking around with the unit. This request to save us all from having to do that, to figure out what the changes are.

  7. R.Hunt

    Looking forward to that Apple Watch review!

  8. Francois L.

    Seems like the run Iq watch video needs a bit of editing! Quite fun though, shows us a bit of behind the scene…

  9. Lauren

    Is the Garmin Forerunner 35 review on the docket for anytime soon? I have had mine almost since release but Im curious to see what you think about it

  10. Garry Curley

    Hey Ray,

    Did we gain any clarity from Polar/Go-Pro if the V800 update would include the GP4 Session models? Would be nice for them to still service this great little camera.

    Kind Regards


  11. Bob Bright

    Ha ha – the last two minutes are priceless. The #reboxing was funny too. Glad you kept all of that in there.

  12. Training Peaks has offered running power zones for a few months now. I’ve had mine set for a while. The link you listed simply says that they now offer to calculate them using the methods in Jim Vance’s Run With Power book.

    Using the Stryd Connect IQ data field power shows up just fine in Training Peaks now and it’s so much better than it was last year when you either had to use the Connect IQ App or send the data through their website.

  13. Brad Arrington

    Re: the unlockable firmware features, this is pretty common in many industries and frankly makes a ton of sense for the manufacturer. Hardware is really expensive to make, especially in low volumes. Having a one product – one feature feature set is indeed a simplified model . But the ability to offer meaningful feature differences to address customer needs / price points via software and not have separate hardware can benefit everyone: customers, dealers, and manufacturers. While customers may view it as annoying or a money grab (they built it already, why don’t they give it for free?) it can allow them to only pay for the features desired. Dealers benefit from a reduced number of items they need to order, stock, and display. Manufacturers benefit from lower development costs as noted in the article, and this in turn helps keep prices down for the end consumer.

    An example is the high-volume printer market. In the old days you had to change the internal gears to get different speeds. Different speeds = different models with production, stocking, etc. Now an “engine” (industry term for the part that puts marks on paper) is often designed to one standard, and can print at different speeds via a software license. The customer decides how fast they want to print and pay for that speed. It’s really handy when they have a peak print volume at certain times of the year and can buy a temporary speed license to meet the demand. (Maybe go from 150 pages a minute to 300 ppm). The customer benefits because they meet their demand with the same product, but are not paying for a service that’s not needed the rest of the time. The manufacturer benefits because the only design a single physical product. And the dealer benefits from having to stock only one box, and apply a license when it goes out the door.

    I think these software-license models are going to move from more business-to-business products and start showing up more in the consumer market, but it will take time for the markets to adjust.