Week in Review–March 5th, 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–Feb 26th, 2017
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2 Power Meter In-Depth Review
Wednesday: The End of An Era: CompuTrainer Ceases Production
Thursday: MWC 2017 New Watches Hands-on: Huawei Watch 2 & LG Watch Sport
Friday: March Power Meter Giveaway Time!

DCR Podcast!

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

– CompuTrainer shutting down their line
– MWC Highlights and new devices
– What I really do in Barcelona each year
– Will there be an FR920XT replacement?
– Troubleshooting and editing Scosche data
– Oh poor Intel acquisitions
– Where is Ginger Neil?
– Should you buy a Fenix3?
– Understanding the benefits of a resistance controlled trainer
– Why I was suffering in Xert

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

YouTube Videos I Published:

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

Handful of Sports Tech Deals

Two minor sales of note:

Garmin Vivofit 3 is now $20 off (Amazon | Clever Training)
Garmin Vivoactive HR is now $30 off (Amazon | Clever Training)

Both sales run through March 11th, 2017.

I’m not really expecting anything of note here beyond Garmin continuing their newly rolled out 2017 mantra of ‘always have something kinda-sorta on sale’. Basically, following a page from the TomTom playbook.

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) Toilet plungers assist in bike lane clarity: Well then, that’s getting creative.  And probably a whole heck of a lot cheaper than some fancy government budget project would be. (via Cycling Tips)

2) Putting Windows 98 on your wrist: Somehow, the whole ‘putting an old desktop OS on your wrist’ trick never gets old. (via Janne)

3) Is Specialized pressuring riders to use disc brakes? Always good stuff from James.

4) Ironman makes 6 rule changes: Of note is a new one on electronics which actually allows you to take your phone with you, but you just can’t actively use it.  This isn’t a surprise, as that was in theory always the USAT rule as well (no forward progress).  But in real-life, it was unevenly applied. (via David F.)

5) StravistiX now supports running power: One of my favorite Chrome plug-ins.  I wrote about the app a while back, and is an awesome way to get so much more detail from your Strava activities.

6) WKO4 adds support for Garmin Connect IQ Developer Fields: At first glance, this may seem geeky or non-relevant.  And in some ways it is.  But in reality I think it marks a turning point where we’re seeing companies start to leverage and take advantage of the ability for Connect IQ apps to write custom data from sensors/etc into fields and have apps utilize it (which Garmin rolled out last fall).  While WKO4 is a natural starting point for this, hopefully we’ll see TrainingPeaks (which owns WKO4) and others quickly adopt it.

7) Things continue to slowly crumble for Team Sky and doping: As I’ve said before – I have zero trust in pro cycling, they’ve done nothing to show I should trust them.

8) GoPro opens up engineering office in Romania: Interesting.  More interesting would be to know what this office will focus on longer term.  The headline talks about e-commerce and software and such.  But often for companies that’s just something to say publically, before doing other projects with the crew there.

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 1000 Firmware Update: Added Shimano Di2 Synchronized Shift support, updates to ANT+ bike lights, support for Connect IQ and a few other tweaks.

Garmin Edge 520 Firmware Update: Same as Edge 1000 above.

Polar M400 Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

Polar A360 Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

Suunto Spartan/Spartan Ultra Firmware Update: Massive pile of improvements/fixes, including up to 7 data fields, pool length customizations, and power field customization.  Plus plenty more. Seriously, check out the list.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Andrew Peel

    Are you planning a Mio Slice review?

  2. gingerneil

    Regarding garmin connect iq… Are you listening sporttracks and runscribe!?

    • Michl

      What kind of GIQ App do you expect from Sporttracks? I can’t think of any tbh

    • gingerneil

      I agree – the comment was aimed at rusncribe for the GIQ bit. I would love to see them broadcasting something like footstrike over ANT+ to a custom IQ field, and for sporttracks to pull this through from the fit file into their activity analysis. This would be theoretically be possible for all their metrics – pronation etc. and be dual-sides.
      Whilst I review this information after the run on the runscribe dashboard, having it on the watch and alongside my GPS data would be a total winner for me.
      Initially though, I’d even just like to see runscribe broadcasting as a footpod.. I could then ditch my cheap Adidas MiCoach pod and no longer have to strap 3 things to my laces when I do a treadmill session.

    • Michl

      Hey Neil,

      Of course, you’re right. That would be fabulous. I don’t have any of those new devices but I track all my stuff in SportTracks and I think it woul dbe great for all those new companies to support open standards. I think that would lead to a larger user base than restricting access to their own sites.

    • Fwiw, RunScribe is actually writing all their metrics to custom .FIT files you can download using developer fields. It’s just not open to the public yet.

    • gingerneil

      Interesting…. Assume you mean they are recording into fit files on the device, and not broadcasting and storing in a fit file via CIQ integration??

    • It’s actually band-end, on the website side.

  3. Doug

    Hi Ray,
    Checked my podcast feed for the latest Maker & Hobbs show but it’s only at DCR60. Is it coming soon? The anticipation!
    Thanks as always. Doug

  4. Doug

    I would say you can’t get the staff but a stuffed toy tiger as a co-host? You should be able to improve ;)

  5. Timothy F.

    Now that you can carry a phone it will at least allow your devices to leverage the cellular connectivity to provide live tracking. Also if your allow to turn it on in transition to track your run then that would solve the problem of your watch dying during the marathon and not having that data.

  6. Tim M

    I’ve been loving the multi-sport fitness trend in StravistiX. The fitness, fatigue and form scores seem to agree with how I’m feeling. Watching the form score has been very motivating to getting outside and continue my training.

    • ubrab

      Stravistix is a GREAT plugin. I’ve donated twice and feel gulty of not paying a subscription. The amount/frequency of releases is incredible too.

  7. Kyle

    Ray, will the POI feature the Suunto Spartan is getting soon calculate like the ambit series or follow a route you have in? I hate how the Ambit series calculates distance left by “how a crow fly’s” instead of following the imported route ?

  8. Hi,
    Actually trainingpeaks and others such as sporttracks.mobi are already supporting ConnectIQ Developer fields. I have developed a pool swim app for the fr230 and data is synced since months. Even smaller sites like runalyze.com do support them. Funny that garmin themselves do not really support them: one cannot override native fields. Developer fields are shown, but they are not taken into account for summary, etc. And i still miss strava. Given that there seems to be a good relationship between both companies (beacon integration, f.i.), id expect this to happen, but it is taking time. I have a new feature idea in strava forums requesting this. You can vote for it if you are a garmin user who would like to see developer fields there. link to support.strava.com

    • Hmm… where do you see the ability to enumerate/show/graph/etc developer fields on TrainingPeaks?

      I know they did some work for things like running power with Stryd, but in looking at it now I’m not seeing fields from a few different devices showing up anywhere in the analysis page.

    • hi Ray,
      it is transparent to the training peaks user if the fields shown are native or calculated by the developer. i do not know how to share a training peaks activity, but you can take a look at the user guide of my app: link to danipindado.github.io
      in page 38 you’ll find some training peaks screenshots. please note that the distance is calculated by me: the fr230 cannot measure distance in a pool. the developer (me) has to set a “NativeFieldId” which tells the 3rd party site, which field to override (my app overrides distance and stroke rate, for instance. Stryd app should override power, I guess). Otherwise trainingpeaks does not know what the developer field actually means. and they won’t be shown.

  9. Reed

    Great to see the podcasts coming. One of my favorite “DCR” part.

  10. Mark Liversedge

    “While WKO4 is a natural starting point for this, hopefully we’ll see Training Peaks (which owns WKO4) and others quickly adopt it.”

    As you know, it has been supported in GoldenCheetah for a while.

  11. Satya

    Curiously waiting for your take on the Arofly power meter !!

    • Francis Paulin

      Me too!

    • Well, attempt #1 today didn’t go well. My unit is apparently defective. They’ve got a new one already on the way according to the UPS shipping info I got.

      However, I think that’ll be the least of the issues to be honest.

      A) As of today, you can’t lock the phone. Oh, and yes, you have to have the phone app running. It’s a private data channel.
      B) As of today, I see no way to export and power data. So it’s just a random number at the end of the ride (or mid-ride, if the phone is on your handlebars).

      I’ve asked for clarification on both of those, in case I somehow missed something.

    • Satya

      Oh.. That’s unfortunate…

      I too saw that the connection happens on their own network and not like ANT+ or BLE where a head unit can be connected.

      However, I plan to use this on a trainer or short outdoor activities where I can keep a check on the FTP levels.. Lets see how it perfoms

  12. Michael Coyne

    Glad to hear phones are being allowed a bit more (even if still not as a bike computer). The whole reason I started looking for fitness watches/bike computers is because I couldn’t use my phone on my first triathlons – even though it’s more than adequate as a bike computer for most purposes.

    Would you know if smartwatches that can store mp3 files are now allowed? Like the TomTom Spark lineup? I asked the people at the two sprints/oly’s my family now does yearly together, and they said no since they can store mp3 files (even though they’re incapable of playing them without extra equipment in the form of bluetooth headphones). It made me wonder if that was a factor in why Garmin STILL didn’t put direct music playback functionality into the Fenix 5 or 5x.

    For now, I’m leaning towards a Garmin figuring that I’d rather be safe than try to play lawyer with the judges on race day. Also I should probably start exercising without music so I’m more used to it come race day… but seeing this gives me hope for what devices will be allowed later.

  13. Thijs

    I have to comment on the Wiggins case after reading the article for a bit… It seems like even if all the arguments made by the team are true, they have their standards wrong.
    1. If you’re so ill you need special injections that are normally not admissible in the sport, you’re too ill to race. So don’t race!
    2. If you need medication on a structural basis for therapeutic needs, you’re not fit to be a pro athlete. Regardless of whether this is admissible medicine.

    I’m sorry, you just don’t have what it takes to be at the top then, just accept that and go on with life. Pro athletes are supposed to be the best of the best, so there is no shame in not making it to the absolute top (anymore). Take your loss and try to find another way to make a living using your passion.

    So basically, it doesn’t matter whether the package was mysterious or not, administering anything to help with race performance is non-sportsmanlike in my vision.

    They should make cycling like bodybuilding though. Make a “clean league” and a “non-clean league”, so everyone who likes enhancement drugs can go right on ahead and inject themselves full of whatever they want and compete in the non-clean league. Also, one single slip-up in the clean league and you’re out for life.

  14. Andrée

    When do you think your full review of the Garmin Fenix 5 will be posted? Longing for that one.

    • I’m waiting for clarity on the exact final firmware update. It sounds like that’s imminent. Once I get clarity on that, then I’ll decide on the in-depth review. The last update or two have had only the tiniest of changes, so I won’t likely need to reset from a data standpoint, since my data is both relatively good and extensive.

      I had initially targeted mid next week, but I suspect it may slide to early the following week – unless they drop a final firmware in the next day or so.

    • Andrée

      That sounds great. I bought the Polar V800 after tour review and later the Fenix 3. Didn’t think that F3 Hr was worth the update and now I hope that the wrist HR sensor is good enough for my everyday use and training. im aware that its a compromise but I think its a good choice anyway, I do hate HRM on my chest and a device that can do what my loyal F3 have done and in a smaller package with wrist HR would be perfect.

      keep up the good work Ray!

  15. Niels Thijssen

    Also for Garmin Edge 820 release 6.20 is now a fact
    link to forums.garmin.com