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Sea Otter 2017 Tech Tidbits: Barfly, K-Edge, Quarq Qollector, Lezyne, Flaér

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Here’s the second edition of the Sea Otter 2017 Tech Tidbits!  The first one I did a power meter round-up, covering all the power related news coming out of the annual bike show held in Monterey, California.  Whereas this one is focused on non-power items that are mostly gadget related.  Thus news from bike computer and mount companies and the like.

Bar Fly’s New Mounts:

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Bar Fly kicks off the new mount party with them shipping a design they previewed back at Interbike, which is a fully CNC machined aluminum mount – the Bar Fly 4 Prime (above).  The out-front mount is configured by default in a Garmin setup, but within the box it includes Wahoo, Polar, Mio, Magellan, Cateye, Bryton, and Joule mount plates too.  So basically…everyone.  Plus, down below it can hold a GoPro/Garmin action camera (also in the box).

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And because the list of things in the box keeps going, it includes a Di2/EPS mount as well as a light mount.  Seriously.

What’s unique about this though is you’ll notice it has two little ‘bubbles’ on it out front.  This allows you to use the furthest slot for larger bike computers like the Edge 1000, whereas the closer one can be used for smaller bike computers like an Edge 520.  The mount is covered up by the bike computer itself either way, but just gives you some flexibility.

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The Prime is shipping now (at $59USD), and I’ve now got a unit to play with.  Looking forward to seeing how the new (for them) machined aluminum holds up when it comes to action cam footage.

Last but not least, the company is also fully up to speed on shipping out their new CO2 inflator and bike tire lever tools that they announced back in January via Kickstarter.

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I actually backed that project as well, which seemed like a good deal for a combo tool that costs $29USD and will likely last me a long time.  Though, I can only hope I rarely have to use it.

K-Edge’s New Mounts:

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Like Barfly, K-Edge doesn’t have too many totally new things on display here (unlike last year which saw a boatload).  Still, they’re now shipping their new Race Mount, which comes in at 33% lighter than their regular mount (weighing in at 32g), and that’ll set you back $54.

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The above version is the Garmin variant, but the below version is the Wahoo ELEMENT BOLT-specific Race Mount model.  That includes the nifty underside bolt which allows you to lock it onto the bars.  You’ll remember that design feature is something Wahoo added to enable Pro cycling teams to consider the bike computer part of the default weight to meet UCI minimum weight thresholds.  Cool to see it incorporated here.

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They’ve also got a new NiteRider mount that’s pretty slick.  This mount attachment goes onto the bottom of many existing K-Edge mounts, but allows you to attach and detach the lights via a GoPro mount.  It’s a nice little touch and will cost between $20-25, though the pricing is still being worked out.

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One product I did not know existed was Ki2 mountain bike shifters that are machined as well.  This definitely falls into the category of ‘the more you know’.

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Finally, they’ve got some new chain guides that help prevent drops.  As you may know, K-Edge actually got its start in chain catchers with Olympian Kristen Armstrong during the 2008 Olympics.

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That product line eventually expanded to bike and action cam mounts as well.  And when it comes to action cam mounts, it’s still the ones I use on all my bikes today (front and rear mounts).

Lezyne Updates:

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Lezyne’s home turf is Sea Otter, and they were on the scene with some solid updates to their GPS bike computer lineup, namely via firmware updates.

First up is that all of the units will be receiving a firmware update (like this week) that includes a new option to change to a white background (with black text), versus the previous white text on black background.  You can see that below.

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Next, they’ve introduced the ability to configure any setting you’d like via the smartphone app, versus previously only on the unit itself.  This is awesome because it makes them the first (shipping) brand to allow you to configure anything via the unit itself OR on the smartphone app.  Companies like Wahoo have it almost all smartphone-only, whereas Garmin is almost all device-only.  Finally, a company that gives you both options.

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The update will allow you to change anything, including data fields, mid-ride or pre-ride/post-ride.

Next, they’ve introduced multiple bike profiles.  Previously you only had a single bike profile, but now you can create numerous bike profiles and associate unique sensors to each bike.

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Finally, the company has enabled a bunch more smartphone notification types that you can toggle to display on your unit (versus just the standard call/text ones), especially on the iPhone.  The phone is required to setup these bike profiles initially, but selection can occur after the fact on the unit itself.

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This will give you a bit more flexibility when it comes to deciding what things you want to interrupt your workout.  Again, all of this should show up this week sometime.

Oh, finally – I give you this masterpiece of watch holding goodness:

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Yup, I’d need about 50 of those to hold all my watches…

Quarq Qollector:

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Putting this in the 5-second update category, a few folks have asked where Quarq stands on getting their Qollector training/race tracking device working within the international realm (aka anywhere outside America).  Now technically it mostly works already outside the US, but buying it outside the US has been the tricky part.

Quarq is saying they plan on having it available within 2017 to international buyers, which is what they had promised last year when it first came out.  Still, the company will once again be outfitting all competitors at the Norseman Triathlon this summer with units, as well as a few other events too.  Plus of course if you have a unit you can check out their full listing of events on their site for ones that it’ll automatically trigger the various sports (versus just regular mode). It’s still a unit that I actually use somewhat frequently, primarily on longer rides to allow The Girl to track me.

But I also use it for gathering power meter data since it can pair to multiple units at once and easily put a .FIT file together for each sensor, all sync’d to Dropbox.  Good stuff.

Flaér Revo Via:

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Finally, just a quick update on a product a looked at a long-ass time ago, the Flaér Revo Via chain lube system.  This used to be under the name Scottoiler back a while ago when it launched on Kickstarter.  But they’ve since rebranded the company as Flaér, and the product as the Revo Via.

The point of the product is to provide continuous chain lubrication, which in turn reduces wattage loss in drivetrain transfer.  Of course, these watts are pretty small, but if you’re at the pointy end of the pack then it can indeed make a difference.  The company claims up to 12w in power savings, which is probably viable at certain wattages.  The main appeal being longer stages/races – such as those closing in on 5-6 hours (or much longer for off-road endurance racing).

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You can see below the small tube which spits out .03ml of lube at various intervals continuously.  For example, during rainy conditions they’d recommend every 30 seconds, whereas in sunny conditions it’d be closer to 150 seconds.

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Anyway, the point of this update was that they’ve got some big name teams now actually using the thing.  For example, Orica-Scott has been riding it on pro team bikes this spring in races, as has the Cube Action Team (which is off-road racing).

Of course, this is one of those products that people love to bash, mostly because it’s not understood (as is almost always the case).  On a sunny day with dry conditions and a shorter 2-3 hour race, it’s likely overkill.  But for a long endurance race in craptastic rainy conditions, there’s some very legit wattage savings to a clean drivetrain.  And very few pro riders would dismiss 12w of savings.  But of course, to each their own.

With that – thanks for reading!  That’s all I’ve got for Sea Otter tech updates (plus the previous Sea Otter power meter post!), though stay tuned throughout the rest of the week for a few more product things coming out that I spent time with at Sea Otter. Won’t want to miss those!

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52 Comments

  1. John branum

    No Pioneer love. I’d love to see a Pioneer out front mount that integrated a GoPro mount like k-edge has for Garmins.

    • onelegmatt

      No Lezyne love either from k-edge. “frowny-face”

    • Taylor S

      I got all excited reading “BarFly” and “Lezyne” in the title. Still waiting for someone to make a combined Lezyne/GoPro mount. I e-mailed BarFly about it almost 3 months ago and they said they don’t have a timeline yet and to keep an eye out for updates. How hard can it be?!

  2. Dave

    Just got a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. Does anyone make a bar mount for older 26 mm handlebars?

    Thanks!

  3. What is the model of that chain catcher in the picture? I can’t seem to find it on their website – probably because it’s new.

  4. Alan

    Seems like Flaer would want to mount the reservoir closer to the application point on the rear derailleur, e.g. the right seat stay.

    • How? Those tubes tend to be asymetrical so hard to mount something on. Looks like they are using a bolt from a bottle cage holder. Plus weight low down is probably the more important aspect

  5. In the settings on/off device debate you’ve mentioned Garmin being all on device a few times recently and that’s no longer true. They have a very bad implementation of sync with Connect which now means some settings cannot be changed on the device and are overridden by Connect when the device syncs. This happens even if you’ve changed the setting on the watch. The various forums are filled with angry users who are not expecting this functionality. The Garmin answer seems to be that this is now expected behaviour despite it looking very much like a bug. That leaves Garmin in a weird hybrid of computer, mobile and watch based settings.

    • Except that’s simply not true. About 95-98% of Garmin settings aren’t synced from Garmin Connect to the device. Only a handful are, of which almost all are exclusively just user settings (i.e. weight).

      All the stuff that’s actually complicated to setup by hand on a device – like device data field/pages and sport settings are not synced. Nor are system-wide settings

    • Sorry Ray but this is another instance where you’ve become blind to Garmin issues because you use them too much. I’m not saying you’re biased, you’re not, I’m saying you either don’t experience or don’t notice the problems.
      When I set an alarm on the watch, or turn off move alerts or loads of other settings and then Connect overwrites my settings on the next sync that’s not a good thing. Read the forums and you’ll see how many are having issues here. It’s likely you don’t use these features or that your Connect account happens to align with your desired settings so you don’t notice but this is a very real thing.
      Try testing the two scenarios you probably never experience. Completely new to Garmin (open box, start using then set up a Connect account) and settled user upgrading (only used older gen device in Connect, set up new device manually then sync). This is demonstrably broken!

    • Also, Garmin have started accelerating the number of settings synced on these new devices. You may want to check again what is and is not syncing (or more correctly mastered on Connect, since sync is one way it seems)

    • Yeah, I almost never use alarms on a watch, nor turn off move alerts. Likely why I don’t see issues there.

      But again, the vast majority of settings simply aren’t set on GC for their units these days, which was the point I was making in the post. Specifically around data fields and such, which you just can’t do aside from Vivosmart/Vivofit.

    • The problem is that they are adding settings all the time and clearly intend to spread this right across the watch. In the current state this makes some things unusable. Without knowing which setting is controlled from where this also leaves the user in a very uncertain position where a setting may or may not be overwritten by the cloud depending on if it’s on the list or not. Unfortunately this isn’t clear which settings are which since all can be changed locally with only some being overwritten later on sync.
      Eventually this will catch you out, and when it does you’ll see why quite a lot of people are annoyed :)

    • David E.

      Yeah, the alarm thing needs to be fixed. A couple of weeks ago, I set an alarm for on my 935 before I went to bed. Then, the watch synced with Garmin Connect (without me even realizing the sync had happened), and the alarm was lost, presumably because the settings on GC overrode it. That’s either a screwy implementation or a bug, but I assume it’s also a relatively easy software fix that Garmin will get to.

    • MattB

      Thanks David Lusty – you’ve just solved the mystery I was having of why the hell the move alert keeps reactivating on my F3. Also the alarm thing has happened to me but happily I had set another alarm on my phone. What a pain in the arse, Garmin!

  6. Adriaan

    …and guess, which manufacturer messed up bike profiles? Yes, it was Garmin!
    At 910XT there were bike profiles and sensors were assigned to each bike profile. Then they “developed” 920XT without bike profiles, by means if you have speed and cadence sensors enabled the device will try to connect to them, even if the activity is set to Pool Swimming…

    • While I agree the fact that it ‘connects’ to sensors out of sport (i.e. connects to power meters in running but doesn’t record them), is odd…I’d argue that the vast majority of people are far happier with the sensor pool concept than the previous mess.

      In fact, it’s been years I’ve seen someone complain about the sensor pool concept.

    • Adriaan

      Is it the same majority of people who were demanding a multisport watch to handle smart homes &, home cinemas?… Me, sarcastic?. Nooooo!

    • I believe the world has moved on since 2011, people expect watches (of all connected varieties) to do more than simply track a run. While not everyone may want to connect to their smart homes, people want flexibility to do creative things, which is what that’s all about.

      For better or worse, simple sales numbers don’t lie here. Consumers are being these connected multi-sport devices in greater quantities than ever before. And those that lack those features aren’t being bought.

    • Adriaan

      I am not against development. But before going to the field of entertainment, all issues, comments, request, bugs, layouts and functions related to that simple run should be fixed for good…
      BTW.. Page link to ifttt.com allowed kind of API and different connections long before Garmin came with IQ.
      The most common and simple example was on Fitbit and mobile phone. “If I reach X steps, send me an sms”…

    • I think your mixing up two different things. IFTTT is cool stuff, but it’s not Connect IQ. Apples and Oranges. CIQ is an on device development platform. IFTTT is a web platform that allows other services to trigger things. Two totally different technologies. Both cool in their own right, but also targeting different tech use cases.

      Now, as to why Garmin hasn’t offered a IFTTT integration point on their site…no idea, totally agree it’d be cool.

    • Stuart Brown

      I mist give a shout out to the Maker CiQ app here. It’s ace and allows me to do some great integrations from my VAHR and Edge unit. Turn lights off, turn the TV off, anything you like!

      But it would be cool to have a native Garmin IFTTT channel, though I’m toying with buying a smartthings kit in the hope it is more automatic and a bit less needed to maintain.

      A hue CiQ app would be great (as would a Nest one), here’s hoping.

    • To be fair, Garmin didn’t add anything for the smart home app, that app is just calling rest APIs like it would if using IFTTT. I think this shows the relative maturity of ConnectIQ and is a great example of how the watch shouldn’t need to do a lot for many scenarios as APIs are pretty common for most services now.

  7. Johan v Z

    No Garmin Edge 1000 upgrade announced at sea otter? Surprising

    • CPall

      I was also disappointed there was no news of an Edge 1000 replacement. I rely on that big screen and map to discover new roads and have had many, many long days of great riding that would be difficult to achieve without it. I hope Garmin isn’t dropping the 3″ screen size because for me, the more screen real estate for mapping (and data fields) the better. I’d like to see an even bigger, higher resolution screen at about the same size as the 1000. Longer battery life would also be welcome. As it is, I’ve got to strap an external battery to my bar to drive the 1000 on 6+ hour days.

    • I was hoping for a 1000 replacement too, guess I’ll be using my flaky 810 for longer. (it shuts off and loses the ride at random so not so good at recording)

    • Eli

      hmmm, maybe I’m reading into this too much but usually Ray posts something like “I wouldn’t expect any new device to replace x anytime soon”, except he is staying quiet so maybe there is a new device but he is under NDA so can’t comment.

    • I don’t expect anything soon.

    • ruin my optimism :-p

    • Jeff Forrest

      Hey Eli,
      Agree on the 1000 replacement, very disappointing, was all ready to click buy.
      On your 810, random turn offs are usually caused by corrupted storage. Likely you need to format the storage from a PC (turn off quick format). These devices use FAT which isn’t a very robust filesystem. Obviously you lose all your settings so copy off anything you want to keep.

  8. Tomas

    Final paragraph: I think you meant to say “and very FEW pro rides would dismiss 12w of savings”.

  9. Bob

    I hope the Barfly will be made also in plastic/compound like their other one’s. I like them specifically for that. Also, would be great if manufacturers made their gadgets with the mount forks on the top to the thing isn’t upside down on these mounts. And with Buttons on the side. Big Buttons.

  10. Peter

    That chain lube system is awesome for audax rides (got a 600km coming up in two weeks), but at close to 300 euros I’ll pass.

  11. Stu

    Would love to see a mount manufacturer come up with a Cateye Light adaptor that will attach to the go pro fitting on the underside of a Garmin mount!

  12. Eugen

    how to mount with aero cockpits?
    any experience ? or preferred brands?

    ThankEA

  13. Wonder how many people will try and get the auto chain lube system and try to be cheap and use their own lube not realizing that almost all chain lube isn’t meant to be applied like that. (They use a carrier to penetrate into the chain that needs to evaporate to leave behind the real lubricant)

    Also means that this lube can’t be a fully dry lube so it might make the chain pick up more grit

  14. okrunner

    Still wishing you had time to add the Lezyne to the comparison calculator. Pretty Please!

  15. John L

    Any news on the lezyne firmware update? I am not seeing it.

    Also there is a 3d printed adapter for Garmin to lezyne on shapeways – it works well enough will only a little wiggle.

  16. Brian

    Ray – It’s been a month since this post, do you know when are the Lezyne updates supposed to roll out?

    I am up to date on Firmware and I certainly don’t see the smartphone functionality you demonstrated above yet. I’m using the GPS Ally v2 app for iOS.

  17. Robbie Lawless

    Any update on when the Lezyne Y10 GPS software update will be released? It doesn’t seem to be available yet?

    • I shot over a note yesterday evening to the PM over those units to ask. It’s a holiday weekend in the US, so probably won’t get an answer till tomorrow.

    • Robbie Lawless

      Excellent, thanks a lot. Do you know if the ability to reverse the screen background colour is only on the ‘color’ models or can you do it on the B&W screen models too?

  18. Jan Aniołek

    Hi everybody. Ray, you gave us hope for lezyne firmware update, giving us multiple bike profiles among others. You state “like this week” and the date of your post is April 24th. We are past May and nothing has showed up. The latest firmware you can dl from lezyne’s webpage is from April 17th. Any info on whether this is ever going to happen (bike profiles)?

    • Sorry, I thought I had posted the response I got last week…but apparently not. In any case, here’s what they said:

      “This release keeps getting pushed back. Last I heard it will be released by they end of this week.
      But not confirmed. I will keep you posted!”

      So, given it wasn’t last week, hopefully shortly. Historically when they push back it’s for QA reasons – so at least it’s to avoid releasing a buggy update.