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Week in Review–April 30th, 2017

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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:

Sunday: Sea Otter Power Meter Roundup: 4iiii Precision, Easton/Race Face CINCH, FSA PowerBox, Team Zwatt, Quarq DZero, Xpedo Thrust-E.
Monday: Sea Otter 2017 Tech Tidbits: Barfly, K-Edge, Quarq Qollector, Lezyne, Flaér
Tuesday: Quarq DZero Power Meter In-Depth Review
Wednesday: Garmin Varia UT800 Smart Bike Light In-Depth Review

Lots more good stuff planned this week! Including the ROTOR 2INPower In-Depth Review!

DCR on Recode Podcast!

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In case you missed my tweet about this, I joined Lauren Goode from The Verge on the Recode podcast, Too Embarrassed to Ask, for a detailed look at everything DCR plus plenty of tech questions.

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Lots of fun!  Listen to it all here or below!

YouTube Videos I Published!

Here’s some YouTube goodness that I published this past week, don’t forget to subscribe!

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) No, this person’s Fitbit didn’t randomly explode. Why do you ask? In general, I subscribe to the theory that when millions of something are out there and a single one does something unexpectedly – that perhaps, just maybe, someone isn’t telling the whole story.  Which isn’t to say random things don’t happen – they certainly can.  But from the outside this just sounded so weird. I don’t think we’ve had any reports of any mainstream wearables exploding on people’s wrists…ever.

2) Awesome top to bottom one-shot film using gimbal: As you all know, I’m a sucker for good ski videos.  Even more a sucker for gimbal usage.  And finally, even more for a complex and well-planned sports video. This has it all.  As usual, Abe from GoPro nails it.  The description above talks to how it was filmed and how many shots, etc…   Super cool.

I’ll be honest, the GoPro Karma Grip (used below) is slowly growing on me. I used it filming the video up above in the dark mountain biking with a GoPro Hero5 Black. While if I had to pick one for versatility, it’s the FT G5, but the Karma Grip is a bit more of a semi-truck when it comes to how I can treat it.

3) Avio PowerSense Power Meter for $320: A bunch of you have asked about this over the past few days after this Road.CC piece. I’ve been chatting with the company, and they hope to have a unit to me in 2-3 weeks for a review.  I’m optimistic about elements of it (such as working on aluminum cranks), though less optimistic about carbon cranks.  Carbon is *incredibly* tough to get right from a power meter standpoint because not just every model is different, but every power meter company I’ve talked to has lamented about the differences within a given batch of a single model being sometimes substantially different in terms of how it reacts.

4) Panasonic makes a heart rate camera: And of all sports to use it on….they choose golf? Sigh.

5) Apple extends Gen1 Apple Watch warranty: Nice of them. Interesting to hear of the ballooning battery issues, which is something that Polar struggled with early on with their V800 as well.

6) Dallas Ft. Worth Airport Gym to Close: Sad panda.  Though I’ve used other airport gyms, I never quite fit in a workout in this one.

7) A box of a lot of GoPro’s at Paris-Roubaix: I’ve had this link sitting on a Notepad window for a few weeks, and I keep forgetting to post it. I love the photo of the case full of GoPro’s to be put on bikes for Paris-Roubaix.

8) Peloton Indoor Bike (In-Depth) Review: I talked about this recently both in my Connect IQ keynote as well as during the above-noted podcast.  Lauren’s review (who is also in above podcast) is really well done and speaks to some really interesting points about it.  It’s also rather in-depth in nature.

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.

SportTracks adds Garmin Weight Scale Support: This may sound minor, but it’s actually kinda a big deal. It’s illuminating to some changes going on behind the scenes at Garmin – most notably they’re not pushing a new data type to partner sites as of the last few weeks.  And SportTracks appears to be the first to utilize this, enabling them to get both weight and body fat data. Hopefully, this works a heck of a lot better than the wonky-ass Garmin to MyFitnessPal weight scale sync/integration which seems broken half the time.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Firmware Update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Fenix 3HR/Fenix 3/Tactix Bravo/Quatix BETA firmware update: Large pile of big fixes.

Garmin Fenix 5/5S/5X BETA firmware update: Some new stuff, some perf improvements, and a pile of big fixes.

Garmin Chronos BETA firmware update: Matches the Fenix 5 updates.

GoPro Karma Drone Firmware Update: This was actually about two weeks ago, but I wanted to point it out since GoPro finally got around to releasing a firmware update for their drone they released 6 months ago.  They added three very minor features and some bug fixes.

GoPro Karma Grip Firmware Update: This also got some minor updates too.

Thanks for reading!

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33 Comments

  1. Paul appleyard

    Wait with baited breath for a review of the Avio the road cc artical made it sound like they were happy with the repeatability but I wasn’t so sure about the accuracy compared to other products. What did they say about that ray?
    If they’ve cracked carbon I’d be amazed. Sounds to good to be true for £250!

  2. Looking forward to read the powermeter review!!
    Speaking of 300$ PM wouldn’t you order the Chinese one (Xcadey) that you had mentioned on Twitter just out of curiosity?

    • I’m all for burning $300 (I’ve got 6 tabs open on Amazon at the moment narrowing down gizmos to buy), but given their own data looks horrendous, I see little desire to spend both money and time (mostly time) trying it out.

    • Fair enough :) but maybe their “marketing” doesn’t know what and how to show :)

    • Somehow…I don’t think that makes me more inclined. ;)

      Plus, I ended up buying everything on all the tabs…and now…well…I think I spent like $1,500. :-/

    • Tough life! #firtstworldproblems :) but this is not just fun, I started a YouTube channel and now I retain myself from opening gadgets unless I can properly film… 😄

  3. Any news on the new bePROs? Favero says they’ll announce it soon, but won’t give any extra details.

    Knowing if it’ll be a new line (crank based for example) or a direct replacement of their current pedals would make a purchase decision so much easier right now :-)

  4. Michael Coyne

    I just got an Under Armour scale since they had given me a $40 coupon and it has been super wonky even on it’s own platform, and at first required the Under Armour Record app which is perhaps the most broken app I’ve ever used. Now it seems to be syncing fine over wifi and pushing my weight to Myfitnesspal and Garmin Connect just fine now that I’ve uninstalled UA Record funnily enough. I’m not super thrilled with it though despite the $40 coupon, especially since that coupon didn’t work unless I paid $100 and the scale is $99 so I had to also get an overpriced shirt I didn’t care about.

    Also the bodyfat data and even weight sometimes vary fairly significantly even when I just step on and off several times in a row without doing anything else. Bodyfat I expected, but weight varies by just over a pound sometimes. I kinda expected more precision there in today’s age. Is a pound of variance still just to be expected, even when just stepping on and off the scale a few times?

    Also do you think Garmin’s implementation will cause more people to partner like Sports Tracks? And would a Garmin scale push the weight to Myfitnesspal? Kinda annoyed right now that my new Under Armour scale of all things struggles with that sometimes and doesn’t send bodyfat to anybody ever, even Myfitnesspal…

    • When I tried the UA scale a long while back, they said there was a settling period after placing it on a surface of a few weigh-ins. Meaning if you left it in the same place on the floor and just stepped on it day in/out, then all was good. But if you picked it up and such…then less so.

      As for Garmin pushing to MyFitnessPal, that’s what it supposedly does already, but it just doesn’t work consistently for many.

    • Michael Coyne

      Thanks! Yeah I didn’t move it during the handful of first few weigh-ins, but I had just removed it from the box when I did them so maybe I’ll wait till this weekend and try multiple in a row again.

      And thanks again for the info on tye Garmin scale. It kinda astounds me how what is arguably one of the simplest and oldest health/fitness metrics of all (weight) seems to be the one with the least cross-compatibility.

  5. MattB

    The on-bike footage from Paris-Roubaix gives you a taste of just how fast the pros are taking the pavé sections in a way the bike/heli cameras don’t really capture. Butters, the lot of them! And up to 4-5 abreast at times… you couldn’t pay me enough!

  6. For your fitbit exploding comment, they do use lithium ion batteries so could just be a bad battery. When there are millions of things you kind of expect something with a very very small chance of happening to happen at some point

  7. Anonymouse

    Your Death Star handlebars t-shirt is one of the most awesome t-shirts I’ve seen in a looooooong time! Where did you get it? My Google skills don’t seem up to the task of finding it.

  8. Quick comment on the Peloton bike. A friend of one of my Spinning® instructors got one for Christmas. It broke the second time she used it and was 4 weeks before they could send a tech out to fix it… It’s hearsay but I’ve no reason to doubt it.

  9. Phil A

    The interesting thing about the Panasonic reading your HR is that it sounds like the took the technology that Microsoft put into the newer Kinect when the XBOX ONE came out, since it has been able to do that since it’s release.

  10. Scott E

    Thanks for the tip on the first Gen Apple Watch. Went to grab the watch off the charger the other day and noted it was hot, then noted the separation. Didn’t explode, but boy it makes one wonder…..

  11. Ian

    In the spirit of questions about GPS/wearable/sports tech, when are we going to see cycling computers with USB Type-C ports?

    I am ready to burn all my micro-usb cords in a fire after switching to a phone with type-C…

    • I kinda wonder the same thing, but the general feedback I’m getting from companies is ‘What does it do for the consumer?”

      Which…honestly, it kinda hard to argue with. As a techie (and owner of a new MacBook Pro) I keep hoping to see new gear adopt USB-C, but if I step away from it for a second I realize that aside from action cams there’s very little tangible benefit from a speed standpoint. After all, an hour long .FIT file is a mere 100KB – so no meaningful speed increase.

      One could argue the stronger port design, but the lack of legit waterproofed ports is another issue. There are a few companies dipping their tow into that, but nobody wants to end up with a Polar M400 USB port situation. So that makes people even more wary.

      Then there’s compatibility increases, but as much as it pains me – that argument falls to tatters more than any other, since overwhelmingly people have micro/mini-USB cables around these days versus the handful of us with USB-C ports on our goods.

      :-/

    • Ian

      Hmmm, i see your/their point. Especially on the IP67/whatever ports… That is just going to take time i suppose. Maybe 2 years from now, after the Samsung GS8 has been around for 24 months, the waterproof-ish type-C ports will be cheap enough for Garmin to say fine.

      My arguments for type-c would be: ease of use and faster charging… data transfer has nothing to do with it, but i can see how my argument falls apart there as that is a primary perk of type-C…

      But wait. > 90% of people charging phones never transfer anything to or from it with usb… why are phones rapidly moving to type-C??? i think it is just my two arguments, ease of use and faster charging.

    • “why are phones rapidly moving to type-C???”

      Well how else are they going to sell you new accessories? ;)

    • Eli

      They are trying to get everything to the one port standard. Makes life easier only dealing with one cable. It is the only usb 3.1 cable, no more displayport cables (link to displayport.org) Thunderbolt too.

      There are waterproof ports:
      link to mouser.com
      That was one of the justifications for putting audio over USB C
      link to usb.org

    • The thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t making a waterproof connector. That’s easy. It’s making a GOOD waterproof connector that survives years of salt and doesn’t cause corrosion. That’s a far more difficult challenge that most attempts have failed at (historically).

  12. Mike 9

    I see your rental bike has disc brakes, what do you think? I’m just about to pull the trigger on a new bike with disc, I think they’d be great, especially if you’re running carbon rims.

  13. Eli

    Fenix 5 gets another new firmware:
    link to garmin.com
    chronos:
    link to garmin.com

    The 935 is still at 2.95. Will be interesting to see if the 935 gets the new boating functionality the Fenix 5 got. Not because I care about boating but as a way of seeing if the 935 will get new functionality added the same as the Fenix 5 or if this is the start of diverging functionality