Week in Review–May 28th, 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–May 22nd, 2017
Wednesday: Garmin VIRB 360 5.7K Action Cam In-Depth Review
Sunday: The Day in May DCR $500 Gadget Giveaway Winner!

Kinda a quiet week. Putting together that VIRB 360 review took quite a bit of processing time (video is my slow spot).

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

We’re into the final push of solid May sales – with many wrapping up tomorrow (Monday).  As I’ve noted in more detail on my sales landing page, May sales are very common.  One of the best deals here is the Garmin FR735 for $315 (normally $450).  It’s still receiving Connect IQ and feature updates and is just barely one year old.  Great little lightweight tri/running watch.

Oh – and for some weird reason an entry in the table for ‘All Suunto gear is 25% off’ isn’t showing up.  I’ve got some techies trying to figure it out, but FYI.  Note that the only watch excluded is the Wrist HR model on that one.  Many of the trainers listed below have sold out, but if you really want one of these I highly recommend checking frequently.  I keep seeing inventory pop in for a few hours here and there, even as recently as a few hours ago for most models.  So…FYI.

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

All of the above links help support the blog!

YouTube Videos I Published!

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

Pro Tip: This very first video I just published three minutes ago, based on popular request from all of you!

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) Apple’s Needleless Blood Glucose Monitor’s Challenging Road Ahead: A good write-up of the challenges faced.  Obviously I really hope Apple can crack this nut, but it’s a hard road.  A really hard road, even more so than Apple Watch in so many ways – most notably FDA approval.  That requires far more accuracy than Apple Watch comes anywhere near today with more simplistic HR measurements.

2) Concept 2 Adds Strava Support: If you’ve got a supported Concept2 rower, you can actually now sync your workouts to Strava. Nifty…and thanks to Richard for sending this in!

3) What it costs to bike sponsor a WorldTour Team: In case you have some spare cash lying around.  On the bright side, smaller sponsorships are far far cheaper.  For example, a company with a trainer might pay $100-125K for a major/well known team, or they might pay only $10-15K for a ‘lesser known’ team (talking WorldTour teams only here).  And some power meter sponsors for major teams might pay nothing at all, but are selected for technical reasons too.  While others are again up in the $50-$100K range.  But my name isn’t Paolo.

4) DJI announces their new DJI Spark: This is definitely an interesting one. With the size of the body the same as a cell phone, it makes it even better for sports (taking cycling, hiking, xc-skiing, even trail running).  I did a lot of that with my DJI Mavic before, which is still really small.  But…umm…size matters…more?  Either way, review coming sometime in June.  Oh, and purchasing pro tip: Don’t order the white version if you plan to use in the snow…I’d argue red is easiest to find if SNAFU occurs.

5) A study on wearables was released: Until I get around to writing a post on it tomorrow, my tweet will suffice.

6) Runners get married half-way through half-marathon: Well then, that’s an entirely different setup than your average water station. (via Casey Neistat)

7) Did the Tesla make or break the Nike marathon record attempt? Pretty cool and detailed aerodynamic analysis of it all. (via Sweat Science)

8) In unrelated Nike news: More doping details/revelations from the Nike Oregon Project.  Not surprising of course.  (via TRS Triathlon)

9) GoPro open-sources their metadata video format: I missed this a few weeks ago, but stumbled on it today while looking for something totally unrelated.  It’s good to see this spec out there now.  Previously only certain partners got access to it.  This should help more 3rd party companies start to use GoPro’s GPS and ancillary data streams within their Hero5 generated videos.

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 Fenix 5/5S/5X/Chronos BETA firmware update: Small bug fixes.

Garmin FR735XT BETA firmware update: New Connect IQ update, swim fixes/tweaks, other bug fixes.

Polar M430 Production Firmware release: Yes, I’m actively testing this, and yup, a review should be out in 7-10 days.

Stryd running power meter firmware update: Improvements to downhill running.

Endless pool .FIT file app adds Strava integration: Remember that endless pool app/site I mentioned last week? They’ve added Strava integration. Nifty.

Thanks all!  Have a good week ahead!

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  1. John L

    Any news on the lezyne bike computer firmware updates mentioned a few weeks ago?

  2. Louis Matherne

    And it appears that Concept2 is also supporting Training Peaks.

  3. Bikeman

    “Don’t order the white version if you plan to use in the snow…I’d argue red is easiest to find if SNAFU occurs.”
    Exactly my reasoning for ordering the red. Probably won’t help much if it plays submarine while I’m out kayaking. My biggest peave is DJI charges my credit card for the full amount even though I’ll be lucky to see the Spark sometime this summer. DJI & customer care are rarely put in the same sentence so I knew going in that how the game is played.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure how they manage to screw up the whole shipping/pre-order thing so badly each time. I’m interested to see if Spark will be better and/or if they learned any lessons from Mavic.

      I fully understand they can’t solve the issue of 3rd party retailers promising unrealistic dates. Totally get that. But I feel like since DJI gave me a specific date when I ordered a product directly from them, they should be able to deliver upon that based on their projections. Those projections (like any proper project) should have padding and such built into them. We’ll see.

      And as for support – I totally agree with you there. The DJI Care Refresh that I paid extra for seems questionable at best on speed. It took two weeks turnaround for a facility that was within a few hours driving time. Never mind that folks now are saying 4-8 weeks is the norm for a Care Refresh turnaround, which is nuts.

      Of course, outside of those two items – they’re doing everything else right.

    • Mike Richie

      I’d be careful using the Spark while kayaking, not at all waterproof. They recommend against using it rain, fog or snow – and to avoid landing in puddles.

    • Yeah. It’s pretty good in rain (snow is more problematic because of signal blockage) in terms of electronics. Your phone is likely the weak point there.

      It’s one of the few areas that Airdog has an advantage in that it’s fully waterproof (minus the camera you attach to it of course). The early beta unit I used had completed 2-3 landings in the ocean (salt water no less) without issue. For the record, those landings occurred pre-me.

  4. Eli

    You forgot the Pioneer bike computer deal.

    As to the concept2 news, there is also the connect IQ app to record from the rower: link to apps.garmin.com

  5. Eirik

    Could also be worth mentioning polar’s release of the A370. Which seems to be the A360 with a software update and new colors. Really, really let down by Polar. They seem to be so far behind the competition at this point.

    Same dimension, resolution, poor batterylife, and using the same bands as the a360, and about the same retail price as the a360 upon release.

    Would be interesting to see if they actually did anything worth while “under the hood”, or simply re-priced the a360 with a slight software update.

    • Yeah, I’ve got one arriving any minute now…assuming UPS likes me. I’m doing a separate post on it – so I skipped it above.

      The main thing is the new sleep algorithms (software), the 24×7 HR (software with potentially a battery update), and then the ‘connected GPS’, which means it’ll use your phone for GPS while outdoors.

  6. Paulo Menezes

    Hi Ray,

    The link to the DJI announcement is for an Amanzon.es page.

    link to amazon.es

    Can you check it, please?


    • Hi Paulo – I just linked to the generic Amazon page for the Spark, and then from there based on your country it’ll autodirect to the local Amazon country page. In your case in Portugal it looks like it believes it’s Amazon Spain.

      If you’re looking for DJI’s home page, it’s here: http://www.dji.com


    • Paulo Menezes

      Ok, but still no DJI Spark available in Amazon Spain. :-(
      Already checked the DJI webpage. Thanks

  7. Long Run Nick

    As you have mentioned, you are not a car guy. You drive a Fiat 124 Abarth Spider and we hear no exhaust, we see no heel toe rev matching downshifts, no redline through the 6 gears, or maybe you ended up with an auto:(
    My passion for running( closing in on 87,000 miles run) is followed closely by my passion for cars.
    Stay healthy my friend. Nick

    • True.

      Though, I did post a secondary (non-360) video on YouTube which does include the exhaust. :)

      I did indeed end up with an auto, which is mainly why I got the car. I had simply ordered a cheap auto, the cheapest they had. And they gave mine away on accident. Thus, this was all that was left.

      As for red-lining, I generally try to avoid posting things that might get oneself in trouble. :)

  8. Thomas Wylie

    Any update on the progress of the Stryd review Ray?

  9. Joeri Nysen

    Someone might have already asked, but is there a race report coming from the race you did 1.5 weeks ago that we saw on Strava? :)

    • Tomorrow, sorry!

      I used mostly the 360 cam for taking photos, which has taken a boatload more work to get pictures to a non-360 state. :-/

    • Joeri Nysen

      No worries, I just really like to read them and it’s been a while ;)

    • Mike Richie

      Be interested in what it took to do that.

    • I’m using the photo button within VIRB Edit to give me a 360 (but flat) shot from the video. The downside is that it looks funky, so I then trim and process in Lightroom.

      But I still have to find the exact shot/frame that I need for my ‘story’. On the flip-side, at least on the bike I shot with 2xVIRB 30’s (front/back) running the whole time to capture stuff there. However one of them had an SD-card error oddly enough. Sigh.

  10. HUber

    Will you test the Polar A370 ?