Week in Review–July 17th, 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–July 9th, 2017
Monday: Paris Blog: A Trip to A French Costco- Wine tasting, caviar, and so much fromage!
Tuesday: Amazon Prime Day Deals Today in Sports Tech
Wednesday: Tour de France Behind the Scenes: How Dimension Data Rider Live Tracking Works

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

While it was crazy busy for Amazon Prime day, and most deals have disappeared, there are a few holdovers from prime day that I’ve added below. I don’t know how long those will stay, they might disappear in like 5 minutes or 5 weeks.  No idea.

Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS Watch with leather band: Normally $599, now $399

Garmin Forerunner 630 with HR strap: Normally $449, now $340

Polar Red M400 GPS watch: Normally $169, now $104. Solid deal.

Not a huge list, but certainly better than no list!

Of note below is that the Garmin FR735XT deal/price drop finally started.  Given the ‘successor’ of that came out back in April, this is more of a logical price adjustment:

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
HoverAir X1 Drone - $80 off!$349Note: There's virtually always a $80 coupon that can be clicked on the Amazon page.
Suunto Veritcal (Solar edition) - $50 off$699

Also of note is that ELEMNT $80 rebate for the larger unit.  Helps to equalize the price compared to the smaller BOLT.  Both contain the same software, though the larger unit has an additional LED stripe.

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) Airdog ADII announced on Kickstarter: This latest version of the sports-tracking focused Airdog just launched.  You’ll remember my in-depth review of the V1 version here.  And you’ll be able to find a First Look post of the ADII here on the site on Wednesday. In the meantime, the below photo from testing:


2) The decline of USAT in events?  After Life Time triathlon decided to forgo the USAT requirement, many are asking why day-passes need to be as high as they are…among other things.  Of course, USAT supports more than just your individual race, but also pro athletes too.  But there needs to be some balance for trying to get new people into the sport.

3) The World’s Largest Super Soaker: Seriously, how awesome is this?  It shoots water at 272MPH!!! I like how this former NASA engineer wrote in the description of the video (where they share the CAD files), that if you make it and kill yourself, he’s not coming to your funeral.

4) Another company sues Fitbit: It’s the popular thing to do these days.

5) Some more GoPro Fusion sample footage: I always like looking at sample footage from in-progress units.  This looks pretty darn good from a stitching standpoint, as well as the lighting portions too.  But do take this with a grain of salt, my suspicion is that the GoPro team edited it, and likely did some post-production work like they did on their announcement teaser video (since GoPro staff are seen holding the camera).  Nothing inherently wrong with that at all in a video like this that’s meant really more for show-casing the team than GoPro, but just beware your mileage will likely vary when it comes to stitching.

6) Wanna make a wind tunnel out of your garage? There’s a solution on the way for that.  Regrettably, I lack a garage.  Though, I do at least have a large cooking studio.

7) You can count all 3,000 of your dollars that I won’t be reviewing this Android Wear Smartwatch: Seriously, who on earth spends that much money on something that in 18-24 months will be close to useless?

8) Apple extends 1st gen watch warranty to 3 years: That’s a nice touch. It’ll be interesting to see what Apple does in this area over the next few years (with other watches), and whether or not companies like Garmin or Fitbit (for higher end units) might match it.  In Europe, these companies are held to a 2-year minimum warranty, but in the US it’s only a year.

9) GoPro water bottle mount: While I’m not a huge fan of most Indiegogo projects, this seems incredibly low-risk and incredibly cheap.  Plus, they plan to ship next month.  At worst, I’m out about 2-3 Starbucks drinks worth of cash.

Stay tuned!

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.

{Best I can tell, there were actually no sports tech firmware updates in the last 7 days}

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Adriaan

    Hi Ray,

    Would it be possible making a separate session for the “Week in review” series? Like you have it for “Product reviews”, “How to tips”, “Race report” and “Travel”…

    For you to study: link to en.wikipedia.org
    Because noticed, that you are using the unit abbreviations incorrectly. TdF race report. If you write 10 KM, it means Kelvin Mega…

    • Robert Black

      10km means 6.21371 miles to me

    • Peter Edantic

      For you to study: link to grammarbook.com
      “Because noticed” your use of English isn’t that great.

      Call me pedantic!

    • Adriaan

      Thanks for the link, Pedantic!
      I found it very useful, however I was unable to find a section there, which is dealing with hidden subject in sentences… How pedantic is that?

      Robert Black,

      I assume, that you convert power also. To lbft times minutes?

      To all witnesses of imperial system, let me post a quotation, which is expressing my opinion:

      “In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. An amount of hydrogen weighing the same amount has exactly one mole of atoms in it. Whereas in the American system, the answer to ‘How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?’ is ‘Get lost,’ because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities.” Wild Thing by Josh Bazell.

  2. Mick

    Have you seen the Chinese knockoff stages on aliexpress? Brand is xcadey. I have one in hand and it does indeed produce watt numbers, can’t really say much more than that, but it’d be interesting to see an accuracy comparison. It seems we’re starting to see a race to the bottom on price.

    • Mick

      old news apparently, I don’t check the twitter. Anyway, I have one, and it seems to legitimately detect power, but I don’t really have anything to compare it against besides other left-arm power meters. If it seems to match up decently then maybe I’ll leave it on the indoor trainer bike rather than swap cranks back and forth.

  3. Robert

    Ray, what’s your thoughts on shftrun’s parent company filing for bankruptcy?

    • Interesting, I didn’t realize they had.

      But it doesn’t surprise me. It’s a tough market with a lot of competitors and not a lot of interest.

      I’ve said a bunch that too many of these companies are targeting the wrong user types at the wrong price points. Recreational runners don’t give a flying fudge about these metrics, and no amount of telling them that it’ll make them faster/safer/whatever is going to make them go out and spend $150-$200 on a device they don’t really need.

      (The same statement can largely be applied to the influx of ‘smart training/coaching’ type apps/platforms lately, most of which will fail because there isn’t enough of a reason for someone to abandon the Strava’s/TrainingPeaks/etcs of the world.)

      Now, to SHFT’s credit, I don’t think they were targeting that market (thankfully) – and their product is pretty good. I think their challenge is just the general trying to get people interested in what they are doing piece.

  4. Giles Endicott

    Wahoo released an elemnt update today 17.07.2017, mainly focussed on live tracking improvements.

  5. Matt

    Does the rebate on the Garmin Edge 1000 mean we are getting close to the newer version soon?

  6. Not to go all pedantic on you, but technically the Elemnt is not so much a rebate as a trade in program. You have to send in an old bike computer to be eligible. And here is the link for it link to wahoofitness.com|cid:789744843|agid:44937388041|tid:kwd-1427500752|crid:204462847324|nw:g|rnd:7721014770356066738|dvc:c|adp:1t1|loc:1002451&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2J_P2sqn1QIVEIGzCh3yYQX6EAAYASAAEgKo1_D_BwE