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Week in Review–July 17th, 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: 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:

Current DealsRegular PriceSale PriceStartEndAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 11th, 2017 @ 5:07 am
Fitbit Alta$129$30 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A
Fitbit Alta HR$149$20 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A
Fitbit Blaze$199$50 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A⚡Not too shabby a deal on this unit. It requires your phone for GPS, but otherwise it's a good option for a more full featured Fitbit.
Fitbit Charge 2$149$20 offDec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A
Fitbit Ionic$299$30 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A⚡About the best deal we'll likely see for a while on Ionic (it was down a bit more for Black Friday, but that's a rarity).
Garmin Edge 520 $299$219Nov 28 2017Dec 20 2017LinkN/AN/A⚡ ⚡ Note: This has an unknown end date. Could be in 2 minutes, or in 2 weeks. No idea, it's an Amazon specific deal.
Garmin Fenix5 (5/5S/5X)$599$100 offNov 13 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLink⚡ Definitely the best deal you're going to see this year on this.
Garmin Forerunner 235$329$30 offDec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A
Garmin Forerunner 35$199$30 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/A
Garmin VIRB 360$799$100 offDec 10 2017Dec 16 2017LinkLinkN/A⚡This is the first US sale we've seen on this unit, and likely done to edge you to purchase it over the GoPro Fusion or Rylo cameras. While Rylo is in a different (lesser) category, Fusion is similar, but not yet as mature as the VIRB 360.
Garmin Vivoactive 3$299$50 offNov 22 2017Dec 23 2017LinkLink⚡ Awesome deal $50 off the base unit (thus $249), or $50 off the Slate unit (thus $279). The slate has an extra resistant coating on the band which his why it costs more. This is a superb deal for a unit that came out a mere 2 months ago.
Garmin Vivofit Jr$79$49Nov 22 2017Dec 23 2017LinkLinkThe lowest we've seen this unit. Was super popular last year (the most popular item ordered via DCR actually).
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2$99$69Nov 22 2017Dec 23 2017LinkLink⚡ This just came out 5 weeks ago, and so this is a solid deal. Note: This price was dropped $10 further on Dec 5th.
Garmin Vivosmart 3$139$99Nov 22 2017Dec 23 2017LinkLink⚡ Note this just came out earlier this year, if looking for an activity tracker as opposed to a GPS watch, this is a great deal.
Garmin Vivosport$199$149Nov 22 2017Dec 23 2017LinkLinkThis just came out back in September, so a pretty good deal.
GoPro Hero5 Black$399$100 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 31 2018LinkLinkN/A⚡ This is technically a permanent price drop effective Dec 10th, but now the GoPro Hero 5 Black is $299! I'm listing it here for now since it's a good deal if you don't care about the new Hero6 features.
GoPro Hero5 Session$299$100 off!Dec 10 2017Dec 31 2018LinkLinkN/A⚡⚡⚡ This is technically a permanent price drop effective Dec 10th, but now the GoPro Hero 5 Session is $199! I'm listing it here for now since it's a good deal, especially if you want a small camera that has 4K capabilities and is totally waterproof.
GoPro Hero6 Black$499$50 off + 32GB CardDec 10 2017Dec 16 2017LinkLinkN/A⚡ Awesome deal ! Also includes a 32GB micro-SD card tossed in. Amaze-ball deal for a brand new unit! CLEVER TRAINING ONLY
GoPro Karma Drone Hero5 & Hero6 Bundles$200 offDec 10 2017Dec 24 2017LinkLinkN/AWhile I don't generally recommend the GoPro Karma drone...if you really want it, it's on sale for about 20% off. Instant price reduction for the Karma Hero5 and Hero6 bundles.
Polar Gadgets - 20% off everything!!!-20% offDec 04 2017Dec 13 2017N/ALinkN/A⚡ Only valid on Clever Training, and only with coupon code MERRY20. This includes watches, bike computers, sensors (like the Polar OH-1), and more!
PowerPod$299Dec 10 2017Dec 19 2017LinkLinkN/A$249 for the ANT+ version, $279 for the BLE version, and $299 for the dual ANT+/BLE version
PowerTap Refurb Sale-25-40% offDec 02 2017Dec 15 2017n/AN/ALink⚡ This is a great sale for refurb items. Incredible deals. And here's the thing, some folks will ignore this because they are refurb, but realistically, they go through the same QA process as other items (just with fancy new exteriors). Seriously, you won't beat these deals, and if I was buying a PowerTap unit right now, I'd take up some of these deals (unfortunately, I bought a unit two weeks ago...).
Scosche RHYTHM+$79$59Dec 10 2017Dec 13 2017LinkLinkN/A
TomTom Adventurer (Music + OHR + GPS)-$50 offDec 10 2017Dec 31 2017LinkLinkN/ADown to $299, includes music, optical HR, and GPS.Note: TomTom wearables division is being shut down however.
TomTom Spark 3 Product Line$149-$299 (Features Vary)Up to $100 offDec 10 2017Dec 31 2017LinkLinkN/AFull list of options: • Spark 3 Basic: $30 off (from $129 to $99) • Spark 3 Cardio: $40 (from $189 to $149). • Spark 3 Music + headphones: $20 off (from $169 to $129) • Spark 3 Cardio + music + headphones: $20 off (from $249 to $199)Note: TomTom wearables division is being shut down however.
TomTom Touch Cardio$89$69Dec 10 2017Dec 31 2017LinkLinkN/ANormally $89 for the 'Cardio' version. Note: TomTom wearables division is being shut down however.
TomTom Touch Cardio + Body Composition$89$99Dec 10 2017Dec 31 2017LinkLinkN/AThis is the version that includes the body comp metrics as well. Note: TomTom wearables division is being shut down however.
Wahoo ELEMNT MINI$9920% Off!Dec 01 2017Dec 11 2017LinkLinkDown to $79 on Clever Training, also includes free shipping.
WatTeam PowerBeat Gen2From $25920% off!Nov 26 2017Dec 24 2017N/ALinkN/A⚡⚡ This brings it down to $207 for a single sided unit and $319 for the dual-sided unit - by far the cheapest direct force power meter out there.

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:

DSC_7598

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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14 Comments

  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

    Ray,
    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

      Yikes,
      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