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Week in Review–July 1st, 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–June 25th, 2017
Monday: DJI Spark In-Depth Review
Tuesday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend in Sardinia
Thursday: Polar M430 In-Depth Review
Saturday: Tour de France 2017–The Trainers, Power Meters and Gadgets of the Pro Peloton

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

With the start of July brings a fresh wave of new sports tech deals.  More interestingly, some of these are actually Europe-specific, which is a rarity around these parts!  I’ve noted which ones specifically are Europe-focused.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
4iiii Precision Ride-Ready Power Meters - 14% off$258This includes the Shimano DuraAce, Ultegra, and 105 units, at between 11-14% off depending on which exact model you select.
Amazon Halo View - 38% off$49Look, this thing isn't even shipping yet and it's already 38% off. But hey, if you want a good deal on a pre-order product that we don't know much about yet, then here ya go! I have ordered one, and will review it once it comes in.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $44 off
$159
$114These aren't quite the newest generation (those came out a month or so ago), but they are $44 off, and the one I personally use myself.
Apple Airpods Pro - $53 off
$249
$197Though, this price fluctuates as low as $159, so double-check the latest price to be sure it's now ower right now.
Apple Airpods Pro - $60 off
$249
$159⚡ By far the lowest price to date for this unit. Previously hovered around $179-$199
Apple Watch SE - $40 off
$279
$239This isn't quite the lowest price, but is close for the Apple Watch SE. And perhaps more interestingly, my testing over the last year (I continue to use it, including much of the late summer/early fall timeframe), shows that Apple has clearly worked on improving accuracy of it, with it being far more accurate in GPS than a year ago (HR continues to be very good as it was a year ago).
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones - $70 off
$249
$179⚡ I like the PowerBeats Pro with the over-the-ear design, for more security in workouts. I use these as well as my Beats Studio Buds (and have used the PowerBeats Pro ones longer). $70 off is a solid deal.
DJI Mavic Mini Fly More Combo Kit - 24% off$399
Elite Direto XR Smart Trainer- $140 off! (In Stock)
$1,000
$849
Elite Suito-T Smart Trainer - 10% off!
$799 (incl cassette)
$722Note: The Suito-T is the same exact trainer as the Suito, except without the cassette pre-installed.
Elite Tuo Smart Trainer - 7% off
$529
$492
Fitbit Charge 5 - $50 off
$179
$129This is the first time we've seen the newly released Charge 5 on sale. Also of note is that just this week it got ECG support via a firmware update, and Fitbit Daily Readiness score via firmware update.
Fitbit Sense - $100 off!
$329
$199This is the lowest price to date for the Fitbit Sense, and makes it a deal you should definitely consider versus the Fitbit Versa 3 for the same price (no, really, there's no reason to get the Versa 3 at the same price).
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Series - $250+ off
$549-$1,149
$399⚡⚡ This is the biggest deal we've seen on the Fenix 6 Series to date, making it an incredible deal for a watch this full-featured. the base units start at $349, and the Pro units start at $399 (seriously). Pro models have maps/music/wifi, while the base doesn't.
Garmin Forerunner 745 - $100 off
$499/499EUR
$399⚡ This is a solid deal on a very capable watch. More notably, it's also the watch I primarily use as my daily sports tracking watch. While it doesn't have the onboard maps of the FR945, since I'm not traveling as much, it doesn't bother me. Of course, keep in mind that with all the Garmin units on sale, the price differences to map-inclusive units aren't very much.
Garmin HRM-DUAL (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Strap) - $15 off
$69
$56⚡ This is one of my go-to straps these days (ANT+ & two concurrent BLE connections). It's floated on and off being on sale, but this is about the lowest we've seen it.
Garmin HRM-SWIM Strap - $45 off!$54This is the slightly older pool-focused HRM-SWIM strap. It's really just designed for the pool and to get accurate HR data. These days it's been replaced by the HRM-PRO, though even that doesn't quite have the same stickiness level as the HRM-SWIM did.
Garmin Instinct - $85 off
$299
$165⚡While this isn't quite as good as the $149 prices we saw a week or so ago, it's still pretty solid. Note that different colors vary slightly in prices.
Garmin Instinct Solar - $87 off
$399/$449
$312There's also the non-solar version for $169, but keep in mind that's got significantly different features. In many ways, the Garmin Instinct Solar is kinda like a Garmin Instinct 2.0.
Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 11% off
$69
$62Ok, this is a pretty minor deal, but I noticed it so...figured I'd pass it along. Allows you to get not just Running Dynamics metrics, but also running power, on Garmin devices (not all devices, but most devices).
Garmin Varia RVR315 Radar - $25 off$125This variant doesn't have a taillight, so it's a bit smaller as a result. Same radar tech though, and compatible with Garmin/Stages/Hammerhead/Wahoo bike computers.
Garmin Venu 2S - $50 off$349This is the first time the Venu 2 has been on sale since its announcement this past spring. It's not a huge deal, but hey, $50 is $50.
Garmin Venu SQ - $30 off!
$199/$249 with Music
$169
Garmin Venu SQ - $70 off
$199/$249 with Music
$129This is by far the lowest price we've seen, at $129USD, or $179 for the music version.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - $70 off
$299
$229
Garmin Vivoactive 4S - $80 off$219
GoPro Hero 10 Black - $50 off
$449
$449Amazon now has the Hero 10 Black for $50 off the retail price of $499. This does *NOT* require the GoPro subscription (previously called GoPro Plus). However, if you want to subscribe to that, then you can get the camera for $399 instead. Food for thought. Either way, the Hero 10 has become my daily action cam (well, actually, I bought two of them).
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off
$399
$349This price makes it a reasonably good deal, and about $100 cheaper than the lowest GoPro Hero 10 price (if you're not a GoPro subscriber). The changes between the Hero 9 and Hero 10 for most people are fairly minor. Whereas if you're pushing the limits (either spec-wise or sport-wise), then the Hero 10 can be worth it.
Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router - 30% two-pack$200These are the WiFi mesh access points I use both at home and the DCR Cave. Love them - I don't need to dork with them, they just work. Ironically enough, I literally just installed another one at home tonight (Nov 20th, 2021) to provide better coverage in a dead spot in our 100 year-old home, for realz.
Insta360 GO2 Action Cam - 13% off$269Both the 32GB and newer 64GB versions are on sale, with the 32GB version being $269 as opposed to the usual $299
Insta360 One R Action Cam - 15% off$467The entire lineup of Insta360 One R action cams are 15% off, including the 1" and 360 variants. Overall it's a good cam with good picture clarity (I've mainly used the 1" 5.3K variant), but I find the software really lets it down.
Little Tikes Pelican Explore & Fit Cycle - 15% off$134So, the Three Peanuts (girls ages 2/4/5) have been testing this the last week, and so far, they love it. It's silly simple (there's no real connectivity here), and the videos they ride with are also absurdly laughable. Yet, they love it. Seriously, they fight over it. In-Depth review coming very very shortly. Until then, it's on sale.
NordicTrack S22i Indoor Cycle Bike - $700 off$1,499This is considered the primary competitor to Peloton, and is generally rated/reviewed very highly. Note that I have not reviewed this bike, or ridden it. But I figured I'd mention it here in case folks are looking for a deal on it. With Peloton's new pricing, the base prices are basically the same - $1,495 for the Peloton Bike. Sorta like politics, people prefer one brand or the other. Also like Peloton - it DOES NOT support any open standards for apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, etc... Do NOT buy it (or Peloton) for that purpose.
NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System - $100 off!$799While this isn't something I've personally used, I know a ton of you do very much love it. Go forth!
Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Fired Outdoor Portable Pizza Oven - 20% off$279⚡ I love this thing. We use it for more than pizza too, notably steaks (to get a really crispy sear). But a lot of pizza. It's completely portable, even easily fitting on our cargo bike. Note that I went with this model, the cheapest one they make, as I realized that buying the higher-end models that that support gas didn't make much sense for me. I have a gas grill already (and could easily just put a stone on it). Similarly, while a large 16" is appealing, realistically I've found this 12" more than enough for pretty substantial personal pizzas (and it makes it easier to handle). Full in-depth review pretty soon.
Peloton Bike+ is $200 off$2,295This is a solid deal for the Bike+, following a $350 off deal over Black Friday. Both my wife and I use both the Peloton Bike+ and the regular Bike (one at home, one at office) on a weekly basis. We like both. The Bike+ is more accurate than the regular bike, and also has a bigger screen and automatic resistance control. That said, the core Peloton experience isn't any different between the two - it's the same platform there.
Polar Grit X - $110 off
$429
$340This is for certain editions (namey the white ones at the moment). Keep in mind the Grit X Pro came out a month or so ago, so that may limit new features for the Grit X going forward.
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 11% off
$89
$78This is one of my main chest straps I use as a reference device in testing. Works great!
Rode Microphones Wireless GO II Mics - 20% off$279These are the mics that I use day in and day out for virtually everything, but most notably, when out running/riding (and all my crazy drone wind tests). I used to use the Wireless Go (original) system, but this is great because it has memory in it. So I can record audio on this, and then match it up with the footage later - ideal if I've got GoPro's or drones or such that may not have great on-board audio by themselves. Note that Amazon says this is 20% off, but I think it's more like $20-$30 off the regular price, unless the price has gone up substantially. Either way, I love them.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Wireless Earbuds - 33% off$99
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic - $50 off$299This is the latest edition that came out this past summer/fall, now on Wear OS, and the first time we've seen a notable sale on it. While the Watch 4 Classic has a few quirks, I'd argue it's the best wearable Samsung has made to date.
Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1-2TB - 24% off$129I use a small fleet of these T7 SSD's for various video projects, alongside the Sandisk SSD's. I literally have one of each color, just to keep things simple. They work great for quick storage.
SanDisk 1-2TB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - 50% off$129⚡This is one of the two the high speed drives I use to store the footage I'm actively video editing so that I can edit it on both my iMac at the office, and then my MacBook when traveling or at home. The 2TB version is $229 (50% off).
SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB MicroSD Card - 39% off!$43⚡I use this card in both 128GB and 256GB variety (but mostly 256GB nowadays), and it's perfect for all my drones and action cams, easily recording 4K/60 and 5K/30, as well as 5.7K without trouble. I often pick up these cards when on sale like this, so I have them for later in the year when not on sale. // Update: Since this sale has begun, I've bought 6 of these cards to stockpile for future action cam/drone testing.
Saris H3 (Hammer 3) Smart Trainer - $240 off!
$1,099
$860⚡⚡ One of the top three trainers, but by far the top trainer on the market for ERG mode (so if you're a TrainerRoad user - this be the one!).
Skydio 2 - $400 off
$999/$1349
$949⚡⚡ This is a pretty incredible deal. First, because it's really the first time it's been on sale. Second, because it's $400 off. And third, because it's actually in stock. It's by far the best drone for sports action footage, as it's fully autonomous. It's less ideal for general drone cinematography, however. So you kinda have to decide what you want out of a drone. But for sports, this is the one.
Suunto 5 GPS Multisport Watch - 40% off!
$329
$179⚡ A very strong deal for this complete multisport watch that I really like. Well nailed on price here.
Suunto 7 Wear OS Watch - 42% off
$399
$229⚡ This is basically the lowest sale price we see for the Suunto 7 Wear OS powered watch. At this price, I'd say it's worth picking up, assuming you know the battery limitations and Wear OS version end of life limitations (meaning, this unit won't see any new versions of Wear OS).
Suunto 9 Baro Series - 40% off
$599 (non-baro is $499)
$369At this point the Suunto 9 Baro has been surpassed by the Suunto 9 Peak. Still, if you prefer a bigger watch, it got most of the firmware updates of the Suunto 9 Peak anyway.
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $150 off! (In Stock)
$1,399
$1,249⚡ This is a very rare sale for this trainer, if you're in the market, I wouldn't wait around for these units to disappear. Note it was slightly less on Black Friday at $200 off, but hey, a deal is a deal at this point.
Wiral LITE Cable Cam with Remote - $100 off$299I've been using this nifty cable cam system for years with various action cameras, phones and small mirrorless cameras. It's not an everyday use item, but I do pull it out a handful of times per year for very specific/special shots through the trees (or the studio) where drones can't easily go. Defnitely more in the photo-geeky camp, but that's the camp I live in.
Withings Body WiFi Scale - 12% off
$59
$52I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Withings WiFi Scale, they were the first in this category a gazillion years ago, and frankly, they're still basically the best in terms of partnerships and simplicity. It just works.

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) A Breakdown of of a Tour de France Team Bus: Neat little look at what it costs to run a TdF team bus. (via My Dad)

2) Fitbit Sleep Study: Pretty cool charts and breakdowns of how much and how different millions of Fitbit users sleep on average, divided up by age groups and all assortment of metrics. (via Ernesto R.)

3) I’m over on the latest Cycling Maven TDF Vlog!  Boom, now I’ve made it!  Awesome to run into him while running around.

4) Tour de France massive infographic: Ok, this is the week of infographics – but if there’s any infographic to look at, it’s this incredible four-page one put together by Le Tour themselves.  I think I read through it for 10 minutes.

5) Science people – please stop doing this: Yet another study doubles-down on doubling optical HR sensors per wrist.  Just don’t.  Really, don’t.

6) Yes, EPO impacts sports performance: Why do you ask?

7) The Pain Cave: A look into an apparent obsession with it and everything about it.

8) Using drones to study America’s Cup Riders: This is pretty crazy. Though, it doesn’t surprise me.  Just this week I got asked questions about which drones would be best for doing form studies on rowers. (via Robin Crimp)

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: A couple more new features, and a boatload of tweaks/fixes.

Polar M430 Firmware Update: Fixes some bugs, fully implements GPS-A caching

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Thanks for reading!

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17 Comments

  1. Thomas Wylie

    Any chance you could ask Garmin why the 935 preferentially syncs via (slow) Bluetooth rather than (speedy) wifi even when I’m 10 feet from my router? I end up turning off Bluetooth just before saving to force it. Damn annoying!

  2. rehmn

    Erythropoetin doesn’t have immediate effect, like other hormones (adrenaline, ADH, Oxytocine, etc.). It is stimulating the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. This production takes time.
    If you read somewhere, that during a race Lance applied an EPO to go faster or in the mentioned study/experiment users noticed difference in performance, it is a lie!
    If you want to increase your haematocrit (ratio between bood cells and plasma), you must plan long term. By means, you must calculate the buffer dose and the maintaining dose as well, the time intervals you need to apply EPO and also the level of concentration of the red blood cells you want to reach without side effect (like, avoiding thrombosis).
    This is a proof that Lance was using EPO for years and his physician set up the intervals, because he couldn’t do it alone…
    And by the way, EPO is used as supplementary treatment at breast cancer, because the cytostatics used for treatment are destroying the bone marrow and as the result, the number of Erytrocytes are decreasing.

    That’s all you need to know.
    Every other publication round EPO are empty words… blablabla…

  3. JCRunner

    Maybe Garmin can start focusing on fixing the Fenix5 Ant+/Bluetooth and GPS accuracy issues. I can’t even use a Garmin HRM chest strap, let alone my $200 Stryd footpod, which is currently sitting on my desk due to Garmin dropouts. Of course I really wouldn’t need the Stryd anymore if the GPS and instant pace were more in line with the past Garmin devices I’ve own.

    Garmins response everytime: “Please wait for updated firmware..”

    • The Stryd thing is a known of course, but the HR strap thing shouldn’t be happening. I’d push back on Garmin support to either replace your HR strap or your watch.

    • JCRunner

      Thanks for the advice. Garmin is remaining firm that my device is fine, and the ANT+ / GPS issues will be addressed in future firmware updates. Unfortunately, this isn’t my first rodeo trying to get a replacement. My FR235 had a faulty oHRM, and it took me nearly two months to get it replaced.

      Based on my recent conversations with the Stryd folks, they seem to believe this is a hardware issue with a weak signal. I wonder if Garmin could implement a “High Accuracy” mode on the Fenix, which will sacrifice some battery life to boost the hardware signals. I would be more than fine with that.

      It bums me out that Garmins flagship device, at $700 USD for my Fenix 5 sapphire, is still having issues. I’ve been using my wife’s FR235 for the more important training runs and races.

  4. peroni

    OT: Is there any cycle computer or gps watch compatible with Galileo satellites?
    I checked http://www.usegalileo.eu but no sport device is listed.

  5. Tom Carter

    One of the Rowers here you spoke to about the Drones – In the sport we are starting to see more and more used to get some cool shots, my own video which I filmed a few weeks back came out really well for example

    link to youtube.com

    That was a Bebop 2 using a follow me app on my phone, cam out rather well

    The main concern is landing/crashing into the water but there do seem to be more waterproof drones appearing which would be more suitable

    • Gotta say – that footage is astounding, especially for just being 720p.

      Well done!

    • Tom Carter

      Thanks! One of those days where the conditions were just perfect for getting good quality footage, even as an amateur.

      This last week the Henley Royal Regatta has just been and gone which has a much more professional set up and has fully embraced Drones, 360 cameras etc – check it out here

      link to youtube.com

      A good example of the drone footage is in this video from 5mins in where you can see the crews racing and the people on the river and bank enjoying the event. The Drone is a specially built drone carrying a Sony P1 and livestreaming over UHF for the live youtube video – amazing stuff

      link to youtu.be

  6. Mike Richie

    In fairness, in your “Science people please stop doing this …”, they were not testing optical HR, but activity trackers (including 2 phones on belt) and were also switching locations, so I’m not sure that it wasn’t a perfectly good approach (there is no link to the full study). The tweeter, however, seemed to have problem with it, but I’m not sure he isn’t just wrong.

  7. Struan Lownie

    The clever training UK discount doesnt seem to be being applied to an Edge 1000, Its shows as £439.99 on Clevertraining but only £325.59 on Amazon.co.uk.

    Am I missing something?