Week in Review–July 1st, 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–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
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) 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


Thanks for reading!

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  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?