Week in Review–September 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: An awesome ride in the Swiss Alps
Monday: Elite Direto Trainer In-Depth Review
Monday: Quick Tour: The 2017 DCR Eurobike RV
Tuesday: Favero Assioma Power Meter In-Depth Review
Tuesday: Initial Thoughts: Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular connectivity
Thursday: Power Meter Pedal Shootout: Vector 3 vs PowerTap P1 vs Assioma

Sports Tech Deals:

Not much in the way of deals right now.  The DJI Mavic one is interesting though, for those looking for one of my favorite drones out there!  Saves about $125 for the bundle.  Else, I think we’ll have to wait till November for Black Friday/Holiday deals.

YouTube Videos I Published:

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

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.

(Note: Since the Week in Review took an August vacation like most French people, there’s a few items saved up here from the past month that were interesting to me.)

1) Paris takes 2024 Olympics: Oh, and LA got 2028.  But obviously, I mostly care about the Paris one. Smile

2) A shift in action cam imagery chips: While they still make great imagery sensors, it used to be that even the cheapest of action cameras used them just like a higher end GoPro.  So in many ways the image quality would be identical (save some minor GoPro exclusives), but now as companies start to diversify here, we might actually see legit differences in quality going forward…for better or worse. (via Tyler R.).

3) AETNA in talks for Apple Watch deal: This is interesting in that it’s a major health insurance provider (23 million people) looking to arm people with either free or heavily discounted Apple Watches in hopes of increasing health levels.  Note, a cynic would assume that AETNA could use it to price premiums, but there’s no evidence they’d have any access to the data.  Rather, it’s far more likely they’re wanting to do what most other corporate wellness programs are doing and simply encourage people to be active, which in turn lowers claim costs.

4) How Sigma Sport uses Google Analytics: Coming from the tech world, I saw case studies and white papers all the time.  But it was interesting to see a sports tech company publish a case study on how they use Google Analytics.

5) Gwen Jorgensen’s Rio 2016 race file: Kinda neat to see this, albeit a year later.  It’s from her gold medal in triathlon.

6) Google Maps rolled out elevation feature for walking: Kinda nifty. Obviously, various 3rd party sites have had this for years, but that was mostly for either workout planning or post-workout.  This is just handy for quick trips around town (if your town isn’t flat).

7) More TomTom leaving wearables rumors: The Google Translate game isn’t super strong on this one, but I think this is mostly a re-hash of earlier summer stuff alongside some speculation.  Given TomTom just announced a slew of new wearable features two weeks ago.  During my conference call with them at the time, they talked pretty extensively about remaining committed to the category.  So we’ll see, but until something changes they generally represent the best value out there for a GPS smart watch with optical HR and music.

8) It probably won’t kill you: That’s what the latest study finds about consumer drones bonking you on the head.  And this was actually done with a relatively large drone by 2017 standards.  Still, I wouldn’t exactly go trying to eat one as a snack.  Especially if you’re eyeing one of the blades.

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 BETA firmware update (+ Chronos earlier): Major boatload of new features here in 5.84 (5.83 was a quick fix of an issue).  This includes things like the All-Day Stress functionality and Rep Counting, plus many more items.
Garmin VIRB Edit Update: Minor bug-fix update.
TomTom Adventurer/Spark 3/Runner 3 Firmware update: Another major update – this one adding in Fitness Age, Automatic pausing, better syncing of alerts, and more.
Polar M600 Android Wear Firmware Update: Moderately important update to fix optical HR issues that may have been introduced in the last update.

With that – thanks for reading all!


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  1. Richard Albertson

    It takes less than a cynic to be skeptical of Aetna’s motives with Apple Watch deals.

    Happen to know of any relevance of the mentioned BETA firmware update to the 935?

    Lastly, you are totally in the background of some pictures posted to Jens Voigt’s facebook page! link to facebook.com

    • The same stuff will come to the FR935 shortly. Historically we see the Fenix group a bit more active/earlier with betas, but usually the Forerunner group is right behind it.

      Indeed, definitely in that background. We had some good chats those few days…he’s a good egg.

  2. Jeff T

    AETNA emailed me Aug 30th — $100 off pretty much any Apple watch version.

  3. Ian S

    Ray, are Garmin still planning on bringing the all day stress functionality to the 935? Seems odd not to release 5/935 at once.

  4. Paul S.

    “…which in turn losers claim costs.” Or even lower them. But maybe just for losers.

  5. JayTee

    Anyone know if walking/cycling elevation profiles are coming to mobile on Google Maps? Last time I checked you could only get the profiles on desktop.

    Not that great if you’re navigating in a foreign city with a phone and seems like such a simple thing to roll across

  6. ReHMn

    Garmin also released software version 9.40 for 920XT…
    I did a pool swimming with HRM-Swim and this time the device did not dropped the connection.
    If this was done within the update, I am going to cry happy tears, or maybe bake a cupcake…

    Have not tried for Speed and Cadence sensors yet, as the triathlon racing season is over, but would be curious whether that issue is fixed as well. You know, when in depo you connect HRM-Tri, Seeed and Cadence sensor, then you swim your laps and back in transition 1 all sensor connections has been dropped. And you have to reconnect them, because you have plenty of time in T1…

  7. Daveymorrisuk

    Hi, I’m curious. Am i correct in thinking that All day stress is a licensed feature from Firstbeat? Has there been any other examples of Garmin adding licensed feature to their products after they have been released?
    I ask because this is often raised on the Garmin forums, especially so around training stress, recovery times, performance indicators and syncronisation between devices. Thanks.

    • Correct. Much of the HR-driven features are licensed from FirstBeat.

      Garmin has long used FirstBeat on their $300+ watches. But in the last year, especially starting with the Fenix 5, we’re seeing a much tighter relationship that extends down to the sub-$200 units too. All Day stress, VO2Max, Training Stress, Recovery Times, all that stuff is all FirstBeat.

      Sync between devices isn’t so much a FirstBeat limiter, as it is a Garmin Connect limiter. We’re seeing them make slow progress there. For example earlier this year you couldn’t see all the new performance metrics in Garmin Connect. Now many of them you can. It’ll be a slow one step at a time thing.

  8. Zoltan

    Vitality in the UK has been doing Apple watch for a long time.
    £69 upfront fee on a 24 month ‘contract’. The more you exercise, the less you pay. (4 sessions per week -> no monthly payment.) Also, the ‘activity’ doesn’t have to be recorded by the Apple watch. Garmin counts, along with Fitbit, Moves and tons of others.
    (They also have access to the full data – Garmin activity counts as long as you reach 60% of your max HR on avg for 1 hour or 70% for 30 mins)

  9. Edward Ng

    Nor sure if you want to add/mention the really nice Zwift update that came out over the weekend. :-)

  10. Mr T

    I was at a race last week and I was surprised how many runners had on TomTom watches. I saw mostly garmins (of course)

  11. Ronald

    Here’s a human translation of the first section of the article on TomTom – pretty much what you figured out yourself.

    After four years of trying, TomTom will stop with fitness gadgets like sports watches and action camera’s. In a few weeks time, TomTom will most likely pull the plug on that company division, that has hold over 2.7 mln gadgets, but did not turn out to be a valuable addition to the Dutch tech company. TomTom will keep producing stand-alone navigation devices (“boxes”) , which are still profitable.

  12. Greg Franks

    I plotted a route this past weekend near Mont Tremblant QC for a quick bike ride. It too had elevation data.

  13. Thomas G.

    Hi Ray,

    I was wondering if you’ve ever thought of trying out the “Xiaomi Huami AMAZFIT Sports Bluetooth Smart Watch” as a running watch?
    I was browsing the website Gearbest and stumbled upon it, was wondering if it was worth anything and thought I’d check my go-to website for sportswatches, but nothing!

  14. Danny

    I hope you will review the Xiaomi Huami Amazfit Stratos. I have already seen reviews on other sites and it looks like a credible contender to the Garmin sports watches.