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Week in Review–Nov 5th, 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:

Monday: Hands-on: Garmin’s New Descent MK1 Diving Watch
Wednesday: Epson’s New ProSense Running & Triathlon GPS watches: Everything you ever wanted to know
Thursday: In The Queue: Samsung Gear Sport
Friday: The 4th Annual DCR Cave Open House–December 2nd, 2017

Sports Tech Deals of Note:

Two new deals from Garmin this week, in what is partly the beginning of the Holiday/Black Friday sales, and partly just a long expected price adjustment (FR735XT).  Neither should be considered an indication of new stuff.

Garmin FR735XT price drops to $349: You can pick up this multisport watch on Clever Training or Amazon.  This is a permanent price adjustment, and makes total sense.  With the FR935, the FR735XT is playing second fiddle (it’s a year old).  The price was first adjusted back on July 14th from $449 to $399, and now to $349, which I think is an appropriate (and competitive) price for it.

Garmin FR235 on sale for $299: You can pick up this running-focused watch on Clever Training or Amazon.  I see this more as a proper adjustment related to the Vivoactive 3, which basically has more features for less cash.  There’s only a tiny handful of things the FR235 does that the Vivoactive 3 doesn’t, but there’s a massive list of things the Vivoactive 3 does that the FR235 doesn’t.  Realistically, the FR235 should probably be $249.

Oh – and speaking of deals, if you’re a DCR Supporter member, then definitely fish through your e-mail from yesterday for a solid heads-up and deal I sent you!

YouTube Videos I Made This Week:

Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!

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) Insurance company offers Apple Watch for $25: Not too shabby at all! All you gotta do is exercise.

2) Zwim – A Heads-Up Display for Swim: Not entirely sure on this.  I’ve tried other units in the past, some work well, some less so.  I think for this particular market I’m more of a buyer when the product is done.

3) Bike riding Toronto police parking officer gets Twitter account suspended: Unfortunately I never saw the previous Tweets to know if perhaps the line was crossed, but at the very least it’s good to see Toronto’s got dedicated cyclists on this.  Kinda neat. (via Race Radio)

4) How Strava, The App For Athletes, Became An App For Cities: An interesting look at Strava’s ‘Metro’ platform/dataset, which is available to cities for planning.  It was of course announced a few years back, but the group and customers has grown.

5) The validity and inter-device variability of the Apple Watch for measuring maximal heart rate: I haven’t looked at the full text to see their exact methodology (requires subscription), but they found good correlation.  Typically I don’t see great correlation with max efforts, unless it’s a very slow climb to that max effort (whereas sprints are tougher).  (via Tim P.)

6) All the Zwift Keyboard Shortcuts in One Easily Printable Page: Just in time for you to spend that upcoming re-found time in your garage this winter.

7) The finances of the ASO (organizer of The Tour de France): Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about how much it all costs, and how much they make.

8) A very detailed breakdown of the Ironman Kona Pro Race using Quarq Qollector: This gives far more detailed data than the typical splits provided on Ironman.com’s website, since it streams every seconds worth of data.  Plus, the guys behind Best Bike Splits put this together.  Worth a look!

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.

Apple Watch 4.1 Firmware Update: Adds support for streaming, among other fixes/tweaks.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 firmware update: A bunch of fixes, some new features, plus notably manual lap support is now added.

Garmin Edge 1000 firmware update: Minor bug fixes.

Garmin Varia Vision firmware update: Minor bug fixes.

Garmin Vivomove HR firmware update: Fixed Hebrew language support.

Garmin Vivoactive HR BETA firmware update: This adds Connect IQ 2.4 support (which is what’s needed for Garmin running power, once it’s released)

Garmin Fenix 3/3HR BETA firmware update: Boatloads of bug fixes, some minor new features.

Garmin Chronos BETA firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Apparently, Garmin was busy this past week.

With that – thanks for reading!

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43 Comments

  1. Craig

    Any timeframe for an apple watch 3 review?

  2. ReHMn

    Previous week Garmin updated Connect software version from 3.22.5.0 to 4.0.1.0. It did not resolve older issues, however added one remarkably new one. Now users can add pictures to their activities directly. No need to link to social media like F@ckPuke, InstantGranny, Squirttter…

    Next, I discussed the calorie consumption calculation with FirstBeat. They insist on the fact, that their calculations are correct. The issue is on Garmin side…
    1. The units. The “C” in terms of Garmin stands for kCal. It might missed their attention that C was occupied by Celsius (without degree sign) and Coulomb, the unit of electrical charge.
    Who cares about units, just give them numbers!
    2. The algorithm is using user data and activity data. Per FirstBeat the same input is used to calculate VO2max. So it is unclear why Garmin included this parameter for 920XT and newer devices, when it could have been included on 310XT, 910XT since 2009…

    So, I am happy with this new feature, just fixing the other older issues would be better:
    1. To keep me logged in Garmin Connect, till I decide to log off by myself.
    2. Adding user defined GPS recording for activities for all devices. I am begging for this since 2009.
    3. Elevation graph scaling is wrong. It was ever since.
    4. By default, the elevation is a function of time. This is sick. Nobody is checking the elevation as a function of time, it should be the function of distance!
    5. Recovery heart rate should be added to data field on Garmin Connect, not just as temporary display on a device screen.
    6. Function Explore Activities are not working since they switched to Modern. While third party companies have GPS based search, functions like View Flybys, Heatmap, at Garmin you may just search for athletes…

    • Robert

      I appears they have fixed the “watch is BT connected to iPhone, but I’m sorry, I’m just a stupid app and I don’t see it, do you mind turning BT off and back on so I can do my job?” bug introduced when iOS 11 was released. Wow. In addition to revamping the user interface, so you don’t have to dive 5 layers to force a BT sync that never happens by itself – they put the button to do manually the thing that should be automatic right on the landing page. Great fix.

    • Yeah, the iOS11 sync bug has been really bad. I’d agree the latest beta mostly seems to solve it, though I just got a BT stack freeze about 20 minutes ago, had to cycle phone to fix it (unrelated to Garmin, other apps).

      As for the other items:

      1) I don’t think the whole C vs c thing matters. It’s a font styling thing in this context and everyone knows what the value is.
      2) Ultimately, they could have added it to older devices, but they pay a licensing fee for it. So that’s why newer devices where they are now paying the fee is the dividing line. I’m not really one to slam them on choosing to improve the accuracy of their devices by complaining they didn’t introduce it 8 years ago.
      3) GC login: That sounds like a local browser issue. I stay logged in no problem on both Chrome and IE.
      4) User defined GPS Recording: Not sure I understand what this is asking for.
      5) Elevation vs time: I agree, kinda weird.
      6) Recovery HR: You’ll likely see this sorta thing being slowly added as they incorporate more and more FirstBeat metrics onto GC/GCM over the following months. It’s interesting that Apple Watch now shows it. So if nothing else, that might prod Garmin.
      7) Exploring: In general, with each successive GC update the whole exploring concept has gotten worse. It used to be really useful. Nowadays I just use Strava or Suunto to explore heatmaps and such.

    • ReHMn

      1. You missed my point here. It is not about capital C or small c marking the calories. The issue is, these are kilocalories.
      1 kCal (kilocalories) = 1000 Cal (calories)
      1 kJ (kilojoule) = 0,2348859 kCal
      1 kCal = 4,1868 kJ
      If you think there is no difference between Cal and kCal, ask a Girl what it makes to put 1g or 1kg salt to a cupcake recipe…

      3. The GC login was working fine in Mozilla Firefox till some certain GC software update made it not working anymore. So to me it seems more a GC issue, but might be that I am the only one facing this issue…

      4. User defined GPS. On every device there are two options: Smart recording or Every 1 sec. User defined GPS recording would allow to set up any time, like 1minute, 5 minutes, etc. Because some activities like hiking, climbing doesn’t require smart recording, because the movement is round 20mites/1000m.

      6. Recovery HR: yes, the devices are showing that with any type of HRM (Scotche optical, HRM premium, HRM Swim, HRM Tri, HRM Run), but that information appears only on the device’s display. Never gets updated to GC. If they are working on it, I am happy now…

    • 1) I’m missing what you’re saying. If I look at the mobile app, it says ‘Cal’ after calories. Not kCal nor ‘C’ nor ‘c’. Cal is the widely accepted shorthand for calories. I don’t understand what I’m missing.

      4) User defined GPS: Ahh, gotcha. Yeah, that would be neat. Though, I vaguely remember someone having that feature way back when. Timex maybe?

    • ReHMn

      I am not using any mobile application, but if it is saying Cal, it is incorrect. Just for illustrating purposes I pulled 2 different activities from 2 different users on 2 different web applications into one screenshot.
      As you can see, both are displaying numbers and units, but when it comes to calories, Strava doesn’t associate it with units and GC has the mentioned C.
      If you don’t sufficient information, how on earth you would know, that both meant kCal there?
      Not a biggie, now after the clarification I can live with it, but in a field of medicine I am used to stick to displaying units, as any misleading information can be fatal. (e.g. it is making difference when calculating Insuline or heparine dosage in milligrams or in International Units)…

    • ReHMn

      4. User defined GPS… I do not know which manufacturer and what device was that, but it exist. It was one of your product review from this year. I tried to Google it, but no success…
      I just remember, it was a device, in which all settings must have been done via web application/interface and nothing could be done directly in the device itself…
      And that web application, first time in history of GPS watches, allowed a user defined GPS recording…

    • Eli

      If you’re using the calories to calculate insulin you’re doing it wrong. The device isn’t that good and why all devices that tell you how many colories you burned are wrong. If you’re talking about calories vs kilocalories and so off by 1000 then you don’t realize that in the US kCal are referred to as calories.

      user defined gps. Guessing two reasons for this, first no one cares about it so not much interest. Hiking can have lots of switchbacks so if you wait too long between location its off by a large amount. The second is the GPS chipset itself probably doesn’t support long intervals well so its not just a simple wake, get a new data point and then fall back asleep. So if it takes more power to do longer intervals then why do it?

    • ReHMn

      Et tu me fili Eli?

      No way, that I am using the calories to calculate insulin! I was just referring to the units as an example…Here in EU values goes with units, so everybody understand what you are talking about.
      If Garmin bought the calorie calculation algorithm from FirstBeat, then they bought the units as well. So why introducing new, Garmin specified units?

      Sometimes it is not about switchbacks, there are climbers, or via ferrata enthusiast and situations where you just don’t need smart recording.
      Yes, I thought once the GPS is established, further more it is just a position recording. If it takes less power to do shorter intervals, why there is only one option, the every second recording?

      A: – How much?
      B: – Twenty five.
      A: – What is twenty five?
      B: – What is how much?

  3. ReHMn

    On that DCR Friday Night Live, Ray couldn’t find the FR305 in those boxes behind, so I borrowed the timeline picture from Javier Ortiz to let you see and to add a few comments:

    The FR305 was really the first watch-like wearable running GPS device. The FR310XT got rid of that side panel and got a newer SiRF chip. However the first multisport device was the FR910XT! It has barometric altimeter and swim metrics!
    And this is a kind of answer to a question asked at Kona device split, why is one manufacturer dominance at this segment.
    Kindly check the picture and ask, where were other manufacturers at the time when 910XT was released to the market…

  4. JB

    Hi Ray,

    I’m up for a couple of devices, with the price drop the FR735XT looks interesting, and will also order a fitbit charge 2 for my father. Now, as I also want to support your site, I’m living in Belgium so wanted to order through the UK version of Clevertraining but it doesn’t have the discounted price for the 735XT and doesn’t have any fitbits. I would also like to join your VIP program.
    So, am I good for ordering from clevertraining.com over to Belgium? With then again additional shipping costs? Is there any way to still order in the Europe clevertraining version and so remove shipping costs?

    thanks!

    JB

    • To quote Facebook, ‘it’s complicated’.

      US and UK pricing is decided differently by the manufacturers (Garmin in this case). So they changed US pricing but haven’t adjusted other markets (yet anyway).

      Fitbit is something that CT is working on for EU/UK, and I’ll check where that sits. I know that GoPro is coming online in the next week or so, along with a boatload of the other newish Garmin releases.

      For the VIP program, that won’t help you much with CT UK, since you can just use the straight 10% discount code on anything (DCR10BTF) there. Whereas for the US side you need the VIP program for the 10% back in points. Again, all manufacturer restrictions here. No matter which side you’re on, you get free shipping within either the US (US site) or EU (Europe site).

      Finally, Clever Training ships flat-rate from US to worldwide for $29USD. There are a handful of manufacturer-driven* restrictions there in certain products that won’t ship, but many things do.

      Thanks for the support – and sorry for the complexities. I know CT would love it to be simpler, but alas…*.

      *Ahh yes, manufacturer restrictions, it’s always the pattern here.

    • JB

      Thanks for the quick feedback, I’ll give it an additional couple of weeks, I’m in no big hurry to order, doesn’t need to be tomorrow, but by the end of November or so – I’ll just await if black friday is interesting, otherwise it’ll be the 735XT and charge 2.

  5. Sergio Dantas

    Garmin also updated 935 to version 6.10…

  6. Claus Jacobsen

    Just a headsup
    There are currently a couple of danish webshops/stores who sell the 735xt at around 240USD. – Watch only. Not bundled with anything.

    Not sure they ship outside Denmark, and none of them have english versions of their websites. This has been going on since sometime around late august.

    Got mine first week of september, and found out i was slightly allergic to the silicone strap. – But have now found a temporary solution by hacking a Scosche velcro strap as a replacement instead. It actually feels really good when on the wrist. – Had the small strap been about 1cm longer there would be no problem getting it on the hand :-), but its a very tight fit to get over the hand, and the large strap was actually too big :-)

    • JB

      Hi Claus, could you provide some links of those webshops? Over here in Belgium, the FR375XT is still around 350€, which is quite a price difference with yours.

  7. ML

    Do you think the 735xt will see any sale price for Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Christmas? Or do you think it’ll stay that way price for a while. I want to buy a new watch soon, but uncertain what deals might come up. Thanks.

    • It’s always hard to predict 100%, but we typically see major companies refrain from double-lowering a price in a short period, as to not cause headaches for retailers that may have various return/price policies. Meaning, they don’t want a scenario where someone buys a watch today under a sale (so, lots of people), but then tomorrow it drops $50 to $100 and the person simply threatens to return it unless they get the price difference credited (as they’d just re-buy it).

      Obviously, that can happen any day, but it’s more of a concern with big and visible sales that drive lots of volume.

  8. Doug

    Extra love for the DCR Supporters – Woot! Thanks Ray :)

    • Dale C

      You got the newsletter? I don’t see one from November.

      Ray, any word on the CT semi-annual sale?

    • Hi Dale-

      Check on Saturday night. It may have been titled “DCR Supporter Heads Up: Big Sale Next Week + Cave Open House”…which probably answers your second question. ;)

      If you can’t find it, shoot me a note and I’ll get ya the required details! Just ray at my domain.

      Thanks for the support!

    • DALE CORNETTE

      Well, I may not have been a supporter on Saturday and thought it was a newsletter to everyone subscribed. But I just paid to be a supporter this year, so I’ll contact you to resend if thats cool. Thanks!

    • Ahh, that might be it. No worries, I’ll forward you the e-mail now. :)

  9. Timothy F.

    What do you think about how accurate the optical hr on the zwim is going to be. Since most wrist based watches don’t allow hr while swimming because they can’t get accurate results how would something mounted on your head that is going in and out of the water with a lot of motion thrown in be accurate. I also have my doubts about it not wanting to pull your goggles off due to the water resistance on that huge arm attached to the lens. Also 6 months to having a retail unit seems very optimistic considering they only have a prototype at this point.

  10. Michael Coyne

    Just out of curiosity since you reminded me with that Swim HUD kickstarter:
    Did you ever try the final product of these guys? http://swimiolite.com
    I know you tried the prototype and seemed to have good things to say about it for the most part. I’ve thought about buying one multiple times, but was also partially unsure if this final product was legit since the kickstarter never even got close to finishing.

    I can’t swim straight to save my life, so I’m definitely interested in stuff like this.

  11. Ontario introducing $50,000 fines for careless drivers causing death

    link to beta.theglobeandmail.com

    In response to: Why it’s possible Ouimet’s killer could get away with no criminal charges
    link to cyclingmagazine.ca

  12. The 935 is up to 6.10:
    link to forums.garmin.com

    But the garmin web site only lists 6.00:
    link to www8.garmin.com
    so the tracker site doesn’t know about it either:
    link to gpsinformation.net

  13. dlb

    Hi, Do you know if the Vivoactive HR next firmware (allowing running power) would eventually support cycling powermeter pairing ?

    • No. However, Connect IQ apps can do that. I don’t know off-hand a specific VAHR CIQ app that records power, but I’m sure there are some.

    • Eli

      A problem it will have is connectiq apps can only save as developer data fields so can’t record it in the same location normal cycling power goes which means its harder to use the data.

  14. Doc Parks

    As always, very informative!