Week in Review–Dec 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!

Sports Tech Deals of Note:

A bunch of sales started last Sunday, and most of them end later this week.  However, the one exception to both of that is a new (well, re-started) sale on all Suunto gear for 30% off almost everything except the new Baro variant that was recently announced.  The interesting thing here is that it goes till December 26th, so if you find a Garmin under your tree and really wanted a Suunto, you can still make the switcheroo before the sale period closes.

Details all below, plus my massive deals post that I still keep updating.


There are no deals currently.


There are no deals currently.

Action Cams & Drones:

There are no deals currently.

And again, keep checking the full list out!

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

(In case you’re wondering why I had virtually no posts this past week, I had two products/updates that shifted announcement dates on me at the last second, thus delaying those posts.)

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) Apple launches GymKit…in exactly one gym in the country: This isn’t surprising, and is the exact same challenges that Garmin saw with the ANT+ gym integration nearly a decade ago (before Bluetooth Smart even existed).  The challenge with the gym space is that the cost of new commercial use machines is incredibly expensive ($5,000-$15,000 each), and the replacement cycle is incredibly long (many years), thus by the time a company looks to check out new units that technology has long since passed.  And, don’t forget that this is actually Apple’s second attempt at this – as years ago they did the integration with iPods (and eventually iPhones).  I don’t expect this attempt to be any different, it’ll ultimately fail in the eyes of the consumer, even if technologically it’s cool and successful.  None of it will be Apple’s fault.  Ideally, they’d have approached it with some sort of external speed sensor that could be connected to existing treadmills.

2) The longest bike/pedestrian-only tunnels: This is pretty fascinating.  Also, be sure to check out the links for more international stats as well.

3) Final Cut Pro 10.4 now supports GoPro Hero 6 footage: Finally. If you’re like me and edit with FCPX, then this is a huge deal. Heck, I’ve got some unpublished videos because I got too tired of waiting for conversions to occur.  Note, there’s actually a boatload of other and far more important features, but supporting H.265 footage is huge.  This also supports VR footage too, which in theory fixes the other gap GoPro had whereby it supported Fusion quite well on Premiere Pro, but not so well on FCPX. I haven’t had a chance to run my Fusion footage through FCP 10.4 though and see what things look like.

4) Someone rode Zwift for 24 hours straight: And apparently did so on purpose as well. Details at the link, congrats!

5) Toronto Residents fix wonky intersection with chalk and leaves: Ahh yes, a very Canadian thing to simply fix the issue at no cost to the city…albeit in the most passive-aggressive leaf cleaning way ever.  Well played…well played.

6) Swimmer in San Francisco gets tasted by Sea Lion: Most definitely leaves a mark, though, decides not to finish the appetizer. (via Slowtwitch Forums)

7) ROTOR is apparently making a watch: Actually, to be more accurate, according to the tweet, ROTOR is making a “superior Swiss” watch that says ‘Made in Germany’ on the front.  As an interesting aside, did you know there’s an entire strict definition for what counts as ‘Swiss made’ in watches? It’s here.

8) Wahoo fitness signs on Bora to ride ELEMNT BOLT units this year: Cool to see BORA-hansgrohe and Wahoo link up.  As I’ve covered in years past, I’ll be doing a complete inventory of all the head unit suppliers (and all related sports tech on the bikes) for the cycling WorldTour pro teams this year, starting in January at the Tour Down Under in just a few weeks.

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: Like last week, another round of mostly beta updates across a crapton of devices: Most contained minor fixes., and most also contained Connect IQ updates.  This included the Edge 520/820/820 Explore/1000/1000 Explore/1030, Fenix 3/3HR/Chronos/5/5S/5X, Vivoactive HR/Vivosport/VivoNachoCheese, and a slew of the APAC variants of these too. I’d link to these all, but everything is linked in the link above and this one paragraph summarizes it all!

TomTom Spark 3/Runner 3: Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Polar M400 Firmware Update: Minor bug fixes.

Thanks all!

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  1. Mike Richie

    Although Boston (or Massachusetts) gets very little cred for it’s longest bike/ped tunnel at only 70 feet, a new Life Time Fitness in Burlington, MA, (the same operation in NYC referenced in your link), just 4.5 miles from my home will open soon with GymKit (Apple) enabled equipment. Thanks for the tip off.
    By the way, you don’t reference the Vivoactive HR in your Deals list, but it is on sale for $149 on Amazon. Not quite as good as the $119 it was occasionally on sale for a few weeks back, but at that price it is still probably the most capable watch you can buy for the money. For lots of reasons, I even prefer it to the new Apple Watch, at least for fitness tracking (although maybe the new GymKit enabled gym might change my mind, ha ha).

  2. Patrick Utrecht

    So you’re writing that the tomtom wearables division is shutting down. Is this now official? I’ve only read either rumors or talk about dialing down/downsizing the wearables division. I suppose it’s only a matter of time either way, but I was just wondering if anything was actually official now.

    • Nothing official, I suspect eventually they’ll have to address it in earnings calls. Though, like most companies doing this sorta thing they basically try to burn through everything slowly and then call it official when it doesn’t matter anymore.

  3. Brayden McBride

    When are you going to do a review of the VivoNachoCheese? That sounds interesting.

    • It’s funny, it’s to see if people were paying attention.

      Back in my IT days, we used to put lines like that in our long weekly status reports to one customer, just to see if they were reading them. Never caught it. We’d do random Nacho Cheese facts. It was great.

    • Graham R

      This.. so many times… its amazing how many people “review” and “sign off” on things without reading them.

      A colleague drafted a deck for a client presentation with stick figures on the “team photos” as a placeholder – no one caught it until live pitching for the client.. luckily they had a good sense of humour.

    • Leendert van Nieuwenhuijzen

      Totally normal for the human brain to filter; see the selective awareness test by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris on youtube.

    • Roger

      Are you going to post a review for the gear sport soon?

  4. Chris benten

    Shouldn’t a Rotor watch be oval?

  5. gm

    By the way, the 12.40-12.50 Edge 520 firmware seems to be eating battery like crazy – what used to be a 18-20h seems to be sub-10.

  6. Maarten

    Hi, you wrote about Apple trying to make it into the gym. Is there any news from Zwift Running? Or any other company trying to add running treadmills into an online platform?
    With cycling trainers being an order of magnitude cheaper then running treadmills I see your point on how often.they might get replaced, but the audience is much larger as well. There are simply more runners than cyclists. I’m very curious where the treadmills are or will be in 2018, especially with in the back of my head the transition the cycling trainer market went through when newbees Wahoo and Zwift made their apearences.

    • It’s pretty easy to access Zwift running (I think anyone can now actually), though, still not out of beta. I haven’t heard of a specific timeframe.

      I haven’t heard either of a treadmill being approached. I know a few trainer companies have looked at it, but found the logistics make it really difficult (shipping primarily), especially on any global scale. It’s likely why most treadmill companies are fairly regional in their offerings. Heck, I can’t even get all the good ProForm treadmills that they offer on the US side in Europe. Everything here is crazy old models.

  7. DerLordBS

    What about the pedestrian tunnel allong the Louvre in your neighborhood? They have been built for cars but they are also prety long.

  8. Tyler

    I can’t seem to get the Toronto link to work.

  9. Byron

    wow, I just re-bought 2x vivofit Jr 2’s for my 2 oldest from Amazon and set up a return for the 2 I previously bought. $20 additional saving, plus in small type it said I’d get 20% back with my Chase Amazon Visa.. sweet!

  10. Ade Hughes

    I can’t imagine Bora will be too pleased with Wahoo when they a) can’t easily change the crank length on the head unit and have to faff about with phone apps etc and b) the average power values are all wrong (although they’re probably more interested in NP which is okay)

  11. Carter Terry

    I can’t help but wonder what good the GymKit will really do. My gym has an entire room full of Matrix treadmills that were all brand new last year when the gym reopened after a remodel. From day one I could jump on one and set it for a given pace but get a totally different pace from my 920xt with foot pod. Then I could switch to the same model and same aged treadmill right next to the one I was just on, set the same pace and get a completely different pace number on my 920xt than I was getting while on treadmill number 1 set to the same pace. The article states that treadmills are really good at measuring things like pace and distance, but this certainly has not been my experience, even with treadmills that are right out of the box.

    I know that the foot pod is not perfect, but in my experience as long as you keep it on your shoes while you run outside to let it self calibrate its pretty darn good. I know I never pay any attention to what the actual treadmill says. Then again, I suppose this isn’t aimed at people who have 920xt/935xt/Fenix type watches and nerd out enough to actually think through what is the most accurate pace, the machine, the watch, or the watch with foot pod.

    I suppose it’s possible that Apple knows their audience better than I do….

    • Eli

      Apple users care about technical functionality over looks and feels? The treadmill looks like its going at a set exact pace and shows you a good easy to read distance number

      For your matrix treadmill if it uses 7xi or 7xe consoles they will be updateable to support gymkit. Looks like lots of devices fall in that boat of upgradable firmware:
      link to wareable.com
      Seems like if apple gets all major manufactures to support this then as equipment rolls out the support will be there

  12. Scott Paciorek

    DC Rainmaker,

    Thank you as it was me who rode the 24 hours on Zwift. I appreciate you adding it to your week in review. Once again many thanks.

  13. Hans

    Strange, my 935 got updated to 7.10 but I cannot find anywhere (firmware page, garmin site, google :)) what has changed.

    someone any ideas ? I’m just curious

    • Olly

      Here you go:
      Changes 7.00 to 7.10:
      •Fixed an issue where one couldn’t create a course using saved locations on device.
      •Fixed an issue where ConnectIQ watch faces would intermittently fail to load from the watch face selection menu.
      link to forums.garmin.com

  14. Jack

    Is stryd going to release new hardware?

  15. Mal Mac

    A quick note of caution on the Toronto traffic article. The people/home owners association who did it can be held liable if there’s an accident at the intersection. Our HOA wanted to put up a yield sign when the city refused and a lawyer pointed out both criminal and civil liabilities. Looks like fun but my advice is not to.