Week in Review–December 11th, 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:

Monday: Week in Review – December 4th, 2017
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: The 4th Annual DCR Open House– 2017 Recap and Photos!
Tuesday: Hands-on: The COROS Omni Smart Helmet
Wednesday: Fitbit rolls out slew of apps to Ionic…and…umm…virtual cats
Friday: Garmin Running Power App: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Sports Tech Deals of Note:

A huge pile of *new* deals started yesterday, especially in the GoPro/action camera realm – plus a handful of new wearables ones.  Notable in the list that’s new is the GoPro Hero 5 Session down to $199USD (that’s a 4K camera in a tiny cube!), along with the Garmin VIRB 360 down $100 (first US discount we’ve seen on it). Details all below, plus my massive deals post that I still keep updating.


ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
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 Solar: $100 off!
$499See everything I said above on the Forerunner 955 base, except this one also has solar.
Garmin Venu 3 - $50 off!
Google Pixel Watch 2 - $70 off!$329
Suunto Veritcal (Solar edition) - $50 off$699


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 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.

Action Cams & Drones:

There are no deals currently.

And again, keep checking the full list out!

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!

If nothing else you should watch the first video because my intro for it is pretty damn cool.

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) GCN & Wahoo Fitness given warning from UK Advertising Authority: I had wondered why GCN was all of a sudden starting to properly disclose recently which videos were ads (most product/tech content ones).  I actually don’t have a problem with media entities doing sponsored content, as long as it’s disclosed. For example, the next item in my list below (more on that in a second). I’d also argue that GCN walked away with barely a poke to the pinky on this one compared to what they could have received.  But I’m happy to see they’ve changed their ways here going forward, as I love most of their videos as much as the next guy. (H/T: Derek T.)

2) Zwift Pro Rider Contract Finals: Many know that Zwift has been running a deal with Dimension Data for a pro rider contract, whereby the finalists come from Zwift. This video is the culmination of that. In my opinion, this video is a great example of what properly disclosed sponsored content can look like. It’s detailed, incredibly interesting, and well executed upon. Oh, and the relationship is disclosed.

3) More than 1000 bikes found in LA hidden tunnel: Well then, I’m pretty sure whichever officer found these didn’t expect that when they started their day that morning. (Thanks J.M.W.)

4) A funky little way to tilt your GPS watch on your wrist: While not exactly for me, I’m sure some here will find this interesting.

5) Google releases Android Wear Oreo Update list of watches: In short, this is the list of watches that either have the update already available, or should be shortly getting the update.  Good to see the Polar M600 on the list, as well as the Casio units.  Unsurprisingly, the New Balance RunIQ isn’t on the list, likely because the team at Intel that’s responsible for it no longer exists.

6) A very detailed look at Stryd’s recent whitepaper: Stryd recently published a white paper on their accuracy indoors.  This post takes a deeper look at it.  Note: Like any of these sorta studies (or study-ish pieces), I’m sharing mostly because it’s fascinatingly detailed.  I haven’t had enough cups of coffee yet to put together an opinion on whether it’s right or wrong.  And I would note that I think it’s important that all companies that are making technical accuracy claims about anything in this space should put together such white papers – even if I or others disagree with them. (via Nuno)

7) How Brands Buy Their Way Into Major Publications: Fascinating story.  While pay for play is rampant in the sports industry (especially cycling/triathlon), that’s a wee bit different than this.  Typically pay for play is related to advertising payments, equally coverage.  Whereas this is just straight up buying ‘journalists’ off. Crazy. What’s also moderately interesting here is how low these numbers are. If you look at typical ‘influencer’ type payment costs (linked to audience size), these numbers are actually dirt cheap. (via Caley Fretz)

8) PowerTap/Saris opens up ambassador programs: I’ve long argued that these types of programs, when executed correctly and with the right ambassadors, are often more successful from an ROI standpoint than sponsoring pros.  This is the time of the year (actually, slightly towards the end of it), when these programs open up.  While ambassador programs certainly do skew towards faster athletes, that’s not always the case…and again, someone with more influence that is less speedy is far more valuable than a speedy person nobody follows.  As always though, both sides should be clear about the relationship (first, because it’s the right thing to do…and second, because it’s required by law in most places).

9) Apple Watch Series 1 versus Fitbit Charge: A short study on this, though, I didn’t access the full text as my desire to pay was low.  The summary roughly matches what I’d expect though, as well as what I saw in my tests.  Of course, both devices are now like 3+ years old, so, take this with a grain of salt.  It’s really too bad studies don’t actually use modern devices….they’re hopelessly outdated by the time they release to the public. (via Tim P.)

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.

A crapton of Garmin device updates: Ok, Garmin got all busy this past week and released updates for a boatload of devices.  A ton of these were beta updates, all containing minor fixes.  The non-beta updates though for the Fenix 5/Vivoactive 3/FR935/Chronos were with the new Connect IQ version 2.4 that you need for new apps like Garmin’s running power.  Those watches also got some additional functionality too, like new sports and off-course alerts.  In addition, there were updates for the Edge 1000/1030/820/520 that each fixed a minor Connect IQ bug.  Normally, I’d link to these all, but everything is linked in the link above and this one paragraph summarizes it all!

I haven’t seen any other firmware updates of note this past week.

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Aleksander H

    Is the Samsung Gear Sport review close to ready?

  2. Sasquatch

    Thank you for remaining impartial Ray. I must say I was somewhat disappointed by the GCN revelation, even though it was fairly obvious that a lot of their videos had paid-for content.

    Trust is everything with a website like yours. Here’s hoping us readers continue to make it worth your while to remain independent.

    • Mike Richie

      “Remain” independent? I get the feeling Ray wouldn’t really want to do this if he had to get “paid off” by gadget companies to survive. As he says “That’s just the way he rolls”.

      That being said, I just re-upped my membership (just to make sure, ha ha).

    • I’ll continue to remain happily independent. Unless someone offers me some randomly high number. Let’s say like $1 Billion Dollars. Then y’all have to find a new source of sports tech news and you’ll find me on a beach snorkeling.

  3. Nicolas Christin

    About firmware updates, there has been one for the Power2max NG not too long ago. Is there any way to know what’s in it? Couldn’t find a changelog anywhere.

  4. Robert

    I find the Stryd whitepaper review fascinating. Without stating it in simple terms, it goes some ways to explain the difficulty in establishing standards of ‘what is a real number’ for running power. The most precise measurement, which is close to what an in-hub power meter does on a bike, is a ground plate force measurement; this measures the output forces onto the ground in all 3 axis, and can thus tell how much output power the body is delivering. But of course it’s completely impractical – you’d need a fully-instrumented track to be able to use this level of measurement. Next best is a foot pod – and this is like measuring cycling power at the cranks, but with the drivetrain losses being part of your body – you’re introducing shoe compliance and rebound and foot attack and rebound into the mix. Measure up at the waist or chest, and leg performance comes into play. The more “body variables” come in, the more assumptions have to be made, and the less the measurements are directly related to true power delivered.

  5. Tony B

    Target.com has the vivoactive 3 for just under $225 with there green Monday sale.

  6. Domen

    Another bike related company that in my opinion have good ambassador program is Scicon. Unfortunately is it just closed for this year. link to sciconbags.com

  7. Robert

    The one weird thing *not* in The Cave: a bike repair stand? How do you do builds/powermeter swaps/maintenance without one? Use one of the trainers (ghhh)?

    • Oddly enough, I’m not sure where either of the two bike repair stands I used to own in DC went to. I think I may have gifted them to a friend, but I haven’t seen them in years – never in the Cave. I just use trainers. Today building up the Canyon bike, I just used a KICKR SNAP. Worked fine.

      Definitely Cave V2 will have it though, likely in a more structured bike repair bench setup.

  8. Dan G

    I think you have discussed this before but I can’t find it — do we know for how long tomtom have committed to for supporting their web platform?

    • The first step is admitting you have a problem. Officially externally they haven’t admitted to closing down the division. Of course, internally they’ve already given employees notice, as well as other partners.

    • Dan G

      I’m beginning to wonder if rumours of the death of tomtom wareables have been greatly exaggerated. The statement from the company said ‘TomTom will continue to sell consumer sports products, and support its Sports customers.’ I think they might keep one or two models in the market and update them occasionally, as opposed to developing a broad range like Garmin’s and Polar’s.

    • What they said is absolutely correct. But let me help translate it:

      A) They’ll continue to sell inventory until they’ve got nothing left to sell, there’s always a buyer eventually.
      B) They’ll continue to provide support: This is legit, I don’t doubt they’ll do this for a while.

      But…will they add any meaningful new features? Unlikely. And eventually, like all platforms, I think we’ll see things start to fall apart. If you lay off/fire/etc… your core developers, eventually that catches up with you.

    • Dan G

      I don’t have a dog in this fight — I have nothing made by TomTom, including their shares :) — but let’s not mix speculation and fact. We don’t know who’s been laid off, and out of how many. It could be half the team — not all of it. We have no idea if production of their current devices has stopped or is continuing.

      In short, we don’t know TomTom’s plans.

    • We actually do. It’s just that we isn’t published on a public site.

  9. M

    The guys who designed that silicone wrist mount were probably still running with Garmin 205s and 305s until now.

  10. Ray

    Any reason a bunch of the amaon links to the .ca site not .com? You shopping in Canada now?

    • They automatically convert to the country you’re in. Generally that works well, as generally most people don’t cross-shop (except within Europe, where I specifically hard code them not to).

      Better question: You in Canada now? ;)

  11. Oscar P

    That watch is ugly. Maybe that is why the say it improves your “EFFICIANCY”

  12. Dom

    It’s really too bad studies don’t actually use modern devices….they’re hopelessly outdated by the time they release to the public. Chances are the actual work was started at least two years ago, when that gear was pretty current. Before they could start acquiring data, they’d have to write an ethics proposal and have it passed by the university – easy for something like this compared with a new anti-cancer agent, but still has to be done and it takes months. Even if the first journal you submit to accepts the work, by the time it’s gone through review, revision, reviewers confirming the revisions match what they’ve requested, and typesetting and proof-checking, that’s often a year right there. Electronic submissions have accelerated the review process, and online publication means you no longer have to wait for space in the printed journal before your work is available.

    Conference abstracts are usually much more current – what you need is a contact who goes to the right kind of meetings.

  13. Amazon Germany has the TomTom Adventurer for even less: 129 Euros.
    link to amazon.de

    Just wondering If TomTom ever shuts down their sport swatch division, would it still be possible to get the data from the watch?

  14. david paquet

    Froome fails his drug test… Noooooooo

  15. Ryan M.

    Tacx Neo Smart for $1,475.00 with an instant rebate. Discount appears when you star to check out.

    link to bicyclebuys.com

    • That’s actually more expensive than the usual DCR discount that’s available 365 days a year via Clever Training (which is 10% off, taking it to $1,439.10…plus free shipping). :)

  16. Nelson Diogo

    Ray you should really put the Amazfit Pace 1 (and 2 that is being released in the beginning of 2018) on your list. They are very cheap (I got mine from GearBest at 75€) but the accuracy and build quality is awesome. GPS in particular is among the best watches I had (Suunto Ambit 3 Peak & Sport, Fenix 2 & 3 HR, TomTom Adventurer). The cardio is a little less great compared with TomTom in initial testes but o pair with Fenix 3 HR.

    The only thing missing (don’t forget it’s a sub-100eur watch) is complex interval training, swimming mode and probably the option to use an external HR Band. But version 2 will introduce this for about the same price.

    It’s really incredible and with a greater availability I see trouble for big players.

  17. Don

    I saw Race Face/Easton finally did an official launch of the Cinch power meter (even though it’s been available for months). Does that mean we can expect a review from you on it soon?