Week in Review–February 4th, 2018


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–Jan 27th, 2018
Monday:  5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Early Look: AeroLab Tech’s Aerodynamic Sensors
Wednesday: Quick Tip: Quickly creating routes on your phone for your Garmin & Wahoo devices
Friday: The Because It’s Friday $500 Gadget Giveaway Winner!

Sports Tech Deals of Note:

This week kicks off a handful of deals, largely in the realm of activity trackers, though both the Fitbit Ionic, Vivosport, Vivoactive 3, and Suunto Spartan GPS units are in there.

ProductSale PriceAmazon
Garmin FR165 $15 off
Garmin Forerunner 265 Series - $70 off!
Garmin Vivoactive 5 - $35 off!

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) GoPro Plus Subscription Now Actually Valuable: This is actually really darn cool.  No, not the increased storage piece (though I do use that occasionally), but rather the new bonus feature now is that you can kill your camera – you get a no questions asked fix/replacement. Up to twice a year, in which case you’re doing something wrong.  That’s fantastic value for $5 a month, which also includes the 10% off accessories and the cloud storage piece.

2) Uber gets into the bike sharing business: Personally, if Uber has a bike sharing business, I think the empty bike should magically pedal to me like a driverless Tesla. Then I’ll be impressed.

3) Listing of nominees for Connect IQ Developer Awards: For the second year in a row the Connect IQ summit will take place at Garmin’s HQ.  I spoke last year as the keynote speaker, and while I only was in town for the first day of it, I was pretty impressed with the direction of where Garmin could take this event.  I’m looking forward to returning this year – both to stay for the entire event this time, but also to keynote it as well.  In many ways it has the potential of something like a Microsoft Build or Apple WWDC type event, obviously, just on a much smaller scale.

4) What is running power anyway? Turns out I’m quoted in the opening paragraph. Nifty.

5) Intel plans smart glasses (again): Holy balls. Any bets on the date they shutter this attempt? I know Intel, I get it, you really want to be a consumer company.  Really badly. Like, teenage heartthrob badly. Except, it just never ends well. The irony being they just finished laying off the entire wearables division last summer (including the market leading heads up display company….sigh).

6) This tiny light fits your Garmin mount, and then a Garmin mounts it too: Unfortunately, at 30 lumens I fart brighter flames than that.  Not super useful, but on the right track.

7) Warren Millers Dies At Age 93: For those skiers in the crowd, I’d be remiss for not mentioning the famed ski movie maker Warren Miller.  I grew up waiting each season in the fall to go to the theatre with my Dad. This article is a pretty good overview of him and his impact. (via my Dad)

8) The pros and cons of cycling team camps: Good little snippet from the team manager behind Slipstream sports

9) A new Fenix 5 competitor? That’s what this new GPS watch on Indiegogo is aiming for. Note that while this looks good at a 50,000ft level, I’d urge caution.  Almost all crowd-funded watches we’ve seen in the last forever years have been big disappointments upon delivery.  The main warning sign here is that no media outlets (none) have hands-on time with a real (or even fake) unit. And the 50-day standpoint claim would represent a massive leap in technology not seen by any player in the industry.  I look forward to trying it out though down the road, but I’d urge extreme caution until some media outlet somewhere can provide a bit more color on where they stand.

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 Edge 1030: Gigantic boatload of fixes/improvements.

Garmin Forerunner 920XT: Minor bug fix

Garmin Vivomove HR: Handful of performance improvements/tweaks around accuracy

Vivosmart 3: Almost identical to Vivomove HR changes

Vivosport: Also almost identical, except with a few GPS fixes too

Zwift Updates: A pretty substantial list of updates, some of which you might notice, some of which you’re less likely too.  I do think people don’t realize just how many changes are occurring in the background.  Though, none of them being sprint count-down markers…

Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

Click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. Tim

    Didn’t they add sprint line markers a month ago?

    link to support.zwift.com

    “Added a more visually obvious starting line to timed segments.”

    • Sorry, yeah, I’m thinking more count-down style (i.e. 100m to go, 50m to go, etc…). Basically, just like how the sprint finishes are done within a UCI event. I’ll clarify.

  2. Andrew

    9) fenix 5 competitor i see as a flop after kick starter ends. it is priced more than the 5x and only has the advantage of more battery life but no maps, CIQ, easily changeable watch band, and possibly no external sensor support (atleast not mentioned).

    I suspect the 50 day time is just a dumb watch no connected to cellphone or hr monitoring. It says 30 days in time mode and 30 hours of gps time.

    • Oh yeah, the post-Indiegogo price is a non-starter. But I think most crowd funded projects know that.

    • Juro

      I am not sure I get that watch. They asked for only $10k to develop the watch and put it into production? Including OS development, app development, physical manufacturing etc.? Or am I missing anything? Putting aside, all renders look like a copy of Garmin’s OS and even form factor and design elements.

    • Mike Richie

      @Juro, if you look at timeline, the watch is already developed (supposedly), mass production in March. They appear to be just using Indiegogo for marketing. That being said, their real competition would be the Coros Pace, which is set to retail at a price less than the Ironcloud’s lowest funding price. Am I missing something?

    • Crowdfunding is often used primarily for publicity, to generate hype and get attention. As you can see, with Ray mentioning it and us commenting about it, this strategy works.

    • Jono

      Kreyos anyone?

    • Juro

      Let me rephrase, what’s suspicious is that a bunch of guys just turn up and basically replicate a Fenix 5. I find it funny that one of their gifs actually shows a Connect IQ watchface: link to media.giphy.com, wait until this one appears: link to apps.garmin.com

      Seeing what challenges Garmin is facing with fenix 5 with all the new tech – and assuming there are significant costs of ongoing development of the product and platform beyond initial delivery I can’t see how this can be possibly successful.

      If they are raising $ for marketing and awareness, they should show more than just renders and mockups.

  3. Tommies

    Hi Ray,
    Talking about GPS Watchs… What do you think about Xiaomi products amazfit bip or pace ?
    Any review in project ?

    • I’m mixed on them from a pure specs standpoint. That said, I ordered one, and in theory it’ll be here early next week (it’s slated to be in a pile of other things I’m sending over from the US).

    • Tommies

      Great news, because i don’t find any sport reviews of Xiaomi amazfit. Really interesting to have a sport/tech reviewer point of view

    • Jose

      Iḿ very interessed on your review on the Amazfit Bit and Pace, can t wait

    • Bartek

      Forget Amzafit pace, please test/review Amazfit 2 (Stratos)!

    • Alexgg

      Suunto Ambit 3 Peak vs Stratos/Pace 2.
      17km in a forest in TrailRunning mode
      Sunny, 5.Centigrades

      Raw Data Suunto / Stratos

      Distance: 17,02 / 17,01 (almost identical)
      Track: Pretty similar and accurate both of them (see screenshoot). Suunto Blue, Stratos Red
      Highest point: 737 / 736 –> similar
      Lowest point: 668 / 665 –> similar
      Ascent: 291 /338
      Descent: 294 / 340
      Althoug there are more than 40 meters difference (too much), ascent and descent are similar. This was expected as the circuit was circular.

      Battery: Suunto battery is legendary. Between 20 and 200 hours with GPS on depending on the GPS interval. Stratos: I charged it yesterday and it was at 52% when I finished the test. Pretty bad. By this very same token it would not last enough to finish a Marathon (more tests are needed)

      Heart Rate: Suunto with HR chest strap, Stratos Optical HR
      In this case the heart rate I obtained with the Stratos was rubish.

      This circuit has lots of slopes. This means your heart rate is constantly changing. Example, when you are running uphill you go slower but your heart rate increases. And when you go downhill, you go faster but your HR can decrease. This is normal and easy to understand… but not for the Stratos.
      I suspect is something related with the data analysis that the Stratos do from the optical readings and it asumes that, the lower the pace, the lower de HR.

      What´s your opinion? Have you observe something similar other optical HR sensors?

    • Bartłomiej Kilian

      Great comparison. I’d glad to to see both GPX if possible.
      Regarding very bad battery performance – you might have not the latest firmware (one on them causes very fast discharging). Stratos should last for +35 hours on both GPS nad HR enabled.

    • Alexgg


      The Stratos had the very last firmware ( 2 days old literally).
      But, I think something went wrong because this comsuption is not normal.
      Nevertheless, I do not think it can last 35 hours with GPS and HR enabled.

      Next time I will do a 30km run with my Ambit3, Garmin 735 and the Stratos.

      Regarding the Track here it is. Suunto Blue, Stratos Red

    • Uwe Becker

      Hello, I may contribute to Xiaomi watches the following:
      I ‘ve had a Xiaomi Amazfit Pace for some days in Feb 18.
      I noticed also much to much ascent / descent while the absolute altitude was quite accurate. At my very flat 11km track with aktual 40m ascent/descent the pace noticed over 500m. That seems to be a software problem with the evaluation of the barometric sensor: the altitude chart shows many jumps of few meters up and down even in flat terrain.
      The GPS-Track, Pace, Cadence and also the optical HR were compareable to my Garmin FR235 (also optical).
      I also had more battery drain then expected. It was about 15% for 60min runnig with GPS and optical HR. Not very good but probably enough for a marathon-run. If you use even more functions, like playing music, notifications etc. the battery goes down very quickly. Especially often activating the display (even without light) brings it down. That’s of course the case when you are testing a device, may be better in daily use.
      Mostly I missed a prestart-mode as well as manual lap-stopping.
      So in my mind, it is a very nice smart-/ fitnesswatch but not (yet) suitable for runners and endurance athletes. I go on with my FR235 and save up for FR935.

    • DLloyd

      Any update on a review of the Stratos? Very eager to hear your thoughts on it as a triathlon/multisports watch and compared to something similar e.g Suunto Trainer?

    • Prefontaine

      How is the Amazfit doing in the “pile of other things”?

      Any chance of looking into the Amazfit Bip that’s only $80?

  4. Gian Camillo

    Woke up this morning with an email from Garmin that my “TailLightField” app is a nominee for the ConnectIQ awards and then find out that my favourite blogger links to it! Thanks Rat, that made my day :)

  5. mahead

    Regarding GoPro plus subscription; of course, there is couple of catches for replacing broken device: it’s only for Hero 5 and newer models, it’s US only (at least for now), the replacement is provided only if GoPro has available stock (and as a pessimist I guess you will find out the stock status only after you try to use the benefit) and there is processing fee. Funnily, it costs double to “process” (= package & send the camera, what else?) Hero 6 compared to Hero 5.

    link to gopro.com

    Sure, this is nice add-on if you are already a subscriber and happen to own Hero 5 or newer.

  6. Hi Ray.

    Did you see this news “Apple eyes FDA approval filing for investigational heart device” put a link in the website field. Interested in your thoughts – but perhaps nothing new here…


  7. Mike Richie

    On Go Pro Plus subscription. It looks like this is based on user, not the device. For someone with multiple devices, this should be a no-brainer. The exchange fees are similar to Apple Care or the smartphone insurance provided by phone companys (although some include lost devices). The statement that this will be available “as long as supplies last” sounds a bit ominous, however.

  8. Michael Coyne

    Speaking of the Connect IQ summit and nominees, have you seen this? link to apps.garmin.com

    Might be handy to have more data for diagnosing things when testing Garmin watches. Of course I’m not sure it should change the opinion if the result is the same – after all, it’s just as important how a watch performs when trying to interpolate bad data vs having good data. But it might be handy for a data-geek like you to see what’s going on, and how often watches getting a segment right seemingly by pure chance really was by pure luck/good interpolation of bad data.

    Thanks for the updates – I’m definitely looking forward to more drone awesomeness as they make it, even if it’s not quite there yet for tree avoidance lol.

  9. Any thoughts about the VIITA Smartwatches? Says up to 4 weeks battery life and ready soon.

  10. Phil S

    Thanks Ray
    How does the Zwift update affect your Wattbike Atom review.
    I remember your conclusion was that some thIngs needed to be fixed on both sides.
    Is the Wattbike Atom now fit for Zwift riding.

    • byDesign

      …and when is the Atom coming to the states? I’m keen on ordering one for my better half, but there seems to be no news on timing.


    • Unfortunately I’m not near a Wattbike Atom until early April (at best) being in Australia right now, so I can’t say for sure. But I’d drop a note on the Wattbike Atom review and ask the same question for how the changes impacted things, as others there often comment back on new firmware updates.

      As for the Atom coming to the states, the last plan I heard was Fall 2018.

  11. Keith Wakeham

    Any chance on reaching out to see Ironcloud… can’t find a website (super sketch seeming) or contact information without backing it (hmmmmm) about sensor support. It’s like they are trying to target triathletes… the single biggest consumer of powermeters and sensor data but no info on sensor support….. also, 10k flex… that sounds sketchy without a website

  12. Claus Jacobsen

    I give the Intel glasses about a year. It’s a bit strange really. They have an entire department for “new devices” and as far as i can tell, they haven’t gotten a single product out on the market that hasn’t been abandoned a year later. They have a lot of IP, but should probably stick to that and just sell the IP when developed.

  13. Herbert Poul

    The IronCloud seems very weird to me, too bad there is no way to ask questions without backing the project. There is not a single word about supported sensors. Neither bluetooth nor ant+?

  14. Eddie Janssens

    Wasn’t there a DJI Mavic Air review on the site ? If so, has it been removed ? I can’t find it anymore …

  15. Eli

    Any thoughts on Humon now that they started shipping their muscle oxygen sensor?

    • I haven’t poked into it a ton. It’s tricky in that in general I haven’t seen a huge amount of interest in SMO2 sensors when I’ve posted about it in the past, relative to other things. :-/

  16. Genie

    One more vote for stratos review! Looks decent, especially in that price range.

    • Ryan

      For $150 (25% off with code SUMMER on their US site), I think the Stratos is definitely worth a review. More press, more sales could put more pressure on Xiaomi to up their game on the firmware side and quicken the pace to ironing out the kinks.