Week in Review–March 18th, 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:

Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Quad Lock Cycling Phone Mount In-Depth Review
Wednesday: Specialized Power Cranks Power Meter In-Depth Review
Friday: Outside Magazine DCR Article: A bit behind the scenes

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

This weekend a massive boatload of sales kicked off, mostly wearable focused. I suspect some of these are driven by the various Fitbit announcements as of late.  Still, certainly lots of goodness to be had in here. I’ve put a little star next to the ones I think are the best deals.

Current Deals

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 11th, 2019 @ 2:08 pm
4iiii Fliiiight Smart Trainer with Viiiiva dual ANT+/BLE HR strap bundle - Normally $599$499⚡ This is a solid deal. Normally the trainer (which doesn't even start shipping till next week) is $599, now it's $499 and includes the Viiiiva dual ANT+/BLE HR strap (which probably doesn't get as much street cred as it should for all the features it has). Note I've included both 4iiii Fliiight sale deals (the 20% deal you see next to this). This deal here ends Nov 27th.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $20 off$139I use AirPods primarily when I'm travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc... I don't tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out.
Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)$169⚡ This unit recently got reduced to $199, and now it's down to $169...though it seems to come and go on Amazon - so keep your eyes watching!
Apple Watch Series 4 - $100 off!$299⚡ This is a pretty darn strong deal. While the Series 4 doesn't have the always-on display of the Series 5, it has everything else, including a heck of a lot better battery performance/life. Note: Like the other Apple deals, this seems to come and go - so I'm leaving it here since it's like an every other day thing.
Apple Watch Series 5 - $20 off$379It's a note a huge deal, but I also don't think we're going to see any huge deals this season on the new Series 5.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones (Renewed)$199⚡ These are what I've been mostly using lately for workouts, primarily indoors. They're great, though, I'm not a huge fan of the charging case. The fact that they're $50 for getting a factory reconditioned seems like a solid deal to me.
Fitbit ACE 2 - $10 Off$59
Fitbit Charge 3 HR Fitness Band - $30 Off$119
Fitbit Inspire - $10 Off$59
Fitbit Inspire HR - $20 Off$79
Fitbit Ionic - $50 Off$199
Fitbit Ionic Adidas Edition - $50 Off$229
Fitbit Versa 2 - $70 OFF!$129
Fitbit Versa Lite - $60 Off$99
Garmin Cadence Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off$35Note: This is a random Amazon deal that will probably disappear. But, it's a great sensor for Zwift usage as it's not just dual ANT+/BLE, but dual-BLE atop that (so it can do two concurrent Bluetooth connections and unlimited ANT+ connections).
Garmin Descent MK1 - $200 Off$799
Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS - 11% off!$265⚡ ⚡ This is the first sale we've seen on this unit, which only came out this past spring. It's also an Amazon-specific sale and is highly unlikely to last long. This is one of the main units I use for my day to day riding and testing.
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X) - $150 Off$449⚡This is a strong deal on the Fenix 5 Plus series. This is for all models/variants. Obviously, the Fenix 6 came out two months ago, so don't expect major new feature updates on the Fenix 5 Plus - but still, it's a strong option.
Garmin Fenix 5 Series - 50% off$299 and up⚡ Down to $299 is a substantial deal for the Fenix 5S & 5X (non-Plus), so don't expect much in the way of major firmware updates. But still, at that price it's solid. Heck, the 5S for $299 is actually the exact rose gold version that The Girl has (and still wears to this day).
Garmin Forerunner 35 - $60 Off$99
Garmin Forerunner 645 and 645 Music - 45% off$199/$245⚡⚡ This is a great deal for this watch. Sure, it's nearly 2 years old - but it's gotten a ton of updates since it was launched, including Spotify and Amazon Music support.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $349$219-$236⚡ This is a fantastic deal right now. The price on Amazon is fluctuating a bit, but either way - by far the lowest we've seen. Awesome if you're looking to get into triathlon or just want a really capable running/cycling/swimming watch.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - $100 Off$499⚡⚡ This is a super hot deal - first time we've seen the FR945 on sale.
Garmin HRM-RUN (with Running Dynamics) - $20 off$79This is the odd (and unheard of) Amazon sale. This strap includes Running Dynamics, but is ANT+ only. Honestly, unless you really want Running Dynamics, I'd recommend getting the HRM-DUAL instead (it's dual ANT+/BLE).
Garmin HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM Bundle (30% off!)$139Another rare Amazon sale on the HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM straps. Also individually for 30% off too at same link.
Garmin Instinct - $100 Off$199
Garmin Instinct Tactical- $100 Off$249
Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 17% off$57Allows you to get not just Running Dynamics metrics, but also running power, on Garmin devices.
Garmin Speed Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off$35⚡ This isn't a huge deal per se, but it is my favorite speed sensor for a commuter bike as it just quietly tracks all your mileage in the background and syncs it to your phone. Also, this falls in the bucket of 'random Amazon deals that will probably disappear'.
Garmin Tactix Charlie- $150 Off$599
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $100 off!$299⚡⚡ This is a very good deal - and the first time we've seen the Venu on sale. I've been using it for more than two months now, and it's largely pretty stable for me at this point and working well. It's Garmin's first go at a high-end AMOLED display.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Normally $249$116-$129⚡⚡⚡ This was as low as $99 over Black Friday weekend, which is absolutely crazy. However, even at sub-$150 it's still an incredible deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music - 30% off$199⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - $50 off$299⚡ This is the first discount we've seen on the Vivoactive 4 since it launched about two months ago - so definitely a solid deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 First Avenger Smartwatch- $50 Off$349
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Legacy Saga Darth Vader - $50 Off$349
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 - $20 Off$49Sale includes all Jr 2 Disney and non-Disney variants
Garmin Vivomove HR - $50 Off$149
Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $30 Off$98** Amazon currently $98 ; Clever Training $109
Garmin Vivosport GPS Band - Normally $169$119If you want a band (as opposed to a watch-form factor), and if you want GPS - then frankly there's no better GPS sport option than this one. And hey - $50 off ain't too shabby!
GoPro Hero 7 Black with 32GB- $30 Off$299
Kinetic R1 Smart Trainer with Motion (+ cassette included) - 20% off $759Note: Clever Training is now including an 11-speed cassette in the bundle as of Nov 22nd. I've just begun my in-depth review testing on this unit, after a substantial firmware update and one more I expect in the next 24hrs or so. I hope to have more clarity in the coming days.
Polar OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - $18 off$61⚡ This is one of my favorites, and I use it constantly for HR accuracy testing comparisons.
Polar Vantage M GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $279$167⚡⚡⚡ Woah - this is probably the deal of the year for wearable tech. This is a great little watch that includes full multisport mode (for triathletes), as well as things like full power meter support and more. Very very solid deal.
Polar Vantage V GPS Multisport Watch - 30% off$349⚡ This is a reasonably good deal for the Vantage V, which has seen a number of updates over the last year (and more slated in December).
Tacx NEO 2 Smart - $200 off!$1049⚡ This is a great deal, especially considering there's such little difference between the NEO 2 and the NEO 2T.
Wahoo KICKR + CLIMB Bundle - $200 off!$1,599This is a simple bundle of the Wahoo KICKR 2018 + the KICKR CLIMB, for $1,599.

Then there’s also this from previous weeks:

STAC trainers are 20% off, and include a free riser block: You’ll remember these are the totally silent trainers (as in, zero sound at all).  My latest post on them is here. (Runs till March 30th)

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) STAC Zero Silent Controllable Trainer goes on sale: You’ll remember my preview post from last fall. Now, you can pre-order it for delivery this summer. I should have a unit arrive in a couple weeks, giving you hopefully enough time and information should you want to make the early-bird pricing cut prior to April 30th. Given I’ve previously seen their setup as fairly accurate, the key item here I’ll be looking for is ease of configuration/setup, and speed of responsiveness.  Chatting with them they’ve made the config/setup easier than their past units, so hopefully this will be a solid competitor for the 2018-2019 trainer season.

2) Android Wear renamed to Wear OS: Ok then. I’ve never quite understood corporate renaming efforts, but especially this one. It’s one thing when you control all the channels/outputs/etc so you can quickly change branding and such.  But in this case you’ve got numerous vendors who are unlikely to move quickly to update countless references to it across sites, platforms, apps, devices, marketing materials and such.  Not sure on this one. Albeit on the flip side, this may help iOS users realize it’s not Android-specific. You can use an Android Wear device with iOS (mostly).

3) Polar sleep study with 6 million nights of data: Plenty of interesting tidbits in this post and infographic thingy.  Kinda reminds me of one Fitbit did a long time ago somewhere (perhaps someone has Google Kung Fu). Would be interesting to compare the two data infographics and see how much things align.

4) Polar also made two new M430 colors and dropped the price: They’ve added in a Kermit green color and a dark blue option. Also, the new price of the unit is $199/199EUR going forward (for all color variants, not just Kermit).  Also of note is that unlike Garmin, Polar names these colors rather simply. ‘Dark blue’ and ‘green’ are the official names. Whereas if these were Garmin devices, they’d be called ‘Southern Lillypad’ and ‘Prussian Blue’. I appreciate simplicity.

5) The mother of all reports on sports tech brands social media prowess: The report looks pretty darn impressive, though, a bit out of my budget. Still, this summary from TFK will likely cover all the major bases for most readers here.

6) Zwift companion app gets solid revamp: Aside from the name, it now has a very functional workout control page.

7) Polar rolls out some Spotify playlists: Kinda neat, one each for intervals, distance, and recovery. Note that you’ve gotta be on Spotify to see these, but still, cool for those of us who are.


8) Xert rolled out over the air Connect IQ updates: If you’ve used Xert or their popular IQ data fields before, you know it’s a bit of a pain in the butt to manually update the figures on them each time. Now however, it’ll do this behind the scenes automatically using your mobile phone. Pretty solid. Do note you need to un-install and re-install the app for this sorcery to work.

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.

Hammerhead Karoo Firmware Update: A large pile of new functionality/tweaks. Quite a pile of new items, mostly smaller in nature like data fields.  But sometimes it’s the sum of the pile rather than a single standout feature.

GoPro Hero6 Firmware Update: This was actually a few weeks ago, but I missed it in the notes. Given these are rare, wanted to call it out. Mostly performance and lighting improvements.

Garmin Fenix 5 Series BETA firmware update: A boatload of fixes, a smattering of new features (including kayaking sport support).

Garmin Edge 1000 firmware update: Minor tweaks, plus new Connect IQ support.

With that – thanks for reading!

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  1. Luís

    Any chances Polar announces a new V800 instead of new colors or Spotify playlists? Kinda outdated, the V800. They can be proud a device made in 2014 is still usable but Garmin and Suunto will leave them behind… if they haven’t done it yet!

    • Tomek

      Last summer Stan Brajer, SVP Sales and Marketing (Polar, US) said in some podcast that they want to release it on Spring 2018.

  2. marcelo bezerra

    There was a GoPro fusion update on the 12th as well.

  3. hi dc
    thank you for the link back to the post on Endurance Sports brands Social Media. My post only covers the authors’ report on the brands and their marketing’ efforts (which i had their permission to discuss)

    There is a second report which i have seen/read and which looks at the various major twitter/fb/instagram/youtube media presences (not blogs). You might be interested in that as you are in it in numerous places. You do pretty well and stack up against GTN/GCN/220 etc etc. As it doesn’t include blogs I only get an occasional sneaky statistical abberational inclusion 😉

  4. „‘Southern Lillypad’ and ‘Prussian Blue’„ laughed hard. 😂👍

  5. John

    I like the Varia UT800 headlight deal, in part because it matches the everyday retail price of the Bontrager Ion 800RT (also ANT+) although people may not realize that if their LBS isn’t a Trek dealer.

    While the Bontrager 800RT has some very cool mounting options with their Blendr stems, Garmin’s UT800 has the ubiquitous GoPro-style connector. I’m going to pick up at least one UT800 while they’re on sale at CT, if only because there are so many flexible mounting options.

    (If anyone wanted both the out-front mount and the helmet strap mount with the UT800, it’s cheaper to buy the base/out-front bike mount version and add the Garmin helmet strap mount for $15.)

    The Varia Radar $149 sale seems like a really good deal too, though TBH 16-lumens is pretty weak for a taillight, especially compared to other ANT+ options like the 65-lumen FlareRT. I really wish Garmin would either (a) offer a smaller radar unit without a taillight or (b) substantially beef up the brightness of their existing unit.

  6. Andrew

    FR235 permanent price drop before FR245 announcement?

  7. jmjf

    Actually, Prussian blue is a specific color associated with C18Fe7N18 or Fe7(CN)18, depending on your preferred notation. 🙂

    link to acs.org

  8. Sam

    Is the varia vision indicative of an update this year? If I’m not mistaken, it would be following Garmin a three year life cycle.

    • It’s hard to predict product cycles in cases like this, merely for the fact that they’ve only made one such product in the category – so there’s no basis for how long a cycle might be (or whether or not Varia Vision is doing well). :-/

  9. Duong Le

    Hi Ray, is the firmware of Gopro H6 fix the noise issue?

  10. 6co2000

    Hello Ray
    DCR10BTF coupon is not working on CT for the Garmin light.
    We can’t add-up sales+coupon huh?

  11. alibi

    > Kinda reminds me of one Fitbit did a long time ago
    fast search lead to this:
    link to finance.yahoo.com

  12. Matthew

    With regard to the new STAC Zero VR (as they currently call it), are you getting a whole new unit or the upgrade kit? I’d be interested to know what steps will be involved with installing the kit.

  13. Jack

    For next weeks week in review: smart watch data used in murder trial:

    link to mobile.abc.net.au

  14. \\\Wes


    Hate to resurrect and old comments thread, but are you still hoping to have something out on the STAC Zero Halcyon before the 30th to advise on preorders? Thanks!