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.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Amazon Echo Dot - 35% off!$38We've got a couple of these, both at home, and the office, and mostly just use it to play music for the kids. I don't have a specific need to pickup another one this year, but it's kinda incredible what kind of technology they can pack into that price.
Amazon Echo Dot - 53% off$18I use these around the studio and home - and for $18, it's kinda incredible what kind of technology they can pack into that price.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $30 off
$119I 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 Airpods (2nd Gen) - $50 off
$99⚡⚡ This is the lowest price AirPods have ever been - this is solid! I 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. Also, with the wireless charging case for $50 off. Personally, I just use the basic model.
Apple Watch Series 6 - (40mm)- $50 Off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$349This is now the best deal we've seen on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones - $50 off
$199⚡ These are my daily driver headphones that I use for all my trainer rides, and anything else sport related. While they're not perfect (namely the charging case), it's what I keep going back to every day because of the seamless Apple ecosystem integration (iPad/Apple TV/iOS/Mac).
DJI OSMO Action (Action Cam) - Normally $329
$199⚡ This is a very solid price for the DJI OSMO Action, and it's a very strong first contender from DJI to compete with the Hero 7 Black (realistically, except for the dual-screen, it simply doesn't compete with the Hero 8 or Hero 9). I really like a lot of elements on the OSMO Action, but especially the dual-screen. Check out my full review for comparative thoughts. While I would have said that maybe we'd see a new OSMO Action sometime this past spring (an annual refresh cycling), I'm pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening for a while.
Fitbit ACE 2 Activity Tracker for Kids - $20 Off$49
Fitbit Charge 4 - 33% off!
$99⚡ This just came out earlier this year, so this is a pretty solid deal for sure!
Fitbit Inspire 2 - 30% off
Fitbit Sense - $50 off!
$279This is the first time we've seen the brand new Fitbit Sense on sale. Not a bad deal at all!
Fitbit Versa 2 - $50 off$129⚡ If you don't need the new features of the Versa 3 (of which, there are almost none except for built-in GPS), then this is a great option.
Garmin Edge 1030 - $150 off!
$399-$469⚡ This is a pretty solid deal for this unit, especially since it's getting a number of the recently announced 1030 Plus features later this year. Note: This price keeps floating up/down hourly.
Garmin FR935 - $100-$200 off
$289⚡ Sure, it's not the latest edition, but the FR935 is the staple of many triathletes and runners, and it still an incredible solid watch. We saw this a bit lower last month on Amazon Prime Day ($239). Also, I say $100-$200 off, because the 'base' price fluctuates a bit these days. Sometimes retail is $399 sometimes $499.
Garmin Fenix 6 Series - $150 all models
$150 off⚡⚡ This deal is back! This is a great deal that showed up last spring, and it also includes the newly launched Fenix 6/6S Solar units from this past summer
Garmin Forerunner 245 - $50 off
$249Both the Forerunner 245 is on sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - $50 off$299Both the Forerunner 245 Music is sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date. The FR245 Music supports Spotify, Amazon Music, and other streaming platforms.
Garmin Forerunner 45/45S - $50 off
$149If you're looking for a runners focused watch, there's no better deal on the market than this. Period. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series. Seriously, this is a solid deal.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
$399/$449 (with music)
$257This isn't a bad price per se, but for $20 more you'll get so much more watch out of the FR935 deal. However, that doesn't include music, whereas this FR645 Music Deal Does. Also, the 51% off is per list, but realistically we're talking about $70 off normal prices.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT - $70 off
$219This is still a really good deal for a full featured triathlon watch. Sure, it got down to $169 for Amazon Prime Day, but this is still a solid price.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - 5% off
$568Hey...some discount is better than no discount!
Garmin Forerunner 945 Bundle (with HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM) - $80 off$669This is a good deal, in fact, the best deal on the FR945 we've seen in 2020. I don't anticipate this lasting long
Garmin Foreruuner 35 - $50 off
$92If you're looking for a solid budget GPS running watch, it's hard to go wrong here. Sure, it's a few years old now, but it'll track your race just fine and upload to Garmin Connect and all the other Strava-like sites as well.
Garmin HRM-PRO - $10 off!
Garmin Instinct - $80 off
$149⚡ Sure, the new Solar variants came out this summer with a few new features, but at their core the Instincts are mostly the same. Still, $149 is the lowest price the Instinct has ever been at.
Garmin Instinct Solar - $100 off
$299This is the first time we've seen a deal on the Garmin Instinct Solar, and the best deal I expect we'll see for a while.
Garmin Magnetless Sensors Cadence/Speed Bundle - 24% off$53This bundle includes both the dual ANT+/BLE Speed & Cadence sensors (V2), and is notable because the speed sensor not only transmits like any other, but also records your rides even when you don't have a bike computer/watch paired to it - making it perfect for commuter bikes. Both sensors are fully compatible with basically every app/watch/bike computer out there.
Garmin Speed Sensor V2 - 18% off!$32This is Garmin's latest ANT+/Bluetooth Smart speed sensor, but notably, it's also one that can record your rides without being connected to a bike computer, making it perfect for tracking mileage on a commuter bike. I'm super tempted to pickup a few of these and outfit all our commuter/cargo bikes for 2021 to see what the mileage/breakdown by trip/etc looks like at the end of the year. Yes, I'm a geek.
Garmin Swim 2 - $50 off
$199This is only the 2nd time we've seen the Garmin Swim 2 on sale. And as part of my in-depth review I found it easily the most accurate openwater swim watch GPS-wise I've ever tested. Which, is good, since most pools seem to be closed these days. :-/
Garmin Tactix Charlie - $150 off$599The Tactix Charlie is essentially a Fenix geared towards military folks (Amazon Prime Days)
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $100 off!
$249This is about the lowest we've seen yet for the Garmin Venu GPS, which includes an AMOLED display as well as music (even Spotify offline). Solid deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 3
$119⚡ Obviously this is the previous edition, but dang, it's still a good price for a great little GPS watch. This has mostly been on sale at this price range for a while now, however, I've included it in the list merely because if you're looking for a deal then this is probably one of the best deals out there.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music - $50 off
$149⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!
Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S - $65 off
$235This is Garmin's current offering to compete with the Apple Watch series (alongside the Garmin Venu), and this is a good price, though, not as low as we saw for Amazon Prime Day at $199.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 - 25% off$59Sale includes all Vivofit Jr 3 variants.
Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator (2-way) - $100 off$249⚡ This is a great deal on this unit which can send messages back and forth when there's no cellular service. It also connects to the Garmin Edge devices plus the Forerunner & Fenix devices for sending urgent messages sans-cell signals
GoPro Hero 8 Black Camera Bundle - $70 off!$279-$299⚡ The Hero 8 is still a great camera, so if you don't need the extra bits of the newer Hero 9, this saves you a $100 in comparison. Plus, this includes an extra battery, shorty stick/tripod, head mount, and 32GB MicroSD Card. Note: Price seems to fluctuate a bit between $279 and $299.
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off$399⚡ This is actually the first time we've seen the Hero 9 on sale. Note that if you're a GoPro Plus Subscriber, then it's a bit cheaper at $349 from GoPro directly, but otherwise, it's $449.
Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router - 18% off$139These are the WiFi mesh access points I use both at home and the DCR Cave. Love them - I don't need to dork with them, they just work.
Insta360 One R Action Cam - 15% off$466The entire lineup of Insta360 One R action cams are 15% off, including the 1" and 360 variants. Overall it's a good cam with good picture clarity (I've mainly used the 1" 5.3K variant), but I find the software really lets it down.
Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones - 12% off!
Manfrotto Compact Tripod (MKCOMPACTACN) - 34% off
$51This is my main tripod I use day in and day out, and during all my travelling. It's probably got 500,000-800,000 miles of travel on it, and it still looks like new - despite the fact that I treat it like crap. It's out in the salt spray waves often, in the mud and rain, etc... It just rocks. I just bought another one to have one permanently setup in the studio (+ one for traveling).
Nest Cam Indoors - 23% off$99We have more Nest cam's than I can count. No really, we have half a dozen at the DCR Cave alone, plus more at home. We love them. Nest Cam's really only go on sale about once per year.
Panasonic LUMIX GH5 4K Digital Camera - $700 off!This is my main shooting cameras for video (they make great stills too, but I mainly got this for video), and I've bought two of them. $700 off is an awesome deal. In my case I got the kit. And in case it's even more of an endorsement, both GPLAMA & DesFit also use this camera too!
Polar Ignite GPS - 12% off!
$201It's a good watch, and the 12% brings it down to roughly where it should be priced at anyway. :)
Polar OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - 20% off!
$63⚡ I love this little sensor, and you'll see it in almost every one of my watch/HR sensor reviews as a comparison/reference strap. It's just so darn accurate and so easy to use. Every optical HR sensor (and app with it) should aspire to be what this thing is.
Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds - 39% off$79This are obviously super popular, and having them be 31% off ought to make them even more popular. Wireless Charging Case included.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 - $60 off$339This is a pretty new watch, so $60 off is a solid discount!
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 - 28% off$179
SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - 39% off$169This is the high speed drive I use to store the footage I'm actively video editing, so that I can edit it on both my iMac at the office, and then my MacBook when travelling or at home.
SanDisk 256GB MicroSD Card - 38% off!$29I use this card in both 128GB and 256GB variety, and it's perfect for all my drones and action cams, easily recording 4K/60 and 5K/30, as well as 5.7K without trouble. I often pickup these cards when on sale like this, so I have them for later in the year when not on sale.
Suunto 5 GPS Multisport Watch - 35% off
$199⚡ A very strong deal for this complete multisport watch that I really like. Well nailed on price here.
Suunto 7 Wear OS Watch - 30% off
$349⚡ This is now the lowest price this watch has ever been at - and definitely a price to pick it up if you were in the market for it.
Suunto 9 - 46% off!
$599 (non-baro is $499)
$346This is about a good a deal as we've ever seen in the US for the Suunto 9.

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!