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
Apple AirPods Pro - $50 off!
Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case - $50 Off!$149⚡ 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. Personally, I just use the basic model.
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 Watch Series 6 - 40mm RED - $70 off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$329This is a very solid deal on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Fitbit Charge 4 - $50 off!
$99Currently the best deal we've seen to date, matching only the Black Friday deal last fall.
Fitbit Versa 3 - $50 off
$179This is the first time the Versa 3 has been on sale.
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, this is a pretty good deal, about 25% off. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series.
Garmin Forerunner 935
$269⚡ Sure, it's not the latest edition, but the FR935 is the staple of many triathletes and runners, and it still an incredibly solid watch. We saw this a bit lower last summer on Amazon Prime Day ($239) - but beyond that, this is pretty darn low. Also, I say $100-$200 off, because the 'base' price fluctuates a bit these days. Sometimes retail is $399 sometimes $499.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - $50-$80 off
$519Not a bad deal, the price seems to fluctuate between $50 off (official Garmin sale price currently), and $75-$80 off (unofficial sale price).
Garmin Instinct - $80 off
$169This is a pretty strong price, though over time the pricing norms have as slowly dipped further and further.
Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S - $80 off
$269This is Garmin's current offering to compete with the Apple Watch series (alongside the Garmin Venu), and this is a good price, though, it does go lower from time to time (not since Black Friday 2020).
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 - Incl Disney/Avengers/Star Wars variants ($20 off)
$49These are Garmin's kids activity trackers, and what both of my two oldest daughters wear daily (princess and Disney edition variants).
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off$399⚡ This is the camera I use for all my daily shooting during sports. Actually, I've bought a few of them. 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.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 - 43% off$238This is the lowest price I've seen on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, which typically is 'only' on sale for about 30% off.
Suunto 7 Wear OS Watch - $60 off
$339The Suunto 7 floats on and off sale occasionally, but usually not more than 20% off.

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!