Week in Review–March 3rd, 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: First Look: COROS’s new Pace GPS Multisport Watch
Thursday: PowerTap Significantly Drops Prices, Plus Detailed Power Meter Pricing Trends (2018 Edition)
Friday: Behind the Scenes: Spending the day at YouTube

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

With March 1st kicking off, we’ll start seeing some more sales for the spring. The first being:

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)

Polar M460 cycling GPS + OH1 optical HR sensor bundle includes free out-front bike mount: Put this in the ‘ok then’ category, but I suppose if you’re in the market for that specific combination then now you can get it with a free bike mount (till March 7th anyway). Actually, joking aside, both are very solid products.

Plus of course the PowerTap price drops linked in the post above (full PowerTap hub wheelset for $499, dang!).

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) Fighter jet crew uses Garmin Fenix 3 to navigate home in emergency: This is a fascinating story, and this particular piece is one of the more detailed ones out there on it. What’s even more interesting is that the Navy is actually outfitting crews with these units for precisely this purpose.  Meaning this wasn’t just a triathlete who happened to have a Fenix 3 on them and went all DCR on that Growler.  Rather, it’s part of their SOP. (via Andy and Darren)

2) Strava quietly rolls out new heatmap privacy options: Simply a new option on the mobile app (which didn’t used to be as user-friendly compared to the site for privacy options).  Obviously this is in response to the whole military mess back in January.

3) Detailed line-item financial accounting of a Pro Triathlete’s life: Pretty fascinating write-up that goes line by line on the income and expenses for one pro triathlete (this is their fourth year doing so).  Lots that many pro athletes can learn here. (via Randy)

4) Nokia Health (aka Withings) is almost dead: Or probably more appropriately, done. I suspect we’ll see someone buy it up.  You’ll remember back when they first announced the sale to Nokia I figured nothing good would come of it.  As Nokia now admits, Withings simply isn’t generating enough revenue to be meaningful in an entity as large as Nokia.  It’s essentially the same problem that Intel had with Recon or Basis or whomever else they’ve since shut down.  Great startups and smaller sized companies often just don’t mesh well when merged with massive enterprises.

5) Apparently Parisians have killed too many dockless bikeshare bikes: It’s not a secret that many people within the city are unhappy with the new Chinese based dockless bikeshare companies. While increasing bikes is always good, much of the time these bikes are strewn about blocking sidewalks or just left like trash. Of course, that’s largely the fault of locals, but the inherent design of the system and lack of local regulations on how to handle dockless bike shares is a greater issue (e.g. being more strict on where someone can park them).

6) Nikon Key Mission 360° Cameras had a price drop: I still wouldn’t recommend buying them. They just don’t have anything good on any of the current crop of better cameras.

7) Women Seeks Divorce over Man’s Bicycle Obsession: I mean…who hasn’t done bike maintenance in the living room? (via Mario)

8) XCadey Power Meter Review: Shane bit the bullet and purchased the power meter whose own marketing site showed it having terrible accuracy. Be sure to watch all the way through the video though. Ultimately, unless you’re in Australia where the pricing is all lopsided, it’s probably best to look at the numerous sub-$400 (Stages/4iiii/etc…) and even down to $259 options on the market (WatTeam) instead of something that has no support and highly questionable ANT+ connectivity. But yes, definitely watch his video, always fun.

9) Review of the 2018 Olympics NBC VR Experience: While the Olympics are over, I found this write-up by Engadget actually pretty interesting. It goes into quite a bit of detail on how the setups work for VR Olympic coverage. Geeky fun stuff.

10) Product photography tips: As this entire ‘Week in Review’ post series started off with random things I found interesting, this video is cool. Mostly because it mirrors much of what I try to do for the lead-in photos for all my product reviews and hands-on type pieces. Sometimes I’m more creative than others, and some products lend themselves to better photography than others (electronics are harder than non-electronics).  I think one of my favorite product photo shots ever I’ve done is actually the header of the FR735 review.

11) Aerolab publishes white paper with DCR aero test data: You’ll remember my post back a month or so ago about the Aerolab aerodynamics sensor solution.  That post was based on a test ride I did, and in turn, based upon data that they collected and had put into a white paper.  At the time I published they weren’t quite ready to publish the version of the white paper I had, but they’ve since done some clean-up (mostly grammatical stuff and adding in more context) and published it.  So feel free to geek out on my data, as written by them (full PDF at first link).

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.

Favero rolls out oval ring support: Technically it’s still in beta, but shortly they will.

Garmin Edge 1030 firmware update: Mostly improvements, but a handful of new minor features.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 firmware update: Various improvements, but also a new workout data page.

Garmin Vivomove HR firmware update: Just minor Bluetooth pairing tweak.

Garmin Vivosmart 3 firmware update: Same as Vivomove HR.

Garmin Vivosport firmware update: Same as previous two.

Rouvy adds support for PowerTap P1 pedal metrics: Title pretty much says it all.

Thanks for reading all, and have a great remainder of your weekend!

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  1. Fred Lee

    As a computer programmer, I can’t help but roll my eyes at the notion of “hiding” the strava heatmap data. Exposing the data in Strava heatmap is 10% of the problem. The existence of that data in Strava’s database is 90% of the problem and that is not solved.

    Does anybody really think that Strava protects data like this internally with anything approaching the security that the location of secret military bases mandates?

    • The challenge is that the “The existence of that data in Strava’s database is 90% of the problem and that is not solved.” problem is 100% to blame on the person uploading it.

      As any military member can attest to (at least US folks), they regularly (annually) get Infosec training, and one of the things covered is uploading data from locations with security concerns. After all, this is a social platform. Thus, what you’re uploading is social.

      The challenge though is that most people don’t connect the dots. This seems like an opportunity for various government training programs to refresh their content. The challenge is there are hundreds if not thousands of divisions of the government, and all of them do their own wonky courses with clipart from 1994.

      And, before anyone says that Strava should just exclude ‘secret’ (or what-not) locations – that’s even worse. That implies that Strava then has a listing of so-called secret locations for one or more governments. Which by their very nature shouldn’t then be on a non-secret network (which is what Strava is).

      Simple solution: Don’t upload to social networks from sensitive sites/situations.

    • Tommy S

      Ray. You weren’t in the military nor did you attend any military training. You don’t know what actually goes on The absolute defense of Strava makes me wonder if they don’t provide you some “affiliation” to keep the positive comments coming. You need to come clean on this

      Strava is not innocent here. They know exactly what they are encouraging. Case in point. Why was this a “quiet rollout”? Because they don’t really want people to use it and want to profit from their data.

    • Struan Lownie

      I’m not sure what point you are making here. Ray isn’t defending Strava, he’s just pointing out where the responsability lies. If your location is sensitive then surely the responsibility lies with you to say ‘it’s not a good idea to disclose my location so I won’t publish it on line’

    • Tommy – I’ve attended plenty of military training actually. In fact, I even wrote some of it.

      So yeah, I kinda know what I’m talking about.

    • Camillo

      Strava should put out a warning each time a soldier tries to upload data from a secret location, of course. “We are detecting you are uploading data from a secret location (don’t tell anyone we know), do you want to proceed”?

    • T

      I do think that social media and fitness tracking platforms that collect GPS data need greater clarification & control for the end-user on how their data is shared and it should be secured within reason, but when it comes to the Military, this simple solution makes by FAR the most sense. No social media platform can ever hope to be as secure as would likely be necessary for the Military, and it’s just not their job to protect the secrecy of said Military: it’s the Military’s job.

      This brings up a question I’ve had for a while though: Does Garmin have any plans to introduce 2-factor authentication for their Garmin Connect platform? I personally would love to see this. It’s relatively easy to simply not share that data anywhere publicly, make your account relatively anonymous, etc, so I doubt it’s at all a priority, but since Google, Amazon, Apple, Paypal and so many other platforms have made this standard practice, I feel like it would be a logical step eventually for Garmin as well?

      I could think of any number of scenarios where an individual may have inadvertently shared just their login name, especially if it’s shared across other services like Strava for instance, and just having their account name known, its existence known and not 2-factor protected, could become a problem.

  2. Nighthawk700

    My whole family uses the Withings scale, bought before Nokia bought it and mucked it up. :-( Hopefully the data will still be useful or can be shunted to another site. My wife wasn’t crazy about how much it cost (vs. non-smart scales). Going to hard to justify if I have to move to a new one of this becomes a brick.

    • Ben

      Know how you feel, I’ve had my Withings scale since before the Nokia takeover as well. Hopefully the online syncing will continue to work. For whatever reason when Nokia took over they replaced the Withings app (which was great) with their Health Mate app which was awful, it’s slowly been improved but still not as good as the original Withings app. Not sure what Nokia were thinking there.

  3. Michael Swann

    I received an email during the week about a firmware update to the Cycliq FLY6 CE to fix a number of problems.

  4. Ben

    Whendo you think the full review of the Forerunner 645 will be out? It is shipping now (but no music yet from what i see on the forum). Thanks

  5. Forrest Anderson

    Interesting that the Navy is using the Fenix 3, and not the D2 Bravo (which is the same watch, but with aviation navigation apps built in), or the newer D2 Charlie.

    • Knowing the processes there for approvals and such, my guess is that it had been listed as an approved device for purchase somewhere else within the service (since it was older) and was probably the fastest path to get those units purchased.

      Alternatively, it could also have been something as silly as the vendor they were using didn’t distribute the D2 series and thus it wasn’t available to purchase through the approved vendor. In all my government purchasing experience, almost everything comes down to some quirky purchasing related reason.

  6. Mark Cohen

    Here’s something to add to the Sports Tech Deals section:
    I received the following email from Suunto. I used the discount to buy a Spartan Trainer Wrist HR for $167. My last purchase was an Ambit 3, so if you are a past purchaser of Suunto, you should get the same offer.

    As a long-time, active and loyal member of the Suunto community, we want to extend you an exclusive offer to upgrade to a Suunto Spartan watch of your choice.

    Use the code below to receive 40% off any Suunto Spartan watch and take your training and adventures to the next level.

    Your discount code is: SPARTAN40

    The code is valid until 03.30.2018, so act now.

    Happy Adventuring,
    Your Suunto team

  7. Raymond Wright

    So when Nokia finally kills Withings, will my Scale and Blood Pressure Monitor turn into bricks?

    • Hard to say to be honest. With as big a company as Nokia behind it, that actually bodes well most of the time (versus a startup with no money). On the flip side, the same should have been said for Basis, where they basically gave a handful of months notice and turned out the lights.

    • Anders Majland

      We also have a withings scale from ages ago, a blood pressure monitor and activité Pop that are some years old but lately we bought a thermometer.

      Since I’m in Europe at bought it within – I have 2 years of warranty. If the online site disappears it a major flaw with the product and i’ll be entitled to return it and get my money back.

      That might be expensive but sometimes big do that anyway. I once had a connect Silva pedometer that they killed off. The made an offer to swap if for something else in the product range and i got a headlamp enstead ,,,

      Just to bad for the older withings products if they kill them;-( They’ll go the same way as the zeo sleep manager and others …

  8. Stuart

    I had a quick look at the STAC Zero deal.

    Unfortunately, with the oversize international shipping, it works out to $AU790 ($US613.19) for the power meter version (landed). $AU656.78 ($US509.19) for the base model.

    The pricing works out a little better if you buy several of them at the same time, but then you get hit with GST and customs charges. Compare with $AU749 for the Kickr Snap, and… well…

    I’d love one, but the shipping means it’s cost prohibitive outside of the US (and possibly Canada?), I’d say. Welcome to the world of the Australia Tax.

    • Yeah, shipping charges is tough. At least for now you’ve got the $1,000 tax exemption…till July 1st anyway.

    • Stuart

      You say that as if you seriously expect businesses that are based overseas with no presence in Australia to start charging Australian customers GST. That law change is a bad joke; it’s not going to do what the government claims it will do.

      But this is getting dangerously off topic and into political discussions that don’t belong here (and which are completely irrelevant to most readers of your blog to boot), so I’ll leave it at that.

    • Oh, I assumed that the model would work like it does in France and much of Europe – you’ll get an invoice from FedEx/DHL/etc… if over the $1,000.

      So in France, when I get a delivery one of two things happen:

      A) With UPS: The driver demands cash/check at the door. If I don’t have a check or cash, I don’t get my package. That’s to cover 19.7% of the stated value on the package.
      B) With FedEx: They handle it behind the scenes, and about a week later I get an invoice with the 19.7% valuation. If I don’t pay it, they get all upset and eventually send a collections agency after you.

      With regular postal mail, it’s also ‘Method A’ above.

    • (Clarification note: In France specifically, the threshold is a mere $100 I think.)

    • Stuart

      That sort of plan would actually make some degree of sense. But Australia Post and other companies pushed back against it because it would make their parcel service uneconomic – so we end up with a crazy hybrid scheme where the government expects overseas businesses to charge Australians GST for low value items and then pass that money over to the Australian government, whilst high value items (above the $1000 mark) are covered by the existing system.

      How, exactly, they expect to enforce these laws on companies that have no presence whatsoever in Australia is still an open question.

    • Ahh, gotchya.

      Yeah, as you outline that’ll never work. There are millions of companies around the world that ship things, and almost none of them want to deal with trying to figure out import taxes to 180+ countries. It’s not viable for smaller entities.

      Clever Training is like that – it’s just too complex to track correctly for every country in the world and tens of thousands of products. Especially when you get into different product categories and rate classifications. A bike hub is one tax bracket, and a watch is another, and a piece of clothing another. And so on.

    • Stuart

      Ayup. GST is a specific, simple tax, so it doesn’t have that complexity – but you’re completely right, there’s no sane reason why a company should have to be up to speed on any given country’s tax laws, unless it has a direct and specific link to that country. Which gets back to my earlier sardonic comment (said cynicism and mockery being directed specifically at my country’s government) about the practicality of the law.

      Oh well. I’ll just wait quietly for the next 20% off one item deal and hope that the Vector 3 is covered this time around…

  9. Artur

    Hi Ray,

    Do Intel’s smart glasses have anything to do with R con?


  10. Crowgirl32

    When I saw your day at You Tube post I thought you’d left our beautiful land. I’m glad to see that you and the family still have a few more weeks to enjoy our perfect autumn weather.

  11. Claeys Jens

    The last update of the Vivoactive 3 (3:30) has messed up all the names of the activities
    Happens only if you’re not using the English language
    Career -> Ashtanga
    Bike -> Navigate
    Indoor Bike -> Sparring

  12. Ray. You weren’t in the military nor did you attend any military training. You don’t know what actually goes on The absolute defense of Strava makes me wonder if they don’t provide you some “affiliation” to keep the positive comments coming. You need to come clean on this

    • I already replied to your comment when you used another name, you can view it above above: link to dcrainmaker.com

      (Note: I’m keenly aware that most times you post on this site over the past few years you use different names. It’s almost as if you don’t realize I did IT and IT security for a living…).

    • Stuart

      Oh, bollocks.

      Strava provides a platform. It can be a useful platform in some respects, but if one works in a career – such as the military – where certain information needs to be kept confidential, one needs to be aware of the implications and ramifications of one’s actions.

      Working on a US base in the middle of hostile territory? That, to me, would be an immediate “don’t upload GPS data to any public site”. I mean, hell, I don’t upload runs or bike rides that start or finish at my home – I don’t want somebody breaking in and stealing any of my gear (given that one of my bikes would cost upwards of $10k to replace, and another would cost upwards of $5k.)

      The fundamental problem is that people aren’t aware of the security and privacy implications of GPS data. Most people just don’t CARE. How much responsibility does Strava have in educating the general public, where the privacy implications are relatively (note: RELATIVELY) low? How much responsibility falls on Strava, versus the military themselves, for soldiers uploading data?

      I would argue that, if the data is as critical as the uproar implies (and I’d certainly be inclined to agree that it is), the onus should be on the military to educate the soldiers about this stuff. Not a single platform – after all, there’s Strava, MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Runtastic, and who knows what else out there. Putting the burden on Strava still leaves those other platforms as gaping holes – it’d be a complete fail on the part of the military if they don’t take steps to address the problem.

  13. Mitch W

    Stac Zero sale an indication of an impending release of a Smart Stac Zero? Guessing not something that can be commented on?