It’s that time of year again – the semi-annual VIP 20% off sale! As with last fall and last spring, there are some amaze-balls deals in here. And while my title says all trainers and many power meters, the reality is that this applies to boatloads more devices/products too, especially if you think outside the box.
Historically speaking we see the biggest sports tech sales clustered in two timeframes: November (up to/around Black Friday), and May. Currently, it’s May. May usually brings sales from all wearable tech companies, as they often try and offload older products ahead of the summer. We’ve seen that the last few weeks with a slew of product sales rotating through.
So for background, in general sales fall into two buckets:
A) Retailer driven sales
B) Manufacturer driven sales (specified by the manufacturer, but then sold through retailers)
Within the US, manufacturers have to approve virtually all sales, to stay compliant with MAP policies (Minimum Advertised Price). Said MAP concept doesn’t exist elsewhere. So in the case of the Garmin and other sales below, those fall into bucket ‘B’ above. Whereas everything else in this post falls into bucket ‘A’ above. Make sense? Good.
So we’ve got one major sale here being driven by Clever Training for 20% off, though we’ve actually got a couple Garmin & Suunto sideshow sales on a handful of wearables as well. Ironically, all of which are current year models (usually they’ve been older models). As with past years, I expect we’ll see a handful more sales this month, though I wouldn’t expect any overlap with the way you could save 20% off on a given included product.
Said differently: No, you’re not going to see 20% off on Vector this month (or anytime soon), nor will you see 30% off on a Tacx Neo. Make sense?
Here’s the handful of manufacturer driven sales that are currently announced:
|Product||Sale Price||Amazon||Clever Training||Other site||Sale Notes|
|Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 3rd, 2019 @ 9:10 am|
|4iiii Fliiiight Smart Trainer with Viiiiva dual ANT+/BLE HR strap bundle - Normally $599||$499||Clever Training||⚡ 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.|
|Amazon Echo Dot - 56% off!||$22||Amazon||We'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 at|
|Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)||$169||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This unit recently got reduced to $199, and now it's down to $169. Walmart is also offering it for $129 on Black Friday weekend.|
|Apple Watch Series 4 - $100 off!||$299||Amazon||N/A||⚡ 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.|
|Apple Watch Series 5 - $20 off||$379||Amazon||N/A||It'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.|
|BOB Revolution Pro Jogging Stroller - 20% off||$399||Amazon||There's just no competition in our minds on the best running stroller - it's what we use. In fact, we actually have two of them - one at home in Europe, and one with family in Canada that we picked up used. Go Bob Go!|
|Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones - $70 off!||$129||Amazon||These are my jam - and The Girl's too. I know, they're not the newest. Nor are they wireless. But that's why I love them. They just work, all the time.|
|Fitbit ACE 2 - $10 Off||$59||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Fitbit Inspire - $10 Off||$59||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Fitbit Inspire HR - $20 Off||$79||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Fitbit Versa - $50 Off||119||Amazon||N/A|
|Garmin Cadence Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off||$35||Amazon||N/A||Note: 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||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS - 11% off!||$265||Amazon||N/A||⚡ ⚡ 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||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡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||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡ 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||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $349||$219-$236||Amazon||N/A||⚡ 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 HRM-RUN (with Running Dynamics) - $20 off||$79||Amazon||N/A||N/A||This 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!)||$139||Amazon||N/A||Another rare Amazon sale on the HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM straps. Also individually for 30% off too at same link.|
|Garmin Instinct - $100 Off||$199||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Instinct Tactical- $100 Off||$249||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 17% off||$57||Amazon||N/A||Allows 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||Amazon||N/A||⚡ 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||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Normally $249||$126-$144||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡⚡⚡ 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||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!|
|Garmin Vivoactive 4 First Avenger Smartwatch- $50 Off||$349||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivoactive 4 Legacy Saga Darth Vader - $50 Off||$349||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 - $20 Off||$49||Amazon||Clever Training||Sale includes all Jr 2 Disney and non-Disney variants|
|Garmin Vivomove HR - $50 Off||$149||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $30 Off||$98||Amazon||Clever Training||** Amazon currently $98 ; Clever Training $109|
|GoPro Hero 7 Black with 32GB- $30 Off||$299||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router - 12% off||$149||Amazon||These 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.|
|Nest Cam Indoors - 20% off||$159||Amazon||We 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. I'll be picking up another with this sale, mostly to replace some much older Dropcam's (Nest before Nest was renamed). Nest Cam's really only go on sale about once per year. Update: I bought three more of them this year.|
|Nest Cam Outdoors - 23% off||$228||Amazon||We use one of these and so far after I think just about two years, it's working great for us.|
|Panasonic LUMIX GH5 4K Digital Camera||$700 off||Amazon||I've often rented this camera (or stole friends) over the last year or so, but I finally bit the bullet on a variant of this sale last week. These are now my main shooting cameras for video (they make great stills too, but I mainly got this for video). $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 OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - 14% off||$68||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This is one of my favorites, and I use it constantly for HR accuracy testing comparisons. Note that the CT VIP deal is a better deal, but since you can only redeem that for one product - this is handy if you still want a nice little deal. Deal varies based on which color you get.|
|Polar Vantage M GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $279||$167||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡⚡⚡ 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||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡ 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).|
|Power2Max NG Power Meter Sale - Free chainrings||N/A||N/A||Power2Max Site||Power2Max is running a sale on their site where if you buy one of their power meter units you'll get either free chainrings (which you'll need), or 25% off electronics they carry (such as the Wahoo GPS units or Cycliq units).|
|SanDisk SD & MicroSD Cards - 50% off||50% off||Amazon||Look, I have a storage problem. As in, I constantly buy SD & MicroSD cards. Mostly because I'm constantly sticking new MicroSD cards in new cameras/drones/etc to test. So when I see deals like this for 50% off - I jump. Generally speaking I use 128GB cards for action cameras, and a blend as 128GB & 256GB cards for my main DSLR/etc cameras. I almost exclusively use SanDisk cards, though you'll find a few other brands from time to time.|
|Tacx NEO Bike Smart - $700 off (brand new but scratched units)||$2,499||N/A||Clever Training||N/A||⚡⚡⚡ If you're in the market for one of these indoor bikes, this is a steal of a deal. Normally $3,199 - Garmin/Tacx are marking $700 off after a batch of them got sent (brand new) across the pond with some "cosmetic" scratches. You can see the pictures in the sale link, and honestly, I'd take that $700 for a couple of very minor scratches. Plus, they ship within a few days.|
|Wahoo KICKR + CLIMB Bundle - $200 off!||$1,599||N/A||Clever Training||This is a simple bundle of the Wahoo KICKR 2018 + the KICKR CLIMB, for $1,599.|
I’d keep checking back on the above table, especially over the next week or so. As most of the times manufacturers have lit up deals by mid-May. The table automatically updates as soon as a new deal shows up.
REI 20% off Sale:
[Update! Just added this section in!]
If you missed the much larger Clever Training 20% VIP sale, fear not – you’ve got two days to make it up. From now till May 28th you can still take advantage of the REI 20% off sale, which has a handful of sports tech items that are of interest here (plus of course all sorts of the usual REI stuff like tents and backpacks). All of these links help support the site.
CycleOps Hammer (REI Link: $959 from $1,200)
CycleOps Magnus (REI Link: $479 from $600)
Tacx Flux Smart (REI Link: $720 from $900)
Tacx Neo Smart (REI Link: $1,280 from $1,600)
Wahoo KICKR 2017 (REI Link: $960 from $1,200)
Wahoo KICKR SNAP (REI Link: $479 from $600)
Technically it’s a members-only sale, but it only takes a second to sign-up and then use coupon code ANNIV18 for REI.
For those curious, the Tacx Neo is my go-to trainer that I use when I’m not testing something else. But if you’re looking for the best bang for the buck from the available trainers in this sale, it’s the Tacx Flux. Sale ends 11:59PM Pacific Time May 28th. Oh, you can get free shipping to your local REI store. Woot!
Clever Training 20% VIP SALE:
[This sale has now ended]
In this sale, each Clever Training (CT) VIP member is given a coupon code (SPRINGVIP) that’s good for 20% off a single non-sale item including all trainers and most power meters. It doesn’t matter if that item is the Tacx Neo trainer, Wahoo KICKR 3 (2017) trainer, a WatTeam power meter, or Oakley aero helmets. Your choice, but it’s only available to CT VIP members.
There are a handful of limitations, most notably that it’s not valid on Garmin, GoPro, Fitbit, Quarq, Favero, and a few others I list down below in the restrictions. Those are all manufacturer driven restrictions. Note: The Favero Assioma pedals are still valid with the usual 10% off DCR Coupon Code (DCR10BTF).
With that in mind, there are some incredible deals to be had for trainers and power meters here – or other high-value items. Especially new trainers and newly released power meters. Here’s some quick guidance on both categories:
Power Meters: As I said earlier this year, I do not expect 2018 to be rich in new power meters, or significant price shifts. You’ve got the new SRM pedal-based power meter coming in a few weeks (they recently said to stay tuned for June 1st), but we don’t know a lot of details on that at this point (be it accuracy, pods or no pods, or price-point). Beyond that, virtually every major player in the market has released or started shipping a new power meter in the last 12-16 months. And there’s of course been a handful of Kickstarter and startup projects too recently. Certainly, it’s likely someone unknown might come out of the woodwork this summer at Eurobike or Interbike, but I wouldn’t expect any summer 2018 announcements to result in new summer 2018 shipments (since it never historically has worked that way). So basically – if you want a power meter for this year and want to save 20%, it won’t get better than this. Here’s my power meter buyers guide a well.
Trainers: Trainers are trickier of course, especially with Eurobike now shifted to July. We typically see new trainers announced at Eurobike/Interbike, though the last few years we saw them as early as June. I think we’ll be back to Eurobike though again for anything meaningful. And remember, none were available earlier than Eurobike (only the new Wahoo KICKR3 and new Elite trainers managed to be available then), while virtually everyone else was delayed into late fall and beyond. Despite these companies’ best intentions to be shipping in August/September, it didn’t often happen. I do expect 2018 to be a reasonably solid year for indoor cycling gear, but not necessarily massive changes in new models of trainers. I think you’re mostly going to see companies shift towards the Wahoo/Apple model of minor tweaks this year to a given product and stamping it with a new version number.
Meaning, if you see an option on the market you like today – go for it. If however you want the latest and greatest next fall and don’t mind waiting until fall for availability…then hold your cards. Here’s my Winter 2017-2018 trainer recommendations post, which still holds true today.
The sale is members only, but it’s simple to get started. If you’re already a member, just skip step #2.
- Pick out the item you want to buy and add to cart (see below list as a starting point)
- Add the Clever Training VIP membership to your cart
- Add VIP members-only coupon code (SPRINGVIP) upon checkout to save 20%.
- Enjoy gadget!
There are too many deals to list, because obviously that’d be tens of thousands of items that Clever Training carries, even running shoes and other sports gear. But you can find all power meters Clever Training carries here on their power meter landing page.
And all trainers Clever Training lists are carried here on the trainer landing page (it’s basically everyone).
I’m going to call out the most notable sports-tech ones in the table below:
DCR Best Tech Deals - Spring 2018
Then there’s a pile of non-sports tech products that last year a bunch of you bought, or talked about. Or that you probably didn’t even know would be included in a sale like this but it’s worthwhile noting. I figured I’d dig into the analytics from last time and see what oddities you bought that I didn’t mention as well. I suppose if some of you bought these, there might be something that others will appreciate as well
All Oakley Sunglasses
Oakley Cycling Helmets – $180-$250 normally
Redshift Sports Cycling Components
Topeak Bike Travel Cases – $799 normally
Yeti Coolers/Cups (apparently y’all liked this stuff last time, I’ve never touched one)
So you’re probably wondering about that VIP requirement? That’s basically akin to what REI does with their twice-yearly members-only sale. Except in this case, the Clever Training VIP membership only costs $4.99. And the proceeds of that go to ‘Girls On The Run’, a running focused charity. So it’s basically a win-win. You get a massive savings, and an awesome charity gets supported.
And of course, your gadgetry purchase helps support the site here (as all Clever Training purchases do).
Here’s what I expect to be a few frequently asked questions:
How many items can I get a discount for?
One item. Just one, and only one.
Is this per household?
No, it’s one item per member. Thus, if you have multiple unique VIP members in a household, then you can have multiple people. You can sign-up to be a Clever Training VIP member here. I explain more of the details here.
Which brands doesn’t it work on?
At this time, it’s not valid on Garmin, GoPro, Quarq, Favero, and Fitbit. Also, the Wahoo ELEMNT/ELEMNT BOLT and Wahoo Desk are excluded.
In the cart it says it doesn’t work?
Validate that you only have one item in the cart, and that it’s not one of the above listed items.
Do I get VIP points on top of this?
No, since it’s a large sale item. No double-dipping here.
Are there some fancy details I can read somewhere?
Yes, right here (middle of page, some text).
When does this end?
May 23rd, 2018 at 11:59PM US Eastern Time.
What happens when it ends?
It’s over. End of the road. Time to eat Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Is shipping free?
Yes, US shipping is free as long as your order is over $49. For items that can be shipped internationally, it’s $29 flat rate. Generally speaking, trainers can’t be shipped internationally.
What about Clever Training Europe?
Unfortunately, this sale is CT US focused. However, you are welcome to ship any items that they can overseas, which is the $29 flat rate noted in the previous question item. You will have to do customs on your own, but if you live overseas as I do you’re familiar with that game. And you’d be able to do the math on whether it makes sense given any fees you might face. In most cases it probably will still save you money, especially for more expensive items.
As for the ‘why’ of not having this deal in CT Europe, it’s somewhat simple: There’s already an always-on 10% off coupon deal there. Obviously that’s different than 20% off, but that gets into some of the differences between the US having ‘MAP’ (Minimum Advertised Price) policies, whereas the rest of the world (including Europe) sees that as illegal. I explain a bit more in detail back this past fall.
To be super clear – it’s definitely something that Clever Training Europe would love to do, but it simply has to be viable from a business standpoint too.
Is this the end of the FAQ section?
Yes…you made it!
Phew – there ya have it! Go forth and enjoy. And feel free to drop any questions you have down below on recommendations, etc… I’d be happy to try and help ya out. Thanks for the support!