Week in Review–May 20th, 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:

Sunday: Week in Review–May 13th, 2018
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Monday: Huge Spring Sale: 20% of all trainers, many power meters, and plenty more
Monday: Hands-on with Road Grand Tours and their new update: Is it a viable Zwift competitor?
Wednesday: What’s Baseline on a Smart Trainer in 2018?

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

While the biggest news of the week is the current 20% off sale going on here, where the biggest savings are, especially for trainers and power meters.  That’s all going on till Wednesday, so don’t miss out on that.

Still, on this past Friday another swath of items went out for sale.  The main points include:

  • $100 off all Fenix 5s – 5/18-6/16
  • $50 off Edge 25 units (base and bundle) – 5/18-5/28
  • 20% off on Saris and CycleOps – 5/18-5/30
  • $50 off Edge 520 5/18-5/28

Here’s the full listing with links that support the site though:

There are no deals currently.

Enjoy (and thanks for helping support the site, even if it’s just buying toilet paper using the Amazon link on the sidebar).

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) Next time you assault someone, don’t upload to Strava: While the underlying storyline here leaves some space for thinking about bike safety, what’s clear is that you shouldn’t upload rides to Strava when you commit a felony on a ride.

2) Clever Training acquired by JackRabbit Sports: While technically an acquisition, this is really more of a merger in terms of the ultimate goals. JackRabbit has some 60 stores, Clever Training a large online presence. From talking to CT, they don’t anticipate any immediate changes, CT will continue to operate as-is.  The biggest near-term impact you’ll see though is CT starting to get access to the massive inventory of shoes/apparel that Jackrabbit has.  Otherwise, business as normal. Ultimately, for you (and me and even employees) I think this will be a good thing.  The two entities have virtually no overlap, so it’s really more about synergies.

3) I need a new TV. NYC shot via aerial system at 12K! Now YouTube only supports 8K, so that’s the highest you can watch it in. But even within that, the level of detail if you watch at 4K is still incredible. You’ll notice it on the really long shot that slowly advanced towards times square. Just look at details like cars and such.  Of course, given I lack even 1 RED camera, I don’t think my reviews will start shooting with three of them anytime soon.  Though…I did take RED camera training…so…ya never know! (via Jonathan M.)

4) Go for a spacewalk, forget GoPro MicroSD card: I hate it when that happens!

5) Refactor bike computer with camera on Kickstarter: Here’s the thing, I actually rather like the overall specs of this device. I do think getting cameras on head units is the eventual goal (but like the Xplova unit I reviewed, camera quality will suck for a while).  But here’s the more important thing: There’s not a chance in hell I’d invest in a Kickstarter project that’s currently not slated to deliver till March 2019. That’s an eternity in the bike computer world, especially these next 12 months. And of course, even more an eternity when almost no sports tech Kickstarter projects meet their timelines. This launched too soon unfortunately.

6) Speaking of Kickstarter: I hate…no, I despise and hate, the new Kickstarter Hardware Studio badge levels recently announced. While Kickstarter says these are to make it easier for y’all to figure out where a product stands, they’re rather purposefully designed/named to make it look like all products are great. For all its faults, they should have gone with a simple color and level coded system like DHS has/had for attacks (Low to High, but was always high, making it meaningless), with these levels mapping into chance of success. A ‘Hardware Ready 1’ level might map to ‘Low to medium’ in the real world.  Not ‘Oh, it’s great, invest’. Again, hate, hate, hate. Purely designed to trick you into spending money. Did I mention I hate it?

7) How Shoddy Statistics Found A Home In Sports Research: Yup, just lots and lots of yup. If you’re familiar with 538’s work, you’ll definitely enjoy this. (Via Aaron C.)

8) The Commodore 64 Running Efficiency Pod: Wow, I never even knew such craziness existed! Thanks to UM for the tip!

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: This update brings some minor tweaks and a few bug fixes. It does though now support hotel style WiFi hotspots that require a login.

Garmin Vector 3/3S Firmware Update: Bug fixes and performance improvements

Garmin VIRB 360 Firmware Update: Power draw reduction, bug fixes

GoPro Fusion Firmware Update: Performance and usability improvements (this was technically last week, but I missed it)

With that – have a great weekend!

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  1. Chris Benten

    I remember the Puma! But I had no plans to the Commodore so no go…not that I actually ever saw the shoes for sale.

  2. Mickie

    Ray, why are you saying that “especially this 12 months” would ve an eternity for bike computers. Do you expect major updates/launches this upcoming year? I know you cannot/shouldn’t spoil any product launches, so it is more of a rethorical question – nonetheless any hints appreciated! :)

    • I’m moreso focused on new entrants to the market than existing major players. So companies akin to Hammerhead. The vast majority of them will be based on Android. Some will fail (though not immediately), and some will likely rise up to challenge Garmin/Wahoo/etc…

      Should be exciting!

  3. Dr. D

    Garmin 935 and Fenix 5 also got some new beta firmware.

  4. Timothy Follis

    With the 20 percent off the PowerTap P1 pedals are 635. That’s pretty amazing, think that is half what I paid 2 years ago.

  5. Claus Jacobsen

    Just had an update to my 735xt to version 9.30 – not registered anywhere yet though except on the forums. However it does state “phased rollout: 100%” in the forum post – so it appears no more new functionality/updates will be delivered to that platform?

    • Phased rollout simply means that specific firmware version is now fully available to all users. Phased rollouts happen over usually a few days or so, primarily designed to minimize issues should there be something uncaught in testing. Most companies, including Apple, do the same.

      That said, at reaching over 2 years since introduction, it would be common to not see it get new features (just bug fixes, as the nearly 4 year old FR920XT continues to get). But sometimes things randomly show up. I don’t know either way what the plans are for the FR735XT (and likely, they wouldn’t say anyway).

  6. alibi

    speaking of kickstarte, how about link to kickstarter.com ?

    • alibi

      ah, sorry, there is already post about that. initially try search for iq² and didn’t get result.

    • No worries. For others looking for it, here ya go: link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Mike Richie

      Closing in on the end of the campaign, and almost a million dollars raised, with still no real data to suggest that this isn’t vaporware. The real possibility, though, that you can buy a fairly inexpensive “gadget” that you just clip on your bike and get power with 1% accuracy is pretty alluring. (I’m a backer ;)

    • Phil A

      With a comment they made back on April 27 it makes me really question it. Provided the comment they made below.

      “We think it is not fair to give data of our prototype and show the world we can build a prototype that works, instead of showing the world we can mass-produce a power meter that is accurate in every condition and affordable for every cyclist.
      When the first mass production power meters are produced, we certainly give accuracy data to our backers. We hope you have just as much trust in our new approach as we have!
      In addition, we cannot thank you enough for your support, without your support we were not able to give every cyclist the opportunity to ride with a power meter.”

  7. Nicolas

    Ray, big update for the suunto spartan too.. Any news on a spartan 2?

  8. Marcus Fahy

    Fenix 5 would be good at that price if in the US

  9. Kevin

    Wahoo kickr and snap 20% off at REI with code anniv18 until the 28th

  10. Robin

    I’d like to see data on the number of sports science studies that have used MBI analysis. You know you’re in trouble when essentially the whole statistics community rejects your methodology and when your methodology is in direct conflict with methods that have proven to work.

    I wonder if US Representative Mo Brooks used MBI to conclude that boulders falling into the ocean are a significant factor in the rise in sea level?

    • Mike Richie

      The problem for Sports Science is much more nuanced than the title of that paper would suggest. The real problem is not the statistics itself, but the extremely small sample sizes in any of these studies. Getting athletes to participate in often complex, time consuming studies rather than concentrating on their own training is difficult. Most studies are really just a small step up from purely anecdotal evidence, which is basically what you get when you rely on a coach based on his previous results. In an attempt to tease out meaningful data from small sample sizes, MBI produces results but with the potential for more false positives. Unless a study can find a way to increase the number of participants (aggregating data from other studies and publishing more raw data?) there is no silver bullet, which this article points out.

  11. Todd

    I’m the market for an action camera. Is the $250 price point for the hero 5 enough to justify picking it over end hero 6 or is it better to spend a little more now and get better tech in the hero 6?

    • I think in general it is. If I look at all the day to day stuff I use the Hero 6 for, every bit of it can be accomplished with the Hero 5.

      It’s super rare that I shoot in 4K60 (mainly because it’s ‘wide’ only and I mostly prefer a linear view to match DSLR footage, which isn’t available in 4K60).

      I’d say unless you have a very specific Hero6 Black only item in mind, I’d think $150 savings is a solid deal.

  12. Tony

    Hi DC Rainmaker.

    Are you planning to review the new Spot X (just released; possibly competitor to the new Inreach mini)?

    • Maybe.

      I haven’t quite decided yet to be honest. It’s definitely an interesting device, though, the main reason why I reviewed the new inReach was mainly the integration aspects (whereas I haven’t reviewed previous devices).

      Still, it’s a compelling device and it’s been a while since I bought a SPOT device.

  13. Giles E

    Hey Ray. Quick question regarding Garmin IQ apps. Is there any kind of ring-fencing / protection between the core watch and the IQ? I recently had a lot of problems with the watch (735XT) crashing when using the stryd power field, which hasn’t done so after removing the app, thus I’m confused between true watch problems and app problems. It seems strange that Garmin wouldn’t create some kind of fail proof side of the watch where the core functions couldn’t be affected by bugs in non Garmin software, but maybe that is the way?

    • In theory there is, but in reality there are gaps. Turns out some of my recent Edge 520 Plus crashes were actually caused by a CIQ Data Field. There are lots of protections they have in place, but it seems like any app platform, there are always some holes yet to be addressed.

  14. Colin

    I’m calling that Refactor light/camera/GPS “dangerous accessory of the week”.

    Two equally bright, but slightly separated LED lights on a horizontal plane looks, to your average inattentive car driver, like another car in the distance. You know, sufficiently far enough away to allow them to pull out….right into your path.

    Spectacularly bad idea. One can only hope they will never actually deliver anything.

    • Ken

      Not really. From 50′ or 100′ feet up the road there’s just simply not enough separation to see that they are distinct bulbs, kind of like how train track seem to narrow in the distance.
      It’s like the futility of underseat turn signals on a bike; great in concept but poor in execution. Turn signals work on a car because they’re separated by a few feet. Unless a car is right on you; one can’t distinguish the difference between a blinky light under the middle of you left cheek vs. under the middle of your right cheek as they’re both under your body; they just look like a generic blinky under your seat.

  15. Jon

    No way was that shot in 12k. I know the difference between 11.215K and 12K, and that sir, is no 12K ;)

  16. Mike C.

    Hi Ray,

    Just an FYI for sport tech deals.

    Suunto has up to 30% off for their Memorial Day sale. It started on Friday, May 18. :)

  17. Tyler

    I remember the Pumas, from sports and computing magazines I got as a kid, but never saw one in real life.
    I was interested, but only the big shots had a Commodore 64, while us plebes had the lowly Vic 20.

  18. Nathan B

    Hey Ray,

    Wasn’t sure where to post this…

    Just done my first swim with a 935 and HRM-Tri, and the HR doesn’t appear to transfer to Strava.

    The HR data is showing in GC.

    Is this the same as your experience?


    • Yeah, I can’t remember if Strava has implement ANTfs support for that in the .FIT files. I know it wasn’t for a while, but I vaguely remember them adding it a while back. Or perhaps it was Training Peaks that added it.

      Either way, it’s not rocket science…yet continues to be for some platforms.

  19. JD

    Refactor has the right idea but it is doubtful they can pull it off. There is too much to go wrong.
    If Garmin decides to introduce a 1030+cam+light combo device I’d buy it. They have the required expertise producing all three components.
    The light primarily needs to operate in daytime mode with a wide beam directed forward, plus an emergency mode that directs a narrow beam downward to get you home after dark if needed.

  20. Tosin M. Akinmusuru

    I used to work for JackRabbit when it used to be just 2 stores, and I helped open their third store back in 2009. It went from being a great mom and pop triathlon store, to this behemoth. Along the way, they shed all things triathlon, sold out to mega advertising in their stores, and got rid of the very personal service that they were know for. The one good thing that came out of it is that they now have a decently strong online presence.

    I hope that with all the moving and shaking that JackRabbit has done in the last 6 years, it won’t ruin the overall experience that I have come to get used to with Clever Training.

  21. Lenka

    Hi Ray! If you were a small-wristed woman in the market for a Fenix 5s, would you buy now or hold out for the possibility of a 2018 update?