Week in Review – May 6th, 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 Ride: Everysight Raptor Cycling Heads-Up Display
Thursday: Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator In-Depth Review

Sports Tech Deals:

There’s a smattering of sports tech deals out there right now, here’s what’s cookin’:

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Garmin Edge 1040 - $100 off$499The is the lowest price we've ever seen on the Edge 1040, and only the 2nd time it's ever been on sale in two years. It's still Garmin's top-end units, and still receiving new features via quarterly firmware updates.
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar - $100 off$649
Garmin Edge 540 - $50 off$299First time this has been on sale, and the lowest price to date. I personally prefer the Edge 840 due to the menus being a bit easier to use with a touchscreen. Both Edge 540/840 have identical buttons though for days you don't want the touchscreen.
Garmin Edge 540 Solar - $50 off$399
Garmin Edge 840 - $50 off$399This is, best I can tell, the first time Garmin has put the Edge 840 on sale.
Garmin Edge 840 Solar - $50 off$499
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $200 off!
$499⚡⚡ This is an incredibly strong deal. Especially viewed in light of all the non-Garmin AMOLED competitors charging far more for far fewer features. This non-sapphire edition doesn't have multiband, but testing has pretty clearly shown that Garmin's Epix non-multiband GPS is basically on-par with their competitors multiband config (see my NYC tests for that).
Garmin Epix Pro Series (All variants) - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is only the second time we've seen these on sale. This is probably my go-to watch these days (middle-sized one), with the singular reason I tend to choose it over the Forerunner 965, being the built-in flashlight for night.
Garmin Fenix 7 Pro (All variants) - $200 off (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$599+⚡ This is only the second time we've seen the new Fenix 7 Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. The smaller Fenix 7S Pro watch has become my wife's go-to watch since it came out, for all of her training and 24x7 usage.
Garmin Fenix 7 Series (All Models/Styles) - $200 off!
$449+⚡This is a strong deal if you don't care about the new optical heart rate sensor (including ECG) of the newer Fenix 7 Pro, especially given the Fenix 7 series has received virtually all of the Fenix 7 Pro's new software features, keeping them essentially identical. $449 is the lowest price I've seen to date.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music - $100 off!
$299This is Garmin's mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics. This model also includes offline music such as Spotify and Amazon Music.
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $100 off!$399This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and it's back down to the lowest price ever. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. Note this is the base edition without solar. It'd be hard to find any better deal in sports watches today, from any company (given this has full mapping, tons of new features even this week, etc...)
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar: $100 off!
$499See everything I said above on the Forerunner 955 base, except this one also has solar.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off
$149This is Garmin's standalone radar/taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. This product is universally loved, and works with Garmin/Wahoo/Stages/Hammerhead/etc, and other bike computers.
Garmin Venu 3 - $50 off!
Garmin inReach 2 Mini Satellite Communicator (2-way) - $100 off$299⚡ This is my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks over the past two years when well outside of cellular service, both in a 24x7 tracking mode for friends and family, but also there in case of emergency. Would strongly recommend for anyone doing anything in the wilderness.
Google Pixel Watch 2 - $70 off!$329
HoverAir X1 Drone - $80 off!$349Note: There's virtually always a $80 coupon that can be clicked on the Amazon page.
Suunto Veritcal (Solar edition) - $50 off$699

All of the above links help support the site as well, which makes you awesome.

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.

(This is more like…last few weeks in review.)

1) Peter Sagan’s $330,000 Facebook post and the value of cyclists’ social media: It’s interesting to see some comments that note disappointment that athletes have to push their sponsors via social media in this day and age. I find it funny because these comments totally misunderstand the entire basis for pro sports, which, by their virtue depend on others for funding. In this case, sponsors. Without sponsors, there would be no money in pro sports. And without money, there would be no career in pro sports.  And without all of that, you wouldn’t be able to watch those same athletes.  Which isn’t to say there aren’t numerous ways sponsorships can be improved (they obviously can), but there are very few sports where professional athletes can sustain a career without business sponsorships. And in today’s world, those businesses expect a return on their investment via social interaction.

2) Paris Velib hell: To any Parisian, this was merely an inevitable tidal wave. Anyone who used Velib’s could see it coming as early as last October when they started shutting down the previous generation/system stations while not actually turning on replacement ones till January.  They then doubled-down on that by having the cutover date by a single point in time (January 1st, 2018), versus a phased roll-out such as in November or December. Never mind the countless stations that were shut down in November and not actually removed till January. It’s really too bad – as I used the Velib’s probably 2-3 times a day on most days.

3) Intel puts final nails in ‘new devices group’: This is the group that once owned Basis as well as Recon, as well as being responsible for 3rd party projects like the New Balance watch and Oakley glasses.  Many of these people actually were let go last August, but some stayed on for other projects like another type of heads-up display that Intel just announced…only to now kill.  Seriously, I can’t imagine ever being a startup and selling out to Intel, unless you just wanted a boatload of cash (which to be clear: Is a perfectly valid reason.)

4) VanMoof goes into a subscription model for bikes: Pretty interesting concept. At first glance, I thought it was stupid, but after digging into it a bit more, it could make some sense, given they’ll handle all service and getting you a bike swap.  As a funny aside, one office building I was looking at here in Amsterdam actually gifted you (permanently) a new VanMoof bike, which is also a Dutch brand. The space didn’t work out for a number of reasons…but the bike was tempting!

5) How Alpe du Zwift was made: One of these days I’ll get to ride it. But until then, this behind the scenes from a Zwift designer perspective is super interesting.  It’s been on my to-do list to link to for a while, some great work by Simon putting it all together.

6) Pandora learned the cost of ads and subscriptions: This is a fascinating look at how Pandora did A/B testing on subscription models. It’s fascinating because you so rarely get a look at real data from companies like this, and is something that almost any entity pondering subscription vs ad-based revenue models should consider – be it in sports tech or otherwise.

7) Boston Marathon awards cash to non-Elite Women: A good look at the controversy that’s erupted over the last few weeks with respect to some non-pro women running faster than pro women.

8) Ranking US cities for bicycle friendliness: And a bit of detail on how the rankings are decided.

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.

Garmin Edge 1030 Firmware Update: New Connect IQ support, new radar support, and an absolute crapton of bug fixes (seriously, that list is massively impressive).

Garmin Forerunner 645/645 Music Firmware Update: Mostly minor improvements/tweaks.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 Firmware Update: It merely says ‘resolved miscellaneous issues’. I’d suggest the VIRB team talk to the Edge 1030 team about how to complete a change log.

Hammerhead Karoo Firmware Update: Ability for user to change/add route mid-ride, plus a boatload of bug fixes and performance tweaks.

Polar M600 Firmware Update: They’ve switched over to the Wear OS branding, and along with that you get an updated version of Android Wear/Wear OS along with a handful of new features.

Have a good remainder of the weekend all!

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  1. The Real Bob

    Lol. Washington DC is high on the list. I have lived a ton of places in the USA. Maryland and DC are the worst places I have ever lived for biking. Madison is truly a great place to hike, tons of trails and bike Lanes. But most importantly friendly people in cars.

    DC you will get honked at, cursed at, and forced of the road. And that is just in Rock Creek Park!

  2. Andrew

    Polar V650 1.5.4 firmware update – Strava Live Segments® and advanced power metrics
    link to support.polar.com

  3. Bill

    Hey Ray, any thoughts on the Ironman TX debacle?

    • (*For those unsure about what we were talking about: link to triathlete.com)

      Yeah, disappointing in a number of ways.

      Maybe I’m old-school, but in my mind an Ironman race should be a minimum of the three standard distances, and that includes the 112 mile bike ride. I get that in the grand scheme of things, two more miles on the bike may not matter…but really, it should. An Ironman is all about the culmination of things, including all the miles. After all, it was in my Ironman Canada race in the last two miles of the bike course a deacde ago that I got hit on the bike**. While it wasn’t serious, had it been, that would have made the difference

      The drafting is simply pathetic. Both on the athletes part but also the race organizers fault. Both are equally to blame here. In the case of that highway for example – that’s the most easy thing on earth to deal with from a drafting standpoint.

      Looking at the massive highway, I just said to myself: Why couldn’t they have added a quick out and back secondary section inset into that mid-race to take care of that distance? Most other Ironman courses don’t have the luxury of a 4-5 lane closed highway, they have people riding on shoulders of country roads. Sometimes a think American’s forget how to do more with less when it comes to real estate (trust me, I was one part of those…).

      ** link to dcrainmaker.com

  4. Raymond Wright

    Can you set up custom activities like Run-bike-run-bike-run on the Suunto?

  5. Janyne Kizer

    No Clever Training spring VIP sale? :-(

  6. Patrick

    One thing that isn’t apparent in the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR review is that the ‘metal band’ version also includes a mineral crystal glass while the non-metal banded ones are a polyamide (kind of a nylon type material). The glass versions definitely look nicer.

  7. Dennis

    Your comments about Sagan social media worth prompted a thought about ad revenue. As far as I know there is no tv or cable-tv coverage of the Giro and the Tour. How can there be ad revenue from the US if no tv (cable in my case) coverage??
    There is an option for purchasing a poorly reviewed streaming service but the reviews are so poor I have not subscribed.
    Wonder what the cycling muckymucks are thinking relegating US coverage of the Giro and other cycling races to poorly reviewed streaming service? Hope it will change in the future and real TV coverage will be at least an option for US cycling fans.

  8. Eric Tiffany

    Any thoughts on the Favero Assioma firmware update where they claim better power accuracy and precision by changing to continuous angular velocity measurement?

    I rode once with the new fw load and — to borrow a joke from Mac forums after macOS updates — I definitely felt snappier. ?