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:
I use my iPad primarily for TrainerRoad as well as Zwift when not with a larger display. I also occasionally use it for other apps, namely Wahoo SYSTM, Rouvy, and Peloton. But I pretty much test every smart trainer app on it. For all these cycling apps, the graphics capabilities is really pretty irrelevant, so having the absolute top-end/latest model won't make any difference. I prefer the budget options.
⚡⚡ I use this for almost all my Zwifting. This is a fantastic deal, which runs Zwift, RGT, FulGaz, Rouvy, and more. While Apple just released their newest version (2022), virtually no cycling apps have taken advantage of it yet. And thus for now, the edition on sale for $79 seems like a steal.
⚡ I like the PowerBeats Pro with the over-the-ear design, for more security in workouts, than my Beats Studio Buds. I use these as well as my Beats Studio Buds (and have used the PowerBeats Pro ones longer). $100 off is a solid deal.
⚡I've been using these since last summer (2021), primarily on my indoor workouts, but also on some of my runs (for example, in testing out most watches with music). I like them and they've become my go-to buds.
⚡This deal is on DJI's larger FPV drone, the original one. They've also got the smaller but less powerful one too - Avata, which isn't on sale. This is for the FPV combo deal, saving you $400. This includes the drone, FPV goggles, and controller.
This is the second time we've seen the DJI Mavic 3 on sale (for a non-bundled deal). With all the firmware improvements since the fall, it's finally getting to a more stable place in terms of features. Of course, you can also now get the DJI Mavic 3 Classic for a fair bit cheaper, minus the zoom lens. Albeit, I personally think the zoom lens is handy (if used correctly).
⚡This is the first time we've seen this on sale - and so it's actually pretty notable. I don't even think it's supposed to be on sale, but this is just Amazon doing Amazon. This is one of the two main HR straps i use these days (alongside the Polar H10). Either way, definitely take this and run!
⚡This is the first time we've seen the Garmin Instinct 2 series devices (all variants) on sale. The Instinct 2 base is from $249 (on Amazon), a very solid deal - especially with all the major software updates it's had over the last year.
This 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/Bryton, and other bike computers.
This is the first time we've seen this unit on sale, as it only came out earlier this year. It's my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks this year out of cell range already.
⚡ Amazon now has the Hero 11 Black for $100 off the retail price of $499. This does *NOT* require the GoPro subscription (previously called GoPro Plus). The Hero 11 has become my daily action cam (well, actually, I bought two of them).
Google Pixel Buds Pro - Noise Canceling Earbuds (All Colors) - $50 off!
⚡So, the Three Peanuts (girls ages 3/5/6) have used this for over a year now, abd they love it. It's silly simple (there's no real connectivity here), and the videos they ride with are also absurdly laughable. Yet, they love it. Seriously, they fight over it.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee & Espresso Kit - 30% off
⚡ Let's be honest: This place runs on Nespresso (or, well, the knock-off pods we buy). But, the machine is Nespresso. Without it, reviews most definitely would not get done (and certainly not on time). This is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me!
⚡So this has been fluctuating all day between $54 and $75. So it's a bit of luck of the draw. Either way- these are super low prices and great straps. This is one of my main chest straps I use as a reference device in testing. Works great!
I use a small fleet of these T7 SSD's for various video projects, alongside the Sandisk SSD's. I literally have one of each color, just to keep things simple. They work great for quick storage. Note: Different colors have different sale prices - I don't understand why.
I use the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards exclusively for all my video/photo shooting on my Panasonic GH5 and Nikon cameras (video and stills), including up to 6K recording with the GH5. I've mostly used 128's, but more and more lately I'm filling up cards faster with higher bitrates, so this sale is gonna have me pickup a bunch of the 256GB ones instead. The 128GB/ 512GB/1TB ones are also on sale too viathe same link. Note that usually I wait till these are about $40-45, so this is a good, but not yet fantastic deal.
⚡ A very solid deal, making it the least expensive smart bike out there, despite being probably the best built one. (Note: While this sale is marked as 43% off, the reality is most of the time the price hovers around $2,300-2,500) - still, by far the lowest price we've ever seen).
This is the V1 version, whereas the new Tacx NEO Bike Plus came out this past week with some very minor tweaks, however, that bike is $3,999 ($1,300 more than this!). Thus, this kinda looks like a steal.
⚡ This is arguably my wife's favorite sports tech gadget. She uses it pretty much daily. Thus, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this deal. Also, please don't tell her, she might just buy another one...
⚡This is the slightly older ROAM V1, which isn't quite as fancy as the new V2. Still, $200 off is a very solid deal, and it, recently got the new Wahoo Summit Segments feature, as well as other features - so it's still getting the majority (if not all) new firmware features.
This is the lowest price we've ever seen on the Wahoo KICKR AXIS feet, which, if on a hard surface like concrete, will give your KICKR bike slightly more movement side to side. Note these come built-in to the KICKR 2020/2022, but you can install the AXIS feet on all Wahoo KICKR units (not CORE/SNAP).
⚡⚡⚡ This is an incredible deal, by far the lowest the KICKR Bike has ever been. Especially given the just-announced V2 bike is even more expensive now at $4,000. And frankly, aside from built-in WiFi, there's not much otherwise on the newer V2 bike. I plan to take advantage of this deal and finally buy one for myself, this is astounding.
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.
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.
You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2021 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s Gear Guide too.