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’:

Current Deals

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 11th, 2019 @ 5:42 pm
4iiii Fliiiight Smart Trainer with Viiiiva dual ANT+/BLE HR strap bundle - Normally $599$499⚡ 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.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $20 off$139I use AirPods primarily when I'm travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc... I don't tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out.
Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)$169⚡ This unit recently got reduced to $199, and now it's down to $169...though it seems to come and go on Amazon - so keep your eyes watching!
Apple Watch Series 4 - $100 off!$299⚡ 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. Note: Like the other Apple deals, this seems to come and go - so I'm leaving it here since it's like an every other day thing.
Apple Watch Series 5 - $20 off$379It'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.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones (Renewed)$199⚡ These are what I've been mostly using lately for workouts, primarily indoors. They're great, though, I'm not a huge fan of the charging case. The fact that they're $50 for getting a factory reconditioned seems like a solid deal to me.
Fitbit ACE 2 - $10 Off$59
Fitbit Charge 3 HR Fitness Band - $30 Off$119
Fitbit Inspire - $10 Off$59
Fitbit Inspire HR - $20 Off$79
Fitbit Ionic - $50 Off$199
Fitbit Ionic Adidas Edition - $50 Off$229
Fitbit Versa 2 - $70 OFF!$129
Fitbit Versa Lite - $60 Off$99
Garmin Cadence Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off$35Note: 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
Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS - 11% off!$265⚡ ⚡ 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) - $200 Off$399⚡This is a strong deal on the Fenix 5 Plus series from Clever Training. 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. Add coupon code FENIX50 to save an additional $50 (bringing it down to $399
Garmin Fenix 5 Series - 50% off$299 and up⚡ 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
Garmin Forerunner 645 and 645 Music - 45% off$199/$245⚡⚡ This is a great deal for this watch. Sure, it's nearly 2 years old - but it's gotten a ton of updates since it was launched, including Spotify and Amazon Music support.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $349$219-$236⚡ 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 Forerunner 945 - $100 Off$499⚡⚡ This is a super hot deal - first time we've seen the FR945 on sale.
Garmin HRM-RUN (with Running Dynamics) - $20 off$79This 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!)$139Another rare Amazon sale on the HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM straps. Also individually for 30% off too at same link.
Garmin Instinct - $100 Off$199
Garmin Instinct Tactical- $100 Off$249
Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 17% off$57Allows 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⚡ 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
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $100 off!$299⚡⚡ This is a very good deal - and the first time we've seen the Venu on sale. I've been using it for more than two months now, and it's largely pretty stable for me at this point and working well. It's Garmin's first go at a high-end AMOLED display.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Normally $249$116-$129⚡⚡⚡ 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⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - $50 off$299⚡ This is the first discount we've seen on the Vivoactive 4 since it launched about two months ago - so definitely a solid deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 First Avenger Smartwatch- $50 Off$349
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Legacy Saga Darth Vader - $50 Off$349
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 - $20 Off$49Sale includes all Jr 2 Disney and non-Disney variants
Garmin Vivomove HR - $50 Off$149
Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $30 Off$98** Amazon currently $98 ; Clever Training $109
Garmin Vivosport GPS Band - Normally $169$119If you want a band (as opposed to a watch-form factor), and if you want GPS - then frankly there's no better GPS sport option than this one. And hey - $50 off ain't too shabby!
GoPro Hero 7 Black with 32GB- $30 Off$299
Kinetic R1 Smart Trainer with Motion (+ cassette included) - 20% off $759Note: Clever Training is now including an 11-speed cassette in the bundle as of Nov 22nd. I've just begun my in-depth review testing on this unit, after a substantial firmware update and one more I expect in the next 24hrs or so. I hope to have more clarity in the coming days.
Polar OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - $18 off$61⚡ This is one of my favorites, and I use it constantly for HR accuracy testing comparisons.
Polar Vantage M GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $279$167⚡⚡⚡ 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⚡ 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).
Tacx NEO 2 Smart - $200 off!$1049⚡ This is a great deal, especially considering there's such little difference between the NEO 2 and the NEO 2T.
Wahoo KICKR + CLIMB Bundle - $200 off!$1,599This is a simple bundle of the Wahoo KICKR 2018 + the KICKR CLIMB, for $1,599.

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. 😉