Massive Deals Round-Up! Hit up the link below for all the best sports tech deals. From huge savings on the Garmin Forerunner 945, Fenix series, Venu AMOLED smartwatch – to the latest Apple (Watch/Airpods/Beats), DJI (Drones/Action Cams), Fitbit, GoPro (Hero 8!), Suunto, and Polar deals. Drones to action cams, activity trackers to smart trainers, watches to cycling GPS units – and plenty more – tracked daily this holiday deals season!
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:
⚡ 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.
⚡ 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.
⚡ 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.
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).
⚡ ⚡ 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.
⚡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
⚡ 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).
⚡ 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.
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).
⚡ 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'.
⚡⚡ 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.
Note: 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.
⚡⚡⚡ 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.
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 2019 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 2018 Gear Guide too.