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Week in Review: July 22nd, 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:

Saturday: Wahoo KICKR 2018 Trainer In-Depth Review
Wednesday: Bontrager Flare RT & Ion 200 RT Connected Bike Lights In-Depth Review
Monday: Amazon Prime Day’s Sports Tech Deals (US and Europe)

And…to give you a bit of a preview till the end of the month, here’s what’s on the near-term radar: Suunto 9 In-Depth Review, Scosche 24 In-Depth Review, plus Eurobike leftover coverage of aero sensors, the Lezyne Mega C and XL units, and a more detailed post of my Stelvio ride outlined in the video below.  Oh, and of course – the Annual DCR Eurobike RV Tour!!!  Plus whatever else I stick in there like the Wahoo CLIMB In-Depth Review soon likely too!  Glad to be done travelling till September (!), and back to knocking out things.

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!

(Actually, I published a crapton on YouTube these past two weeks – so instead of putting all the videos here, hit up the link above to see them all, or, my favs below)

Again, I’ve released some 15 videos in the last two weeks – so definitely hit up the YouTube videos landing page for all the goodness!  And of course whack that subscribe button – slowly closing in on 100,000 YouTube subscribers (thus allowing me to do an entirely unique unboxing!)

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) There’s a Tour de France video game: And apparently it really sucks. Neat to see this article written by someone who seems to be a legit cycling fan.

2) Looking to build a new fitness device/startup? Read this: There’s no better person in this space to ask about the successes and failures of that than Eric, the CEO of Pebble.  He put together a solid piece on this, worthy of a quick read.

3) Nikon appears to have discontinued making 360° cameras: No surprise here. Nikon’s mostly dismal software was really this camera’s major downfall, along with the fact that both GoPro and Garmin quickly more than doubled the resolution of their 360° cameras, leaving Nikon in an odd spot. Also, 360° video is still confusing for most people.

4) Polar in hot water over leaks of private data: This is actually unlike the Strava incident, in that this showed more information than it should have.  Whereas Strava showed information that you told it to show (even if you didn’t realize the impacts of what you were doing).  Polar issued a statement here and has made fixes.

5) Upcoming tariffs could impact Fitbit and other wearables: One thing to keep in mind on this though, is that there’s wide latitude as to how tariffs are applied within a given device. Meaning, it’s not just a 10% or 15% penalty on retail, but rather subcomponents of devices can be tariffed, making the effective tariff much lower in reality.

6) Consumer wearables increasingly being used in clinical trials: No surprise here, a quick overview of some of the major studies and how the tech works (via Mike B.)

7) Golden Cheetah being used by Tour de France teams: Lest you think it’s all sponsored usages of TrainingPeaks and Today’s Plan, open source cycling analytics software Golden Cheetah is also used. (via Brian L.)

8) Dynastream quietly renames itself ‘Garmin Canada’: A message was sent to various ANT+ members, but you’ll notice the change at the bottom of the ANT+ page.  Personally, I think this is a mistake.  At least with the Dynastream corporate branding, they appeared more as non-Garmin than Garmin (ANT+ employees work in a bit of a silo compared to Garmin employees – given they were a wholly owned subsidiary).  But this branding essentially reminds non-Garmin ANT+ members (of which there are hundreds of companies) that ‘At the end of the day, you’re still competing with Garmin’.  While that was certainly true prior to the rename, at least it wasn’t in your face.  Just my two cents.

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 FR935 BETA firmware update: Just minor updates.

…and, apparently that’s it for updates this week. Slow week, guess all the devs are watching Le Tour!

With that – thanks for reading!

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24 Comments

  1. Niklas

    Hi! I noticed Garmin released three new watches, D2 Delta this week. Will you review them?

    • No, I don’t plan to. While I have a huge love of aviation (which is what the D2 is for – pilots), I just wouldn’t be able to really accurately review it without an aircraft and lots of PIC time.

    • Niklas

      Thats a pity!

    • Chris Benten

      Because Ray does not have a plane??

    • Dave Lusty

      A friend has one of the older models and it’s identical to the normal Fenix in every way except that it is able to auto-detect a flight take off and start an activity. Other than that it’s just a watch face and an extra app. He said it was good for flying but given the other instruments that are present in every plane the main use for it was automatically logging flight hours rather than doing it manually from other instruments.

    • Niklas

      Pity, because he will not review it.

  2. BillyBobJoe (That's just my first name)

    So, you’re not going to discuss the publicly available images of the Wahoo Rival? It looks so bulky

    Also, Polar is coming out with a new watch. The high tier will be the long awaited replacement to the v800. (And it’s going to be round) Is that not newsworthy?

    • Ray has NDAs so isn’t able to comment on unreleased watches until he’s told he can. You’ll notice that TFK generally also avoids this more now that he’s getting review units. That’s the whole reason the rumour site exists, and that’s often wrong because these companies (Wahoo excepted) have really tightened up their security in recent years. Polar have always been pretty tight lipped until release day, and manage the FCC process well. Garmin always leak a few weeks in advance, usually through a retailer “accident” but they used to put pics on their own site months inadvance which could be found with Google. Garmin also used to be hopeless at FCC filings but are improving which means not much advance info unfortunately.

  3. Chris Benten

    Wow that Climb sure looks shaky. Is it supposed to move that much side-to-side?

  4. MattH

    Great to hear the scosche R24 review is nearly ready. Very keen to hear your thoughts on the swimming sync issues

  5. Tim

    935 beta updates may not be so minor- it seems the 935 update that added Gallileo May have broke open water swim (perhaps like the new Fenix series?). The beta claims to improve this.

    Any confirmation from you that the 935 is indeed broken, or if the beta does fix it?

    Cheers!
    Tim

    • Yeah, Garmin sent over a Fenix 5+ firmware update that was supposed to address the swim issues I saw. I haven’t had time to try it yet in the water.

      I had hoped to last Friday, but other reviews got in the way. This week for sure.

  6. Worf

    Any chance of a amazfit stratos review?

  7. Bailey

    920XT also had a firmware update:

    link to forums.garmin.com

  8. Patrick

    +1 more on your YouTube subscriber list! Have a great week!

  9. Jesper Halding

    I’m looking forward to your Suunto 9 review!

  10. Jeff

    Hi are you going to review the new explova x5 evo anytime soon ? Thanks I love your in depth reviews.

  11. Andrew

    Eric, the CEO of Pebble states “If you make an excellent long-lasting product, you will not earn another dime from that customer for a while”. I now understand Garmin marketing strategy?

  12. Clément

    About “1) There’s a Tour de France video game: And apparently it really sucks. Neat to see this article written by someone who seems to be a legit cycling fan.”
    Disappointing to have such a comment Ray 🙁

    If your read carefully the test, it doesn’t suck as you say… maybe the tester thought that with a niche game you can afford to make a FIFA-like with 1/100 of the budget, but there are just more to see behind the visual appearance.
    He give bad feedbacks on 3D/tech but still it’s far more various and technically better than a Zwift for instance.

    We (developpers) are fan of the sport, also (real) cyclists ourself for many of us.
    If you want to join one day to our office (Nanterre, near Paris), we’d be delighted to show you how we work and what we do 🙂

    • Hi Clément-

      The challenge is that consumers (such as this reviewer) don’t care about your budget, nor should they. You’re competing for the same consumers dollars, no matter the competition’s funding.

      In re-reading that review, I struggle to find much positive in there except the 45 minutes of button pressing as a good proxy for becoming tired. I’m not sure how else I could have phrased it. A game that doesn’t account or have any crashes? Crashes are *the epicenter* of how the TdF shifts leaders throughout the stages, either directly or indirectly.

      I’ve no doubt there’s a lot to recreate over the course of of 21 stages, and I totally get reusing of assets. But ultimately, that’s sorta the challenge with trying to take-on a game that covers so much land – and the ability (or inability) to execute that.

      Cheers.

    • Clément

      Thanks for your answer Ray, that’s nice to do it.

      I get your point and obivoulsy i understand well that consummer don’t care about the budget but what you miss probably on this point :
      – first our game is not in the same price range as a FIFA (+/- 70-80€ vs 40-45€. so yes budget matters a bit (like if you pay 450€ vs 800€ for a smart trainer you don’t get exactly the same experience/techno behind…)
      – second, comparing what a football simulation and a cycling simulation provides is a bit tricky. If there were a AAA cycling game that would be FIFA-like, it would be possible to say what you said. Actually it’s a bit like if you would like to want to compare a movie like Avatar and a romance movie.
      Lots of players are very happy with this game (some are unhappy too, but you can find dozens of unhappy players too for FIFA or whatever AAA game).. It’s not an ON/OFF thing, you have nuances between. And there is a real story by playing this game.
      A video game is not just like a competition of the most beautiful thing, it’s an experience, there are game mechanics and a story that you can write yourself by playing.

      The final message i get when I read your stuff is a bit like : don’t give a shit to this game, it’s a trap. A lot of cycling fans could love this game and unlike the original test (that you trust without having yourself tried it), they won’t care that graphism are not “GTA-like”.

      About the falls : there are falls, unlike what the tester said! First if you come too fast in a corner without turning you fall (so what the tester said is wrong…sorry) and for other falls like touching another rider, just try to reflect 30 seconds about why we didn’t make that ?
      And even the tester say that and understand why we didn’t take this path in the gameplay : ‘Some of this, I suspect, would be tricky to implement in a video game. Who wants to spend an hour summiting Alpe d’Huez, only to tumble from a bottle thrown by an angry spectator? It would feel worse than a blue shell in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”
      The falls are random and sometimes make a bit of drama.

      As long as you start a review by “The biggest problem is the visuals” it means (in the video game industry) that the game is not that bad, otherwise you would start elsewhere. It’s really the same as saying : god the biggest problem of this bike is the color paint choice.

      From “The basic gameplay” to “unless you tap one of the bumper buttons” it’s quite good/positive but you don’t get it.
      Then “can be boring” => yes as a real cycling race => that’s exactly why you have the possibility to make fast acceleration so the race never really last 45 minutes but 10-20 minutes of main actions 🙂

      For the landscape, even if there are a bit of repeat, it’s really not like said in the test, we have so many environnements, buildings, trees, fields, lakes, from south to north, specific items (like Champs Elysées)….
      Again if you want to see yourself one day during the developpement of the game, you’re welcome we can explain and show you what’s behind the scene 🙂
      As a tech/geek sportguy you should enjoy how all this stuff is process.