Week in Review–Nov 4th, 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: Week in Review–October 27th, 2018
Tuesday: Tacx Flux S Trainer In-Depth Review
Wednesday: Tech Tidbits: Spotify on Garmin FR645 Music, New COROS Helmets, No Apple Watch ECG Yet
Thursday: Hands-on: Tacx NEO 2 Smart Trainer
Friday: The Smart Trainer Annual Recommendations Guide–2018 Edition

Heads Up – Solid Trainer Deal:

There’s still a handful of Tacx Flux 1 units available left in the sale that started about four weeks ago.

Tacx Flux 1 Sale: This is the updated 2018 variant that includes all the internal tweaks for better performance/stability. The Flux is down to $699 (from $799).  The singular difference between this and the just announced Tacx Flux S is that unit has support for longer derailleur cages. That’s it!

This is an awesome deal for trainers that are available today, at least while supplies last. While it’s not silent like the new KICKR CORE at $899, you are saving $200 (and you can get it today versus the backordered KICKR CORE).

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.

1) A GoPro Attached to an Eagle flies through stadium: Of course, the impressive part here is GoPro’s stabilization. Also, the fact that the eagle didn’t just stop and eat some popcorn along the way.

2) Controversy over unpaid high-schoolers manufacturing Apple Watches: Didn’t see that one coming. But good on Apple for quickly stepping up to the plate on it and investigating.

3) Zwift Interval Art Contest: Not gonna lie, the starting benchmark is pretty damn impressive. You basically make artwork out of your workout.

4) Running two KICKR’s connected: I saw this when Shane first posted it back in August, but totally forgot to include it in my Week in Review that week. Clearly, it deserved it then, and still does now.

5) Debate on wearing a cycling helmet: If one’s going to write an in-depth piece on it, then there’s no better piece to read than this. Debate as you wish, but at least read his piece first (and add to the debate there).

6) Spotify coming to Apple Watch soon: Spotify has released to their beta testers Apple Watch support. That’ll mark a solid swing of new platforms in the last month, including Garmin, some WearOS watches, and Apple. Fitbit must be feeling pretty left out right now.

7) Tesla’s Elon Musk says they’re considering an ebike: Note that the linked article has renderings, but they’re not from Tesla. Still, worth a quick glance of the quotes.  (via Slowtwitch Forums)

8) Apple Watch FDA clearance didn’t leverage large heart study: This isn’t really a surprise per se, but is important to note to debunk some rumors out there. The study wasn’t done on the new AW4 devices, which means said devices wouldn’t have had the tech in them that was being studied.  Apple is one of the most secretive companies out there in consumer tech, they certainly weren’t going to have 400,000 people somehow accessing something that was supposedly secret.

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 and a few other firmware updates.

Garmin Edge 520 BETA firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Forerunner 230/235/630 BETA firmware updates: All minor Bluetooth Smart related tweaks.

Garmin Forerunner 645 BETA firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin VIRB 360 firmware update: Added support for 5.7K timelapses, plus a few other minor tweaks.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Lezyne Y10 and Y12 Firmware Updates: Some stability improvements, some bug fixes. Basically, any Lezyne device bought in the last 14 months gets this update.

Wahoo KICKR CORE Firmware Update: Fixes sprint power issue myself and others saw in the past.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Raymond Wr

    Don’t see a lot(any) Suunto 9 updates. Are they making any effort in fixing the bugs you found.

  2. Lieven

    The cycling helmet guy is a typical example of somebody using wrongly interpreted statistics to come to a ridiculous conclusion. It’s just scary that this guy uses foul arguments to convince people not to wear a helmet.

    • I think it is a thorough and sensible write-up. Funny that you think he is using “foul arguments”. Did you read it all and follow the links in the article? Did you know that there is plenty of research that concludes that helmet laws can make cycling more dangerous? Apart from the adverse effect on general health.

      There is plenty info to find on one of the sites that the author links to: link to cyclehelmets.org

    • Sascha

      So you didn’t actually read the article. Too bad.

    • Jon

      I think we can agree that helmets are more protective than your skull when you hit the ground with your head. Now go back and read the article again.

    • Greg T

      I did read the article and have certainly noticed some things riding here in the US:
      -when riding kitted out in spandex i.e. training for road cycling or triathlon: cars on back roads tend to get frustrated quickly if delayed even the slightest to pass but while riding solo they take even more risks than when riding in a larger group with multiple witnesses…people sometimes just aren’t patient and the consequences for hitting a cyclist are very lax…since a car will win in a collision, many folks (myself included) tend to ride the trainer more, mountain bike more, riding in groups more often, or ride more on bike/run trails w/o cars
      -when commuting to work, I wear a reflective vest or jacket depending on the weather and interestingly enough, cars tend to give me more space…I have no law or mandate to be seen other than front and rear lights at dusk and dawn but I want to be as visible as possible
      -“the automotive industry trying to push responsibility onto cyclists’ shoulders” is a huge argument with a lot of nuisances to it…right or wrong the car industry is huge and wields considerable influence but one of the key realities is that people drive very distractedly and then we call crashes resulting from this ‘accidents’ even if they ran over a cyclist
      -we all accept a certain amount of risk in our daily lives and hobbies, I can certainly understand that wearing a helmet may make some people take extra risk/go faster because of a perceived safety net…people should accept the consequences of the risks they take…in our ever hurried lives maybe cars and cyclist should slow down a little to reduce risks…
      -in my opinion, wearing a helmet is a preventative measure for my big ol brain no matter what speed or surface I’m riding on and so I just wear it…at the same time, I know a car will always win and so I work to be visible and work towards safer infrastructure for cyclist (bike lanes, separate bike paths, etc.) and I try to ride as if I was invisible so even a car aiming to cut me off with a right hook or someone opening the door of a parked car cannot hit me

    • Mike Richie

      Wow, those suggesting that reading the whole article and looking at the studies would not lead you to the conclusion that this guy is like those denying climate change are not right. The studies he references Do Not say what he says they do. For example, a supposed study that compares eight countries use of helmets with traffic fatalities – if you follow the links they don’t even say where there data comes from, but is almost certainly from non comparable sources and even if somewhat true is likely attributable to other causes then the use of helmets. One of the studies he links to in Scientific American refences a small, somewhat anecdotal (I.e., only one persons helmet use) study that suggests that drivers give slightly wider berth to those riding without helmets, but even in that article SA references a real study that reports that in 97% of bicycle fatalities in NYC cyclist were not wearing a helmet. Most of the article is him complaining about being called out for not wearing a helmet. Maybe it should be personal choice, but suggesting that riding without a helmet is not more dangerous is just plain wrong! I wonder if this debate isn’t being spurred on by the bike share folks, who have a financial interest in changing the laws, health outcomes be damned.

  3. ubrab

    Can’t wait for the helmet article comments.

    This is an article about:
    – an individual’s impressions after not wearing a helmet (feeling more cautious and feeling cars being more cautious with him), it’s NOT A STUDY
    – the ill-effects on focusing on helmets and policies about helmets while the real topic should be proper cycling infrastructure (key and important topic)
    – the topic of each individual’s freedom versus the risk he’s facing, and how ridiculous some of the backlash towards cyclists who are not wearing helmets can be in comparison of the much greater dangers everyone is facing on a daily basis

    I don’t like the fact that it looks like he reluctantly points out the multiple surveys showing that yes, in an event of a crash, wearing a helmet can diminish by 40-70% the risk of death or serious head injury (solo crashes, if I recall correctly it has little to no impact in case of a collision with a vehicle) which are the most important data points one should consider when thinking about wearing a helmet or not.
    I’ve seen no conclusive study(including the one linked) showing that user behaviour (riders/vehicles around) compensates that extra security provided by a helmet

    The conclusion on that topic to me is:
    – it is demonstrably safer to wear a helmet than to not wearing one in case of a solo crash, but nearly useless when a collision with a vehicle occurs
    – however it should be up to each individual to decide and that individual should not be judged/berated for his choice in case he does not wear one
    – political debates should not be centered around helmets, but rather around infrastructure

    • Andrew

      It was an interesting opinion piece and I read it as such, I didn’t even draw any conclusion from it.

      I also agree up to a point, that it should be up to individuals to decide and we should have a civilized debate around personal responsibilities. My caveat is if a country decides to enact helmet wearing as law, then the place to discuss it is with politicians. eg Australia

      I’m personally a big believer in wearing a helmet, having come off second best with cars, trees, and wildlife over the years. But I also don’t think it is easy to compare results from one country with another in the discussion as the infrastructure and driver attitude varies hugely.
      Netherland is IMHO probably the best example in the world with very clever streetscape design and intersections design to reduce risk and encourage cycling.

  4. Rob

    I don’t think helmet author contributes much to the overall debate. I have a feeling he is quick to believe what he wants to – he is quick to dismiss “flawed” studies that suggest helmets are safer but is quick to accept studies that align with his views. There are too many examples in his article to quote but he is as guilty of misrepresenting studies as the ones he derides.

  5. Gordon Freeman

    This article about Tesla is so devoid of critical thinking it’s funny. But seriously, I’m not sure I like when a carmaker decides to make bikes.

    I feel like, because they make cars, they have a clear incentive to not make great bikes! To an extent, bikes and cars compete for people’s time (e.g. for commuting), so how would a carmaker – which goal will always be to have people in cars as much as possible – actually find solutions that put people on bikes? Particularly a luxury carmaker – surely it would require selling more than a hundred bikes to make the same margin as a single Tesla car!
    But the reason this annoys me even more than Porsche or BMW making bikes, it’s that there seems to be an underlying thinking which is that Tesla is a “clean” company, so well suited to make bikes. But that’s BS. They’re not clean. They’re just slightly less disgusting than other car companies. They still rely on extremely polluting manufacturing processes as all heavy industries do, and they still take all the space in cities, and they’re still putting pedestrian lives in danger, and still preventing people from exercising…

    It’s like petrol companies investing in wind power. At best it looks like hedging, and at worst like a PR stunt. You get a serious media following on this Tesla story, but no one asks why they’d even do it!

    If anything, if history – and the tone of the article – is to be taken in account, it only leads to over-engineered prototypes that no one can afford and even fewer can do maintenance on. In order for people to cycle, you need cheap bicycles and simple solutions, and I don’t see how Elon Musk could deliver this.

    If some Chinese-government-funded mega-factory said they aimed to start mass-producing e-bikes, I would be much more likely to believe in a ” paradigm shift in the industry” than this, because it would look much more like the paradigm shift that happened with the car industry after WW2 when governments everywhere started to subsidize carmakers to make cheap cars for everyone.

  6. VPaul

    I think something like the Hovding is the “helment” solution for bicycling going forward. There’s no visible helmet so cars will still keep a good distance from you and assume you don’t have a helmet. And not feeling a physical helmet on your head might stop you from riding recklessly.

  7. Mike Richie

    Spotify coming to the Apple Watch is great news, BUT, so far even the beta is just for controlling playback (which can already be done in a more limited way with the regular playback control) and not for off line download. Hopefully this will presage a more full featured app like those on the Garmin.