Week in Review–Dec 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:

Wednesday: Polar Vantage V Multisport GPS In-Depth Review
Thursday: Amsterdam Runners: DCR Santa Claus Fun Run – Dec 22nd
Friday: Tacx NEO 2 Smart Trainer In-Depth Review

Heads up: Some final sales

While it’s likely too late to get these items in time for under the tree, you can still at least buy them for yourself or others with an IOU note on it. I’ve got them all listed here.

Wearable and watch deals:

ProductSale PriceAmazonSale Notes
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen with USB-C) - $90 off$168⚡ I've been using these since last fall, after years of using the Beats Studio Buds...man, these things rock. Sure, they're good for sports, but frankly, I use them on planes, editing, and such more than anything else.
Apple Airpods (3rd Gen) - $40 off!$119
Apple Watch SE (2022/2nd gen) - $70 off
$249/$299 (cellular)
$169⚡⚡This is now the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) - a very solid deal, especially with the new WatchOS 11 features around Training Load, Vitals, offline mapping, and more.
Apple Watch Series 9 - $120 off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$279⚡This is the lowest price to date we've seen on the Apple Watch Series 9, and notable, given the huge slate of software updates just annoucned at WWDC last month, coming to the Series 9
Apple Watch Ultra 2 - $100 off$699⚡ This is by far the lowest price we've seen an Apple Watch Ultra 2, to date. Very solid deal, and like the Apple Watch Series 9, it too is getting a huge slate of new features just announced last month for WatchOS 11.
Beats Studio Buds - 47% off
FORM Smart Swim 2 Goggles - $20 off$229
FORM Swim 1 Goggles (with heads-up display) - $30 off$140
Fitbit Ace LTE Kids Activity Smartwatch - 22% off$179⚡This was just announced last month, and this is the first sale we've seen on it. I've (via my kids) been testing it, and am kinda mixed on it. But if you're looking for a deal - it's here!
Fitbit Charge 6 - 38% off!
$99This is the go-to sale price for the Fitbit Charge 6. It happens often, but it still doesn't take away from the fast that it's argueably the best bang for your buck fitness tracker out there.
Fitbit Sense 2 - $70 off$179This is the lowest price we've seen to date for the Fitbit Sense 2, surpassing the previous low record of $199
Fitbit Versa 4 - $40 of$159This is an OK deal. I'd probably just spend the extra $20 to get the Fitbit Sense 2 currently on sale.
Garmin Enduro 2 - $300 off
$599I'm not really sure if I'd call this $500 off like Amazon, as this is on sale a fair bit. That said, if battery life is your key concern - this solves that concern. I did a 8-day 180km trek (with navigation and all features enabled) on this watch on a single charge. Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $400 off!$499⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal. Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates, including new bits just this weekend. ***Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!***
Garmin Epix Sapphire Titanium (Gen 2) - $400 off!$544⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal (insane), and this unit is the Sapphire edition, which has multi-band GNSS on it. Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates, including new bits just this weekend. ***Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!***
Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Sapphire - $250 off!$549⚡⚡ This continues to be a crazy deal, since this is the sapphire edition, which has multiband/dual-GNSS, and also still gets all the latest firmware/feature updates of the newer Garmin Fenix 7 Pro.
Garmin Forerunner 255 Music - 45% off$219⚡⚡This is argueably one of the best budget deals there is, this go around!
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $180 off!$319This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and it's down to an absoultely insane price. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. Note this is the base edition without solar. It'd be hard to find any better deal in sports watches today, from any company (given this has full mapping, tons of new features even this week, etc...). ***Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!*** Also, check both color options for non-solar.
Garmin HRM-DUAL (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Strap) - 32% off!
$47This is Garmin's ideal strap if you just want an affordable dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart option, especially when it's on sale like this - it really becomes one of the best deals out there right now for a multi-connection strap.
Garmin Instinct Crossover Solar - $200 off!$299This is by far the lowest price we've seen this.
Garmin Vivoactive 5 - $35 off!
$265This is Garmin's newest unit in the Vivoactive 5 realm, and is essentially a mini Venu 3.
Google Pixel Watch 2 - $100 off!$299While Google has already announced an early August date for new Pixel devices, the company has also largely brought every feature of the Pixel Watch 2 to the Pixel Watch 1, so I'm not super worried about them cutting off support soon.
Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon - $75 off$425
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 25% off
$75This is a great dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (with two Bluetooth Smart connections) chest strap that you'll often find me using as a reference strap in heart rate sensor testing. We only tend to see deals on it around Black Friday, always topping out around 20%.
Polar H9 Chest Strap - $10 off$50If you're looking for a good solid high-quality strap, that does both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, for a reasonable price...look no further than the Polar H9
Polar Verity Sense - 15% off
SHOKZ OpenFit - Open-Ear Headphones - 31% off$124
SHOKZ OpenRun Pro - Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Headphones - 31% off$124
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 - 47% off$159
Scosche RHYTHM+ 2.0 ANT+ & Bluetooth HR Monitor
$23This isn't the newest chicken on the block, but for $23?!?! That's a crazy good price for something that's actually pretty darn accurate. Really accurate.
Whoop 4.0 with 1-year subscription - 17% off$199This brings down the 1-year price to $17/month, which is the lowest it's been (only way to get that is normally a 24-month membership).

Cycling Gear & Trainers:

ProductSale PriceAmazonSale Notes
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Bundle with all Sensors - 44% off$389I'm a bit conflicted on this one. First up, it's a sensor bundle with HR strap, speed sensor, and cadence sensor. But at the same time, it's the Edge 1030 Plus, which isn't receiving updates anymore. Whereas the deal for the Edge 1040 (no sensors) is incredible at $449, and that's still getting *new features updates* and likely will for the next year or so. Your choice, but I'd personally skip the sensors (since your watch likely already can broadcast HR).
Garmin Edge 1040 Cycling GPS - $150 off!$449The deal is back! After we saw this deal in May, it's returned for Amazon Prime Day. This is notable because the Edge 1050 has launched and with it, the Edge 1040 got plenty of new features as well, kept largely in sync between the two. Definitely a steal.
Garmin Varia RCT715 Camera Radar - $50 off$349
Garmin Varia RVR315 Radar - $50 off$99⚡ This is Garmin's radar without the light, so it's a bit smaller as a result. Same radar tech though, and compatible with Garmin/Stages/Hammerhead/Wahoo bike computers.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off$149This is Garmin's standalone radar+taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price.
Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617) - 27% off$47This is one of the most popular indoor trainer fan companies out there, which rivals the Wahoo Headwind fan but cost a fraction of the price. Of course, it lacks ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but realistically if you really want that you can add a smart outlet for $10 to toggle it on/off from your phone if need be. It's one of the ones in my rotation.
Wahoo BOLT V2 - $45 off
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V2 - 15% off
Wahoo KICKR ROLLR - $90 off

Action Cameras & Drones:

ProductSale PriceAmazonSale Notes
DJI Action 4 - $100 off$299
DJI Air 3 Combo Package - $300 off$1,239If you're looking for an extra zoom lens on the drone (beyond a Mini series drone), and full obstacle avoidance, then the Air 3 is your best bet.
DJI Mini 3 with RC-N1 Remote -$70 off!$349
DJI Mini 4K Drone - $60 off$229This is an incredible deal. I actually picked up one of these back a few months ago to test (haven't quite finished that review), but I've used it in a boatload of review shots since then. Despite me owning all the DJI drones (seriously), this is by far the best value there is.
GoPro Hero 12 Black - $100 off!$299This is the lowest price we've seen on the Hero 12 Black to date, easily surpassing Black Friday last year. It's what I use for all my action cam shots.
HoverAir X1 Drone - $160 off!$309⚡⚡ This has become one of my favorite drones, given it's tiny size (fits in my running shorts pockets) and ease of use. The further updated price of $309 (from $359 at start of sale) is incredible, and by far the lowest price to date.
Insta360 Ace Pro Action Cam - $100 off$349I've been using this a fair bit over the past winter, and it's a solid little contender. In particular, the Garmin/Apple integration to overlay data onto your videos is silly easy to use, and super quick as well.

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!

There hasn’t been a ‘Week in Review’ in a few weeks, and this wasn’t posted elsewhere, so the below might be interesting to folks. At the very least, it was a blast for us. Note that yes, the audio sucks for the first 8 minutes, then we hit a magic button and it’s all good!

Oh – and if you found that interesting, Shane/Des/I did a three-part series that is definitely worthwhile watching:

1) Best Sports Tech of 2018 // Round Table Chat #1
2) Sports Tech Predictions for 2019 // Round Table Chat #2
3) Sports Tech Content Creation // Round Table Chat #3

We had a blast on those, and that’s like hours worth of super geeky sports tech content. Though, the last one is more about how we create content and some of the behind the scenes bits that each of us dive through.

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) New Giant Bike CycloSmart Trainer: Looks like a new direct drive trainer from Giant. The details are just sliding out, but looks like it could be interesting – depending on the pricing (which is TBA as far as I know). The only bit that concerns me is usage of a metal chain internally, which means some sort of maintenance. To me that’s kinda like SRM requiring a bunch of funky tools for their EXAKT pedals (meaning, it’s not relevant in 2018/2019).   However, if it’s priced right and accurate, then it can make up for those ‘concerns’.

2) Founder of CompuTrainer passes away: There’s no denying that CompuTrainer was a pioneer in the indoor training space, and Chuck was one of the nicest guys out there. While I (or you) may not have agreed with their business execution, he was always friendly and happy to chat when I saw him. The first ‘real’ indoor trainer I bought was a CompuTrainer, and then I eventually bought another one later on with The Girl for her.

3) Why I don’t see Wear OS succeeding in fitness: This article, while all about a 3rd party app (Dark Sky), does a great job at explaining the issues these days with Wear OS. It’s just not focusing on things that fitness companies leverage and care about (mainly, battery life). I think for the Fossil’s of the world it continues to be a great option, but there’s just not enough for fitness/sport companies that want really solid battery life.

4) Zwift secures $120 million in expansion funding: This funding is aimed at eSports expansion specifically – and Zwift themselves has been on a blitz of announcements related to that in the last few weeks. While I think eSports is great, I’m less convinced Zwift is putting in place the framework required to police these events and make them meaningful from a controls standpoint (read: cheating).  After all, if you’re getting a national jersey (as Australia will be giving next month), then you should be assured there’s policies and technical enforcements in place to eliminate easy cheating.  I’ve got a piece planned soon about this, so stay tuned there.

5) GoPro CEO podcast interview about company/products: Always interesting to hear CEO’s speak. I’m still not convinced GoPro is positioned to win longer term here, especially with DJI’s recent entrance into the sorta-action cam market (with the OSMO Pocket). While the Hero 7 is awesome (and certainly better than the OSMO Pocket in many ways), DJI’s software capabilities seem to quickly ramp past GoPro (such as active tracking within the camera on the Pocket).

6) Killer whales next to openwater swimmer: In case you didn’t see this – it’s just incredibly amazing. Also, that women…damn….I’d have been out of there faster than you can fart. Click onto full story for quotes from woman.

7) Behind the scenes on Tacx Neo 2 Production: A cool look at what it takes to make a NEO 2, from Shane.

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.

Fitbit Ionic & Versa Firmware Update: Part of a rollout of their new Fitbit OS updates.

Garmin Fenix 5 Series Beta Firmware Update: Minor bug fixes.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Beta Firmware Update: Fixes power meter related bug.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Firmware Update: This has a ton of bug fixes, plus some new features including Swimrun auto sport change and support for Garmin Explore App (Navigation app).

Garmin Instinct Firmware Update: Minor tweaks/fixes.

Garmin Vivoactive HR Firmware Update: Updated Connect IQ, added intensity minutes configuration options.

Garmin Vivosport Firmware Update: Improved battery life, bug fixes.

GoPro Hero 7 Black Firmware Update: A pile of performance and usability tweaks.

GoPro Hero 7 Silver Firmware Update: Adds 1080p for a few specific modes (time-lapse)

GoPro Hero 7 White Firmware Update: Same as Hero 7 Silver.

Wahoo ELEMNT & ELEMNT BOLT Firmware Update: Single bug fix.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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  1. That whale story is nothing. I had AT LEAST 5 ducks chasing me at Shepperton Lake the other week.

    Seriously tho. it’s pretty amazing she kept heading along the shoreline rather than heading for the beech

  2. Tack video is cool indeed. The innards of the neo look well made and more complex than expected with all those magnets and coils. Nice piece of engineering, easy to see why they are expensive. Plus the fact that they are largely made by hand in The Netherlands. Which is not a bad thing IMHO.

  3. joan r.

    Have you seen this Ray?

    link to theregister.co.uk

    No wonder Garmin took so long to dive ( pun intended ) on to that market.

    • Oh wow, I hadn’t seen that.

      But yes, indeed, many people didn’t understand why Garmin is so cautious in that market (and why updates are so slow). Similar to avionics market they’re in too.

  4. likepend1

    suunto spartan update:

    link to suunto.com

    now you can disable/enable sensors before you start am activity. also adding graphs to screens (in activity) is now possible! nicely done!

  5. Steven Works

    So, it wasn’t this week. I was too busy to post when I saw if happpen.

    You hardly post software updates outside of Garmin, and the other big companies such as Fitbit, GoPro, erc.. Specifically you constantly miss the big Garmin competitors Suunto and Polar software updates.

    • I’m not sure I follow. This week included Fitbit, GoPro, and Wahoo. That Suunto release above was over a month ago, and Polar hasn’t released anything in two weeks.

      Ultimately, Garmin simply releases more software updates/features, on more devices. Garmin has roughly 15-20 new hardware releases per year, and each of those devices tends to get about 1 software update every 4-8 weeks for about 1-2 years. So yeah, it adds up.

      GoPro tends to release a firmware update once every 6 months. Fitbit about every 6-8 months. Suunto about once every 3-4 months, and Polar about every 2-3 months for older products, and slightly more frequently for newer products.

      Finally, sometimes I miss Suunto updates because their pages to follow the updates are all over creation, versus the others are a little easier to quickly find. For example, Polar has a single page to quickly glance at.

  6. Eli

    Why would an internal chain require to be maintained? Single speed chains like whats used in car engines can go over 100,000 miles fine. Sealed in so no dirt to worry about

    • Without knowing anything about car engines, I’d assumed those are totally sealed in though? And isn’t there usually oil/lubricant they go through automatically?

      Whereas this has plenty of air gaps, so over time any lubricant would dry out.

    • Eli

      Industrial roller chains are pretty well known items that are much heavier duty (and heavier) then a bike chain if that is your comparison. But the gears it attaches to can be wider so less wear there too. Not all need to be lubed, for example:
      link to chains.ustsubaki.com

      A trainer is a pretty low speed environment, low amount of force on the chain, and easy temp (not too cold or too hot) so all of that lengthens the lifespan of a chain. 1000 watts is 1.34102 horsepower

  7. ReHMn

    That lady was most probably swimming in Orca wetsuit, not in Sailfish…

    Killer whale mom:
    – Kiddos, play or eat! But do not play with food! Oh, wait! I am reading Orca on her, she must be our relative. She is swimming very slowly… Let me push her a little from behind…

    But seriously…You never know in what mood you will find this mammal. In 2010, Shamu in Orlando Seaworld killed his own trainer. I saw Shamu’s performance in 1999 there.

    • ReHMn

      Typo in email address, that’s why no avatar in previous post… Sorry.

    • Eli

      A very social animal that is intelligent and captive killing its jailer (trainer) isn’t the same thing as one in the wild. Still needs to be careful as they may want to play with their food, inspecting the food before eating, don’t know if the Orca thinks you may be a threat, imposing on its territory, etc…..