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 PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $30 off
$119I 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 Airpods (2nd Gen) - $50 off
$99⚡⚡ This is the lowest price AirPods have ever been - this is solid! I 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. Also, with the wireless charging case for $50 off. Personally, I just use the basic model.
Apple Watch Series 6 - (40mm)- $50 Off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$349This is now the best deal we've seen on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones - $50 off
$199⚡ These are my daily driver headphones that I use for all my trainer rides, and anything else sport related. While they're not perfect (namely the charging case), it's what I keep going back to every day because of the seamless Apple ecosystem integration (iPad/Apple TV/iOS/Mac).
Fitbit ACE 2 Activity Tracker for Kids - $20 Off$49
Fitbit Charge 4 - 33% off!
$99⚡ This just came out earlier this year, so this is a pretty solid deal for sure!
Fitbit Inspire 2 - 30% off
Fitbit Sense - $50 off!
$279This is the first time we've seen the brand new Fitbit Sense on sale. Not a bad deal at all!
Fitbit Versa 2 - $50 off$129⚡ If you don't need the new features of the Versa 3 (of which, there are almost none except for built-in GPS), then this is a great option.
Garmin FR935 - $100-$200 off
$289⚡ Sure, it's not the latest edition, but the FR935 is the staple of many triathletes and runners, and it still an incredible solid watch. We saw this a bit lower last month on Amazon Prime Day ($239). Also, I say $100-$200 off, because the 'base' price fluctuates a bit these days. Sometimes retail is $399 sometimes $499.
Garmin Fenix 6 Series - $150 all models
$150 off⚡⚡ This deal is back! This is a great deal that showed up last spring, and it also includes the newly launched Fenix 6/6S Solar units from this past summer
Garmin Forerunner 245 - $50 off
$249Both the Forerunner 245 is on sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date.
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music - $50 off$299Both the Forerunner 245 Music is sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date. The FR245 Music supports Spotify, Amazon Music, and other streaming platforms.
Garmin Forerunner 45/45S - $50 off
$149If you're looking for a runners focused watch, there's no better deal on the market than this. Period. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series. Seriously, this is a solid deal.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
$399/$449 (with music)
$257This isn't a bad price per se, but for $20 more you'll get so much more watch out of the FR935 deal. However, that doesn't include music, whereas this FR645 Music Deal Does. Also, the 51% off is per list, but realistically we're talking about $70 off normal prices.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT - $70 off
$219This is still a really good deal for a full featured triathlon watch. Sure, it got down to $169 for Amazon Prime Day, but this is still a solid price.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - 5% off
$568Hey...some discount is better than no discount!
Garmin Forerunner 945 Bundle (with HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM) - $80 off$669This is a good deal, in fact, the best deal on the FR945 we've seen in 2020. I don't anticipate this lasting long
Garmin Foreruuner 35 - $50 off
$92If you're looking for a solid budget GPS running watch, it's hard to go wrong here. Sure, it's a few years old now, but it'll track your race just fine and upload to Garmin Connect and all the other Strava-like sites as well.
Garmin HRM-PRO - $10 off!
Garmin Instinct - $80 off
$149⚡ Sure, the new Solar variants came out this summer with a few new features, but at their core the Instincts are mostly the same. Still, $149 is the lowest price the Instinct has ever been at.
Garmin Instinct Solar - $100 off
$299This is the first time we've seen a deal on the Garmin Instinct Solar, and the best deal I expect we'll see for a while.
Garmin Swim 2 - $50 off
$199This is only the 2nd time we've seen the Garmin Swim 2 on sale. And as part of my in-depth review I found it easily the most accurate openwater swim watch GPS-wise I've ever tested. Which, is good, since most pools seem to be closed these days. :-/
Garmin Tactix Charlie - $150 off$599The Tactix Charlie is essentially a Fenix geared towards military folks (Amazon Prime Days)
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $100 off!
$249This is about the lowest we've seen yet for the Garmin Venu GPS, which includes an AMOLED display as well as music (even Spotify offline). Solid deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 3
$119⚡ Obviously this is the previous edition, but dang, it's still a good price for a great little GPS watch. This has mostly been on sale at this price range for a while now, however, I've included it in the list merely because if you're looking for a deal then this is probably one of the best deals out there.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music - $50 off
$149⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!
Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S - $65 off
$235This is Garmin's current offering to compete with the Apple Watch series (alongside the Garmin Venu), and this is a good price, though, not as low as we saw for Amazon Prime Day at $199.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 3 - 25% off$59Sale includes all Vivofit Jr 3 variants.
Jaybird Vista Wireless Headphones - 12% off!
Polar Ignite GPS - 12% off!
$201It's a good watch, and the 12% brings it down to roughly where it should be priced at anyway. :)
Polar OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - 20% off!
$63⚡ I love this little sensor, and you'll see it in almost every one of my watch/HR sensor reviews as a comparison/reference strap. It's just so darn accurate and so easy to use. Every optical HR sensor (and app with it) should aspire to be what this thing is.
Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds - 39% off$79This are obviously super popular, and having them be 31% off ought to make them even more popular. Wireless Charging Case included.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 - $60 off$339This is a pretty new watch, so $60 off is a solid discount!
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 - 28% off$179
Suunto 5 GPS Multisport Watch - 35% off
$199⚡ A very strong deal for this complete multisport watch that I really like. Well nailed on price here.
Suunto 7 Wear OS Watch - 30% off
$349⚡ This is now the lowest price this watch has ever been at - and definitely a price to pick it up if you were in the market for it.
Suunto 9 - 46% off!
$599 (non-baro is $499)
$346This is about a good a deal as we've ever seen in the US for the Suunto 9.

Cycling Gear & Trainers:

ProductSale PriceAmazonSale Notes
Garmin Edge 1030 - $150 off!
$399-$469⚡ This is a pretty solid deal for this unit, especially since it's getting a number of the recently announced 1030 Plus features later this year. Note: This price keeps floating up/down hourly.
Garmin Magnetless Sensors Cadence/Speed Bundle - 24% off$53This bundle includes both the dual ANT+/BLE Speed & Cadence sensors (V2), and is notable because the speed sensor not only transmits like any other, but also records your rides even when you don't have a bike computer/watch paired to it - making it perfect for commuter bikes. Both sensors are fully compatible with basically every app/watch/bike computer out there.
Garmin Speed Sensor V2 - 18% off!$32This is Garmin's latest ANT+/Bluetooth Smart speed sensor, but notably, it's also one that can record your rides without being connected to a bike computer, making it perfect for tracking mileage on a commuter bike. I'm super tempted to pickup a few of these and outfit all our commuter/cargo bikes for 2021 to see what the mileage/breakdown by trip/etc looks like at the end of the year. Yes, I'm a geek.

Action Cameras & Drones:

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
DJI OSMO Action (Action Cam) - Normally $329
$199⚡ This is a very solid price for the DJI OSMO Action, and it's a very strong first contender from DJI to compete with the Hero 7 Black (realistically, except for the dual-screen, it simply doesn't compete with the Hero 8 or Hero 9). I really like a lot of elements on the OSMO Action, but especially the dual-screen. Check out my full review for comparative thoughts. While I would have said that maybe we'd see a new OSMO Action sometime this past spring (an annual refresh cycling), I'm pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening for a while.
GoPro Hero 8 Black Camera Bundle - $70 off!$279-$299⚡ The Hero 8 is still a great camera, so if you don't need the extra bits of the newer Hero 9, this saves you a $100 in comparison. Plus, this includes an extra battery, shorty stick/tripod, head mount, and 32GB MicroSD Card. Note: Price seems to fluctuate a bit between $279 and $299.
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off$399⚡ This is actually the first time we've seen the Hero 9 on sale. Note that if you're a GoPro Plus Subscriber, then it's a bit cheaper at $349 from GoPro directly, but otherwise, it's $449.
Insta360 One R Action Cam - 15% off$466The entire lineup of Insta360 One R action cams are 15% off, including the 1" and 360 variants. Overall it's a good cam with good picture clarity (I've mainly used the 1" 5.3K variant), but I find the software really lets it down.

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…..