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) - $50 off!
$79⚡These aren't the latest anymore, that's the newer 3rd gen units. But if budget is in mind, it's hard to beat these - seriously, at $79 it's the lowest price these have ever been.
Apple Airpods Pro (2nd Gen) - $50 off!
Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen/2022) - 8% off
$229⚡This is the first time we've seen the new Apple Watch SE (2nd gen) on sale!
Apple Watch Series 8 - $50 off!
$399/$499 (cellular)
$349⚡This is only the 2nd time we've seen the new Apple Watch SE (2nd gen) on sale!
Apple Watch Ultra - $50 off!$749⚡This is only the second time we've seen the Apple Watch Ultra on sale, and appears to be for all band styles as well! And it's not only in-stock, but even for same-day delivery in some areas.
Apple Watch Ultra - $50 off!$749⚡This is only the second time we've seen the Apple Watch Ultra on sale, and appears to be for all band styles as well! And it's not only in-stock, but even for same-day delivery in some areas.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones - $100 off
$149⚡ I like the PowerBeats Pro with the over-the-ear design, for more security in workouts, than my Beats Studio Buds. I use these as well as my Beats Studio Buds (and have used the PowerBeats Pro ones longer). $100 off is a solid deal.
Beats PowerBeats Studio Buds - $60 off
$89⚡I've been using these since last summer (2021), primarily on my indoor workouts, but also on some of my runs (for example, in testing out most watches with music). I like them and they've become my go-to buds.
Garmin Fenix 7 Series (All Models/Styles) - $100 off!
From $599⚡This is the first time we've seen the Fenix 7 series on sale! This sale is $100 off all Fenix 7 series models, be it in the Fenix 7S/7/7X or any of the Sapphire/Solar variants.
Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Sapphire - $250 off!$751⚡⚡ While most of the Fenix 7 series is $100 off, this particular unit is $250 off, which is a massive savings!
Garmin Fenix 7X Solar Sapphire - $150 off!$849⚡⚡ While most of the Fenix 7 series is $100 off, this particular unit is $250 off, which is a massive savings!
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus - 22% off
$101⚡This is the first time we've seen this on sale - and so it's actually pretty notable. I don't even think it's supposed to be on sale, but this is just Amazon doing Amazon. This is one of the two main HR straps i use these days (alongside the Polar H10). Either way, definitely take this and run!
Garmin Instinct 2 Series - $100 OffFrom $249⚡This is the first time we've seen the Garmin Instinct 2 series devices (all variants) on sale. The Instinct 2 base is from $249 (on Amazon), a very solid deal - especially with all the major software updates it's had over the last year.
Garmin Instinct 2/2S Solar - $50 OffFrom $399
Garmin Instinct 2/2S Surf - $100 OffFrom $299
Google Pixel Buds Pro - Noise Canceling Earbuds (All Colors) - $50 off!$149⚡This is the first time we've seen a sale on these, given they were just announced about 5 weeks ago.
Google Pixel Watch - 15% off!$299⚡This is the first time we've seen the (just released) Google Pixle Watch on sale!
Polar Grit X - 17% off
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 40% off
$54⚡So this has been fluctuating all day between $54 and $75. So it's a bit of luck of the draw. Either way- these are super low prices and great straps. This is one of my main chest straps I use as a reference device in testing. Works great!
Polar Ignite 2 - 22% off
$179While the Polar Ignite 3 just came out, this is a reasonable deal on the older model.
Polar Pacer - 15% off!$170I believe this is the first time we've seen the Polar Pace (base unit) on sale. Note - specifically the black/grey people.
Polar Pacer Pro - $80 off!
$219⚡I believe this is the first time we've seen the Polar Pace Pro on sale. Note - specifically the red/white one is $219, the others are $230-$240.
Polar Vantage M2 - 20% off!
Scosche RHYTHM+ 2.0 - 44% off!
Suunto 5 Peak - $60 off!
$239This is Suunto's mid-range/budget multisport GPS unit, and at $239 it's a solid deal.
Suunto 9 Peak - $170 off
$399While Suunto recently released the newer Suunto 9 Peak Pro, this existing model still benefits from many of the software updates.

Cycling Gear & Trainers:

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus - $200 off
$391⚡While the newer Edge 1040 came out this past summer, the Edge 1030 Plus is still an incredibly solid bike computer - arguably the 2nd best bike computer (behind the Edge 1040).
Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS - $50 off!
$249⚡ This matches last year's Black Friday sale, and is the lowest price to date on the Edge 530. This is one of the main units I use for my day-to-day riding and testing.
Garmin Varia RCT715 Camera Radar - $50 off$349This is the first time this product has been on sale, since announcement earlier this year.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off
$149This is Garmin's standalone radar/taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. This product is universally loved, and works with Garmin/Wahoo/Stages/Hammerhead/Bryton, and other bike computers.
Quarq DZero DUB (Road) PM Spider - 40% off$250⚡This is a major deal. SRAM has allowed retailers to put things on sale that were never allowed before, including power meters. This is the road/gravel variant of the MTB one I use (the XX1).
Quarq DZero DUB XX1 PM Spider - 40% off$449⚡This is a major deal. SRAM has allowed retailers to put things on sale that were never allowed before, including power meters. This is the same exact model I use on my mountain bike. Works well.
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V1 - $200 off
$199⚡This is the slightly older ROAM V1, which isn't quite as fancy as the new V2. Still, $200 off is a very solid deal, and it, recently got the new Wahoo Summit Segments feature, as well as other features - so it's still getting the majority (if not all) new firmware features.

Action Cameras & Drones:

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo Edition - 31% off$359
DJI FPV Combo - $300 off!$899⚡This deal is on DJI's larger FPV drone, the original one. They've also got the smaller but less powerful one too - Avata, which isn't on sale. This is for the FPV combo deal, saving you $400. This includes the drone, FPV goggles, and controller.
DJI Mavic 3 - $150 off
$2,049This is the second time we've seen the DJI Mavic 3 on sale (for a non-bundled deal). With all the firmware improvements since the fall, it's finally getting to a more stable place in terms of features. Of course, you can also now get the DJI Mavic 3 Classic for a fair bit cheaper, minus the zoom lens. Albeit, I personally think the zoom lens is handy (if used correctly).
GoPro Hero 11 Black - $100 off
$399⚡ Amazon now has the Hero 11 Black for $100 off the retail price of $499. This does *NOT* require the GoPro subscription (previously called GoPro Plus). The Hero 11 has become my daily action cam (well, actually, I bought two of them).
Skydio 2+ Starter Kit - $200 off!
$899In terms of autonomy and self-following from a drone, nothing beats Skydio today.

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…..