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:

Current Deals

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 10th, 2019 @ 5:05 pm
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $20 off$139I 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 Watch Series 3 (38mm)$169⚡ This unit recently got reduced to $199, and now it's down to $169...though it seems to come and go on Amazon - so keep your eyes watching!
Apple Watch Series 4 - $100 off!$299⚡ This is a pretty darn strong deal. While the Series 4 doesn't have the always-on display of the Series 5, it has everything else, including a heck of a lot better battery performance/life. Note: Like the other Apple deals, this seems to come and go - so I'm leaving it here since it's like an every other day thing.
Apple Watch Series 5 - $20 off$379It's a note a huge deal, but I also don't think we're going to see any huge deals this season on the new Series 5.
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones (Renewed)$199⚡ These are what I've been mostly using lately for workouts, primarily indoors. They're great, though, I'm not a huge fan of the charging case. The fact that they're $50 for getting a factory reconditioned seems like a solid deal to me.
Fitbit ACE 2 - $10 Off$59
Fitbit Charge 3 HR Fitness Band - $30 Off$119
Fitbit Inspire - $10 Off$59
Fitbit Inspire HR - $20 Off$79
Fitbit Ionic - $50 Off$199
Fitbit Ionic Adidas Edition - $50 Off$229
Fitbit Versa 2 - $70 OFF!$129
Fitbit Versa Lite - $60 Off$99
Garmin Descent MK1 - $200 Off$799
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X) - $150 Off$449⚡This is a strong deal on the Fenix 5 Plus series. This is for all models/variants. Obviously, the Fenix 6 came out two months ago, so don't expect major new feature updates on the Fenix 5 Plus - but still, it's a strong option.
Garmin Fenix 5 Series - 50% off$299 and up⚡ Down to $299 is a substantial deal for the Fenix 5S & 5X (non-Plus), so don't expect much in the way of major firmware updates. But still, at that price it's solid. Heck, the 5S for $299 is actually the exact rose gold version that The Girl has (and still wears to this day).
Garmin Forerunner 35 - $60 Off$99
Garmin Forerunner 645 and 645 Music - 45% off$199/$245⚡⚡ This is a great deal for this watch. Sure, it's nearly 2 years old - but it's gotten a ton of updates since it was launched, including Spotify and Amazon Music support.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $349$219-$236⚡ This is a fantastic deal right now. The price on Amazon is fluctuating a bit, but either way - by far the lowest we've seen. Awesome if you're looking to get into triathlon or just want a really capable running/cycling/swimming watch.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - $100 Off$499⚡⚡ This is a super hot deal - first time we've seen the FR945 on sale.
Garmin HRM-RUN (with Running Dynamics) - $20 off$79This is the odd (and unheard of) Amazon sale. This strap includes Running Dynamics, but is ANT+ only. Honestly, unless you really want Running Dynamics, I'd recommend getting the HRM-DUAL instead (it's dual ANT+/BLE).
Garmin HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM Bundle (30% off!)$139Another rare Amazon sale on the HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM straps. Also individually for 30% off too at same link.
Garmin Instinct - $100 Off$199
Garmin Instinct Tactical- $100 Off$249
Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 17% off$57Allows you to get not just Running Dynamics metrics, but also running power, on Garmin devices.
Garmin Tactix Charlie- $150 Off$599
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $100 off!$299⚡⚡ This is a very good deal - and the first time we've seen the Venu on sale. I've been using it for more than two months now, and it's largely pretty stable for me at this point and working well. It's Garmin's first go at a high-end AMOLED display.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Normally $249$116-$129⚡⚡⚡ This was as low as $99 over Black Friday weekend, which is absolutely crazy. However, even at sub-$150 it's still an incredible deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music - 30% off$199⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - $50 off$299⚡ This is the first discount we've seen on the Vivoactive 4 since it launched about two months ago - so definitely a solid deal.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 First Avenger Smartwatch- $50 Off$349
Garmin Vivoactive 4 Legacy Saga Darth Vader - $50 Off$349
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 - $20 Off$49Sale includes all Jr 2 Disney and non-Disney variants
Garmin Vivomove HR - $50 Off$149
Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $30 Off$98** Amazon currently $98 ; Clever Training $109
Garmin Vivosport GPS Band - Normally $169$119If you want a band (as opposed to a watch-form factor), and if you want GPS - then frankly there's no better GPS sport option than this one. And hey - $50 off ain't too shabby!
Polar OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - $18 off$61⚡ This is one of my favorites, and I use it constantly for HR accuracy testing comparisons.
Polar Vantage M GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $279$167⚡⚡⚡ Woah - this is probably the deal of the year for wearable tech. This is a great little watch that includes full multisport mode (for triathletes), as well as things like full power meter support and more. Very very solid deal.
Polar Vantage V GPS Multisport Watch - 30% off$349⚡ This is a reasonably good deal for the Vantage V, which has seen a number of updates over the last year (and more slated in December).

Cycling Gear & Trainers:

Current Deals

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 11th, 2019 @ 2:08 pm
4iiii Fliiiight Smart Trainer with Viiiiva dual ANT+/BLE HR strap bundle - Normally $599$499⚡ This is a solid deal. Normally the trainer (which doesn't even start shipping till next week) is $599, now it's $499 and includes the Viiiiva dual ANT+/BLE HR strap (which probably doesn't get as much street cred as it should for all the features it has). Note I've included both 4iiii Fliiight sale deals (the 20% deal you see next to this). This deal here ends Nov 27th.
Garmin Cadence Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off$35Note: This is a random Amazon deal that will probably disappear. But, it's a great sensor for Zwift usage as it's not just dual ANT+/BLE, but dual-BLE atop that (so it can do two concurrent Bluetooth connections and unlimited ANT+ connections).
Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS - 11% off!$265⚡ ⚡ This is the first sale we've seen on this unit, which only came out this past spring. It's also an Amazon-specific sale and is highly unlikely to last long. This is one of the main units I use for my day to day riding and testing.
Garmin Speed Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off$35⚡ This isn't a huge deal per se, but it is my favorite speed sensor for a commuter bike as it just quietly tracks all your mileage in the background and syncs it to your phone. Also, this falls in the bucket of 'random Amazon deals that will probably disappear'.
Kinetic R1 Smart Trainer with Motion (+ cassette included) - 20% off $759Note: Clever Training is now including an 11-speed cassette in the bundle as of Nov 22nd. I've just begun my in-depth review testing on this unit, after a substantial firmware update and one more I expect in the next 24hrs or so. I hope to have more clarity in the coming days.
Tacx NEO 2 Smart - $200 off!$1049⚡ This is a great deal, especially considering there's such little difference between the NEO 2 and the NEO 2T.
Wahoo KICKR + CLIMB Bundle - $200 off!$1,599This is a simple bundle of the Wahoo KICKR 2018 + the KICKR CLIMB, for $1,599.

Action Cameras & Drones:

Current Deals

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever Training
Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated November 29th, 2019 @ 12:29 pm
GoPro Hero 7 Black with 32GB- $30 Off$299

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…..