Week in Review–Dec 30th, 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–Dec 22nd, 2018
Sunday: 5 Random Things I Did in Finland (in the Arctic Circle)
Monday: Getting the Christmas Tree Home via Bike: 2018 Edition
Tuesday: Just Got A New Sports Gadget? 34 Tips To Get You Started
Wednesday: The Didn’t Get What You Wanted $500 Gadget Giveaway
Thursday: First Look at The SufferFest’s Revamped App and New Features
Friday: The 2018 Sports Tech Year In Review: 12 Months in 12 Minutes

Not too shabby of a week!

Random Sports Tech Deals:

Here’s a handful of deals that are live until basically CES. I wouldn’t read too much into any of these, beyond companies just figuring that maybe you’ll pick up something as a belated Boxing Day gift to yourself.

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!***
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!

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) Peter Sagan – Why So Serious? A bit of a look at the person behind Peter Sagan. Somewhat of an unexpected clip coming from GoPro, but definitely worth a quick watch.

2) TrainerRoad starts to leverage historical data to tweak structured workouts: Some interesting tidbits in here, including looking at failure rates of certain workouts and tweaking those workouts to make them more sustainable. They go through a massive pile of workouts and explain what and why they tweaked with all of them.

3) How scammers manipulate Amazon: The second of two semi-similar pieces I’ve seen in the last few weeks talking to this subject. The other being a well written NYT piece on such practices. Interesting stuff. Note that I wouldn’t necessarily lump this into a ‘China’ problem. It’s happening from all sorts of countries.

4) Awesome wonky endurance sports records: From the fastest marathon dressed as a hot dog to the most miles run on a treadmill – and plenty more.

5) Peloton (the indoor bike/treadmill company) backs down from legal action against GP Lama: Thankfully Peloton saw the error of their ways. Though, I can’t help but wonder what Peloton Magazine thinks about all this. They predate Peloton by a number of years, after all.  Still, the general stupidity of a company to legally go after a core/key reviewer in their specific space for simply using a common cycling word/term is astounding.  I get that it’s all just contracted lawyers likely acting on their own, but certainly people being paid that much per hour would be smart enough to think through the ramifications of such a move without at least double-checking with their ‘client’. Not to mention attacking one who is followed by much of the cycling tech industry.

6) How to ask Alexa about upcoming Zwift group ride: Yes folks, for real.

7) Yoga Pants to Detect Poses: I saw this a few weeks back and it got lost in the shuffle. I’m not sure what to think to be honest, but, I figured maybe you’d know what to think.

8) Sports Tech Job Openings: Looks like Quarq has an opening for a software engineer on a cycling focused web platform. FYI in case you want to move to Spearfish.

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.

(Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find any software firmware updates of products released this past week. Mostly because most companies would be super hesitant to release a firmware update going into Christmas as people are unboxing new things. That’s just a recipe for disaster – and returns.)

With that – thanks for reading!

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  1. Roger

    If I were Peleton I might be more worried about the inverse, having their mark be cancelled as generic. In any event it is clearly a weak mark

  2. ReHMn

    Garmin finally fixed the “Keep me logged in” issue in Garmin Connect. Took them cca 1 year…
    The weight categorization is now correct, even if this is used for nothing, it was weird that the 84kg human was categorized as 90+ kg…
    If the issue fixing will continue within this pace, my grandchildren could enjoy the GC how I always wanted…

    You mentioned earlier that the FR 645 is not been recognized as a flash drive. That device has a setting for that, pls try to check:
    Settings –> System –> USB mode

  3. Still waiting for my Smart (yoga) Mat :-)

  4. Party

    I’ve stopped personally following ‘GP Lama’ on social media, too much of ‘i’m the victim’ followed by endless swearing.
    Also, by following you, what’s the point of watching someone who is delivering the same content. The digital news was an interesting concept, but if you follow sports tech, you are already over what’s aired, and it’s too ‘GCN’ like!


    • It’s easy to blame the victim. It’s the thing to do these days.

      But in these two situations (Peloton & YouTube), both companies have admitted they were wrong. And both companies are multi-billion dollar entities. While it’s also easy to simply dismiss it as ‘not my problem’, the reality is that for small creators, you can’t fight these things yourself. As both instances showed – community support were instrumental in pushing back.

      I actually don’t find any similarities to GCN. GCN doesn’t cover the same content, and it seems like almost all of GCN’s content is sponsored these days. As for duplication with me, I think having different people have different views is a good thing. Our views differ on many things, and I think it’s good that consumers have multiple sources to hear from.

    • Dave Lusty

      Duplication?! Ray gets things working first and then starts the camera or post. I assume it sometimes takes him months to do so. Shane has a go on camera and sends it out to the world whether it works or not. While I assume Ray does swear and throw tools at the floor, that particular brand of comedy is saved for the Girl.
      I find the content quite different between the two and very glad to have the two different approaches.

      As for the swearing. Those people ruined his xmas in a big way. Personally I’m surprised how restrained he was. You also have to understand these guys have a global audience. The US (for instance) don’t have such a swearing culture as places like the UK or Australia but that doesn’t make swearing a bad thing, it just means that some people take offence where none was intended – that’s just language. I’m not keen on church talk but I wouldn’t unfollow someone if they ended a podcast with a “bless you for watching”.

  5. Remco Verdoold

    Pfffff and I have a flat tire. Peleton is a general word used in many European languages indicating a group of… (E.g. firing squad / vuur peleton, and many more the most know is indeed the link with cycling). But also Specialized trying a cafe to change their name because it is called cafe Roubaix. They really don’t know Roubaix is a town. Then also ask all cafe Paris in the world to change their name. Idiots.