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Week in Review–May 13th, 2019

WeekinReview

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 this past week:

Sunday: Week in Review–May 6th, 2019
Sunday: Sunday Tidbits: Polar’s new Vantage V Titan + Roadmap Updates, Suunto Updates, and Xert iOS App
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: 4iiii Acquires STAC Performance, Makers of Near-Silent Trainers (and other products)
Saturday: Zwift’s New Giro d’Italia Course Released: First Ride

A semi-quiet week before the storm of this upcoming week…

Sports Tech Deals This Week:

A few deals still cookin’ along this week:

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus – $150 off: Obviously, this is mostly timed to make you think about whether you want a FR945 or a Fenix 5 Plus (since now the Fenix 5 Plus is $100 below the cost of a FR945). I definitely do not expect a new Fenix variant anytime soon. [Full In-Depth Review Here]

Apple Watch Series 4 – $50 off: This is one of the first times we’ve seen a sale on the Apple Watch Series 4. While there have been plenty of Series 3 sales (often down to $199), the Series 4 has remained elusively full-priced. Apple typically announces new models in the September timeframe, so I don’t expect anything anytime soon.  [Full in-depth review here]

All of these help support the site as well – enjoy!

FIT File Podcast This Week:

FIT-File-Logo-WorkingWide_thumb_thum[2]

Episode 74 of the podcast is up, on the show this week:

– STAC Performance acquired by 4iiii
– Bryton 450 Cycling GPS review discussion
– Giant’s new crash replacement policy
– FulGaz releases Android and iOS apps, what’s next?
– Zwift’s Giro d’Italia Stage 1 course – a success?
– Zwift’s Terms of Service Controversial Update
– Tile vs Chipolo Lost Tracker Test Results!

Listen here, or four options for where to find the podcast:

A) iTunes: If you’ve got an Apple device, we’re there!
B) Google Play Music: Yup, we’re here too (and on Google Podcasts app)
C) Spotify: Of course we’re on Spotify now – you can even cache it on your wearable too!
D) RSS Feed: Follow along using the direct RSS feed

apple-podcasts-badge google_podcasts_badge@2x

YouTube Videos This Past 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 (and in this case, some of these are from the past two weeks…as my backlog is a bit longer):

1) GoPro on track for first annual profit since 2015: Sure, this article is about GoPro, but it’s also not. It’s worth a read to understand both the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the company. Or, perhaps just to see what’s coming later this week. Your call.

2) Night skiing lit by flares on drones: Well then, that’s one way to win YouTube keyword bingo.

3) FulGaz expands onto both Android and Windows: It’s one thing to add one new platform in a given day – but another to double-down with two new platforms in one day. Well done!

4) All crank based power meters are just Quarq’s: I always enjoy watching Keith. It’s like watching and listening to the rocket scientist drunk uncle at a wedding, except without the drunk or annoying part. Notable: I actually have a rocket scientist uncle. For realz – retired NASA rocket engineer.

5) Nike adds in new paid multi-week training programs: Everyone is getting onboard the digital coaching bandwagon these days. In one camp you have device-less companies who are charging (e.g. Nike), and in the other camp you have device-companies not charging (Garmin/Polar/etc…). Oh, and then you have Fitbit – who has devices and charges. I only point this out as my Fitbit Coach subscription that I have used exactly once (to test for my review), just renewed this week. Sigh.

6) What does INEOS have to gain by sponsoring a cycling team: More than meets the eye here. A lot more, depending on how in tune with things inside the UK. Worth the quick read, especially if you have no idea what an INEOS is.

7) Garmin rolls out safety/incident features to piles of devices: If you’ve got a Garmin device (mainly wearable) made in the last year or so, then you just got some nifty new features for incident detection and safety tracking. You may have seen me preview these for the Forerunner 945/245/45 in the last few weeks, but now they’re mode widely available.

8) Quarter-marathoners sent the wrong way: I feel like there’s always some high-profile race each year that manages to give people more race course for their money than they were expecting. I suspect as a race director, your goal would be to avoid adding your race to that list.

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.

Garmin Edge 820 Firmware Update: Pile of new tweaks, including adding support for 12-speed shifting (e.g. SRAM AXS)

Garmin Edge Explore 820 Firmware Update: Similar pile of new tweaks

Garmin Edge 520 Plus Firmware Update: Exact same pile as the Edge 820

Garmin Fenix 5 Series Firmware Update: Bug fix related to crash

Garmin Fenix 3 Firmware Update: Bug fix related to Cinderella crash.

Garmin Instinct Firmware Update: Small pile of fixes.

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT Firmware Update: Two bug fixes, including related to Strava WiFi sync

Thanks for reading!

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36 Comments

  1. ubrab

    I’m really surprised that the Hero7 is doing so well: not that it’s not a good product, but I thought that with more competitors on the market and just a limit to the market size itself (how many people actually need an action camera? Maybe it speaks a lot about their marketing genius).
    Looking forward to your Osmo Action review Ray!

    PS: The first graph of that Verge article on GoPro is killing me – I wish more colors existed in the universe than just red.

    • Tyler Loewens

      I’ve got a Hero 4 Session, Hero 5 Black, and Hero 7 Black now. The Hypersmooth is what makes the 7 Black so much more appealing IMHO. I have a EVO SS Gimbal to use with the 5 and 4, but I really don’t need to bother now as the 7 is really that good with Hypersmooth.

      Curious to see what the Osmo Action does there. I would think it would need to have some form of “Hypersmooth” to be competitive. If it can do that, and have more battery life, then that would be fantastic!

    • I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in GoPro as a company (from a product sales/etc… standpoint), to listen to this short podcast from The Verge, where they had CEO Nick Woodman on back in December. Some fascinating tidbits on their stumbles: link to theverge.com

    • gingerneil

      Good shout Ray – I’ll have a listen.
      Interesting stats:
      “About 85 percent of the 842,000 cameras GoPro shipped this past quarter were the Hero 7 Black, and the camera accounted for 90 percent of the company’s product revenue.”
      I wonder if the other non-H7B cameras lose them money if they regret launching those?
      I’m surprised that gopro haven’t somehow protected their form factor – the ability for DJI to copy the shape, and therefore get reuse of mounts etc, is a, major issue for gopro.

    • I suspect they don’t lose money, only because they’re just Hero 5 or 6 (can’t remember off-hand) that are given an exterior refresh. Same thing they did the previous year. So their cost to market is much lower than a totally new camera.

      The mounts is tougher, because GoPro wants 3rd party companies to use the mounts to increase the overall accessory landscape. So once they opened that door (without licensing it), then it’s kinda hard for them to close it back on companies. In other words, that ship has sailed. I think overall though it’s helped GoPro tremendously.

  2. Raymond Wright

    . I suspect as a race direction. I suppose you mean race DIRECTOR.

    Have a good week

  3. Adam

    Ray, in the recent batch of Garmin reviews you promised a future write-up of the female health tracking (“later that day…”). Is that still coming?

  4. ez

    Isn’t the Clevertraining VIP sale now overdue? Is that not a thing this year?

  5. Ben

    Any indication if Garmin are likely to add incident detection to other devices too (specifically the Instinct) or is this our lot?

    • I haven’t heard. Keep in mind a big restriction is specific accelerometer/gyro bits inside.

    • Mitch W

      Hi Ray,

      From the article you linked to on this, the VA3M is getting it, but not the VA3! Seems like a pretty arbitrary line in the sand, not a specific accelorometer/gyro issue (but could be wrong, possibly different bits???).

      If this really isn’t a physical limitation, seems dumb. Can’t imagine Garmin’s strategy should be anything different than “Keep customers alive… so they can buy more stuff in the future.”

      Maybe not having this feature convinces someone, somewhere to upgrade, but (just like your thoughts on Garmin and their regional maps) this is a quintesential example of what rubs me the wrong way about Garmin.

  6. Chris Benten

    The Fulgaz on Windows must have just dropped…I checked yesterday setting it up on the ATV for my wife. Fulgaz needs to fix the login issue across multiple devices though. Not working for me.

  7. RichCNJ

    @Ray, you mentioned above with the price reduction on the Fenix 5 Plus that you still don’t expect a new Fenix variant soon. Recently, the VA3/3M had a price reduction. Could that imply a VA4 could be soon or is it the same situation as the Fenix (i.e. towards the end of the year or 2020)?

  8. MattB

    That heatseeker video is awesome, thanks for the link!

  9. Randy Cantu

    Nice Cinderella reference!

  10. Chris Koboldt

    Not sure how useful they will be, but it’s a little frustrating that the 935 would not get safety features that several far cheaper devices are getting. I don’t believe there is any hardware limitation. I guess if you’re looking to differentiate the 945 you have to make some unpopular decisions.

  11. Rich

    Hi Ray, ref the FIT File and your discussion on the 2yr Giant warranty announcement. Specialized have had a lifetime warranty on their frames/wheels for a number of years which they do honour (they replaced my broken frame with no quibbles) – you need to be the original owner etc – but certainly seems best in class.

  12. Mirko Surf&Run

    “Garmin 5 Plus – $150 off: Obviously, this is mostly timed to make you think about whether you want a FR945 or a Fenix 5 Plus (since now the Fenix 5 Plus is $100 below the cost of a FR945). I definitely do not expect a new Fenix variant anytime soon”
    If you were in search for a new watch, what would you buy now that the Fenix 5 Plus is cheaper than the FR945? You would go with the newer watch FR945 or you would take the offer and take a Fenix 5 Plus or Fenix 5sPlus?

    • Yeah, that’s a tough one. The FR945 clearly has more features – one the Fenix 5 Plus isn’t going to get.

      Me personally, I prefer the lighter FR935/945 anyway – so it’s kinda an easy decision. But if you were planning on the Fenix 5 Plus, the you’d probably want to decide if those new FR945-specific features were valuable to you…or just noise.

  13. AndyG

    Hi Ray, you indicated that no more Fenix models are expected. What about an update to the 735xt (i.e., 745xt)? I love the form factor and the fact that the 245 now has lap swimming, but the open water works so well on the 735xt (for me) and is lacking on the 245. I have small wrists and the 935/945 are too big.

    • I haven’t heard anything in that realm. I feel like the FR735XT is perplexing for Garmin. Partially because they’ve got legacy watches like the FR920XT that continue to sell well on sale – so it’s trickier to introduce a replacement FR735XT without killing their higher end offerings.

  14. Frederic

    Ray,

    Have you ever considered using/reviewing Electric Muscle Stimulators products such as Compex (link to compex.com) ? (I haven’t found anything similar in your list of reviews)
    I am quoting this brand because it’s the main one I know but I am sure there are others.

    I’d be interested on the potential performance/recovery gain it can bring. At least that is what I hear from the trail running literature and I feel like it is similar to the type of products you use/review.

    Frederic

    • I haven’t done much with them. My challenge is that in order to have a hope of reviewing them fairly, you have to have a super structured training schedule where the load is consistent and enough that you actually need the units. Else, there’s just too much else going on to be sure.

    • Frederic

      Fair enough. I suppose I’ll have to seek for reviews done by other trusted reviewers
      Thanks!

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