Week in Review–Sept 15th, 2019


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: First Look: The 4iiii Fliiiight Smart Trainer
Monday: SRM X Power MTB Power Meter First Look: A Turning Point for SRM?
Tuesday: Apple’s Series 5 Watch Will Have Always-on Display, drops price of Series 3 to $199
Thursday: Garmin Launches ‘Connected GPS’ Functionality For Wearables Without GPS (Vivosmart 4 & Vivomove 3)\

Expect some indoor bike/trainer first looks and reviews goodness coming up this week (for already announced things). Plus probably a bit of Apple Watch stuff too. And, who knows what else might hit the pile!

Sports Tech Deals:

There’s currently a new deal bundle on the Wahoo KICKR18 (most current model for this upcoming winter) and the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB, which saves you $200. We don’t generally see sales on Wahoo gear outside of the Black Friday and spring sales, so if you’re looking for a deal on these particular items, it’s solid.

Plus, you’ve basically just made yourself a Wahoo KICKR Bike for half the price. You can spend the savings compared to the KICKR Bike on approximately 400-500 pints of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Oh, and free US shipping and immediate availability.

FIT File Podcast This Week:


Episode 86 of the podcast is up! Here’s your complete Eurobike 2019 sports tech recap. We dive into all the new tech found at the show this year, and our thoughts on everything. Here’s the full lineup (in the order we discuss them):

Smart Trainers:

  • Tacx (Neo2T)
  • Elite (DiretoX, Tuo, Suito)
  • Wahoo (none. But new firmware!)
  • Saris (H3, Rocker, Desk)
  • 4iiii – Fliiiiiiiiiiiiight
  • Kinetic – R1 (not new)
  • Jetblack – Volt and EMS

Smart Bikes:

  • Tacx
  • Elite’s Price Reduction
  • Stages
  • Wahoo
  • SRM
  • TrueKinetix
  • VeloPro

Other Tech/Power Meters:

  • SRM MTB pedals
  • Rotor INspider power meter
  • Zwift steering
  • Steering devices
  • Rouvy Apple TV
  • Kinomap’s new layouts

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

Stuff 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 few weeks…as my backlog is a bit longer coming out of summer):

1) Peloton gets sued harder: Assuming harder equals now some $300 million, after the music industry realized they were Napstering a bit more music than they realized at first.

2) The Endurance Sport of Chess: Yes, chess. Definitely some things that never would have occurred to me in this post. Seriously, it’s crazy interesting. (Thanks to Robin for the tip!)

3) Garmin South Africa Leaks Payment/Contact Data: I think the title sums it up. If you’re in South Africa (or have ordered from Garmin South Africa online), your contact info is no longer yours. My understanding is this is handled by an entirely different entity than the rest of Garmin, hence the country-specific leak.

4) Spanish TV cameras spot marijuana while broadcasting Vuelta a España: Just when you thought your roof-top gardening hobby and prime Vuelta viewing spot was going well.

5) What it’s (actually) really like to ride illegally as a woman in Iran: This isn’t a piece that has a feel-good ending. Which, is probably even more the reason you should read it. It’s short, but hopefully memorable.

6) Fitbit to supply free activity trackers to Singapore Health Program: Sorta. If Singaporeans pay the $10/month for Fitbit’s new Premium service, they’ll get the band for free. Pro Tip: It’ll be more expensive this way. Though, sounds a little bit like the old wireless carrier concept that did the same for phones.

7) Zwift Art: This seems cool – turning various recognizable scenes in the Zwift world into art that could easily fit in your living room. Neat stuff for sure.

8) COROS adds some new colors to APEX: This includes both new colorful straps as well as units themselves. You can check out my COROS APEX review from a bit earlier this year. Somewhat notably however, they will be phasing out the older colors and these newer colors will be the 2019 variants.


Sports Tech Device 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 Fenix 5/5 Plus Series BETA Firmware Update: Mostly minor tweaks/improvements.

Garmin Fenix 6 Series Sensor Firmware Update: If you’re one of the handful of people whose optical HR sensor wouldn’t turn/stay on, this should fix that. Note that technically the 2.25 version is the beta build, whereas the 2.30 is the production build that’s pushed out. But that’s only pushed out to 20% of people thus far, whereas if you need it today, just grab the beta file instead until you get offered the final version. Both are fine to use to get you going. If you don’t know what problem I’m talking about, don’t worry about it.

Garmin Forerunner 945 Firmware Update: Adds swimming optical HR (no longer beta), and a pile of other tweaks.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Firmware Update: Same as FR945 above.

Garmin Vivosmart 4 Firmware Update: Adds “connected GPS” (see blog post above), and cycling as a sport.

GoPro Hero 7 Black Firmware Update: This is from last month, but in case you didn’t catch it – it’s worthwhile as it fixes some freezing issues.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Rui Pereira

    “(…)your contact info is no longer years.” – You probably mean “yours”…

  2. Keith

    The chess article is a bit of a stretch.
    Firstly very surprised that the Fed would only burn around 560 cals in an hour of tennis. Seems a bit low even though there is a decent proportion of stationary time. I imagine that is some estimated “average person playing an hour of average tennis”.
    But to then say that burning the same cals in twice the time means something? Sitting on the couch for 5 hours might do the same, but does it mean anything. No.

    • I agree with you on the Fed bit in terms of calories.

      Though, I think the point of the article was more about how the elevated HR aspects means they’re burning far more calories than they’re consuming, and far more than someone sitting on a couch would (with apparently medical studies to prove it). To me, that’s the most interesting aspect. I’m pretty sure if you walked into a gym and asked whether they thought they were burning more calories than someone playing chess, the answer would be 100% yes. But in reality, that may not be the case.

    • Paul S.

      I’ve seen online once or twice chess events where they put HRM’s on the players and displayed the reading in real time. I can’t recall if these were serious events where the players had something to play for (even just ratings points), but I don’t think so. It may become more common. But, yeah, it’s common knowledge that world class grandmasters do some serious physical training to cope with the stress of playing in major tournaments, and that playing takes a physical toll on them.

  3. Tomer

    Test the 945 swim optical HR and its not accurate at all, will you a test of it vs hr belt?

    • I’ve done a bit actually, and roughly speaking it’ll depend – just like everyone else in the industry when it comes to optical HR and swimming. For some people it’ll work fine, others so-so, and others not at all.

      For me it seems so-so when I’m swimming steadily, but can’t handle much variation on that.

    • ReHMn

      This is an output from a Scosche OHR on a 24km run. As you can see, no issues on a first 5km, but as soon as sweating comes between the skin and the sensor, it is not recording anything at all.
      For swimming I would expect even worse output, so I stick to the HRM-Swim…

    • Hmm, that looks like a bad Scosche sensor. Definitely not the norm to have sweat be any sort of issue.

    • ReHMn

      I trust your expertise, Ray… (not rainmaker anymore, but from now on: BaByMaker) so what next?
      Another Scosche or Wahoo Tickr Fit?
      Same price, but Wahoo has longer battery duration and sleeker design.
      I do not know the accuracy comparison thou.

      Or do you want me to wait till November for your giveaway session? I never ever won something…

    • I’d honestly contact Scosche. Generally speaking they’ll replace virtually any unit no questions asked and ship you a new one same-day. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word about Scosche support folks.

  4. T v D

    Ray, is the Stages l50 full review anytime soon?

  5. Paul

    Why don’t Peleton just pay for a music licence? Surely for £40 a month that includes music!

    • Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the dust settles.

      My guess is they were paying for the music already, but that they weren’t leveraging the right type of licensing. Specifically that I think they were leveraging a performance license, but not one suited to then re-streaming it live to a thousand other people, and then atop that being on-demand for years to come.

  6. Joon

    Underwater optical hr is only 945 not 935 I guess?

  7. Remember when Peloton was trying to sue GPLama? I think their lawyers are a little busier now. lol

  8. Lorin Balandreau

    Will you be getting an unit of leomo type s to review?

  9. GLT

    Edge 1030 Update V8.0 was made available today adding the E530 & E800 advanced features. All good first ride.

    • JD

      Did you try any of the advanced features?
      link to www8.garmin.com

    • GLT

      Not specifically. It was a on-road ride not using a course. It did prompt for hydration & calorie information at the end of the ride.

      The update started new VO2 max collection & stats like Training Effect. If I recall correctly that is the usual side effect from prior updates.

      The more detailed summary data for the ride listed on GC just as it had for my E530 rides.

      Will likely arrange to ride on a defined course to get the ClimbPro page to pop-up soon. Just don’t usually have the patience to select a course at the start of a ride. May have to try Ray’s on-the-fly technique.

    • GLT

      I haven’t yet had either my E530 or my E1030 to agree I was on a web-created course for more than a few minutes, so no ClimbPro screen in the wild yet. At this point I don’t suspect it has anything to do with the E1030 firmware update though.

      May try a history-based course when the weather comes back.

  10. Bruce

    Ray, under Sports Tech Deals, Backcountry/Competitive Cyclist has the Pioneer Dual-leg Power Meter (non-BT, ANT+ only) for Consumer Supplied Cranks on sale ~USD$495, finally solving the ‘which one to buy’ conundrum for difficult consumers like me with one road bike and no desire to compromise on Shimano shifting and pedals ;-)

  11. Rainer

    Hello Ray,

    are you planing to publish a In-Depth Review of the Rotor Inspider Powermeter?
    If yes, by when will it be availbale?

    I’m using the Power2Max NG Eco now and I’m thinking of using the Rotor instead of the BG for my new bike. But it’s hard to find good reviews for the Inspider in the Internet.

    best regards

  12. Alberto Pea

    Hi Ray, are you planning a Rotor Inspider review soon??