Week in Review–Oct 14th, 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:

Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Wednesday: Kinomap Rolls out Coached Workout Functionality, Revamped User Interface, Apple TV App
Thursday: First Sports Tech Cloud Platform & Incubator Announced by Zone5 Ventures
Saturday: Kona Bike Count 2019 Power Meter Analysis: 10 Years of Data
Sunday: Continued Expansion of the DCR Team: Hello P3!


Sports Tech Deals:

Here’s the quick line-up of deals, mostly trainer focused:

1) There’s currently a bundle deal 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.

2) There’s currently a deal on the original CycleOps/Saris Hammer (H1) down to $649, from the usual $1,000.  This is basically on clearance, given it’s been superseded by the Hammer 2 (H2) and just announced H3 units. Though the H1 did actually get a substantial firmware update this past summer that increases accuracy on sprints considerably.

3) There’s currently a deal on the Tacx NEO 2 for $200 off, down to $1,199. This reduces down last year’s Tacx NEO 2 by a considerable bit, whereas the new NEO 2T takes its place as the top-spot. And heck, at the moment I’d actually take the one-year-old NEO 2 over the NEO 2T (until they fix the 2T firmware anyway).

FIT File Podcast This Week:


Episode 89 of the podcast is up! FIT89 Ride it like you stole it: The Zwift/British Cycling Cheating Scandal Explainer

October has arrived on the sports tech scene full of turbulence, here’s what was on tap this week:

– The entertaining stories of our smart bike deliveries
– Wahoo acquires Speedplay Pedals, what does it mean?
– Ray costs Shane more Money: GoPro Hero 8 released
– Skydio 2 drone announced: Yet more financial distress for Shane?
– InsideRide KICKR E-Flex Accessory Announced
– Zwift Mountain Bike Steering released to public
– The Zwift/British Cycling Cheating Fiasco
— Part 1: Technical explainer
— Part 2: Admission & Penalties
— Part 3: Debunking excuses
— Part 4: Punishment worthy of the crime?

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) Behind the Scenes on the GoPro launch video: Some interesting tidbits here from one of the Engadget folks that went out with the GoPro crews – probably most notably that the Hero 8 launch video isn’t actually filmed entirely on Hero 8 cameras. The first clue was the table full of Hero 7 cameras (you can tell by the battery door), but also later in the article it’s discussing this in text.

2) Speaking of that launch video: If you want one of the lead dudes at GoPro who edits that video (and takes incredible shots) preset settings and what settings to use for what things, check out his presets post. He’s also got a detailed Hero 8 Black detailed features post, which roughly is kinda like my review, but with all the tidbits that only an engineering person might know (and of course, given from a GoPro employee, perhaps skipping over some of my frustrations). Still, hands-down always my favorite annual GoPro post out there for any new unit.

3) Peloton sues cycling rival Echelon: Oh Peloton, always suing everyone. Except, when getting sued by others. As good as Peloton’s product is (really, it’s very good – I think it’s excellent), they’ve got an onslaught of competitors about to jump down their throats. Big name competitors with big money. Will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.

4) Zwift’s Kona Tri Team House Tour: Well then, that’s an impressive setup for the team. Dang – is there really any tri team that’s better equipped out there? Maybe Bahrain, I guess?

5) Inside Cirque du Soleil’s Technology Lab: I love me a good Cirque show, and this is a cool look behind the scenes at some of the shifts the company is having to make to adapt to shorter audience attention spans, from a tech standpoint.

6) Oktoberfest E-Scooter Debacle – Hundreds of Drunken Riders Lose Their Driver’s Licenses: What would be interesting is whether or not cyclists also lost their licenses (or what-not) too, or if there was enforcement there? Perhaps there’s a headline on that somewhere that didn’t make US coverage.

7) Massive analysis of a single Strava climb: Super cool study (full PDF here). See, this is the type of thing Strava needs to encourage. Today, it actually bans this, as it doesn’t allow any automation against their platform (perhaps the study got permission). But these types of things result in huge PR boosts – such as the CyclingTips post and countless others. Plus, it doesn’t cost Strava anything to do this.

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.

Acer’s Xplova removes camera cloud functionality: Normally this section is reserved for feature adds, not removals. But the Xplova bike computers will no longer have cloud storage for short video clips. My guess here is this isn’t a cost reduction issue, but rather more likely related to lawsuits of camera clips for people that haven’t given permission to have their video stored online (meaning, other people caught on camera). Just a hunch.

Garmin Edge 130 Firmware Update: Minor bug fixes.

Garmin Edge 530/830/1030 BETA Firmware Update: Mostly bug fixes, however, a little feature listed around indoor trainer control support to actually show the map and elevation profile of the course you’re riding from outdoors. This is a good example of some of the upcoming integration Garmin has hinted at following the Tacx acquisition, though, this works for any ANT+ FE-C trainer (which is all of them).

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series: Various bug fixes.

Garmin Forerunner 45 Firmware Update: Various bug fixes.

Garmin Vivomove Firmware Update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Vivosport Firmware Update: Minor bug fix.

Polar V650 Firmware Update: Yes, really, the V650. Unlisted bug fixes.

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Firmware Update: Improvements to turn by turn navigation, and map improvements.

With that – thanks for reading and have a good week ahead!


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  1. Dave Lusty

    While I’m completely on message about drink driving, I am very curious how many escooter related deaths or injuries there have been due to drinking. I’d have thought we should be encouraging low impact low danger modes of transport for exactly this kind of drinking scenario.

    As for Peloton, a great product seems tainted by a completely ass-hat company. I would be hoping for a good competitor to give them a swift end if it weren’t for the huge investment so many people have made into the hardware. We have too many great sport companies ruined by lawyers!

    • Carsten

      Where I live in Germany about 2/3 of all e-scooter accidents you read about involve alcohol. In Germany the same alcohol laws apply to cars, bikes and e-scooters, just the latter being so new here that people haven’t realised that yet, for many the scooters are toys. Based on these laws I wouldn’t be surprised if also a considerable amount of cyclist lost their driving license in relation to the police checks at the Oktoberfest. But since this has been a normal situation for many years it is not worth reporting anymore. E-scooters have only been legal for a couple of months now, so much higher interest in them.

    • Anne

      Actually, the legal limit for e-scooters is the same as for cars while it is higher for bikes. So you can lose your licence for drunk cycling, especially if you act drunk (source: friend of mine crashed her bike in front of a police car and was to drunk to stand back up…).

    • Benedikt

      If you are drunk and hit another person in the kidney with 25 km/h, it will damage that person. This is why we apply alcohol laws to bikes and e-scooter, but its not the same amount.

      Munich police also warned cyclists upfront via twitter that they will be punished if they are caught drunk.

  2. tfk, the5krunner

    definitely agreed on strava deep analyses being needed

    this is a good link for uk readers who know Richmond Park. Which is my local and also contains VERY many globally popular strava segments. the link looks at the prevailing effect of wind amongst discussions of other factors

    link to science4performance.com

    • That’s super cool, and another great example.

      Unfortunately, if we did those things today, Strava will ban our accounts. :(

    • Tod

      Are you being tongue-in-cheek about strava being ban happy nowadays? I could be wrong but the link doesn’t seem to have anything that would be against the terms of service (or whatever they call it) and it doesn’t seem to fall into any of the buckets of the apps that they have already banned. Also, the link is from May of this year, so it’s not like it could benefit from the previous more lax attitude.

    • Tod

      Oh actually I see now that there are more articles on that page then the first one. Nevermind.

  3. Martin

    Ray, did you ever find out what improvements were made to the internal cooling in the Saris H3? In the comments bit on the review you said we’re going to look into it but I appreciate how busy you are! Thanks.

  4. Richard

    The Strava analysis was certainly very interesting and it is surprising that strava don’t do any real analysis of segment data for it’s users for instead it would be interesting to see what the median time on any given segment is and also the standard deviation from this figure. This would give us a better idea of what our performance on any segment actually was. Place doesn’t do that and KOM/QOM are in fact essentially meaningless for most users. I’m never going to be at the top of those tables but I might be able to be a bit quicker than the median :). But I guess that’s part of the problem with strava they have all this data (which is ours btw) but doesn’t leverage the data to provide worthwhile services to it’s users.

    • I agree – there’s so much potential here. Take for example the article above that TFK linked to, that shows impact from wind times.

      What if Strava allowed you to favorite three segments to watch, and then behind the scenes they had algorithms that watched for favorable winds on those segments. And what if then you got a push notification that given what they knew about your current time combined with the favorite winds, that you could oust a given friends Strava Segment PR (or the KOM)? And even listed that person’s name with a witty message?

      Talk about motivation to use the platform. Like you, I’m never going to hit a KOM (ok, I do, but it’s only in places like random desert roads in Saudia Arabia, Ghana, and Tanzania, and even then someone actually targeted the loop I made to beat it). But I can pluck off people with the right winds that are my friends, and that’s definitely worth it!

    • Duane Gran

      Strava in my view is a big data company with a small imagination leadership. Their problem should be deciding which good idea out of hundreds they should pursue but time and time again they bungle it up.

  5. K

    Strange move that V650 update, isn’t it? Do you have any other info? Is it still “alive”? do you know if they are thinking about more updates in the future (for example, an ANT+ update merely for testing it before getting it to the watches)?

    • No other info, not really sure what’s in there. :(

    • Andrew

      Do Polar have any plans for another bike computer?

    • I don’t know. It’s been a long time. They could do it, but it’d have to be dual ANT+/BLE (which isn’t really an issue these days, given they’re already doing ANT+ stuff). And, it’d have to be a pretty compelling offering.

      I don’t think aiming for a $300+ computer would make sense. Instead, I think they could continue to do well in the $160-$170 price bucket, undercutting Garmin and offering a ‘cleaner’ solution than Lezyne from a UI and platform/ecosystem standpoint.

  6. David E.

    The deals on various trainers at the top prompts me to ask whether there’s an ETA on your trainer guide for this year. I know things are busy on the home front, but any idea?

    • Next week. I was hoping it out by last week or actually two weeks ago. But issues with the NEO 2 and Elite Suito (and Zumo for that matter) have held it up (since those are such core trainers to the recommendations guide being newer models). But in the last few days I’ve got firmware for all of them so I’m just iterating through those trying to see if everything is fixed.

    • David E.

      Excellent. Thanks. I’ll make sure the popcorn is well stocked.

    • Jordan Garcia

      Hey DC, I bought a Suito– my first trainer– a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been having constant issues with it and Zwift. I was getting ready to return it today but would you suggest holding out on that with regards to the firmware update?

    • Dave Lusty

      I’ve got to say, if you get issues then the rest of us are screwed. Publish and shame is the only way these things are going to improve, and you know better than anyone (well, except Lama maybe!) that trainers are in a really bad place right now. What you both need to be thinking is “would I have time to get this crap sorted if I was working a 9-5 with a commute?”. Having just spent a month to get mine sorted (it’s still not sorted) I can certainly say the answer is no. We need to demand better QA on these things.
      I noticed Shane praised Wahoo that the bike worked right out of the box – on a demo unit selected and sent to him before release! Maybe that’s improved QA but my spidey sense suggests it’s a carefully selected and tested machine and I’ll be interested to see what happens after they go on sale. Obviously Shane has no way to tell, but that’s the kind of statement he’ll regret if the woes of the past affect the bike :D

    • Let’s lay it out on the table. Getting thrown under a bus that hasn’t even started moving doesn’t sit well with me.

      1) New trainers are in a VERY bad place at the moment. 2019 has been horrible for almost every trainer company. Wahoo were ahead of the curve on this last year. Anyone now holding up only Wahoo as having QC issues is being short sighted. Name a trainer company and most of us can name an equivalent failure of some kind. This isn’t good for their businesses. And it’s no good for ours. Even offers to give feedback 6-12 months earlier away from the Internet continue to never be taken up.

      2) My statements are now carefully worded around ‘my experience’…. because of exactly what you’ve lined me up for. I’ve been abused to no end online by anonymous coward accounts such as MonsterWatts69 who’s had a bad experience with a product where I didn’t… and I’m to blame. I put little faith in getting specially selected units, not when they can’t even manage to get us units well ahead time to save on embarrassing and obvious mistakes such as imploding boxes and firmware that just doesn’t work… speaking of, most of the issues I come across are firmware related – to which I feed back a TON of information to these companies to improve their products with. Most do, the others go quiet and won’t reply. Run your eye over how many videos I do on some brands vs others to get an idea on who those companies are.

      I stand behind what I say, it’s based on fact and experience. I, like everyone, reserve the right to change my mind if those facts or experience changes. What I get frustrated with is people trying to influence either of those based on their own agenda. My inbox is case-in-point on that.

    • Dave Lusty

      Sorry Shane, I wasn’t throwing you under a bus or critisizing, just highlighting that that comment will almost certainly come back to haunt you for the very reason that Wahoo selected and sent a unit that worked out of the box. Your experience with the Tacx was stark contrast and really shows that you’ll say what you have to say when there’s something to say. I agreed with the comment that it’s amazing to see something in this space work out of the box, my point was that it’s a unit that’s not yet shipping to the masses :)

      It’s great that both of you work so hard with vendors to get things working, but delaying a review/post of a final shipping unit is a bit too far in my opinion. Once it’s shipped, it’s shipped and should work. For things at the Neo/Kickr end of the spectrum they need to reflect that premium experience too and work first time, every time with very few exceptions.

      Sorry I’m feeling particuarly ranty about trainers at the moment. Neo 2 broke, Kickr Core was basically unusable, Kickr can’t measure power, and I know the UPS guys WAY too well for a consumer. A while back Garmin were given a hard time for QA and they seem to have responded, I think it’s time for the trainer companies to follow suit.

    • Just as a minor note, while I haven’t published either my full Tacx Neo 2T or Elite Suito reviews, I did state plainly in the post not to buy them at this point (and why I don’t recommend them).

      So in my mind, that’s my placeholder post until otherwise (and maybe I’m wrong in my thinking?). But ultimately, it’s a pretty detailed post that basically is clear-cut on why I don’t recommend it. I’m not sure adding more pictures or more text changes that.

    • Dave Lusty

      Sorry Ray, I meant holding off on publishing the trainer annual guide. I definitely think both of you have made your thoughts known on the Neo 2T and that’s very much appreciated. I feel like the guide is a popular annual post on the site so delaying it because one trainer company is having issues doesn’t seem fair to you or your readers, especially given the number of hits you must be missing with the current quantity of weather we’re having in the northern hemisphere!

  7. Wes

    Any thoughts on Wahoo’s reconditioned KICKR CORE units? Seems like a solid deal – any reason that it didn’t make the section above?

    • Dave Lusty

      Considering the reason they have enough to offer that as a specific SKU I’d be wary of buying one of those without a really easy way to return it for a refund. The one I had shook so bad I could barely keep pedaling and the noise was like a jet engine. I now have a Kickr 2018 and it’s quieter than my Neo 2 but the power is all over the place. Neo 2 power is solid but I’m having other issues with firmware there.

      My advice, take up fishing or knitting instead of indoor cycling. The equipment there tends to be properly tested before they send it out ;)

    • Normally I’d have no issues with ‘reconditioned’ units, but honestly, these ones give me the willies.

      I suspect they are perfectly fine, but what’s unclear to me is if they added ESD protection or not, which is the non-noise way one can kill a KICKR.

      I’m not sure how good a deal they are (I can’t see the USD pricing from Europe, it’s blocked) – so if we’re talking like $300 off – then go forth and hope for the best. Whereas if it’s like $100 off…hmm…

    • Dave Lusty

      The one I sent back had a very wonky flywheel (another common issue), so they’d also have to have remanufactured all of those which would almost certainly make a refurb more costly than a new unit rather than cheaper :)

    • Wes

      It was $150 off, now seems to be $120 off – so I’ll call it a pass. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Jesper N

    Our favorite german parts pusher has Edge 820 on sale for 190 EUR, for those OK with last years model… Seems like a good deal. link to bike-discount.de
    Bundles also on sale.

  9. Jan

    Hi Ray, thanks for the great review. I was hoping for a solution for swimming in an endless pool with this new Garmin Swim watch, but unfortunately there is still no functionality for that in a Garmin watch as far as I can read. Do you think Garmin will come up with a solution for that? Or are you aware of a solution to measure endless pool swims?

    • No, I’m not aware of any solution there. I do agree though, I’d love to see someone come up with something though.

    • Dave Lusty

      I’m pretty sure Polar have the tech to do this as it seems to be able to count distance travelled as well as just lengths from my testing. The watch doesn’t have this as a feature but it certainly seemed to know how far I’d gone without hitting the sides and without GPS. Hopefully some day they will add the feature.

    • Yeah, my guess here would be that someone could actually do it via CIQ if they wanted to.

      A simple CIQ app that connected to a broadcasting sensor (ANT or BLE) that transmitted speed, and then combined with stroke data from the watch itself (I have no idea if CIQ currently allows access to strokes or not). It’d probably function very similiar to that of the Stryd app to be honest.

      I’d even wager someone could probably homebrew a solution. Until then, I’ll continue researching 20m inflatable pools for the DCR Cave.

  10. Anza

    The Bavarian police let drunken cyclists get away. Why? Because they mainly targeted the younger crowd and international visitors to set an example. (They don’t want to bother the older, local population as these are voters and Bavarian local politicians have a reputation to ‘safeguard’ their constituency.)

    • I actually think there’s probably a bit more behind the scenes that’s perhaps slightly akin to what you’re saying from a political standpoint. Though, maybe not exactly this.

      We saw it in Paris for example with significant regulations put in place recently around E-Scooters that are frankly just stupid. And ironically, many of them are against so much of the mayor’s (very strong and well executed) focus around getting people out of cars and mopeds. It’s now easier to park a moped than it is an e-scooter. And the new speed limits for e-scooters (enforced by apps now) make it less safe for them too.

      Which isn’t to say e-scooters are all good, hardly. But cities aren’t doing the right things to help reign in most of the street-litter chaos. For example, in Singapore they’ve got astoundingly clear signage and dedicated parking spots that they’ve converted into sharing spots for parking things like this (and bikes). Why aren’t other cities doing that?

      Well, the answer to that is that driving residents want those spots for parking, and get upset when a spot goes away. Some cities (Amsterdam being a good example, albeit I’m biased), more or less give drivers the finger when it comes to these policies. A bit of a ‘if you don’t like it, move’. I’m not entirely sure that’s right either, but, it is effective.

    • Harriet

      As a cyclist commuter in London I have to say the scooters are a total nightmare. Cyclists here tend to have pretty long commutes (my shortest was 8km, current 14km but I know people who have up to 20km) and cycle lane use is heavy. People ask why Londoners seem to use road bikes more heavily – because much as I would adore a pretty town bike it would take me way too long to get to work.

      We are seeing increasing numbers of e-scooters illegally using the cycle lanes. They are impossible to see- I am not sure how the optics work but they are significantly more difficult to spot than a fellow rider and very few are responsible (back lights etc). It is only a matter of tie before some horrible accident happens during rush hour when the bike lanes are busy and the (far slower) moving scooters are in among a mass of bikes.

      In London I imagine this isn’t getting people out of a car but rather off a tube, so the environemental/traffic impact is reduced. I do hope a solution can be found that works for everyone but at the moment no solution looks forthcoming.