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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

I still fail to understand how it’s mid-November already?!? The rain and ugly weather is mostly non-stop here, but at least that means (yet) more trainer time indoors. With my parents in town this week, here’s what we were up to!

1) DCR Gadget T-Shirt Came In!

Last year we designed a DCR sports-tech themed ugly sweater t-shirt, which was pretty awesome. We decided against a sweater itself, since for most people that has semi-limited appeal (especially if you’re in a warm locale). This year we tweaked the design and went with a red background. While DCR Open House folks will be able to order (and then pick up at the open house) the t-shirts, you can still get one here. All without the need to travel to Amsterdam.

DSC_8812

And here’s a close-up:

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Plus, there’s socks too (select drop-down)! Though, the socks haven’t arrived yet (below at right is showing the back-side with the heel).

image

Maybe they’re in Dutch customs jail. Who knows. Welcome to my shipping life. But hey, you can order them. So woot! And thanks to The Girl who once again did all the work organizing this.

2) 4iiii Fliiiight Smart Trainer Unboxing

First off, please 4iiii, I’m begging you – no more four iiiii’s per product names after this. My ‘I’ key on my keyboard is dying at a much faster rate than the others. With that public service announcement out of the way, the trainer itself (here’s my preview post), which comes in the skinniest box of all trainers:

DSC_8797

It uses magnets to produce resistance against metal rims, but unlike the past STAC trainers (remember, 4iiii bought STAC) – this one doesn’t need any additional wheel weights on it. It’s just unfold the unit, clamp your bike and go.

DSC_8802

Unfortunately, while boxing and setup went incredibly smooth – on the same silly-easy level as the also-new Elite Suito trainer….the actual first ride experience on Sunday hit a few hiccups. I’ve sent off an e-mail to figure out why I was having the issues I was, but after a few apps and devices, I gave up for the day and went for a run. Given the particular area that failed (FTMS control from apps) is something that STAC has previously had without issue, I’ve gotta believe it’s a software bug. In any case, hopefully it’s a quick and simple fix or idea and I’ll be back in business.

(Mind you, 4iiii simply joins *every other* trainer company this year with new 2019 early-season trainer issues. Not a single company has managed to avoid that list this year.)

3) Recording the Podcast

GPLAMA and I chatted for a couple of hours, though, only ended up recording about 60 minutes of it. The remainder would probably get us in trouble if we recorded it. We’ve joked it would be a great ‘after-hours’ podcast. Just once…maybe twice. And then nobody in the industry would ever talk to us again. It’s our equivalence of going to the bar on Friday after a long work week.

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But, the recorded part is pretty good this week. And, it’ll be up shortly. I’m waiting on a comment on one itty-bitty item from a company before I concurrently publish my post (they’re getting back to me today).  I think it’s a pretty big item. Actually, it’s industry-changing. So stay tuned and watch on Twitter – because a lot of people will be saying ‘holy @#$#@’ – and you won’t even have to listen to the after show.

4) Off to the pool

Saturday we braved the endless rain and pedaled about 30 minutes across town to the big swimming pool place. It’s like an indoor water park (and in the summer, also an outdoor spot too). It’s awesome.

Though my parents (who are in town) thought the driving sideways rain was less than awesome. Win some, lose some.

Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures at the pool. So here’s a picture on the way to the pool:

2019-11-09 10.09.20

And here’s a picture on the way home – with both kiddos hard asleep in the bike:

2019-11-09 14.05.08

At least someone was dry during the ride.

5) Five Watches, 5 HR Sensors, One Peanut

Sunday late afternoon as the sun began to wane, I headed out with The Peanut for a run. P2 was asleep (with the grandparents), and P3 was also asleep out walking with The Girl. Also, I took a few watches:

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For those counting at home, I had:

1) Apple Watch Series 5 (right wrist)
2) Garmin Venu (left wrist)
3) COROS Vertix (on stroller collecting data)
4) Garmin FR935 (on stroller collecting data)
5) Garmin FR945 (on stroller collecting data)

In general, when units are on the stroller they’re collecting heart rate data, GPS data, or whatever else. Speaking of HR data, in total here was the lineup:

1) Apple Watch Optical HR Sensor (right wrist)
2) Garmin Venu Optical HR Sensor (left wrist)
3) Polar OH-1 Optical HR Sensor (upper left arm)
4) MIO Pod Optical HR Sensor (upper right arm)
5) Garmin HRM-DUAL (chest strap)

The Peanut forgot her watch, a Vivofit Jr., sheesh, what a slacker! How can she expect to contribute to this data pool when she forgets the one device she needed to remember?

Turns out, it’s via taking photos. She had the GoPro Max, taking selfies and pictures of ducks:

DCIM\100GOPRO\GP__0130.JPG

(In case you’re wondering why I took Max over Hero 8, mainly because she can more or less shoot in any direction and it still magically works. 🙂

In any case – off we went. Just out along the river and then the lake. Nothing special route-wise. We had hoped to see some fuzzy cows in the woods, but only ended up seeing a few bunnies and horses. No worries, we had a good time:

RunningAside

And here’s that HR data, for fun. Ironically – it was exactly as you expect for a cool fall day: The chest strap struggled at the beginning (I had moistened it before the run, but by the time I got everything all set, it got dried out). The Garmin Venu struggled a little bit here and there (I was pushing the stroller with my right hand, the one with Apple Watch on it).

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GPS data was mostly blah from everyone. Nobody got it spot-on, with many of the units skewing off into the woods.

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Oh, and Strava…because you always have to include Strava.

BONUS Item: Sales Begin This Week:

I’ll have a much more detailed post later this week when the Clever Training VIP Sale kicks off (that’s the semi-annual one that gets you 20% off an item, straight discount, no points stuffs). But until then, there’s these deals below that are listed as part of the pre-Black Friday ramp up. It’s a thing this year more than previous years. Who knows if there will actually be any deals by the time we get to Black Friday. All these companies are pushing deals earlier and earlier.

Update: If you’re not a CT/DCR VIP member, you can enroll as a VIP member right now using code FREEVIPDCR and my link here. This will get you enrolled for free, versus the standard $20 fee (or $5 for DCR readers)

In general, most times you won’t see companies increase a deal on a specific product at Black Friday. Manufacturers and retailers go to great lengths to avoid that, because customers will simply demand the difference in cash back or say they’ll return and re-buy (which is at high expense to the retailer and manufacturer). So it’s pretty rare for something to get cheaper later in the holiday cycle (sales sometimes re-appear). In any case, here ya go:

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo Edition - $80 off$439All of the DJI Action 2 kits are 15-20% off (depending on the variant you choose), which is the first time we've seen the Action 2 on sale since launch.
DJI Mavic 3 - $150 off
$999
$2,049⚡This is the first time we've seen the DJI Mavic 3 on sale (for a non-bundled deal). With all the firmware improvements since the fall, it's finally getting to a more stable place in terms of features.
DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo - $150 off$2,849⚡This is the first time we've seen the DJI Mavic 3 on sale (for a non-bundled deal). With all the firmware improvements since the fall, it's finally getting to a more stable place in terms of features. This is for the full bundle, which includes extra batteries (3 total), ND filters, extra props, and the battery charging station. Note this does not include the RC Pro remote (but does include the base/normal remote).
Elite Direto XR Smart Trainer- $200 off!
$1,000
$800REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Elite Sterzo Smart - 20% off!$100REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Elite Tuo Smart Trainer - $114 off
$580
$464REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus - $150 off
$599
$449⚡This is the lowest price we've seen to date on the Edge 1030 Plus, far surpassing last spring's $100 off sale. The Edge 1030 Plus came out June 2020, but has continued to receive numerous firmware updates/features, and is Garmin's top-end unit.
Garmin Epix Sapphire Black Titanium - Actually in stock$1,000This isn't on sale at all, however, it might feel like it. Cause this is the first time since launch the Sapphire Editions are actually in-stock and at list prices. Thus, I figured I'd mention it here. 🤣🤣🤣
Garmin Epix Sapphire White Titanium - Actually in stock$1,000This isn't on sale at all, however, it might feel like it. Cause this is the first time since launch the Sapphire Editions are actually in-stock and at list prices. Thus, I figured I'd mention it here. 🤣🤣🤣
Garmin Feinx 6 Base - Just $299!!!
$549-$1,149
$299⚡⚡⚡This is an insane price, and by far the lowest we've ever seen for the Fenix 6 series. In this case it's the base unit, so it lacks music/maps/WiFi, but has Garmin Pay and countless other features. Plus, it's still getting feature updates - even as of last week.
Garmin Forerunner 245 & 245 Music - $75 off
$299/$349
$225Both the Forerunner 245 & 245 Music are on sale for $75 off. This is neither a huge sale, nor the lowest we've seen them (previous low was $199 last Black Friday).
Garmin Forerunner 55 - $30 off
$199
$169Oddly enough, this is actually the first record of a sale I have on the FR55. It's not a bad deal, but also not crazy either.
Garmin Forerunner 745 - $150 off
$499/499EUR
$349⚡ This is a solid deal on a very capable watch. More notably, it's also the watch I've long used when I'm not testing other things (and still use to compare things). While it doesn't have the onboard maps of the FR945, since I'm not traveling as much, it doesn't bother me. Of course, keep in mind that with all the Garmin units on sale, the price differences to map-inclusive units aren't very much. It's also the lowest price we've seen on the FR745 ever.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - $200 Off
$599/599EUR
$399⚡Officially this is $200 off, but realistically the FR945 (non-LTE) floats at about $520 most of the year, so it's really only about $120 off the norm. Still, a fantastic deal.
Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE - $200 off
$649
$449⚡This is by far the lowest price we've seen on the FR945 LTE. The previous sale last Black Friday was only $100 off. So this is solid!
Garmin Rally RK100 (LOOK KEO Single Sided) - 20% off$520⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally RK200 (LOOK KEO) - $220 off$880⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally RS100 (SPD-SL Single Sided) - 20% off$520⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally RS200 (SPD-SL) - $220 off!$880⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally XC100 (Shimano SPD Single Sided) - 20% off$560⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally XC200 (SPD) - $240 off!$959⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off$149This is Garmin's standalone radar+taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. While Garmin just announced their new RCT715 radar that includes a camera and taillight, that's $399 (and not on sale).
Garmin Venu 2/2S - $50 off
$399
$349Not too bad a deal. Nothing crazy, and not on the Venu 2 Plus with calling features.
Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Fired Outdoor Portable Pizza Oven - 22% off$348⚡ I know, I know, I still owe everyone a review. Nonetheess, almost a year later, I love this thing. We use it for more than pizza too, notably steaks (to get a really crispy sear). But a lot of pizza. It's completely portable, even easily fitting on our cargo bike. Note that I went with this model, the cheapest one they make, as I realized that buying the higher-end models that that support gas didn't make much sense for me. I have a gas grill already (and could easily just put a stone on it). Similarly, while a large 16" is appealing, realistically I've found this 12" more than enough for pretty substantial personal pizzas (and it makes it easier to handle). Full in-depth review pretty soon.
Saris H3 (Hammer 3) Smart Trainer - $331 off!
$1,099
$769This is actually the lowest price to date on this trainer, with this 30% off sale. No membership required.
Saris MP1 NFinity Motion Platform - $360 off! (In stock)$839⚡This is by far the lowest price we've seen to date, aided by the 30% sale over the usual 20% sale.
Saris TD1 Trainer Desk - $109 off$251This is the lowest price ever on this trainer desk with power, at 30% off.
Tacx Flow Smart Trainer - $75 off$296REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Tacx Flux 2 Smart Trainer - $180 off
$899USD/€799
$720REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Tacx Flux S Smart Trainer - $150 off!
$749USD/€599
$600REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $280 off!
$1,399
$1,120REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo CLIMB Accessory - $140 off!
$599
$560REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR AXIS Feet - $16 off$64REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR Bike - $270 off!
$3,499
$3,249This is a pretty solid deal on the KICKR Bike, if for no other reason than we haven't really seen much in the way of KICKR Bike sales (except Zwift's clearance event recently). Note officially it lists the retail price as $3,800, but I don't think that's actually the real retail price lately. It's always been $3,500
Wahoo KICKR Core Smart Trainer - $180 off! (In Stock)
$899
$719REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR ROLLR - 20% off
$799
$800⚡ This is a solid deal, and the first time we've seen the ROLLR on sale. Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Wahoo KICKR SNAP - $100 off!
$499
$400REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR V5/2020 - $240 off!
$1,199
$959REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) - $200 off!
$649/$999(single/dual)
$800⚡This is the first time we've seen the POWRLINK Zero pedals on sale, and thus far, about 4-5 months since launch - people seem really happy with them (as am I, it's become part of my testing rotation due to strong accuracy). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22

All the above links help support the site as well. Thanks!

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63 Comments

  1. Andrew M

    The heel just looks like 2 dudes with a surfboard. It works pretty well.

  2. David E.

    Whoa. Quite the tease there in #3. #dcrbomb

  3. Eni

    My very same thought exactly!! ?

  4. JD

    I see another significant change in the Fliiiight vs Halcyon. Foot levelers.
    I slide a shim onto one leg of my Halycon to level it. Perhaps I should call it a Shiiiim and post it on Shapeways. 😉
    Foot levelers solve the issue and provide a much larger contact area than the Halcyon.

  5. Anthony LoSasso

    Those girls sacked out in the stroller is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

    • Roady

      Not actually a stroller but inside the UA. The movement and I think ‘feel’ of the road just puts kids to sleep. My little guy was almost 2 before he stopped falling asleep during the ride to/from Nursery in a bike trailer. It was like clockwork every journey – within 300ft of travel he’d be out like a light!

  6. Kyle Blackketter

    Any chance of a review on the mioPOD coming up? I hadn’t heard of that one before and I’d love an upper-arm based OHR sensor I don’t have to charge every 4-5 days.My OH1+ is pretty great, but the battery life on it is so short that it won’t last through the week to my LR. It would be perfect if they had just doubled the size and used the extra capacity for a larger battery.

    • gingerneil

      Just what I was about to ask – I’m sure Ray is planning a review considering he’s using it.
      Wahoo ‘suggested’ that the features of the TICKR fit would expand. They havent.
      Schosche promised their ’24’ would do offline caching etc for Garmin. It doesn’t.
      The OH1 is too small and tends to flip over for me – the strap etc is poorly designed.
      Could Mio be about to come along and do everything that these others can’t quite manage ? They also seem to be pushing accuracy during ‘challenging’ conditions. Could we be about to see Mio back on the top of the optical pile. ?!

    • Yup, working my way through, probably up for next week as a review. I’ve got 3 workouts on it now I think. I had some initial app teething issues, but I think I’m past that right now (until I find the next issue I suppose).

      Ironically, I haven’t had the OH1 flip over on me in quite a while…and then on my ride just now it did it. Doh.

      The sensor is just a Valencell sensor – so in theory it’ll match the Scosche. In practice…ya never know. Track intervals in the morning.

    • gingerneil

      Awesome – I’ll keep an eye out for it. My Wahoo is working just fine, but love a new gadget!
      Whats the plan for the track ? It would be great to hear more about your training. Next goal race ??

    • Tim J

      Reluctantly, I’ve shifted the OH1 from my upper arm to the forearm just below the inside of the elbow. So far, this has helped keep it from flipping over, especially when I wear it with long sleeves. Polar should make it wider (in the across the strap direction) and use the extra space for more battery. That solves both issues with an otherwise great sensor.

    • Matt

      I’ve been using the tickr fit for a while. It’s got great battery (like 39 hours) and it’s been really accurate for me. Plus dual ant*+/BT.

    • Rob j

      I love the Polar OH1 with goggle clip for swimming. They could make the strap & it’s clip bigger. They should leave the size of the device the same.

  7. Marc Simkin

    Ray/Bobbie, would it be possible to get a more holiday neutral shirt, for those of us that don’t celebrate Christmas but the other holidays around this time of year?

    Cheers
    -marc

  8. Robin White

    Are you using the Urban Arrow Poncho? We got one but the boss doesn’t wear it much

    • Definitely. If it rains, I wear it. Every time.

      The Girl actually didn’t like it at first either, and then she got the hang of it and now always wears it while raining. I think in general the issue is that the height of the UA with the rain cover on is pretty high for shorter riders – and then you compound that concern with having this floppy tent over you.

  9. Adam Rodman

    Curious if you have tried the new ApplePro earbuds and if they are any better about falling out of your ear (or not)?

    Adam Rodman

  10. Steve W

    sooo… is the rhythm 24 sale price $89 or $69…(need to replace my dead rhythm+)

  11. Steve W

    ooops sale starts today..i could’ve just looked ?…$89

  12. Jonas Elmered

    My guess is that it is something about zwift. My google assistant feed on my phone managed to pick something up before the post was taken down:)

  13. Benjamin

    Point 3 is clickbait to keep me coming back! 🙂

  14. Pete Parfitt

    How about Zwift buying Elite, that would be fun!

  15. Tizzledk

    Keep us posted on the 4iiii Fliiiight (did I include enough i’s?). Anyway I am thinking of replacing my Direto with a Fliiiight or Kickr Core and I want to hear what you have to say.

  16. Robert

    Any plans on reviewing the Mavic Mini? I just don’t feel like I can ask Santa for it without hearing about the good, bad, and ugly from you.

  17. Andrew

    What happened to the rumoured Wahoo smart watch?

    • That’s what happens when people dig too much into *rumors*. 😉

    • Joe

      I attended a KICKR product demo at my local bike shop almost exactly one year ago. At that point the Wahoo sales rep was still previewing the watch. “We don’t have a multi sport watch… yet…”. Have got to expect that program has been deep sixed. The FTC photos were what, 2+ years ago now?

  18. Mike in Everwett

    4IIII FLIIIIGHT Smart Trainer questions,
    do the magnets spread far enough apart for fat / mtn bikes?
    Do any trainers handle mtn bike peddle surging realistically (lowest gearing on steep, lose hills) where you can’t just grind on a big front ring.

    If ya needed excuse to add a fat bike to the fleet.

    Thx
    Mike

  19. JeffX

    I wonder, When we can read your review of DJI Marvic Mini?

  20. thomaek

    it would be great if the Xmas t-shirt were available in smaller (toddler) sizes so that the whole family can wear them

  21. Andrea P

    Hi Ray,

    instead of typing “iiii” everytime why don’t you create a snippet/preference rule? In MacOS you can go to preferences→keyboard→text and create a simple rule to replece i.e. “4i” with “iiii” everytime you type it no matter the application used. Don’t have a windows machine around but probably there’s a similar utility available.

  22. Pieter

    Hi Ray, nice ugly shirt! Is the shirt clean: bio fabric and fair trade or is it really ugly?

    • The cotton shirt for the open house folks made here in Amsterdam are certified as “STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX”, which has a slew of certification criteria for both materials as well manufacturing sustainability that you can read up on.

      The ones from Teespring I don’t have in front of me at this exact second (in the wash at home, at the office), to check the tags.

    • Pieter

      Thanks for the reply! Standard is a first step: not harmful for our body. But unfortunately says nothing about ecologically / bio or labor circumstances. Difficult industry like also all the nice hardware we like so much.

    • From a labor standpoint, the underlying shirts are made in Germany (and the printing here in Amsterdam). Given it’s in the EU, I don’t believe there’s any real concern about labor circumstances.

  23. JD

    Hmm.. Garmin Vector Air —
    link to bicycling.com

    • GLT

      That article came up in my Apple News feed, so maybe I won’t give up on that app just yet. Most of the new device rumors & news have been from bloggers over the years. I imagine when the NDA is lifted we’ll see more details here.

      There is at least one other new Garmin device rumor floating around, so this may be an interesting holiday buying season.

  24. David S

    Have you ever done a review of running strollers? Which one do you use?
    I’m in the market for one but haven’t been able to decide which one yet.

    • No, I’ve been meaning too. We use this Bob model: link to amzn.to

      I love it, and I’ve actually used 2-3 other random strollers which claim to support running, and the main difference is the rolling resistance. The BOB just floats along. Also, I’ve seen the whole front tire recall thing a year ago, and frankly, it’s silly. It’s just people not knowing how to use a quick release skewer. It’s literally the exact same design as your bike wheels. Don’t get me wrong – I think the changes are grand, but I also think it’s typical Americana lawsuit overblown-ness for people not reading the manual.

    • David S

      That would be good. I’ve struggled to find any good comparisons.
      That’s thrown a spanner in the works, the BOB wasn’t the one is was looking at. I was considering the Out n About. Main downside seems to be fixed front wheel.
      Black Friday might make my mind up.
      Cheers for the reply. Keep up the good work.

  25. J.R.

    Any one need a bike. I have a Fuji 2000 fs men’s mountain bike. Great shape. Best offer