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.
And here’s a close-up:
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).
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:
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.
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.
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:
And here’s a picture on the way home – with both kiddos hard asleep in the bike:
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:
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:
(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:
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).
GPS data was mostly blah from everyone. Nobody got it spot-on, with many of the units skewing off into the woods.
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:
|Product||Sale Price||Amazon||Clever Training||Other site||Sale Notes|
|Copyright DC Rainmaker - Updated December 3rd, 2019 @ 9:10 am|
|Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)||$169||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This unit recently got reduced to $199, and now it's down to $169. Walmart is also offering it for $129 on Black Friday weekend.|
|Apple Watch Series 4 - $100 off!||$299||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This is a pretty darn strong deal. While the Series 4 doesn't have the always-on display of the Series 5, it has everything else, including a heck of a lot better battery performance/life.|
|Apple Watch Series 5 - $20 off||$379||Amazon||N/A||It's a note a huge deal, but I also don't think we're going to see any huge deals this season on the new Series 5.|
|Fitbit ACE 2 - $10 Off||$59||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Fitbit Inspire - $10 Off||$59||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Fitbit Inspire HR - $20 Off||$79||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Cadence Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off||$35||Amazon||N/A||Note: This is a random Amazon deal that will probably disappear. But, it's a great sensor for Zwift usage as it's not just dual ANT+/BLE, but dual-BLE atop that (so it can do two concurrent Bluetooth connections and unlimited ANT+ connections).|
|Garmin Descent MK1 - $200 Off||$799||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Edge 530 Cycling GPS - 11% off!||$265||Amazon||N/A||⚡ ⚡ This is the first sale we've seen on this unit, which only came out this past spring. It's also an Amazon-specific sale and is highly unlikely to last long. This is one of the main units I use for my day to day riding and testing.|
|Garmin Fenix 5 Plus (5/5S/5X) - $150 Off||$449||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡This is a strong deal on the Fenix 5 Plus series. This is for all models/variants. Obviously, the Fenix 6 came out two months ago, so don't expect major new feature updates on the Fenix 5 Plus - but still, it's a strong option.|
|Garmin Fenix 5 Series - 50% off||$299 and up||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡ Down to $299 is a substantial deal for the Fenix 5S & 5X (non-Plus), so don't expect much in the way of major firmware updates. But still, at that price it's solid. Heck, the 5S for $299 is actually the exact rose gold version that The Girl has (and still wears to this day).|
|Garmin Forerunner 35 - $60 Off||$99||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Forerunner 735XT GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $349||$219-$236||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This is a fantastic deal right now. The price on Amazon is fluctuating a bit, but either way - by far the lowest we've seen. Awesome if you're looking to get into triathlon or just want a really capable running/cycling/swimming watch.|
|Garmin HRM-RUN (with Running Dynamics) - $20 off||$79||Amazon||N/A||N/A||This is the odd (and unheard of) Amazon sale. This strap includes Running Dynamics, but is ANT+ only. Honestly, unless you really want Running Dynamics, I'd recommend getting the HRM-DUAL instead (it's dual ANT+/BLE).|
|Garmin HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM Bundle (30% off!)||$139||Amazon||N/A||Another rare Amazon sale on the HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM straps. Also individually for 30% off too at same link.|
|Garmin Instinct - $100 Off||$199||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Instinct Tactical- $100 Off||$249||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 17% off||$57||Amazon||N/A||Allows you to get not just Running Dynamics metrics, but also running power, on Garmin devices.|
|Garmin Speed Sensor Gen2 (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth) - $5 off||$35||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This isn't a huge deal per se, but it is my favorite speed sensor for a commuter bike as it just quietly tracks all your mileage in the background and syncs it to your phone. Also, this falls in the bucket of 'random Amazon deals that will probably disappear'.|
|Garmin Tactix Charlie- $150 Off||$599||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3 - Normally $249||$126-$144||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡⚡⚡ This was as low as $99 over Black Friday weekend, which is absolutely crazy. However, even at sub-$150 it's still an incredible deal.|
|Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music - 30% off||$199||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡⚡ Very solid deal, and remember, this includes Spotify support too!|
|Garmin Vivoactive 4 First Avenger Smartwatch- $50 Off||$349||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivoactive 4 Legacy Saga Darth Vader - $50 Off||$349||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 - $20 Off||$49||Amazon||Clever Training||Sale includes all Jr 2 Disney and non-Disney variants|
|Garmin Vivomove HR - $50 Off||$149||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Garmin Vivosmart 4 - $30 Off||$98||Amazon||Clever Training||** Amazon currently $98 ; Clever Training $109|
|GoPro Hero 7 Black with 32GB- $30 Off||$299||Amazon||Clever Training|
|Polar OH1 Plus Optical Sensor - 14% off||$68||Amazon||N/A||⚡ This is one of my favorites, and I use it constantly for HR accuracy testing comparisons. Note that the CT VIP deal is a better deal, but since you can only redeem that for one product - this is handy if you still want a nice little deal. Deal varies based on which color you get.|
|Polar Vantage M GPS Multisport Watch - Normally $279||$167||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡⚡⚡ Woah - this is probably the deal of the year for wearable tech. This is a great little watch that includes full multisport mode (for triathletes), as well as things like full power meter support and more. Very very solid deal.|
|Polar Vantage V GPS Multisport Watch - 30% off||$349||Amazon||Clever Training||⚡ This is a reasonably good deal for the Vantage V, which has seen a number of updates over the last year (and more slated in December).|
|Power2Max NG Power Meter Sale - Free chainrings||N/A||N/A||Power2Max Site||Power2Max is running a sale on their site where if you buy one of their power meter units you'll get either free chainrings (which you'll need), or 25% off electronics they carry (such as the Wahoo GPS units or Cycliq units).|
|Tacx NEO Bike Smart - $700 off (brand new but scratched units)||$2,499||N/A||Clever Training||N/A||⚡⚡⚡ If you're in the market for one of these indoor bikes, this is a steal of a deal. Normally $3,199 - Garmin/Tacx are marking $700 off after a batch of them got sent (brand new) across the pond with some "cosmetic" scratches. You can see the pictures in the sale link, and honestly, I'd take that $700 for a couple of very minor scratches. Plus, they ship within a few days.|
|Wahoo KICKR + CLIMB Bundle - $200 off!||$1,599||N/A||Clever Training||This is a simple bundle of the Wahoo KICKR 2018 + the KICKR CLIMB, for $1,599.|
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