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Week in Review–November 17th, 2019

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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
Tuesday: LVL’s ‘Hydration Sensor’ Rises from the Dead, Gets Acquired
Tuesday: COROS Releases New ‘Running Track’ Mode On Watches, Adds Running Power & Efficiency Pod
Tuesday: Zwift Confirms New Hardware Division: Posts Job Positions To Build Indoor Smart Bikes
Thursday: Huge Fall Sale: 20% off including trainers, power meters, watches and more
Friday: All The Garmin & Suunto Holiday Deals Are Now Live (plus a few others)

We’ll shift back this week to almost a complete review week as I try and flush out a bunch of things from this fall that are still floating around the DCR Cave.

Sports Tech Deals:

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Of course – there’s the huge deals post I launched on Friday, which covers all the pre-Black Friday deals. I’ll do another post on Black Friday weekend. Though, the deals database is/will actually be the same under the covers. I’ll also be pre-loading in some of the various Black Friday ads into it, so you can see some of those deals – but even now I list some of them in that post anyway. There won’t be any real surprises in the US. Europe however is the wild-wild west, and look for those deals to have their own table this week (most of them tend to get solid around Black Friday itself).

However, I’m *constantly* adding new deals to the database. So, if you haven’t visited or followed on Twitter since Friday, here’s what you missed that I’ve posted over the weekend:

GoPro Hero 8 Black @ $347 (about $52 off)
Garmin Edge 530 @ $265 ($35 off)
Garmin Edge 830 @ $360 ($40 off)
Garmin HRM-RUN, HRM-TRI, HRM-SWIM straps at upwards of 30% off
Garmin HRM-DUAL strap at $10 off
Garmin RD-POD at 17% off
Saris H3 (Hammer 3) @ $750 (25% off)

All of the above are notable because all of them are Amazon (except the Saris H3) and all of them are technically Amazon goin’ wild (meaning, without approval). In other words, they won’t last long.

Oh – and don’t forget to follow along on Twitter, I’ve been searching the interwebs high and low every day for new deals, and round them up roughly each evening and Tweet them out.

FIT File Podcast This Week:

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Episode 93 of the podcast is available for the taking, with Episode 94 being recorded tomorrow!

– BKool ditches hardware
– Strava’s CEO departure
– Zwift plans new hardware division
– Peloton acquires their Taiwanese hardware manufacturer
– Canyon Updates their Indoor Trainer Policy
– PowerTap G4 Chit-Chat
– Garmin Pace Pro goes to FR945/FR245
– Ray’s Tacx NEO 2T Full Review

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

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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):

1) Apple releases ‘Research’ app with Apple Watch studies available to enroll: Out of all the things Apple has done with the Watch, I think by far the coolest is the ability to get massive data collected for medical/academic studies quickly and efficiently. At scales simply not possible before, and with actual data to back it up.

2) eBikes specified as allowed on National Park Trails: Note that this is technically formalizing the policy, and is mostly applicable to paved pathways more than anything else.

3) Tariffs lifted on certain carbon frames entering the US: Interesting to see which companies manage to get exemptions, and which exemptions also manage to get extended to an entire industry segment.

4) GoPro’s earnings very strong: GoPro is looking pretty solid with the release of the Hero 8, though, these Q3 figures actually wouldn’t include the Hero 8 as it wasn’t launched in Q3 but Q4.

5) Apple Watch sales continue to get stronger: But, what is oft forgotten here is so are many other players (well, except Fitbit). Garmin for example has never sold more watches than this year.

6) Adidas ditches US & Germany-based robotic assembly: Would love to be a fly on the wall of why precisely this failed. Sure, they list some reasons – but that doesn’t seem to tell the whole picture. For a company of Adidas’s scale, this is fairly surprising.

7) The nuances of California’s new Equal-Pay Act for Athletes: Definitely good to get yourself versed on this – if for no other reason than to fight misinformation seen on Twitter and the like. I’m super excited to see this go in effect in January 2020.

8) The July Galileo Outage: What happened and why. Lots of you sent this in. Get ready to geek-out.

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 Edge 130 BETA Firmware Update: Bug fixes around phone connectivity

Garmin Edge 530/830/1030 BETA Firmware update: Bug fixes around instability with Connect IQ apps/data fields

Garmin Fenix 6 Series Firmware Update: Pile of small bug fixes

Garmin MARQ Series BETA Firmware Update: Pile of small bug fixes

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Firmware Update: Added Relive connectivity, bug fixes.

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

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24 Comments

  1. Julie Snelling

    New to your page, please add me to newsletter list
    Thanks

  2. Ian Marchant

    My vivoactive 3 updated to v7 this week. no mention on the linked page though.

  3. Benjamin

    Good spot on the 530 deal! Nabbed it. 🙂

  4. Dave Lusty

    That tarriff thing is interesting (for a UK person looking in). I thought the tarriffs were designed to force US manufacturers to make their goods in the USA and therefore create jobs. This change would suggest it was all a PR stunt after all and Trump doesn’t actually have the country’s best interests at heart after all. If that’s the case then all he’s achieved is raising prices locally.
    Tarriffs to the UK are set to rise to insane levels after Brexit (40% in some instances, but apparently people voted for that too), so things aren’t better here either!

    • Yup. 🙂

      It’s actually interesting. Of course, none of these tariffs have moved manufacturing to the USA from China. And of course, all they’ve done is raise prices on US consumers or negatively impacted the bottom line for US companies that have simply swallowed the tariff costs rather than passed it onto consumers.

      However, the singular thing it has done though is actually hurt China. Countless companies (including many huge ones) are either in the process or working towards moving manufacturing out of China to nearby countries. We see that within our little sports tech segment for example. Every company I’ve talked to that has manuf in China is either already moving manuf out, or working towards and end-post there.

      So I suppose in that sense it worked. But it’s a bit of a ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ approach. As has been said numerous times by the worlds ‘Really smart people’ (economists): Trade warns never help anyone. Well, I suppose unless you’re in Thailand or Vietnam, and then this worked out fantastically for your manufacturing industry.

    • Dave Lusty

      I feel like a move out of China was coming anyway as China began to get richer and labour costs rose. This just gives a neat excuse. Certainly Africa has been talked about as the next target for cheap labour and materials once the eastern costs go up – there’s always someone else to exploit!

      If you think moving the manufacturing will hurt China I’d say wait and see. They will (by sheer area of land) still likely supply most of the materials to wherever handles the factory bit next. Also, for every iphone moved overseas a domestic need will replace that in the factory so worst case China will probably remain static for manufacturing but grow in shipping and materials. Even Garmin watches have a low cost Chinese counterpart which will probably jump into the factory as soon as it’s vacated, and I’d bet that’s the point we start to see local demand in the region for sports tech.

    • Yeah, there’s lots of talk about Africa – but I think that’s mostly misunderstanding the continent. As the saying goes you’ll hear countless times when in Africa: “It’s Africa”.

      Which is to say, business is Africa is exceedingly challenging on numerous levels. For tech manufacturing, a massive part of that will ultimately just be the fact that components are still coming out of Asia. Nobody is going to want to ship those to Africa by ship, and then put them back on a boat somewhere else.

      I don’t think we’ve seen any international scale assembly/manufacturing in Africa at this point for any major western products (aside from apparel).

    • Dave Lusty

      I wouldn’t underestimate what greed can achieve. Africa will have its day as the cheap exploited labour force once other options are exhausted. I’m sure it will also be used as a materials source eventually once economics make it worthwhile “fixing” the political issues.

  5. Pavel

    Completely missed deals on Garmin HR straps.
    Ray, do you thinks it’s worth waiting for updated HRM-TRI (with the same communication hardware as HRM-DUAL) or it’s not going to happen within a reasonable timeframe (e.g. 1 year from now)?

    • It’s tough. When the HRM-DUAL first came out, Garmin was clear that all their sensor lineup would get refreshed (or, the majority of it anyway). It seemed like that was a relatively short to medium term thing.

      But nearly a year later and we’re still waiting on the one people most care about: HRM-TRI (or, the one us geeks care about).

      My suggestion would be that if you have a use-case for using it heavily today (meaning, until triathlon season), then go forth and buy it and benefit from it. Whereas, if it’s more of a ‘I might use it next spring’, then I’d probably just wait and buy it next spring and hope something comes out.

      I keep hoping for the day a Garmin variant of a Polar H10 comes out – as that reduces the number of devices I need to take on runs primarily (where I often record the chest strap data on another device). I don’t like using the Polar H10 since it requires triggering the recording with the app.

  6. Hans

    Nothing on Racefox + Polar H10 ?

    • Yeah, I meant to include it in the list above – will add it to next week’s.

      I haven’t had a chance to try it yet. To me though, I honestly don’t see the appeal of paying $15/month for it. It’s a non-starter. And that’s before we even talk about dealing with carrying a phone connecting to a HR strap to get real-time feedback, or the messiness of starting/stopping the Polar Beat app for runners for offline feedback.

      I guess the challenge is that by and large nobody seems to care about running efficiency metrics after about week 1 of using something. Same is true for Garmin Running Dynamics. Even if this were free, I’m not sure I’d bother setting it up or using it. There are so many companies that have tried doing this here, and the *only* way it *barely* works (as defined from a business standpoint) is built into a watch that people are using. And even that’s questioanble.

      Just my two cents.

  7. Vincent Chang

    Too bad, those Garmin Edge deal link to Amazon.com don’t apply to Amazon.ca.

  8. Egil

    Do you know any site which list the new feature and bug fixes for new versions of garmin connect? Both App Store and the app only says a vague “ general improvement”

  9. Henk

    Looks like there is a new firmware update out for the CycleOps/Saris H(ammer) trainers, will install it on my H2 tonight.

  10. Paul N.

    Ordered a discount 530 to replace my old 520 so the deal is still available for now. Thanks for the heads up.

  11. Michael Williams

    Hi Ray, I am in my 60’s and trying to stay in shape riding my bike and running. I have done bicycle touring from overnight to 9 days of touring up and down the California coast. My job keeps me busy so short runs in my neighborhood to get in shape for a half marathon and short rides on the bike along the coast as a reward for a hard day at work was the best I could do. I stumbled onto your podcast and decided to up my game. I just bought a Wahoo Kickr to setup in my garage based upon your videos and website recommendation. I also bought a Garmin Fenix 5 plus and use the free running training programs because its got a program for running 3 days a week. I bought a Garmin 1030 for my bike which downloads to Garmin connect and Strava. I am buying stuff on Clever training to support you. Thanks for doing what you do.

  12. Adam

    Understanding that you’re hard at work and family duties, figured it was still worth checking in to see whether there’s any chance of the Fliiiight review posting before CT’s 20% off sale ends on Sunday?