Friday Tidbits: Trainer App news, FR245/FR945 gets major update, KICKR Bike gets profiles

Here’s your quick round-up of news that I didn’t quite get to this past week. Or, that wasn’t quite worthy of an entire separate post. Either way, it’s Friday, let’s get on with it.

Rouvy & RGT (Road Grand Tours) News:

No, they haven’t merged. Though, that would be interesting (albeit, confusing). Still, both apps have got news.

Officially as of yesterday, Road Grand Tours is out of beta…and now re-branded RGT. Honestly, I kinda forgot they were still technically in beta it’s been so long (4 years, to be precise). Still, in addition to removing the beta moniker, they’ve added new features for the indoor 2019-2020 season.

For example, there’s the new ‘Magic Roads’ concept that allows you to upload any 100KM route or shorter and it’ll automatically generate a route based on that. So in some ways it’s not terribly unlike what other apps can do, except that rather than doing it atop Google Earth, they just generate something road-wise on the fly. And, you can run events on that. Anyway, here’s a promo video from them on that:

There’s also the new structured workout integration with TrainingPeaks, so if you’ve got structured workouts there it’ll pull it down from TrainingPeaks and execute it within RGT. This is in addition to specific training plans and workouts that are now there as well.

Of course, as part of growing up, they had to get a job. Or rather, you have to pay them. There’s two variants now – a ‘Freemium’ version and a ‘Premium’ version:

I’ll cover the features in slightly more detail as part my ongoing and ever-growing masterpiece that is the Indoor Trainer App Guide for 2019…err…almost 2020. Either way, these days indoor training apps aren’t really winter limited. But RGT did make the cut.

Moving on…

Another that made the cut this year is Rouvy. And they too have news. They’ve announced the partnership with the Tour de Suisse (Swiss, for English folk). The 3-year partnership basically covers two specific things:

A) All the stages for this upcoming Tour will be available to pre-ride
B) All eight stages of the 2020 Tour will be recorded with riders/etc on race day so that you can ride as part of the peloton after the race

That’s pretty cool, and I don’t think we’ve seen any all-encompassing effort like this yet. We’ve got various stages of various events recorded and available via various apps. For example, The SufferFest leverages some stages here and there for certain workouts (which are great). But nothing that’s all stages, all riders, the whole setup. So that’s cool.

While their preview video is hilariously too short, the 13 seconds that are within that starting at the 11-second marker are worthwhile watching. This seems to be a step-up on their augmented reality (or whatever you want to call it), where they’ve got race fencing as well as a few other odds and ends on the course. It looks impressively convincing actually.

The company says they’ll start publishing those stages in January, and will have them all up by March.

Wahoo KICKR Bike Adds Multi Bike Profiles & Di2 Synchro:

Wahoo has rolled out a new feature to their KICKR Bike, enabling the creation of bike profiles. Essentially, you can now create ‘virtual bikes’, with the collection of ‘virtual gearing’ configuration settings. This also includes the specifics of a given bike fit (which in turn impact some aspects like how far the CLIMB will go up/down).

Simply update your Wahoo app to see the new features (assuming you’re one of the lucky ducks that actually has a bike). You’ll see now the ability to create new bike profiles, with names of your choosing:

  

You can see above where I can ‘Create bike profile’, or I can tap ‘Configure’ and modify an existing profile. Once within a profile I can give it a name, change the shifting, braking, chainrings, cassette, and FIT. Essentially all the things you could do before when you only had one bike profile.

Ultimately, allowing me to clean-up the default profile and leaving me with something vaguely similar to my actual bikes:

 

In addition, you may have noticed that there’s now the ability to have Di2 Synchro as a shifting option. So the concept being that it’ll shift more than one gear at once into the correct next ‘logical’ gear just like in Di2. I haven’t tried it yet though, as I’ve just got regular Di2 on my tri bike, and regular eTAP on my road bike. Though, no eTAP AXS here yet (which has a similar feature) – but I’ve gotta imagine that’s in the pipeline.

Note that user profiles are still separated out. Wahoo envisions that being done on a per user app. The importance there is primarily your weight, which impacts how the bike feels when it replicates road feel responsiveness and climbs. So in this scenario I have my Wahoo app on my phone configured to be me, and The Girl has her Wahoo app on her phone configured to be her (with her bike profiles). In theory all we have to do is walk up to the bike, open the app and connect to it, and it pushes down the road bits. In practice that’s a bit muddy because you don’t truly know on the bike itself which profile is active. In any case, that’s I suppose something for another day.

Garmin Forerunner 245 & 945 gets Big Feature Update:

Over the past week Garmin has pushed out a new firmware update for the FR945 that adds some pretty significant new features from the Garmin Swim 2 watch, as well as a bunch of things from the Venu & Vivoactive 4 series. Plus, a few other random features, bug fixes and such. But again, the biggies here are the Swim 2 features & Venu/Vivoactive 4 features:

  • Add Garmin Swim 2 Features: Advanced Swim Workouts, Auto rest, Critical Swim Speed, Swim Pacing Alerts
  • Added all-day respiration, respiration widget, and breathwork activity
  • Improved treadmill calibration. An outdoor run prior to first treadmill use will improve performance
  • Added Pilates
  • Improvements to Spotify, audio playback, other audio apps
  • Fixed crash that could occur on activity save at high elevation
  • Added advanced Yoga and Pilates Workouts
  • Added support for Hydration widget, tracking, and sweat loss
  • Added support for Airplane Mode, which allows the user to disconnect from all wireless communication namely Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ANT. (Hold Light > Controls > Hold Up > Add Controls > Airplane Mode)
  • Added support for file based Emojis, which brings support for over 1300 Emojis. (Update your device through Express or connect it to Garmin Connect Mobile.)
  • Added support for ClimbPro ‘Climb Detection’ setting in Cycling. (Bike > Activity Settings > ClimbPro > Climb Detection) This allows the customer to customize grade ‘sensitivity’ when identifying climbs
  • Improved ClimbPro for cycling by adding category coloring to the ascent graph, which better depicts the difficult portions of the climb. This will also be available when reviewing the elevation plot for a course
  • Improved compass performance
  • Fixed an issue where the device may become unresponsive when trying to navigate certain types of PacePro enabled courses
  • Fixed an intermittent issue where the map would switch to a Dark theme when previewing a PacePro course
  • Various other fixes and improvements

Meanwhile, the FR245 also got a very similar update as well:

  • Add Garmin Swim 2 Features: Advanced Swim Workouts, Auto rest
  • Added all-day respiration, respiration widget, and breathwork activity
  • Improved treadmill calibration. An outdoor run prior to first treadmill use will improve performance
  • Added Pilates
  • Improvements to Spotify, audio playback, other audio apps
  • Added advanced Yoga and Pilates Workouts
  • Added support for Hydration widget, tracking, and sweat loss
  • Added support for Airplane Mode, which allows the user to disconnect from all wireless communication namely Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ANT. (Hold Light > Controls > Hold Up > Add Controls > Airplane Mode)
  • Added support for file based Emojis, which brings support for over 1300 Emojis. (Update your device through Express or connect it to Garmin Connect Mobile.)
  • Fixed an intermittent issue where the map would switch to a Dark theme when previewing a PacePro course
  • Various other fixes and improvements

This is version 3.90 that you’re looking for, and by now it’s likely you’ve already been updated or offered the update (it started last Friday). Garmin does phased updates though, whereby they ‘release’ the update to a certain % of people each day (usually around 10-20%), but I believe at this point it has reached 100% availability, meaning that you should be offered the update. And these days, most of the updates just quietly install at night.

Oh – and if you’ve got a Fenix 6? That similar update with the Swim 2 bits is coming soon, in fact you can already download a beta version of it here. Now, if only Garmin would add PacePro to the FR645 and we’d be all set.

Anyway – go forth and update and enjoy!

Reminder: 20% sale off Favero & Wahoo (and more) ends tonight!

Last call on this last minute sale, but just in case you missed it, there’s a rare sale of the Favero Assioma power meter pedals for 20% off right now, bringing them down to $519. Also, the Wahoo KICKR, KICKR CORE, CLIMB, Headwind, and all sorts of other Wahoo things are 20% off too. The sale further includes the Saris H3, Saris MP1 platform (which according to UPS is out for delivery today, woot!), and plenty more!

Here’s the full sale page of deals. But this ends tonight, US Eastern Time. So get on with buying your significant other a new trainer. I mean, assuming they want that. Otherwise you just get in trouble. Just sayin’. I’ve put just the cycling table below (there’s still the watches and the GoPro Hero 8 bundle deal for $349, which is super solid) – all of which are listed on the full deals page above, where I’m still adding in deals daily.

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
CycleOps Hammer (Original) - $200 off$599This is a solid deal if you don't mind the slight racket that the original CycleOps Hammer makes. Note that basically there's virtually no feature differences between the H1/H2/H3 - just different colors of paint and on the H3, a different belt that makes it quieter. They're already running near identical firmware (the original Hammer got a big firmware update Aug 2019 to bring them all inline).
Elite Direto X Smart Trainer - Normally $899$699⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Elite Sterzo Steering Wheel Block - Normally $69$55⚡ Clever Training 20% sale, use code MARCH20
Elite Suito Smart Trainer - Normally $799$639⚡ Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last, use code MARCH20
Garmin Edge 1030 - $200 off!$399
Garmin Edge 130 - $50 off!$149
Garmin RTL510 Varia Cycling Radar - $70 off$129This is a sweet deal, unclear how long this deal will last. This is notable now that Wahoo, Hammerhead, and Stages all support the Varia radar (plus Garmin of course).
Garmin Vector 3 - $200 Off$799⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Kinetic R1 Smart Trainer with Motion - 30% off$670Now, if you don't mind a bit of noise, and a bit of inaccuracy in the power data - then this is a steal for this trainer . Definitely the lowest price we've seen it to date. But, read the review first.
Saris H3 (Hammer 3) Smart Trainer - $200 off!$799⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Saris M2 Smart Trainer - Normally $499$399⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Saris MP1 NFinity Motion Platform - Normally $1,199$959⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Saris TD1 Trainer Desk - Normally $329$263⚡ Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). Clever Training use code MARCH20
Tacx Flux S Smart Trainer - Normally $750$600⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Tacx NEO 2T Smart - Normally $1,400 - 20% off$1,120⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20. NOTE: Clever Training has NEO 2T in stock, whereas REI is backordered.
Wahoo CLIMB Accessory - Normally $599$480⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Wahoo Headwind Fan - Normally $249$199⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Wahoo KICKR + CLIMB Bundle - $200 off!$1,599This is a simple bundle of the Wahoo KICKR 2018 + the KICKR CLIMB, for $1,599 (versus the normal cost of $1,799).
Wahoo KICKR Core Smart Trainer - Normally $899$720⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Wahoo KICKR SNAP - $499 normally$400⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20
Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer - Normally $1,199$959⚡ REI & Clever Training 20% sale till supplies last (likely not long). REI use code MEMPERKS2020, Clever Training use code MARCH20

With that – have a good weekend ahead!

DC Rainmaker:

View Comments (34)

  • Thanks for the post! If I'm looking to add HR to my Zwift cycling setup, between the arm band HR BT bands, e.g. a Scosche, and applying the $80 or so towards the purchase of a 245 or 945 watch, which do you like between the two? I'd want to enable BT HR broadcasting on the watch route, and I'd like it to pair reliably (Apple TV) and not be too finicky. I imagine the dedicated strap is always going to be quicker/more reliable, but I'd rather have this functionality on the watch if it's pretty close and skip the dedicated HR band. I currently have a Vivofit 3 and am looking at upgrading. Thanks!

  • Buddys, I' ve just bought 245 and I'm very disapointed. Garmin cut out critical swim speed workout and pace alerts. This functions apear only in 945. Ray, please, put lights on this.
    Thanks a lot. 245 last uptadet 4.0.
    Gustavo

    • Yeah, it looks like they changed the release notes after initial upload. Previously the FR245 release notes for that firmware had CSS, whereas later on it was snipped.

    • Yeah that sucks! I bought one for my wife and I keep looking for the CSS test for her to do and nothing! How disappointing.

  • What exactly makes the Swim Workouts "Advanced"? I just read the whole Swim 2 post and didn't see any details about what that means. I created a new swim workout in GC and it doesn't seem any different than before. Where does the whole advanced come into play?

    • According to Garmin, from some slides I had back in August:

      "- Remove limitations in GC that existed only for pool swim workouts.
      - Enable more than two steps in a Repeat Block.
      - Enable nested repeat blocks.
      - Improved watch UX for stepping through workouts"

      I believe these carry over here too.

  • Battery Life is a joke on FR945 fw3.90
    Hydration widget same, everytime differences to GCM vs Watch (a 8 year old developer can do it better!)
    and Respiration Rate Widget isn't available on GCM Android and it don't cares

  • I am pretty excited to try the "magic roads" concept in RGT. Will have to give it a spin with the trial version during the holiday season. Thanks for posting!

  • It unfortunately also appears that the servers for the OLD Tacx Trainer software 4 have been shut down now.

    My 75 year old dad found out earlier this week, when tts4 started giving him errors, and apparently it just stops working when it can't find any web. (can't get past the "news site")

    • Sorry - his setup was actually pretty solid with his old fortius trainer (it did get a new motor though), But he started on tts3, and did not want to pay the premum for the full version of tts4, so he did only use his rlv's in tts4 and pretty much nothing else was premium.
      And we are unfortunately in northern europe - and have no idea about what happened on the other side of the pond.

      But yes - you could not stop thinking that was a bit of a "cashcow" for them.

    • This is such crap what can it possibly cost them to keep the licensing server on?

      You will never be able to reinstall or install the licensed videos you paid a premium price for. They charged customers multiple times for bug fix releases of TTS that at its best would crash 15% of the time and at worst more like 65%. Remember the North American hardware faults that you could have the privelege of paying to fix? But only if you saw it barely mentioned for a 6 week period hidden on their website.

      I don't care how good the new trainers are Tacx is never getting another $ from me.

  • Thanks for the update Ray! Good to see Wahoo putting out updates to the KICKR already.
    Hopefully transmitting power data is next as my Fenix 6 is feeling lonely on indoor rides...

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