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:
Sunday: Suunto 7 with Wear OS–Maps, Music, Payments: Everything you ever wanted to know
Monday: Stages Further Lowers Power Meter Pricing to $299
Thursday: First Look: Amazfit’s Crazy Treadmill & Wall Display System
Expect to see some of the highlights of CES 2020 this week as I dig out from that. And then next week we’ve got the Tour Down Under, and expect to see a few things tied to that too. Goodness abounds!
Clever Training UK/Europe Closing – Huge Deals:
Over the last four years, many of you have supported the site via Clever Training UK/EU. That of course being an extension of Clever Training US. The European operation being run out of the UK, while the US operation is run from Florida. I greatly appreciate that support over those last four years of the European site – you’re awesome!
Unfortunately, Clever Training US has decided to focus purely on the North American market going forward. This is primarily due to the company’s continued expansion within North America (opening up numerous warehouses across the country, plus merger with JackRabbit sports). An element of uncertainty around Brexit was also a factor.
However, if there’s a silver lining in this cloud it’s that CT is putting *everything* on 30% off sale immediately. Yes, everything. That includes the Garmin Fenix 6 series, Edge 1030, Vector 3, Wahoo gear, and so on. If it’s on the site, it’s on sale for 30% off. If it’s not on the site, it’s gone. Note that no backorders will be accepted. So like buying Halloween candy after Halloween – once it’s gone, it’s gone. Items will disappear as stock disappears – and obviously this deal won’t last long.
Warranties will continue to be honored by the respective manufacturers the products are made by, which at this point is mostly just Garmin/Wahoo/Suunto/Polar gear left on the CT UK site.
Here’s a landing page of all the deals to get your mind working – though frankly anything you click on within the site is a deal because all products are 30% off. 😉 Note that the 10% DCR coupon doesn’t apply atop that (nice try though!). And as always, using these links help support the site!
Finally – note that Clever Training USA is still going strong (and bigger than ever). And as for Europeans (and Australian/New Zealand folks), you’ll be pleased to note that you can now support the site via Wiggle! Details on that here.
YouTube Videos This Past Week:
Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!
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):
[This week is a slight clearing out of a few links that have been sitting in open browser tabs for a while]
1) Fitbit publishes 2019 year in review stats breakdown: Unlike most/certain companies, Fitbit actually waited for 2019 to end before doing the data analysis. Interesting stuff – including the fact that those from Finland get the most sleep.
2) Philips escalates legal dispute with Garmin & Fitbit: This is kicking their dispute higher up the totem pole, which first started back in August. In fact, I outlined some of the specific patents in the comments section of that post as well as the FIT File Podcast Episode 84 a few days later.
3) A smaller USB-C Apple Watch charger: Here’s the link straight to Amazon. Basically it allows you to consolidate down the longer cord to a small puck, perfect for throwing in your bag for travelling.
4) Bluetooth SIG announces new Bluetooth audio specs: While not directly sport-related per se, this will undoubtedly impact sport devices in the coming years.
5) An open source variant of the KICKR CLIMB hardware: Wanna build your own Wahoo KICKR CLIMB? Well, now you can. I mean, with enough skills. The first of the links that’s been sitting on my browser tabs.
6) Hammerhead adds Live Tracking to Karoo (from late December): Oh man Hammerhead, you keep doing things to make me want to like your unit more and more with each firmware update. One might even say it’s reaching fairly competitive status. This latest update adds Live Tracking to the list. However, as has always been – the deal-killer is the lack of audible alerts/beeps/anything (important for navigation). Seriously, just add the beeper part into new units and be done with it. Instant success. Now, the new live tracking feature does expose the other major shortcoming of the Hammerhead Karoo: It actually can’t talk to your phone. Thus, in order to do live tracking you have to either put a SIM card in it (cool), or you have to enable the WiFi hotspot on your phone the entire time you’re riding (not cool). Plus the usual no smartphone notifications. Every time Hammerhead gets *THIS CLOSE*, it just hurts to have these two items be the deal-killers. I’m begging you Hammerhead: Don’t overthink this – just put a beeper in there and be done with it.
7) The research of poop to unlock athletic supremacy: This one was from back in December, but my Dad sent it over and it’s pretty fascinating.
8) What happens when politicians meddle with sport: This was back in December too, written from the perspective of a Russian athlete. Different perspectives are worth a read, even when you disagree with them.
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 Fenix 6 Series BETA Firmware Update: Added ability to configure intensity mins via HR zones, other fixes.
Garmin Fenix 5 Series Firmware Update: Fixes a Connect IQ issue.
Garmin Edge 530/830/1030 BETA Firmware Update: Holy balls. So many new additions. Tons of stuff related to indoor riding, a bunch of ClimbPro bits, and well like 25 other changes.
With that – thanks for reading and have a good week ahead!
Cheers Ray. Hammerhead comments spot on.
I think they are a bit reluctant as they simply can’t change the hardware and ship an updated Karoo with speaker without offending their current user base.
However, what they could do is to integrate a BLE piezoelectric speaker powered by a CR2032 battery into the mount which activates when the unit is attached.
I could live with that solution. Actually, in my opinion, the Karoo would actually get to be very competitive as it offers the best navigation experience.
That said, I experienced several crashes since the integration of the DI2 support.
I saw the beta a couple of days ago, coincidentally I had noticed my head unit time is messed up because I run it in indoor mode a lot (I think that’s why). I haven’t installed the beta but it looks like one can set the time in With Wi_Fi vs gps satellite dependency.
To the best of my knowledge, the problem with the do it yourself Kickr Climb is that not all trainers can support the force on the rear axle caused by the up and down motion of the device (climb) without some hardware modification needed in the trainer itself.
It’s not so much the “force on the rear axle”, it’s the absence of a pivot between the axle and the trainer. So when you try to lift the fork, the trainer wants to pivot with the bike, and the only give is for the axle mounting to slip on the dropouts – not a good idea.
Good point about the pivot… just came up with a redneck-engineered solution. Place the trainer “base” (legs, stand, what-have you) on a suitably sturdy block of plywood (maybe 3/4, maybe reinforced or doubled-up, what-have-you to your confidence level). Then place a wooden dowel (closet rod diameter) under the center-of-gravity of that board/trainer combo. Now the entire trainer/bike combo pivots smoothly over the dowel. (May want to put something under the dowel to not dig into the flooring/carpet if a soft-surface, but this is just conceptual anyhow)…. Good luck! (No, I haven’t tried, nor endorse this, but no reason it shouldn’t work perfectly)
Well, thinking about it more, it’d certainly work, but there would be some torque on the trainer/axle interface during accelerations (as the wheel tries to push the trainer around the dowel). So still some frame-strain involved at the dropouts, but not induced by the angle at least, more by the ability now to “pivot” introduces new strains.
So the “final” solution that solves that concern, would be to mount the bike such that the front and back of the bike, and trainer of course, are both on a single platform and the lifting component actually lifts/drops the front of the platform with everything on it. Still would have some form of a dowel under the contact point of the back wheel (obviously a wide dowel (2-3ft at least) for stability, wheels mounted at hte edge of the platform, something like that). So the whole platform pivots under the trainer/bike combo, as lifted by the front, but accel/decel forces drive into the platform without torquing front-to-back independently (it’s on the same flat “floor” as the front wheel, so the whole thing won’t have relative front-to-back motion across the bike (just normal trainer stresses basically that it’d have on the flat floor). Think thatss pretty much the same thing as some companies already have (a tilt-table), just under-engineered in this case. 🙂
“Added the ability to set system time using WiFi or Bluetooth when GPS is not available.” (new beta Edge 830 firmware)
Thank You Thank You Thank You!
Yeah, that’s an awesome one. The drift on the 530/830 devices is like a minute per week. It’s something I brought up mid-last year after seeing it enumerate in the DCR Anaylzer for indoor trainer tests.
And it works, too! After seeing that about the beta, I ran down to the basement and updated my 830. It was about 3 minutes off before the update, spot on afterwards with no GPS lock needed.
So now that The Girl has a Peloton, do you get your pizza oven?
So far as poop and athletics, there’s a hilarious South Park episode from the latest season about that. (As usual for South Park, not safe for young children.)
Thank you for the heads up about Clever Training Ray. Fenix 6 at this price was too good a deal to be missed.
Same here, got the Vector 3S for a cracking price.
Do you know if cleats are same as the ones used by Favero as i have a set of those, but having a few issues with them so got these as spares. 🙁
Technically they’re slightly different cleats. Garmin follows true Look KEO cleat standards, whereas Favero and PowerTap both use a slightly different variant.
That said, you can use them interchangeably – it’s just not as smooth, and in the first few weeks it might be hard to click in/out. I use them mixed daily – but I had a friend come over with their cleats and clipped in and they were like ‘WTF?!?’ – because by now I’ve just gotten used to it.
Cheers Ray, will maybe just use a different set of shoes then. 🙂
Shame about CleverTraining shutting down their EU operation as have bought quite a few things over the years from them (Favero Pedals, Edge 530, etc)
So what are the preferred cleats for the Favero pedals? Look Keo Cleats or the supplied Favero cleats? I don’t have any position memory hole on my shoes so no advantage between the two cleats. I just received the Assioma pedals and am curious long term which pair are more advantageous or preferred
You shouldn’t limit you’re wiggle pitch to just Europeans – if you’re willing to forgo warranties, they still usually undercut US sites even with shipping factored it
Poop research, I had to laugh at the part:
“You have no idea if this is even a healthy gorilla.”
He answered, “I hadn’t even thought about that.”
the Clever Training discount links seem only to be for the UK. Stuff in the US is still full price? Or is there a 30% discount to USA as well?
UK/Europe as that’s the one that is shutting down.
Yup, UK only. Cheers!
Any comments on the removed leaderboards of the Strava distance challenges?
What is Strava thinking of (the lack of) consumer satisfaction? Not to mention the lack of new features. And the stopped bluetoothconnections for the app last year…
Do they take their customers serious?
I guess this again will cost them a lot of summit accounts. I stopped it, do not want to support this kind of companies.
Honestly didn’t notice (I don’t use them). I’ll poke a bit…
Hi Ray. I follow your YouTube site so decided to check out this one as well.
It’s a shame to see CT fail in Europe, although not unexpected as it was run as per the US business pricing wise. Even now a lot of the discounts end up costing more than from other local UK shops which don’t have closing down sales. I think it’s a difficult move to cross that pond given the very very different retail conditions.
Great to see Wiggle be an option, that’s a much more workable solution for EU customers. Does that extend to CRC and Bike24 brands too?
Yeah, lack of MAP is tricky. Though, I think for non-random sales, they actually held their own semi-well once you accounted for the DCR 10% off coupon. In terms of consistently low price, especially for newer things that other companies wouldn’t discount.
As for CRC, let me dig into that!
Apparently bike24 won’t be part of that deal:
link to cyclingindustry.news
(b24 don’t seem do be above doing the affiliate dance though, so they might join the club if Ray decided to go maximum marketing promiscuity)
Ordered from CT as the discount was great but there was no option for free shipping, only expedited shipping which was to Finland roughly 30 euros… Still leaving the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music price great though but a bit annoying. Did someone else get a free shipping? I enquired about the shipping selection and got a reply that the expedited was the only option.
That’s weird. It’s always been free Euro shipping for anything over 99EUR or 99GBP.
Yes, had to pay about 28 euros for expedite shipping, no other option available…
Ok, just got confirmation back that they removed the free shipping due to the 30% discount. Will adjust the wording. Sorry about that!
Great, then it wasn’t just me. Part of that fee was maybe also tax as VAT is a bit higher in Finland than in the UK
I had to pay for expedited shipping too. But it’s been a week and it has not shipped yet. sent them an email but no reply.
IMO the Hammerhead is still a long way from being “competitive” and by that I mean all the missing features useful for training that are baked into the Garmin 830/1030 and comparable Wahoo units.
No sounds, no phone connection, no this or that. Three strikes and you’re out.
Unless you’re ONLY interested in navigation and a superior screen, the Hammerhead doesn’t measure up.
This isn’t to say they might not get there but it will be YEARS after posting their original “features coming” list. In the meantime other brands have added more features and are adopting better screens.
It depends on the pricing and focus area. I think if it had those two core things: Sounds & phone connection, it actually could be legit competitive with a Garmin or Wahoo for navigation. After all, Wahoo has but a fraction of the Garmin training features (really, Wahoo has basically no training features except for structured workouts) – and yet they’re still popular. It’s not all about features.
But without a beeper or phone connectivity, they’ll never make that jump.
So if someone wants to make a “sound decision” about which GPS to buy, they need took elsewhere. 🙂
Shame about CT Europe…it is a bit of a cutthroat market I suppose..
I ordered two Fenix 6X Pro Solar units.
I am in the UK and also only had an expedited shipping option- not sure what that’s all about..
Has anyone else noticed their Garmin auto connecting to their phone by BT?
It’s like it used to be a year or so ago, no need to open Garmin Connect App, and still not quite work all the time.
Not sure if this is a Garmin (1030) update or Android (or both).