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Week in Review–February 9th, 2020

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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!

Sports Tech Deals of Note:

For whatever reason, the sports tech deal train has rained down upon us starting this weekend. Many of the major companies have either made permanent pricing shifts, or we’re seeing some mid-Q1 sale pushes to try and drive numbers. I wouldn’t overthink *any* of these sales as indicators of new products (save the Pioneer thing obviously being clearance). It’s not the right time of year for any of the products below to get refreshed.

ProductSale PriceAmazonClever TrainingOther siteSale Notes
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $30 off$130I use AirPods primarily when I'm travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc... I don't tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out. Also, with the wireless charging case for $50 off. Personally, I just use the basic model.
DJI OSMO Action (Action Cam) - Normally $329$259⚡ This is by far the lowest price we've seen on the DJI OSMO Action, and it's a very strong first contender from DJI to compete with the Hero 7 Black (realistically, except for the dual-screen, it simply doesn't compete with the Hero 8). I really like a lot of elements on the OSMO Action, but especially the dual-screen. Check out my full review for comparative thoughts. While I would have said that maybe we'd see a new OSMO Action sometime this spring (an annual refresh cycling), I'm pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening.
DJI OSMO Pocket - $100 off$299This is the tiny little hand-held gimbal. I actually use this from time to time at tradeshows to shoot b-roll primarily.
Garmin Fenix 6 Series - $150 all models$150 offThis is a solid deal, and I think the best deal to date on the Fenix 6 series. Note, I would not take this as a sign of some new Fenix unit. Instead, Garmin has *every year* put the Fenix series on sale in May, leading into people (normally) heading outdoors.
Garmin Forerunner 245 & 245 Music - $50 off$249 & $299Both the Forerunner 245 & 245 Music are on sale for $50 off. While not a huge sale, it's actually the lowest we've seen either product priced to date. So, that's worth considering. The FR245 Music supports Spotify, Amazon Music, and other streaming platforms.
Garmin Forerunner 45/45S - $50 off$149If you're looking for a runners focused watch, there's no better deal on the market than this. Period. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series. Seriously, this is a solid deal.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - $50 off$549Not quite as good a deal as the Fenix 6 Series at $150 off, but hey, can't look at gift horse in the mouth. Or, something like that.
Garmin Forerunner 945 Bundle (with HRM-TRI & HRM-SWIM) - $50 off$699Not quite as good a deal as the Fenix 6 Series at $150 off, but hey, can't look at gift horse in the mouth. Or, something like that.
Garmin Instinct - $100 off$199This is a solid deal on a solid watch. This sale timeframe is identical to last year's Instinct sale, however last year it was only $50 off (ahead of Father's Day). This year they're matching the Black Frida ydeal of $100 off.
Garmin Instinct Tactical- $50 Off$249While not as good as the Black Friday deals ($100 off), the last time this $50 sale happened was exactly one year ago. Garmin ran it then ahead of Fathers Day, just as they are doing so now.
Garmin Swim 2 - $50 off$199This is the first time we've seen the Garmin Swim 2 on sale. And as part of my in-depth review I found it easily the most accurate openwater swim watch GPS-wise I've ever tested. Which, is good, since most pools seem to be closed these days. :-/
GoPro Hero 8 Black - $100 off!$299⚡ This is a great deal - and the lowest we've ever seen the GoPro Hero 8 down to. Of course, I don't expect a new version anytime soon (GoPro always release late Sept/early Oct). But, the Hero 8 is my go-to cam these days.
GoPro Hero 8 Black Bundles with three batteries + SD Card$349-$359⚡ There's some great deals in here. The base GoPro Hero 8 Black is down to $299, but this adds in two extra batteries, plus an SD card, plus a microSD card reader. Food for thought.
inReach Mini Satellite Communicator - $50 off$299This is the second year in a row the inReach Mini has gone on sale ahead of Fathers Day. The only other time it was on sale was during Black Friday. Solid deal for a great little unit if you travel beyond cellular coverage. Plus, integration with Garmin watches has improved lately too.

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:

Sunday: Week in Review–February 2nd, 2020
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Pioneer Exits Power Meter Business as Shimano Buys Their Cycling Business
Thursday: Garmin Vivoactive 4 Smartwatch In-Depth Review
Friday: Bikes, Beer, and Tech Live Podcast/Video from TDU Posted!

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!

FIT File Podcast This Week:

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Episode 99 of the podcast is up!

0:00 – Bikes, Beer, and Tech Explainer
1:50 – Introductions
5:40 – The impact of less accurate power meters in the pro peloton/athletes
15:30 – To Murray: What was the most difficult Wahoo product feature to develop that you thought would be easy?
19:50 – What has surprised us in the last 12 months in sports tech?
26:00 – Do pros and elite athletes use indoor training apps/devices the same way as consumers?
28:00 – Why can’t we just plug our trainers into WiFi?
31:35 – To Wahoo: What’s Wahoo’s power meter plans for Speedplay (since acquisition)?
32:25 – To Neal: As an elite coach, what do his athletes screw up the most?
34:14 – What do we expect with Zwift’s entrance into trainer hardware?
37:35 – Is reliance on tech taking away from riding a bike?
41:30 – To Neal: What does he see with mental health in the pro peloton/elite competitors, and coping with pressures?

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) The impact of music lawsuit on Peloton, from their head of music: This is way more than just the lawsuit, and was a surprisingly interesting behind the scenes look at how the music bits of their business works. Not so much from a ‘how they got sued for hundreds of millions’, but more the specifics of how they select/process/think about music.

2) Understanding all the wonky broken bikes in Amsterdam: Title says it all, this helps you decode for each scenario what exactly went wrong. (via Dutch Cycling Embassy)

3) How ski films have changed dramatically due to social media: Super interesting, though, I’m betting the industry is oddly more financially sustainable for smaller outfits now than it was back then.

4) Zwiftcast ‘Ask me Anything’ annual edition with Eric Minn: While this is on my to-do list to listen to, you can get a jump start on digging through the nuggets.

5) The backstory on triathletes in Facebook Super Bowl Ad: Yup, they were real triathletes.

6) The battle against crowded ski hills: Having grown up going to Crystal Mountain to ski a few times a year within the race circuit, the concept of having traffic stretch that many miles away is unfathomable.

7) What you need to know for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials (for US athletes): Definitely a worthy read if you’re trying to get caught back up on the pro marathon scene ahead of Tokyo.

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 530/830/1030 BETA Firmware Update: Bug fix around stability issue

Garmin Fenix 6 Series & MARQ Series BETA Firmware Update: Bug fix around wifi issue

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series BETA Firmware Update: Same bug fix as Fenix 6/MARQ

Garmin SWIM 2 Firmware update: Mostly performance improvements and bug fixes

Stages Gen 3 Power Meter Firmware Update: A few new features related to cadence & magnets, as well as bug fixes

Thanks for reading everyone! Have a great week ahead!

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Looks like the FR 945 FW update 4.10 adds some “Zwift Virtual Run” support.

  2. Joseph Madden

    Do you have any information on the stages gen 3 cadence measurement via magnet? I can’t seem to find anything. Is this to work more like shimano’s own power meters or?

    • I’m honestly not sure either – hence my semi-vague comment above.

      It was the first I heard of it, and was like: Huh?

      On my to-do list to e-mail them about.

    • Onno

      Can you also ask them about the gyroscope setting for cadence measurement?

      A while ago they told me:

      “Please do not enable this option as it causes issues with LR meters at the moment and we are searching for a solution to solve it.

      This option is meant to only work for Stages Left Side meters where it prevents power spikes in MTB downhills!”

      Has this been fixed now, and does enabling the gyroscope improve accuracy?

  3. Andreas

    Hi,
    The GoPro Bundle Link refers to a Bundle with US Batterie Packs. Do you know if they are just normal Batterie Packs and can be used in EU or is there any special adapter needed?

  4. Josh

    Do you anticipate the ability to have stryd be the source of pace and distance while using GPS still as something that will be added to the Venu like it is on the 245 etc?

  5. ANW

    Trisports.com currently has factory refurbished Garmin Vector 3 dual sided pedals for $600. They have been fluctuating between $550 and $700 on their website over the last few months, although I have only seen $550 once. That seems like a good deal to keep track of.

  6. andre

    Looks like you missed the nk tegenwindfietsen (national championship headwindcycling) on sunday:

    link to twitter.com

    link to facebook.com

    It started earlier but was still canceled halfway throug due to the storm.
    Maybe next year?

  7. Simon

    A lovely infomercial for the Peloton

    link to youtube.com

  8. PAUL RUSNAK

    I am just coming out of a bad run of back problems that have kept me off the bike for about a year. My physical therapist is suggesting using a recumbent bike to start with. Does anyone have any suggestions for a stationary recumbent bike that works with zwift

  9. PAUL RUSNAK

    I am just coming out of a bad run of back problems that have kept me off the bike for about a year. My physical therapist is suggesting using a recumbent bike to start with. Does anyone have any suggestions for a stationary recumbent bike that works with zwift

  10. Martin Jobs

    Was wondering if it was worth asking about the likelihood of a Garmin Forerunner 645 update/replacement in the near future? History suggest it’s due. My 645 is starting to act up and well you know the rest!