Week in Review–February 9th, 2020


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 PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Garmin Edge 1040 - $100 off$499The is the lowest price we've ever seen on the Edge 1040, and only the 2nd time it's ever been on sale in two years. It's still Garmin's top-end units, and still receiving new features via quarterly firmware updates.
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar - $100 off$649
Garmin Edge 540 - $50 off$299First time this has been on sale, and the lowest price to date. I personally prefer the Edge 840 due to the menus being a bit easier to use with a touchscreen. Both Edge 540/840 have identical buttons though for days you don't want the touchscreen.
Garmin Edge 540 Solar - $50 off$399
Garmin Edge 840 - $50 off$399This is, best I can tell, the first time Garmin has put the Edge 840 on sale.
Garmin Edge 840 Solar - $50 off$499
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $200 off!
$499⚡⚡ This is an incredibly strong deal. Especially viewed in light of all the non-Garmin AMOLED competitors charging far more for far fewer features. This non-sapphire edition doesn't have multiband, but testing has pretty clearly shown that Garmin's Epix non-multiband GPS is basically on-par with their competitors multiband config (see my NYC tests for that).
Garmin Epix Pro Series (All variants) - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is only the second time we've seen these on sale. This is probably my go-to watch these days (middle-sized one), with the singular reason I tend to choose it over the Forerunner 965, being the built-in flashlight for night.
Garmin Fenix 7 Pro (All variants) - $200 off (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$599+⚡ This is only the second time we've seen the new Fenix 7 Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. The smaller Fenix 7S Pro watch has become my wife's go-to watch since it came out, for all of her training and 24x7 usage.
Garmin Fenix 7 Series (All Models/Styles) - $200 off!
$449+⚡This is a strong deal if you don't care about the new optical heart rate sensor (including ECG) of the newer Fenix 7 Pro, especially given the Fenix 7 series has received virtually all of the Fenix 7 Pro's new software features, keeping them essentially identical. $449 is the lowest price I've seen to date.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music - $100 off!
$299This is Garmin's mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics. This model also includes offline music such as Spotify and Amazon Music.
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $100 off!$399This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and it's back down to the lowest price ever. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. Note this is the base edition without solar. It'd be hard to find any better deal in sports watches today, from any company (given this has full mapping, tons of new features even this week, etc...)
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar: $100 off!
$499See everything I said above on the Forerunner 955 base, except this one also has solar.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off
$149This is Garmin's standalone radar/taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. This product is universally loved, and works with Garmin/Wahoo/Stages/Hammerhead/etc, and other bike computers.
Garmin Venu 3 - $50 off!
Garmin inReach 2 Mini Satellite Communicator (2-way) - $100 off$299⚡ This is my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks over the past two years when well outside of cellular service, both in a 24x7 tracking mode for friends and family, but also there in case of emergency. Would strongly recommend for anyone doing anything in the wilderness.
Google Pixel Watch 2 - $70 off!$329
HoverAir X1 Drone - $80 off!$349Note: There's virtually always a $80 coupon that can be clicked on the Amazon page.
Suunto Veritcal (Solar edition) - $50 off$699

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:


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

apple-podcasts-badge google_podcasts_badge@2x

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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  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

    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


    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


    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!