Week in Review–March 15th, 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:

Here’s some continuing sports tech deals.

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–March 8th, 2020
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Wahoo’s New ‘Stealth’-Black BOLT, Price Drop, Plus Adds E-Bike Support, ANGi GPS connectivity
Tuesday: Strava Eliminates Multiple Summit Tiers, Simplifies Back to Single Option
Thursday: GoPro Hero 8 Black Charging Door Accessory: Video Review Posted
Saturday: Elite Sterzo Steering/Riser Block Accessory In-Depth Review

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 102 is out!

– Sea Otter is off…then on…then conflicts with their own event?
– Pro teams migrate to indoor trainer apps
– What could TrainerRoad do to partner with teams this season?
– And perhaps Sufferfest too?
– Strava’s “What’s Old is New Again” 2020 campaign continues
– Wahoo drops price on BOLT
– Then Wahoo drops a new BOLT!
– Is there actually ebike integration demand?
– Garmin drops price on Edge 1030/130/Varia Radar.
– GoPro Hero 8 charging door test!

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) Apple Watch appears set to add blood oxygen detection and improved ECG: Among many other vNext Apple Watch or WatchOS features that seemed to have leaked out. I’m not however convinced that Apple will be able to do SpO2 any better than Garmin/Fitbit/etc. It’s easy to do sitting still, it’s really hard to do in movement (the FDA certification doesn’t even attempt to deal with at movement).

2) How pro cyclists scheme to get a PlayStation into quarantine: Oh to look back on those times and think it was just going to be a couple of riders for a few days or weeks.

3) Twitch to stream National Women’s Soccer League games: This is super cool, especially for international audiences who will be able to see every game.

4) France looks at fines and jail time for e-bike modification: This seems a bit over the top. A lot of this really does seem to stem out of the slightly bizarre displeasure in certain circles against many of the bike sharing companies, which has in turn spilled out into e-bikes in general.

5) Ironman’s comments and plans for the upcoming season: Realistically, the short version could be ‘Everything is basically off till further notice. We’re rescheduling eventually, and your race fee goes to a future race. Roughly.’

6) All Peloton studios to be closed to the public: No surprise here, one of many things that’ll become the new normal.

7) Sister company to LifeQ shuts down: As a reminder, LifeQ makes optical sensors that are approved by Qualcomm for use in Google Wear devices (which are, in turn, on the approved list by Google for Google Wear devices). They used to make TomTom running watch optical HR sensors way back when. These days the most notable watch for them is the recent Suunto 7. While it might sound bad that their sister company HealthQ is shutting down, this is really about refocusing on LifeQ. So in this narrow focus, it’s a good thing for LifeQ. I think. Hopefully. (Thanks Matthys)

8) Hansons-Brooks Running Team Rejects Official Placements for Payouts: Essentially, the team is pretending one of the runners within the race results (a known doper) doesn’t exist, and thus from a team payout standpoint are paying each member higher up in the ranking. That’s awesome! (via Jeff Dengate)

9) Withings creates new division for medical research: As part of that, they’ll work more closely with institutions that need their devices for unrelated studies. In addition, this page consolidates studies using their devices.

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.

[Things be pretty slow in the sports tech world right now. Part of that is seasonality, but a very real part of that is COVID-19]

Garmin Fenix 6 Series & MARQ series devices BETA Firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Fenix 5 Series BETA Firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Instinct BETA Firmware Update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin FR245 Firmware Update: Updates to support newer CIQ apps.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Series Firmware Update: Boatload of fixes, also some new features and added emoji.

Polar Vantage M & Vantage V Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Firmware Update: Added ANT+ LEV (e-bikes), SRM power meter fixes, other tweaks.


With that – have a great week ahead!

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  1. Wolf

    The fact that Ironman is not even considering refunds, shows to all those who were still wondering what a terrible profit maximizing corporation they have become. Postponing the event into fall? What if you already have another race lined up in fall? Just do both?
    In tough times like these you discover the true nature of a person/company.

    • Richard Mercer

      You can also defer your entry into the 2021 race if the rearranged date is not suitable, so that solves that problem. Also, regarding refunds, as someone who has an IM entry this year, I’d love a refund if my event doesn’t go ahead, but if they end up refunding millions in race fees, there might be no more IM in the future. Companies are struggling to survive right now, and we all need to pull together to get through this. IM are not alone as I’ve had other races postponed and cancelled with no refunds. They are tough, unprecedented times.

  2. ReHMn

    – What is a diagnosis of people who see the main problem of diseases from an economical aspect?
    – Monetary mental retardation…

  3. Mark

    Why the price slash on the Garmin Radar unit? Are they releasing a new model this year?

    • ReHMn

      For its price range, it was falling out of potential customer’s radar…
      and yes, more updates are coming… for instance, it is time to update your emoticons archive:

  4. insideforevernow

    Speaking of Peloton (OK, you mentioned them once…), they’re offering a 90 day free trial of their app which I think is related to the C-word. I’m in Belgium and I can’t sign up on the website (the only regions offered are US, CA, UK, and DE; my card is in BE and the website does not accept my postcode). I also can’t find the app in the Google Play Store.

    Am I being stupid, or is it actually just not available in Belgium? Does anyone know?

    • Yeah, the countries you list are the only countries they sell the bike – and thus, the only countries they make the app available. :(

      I agree, it’s largely stupid.

  5. Nathan

    There’s a new firmware update for the Sigma ROX 12.0 out as well (as I discovered when trying to figure out why mine was no longer connecting to Sigma Cloud).

    I’ve not tested the quicker charging yet, but that could be a real bonus when I’m bikepacking with a dynamo and power bank.

  6. ReHMn

    Good Morning, Mrs. Maker! Can you release Peanut1 to the playground, please?