Week in Review–March 8th, 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 1st, 2020
Monday: Tidbits and Tech From a Week Skiing in the Alps
Wednesday: Strava Brings Back Chronological Ordering, Adds Athlete Favoriting
Friday: Saris MP1 Nfinity Motion Platform 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 101 is out!

– Strava App Updates… higher frequency!
– Saris MP1 Reviews from DCR & Lama
– Oreka Review
– Continued Coronavirus fall-out on sports tech/events
– Ray’s new mountain bike
– Whoop testing update

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) Pro cycling teams start to compete on Zwift instead of outdoors: We’re gonna see a lot more of this soon. I suspect a lot of it will be more ‘exhibition’ style events, which is fine. It’s better than nothing at all at this point.

2) The AirPods holder for an Apple Watch band: I’d agree with The Verge, at first I couldn’t decide whether it’s incredibly dumb or incredibly brilliant. But then I realized this will be sitting on the edge of your wrist, at the roundest part of the band. So I’m going with incredibly dumb.

3) Man uses fitness app to record ride, house on route gets burglarized, he becomes suspect: This whole thing is a complete cluster. However, it wasn’t actually the fitness data that got him in trouble, but general Google location tracking data that a warrant was served for. Ironically, it was his fitness data that saved him here. Primarily because it was this very same data that went on to show he wasn’t the suspect. How on earth did it get this far?

4) How technology is changing the sports bra: Super detailed piece from Outside Magazine that looks at the significant shifts in the design and production in just the last few years.

5) Sea Otter Cancelled/Postponed: Bummer, was looking forward to heading out there for this. Sounds like it might get postponed till sometime this fall, though realistically from a product launch standpoint that wouldn’t be super-appealing to me (since companies wouldn’t shift product launches from next April to October). However, I could see a scenario where some US companies might shift a product launch or two from Eurobike (first week of September) to Sea Otter if it was only 3-5 weeks later (as they often did for Interbike in the past).

6) Roundup of the shoes worn at the US Olympic Trials last weekend: This is about as close as we’ll get to gadget tech for an event like that. Maybe in some alternate universe Strava (with their newfound CEO) will allow us to pull device reports again (which, side note, is good for Strava publicity). That’d be super interesting to see what the pros and almost pros are choosing.

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 5 & Fenix 5 Plus series BETA Firmware Updates: Minor bug fixes

Garmin Fenix 6 Series, MARQ Series BETA Firmware Updates: Minor bug fixes

Garmin Edge 520 Plus, 820, and 820 Explorer BETA Firmware Update: Two bug fixes, one for maps, one for radar.

Garmin Edge 530/830/1030 BETA Firmware Update: Bug fix for radar disconnects (same as above).

With that – have a great week ahead!

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  1. Dave Lusty

    Am I misreading something or did that guy pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to defend a case that hadn’t been brought against him? Looks to me as though the police wouldn’t have even brought a case in the first place if he’d just done nothing.

    Regardless of how dumb that guy was, I completely disagree with Google having that information, let alone the police (mis)using it the way they did. Google only object because the police are asking for the data for free, but literally any other interested party could buy that data with no objection from Google.

    • In the US, while there’s some validity if you know you’re 100% innocent and can easily demonstrate that, in not hiring a lawyer, there’s also a lot of validity in hiring one.

      Given the situation spiraled from a police department not doing their jobs to begin with, I’d probably side with the dude as well in that you’ve got a scenario where someone is mounting a shoddy case against you, getting a lawyer to quickly dismantle that is a wise move.

      Unfortunately, that’s the reality of the US system.

    • Neil Jones

      I know it’s a tomarto/tomayto thing, but I still get hung-up about “burglarized” rather than just plain old “burgled”

    • Dave Lusty

      Nothing in that article suggested the police were building a case against him though. They requested some information, sure, but there could have been 200 people in that request who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
      If the US system is so broken that you have to prove your innocence before there’s even a charge then I’m not surprised at all that you live in Netherlands now! Couple that with the lack of a GDPR equivalent and that adds up to big issues in the US going forwards with data mining potentially completely replacing justice.

    • Andrew HUSSEY

      Ha ha…me too Neil!

      I also hate “going forward”, and “awesome” every sentence for things that wouldn’t invoke the slightest amount of awe!

      My partner tells me I’m turning into Victor Meldrew.

  2. ReHMn

    Ohhh, pure idiots!

    “McCoy worried that going straight to police would lead to his arrest.”
    So the solution is to hide at your parents’ house, especially when you are innocent.

    “I was using an app to see how many miles I rode my bike and now it was putting me at the scene of the crime. And I was the lead suspect.”
    Nope, idiot. If you would have stopped riding your bike and do a robbery, it would affect the riding time, average speed and location data where you left the bike.

    “I didn’t realize that by having location services on that Google was also keeping a log of where I was going,”
    Five years old kids are smarter than you!

    Folks, if you execute a crime, make sure that your GPS device is enabled…

  3. JD

    I’m curious as to whether you bother installing any BETA firmware updates or do you always wait for the public edition to be released?
    I’m not sure whether a beta is worth installing (to test/resolve an issue) for the simple fact Garmin doesn’t date the change log.
    I also notice the breadcrumb links on the change log pages don’t work (404 errors). Weird.

    • I usually install betas if it fixes something that’s an issue for me, or if it’s got a boatload of new features I want to dig into.

      Otherwise, I don’t tend to bother – merely because I don’t feel like connecting a cable.

      I’d love to see Garmin adopt an approach like Wahoo for betas whereby you can enroll from your phone (if you have the right password anyway), and then the device pulls the betas automatically via WiFi just like any other firmware update. This would allow Garmin to get a wider public group, because it would lower the barrier to install. A simple warning message each time someone installs a beta release would easily nullify and concerns around someone ending up on a bum build.

  4. Brian Faure

    Yet another GPS push update to my 530. I really wish it asked if I want the update so I can delay it for later. It always seems to update during a time when I want good race/ride data.

  5. Tracy Krznar

    Two items:
    1. Is the upgrade from Garmin Descent MK1 to Felix 6 worth it?
    2. Do you have a review of Whoop?