Week in Review–July 12th, 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:

Ok, not much left this week. Sorta a lull. But hey, if ya need a GoPro Hero 8 Black, it’s still on sale!

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–July 6th, 2020
Monday: 5 Random Things I did This Weekend
Wednesday: Garmin Fenix 6/6S Pro Solar Review: What’s new & different
Wednesday: Garmin Instinct Solar Review: What’s New & Different
Thursday: GoPro Adds Webcam Feature to Hero 8 Black: How-to guide

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 to clear out the backlog):

1) Under Armour trying to offload MyFitnessPal: Obviously, this will go for far less than what Under Armour paid for it, if it goes at all. Sure, there’s a buyer at any price. But it’s hard to imagine there’s very many mainstream buyers at any meaningful price.

2) iFixit Tears Down Oura Ring Hardware: As always, iFixit is great. And yes, I’m considering doing an Oura ring review. I’m just not a huge ring person, so that’s the main hold-up – since a proper review of something like this realistically requires wearing it for 2-3 months.

3) Ironman Athletes aiming for class action over competitor fee refunds: Maybe it’s just me, but I think offering a spot in next year free of charge is a pretty fair deal (especially given the contract language is pretty clear that a cancellation means no refund). I’m rarely a big fan of WTC’s practices, but in this case it seems like a good compromise.

4) Stryd Race Calculator: That’s pretty cool, especially the modeling part. It’s kinda like a Best Bike Split for running races, using Stryd of course.

5) Got $20 million for GoPro founder’s California ranch? If so, it can be all yours! Unclear if Karma drones are included with the barn.

6) Details on Apple’s Dance Metrics: I’m curious though, this seems like a lot of work for potentially questionable data – and ultimately unlikely to meaningfully impact calorie burn, assuming calorie burn is largely correlated to heart rate anyway.

7) Bicycle Speed Wobbles: How they start, and how to stop them. I’ll be honest, I think CyclingTips is producing even more fascinating content since COVID-19 started than any other year. Probably because race-content isn’t typically my jam, whereas these sorta science-focused bits are definite reads.

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.

[The above site that I typically use as a starting point for Garmin is currently offline this week, so stay tuned as I hopefully return next week with this section. Though, off the top of my head, there’s no major firmware releases this week aside from the GoPro one I noted above…oh, and Fitbit’s just-released Smart Alarms and Dynamic GPS for the Charge 4.]

Thanks for reading!

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  1. GLT

    Version 2020.10 “Routable Cycle Map of the United States” showed up in Garmin Express for E1030 this week. ~3 hour download.

    I imagine the Dance metrics are rounding out device appeal for users that aren’t inclined to train for a specific goal. Makes social events more enjoyable.

  2. Greg

    Definitely agree about cycling tips and COVID-era content! This period convinced me to join their VeloClub.

  3. That lawsuit is absurd. But I’m not surprised. People have no concept of what races do with their money. At. NOLA 70.3 a few years ago, the race was cancelled on race morning due to some pretty severe weather. When people got home they started posting angrily that the weather had cleared as if the weather hours later and 10 to 20 miles away was relevant.

    I did get a free Alcatraz entry out if it so I can out ahead! Ironman is doing everything they can. I want the company to be around next year so I can race again.

    • JR

      Agreed. Not only is it spelled out in the contract, but it’s entirely reasonable. Most of the money is spent (a great deal of it on overhead for the organization). It’s nobody’s fault, so the loss needs to be allocated somewhere. It would of course be a different situation if you could argue that cancellations were pretextual with the aim of pocketing the money, but that’s obviously not the case. You can’t even make the case that this is an unreasonable term that nobody would expect, which has only been slipped into the contract. This is the norm in contract law. If you pay someone for a service, they’re required to incur a lot of expenses before final delivery, and an act of god prevents delivery, there’s no refund. You might potentially get unjust enrichment damages for the money that hasn’t yet been spent, if the contract is silent, but not where it explicitly places the risk of loss on the buyer.

    • Dan G

      It’s bizarre. Would people rather IM went out of business?

  4. Andrew

    I wonder what the MyFitnessPal data is worth- years of people logging every meal including brand names – it seems like a marketer’s dream

    • Dan G

      I’m sure that like in any other service these days, there’s no legal way of using the data in that way in the US, Europe, or many other places.

    • As long as the user consented to whatever they put in their ‘I agree’ button, then realistically, they can use it within those terms. I think by now, most of the masses just press ‘I agree to all things for the love of god stop asking me questions’.

      Still, I think the biggest issue UA has is basically the admission that they *can’t* turn that data into something profitable. In other words, if UA couldn’t do it with in theory some of the best people out there working on it, how can anyone else possibly market with it?

    • Is that true though? I’ve been a MFP user for over a decade, and some of that time a paid user (as I am now). While MFP was great when it came out and has a lot going for it, I wouldn’t call it a cutting edge application. It looks like it was designed 15 years ago. And if I’m a data scientist, is UA really the place where I’m going to go?

    • Claus Jacobsen

      And the same goes for Endomondo. There has been zero development on that platform for the last 3-4 years, and their IOS app itself was last updated oct 2018. And for some reason there has been serious outages the last 6months with an excuse that they were moving to different platforms.

      They just don’t care anymore. these platforms were really only an excuse to point customers towards their own webshop. – I’m sad though. i’m a big lad, and UA was actually some of the only companies that have athletic clothes for bigger guys. But supporting a company that just let go of a platform where i’ve been a paid subscriber for 10 years is not exactly fun. until last year there were no way of exporting data out of Endomondo. And only to fulfill GDPR regulations was it implemented. – glad i do have a backup now. :-)

  5. inSyt

    “I’m just not a huge ring person”

    Mmm, maybe Ray is the reason Garmin/Polar/Suunto isn’t releasing a ring…

  6. GPSIG

    Given that the firmware update cupboard is A bit barren this week I will observe there is an update for the TACX NEO 2T Firmware from 34 to 36. Release notes say quieter in “simulation mode” at low power.

  7. I would be more sympathetic towards IRONMAN if they would not lie in your face. I was registered for an Ironman in September (was supposed to be my first) and would not have been able to race next year, as I will have to finish my PhD thesis. So I contacted them about ten days before the deadline to withdraw with a 50% refund, explaining my situation and asking if they had any news about the race. I got an answer three days before the deadline that the race would go ahead as planned. After, I contacted a colleague from the country, who told me that she was sure the race could not go ahead as planned after consulting the news and the regulations in place. So I withdrew. The day after the deadline, IRONMAN announced that the race could not go ahead as planned. Doesn’t really make me feel like investing into another IRONMAN race anytime soon. Other, even much smaller, organisations have handled this so much better (for example the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon, or the organisers of the Alpenbrevet in Switzerland).

  8. Steven K.

    fyi: gpsinformation.net is down.

  9. Harriet

    Yeah I agree. There is no way that I will be able to do the rescheduled race but I have just had to suck it up as I signed the damn contract and that is that. I would hope that I can push out til 2022 though.

  10. Denis

    Hey Ray,
    thanks for your work!
    I really would love to see/read a proper Ōura ring review. As a tech geek and not wanting to wear my big Fenix 3HR to bed next to my wife, a ring would be a nice option.
    Keep the great reviews coming!

  11. juckts

    PLEASE Oura review! ;)

    whoop doesn’t seem to be there yet. I wonder if Oura has similar flaws.