Week in Review–August 30th, 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 or AirPods, 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, as noted last week, I planned for this past week to be pretty quiet as I prep for this upcoming week

Sunday: Week in Review–August 23rd, 2020
Monday: Behind The Scenes: Super League Pro Triathlon on Zwift–How it all works
Tuesday: Hammerhead Karoo 2: Hands-On Details & First Rides
Tuesday: Fitbit Announces Fitbit Sense Smartwatch: Dives far deeper towards health metrics
Tuesday: COROS Pace 2 Hands-On: A $199 Multisport watch with Running Power
Thursday: Garmin Rolls Out Ability to Pause Training Status

Like I said, it was gonna be busy. It’s gonna be like this for the next few weeks. And, a few ‘hopeful’ things didn’t quite make the cut for last week. They’ll spill into this week.

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:

1) Amazon Halo Wearable Announcement: Like most people, I’m part curious, and part side-eye to the wearable that listens to your voice. While this type of device realistically won’t capture my specific workout needs, I am curious from a review standpoint. There’s been a lot said about the device, but honestly, most of what has been said is easily disproven (no, you don’t take naked photos…but yes, the microphone is listening all the time…but also yes, you can physically turn that off if you want). I’m not entirely sure yet what part of the market this will impact. Sure, Fitbit is the most obvious. But I don’t think it takes much of a chunk (if any) from Apple, Garmin, or others. At least not at this point. But if we know anything about Amazon we know that this is only the beginning. And some of the integration at scale is super interesting – such as their plans to create ‘Labs’ like projects with health/medical institutions (similar to what Apple does), to get mass participation. Anyway, review eventually, whenever I get a device.

2) The Best Indoor Smartbike Non-Review Ever: The Bowflex VeloCore is…umm…something else entirely. Eschewing power output and other cycling focused metrics it…err…wiggles. I suppose they’d prefer the term ‘sway’. Or ‘tip’. Or…I have no idea. But, what I do know is that Iain Treloar absolutely nailed this piece.

3) An exercise in pointlessness: Emma Pooley on her world-record Everesting: For the most part, I’ve ignored the whole Everesting ‘thing’ lately. Perhaps because I live in a spot where it’d require about 578 repeats of the largest climb near me. However, if you’re like me, then this is the piece to read. Not because it’ll inspire any desire to Everest yourself, but because Emma’s like Iain, an awesome writer that has an astounding way with words. Seriously, just go read it.

4) A Rare Peek Inside a DJI Drone Factory: This is pretty crazy, especially the point where the drones are automatically triggered to fly off the assembly line (literally) for a series of automated tests.

5) Zwift’s New Pace Partners: While bots aren’t new to Zwift, and while I thought this concept would be stupid at first glance – I actually kinda like the idea of joining a pace partner for a given wattage target. When I look to do a Zwift ride I usually glance at the schedule and then realize I’ve supposedly got 3 mins to make the race start…while I’m still sitting on the couch in street clothes and my bike isn’t even on the trainer. The idea of an ‘always-on’ group ride is interesting. Will probably give it a whirl this week.

6) Into aero testing? Then here’s a quick survey (under a minute) for you to help out the GoldenCheetah folks work on their AeroLab 2.0 and prioritize features.

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, Wahoo, Polar, and a few other firmware updates.

Garmin Fenix 6 & MARQ Series Firmware Update: Added FE-C support, live event sharing, course live track, and pause training status, along with a pile of other features.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Firmware Update: Holy crap, it got an update! I mean, no new features. But it does fix a few things.

GoPro Hero 8 Black Firmware Update: Adds webcam mode for Mac (and beta for PC), also enables HyperSmooth 2.0 High & Boost modes to more resolutions. Most notably Boost is now supported in SuperView.

Wahoo ROAM/BOLT/ELEMENT Firmware Update: Di2 related bug fix

With that – thanks for reading!

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  1. Andrew M

    Ray, are you going to review the Bowflex, or is Iain your guest reviewer for that one?

    • I’ll likely be deferring to Iain on this one. I mean, sure, if they want to send one to me – I’m happy to put it through its sways, but for now, Iain will have to hold the torch.

  2. Eric Edmond

    Is Eurobike happening next week? You mentioned it in a video saying new trainers are typically announced here, but I can’t find any other info online about it.

    • No, Eurobike was postponed from what was this week, till late November.

      Realistically, that won’t happen – Eurobike just hasn’t realized it yet. None of the sports tech brands I’ve talked with have any plans to announce anything there during that timeslot.

      Instead, they’re announcing this ahead of the normal Eurobike timeslot. We saw Elite’s Direto XR, Elite’s Sterzo, Wahoo’s KICKR 2020/5, and Wattbike is set to start shipping their ATOM 2020. There’s probably a few others I’ve forgotten. However, I don’t expect much else near-term, nor any further trainers this year.

    • JJ

      Hi Ray,

      love your work, thank you so much!

      Does this mean there’s not even a new wearable like a Garmin Vivosmart 5, possibily something that has both GPS and PulseOx in the pipeline? I was hoping to switch back from a Fenix 3 HR to a traditional watch on my “watch wrist”, putting a Vivosmart 5 / Vivosport 2 on the other …

      Thank you again & have a great day :)

  3. Pete Parfitt

    Wooh wooh, 645 update. No wait, no new features. Boohoo.

    • Martin

      I’m surprised that we even got an update to the 645.
      Some users have reported that the update has fixed the altimeter recordings on the watch, and if this is really the case, then it does fix the most annoying problem I have with the watch.
      If this makes the watch less of a nuisance, then I just might be able to postpone buying a new watch until the next generation of watches comes out

  4. Nemo

    Thank you for highlighting Emma Pooley’s article! It really is a fantastic read. She is simply fantastic in every way.

    • PeterF

      Seconded. Go read that piece if you didn’t already!

    • Yeah, it’s a great one. I almost didn’t read it when I saw Everesting – but having Emma Pooley in the title I’m like ‘Ok, I’ll give it a few paragraphs’. Glad I did!

    • Harriet

      The editor’s comments about engagement of readers around the two world records (Alberto Contador and Emma’s) is also a really fascinating bit of insight. Pooley is just so talented at basically everything she does!

  5. Alex P

    What happened to The Fit File podcast?

  6. Gordon Goodtimes

    Any chance you’ll do an overview of your thoughts/analysis on the Garmin ransomware incident? Sorry to keep posting this same question but usually you’re all over something like this.

    • I posted a respond somewhere, but in short, I honestly don’t think there’s much more I have to add at this point. Sites like BleepingComputer have really good deep-dives into information.

      Most of my Garmin contacts are on the product side, rather than IT side.

      Over time, I suspect we’ll get more. I think the big piece outstanding in my head is whether or not they (Garmin) purposefully shut-down their consumer-facing infrastructure, or if that was gotten to as well. Based on what they’ve said, I’m going to guess they actually proactively shut that down, since they noted that the attackers didn’t have access to that data.

      Ultimately, as I said somewhere else – any attacker that’s determined enough will get to *ANY* company. Especially large companies that have greater surface areas and integrations/end points. There’s various things you can do to mitigate and make it more difficult, but at the end of the day, no computer/IT security plan is perfect (and usually humans are the weak link). As an IT security person you attempt to reduce those avenues, but getting that to zero avenues is simply not possible in today’s highly complex and integrated IT systems.

    • Gordon Goodtimes

      Thanks! Missed your other reply -sorry.
      Interesting you think they shut down customer facing side. I was wondering if you think they’ll do more to make Connect app work better without needing the cloud?
      Anyways, thanks for the response here!

    • I suspect we’ll see better offline support. I also suspect some of the bugs/quirks around offloading more than X activities will simply happen device-side rather than via GC (people couldn’t start a new workout if their device was out of space, as normally GCM takes care of offloading old activities). I wouldn’t surprise me if that change was already pushed out via firmware update.

  7. JD

    I think this is what Bowflex was going for but they couldn’t negotiate the rights —
    link to youtu.be

  8. Emma Pooley’s article is brilliant! If anyone is familiar with British newspapers — particularly The Guardian — she is cycling journalism’s Marina Hyde!

  9. Richard M

    Thank you for highlighting the article by Emma Pooley. I have long been a big fan. She has an honesty about sport and an ability to express herself which is refreshing in in world where “media trained” interviews are common which, simply put, are boring beyond belief.
    As a side note I hope womens cycling gets through this difficult time and emerges stronger. They deliver exciting racing time after time despite being marginalised and under funded. They deserve better from the UCI, ASO, broadcasters and all the other “stake holders” in the cycling industry.

  10. Stefan

    Hi Ray, is there no more FIT File podcast? You guys have been very quiet during the last week’s or months – at least together. What’s happened? Missing the podcast…

  11. tadaka

    Do you think the Amazon Halo could impact Whoop? As it hasn’t been released, i don’t know if it’ll be as comprehensive as Whoop, but considering they look the same and Halo is around a tenth of the subscription price of Whoop, for the general user looking for more recovery information that might be a cheaper and ‘ok enough’ option.

  12. Michiel

    Ray, thx for posting interweb stuff #2, that one bowflexed my day… brilliant stuff

  13. Don

    First off, great video in the karoo 2!

    Could you ask garmin if they have any plans for Tacx Training apps and specifically connecting them to garmin connect?

    • Claus Jacobsen

      @Don – that has got nothing to do with Garmin. If someone wants to integrate with Garmin, they provide an API for a 5000USD fee. That means Tacx are the ones that need to do the integration.

    • The fee is long gone (officially Apr 2019, reality was far earlier). Similarly, Garmin bought Tacx in January 2019. :)

  14. Aaron Gray

    Any update on the Skydio 2 high wind test?

    • Not quite yet. Was on vacation for a bit, and then the last few weeks have been pretty slammed.

      Ironically, last week was viable, except the winds were simply too strong – well beyond spec at 70-90KPH. I’m willing to push the spec a bit…but not when I know I’m gonna kill it.

    • Aaron Gray

      Sheesh that’s windy. Looking forward to it, but don’t risk a guaranteed splash down for our sake.

  15. Will

    This is more current week than last, but any thoughts on the Gopro Hero 9 rumor leaks?

    I’m admittedly late to the Gopro party and was about to pull the trigger on a Hero 8 (thanks to your reviews), but now wondering if it’s worth waiting a few weeks for a potential front screen and better battery door of the 9 (at probably higher price).

    • I’ve seen the leaks. Albeit, last year there were leaks saying 8K recording…

    • Will

      And I thought all content on the internet was 100% accurate…

      That’s an excellent callout. I’m sure we’ll get factual data from GoPro in the next month or so if history is our guide on new releases… then again 2020 has a love/ hate relationship with precedence

    • Will

      I want to go back and apologize for my comment on this thread a couple weeks back. I am sure this type of question is extremely frustrating while under embargo. I also want to applaud your ethicacy and wit in being able to reply without violating any agreements.

    • No worries – I try my best to thread the line!

  16. Neil Jones

    Now that the GoPro webcam feature has moved out of beta on the Mac, is it now possible to run it and the QR code feature together, or is it still one or the other?

    Also, has the ‘older stories’ link disappeared off your home page (under the five thumbnails), or was that just something I imagined?

  17. JAMES

    The app you link for Normalized Power states its not compatible with Edge 130 Plus.