Week in Review–Sept 26th, 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:

Some nice little savings on the latest Apple Watch Series 6 in here, as well as the new iPad. Not major, but hey, if you were gonna pick one up…this be the way to save enough for an extra couple pints of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

ProductSale PriceAmazonSale Notes
HoverAir X1 Drone - $80 off!$349Note: There's virtually always a $80 coupon that can be clicked on the Amazon page.

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

Monday: Apple Watch Series SE: A Fitness First Impressions Untangled
Tuesday: Fitbit Sense In-Depth Review: All the Data Without the Clarity
Wednesday: Garmin Venu SQ In-Depth Review
Thursday: How to Get Fitbit Non-GPS Activities to Strava
Friday: It’s Coming Back! Strava Begins Bluetooth Sensor Beta Test

It’s been a busy last 10 days…yet hang tight, more goodness is inbound!

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) Awesome article on accuracy of SpO2 sensors in watches today: While headlined as for the Apple Watch Series 6, the reality is this also applies to Fitbit, Garmin, Withings, and others. Super well written and detailed.

2) Tidbits and highlights from Peloton’s Investor & Analyst Session: Lots of interesting items in here and a few linked subsequent posts.

3) How to buy Apple Watch Faces in watchOS7…sorta: The reality is, as the article notes, the 3rd party watch face limitations on Apple Watch remain mostly a giant dumpster fire. It’s also surprised me, for a company so good at having a developer ecosystem for all other aspects of their hardware, this singular piece that is usually the easiest of things to accomplish watch-platform wise (where most brands start before offering full apps), has never really happened.

4) TrainingPeaks rolls out new notes feature: Kinda handy, the ability to add notes to a calendar back and forth with a coach.

5) Strava makes ‘Metro’ data free to urban city planners: This is the long-standing program that helps cities figure out where to invest in bike infrastructure. Previously Strava sold this, and while the price was reportedly high, the reality is this was a small revenue source in the grand scheme of things for Strava.

6) Echelon launches Amazon Prime Bike…then Unlaunches it: As I said in a tweet, I suspect there’s way more to this story than Amazon is letting on. And if nothing else, they just learned there’s a @#$#-ton of interest for such a thing (even if Walmart already sells the exact same bike for $500).

7) Polar adds HRV Export Option to Site: This was a week or two ago, but it’s definitely worth noting. Polar added this from their Polar Flow website. Cool stuff.

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 Forerunner 245/Music BETA Firmware update: This adds new track mode, plus new recovery time.

Garmin Forerunner 945 BETA Firmware Update: This adds the new track mode, plus daily suggested workouts, and the new recovery time. Also adds Grit/Flow for MTB as well as Bouldering/Indoor Climb profiles.

Garmin Fenix 6 Series BETA Firmware Update: Same as FR945, plus new breathwork profiles (it already had Bouldering/Indoor Climb), and a bunch of other line items.

Garmin MARQ Series BETA Firmware Update: Same as Fenix 6.

Garmin Fenix 5 Series Firmware Update: Just bug fixes.

With that –thanks for reading!

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  1. Mark

    Any word from garmin on when they will add the sleep widget on 745 again ?


  2. Steve

    I’ve lost track, does the FR945 still have feature parity with the Fenix 6 Pro? Time for a new watch in the near future…

  3. Edwin Aerts


    Does Garmin have plans to introduce ECG on their sport watches?
    Thanks for answering.


  4. Brad

    Something planned about Abbot’s new “Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor” ?

    link to supersapiens.com

    • Dan G

      Interesting, thats Abbott’s “Freestyle Libre” blood glucose sensor (used by some type 1 diabetics) but rebranded for sports use. Not sure I fancy having a ‘thin filament’ inserted through my skin.

      On their medical devices, Abbott make the following disclaimer: “A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels” — make of that what you will

      More about them here link to diabetes.org.uk

    • Yeah, I’ve been talking with them for a few months. They’re working to get me to try it, there’s just a lot of paperwork and logistics involved.

    • Stuart

      Actually, the Libre system is fantastic. If you’ve got diabetes, that is, I can’t see it having an application otherwise. If your beta cells are working perfectly, don’t worry about it! There is a hack using various extra bits of tech and your mobile phone for displaying your current blood glucose on a Garmin but as Abbot doesn’t release the code for their system they haven’t (IME) been as accurate as using Abbot’s flash reader. As I have T1D and use the Libre system, a development to get live blood glucose readings on a Garmin would be an immediate purchase for me!

    • Lahrs

      Hi Stuart,

      I’m using Dexcom G6, Android phone running xDrip and a Connect IQ data field for displaying CGMS data on a Garmin watch and head unit. It is truly amazing! Agree with you, if this could be achieved without the need for phone and third party apps, would be an easy sale to people like us! There is an ANT+ CGMS profile, but don’t know of any tech that makes use of it. DCR reported on a company waaaay back in 2014 that would offer ANT+ functionality, but nothing has come to market and it would rely on Garmin etc implementing the profile on their side. link to dcrainmaker.com

      Have often wondered if CGMS would be of a sporting advantage for ‘normal’ people. I tend to agree with your assessment if an athlete was following an optimised nutrition plan, 80g of carbs/hr or what have you. But could see it being an early warning system to an impeding ‘bonk’ if more food is not consumed or intensity reduced. Obviously using the CGMS data for insulin adjustment would not be applicable.

      Really, why not have blood sugar level data to go along with HR, power, SpO2 etc… other than the reality it requires a small sensor inserted under the skin to read levels. 🙂 Regardless, looking forward to seeing a DCR style review on the system, if Ray is able to get his hands on it.

      Sorry for the slight off topic everyone. Cheers.

    • frank1e

      Love to see this Ray. T1 here using Freestyle Libre > Garmin CIQ on my head unit. Probably always going to be niche for non-T1 but for me a little more important 🙂 Garmin watch and Apple Watch integration also could do with work but has implementations already.

      Good write up here on this and some other Abbott developments https://www.diabettech.com

  5. Jeffrey F.

    Regarding the Polar interwebs reference, have you noticed that GPX exports from Polar Flow have been screwed up for the last few months, with timestamps that inexplicably present local wall-clock time as GMT. (E.g. 5am in a GMT+5 timezone should have the time 00:00:00Z, but in the GPX file it’s 05:00:00Z).

    Considering that the only way to get your ride data off a Polar device is via their website and that export, this is a crippling error.

    I reported it to them. It took 28 days for them to even respond. Their response “yeah, we know. We’ll consider this ticket closed now”. ?

    • Hmm, I primarily (exclusively I guess), use the TCX export for data. Out of curiosity, why use GPX over TCX?

    • Jeffrey F.

      Polar provides three kinds of export (GPX, TCX, and CSV), but no one of them has all the data. Cadence data, for example, is, inexplicably, only in the CSV. So I have to combine the files, and I already have plenty of tools for working with GPX.

      (When the GPX bug started a couple of months ago, it never occurred to me that it might not have also happened with the TCX file, so I didn’t check it.)

      I’m a programmer so it’s easy enough for me to convert TCX to GPX, just as it’s easy enough for me to shift the times by the requisite number of hours, but these options are not as easily-available to most cyclists.

      (And seriously, 28 days for a response? It’s par for their course: a few years ago I did an 18-hour/408km ride, and their system couldn’t handle it… the sync to their server always crashed. My data was in Polar prison. It took more than a month to get even an initial response, and when it came, it was the same “we’ll work on fixing this some day” and that was it. It turns out, though, that if I was happy to abandon the data and just use the unit to record further rides, eventually the memory would fill and older data would be automatically deleted, and so once that long ride was deleted, the unit could sync again. )

  6. Lachlan Brown

    Measuring arterial oxygen saturation at the wrist is always going to be problematic since the wrist is just not that pulsatile compared to the usual sites for pulse oximetry measurement (a digit or an earlobe being the most common). Therefore the number coming from a wrist sensor is going to lie somewhere between arterial and venous oxygen saturation which will be a few percentage points lower than a true arterial oxygen saturation.

  7. Andrew

    Polar also added New power zones for cyclists
    link to support.polar.com
    and Training session HRV data downloadable.
    link to support.polar.com

  8. Florian

    Does anybody else have trouble with a Garmin Edge (530 in my case) after the 6.20 Update? Mine won’t connect to anything at all any more, not even USB-cable to Garmin Express.
    Garmin support wasn’t really helpful, other than asking for a lot of info in an email and saying engineers will look into this.

  9. Florian

    I did chat with them. The US support (contacted them first because it was midnight here in Austria) would have exchanged the unit right away. Unfortunately only for customers in US/Canada. Chatted with local Austrian support (I think they are based in Germany) and they asked a multitude of (useless) questions and followed that up with an email asking for a lot more info (stuff like which Garmin Express version etc.). Since replying to that email I haven’t heard back.

    Wonder how long it will take them to sort this out …