Week in Review–September 6th, 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
4iiii Precision Ride-Ready Power Meters - $100 off!$235This is for their non-drive power meter, in either the 'Ride-Ready' config (they send you a completed unit), or $50 off for the factory-install (where you send in your crank arm). The Ride Ready option is really a solid deal, considering you get a reliable power meter for $235. Ride Ready R7000 - 30% off Ride Ready R8000 - 20% off Factory Install - 20% off
9th Gen Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - $100 off!$229⚡ This is an awesome deal. I use my iPad primarily for TrainerRoad as well as Zwift when not with a larger display. I also occasionally use it for other apps, namely Wahoo SYSTM, Rouvy, and Peloton. But I pretty much test every smart trainer app on it. For all these cycling apps, the graphics capabilities is really pretty irrelevant, so having the absolute top-end/latest model won't make any difference. I prefer the budget options.
Amazfit Cheetah Pro - $30 off!$269
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen with USB-C) - $60 off$189I've been using these the past few months, after years of using the Beats Studio Buds...man, these things rock. My wife has already started stealing them, which means she'll probably get a set for Christmas so she'll stop sealing them.
Apple AirTags (4-Pack) - 20% off!$79⚡I make no secret how much I utilize AirTags, mainly, cause they've saved my butt numerous times already. We have them in every suitcase, and every backpack, and every bike bag. They're also hidden in most of our bikes (sometimes two of them). We were able to get our cargo bike back when it disappeared, as well as figure out when all our suitcases went missing during an annual family vacation where they were (for 5 days!), and plan appropriately. Seriously, just get them.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $40 off!
$89These aren't the latest anymore, that's the newer 3rd gen units. But if budget is in mind, it's hard to beat these. It's still what my wife uses as her daily driver, including tons of time on the indoor trainer/bike.
Apple Watch SE (2022/2nd gen) - $70 off
$249/$299 (cellular)
$179⚡This is now the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) - a very solid deal, especially with the new WatchOS 10 features adding in offline topo mapping, power meter support, and plenty more.
Apple Watch Series 9 - $70 off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$329This is Apple's latest Apple Watch model, and did quite well in my review when it launched about two months ago. Especially notable is all the new sports/fitness features it got this year, such as cycling power meter/sensor support.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 - $70 off!$729This is really the first slate of sales we've seen on the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and the lowest price to date. Note: It'll show $739, and then to get the full extra $10 more off, you have to check that 'Apply Coupon' button under the price.
BOB Revolution Flex Running Stroller - 20% off$439There's just no competition in our minds on the best running stroller - it's what we used with all three of our kiddos for everyting from intervals to 20-mile long runs. In fact, we actually have two of them - one at home in Europe, and one with family in Canada that we picked up used. Go Bob Go!
CORE Body Temperature Sensor - 20% off$227Both myself and my wife used these this past summer and fall, in particular as she was training for Kona and preparing for the heat.
DJI Avata Bundle - $300 off!$899The DJI Avata is DJI's smaller form factor FPV drone, and one of my favorites to fly. I don't use it all the time, but more for very specific things requiring a bit more agility (whereas most of the times I'll use the DJI Mini 4 Pro, Air 3, or Mavic 3 Pro).
DJI Mini 2SE Drone - $40 off!
$499 ($549 combo)
$299There's definitely something cool about seeing a sub-$300 drone. And there's nothing wrong with this drone, it's very good. Just be careful though, because it's lack of 360* obstacle avoidance means it's pretty easy to get yourself in a pinch for a beginner drone.
DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC - $100 off!$699
DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC-N1 Bundle - $60 off$659
DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC - $150 off!$767Up till the Mini 4 Pro came out, this was my go-to drone. It's what I shot almost all my drone footage from, and is great for both cycling and hiking (or trail running with a hydration pack to hold it), as it's super lightweight and includes everything you need.
DJI Mini 4 Pro Fly More Combo with DJI RC2 - $140 off!$959⚡ This is the first time we've seen the DJI Mini 4 Pro on sale, for a product DJI rarely discounts so soon after release. This is a great drone, and my go-to unit now for most trips.
FORM Swim Goggles (with heads-up display) - $70 off!$179This includes both the goggle, and a 1-year membership to their training/coaching platform.
Fenix 7 Pro Solar Series (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$599⚡ This is the first 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.
Fitbit Charge 6 - 38% off!
$99Given this is barely two months old, this is a pretty substantial deal - especially if you don't utilize the built-in GPS side of the device.
Fitbit Sense 2 - $50 off$249This isn't quite the biggest sale we've seen, so I'd expect it to go a bit lower over Black Friday.
Garmin Edge 1040 - $50 off$549This is a modest deal, but hey, a deal is a deal.
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar - $50 off$699This is a modest deal, but hey, a deal is a deal.
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $350 off!
From $449⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal, with Amazon having it as low as $449 (insane). Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates. Also note: This deal is *STILL* available. Sometimes you'll have to click to show other retailers (on the right side), but it's still live.
Garmin Epix Pro Series (Sapphire Editions) - $200 off!$799⚡ This is the first time we've seen the new Epix Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. I'd say 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 Epix Pro Series - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is the first time we've seen the new Epix Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. I'd say 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 Epix Sapphire Titanium (Gen 2) - $400 off!$449⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal, with Amazon having it as low as $499 for Sapphire edition (insane). Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Series
$329[Note: This is a renewed unit] Obviously, the Fenix 6 isn't the latest anymore, but these are still very capable watches and frankly, at $329, there's absolutely nothing from any of their even brand-new competitor watches (COROS, Polar, Suunto, etc...) that can even remotely compete with the features here. Heck, not even Garmin's own pricing for their Fenix 7 Pro can compete with this. Fwiw, all Garmin renewed units go back to the same factory original units came from. Frankly, there's virtually no difference. If you're on a budget, this is where it's at.
Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar Sapphire Series (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is the first 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!
$499⚡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.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S - $100 off$249This 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.
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 265 Series - $50 off!
Garmin Forerunner 55 - $30 off
$169This is a good little running watch, though, it also supports plenty of other sport types as well.
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $100 off!$399This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and this is now the lowest price we've ever seen on it. 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.
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar: $100 off!
$499This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and this is now the lowest price we've ever seen on it. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. This is the SOLAR edition.
Garmin Forerunner 965 - $50 off!$549This is the first time we've seen the Garmin FR965 on sale since launch. While it's not a huge sale, it's something!
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus - 25% off!
$97This strap is one of the two straps I use constantly for other HR sensor accuracy comparisons (alongside Polar H10)
Garmin Instinct 2 Series - $50 Off$299This is a good deal, especially considering the Instinct 2 series got Training Readiness and a host of other new features over the course of just this year alone.
Garmin Instinct 2S Solar $100 off!$199This is a great deal at $199 for the smaller 2S units, especially considering the Instinct 2 series got Training Readiness and a host of other new features over the course of just this year alone. Plus of course all the existing triathlon/power meter/etc support it has built-in.
Garmin Instinct 2X - $100 off!$349This is the first time we've seen the Instinct 2X on sale, and since announcement it's received a huge slate of firmware updates and new features. It's best thought of as an Instinct 2.5, as it has almost enough features to really be more of an Instinct 3 (which doesn't exist at this point).
Garmin Tactix 7 Pro - $200 off!$1,099This is the first time we've seen the Tactix 7 Pro on sale. Note the other Tactix 7 Pro units/variants are also on sale for $200 off too!
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off$149This is Garmin's standalone radar+taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price.
Garmin Venu 3 - $50 off!
$399This is the first time we've seen this unit on sale since it launched a couple months ago, so this is a solid deal!
Garmin Venu SQ - 40% off
$199/$249 with Music
$149This is a so-so deal, previous 2021 and 2022 Black Friday's have put it all the way down to $119USD. So...I'd hold.
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.
Garmin inReach Messenger - $50 off$249
GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini - $100 off
$249This is the lowest price we've seen on the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini to date!
GoPro Hero 12 Black - $50 off!$349This is the first time we've seen a sale on the GoPro Hero 12 Black. It's not massive, but hey, it's a good start!
GoPro Hero 12 Black Bundle Combo Kit - $100 off!$349This is a solid little bundle, with the GoPro Hero 12, two Enduro batteries, a floating handle, a head-mount, and a carrying case.
Google Nest Cam Indoors - 30% off$69We have more Nest cam's than I can count. No really, we have half a dozen at the DCR Cave alone, plus more at home. We love them. Nest Cam's really only go on sale about 1-2x per year.
Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router - 55% off two-pack$119These are the WiFi mesh access points I use both at home and the DCR Cave. Love them - I don't need to dork with them, they just work. Sure, there are fancier 'Pro' versions now, but really, I just have zero issues.
Google Pixel Watch 1 - $100 off$250While the new Pixel Watch 2 just came out a month ago, the Pixel Watch 2 got almost all the software features two weeks ago via software update. The Pixel Watch 2 does have a slightly better optical HR sensor, and better battery life, but otherwise is relatively similiar.
Hammerhead Karoo 2 - $140 off!
$259⚡The Karoo 2 is down to $299 ($100 off), but you can use DCR coupon code DCRAIN40 to get an additional $40 off, bringing it down to $259!!! A very solid deal given all the software updates it's received!
Hydrow Rowing Machine - $500 off$1,995This is one of the other more popular display-laden rowing machines. I haven't tried this, but my sports-tech reviewing buddy DesFit has (linked at side) and liked it.
Hyperice Normatec 3 Leg Recovery System - $100 off$699While this isn't something I've personally used, I know a ton of you do very much love it. Go forth!
Insta360 Go 3 - $20 off$379I actually quite like the Insat360 Go 3 and the combo of tiny form factor when you want it, and screen-box when you don't. I'm not sure $20 off is a sale worth jumping out of your seat for, but hey...a sale is a sale.
Jackery Portable Power Station - $85 off!$154This is something I use frequently when shooting out and about and I need to re-charge a crapton of drone batteries, action cameras, or just cameras and such. I also use it on trips to Eurobike and elsewhere to keep equipment charged. I've even bought a solar panel to hook up to it (surprisingly effective). Heck, I've even powered a KICKR trainer ride from it!
Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617) - 23% off$73This is one of the most popular indoor trainer fan companies out there, which rivals the Wahoo Headwind fan but cost a fraction of the price. Of course, it lacks ANT+/Bluetooth integration, but realistically if you really want that you can add a smart outlet for $10 to toggle it on/off from your phone if need be. I've actually got this fan in the DCR Cave recently on advice of many people.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee & Espresso Kit - 30% off$118⚡ Let's be honest: This place runs on Nespresso (or, well, the knock-off pods we buy). But, the machine is Nespresso. Without it, reviews most definitely would not get done (and certainly not on time). This is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me!
Nest Cam Outdoors - $60 off$119We use one of these and so far after just about five years, it's working great for us. Love it, and works better than trying to stick a regular Nest Cam out the window (since it'll reflect both during daytime and at night with the IR sensor).
Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Fired Outdoor Portable Pizza Oven - $105 off!$244⚡ I know, I know, I still owe everyone a review. Nonetheless, 2+ years later, I love this thing. We use it for more than pizza too, notably steaks (to get a really crispy sear). But a lot of pizza. It's completely portable, even easily fitting on our cargo bike. Note that I went with this model, the cheapest one they make, as I realized that buying the higher-end models that that support gas didn't make much sense for me. I have a gas grill already (and could easily just put a stone on it). Similarly, while a large 16" is appealing, realistically I've found this 12" more than enough for pretty substantial personal pizzas (and it makes it easier to handle). Full in-depth review pretty soon...probably. Also, $244 appears to be the lowest price ever.
Oura Ring Products - Up to $100 off$269Oura has various products on sale, at various discounts, starting from $269, and up to $100 off depending on the model.
Peloton Bike - $350 off$1,095I believe this is the lowest price we've ever seen on the original/base Peloton Bike model (without a bundle required). This is still a solid bike, and actually one that I use at home (I have the newer Peloton Bike+ at the office). Both my wife and I use these bikes interchangeably, and while the Bike+ has a bigger screen and better accuracy, there's very little difference in the core Peloton experience. I'd still recommend this model to most people. Note Peloton has stated/confirmed there will be no 'bigger discounts' on products during this holiday period.
Peloton Bike+ is $400 off$1,995This is a solid deal for the Bike+. Both my wife and I use both the Peloton Bike+ and the regular Bike (one at home, one at office) on a weekly basis. We like both. The Bike+ is more accurate than the regular bike, and also has a bigger screen and automatic resistance control. That said, the core Peloton experience isn't any different between the two - it's the same platform there. Note Peloton has stated/confirmed there will be no 'bigger discounts' on products during this holiday period.
Peloton Row - $250+ off$2,745Peloton has the Peloton Row on sale, both this base unit here, but also various bundled units as well. This is the first times we've seen the base unit (non-bundled) on sale.
Polar Grit X Pro - $70 off
$449This isn't realy the best deal we've seen for this watch, as it was down to $338 last year for Black Friday. Maybe we'll see it go lower this year.
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 24% off
$67This is a great dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (with two Bluetooth Smart connections) chest strap that you'll often find me using as a reference strap in heart rate sensor testing. We only tend to see deals on it around Black Friday, always topping out around 20%. Note, the medium- size is the one on sale.
Polar Ignite 3 - $75 off!
Polar Pacer - $70 off!$169This is about as low as it gets price-wise for the Polar Pacer (base unit).
Polar Pacer Pro - $70 off!
Polar Vantage M2 - $100
$197This appears to be the lowest price I have on record for the Poalr Vantage M2, which makes it pretty compelling as a starter triathlon watch!
SONOS Roam - 25% off$134We have a few SONOS speakers around the house and DCR Cave (the Ikea variants at DCR Cave), but by far our favorite is the Roam, which we take outdoors into the garden during the summer, beach vacations, AirBNB's, etc... It has a battery in it, and also connects to both WiFi and Bluetooth. Love, love, love
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 - $20 off$279
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic - $70 off$330This is a reasoanbly solid deal for this watch, which came out this past summer.
Samsung T9 SSD (1-4TB) - up to 43% off$109I use a literal flotilla of these small SSD's for all my photo/video projects until they get moved off to the NAS system (Synology) for longer term storage. I have T5/T7 units, and are picking up a few of the larger T9 ones given the sale prices. Love them, incredibly fast and reliable.
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SD Cards - 52% off$29⚡I use the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards exclusively for all my video/photo shooting on my Panasonic GH5 and Nikon cameras (video and stills), including up to 6K recording with the GH5. I've mostly used 128's, but more and more lately I'm filling up cards faster with higher bitrates, so this sale is gonna have me pickup a bunch of the 256GB ones instead. The 128GB/ 512GB/1TB ones are also on sale too viathe same link. Note that usually I wait till these are about $40-45, so this is a fantastic deal and I'll be filling up.
Stages Bike SB20 - $500 off!
$1,999⚡ A very solid deal, making it the least expensive smart bike out there. Note that while the deal is marketed as being 37% off, most of the time the bike floats between $2,500 and $2,800. Still - $1,999 is very solid.
Stages Power Meters - Most 20% off units$267Stages is offering 20% off most of their non-drive-side power meters.
Suunto Vertical - $100 off!$529This is the first time we've seen the new Suunto Vertical on sale, and especially notable given the huge firmware update it got this past week with tons of new features from the also-new Suunto Race watch.
Tacx Flux 2 Smart Trainer - $300 off
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $500 off!
$899⚡⚡ Holy crap, this is an incredible deal. Get this while it's hot and lasts. Note that you can also pair this with the NEO Motion Plates, which would give you a slight bit of forward/back rolling motion.
Therabody Theragun Elite - $30 off$289This is arguably my wife's favorite sports tech gadget. She uses it pretty much daily. Thus, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this deal. Also, please don't tell her, she might just buy another one...
Therabody Theragun Prime - $110 off!$189My wife uses the Theragun Elite, which is just slightly more expensive than this model at $299 on sale right now. But hey, I hear good things about all of these.
Wahoo BOLT V2 - $50 off
$229This is a good little deal on the Wahoo BOLT V2.
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V2 - $80 off
Wahoo KICKR Core Smart Trainer - $120 off!
$479⚡⚡ This deal is back, and it's a pretty incredible deal. It's the Wahoo KICKR CORE down to $499, which REI briefly did this past June. Nobody else seems to be offering this deal, and even though the KICKR CORE got the price reduced to $599 recently, it's virtually unheard of to see these trainers below the $500 marker.
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) - $200 off!
$799⚡ This is a very solid deal that happens twice a year, if you were looking at the Wahoo power meter pedals, grab these before this disappears (and it usually disappears). As with the Garmin Rally pedals, I continue to use Wahoo power meter pedals for accuracy testing of other brands/units.
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Single-sided) - $130 off!$520⚡ This is a very solid deal that happens twice a year, if you were looking at the Wahoo power meter pedals, grab these before this disappears (and it usually disappears). As with the Garmin Rally pedals, I continue to use Wahoo power meter pedals for accuracy testing of other brands/units.
Wahoo RIVAL GPS Watch - 50% off
$99⚡ At some point, everything becomes a steal. While the Wahoo RIVAL struggles to be comepetitive with higher-end watches, at $99, it's a pretty crazy deal - especially for triathletes where Wahoo does some cool stuff around automatic transitions.
Whoop 4.0 with 1-year subscription - 17% off$199This brings down the 1-year price to $17/month, which is the lowest it's been (only way to get that is normally a 24-month membership).
Withings Body+ WiFi Scale - 30% off$69I've long been a fan of the Withings WiFi scales, especially since they can connect/push data to so many platforms, including Zwift! Note that the Body+ simply includes more data.

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 30th, 2020
Tuesday: Garmin Launches Clipboard App For Coaches: Here’s how it works
Thursday: COROS Pace 2 In-Depth Review: A $199 Multisport watch with Running Power

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) Behind the scenes with Week 1 of the Tour de France: Good snippets of videos from beyond the fence lines this year, which would have undoubtedly required an immense amount of coordination with the teams to get the video clips (as media wouldn’t have been permitted to get them in these spots) and then atop that consolidate all these otherwise uncoordinated bits into a cohesive story that actually makes sense. Super impressive.

2) Peloton appears set to launch cheaper treadmill, more expensive bike: It’s been long rumored (nearly a year) that Peloton was looking to offer the treadmill at a more appealing price point. Inversely, it sounds like a bike with a bigger and tiltable display is on the way. This makes sense in normal years, but given Peloton is already having significant issues keeping up with demand – I’m a bit more perplexed on the bike piece.

3) How the original Apple Watch was hidden: Turns out, as an iPod. These days, that’d gather more attention than just an Apple Watch out in the open.

4) More Q2 Wearables Sales Stats: This time for so-called ‘wearable bands’ for North America specifically, which appears to be anything inclusive of watches (but not things like headphones/etc…). Either way, once you make the category more broad than purely smartwatches, then we see Fitbit ahead of Garmin/Samsung, versus lower than Garmin. Of course, Apple still leads. As I’ve oft noted, the definition of smart watch, band, etc… seems to change with the wind, dependent on the message that whichever firm is putting out the report wants to convey.

5) Zwift Steering Exclusivity Workaround: Sports tech industry’s Uncle Keith has once again shaken things up, this time illustrating why open standards are always better than closed proprietary exclusivity. In this long video (definitely for geeks), he shows under the covers how the Elite Sterzo Smart communicates with Zwift for steering, and how to build our own Zwift steering device.

6) DJI Mavic Air 2 Component Teardown: Speaking of tearing things apart, a complete breakdown of the components of the DJI Mavic Air 2 shows that the vast majority of the components are off the shelf, even apparently using common smartwatch GPS chipsets. Though, I couldn’t find the exact chipset that was used. Apparently the cost of goods for the Mavic Air 2 is $135 (it sells for $799USD).

7) Garmin launches Catalyst performance driving display thingy: I mention this, not because I care about the product (I don’t, I don’t even own a car – let alone a race car) – but actually it’s notable in the context of the Garmin MARQ series. You’ll remember when Garmin launched the MARQ series they basically launched one SKU per division in Garmin (Boating, Outdoors, Fitness, Automotive, Aviation). At the time, all of them made sense, except when it came to the automotive one it wasn’t just regular car driving things, but rather race-track focused (versus normal car stuffs). Garmin had never done that before, so in some ways it was out of left field. This product shows you basically Part 2 out of what I presume is a long product path towards building an entirely new category. Similar to what we saw with diving for example, though, that seems to have stalled a bit. Anyway, I thought it was randomly notable. Also – it kinda looks like Best Bike Split for race cars.

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 45 Beta Firmware Update: Bluetooth Stability improvements.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series Firmware Update: Fixed battery drain issues after music playback

Garmin Instinct Solar Firmware BETA: Various fixes.

Lezyne Year 10 Firmware Updates: Maybe, the updater got updated, but it’s not clear from the site whether any updates were with it.

Stages Power Meter Firmware Update: Largely performance and handling related improvements.

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Firmware Update: Stability improvements.

With that – thanks for reading!

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  1. Matthew Nguyen

    Still waiting that dang AmazFit treadmill…

  2. Kevin

    You think trainer sales this offseason are going to be anywhere close to what they were in the spring? Seems like a ton of people who wanted one got one in Q1 2020…

    • It’s a huge wildcard. Historically I think those 20% off type sales will happen, but frankly, I doubt they’ll be any inventory for them to sell during that timeframe.

      Trainer companies can’t really keep up with demand today, and I suspect there’s a chance they might break their head above water around early October – only to then have more orders from a blend of COVID19 waves growing, as well as people just going indoors like normal.

      Said differently – if you really want a new trainer for this year, it’s best to put in the orders now. Whereas if you’re on the fence, you can see what happens in November. Either way, I don’t expect any further mainstream brand models this year.

    • George Pajari

      FWIW – I’m in Vancouver, Canada; ordered a Kickr Bike end of July — told to expect delivery end of September.

  3. KCF

    Think the upgraded Peloton bike will support erg mode?

    • Chris Benten

      Not likely. They have stated not interested and my neighbor does electronic QA for them has offered to design the circuit but they declined. Peloton makes money selling subscriptions to their online classes. If they built a “smart” bike that allowed Zwift, etc…they lose the moneymaker…

    • Agree, I’m actually not convinced ERG mode adds anything to the Peloton experiance. Of course, I’m sure in like 12 minutes or something they’ll announce and prove me wrong. But it’d have to be a substantial shift in direction to go towards ERG mode because so much of the concept of Peloton is giving you guidelines, but also those rails to go above/below based on the day.

      I agree in that they’d never build a bike with open standards. While they do turn a solid profit on the bikes themselves, the real long-term money is the subs.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    If Peloton can fulfill “Bike+“ (?) orders faster than for the current bike, then it’s a no-brainer as many of their target customers will just fork up $$$ for earlier delivery. Also, should it come with a detachable screen for taking non-bike classes on, that’s probably worth the up-sell alone.

    • It might be a good business move (and, they have said in various customer communications they’ll refund the difference of any price drop that occurs for existing backorders as well as new receivers in the last 30 days).

      However, ultimately, that manufacturing capacity that could be producing the existing/lower priced unit (since they now own their own facilities). And given the wait times are nuts these days, you’re essentially saying to customers already sitting on a waitlist: ‘Thanks, but, we’re letting this group over here cut the line instead’.

    • Anonymous Coward

      If they indeed affect a retroactive price guarantee, then it sounds like the choice for anyone on the waitlist is to get a refund and keep on waiting for the current product, or get bumped to the new product, ideally to the front of the order queue.

      Hard to gauge how / if their backlog is affected by the transition. Depends how well they’ve managed logistics planning, and it sounds like maybe not so well.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully Garmin Catalyst disrupts the race car lap analysis segment. Current solutions (AIM/MoTeC/…) require a data engineer to decipher all the squiggly lines, so maybe there’s a space for a tool for mere mortals. Except that Catalyst doesn’t seem to include any support for actual ECU data acquisition via ODB-II/CAN Bus/…, so it could be relegated to the “HPDE / hobby racer” segment.

    • Interesting. So, if coming from folks who would be interested in this tech – what’s the current thought on their offering?

      It’s odd that it doesn’t support ODB-II, since their VIRB Action cams do.

    • ggc

      The product seems to aimed at getting faster lap times rather than being a data logger, but I still think supporting OBD2 would be required to make sensible deductions on better laptimes.
      Will be interesting to see how consistent of a racing line it can map out with a 10HZ GPS + accelerometer+ image processing (sounds like voodoo/marketing).

  6. Robert B

    As someone who’s worked in the autotrade for 30 years, albeit lastly in April 2019 has OBD superceded to ODB? Reminds me of the time i got comptia certified, blink and the damn thing was out of date. Hence the long automotive career

  7. Timothy

    What happened to your peloton review?

  8. Mark

    Ray, you may want to update your sale notes for the Hero 8, considering it’s September already (my time has flown) and leaks of the Hero 9 have been circulating for a while.

  9. Lorin

    Hi Ray, Any comments on this and how it can change gps accuracy on future wearables? Maybe in next year’s garmin device.
    link to sony.net

    • Dan G

      Interesting; the first Sony L5/E5 wearables receiver (I don’t know if anyone else has released one). The L5/E5 waveform should allow accurate GPS-derived instant pace, something impossible before now. (Otherwise you need a footpod, probably a Stryd.) As the article notes, L5/E5 is also much better at cutting through multipathing (e.g. in city street canyons) to deliver your true position.

      Incredible bits of engineering, aren’t they? Such tiny objects that can locate their position anywhere on Earth in just a few seconds.

    • balandreau

      I believe Sony and Quectel are the only ones with this technology at the moment….

    • Dom

      There’s the Broadcom BCM47755 chip in whichever is the mobile variant, which I think was first to market. I’m unsure with any of these how the power consumption compares with single band devices, which will carry a lot of weight in decision making. Antenna design could be interesting, too. That said, show me a watch which has this and gets anywhere near its promise and I’m in.

  10. MAGNUStm

    With the announcement of the new tread/bike I take it they’re delaying the announcement of their Rower.

  11. DVQ

    I ride bikes and I track cars so I hopped on the Garmin Catalyst launch. Even though you may not be interested in driving — from a cyclist’s perspective I will note that they seem to be using some vision neural networks to detect placement of the vehicle on the track. This sort of technology makes me wonder what kind of applications vision based AI could mean for garmin cycling based products.

  12. Michael Allen

    Just browsing Garmin site this week and noticed this:
    link to buy.garmin.com

    Fenix 6 compatible quarter turn quickfit bike mount

    No idea when it arrived but finally ?

  13. davie

    Hi Ray, you have probably already seen this from Drew at Tacx Facx. Basically means that every single Neo 2T ever sold, anywhere in the world will, once warranty is expired and the $10 bearing inevitably fails, become an expensive door-stop. No way to fix the bearing due to a proprietary part required.

    link to youtube.com

    • This seems like a case of not simply asking the question to Garmin/Tacx. In fact, in the comments you’ll find a comment from Hilko – lead of support for Tacx.

      He noted that while they don’t yet have the public extractor tool available, it is something they’e working on. Since bearing replacement at this stage in the product life-cycle is fairly rare, they were doing replace via swaps.

      “Easy to go solutions needs to be availble for the public or dealers so that cost can be reduced to fix the problem and that we can service the NEO2T. They are in planning and will be offered to the market.”

      As Drew himself noted, swapping out full units (while sometimes expensive) is a better overall customer service experience for the vast majority of people that aren’t inclined to replace it. Given how rare it is for bearings to have issues at this stage in the product lifecycle, I don’t really think this is a big deal. If we come back in a few years and the tool isn’t available – then sure.

      But as Drew also noted, Garmin is one of the few companies that will still actually warranty your product forever. There might be a cost for a 15 year old product, but they do retain the parts. And in fact, we *already* saw this with Tacx and Garmin saying they’re going to takeover support and went back and added that for example to the original NEO as a policy.

    • davie

      ppreciate your comments Ray but feel they are optimistic. I live in Australia and own a Neo 1 bought in Feb 2018. Using the Garmin AU website, I can’t buy a replacement shimano hub for the EDCO hub, Can’t buy an extractor tool (however Hilko explained that the 2T tool is backwards compatible). I could do all of this before Garmin took over.
      Why is it acceptable for garmin to supply sub-standard bearings on a flagship unit? Why is it acceptable to not supply a tool for repairs… just because its new? Units are already failing. It’s not acceptable to state that the most minor issue requires complete unit replacement and a 2-3 month wait while this takes place.
      I am not aware of an local Garmin Australia support policy for my model out of warranty if it exists. There is NO mention of any policy on the tacx or Garmin AU website at all. The only policy I am aware of is a UK only one of charging 650 pounds for repairs no matter what the issue – even if its a $10 bearing fix.
      Drew made lots of good points about Garmins attitude towards garmins paying customers. Not expecting you to comment on all of them but he has bent over backwards to help people on facebook.

      Hilko is clearly trying hard, but I don’t’ think he is getting the Garmin HQ support he needs.

      Has anyone at Tacx or Garmin ever heard of a focus group or user survey?

  14. George Pajari

    What’s up with the Wahoo Elemnt ROAM? The Wahoo website (link to wahoofitness.com) says it’s out of stock. REI says “Wahoo Fitness ELEMNT ROAM GPS Bike Computer is no longer available”. The listing on Amazon.com has disappeared, and my order with Canada Bicycle Parts was cancelled with a note asking if I’d like a BOLT instead (no).

    • Patrick Utrecht

      Looks like the same happened in my country (Europe). It points towards a new model release, in which case if Ray knows anything about it, he’ll be blocked to comment on it. I assume he still needs to sign a NDA to get info. I’ll be surprised on what is to come. Though I use the Roam myself, it’s only a minor improvement over the bolt with a huge mark up in price (relatively speaking). The biggest let down was the so called “color screen” which I still consider mainly mono (black & white). I do appreciate the bigger size though and the rerouting option that the bolt lacks.

  15. Clair Hutchings

    Upgrading from tacx smart flow would you go for tacx neo 2t, wahoo of some description or the new next generation wattbike atom. Currently I use an old 8 speed racing bike.


  16. brad

    Hi Ray – any rumors or timeframe for the release of a new Forerunner 645? That product is over 2 years old, and I’m wondering if they’re going to keep that slot between the 245 and 945 or ditch it. Thanks!

  17. Andrew

    I’ve just discovered that the Polar Flow website has an export HRV data option for a given activity. Is this a new feature or am I now seeing this because I bought a new Polar Pro HR Strap? I’m still using my H7 sensor and the export option is also available for my OH1 sensor.

    • George Pajari

      You are probably only seeing it because you have the PRO HR strap.
      (a) I only have the OH1 and don’t see it; and
      (b) I understood that the OH1 did not capture sufficient information to provide HRV data (and so I’d have doubts about the utility of an HRC export from a data set captured by an OH1 sensor).

    • Aidan

      I can confirm, it’s a recent update from Polar – screenshot attached shows my own view – Polar mentioned this on twitter yesterday

    • Andrew

      Yes you are correct about the OH1 as my export file does not have HRV data.

    • Andrew

      Thanks Aidan.
      MAP, MAS and FTP are now available under Physical settings.

      link to twitter.com

  18. Arne

    Hi Ray, I’ve noticed a lot of buzz on social media regarding ‘Aerofit’, a device that is used to ‘train your lungs’ for endurance sports. Since your spot-on review of the Whoop strap, I see you as one of the people very able to get a closer look at this device. Any chance you’d be doing an in-depth piece on that?

    It’s a bit of sub-genre in sportstech, but might be interesting.

    Kind regards!

    • Yeah, I put that kinda stuff in the same camp as those bracelets people try and pitch that supposedly make you do X or Y.

      My thing is simple on these: If they actually worked (even at a 1% increase), then we’d see every single pro athletes in the world using them (for free), since 1% is gold medal at the Olympics or off the podium for most events. But…we don’t. We only see mostly no-name athletes talking about supposed benefits.

      Most data I’ve read basically says there are some short-term benefits, but, like everything else in the body eventually your body adapts (very quickly in this case), and there’s no actual increase in performance, because you can’t keep applying more and more load like you can other stimuli.


    • Arne

      That’s kind of what I expected… Thanks!