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Week in Review–October 12th, 2020

WeekInReview22

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!

Garmin Developer Conference on Wednesday:

 

Previously called the Garmin Connect IQ Summit, but now consolidated for all things Garmin developer into the Garmin Developer Conference, this event is where we should expect to see Garmin announce new developer bits for the Garmin fitness/outdoors/etc platforms. And with that, we tend to see the curtain pulled back a bit on what future devices might have in them. At least, that’s the way it’s worked for the past half a decade or so.

In fact, even before the Garmin Connect IQ Summit there was the ANT+ Symposium, where Garmin used to make some of their development announcements. It’s also where I used to deliver my annual ‘State of Sports Technology’ keynote. And this year will be no different.

And just like past years, my keynote is more about, well…the state of sports tech. It’s not about Garmin or whatever developer stuff they’re announcing. And, like every year – I’ll talk about the highs and lows from a consumer and industry standpoint – and where I think things are going.

The conference is free this year (unlike years past), and entirely virtual (obviously). I’ll be delivering my keynote of sorts in the opening block Wednesday morning starting around 9AM CDT (UTC-5, or 4PM Central European Time). Click here to register to watch!

(Note: Like past years, I’m not being paid anything for my session. In years with the ANT+ Symposium I instead donated my speaker fee to charity, generally a sports-related charity in either Alberta or Newfoundland, home of The Girl.)

Sports Tech Deals of Note:

It’s the start of Amazon Prime Week, tomorrow, and I suspect we’ll see plenty more deals. Until then, here’s some things to get ya started.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case - $50 Off!$149⚡ I use AirPods primarily when I'm travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc... I don't tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out. Personally, I just use the basic model.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $30 off
$159
$119I use AirPods primarily when I'm travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc... I don't tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out.
Apple Airpods Pro - $30 off!
$249
$219
Garmin Edge 130 Plus - 25% off!
$199
$149This is the first time we've seen the Edge 130 Plus on sale. The 'Plus' variant is notable compared to the regular unit for having ClimbPro on it, plus a handful of other tweaks. $149 is a good deal for it.
Garmin Edge 130 Plus Bundle - 20% off!$199This is the first time we've seen the Edge 130 Plus on sale. The 'Plus' variant is notable compared to the regular unit for having ClimbPro on it, plus a handful of other tweaks. This bundle includes a heart rate chest strap as well.
Garmin Forerunner 45/45S - $40 off
$199
$160If you're looking for a runners focused watch, this is a pretty good deal, about 20% off. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series.
Garmin Forerunner 935
$499
$269⚡ Sure, it's not the latest edition, but the FR935 is the staple of many triathletes and runners, and it still an incredibly solid watch. We saw this a bit lower last summer on Amazon Prime Day ($239) - but beyond that, this is pretty darn low. Also, I say $100-$200 off, because the 'base' price fluctuates a bit these days. Sometimes retail is $399 sometimes $499.
Garmin Instinct - $100 off
$299
$189Sure, the new Solar variants came out last summer with a few new features, but at their core the Instincts are mostly the same. $189 is still a strong price for this watch.
Garmin RVR315 Varia Radar - Save 20%$120I believe this is the first sale of the Garmin Varia RVR315 cycling radar. This unit doesn't have a taillight, so it's a bit smaller as a result. Same radar tech though, and compatible with Garmin/Stages/Hammerhead/Wahoo bike computers.
Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S - $100 off
$299
$249This is Garmin's current offering to compete with the Apple Watch series (alongside the Garmin Venu), and this is a good price, though, it does go lower from time to time (not since Black Friday 2020).
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off$399⚡ This is the camera I use for all my daily shooting during sports. Actually, I've bought a few of them. Note that if you're a GoPro Plus Subscriber, then it's a bit cheaper at $349 from GoPro directly, but otherwise, it's $449.
GoPro Max - $50 off
$499
$449

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:

Wednesday: Polar Vantage V2 In-Depth Review
Friday: Fitbit Versa 3 In-Depth Review

Which, was two full in-depth reviews! Lots more wearables stuff in the pipeline!

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) Specialized’s New Ad is So Good: As CyclingTips pointed out, this new ad for a bike or something is probably the most engaging cycling business thing you’ll watch all year. It’s so good you’ll forget it’s an ad. Now, given I just bought a mountain bike, I’m certainly not about to buy another any time soon. But, I enjoy good videos – and this is certainly good and enjoyable.

2) Explaining the new Zwift Pace Partners Drops Multiplier: I’ve started to do Pace Partner rides more and more lately, for the very simple reason that selecting a specific group ride/race doesn’t always work timing wise. Pace Partners meanwhile, they’re almost always there. A new Drops (points) multiplier is now in effect, such that you get more Drops the longer you stay close by. Both the Zwift Insider post above, or the video from GPLama below explain it. Though, as you’ll find, staying exactly within that short 7 meter draft zone for long periods of time is harder than you think.

3) GoPro passes 500,000 paid subscribers: They were previously targeting 600-700K by the end of the year. Of course, the real reason for this is that signing up for GoPro Plus gets you $100 off your GoPro Hero 9. So it’s pretty much a no-brainer since GoPro Plus is far cheaper. GoPro is banking that after a year, people remain on the platform. Which, most probably will. I use it as my backup of GoPro footage, but the 50% discount on accessories is handy when I remember.

4) Maelstrom Trainer Fan Controller Goes Opensource: Of course, the real story here is simply that Keith is moving on from the project to something else. As he noted in the post, the certification related costs were just too high to overcome for this type of product. Still, I’m sure we’ll see something interesting down the road on whatever he’s got planned next…

5) Stryd dips toe into training subscription service: This is an interesting one, and I might end up writing some more in-depth on it down the road. I see both sides of this. On one hand, providing training plans and such for running power-focused workouts makes sense, as a gap exists there. On the flip side, I worry that new features down the road will basically only go to subscribers (which, is how it works for every company – just ask Strava). And for a $200 device, that’s a tough added pill. But if they can make the training plan/platform piece make fiscal sense, then it might be OK.

6) Going from Google Drones to GoPro Drones to Skydio Drones: Women are unfortunately pretty rare in the drone industry, so here’s a good interview with Nicole Bonk, who worked at all three companies in drone engineering and test capacities.

7) Radio Tower Captures its Own Wildfire Demise on Camera: As many of us spend time in the great outdoors and national parklands, this one was pretty crazy to watch. It’s only a couple minutes long, but captures (itself!) as a radio tower camera gets circled with wildfire and eventually falls to it.

With that –thanks for reading!

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35 Comments

  1. Mark Pritchard

    Do you intend to test the HR accuracy of the new amazfit band 5. Just wondering whether the HR accuracy of a cheap fitness tracker would stand up to the more expensive fitness watches! Their advertising claims that it is very accurate, but they probably all say that, but it would be interesting to know.
    Thanks for all the really useful reviews anyway.

  2. dave churchill

    Wildflower probably should be wildfire

  3. Ryan

    Couple of Typos:
    “Dips tow into”
    “circled with wildflower”

    Also will your Garmin Dev Conference video be available outside of the conference?

  4. dave churchill

    Although being surrounded by wildflowers in times of peril sounds calming

  5. Raf Kellens

    So basically Stryd will do what the Trenara app is doing for free the past 1,5 year in the Low Lands. Producing a training plan based on current fitness and adapting that plan each day/week when your fitness improves (or declines ?). Trenara is now entering non-Dutch speaking markets, very interesting to see if they get picked up.

  6. MartinG

    You missed a few parts of the Stryd announcement which I think are actually the most significant: (a) a ConnectIQ app that actually works for interval training, and (b) workout downloads into their CIQ app from 3rd party platforms like TrainingPeaks. It’s a huge step forward.

    • Those are all things that should be done either way, the subscription piece and the impact it has is the most interesting point.

      Ultimately though, nobody really wants to use a standalone Connect IQ app though to get proper data for running power support. And that’s on Garmin to address.

  7. Mr. T

    Has stryd ever made $$$? I think they’ll be gone in a few years c

    • Will

      Don’t know the answer to the first point.

      I think they’ll survive in the long term. Why? The strength of the product. It works so well. No other eco system can give an accurate race prediction that Stryd can, as far as I’m aware of. Garmins Vo2 max is wildly inaccurate as a race predictor. And anyway that predictor assumes a perfectly flat course. With Stryd you tell it the course profile. Boom! As they say.

      Hurdles Stryd face are: runners baulk at spending £200 on a pod. Runners aren’t as tech savy as cyclists so learning power is quite a hurdle.

      Stryd has made huge in roads to learning the tech. Auto FTP. Training plans and race predictors all help.

      Last step is price.

    • “Hurdles Stryd face are: runners baulk at spending £200 on a pod. Runners aren’t as tech savy as cyclists so learning power is quite a hurdle.”

      This.

      I’ve said it since the beginning, and I’ll keep saying it. $99 is the right price point. And the problem Stryd has is that each month that goes by and more brands add native wrist running power (which, as I showed with the COROS Pace 2 is good enough in almost all cases, and even better than Stryd in some cases) – the less likely people are to pay the $200 for Stryd (when they can get a watch for that much).

    • Will

      Maybe I’m too much of a Stryd fan to see the light. But I don’t see other watches offering native power as a threat to Stryd. The watches may output a number but no one is telling the user what this number means, in both training and racing. Only Stryd does. Cyclists are OK with that. They have online training platforms to guide them, plus decades of learnt power knowledge in the community. Running power is still in its infancy. Garmin introducing native running power would help for sure. But again, with any aids it’s another number on the screen to confuse.

  8. Jared

    For the deals it’s probably worth noting that you get the previous generation Tickr from Wahoo not the current one.

  9. Sean in NY

    Hey Ray, can you post your keynote video here on the site if we’re not able to watch it live? Or, by signing up, can we go to the site and watch it after-the-fact? Thanks!

    • My understanding is that by signing it up I think you’re able to watch it after the fact – but don’t quote me on it!

      However, down the road I’ll likely upload it to YouTube or such.

  10. Trevor

    Wheres the sport tech firmware updates section?

    • It got culled this week, partially cause I got too far behind, and partially cause there wasn’t much. :-/

    • JB

      I too often use the link you provide to access what’s new. As the ‘Week in Review’, isn’t published that often, maybe I should just bookmark the updates site. It encourages me to visit your site most days to check updates, not doing so will lose my engagement with your site. ?

  11. Andrew

    Are there any new bike computers to be announced this year, especially from Wahoo or Polar?

  12. Mats

    Will any new devices be announced by Garmin? I was hoping the 745 would be a mid range device, but it’s currently more expensive than 945. So feel like there’s missing a new device in the middle.

  13. antdesc

    Hey Ray,

    Can we expect news coros watches this year ? Been waiting to see if a coros apex 2 is on the works..

    Cheers

  14. Nemo Brauch

    While you are at the Garmin Connect conference, perhaps you can find out why it seems nearly impossible to find a simple analog style watch face WITHOUT a second hand. All I want is an option to use the standard Garmin Analog watch face for my Fenix 6s without a second hand. Not sure why that seems so hard.

  15. Ponder

    “close buy” s/b “close by”.

  16. Nemo

    Thanks Will. That’s probably a little tooooo minimal for my eyes!

  17. Jens Holmstrup

    Which Mountain Bike did you buy – have I missed a b´post/blog about this 😉

  18. Paul Horsley

    Are you going to review the Wattbike Atom
    Next Gen bike?