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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
4iiii Precision Ride-Ready Power Meters - 14% off$258This includes the Shimano DuraAce, Ultegra, and 105 units, at between 11-14% off depending on which exact model you select.
Amazon Halo View - 38% off$49Look, this thing isn't even shipping yet and it's already 38% off. But hey, if you want a good deal on a pre-order product that we don't know much about yet, then here ya go! I have ordered one, and will review it once it comes in.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $44 off
$159
$114These aren't quite the newest generation (those came out a month or so ago), but they are $44 off, and the one I personally use myself.
Apple Airpods Pro - $53 off
$249
$197Though, this price fluctuates as low as $159, so double-check the latest price to be sure it's now ower right now.
Apple Airpods Pro - $60 off
$249
$159⚡ By far the lowest price to date for this unit. Previously hovered around $179-$199
Apple Watch SE - $40 off
$279
$239This isn't quite the lowest price, but is close for the Apple Watch SE. And perhaps more interestingly, my testing over the last year (I continue to use it, including much of the late summer/early fall timeframe), shows that Apple has clearly worked on improving accuracy of it, with it being far more accurate in GPS than a year ago (HR continues to be very good as it was a year ago).
Beats PowerBeats Pro Wireless Sport Headphones - $70 off
$249
$179⚡ I like the PowerBeats Pro with the over-the-ear design, for more security in workouts. I use these as well as my Beats Studio Buds (and have used the PowerBeats Pro ones longer). $70 off is a solid deal.
DJI Mavic Mini Fly More Combo Kit - 24% off$399
Elite Direto XR Smart Trainer- $140 off! (In Stock)
$1,000
$849
Elite Suito-T Smart Trainer - 10% off!
$799 (incl cassette)
$722Note: The Suito-T is the same exact trainer as the Suito, except without the cassette pre-installed.
Elite Tuo Smart Trainer - 7% off
$529
$492
Fitbit Charge 5 - $50 off
$179
$129This is the first time we've seen the newly released Charge 5 on sale. Also of note is that just this week it got ECG support via a firmware update, and Fitbit Daily Readiness score via firmware update.
Fitbit Sense - $100 off!
$329
$199This is the lowest price to date for the Fitbit Sense, and makes it a deal you should definitely consider versus the Fitbit Versa 3 for the same price (no, really, there's no reason to get the Versa 3 at the same price).
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Series - $250+ off
$549-$1,149
$399⚡⚡ This is the biggest deal we've seen on the Fenix 6 Series to date, making it an incredible deal for a watch this full-featured. the base units start at $349, and the Pro units start at $399 (seriously). Pro models have maps/music/wifi, while the base doesn't.
Garmin Forerunner 745 - $100 off
$499/499EUR
$399⚡ This is a solid deal on a very capable watch. More notably, it's also the watch I primarily use as my daily sports tracking watch. While it doesn't have the onboard maps of the FR945, since I'm not traveling as much, it doesn't bother me. Of course, keep in mind that with all the Garmin units on sale, the price differences to map-inclusive units aren't very much.
Garmin HRM-DUAL (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Strap) - $15 off
$69
$56⚡ This is one of my go-to straps these days (ANT+ & two concurrent BLE connections). It's floated on and off being on sale, but this is about the lowest we've seen it.
Garmin HRM-SWIM Strap - $45 off!$54This is the slightly older pool-focused HRM-SWIM strap. It's really just designed for the pool and to get accurate HR data. These days it's been replaced by the HRM-PRO, though even that doesn't quite have the same stickiness level as the HRM-SWIM did.
Garmin Instinct - $85 off
$299
$165⚡While this isn't quite as good as the $149 prices we saw a week or so ago, it's still pretty solid. Note that different colors vary slightly in prices.
Garmin Instinct Solar - $87 off
$399/$449
$312There's also the non-solar version for $169, but keep in mind that's got significantly different features. In many ways, the Garmin Instinct Solar is kinda like a Garmin Instinct 2.0.
Garmin RD Pod (Running Dynamics) - 11% off
$69
$62Ok, this is a pretty minor deal, but I noticed it so...figured I'd pass it along. Allows you to get not just Running Dynamics metrics, but also running power, on Garmin devices (not all devices, but most devices).
Garmin Varia RVR315 Radar - $25 off$125This variant 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 Venu 2S - $50 off$349This is the first time the Venu 2 has been on sale since its announcement this past spring. It's not a huge deal, but hey, $50 is $50.
Garmin Venu SQ - $30 off!
$199/$249 with Music
$169
Garmin Venu SQ - $70 off
$199/$249 with Music
$129This is by far the lowest price we've seen, at $129USD, or $179 for the music version.
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - $70 off
$299
$229
Garmin Vivoactive 4S - $80 off$219
GoPro Hero 10 Black - $50 off
$449
$449Amazon now has the Hero 10 Black for $50 off the retail price of $499. This does *NOT* require the GoPro subscription (previously called GoPro Plus). However, if you want to subscribe to that, then you can get the camera for $399 instead. Food for thought. Either way, the Hero 10 has become my daily action cam (well, actually, I bought two of them).
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off
$399
$349This price makes it a reasonably good deal, and about $100 cheaper than the lowest GoPro Hero 10 price (if you're not a GoPro subscriber). The changes between the Hero 9 and Hero 10 for most people are fairly minor. Whereas if you're pushing the limits (either spec-wise or sport-wise), then the Hero 10 can be worth it.
Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router - 30% two-pack$200These 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. Ironically enough, I literally just installed another one at home tonight (Nov 20th, 2021) to provide better coverage in a dead spot in our 100 year-old home, for realz.
Insta360 GO2 Action Cam - 13% off$269Both the 32GB and newer 64GB versions are on sale, with the 32GB version being $269 as opposed to the usual $299
Insta360 One R Action Cam - 15% off$467The entire lineup of Insta360 One R action cams are 15% off, including the 1" and 360 variants. Overall it's a good cam with good picture clarity (I've mainly used the 1" 5.3K variant), but I find the software really lets it down.
Little Tikes Pelican Explore & Fit Cycle - 15% off$134So, the Three Peanuts (girls ages 2/4/5) have been testing this the last week, and so far, they love it. It's silly simple (there's no real connectivity here), and the videos they ride with are also absurdly laughable. Yet, they love it. Seriously, they fight over it. In-Depth review coming very very shortly. Until then, it's on sale.
NordicTrack S22i Indoor Cycle Bike - $700 off$1,499This is considered the primary competitor to Peloton, and is generally rated/reviewed very highly. Note that I have not reviewed this bike, or ridden it. But I figured I'd mention it here in case folks are looking for a deal on it. With Peloton's new pricing, the base prices are basically the same - $1,495 for the Peloton Bike. Sorta like politics, people prefer one brand or the other. Also like Peloton - it DOES NOT support any open standards for apps like Zwift, TrainerRoad, etc... Do NOT buy it (or Peloton) for that purpose.
NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System - $100 off!$799While this isn't something I've personally used, I know a ton of you do very much love it. Go forth!
Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Fired Outdoor Portable Pizza Oven - 20% off$279⚡ 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.
Peloton Bike+ is $200 off$2,295This is a solid deal for the Bike+, following a $350 off deal over Black Friday. 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.
Polar Grit X - $110 off
$429
$340This is for certain editions (namey the white ones at the moment). Keep in mind the Grit X Pro came out a month or so ago, so that may limit new features for the Grit X going forward.
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 11% off
$89
$78This is one of my main chest straps I use as a reference device in testing. Works great!
Rode Microphones Wireless GO II Mics - 20% off$279These are the mics that I use day in and day out for virtually everything, but most notably, when out running/riding (and all my crazy drone wind tests). I used to use the Wireless Go (original) system, but this is great because it has memory in it. So I can record audio on this, and then match it up with the footage later - ideal if I've got GoPro's or drones or such that may not have great on-board audio by themselves. Note that Amazon says this is 20% off, but I think it's more like $20-$30 off the regular price, unless the price has gone up substantially. Either way, I love them.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Wireless Earbuds - 33% off$99
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic - $50 off$299This is the latest edition that came out this past summer/fall, now on Wear OS, and the first time we've seen a notable sale on it. While the Watch 4 Classic has a few quirks, I'd argue it's the best wearable Samsung has made to date.
Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1-2TB - 24% off$129I use a small fleet of these T7 SSD's for various video projects, alongside the Sandisk SSD's. I literally have one of each color, just to keep things simple. They work great for quick storage.
SanDisk 1-2TB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - 50% off$129⚡This is one of the two the high speed drives I use to store the footage I'm actively video editing so that I can edit it on both my iMac at the office, and then my MacBook when traveling or at home. The 2TB version is $229 (50% off).
SanDisk Extreme Pro 256GB MicroSD Card - 39% off!$43⚡I use this card in both 128GB and 256GB variety (but mostly 256GB nowadays), and it's perfect for all my drones and action cams, easily recording 4K/60 and 5K/30, as well as 5.7K without trouble. I often pick up these cards when on sale like this, so I have them for later in the year when not on sale. // Update: Since this sale has begun, I've bought 6 of these cards to stockpile for future action cam/drone testing.
Saris H3 (Hammer 3) Smart Trainer - $240 off!
$1,099
$860⚡⚡ One of the top three trainers, but by far the top trainer on the market for ERG mode (so if you're a TrainerRoad user - this be the one!).
Skydio 2 - $400 off
$999/$1349
$949⚡⚡ This is a pretty incredible deal. First, because it's really the first time it's been on sale. Second, because it's $400 off. And third, because it's actually in stock. It's by far the best drone for sports action footage, as it's fully autonomous. It's less ideal for general drone cinematography, however. So you kinda have to decide what you want out of a drone. But for sports, this is the one.
Suunto 5 GPS Multisport Watch - 40% off!
$329
$179⚡ A very strong deal for this complete multisport watch that I really like. Well nailed on price here.
Suunto 7 Wear OS Watch - 42% off
$399
$229⚡ This is basically the lowest sale price we see for the Suunto 7 Wear OS powered watch. At this price, I'd say it's worth picking up, assuming you know the battery limitations and Wear OS version end of life limitations (meaning, this unit won't see any new versions of Wear OS).
Suunto 9 Baro Series - 40% off
$599 (non-baro is $499)
$369At this point the Suunto 9 Baro has been surpassed by the Suunto 9 Peak. Still, if you prefer a bigger watch, it got most of the firmware updates of the Suunto 9 Peak anyway.
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $150 off! (In Stock)
$1,399
$1,249⚡ This is a very rare sale for this trainer, if you're in the market, I wouldn't wait around for these units to disappear. Note it was slightly less on Black Friday at $200 off, but hey, a deal is a deal at this point.
Wiral LITE Cable Cam with Remote - $100 off$299I've been using this nifty cable cam system for years with various action cameras, phones and small mirrorless cameras. It's not an everyday use item, but I do pull it out a handful of times per year for very specific/special shots through the trees (or the studio) where drones can't easily go. Defnitely more in the photo-geeky camp, but that's the camp I live in.
Withings Body WiFi Scale - 12% off
$59
$52I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Withings WiFi Scale, they were the first in this category a gazillion years ago, and frankly, they're still basically the best in terms of partnerships and simplicity. It just works.

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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37 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?

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