Huge Holiday Sales Deals List (Upwards of 100 items)!
Deals include $250+ off the Garmin Fenix 6 Series ($399 for the Pro models!). Plus deals on tons more including the GoPro Hero 10 Black, Apple Watch, Beats Buds, Suunto, smart indoor bikes, drones, and plenty more. Updated constantly, full details over here!
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.
Look, 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.
This 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
⚡ 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.
This 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.
This 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).
⚡⚡ 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.
⚡ 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.
This 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.
Ok, 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).
Amazon 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).
This 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.
These 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.
The 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
So, 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.
This 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!
⚡ 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.
This 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.
These 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
This 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.
⚡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).
⚡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.
⚡⚡ 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.
⚡ 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).
⚡ 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.
I'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.
I'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:
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.
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.
You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2021 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s Gear Guide too.