Week in Review–October 12th, 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!

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 PriceAmazonSale Notes
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $25 off
$125⚡ 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. Also, with the wireless charging case for $50 off. Personally, I just use the basic model.
Apple Airpods Pro - $30 off
Yup, these are the new noise-cancelling ones that don't fall out of your ears. I haven't tried them yet, but lots of people seem happy with them.
Apple Airpods Pro - $50 off
$199⚡ This is a very strong deal - by far the lowest price the Airpods Pro have ever been. Note: Also flirting occasionally at $189 ($60 off).
Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)
$169This is the lowest price we've ever seen for the Apple Watch Series 3. While the Series 5 is the new one, the Series 3 has almost all the same features (and still gets all the updates). It's dipped a few times to $179, but only once ever for Black Friday to $169.
Apple iPad - Latest Model 8th Gen (32GB)$30 off (10% off)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 The SufferFest - but I pretty much test every smart trainer app on it. This is the latest iPad that was just announced barely two weeks ago, so not too bad to see it on sale already (US AMAZON DEAL ONLY).
DJI OSMO Action (Action Cam) - Normally $329
$249This is a solid price for the DJI OSMO Action, and it's a very strong first contender from DJI to compete with the Hero 7 Black (realistically, except for the dual-screen, it simply doesn't compete with the Hero 8 or Hero 9). I really like a lot of elements on the OSMO Action, but especially the dual-screen. Check out my full review for comparative thoughts. While I would have said that maybe we'd see a new OSMO Action sometime this past spring (an annual refresh cycling), I'm pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening for a while.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro - 10% off
$630The Fenix 6 Pro (not the S or X variants) is on sale by Amazon for 10% off, or basically saving $70. This is a good deal, though obviously not an incredible deal. The last time we saw Fenix 6 deals was back in May 2020, for $150 off.
Garmin HRM-DUAL (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Strap) - $15 off
$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 Instinct - $30 off
$220Sure, the new Solar variants came out this summer with a few new features, but at their core the Instincts are mostly the same. This was quite a bit lower on Amazon Prime Days ($149), so $30 off isn't really a huge deal (it's normally $250ish).
Garmin Tactix Charlie - $150 off$599The Tactix Charlie is essentially a Fenix geared towards military folks (Amazon Prime Days)
Jackery Portable Power Station - $50 off$249This 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. Technically you can even hook a solar panel up to it. Heck, I've even powered a KICKR trainer ride from it!
Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617) - 16% off$59This is one of the most popular indoor trainer fans 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.
Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds - $20 off$109This are obviously super popular, and having them be 31% off ought to make them even more popular. Wireless Charging Case included.
SanDisk 1TB Extreme PRO Portable External SSD - 32% off$189This is the high speed drive 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 travelling or at home.
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SD Cards - 34% off$66I 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.
Suunto 7 Wear OS Watch - $50 off
$449The Suunto 7 floats on and off sale occasionally, but usually not more than 20% off.
Suunto 9 Baro Series - $100 off
$599 (non-baro is $499)
$449This isn't quite as good a deal as for Amazon Prime Day when it was 46% off (basically $200 off), but it's still a deal nonetheless.
Withings Body+ WiFi Scale - 11% off$89I'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:

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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  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.”


      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..


  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?