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:
The deals are starting to ramp up. We’re seeing some super strong Amazon deals this weekend on last generation Garmin gear, plus Garmin’s own $150 sale on the Fenix 6 series. Note that I wouldn’t expect any better deal on the Fenix 6 series than that, simply because companies like Garmin carefully plan these deals to not tick off their retail partners by increasing a sale price once it starts (otherwise people want refunds/threaten to return and re-buy/etc…).
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.
⚡⚡ I use this for almost all my Zwifting. This is a fantastic deal, which runs Zwift, RGT, FulGaz, Rouvy, and more. While Apple just released their newest version (2022), virtually no cycling apps have taken advantage of it yet. And thus for now, the edition on sale for $79 seems like a steal.
⚡ I like the PowerBeats Pro with the over-the-ear design, for more security in workouts, than my Beats Studio Buds. I use these as well as my Beats Studio Buds (and have used the PowerBeats Pro ones longer). $100 off is a solid deal.
⚡I've been using these since last summer (2021), primarily on my indoor workouts, but also on some of my runs (for example, in testing out most watches with music). I like them and they've become my go-to buds.
⚡This deal is on DJI's larger FPV drone, the original one. They've also got the smaller but less powerful one too - Avata, which isn't on sale. This is for the FPV combo deal, saving you $400. This includes the drone, FPV goggles, and controller.
This is the second time we've seen the DJI Mavic 3 on sale (for a non-bundled deal). With all the firmware improvements since the fall, it's finally getting to a more stable place in terms of features. Of course, you can also now get the DJI Mavic 3 Classic for a fair bit cheaper, minus the zoom lens. Albeit, I personally think the zoom lens is handy (if used correctly).
⚡This is the first time we've seen this on sale - and so it's actually pretty notable. I don't even think it's supposed to be on sale, but this is just Amazon doing Amazon. This is one of the two main HR straps i use these days (alongside the Polar H10). Either way, definitely take this and run!
⚡This is the first time we've seen the Garmin Instinct 2 series devices (all variants) on sale. The Instinct 2 base is from $249 (on Amazon), a very solid deal - especially with all the major software updates it's had over the last year.
This is Garmin's standalone radar/taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. This product is universally loved, and works with Garmin/Wahoo/Stages/Hammerhead/Bryton, and other bike computers.
This is the first time we've seen this unit on sale, as it only came out earlier this year. It's my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks this year out of cell range already.
⚡ Amazon now has the Hero 11 Black for $100 off the retail price of $499. This does *NOT* require the GoPro subscription (previously called GoPro Plus). The Hero 11 has become my daily action cam (well, actually, I bought two of them).
Google Pixel Buds Pro - Noise Canceling Earbuds (All Colors) - $50 off!
⚡So, the Three Peanuts (girls ages 3/5/6) have used this for over a year now, abd 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.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee & Espresso Kit - 30% off
⚡ 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!
⚡So this has been fluctuating all day between $54 and $75. So it's a bit of luck of the draw. Either way- these are super low prices and great straps. This is one of my main chest straps I use as a reference device in testing. Works great!
I 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. Note: Different colors have different sale prices - I don't understand why.
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 good, but not yet fantastic deal.
⚡ A very solid deal, making it the least expensive smart bike out there, despite being probably the best built one. (Note: While this sale is marked as 43% off, the reality is most of the time the price hovers around $2,300-2,500) - still, by far the lowest price we've ever seen).
This is the V1 version, whereas the new Tacx NEO Bike Plus came out this past week with some very minor tweaks, however, that bike is $3,999 ($1,300 more than this!). Thus, this kinda looks like a steal.
⚡ This 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...
⚡This is the slightly older ROAM V1, which isn't quite as fancy as the new V2. Still, $200 off is a very solid deal, and it, recently got the new Wahoo Summit Segments feature, as well as other features - so it's still getting the majority (if not all) new firmware features.
This is the lowest price we've ever seen on the Wahoo KICKR AXIS feet, which, if on a hard surface like concrete, will give your KICKR bike slightly more movement side to side. Note these come built-in to the KICKR 2020/2022, but you can install the AXIS feet on all Wahoo KICKR units (not CORE/SNAP).
⚡⚡⚡ This is an incredible deal, by far the lowest the KICKR Bike has ever been. Especially given the just-announced V2 bike is even more expensive now at $4,000. And frankly, aside from built-in WiFi, there's not much otherwise on the newer V2 bike. I plan to take advantage of this deal and finally buy one for myself, this is astounding.
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) Bike racing is no longer a safe space for racism: A good piece by Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan, a professional cyclist discussing some recent team signings and how those organizations clearly dropped the news on a Saturday afternoon to avoid people noticing. Mind you, nobody ever announces anything on a Saturday afternoon.
2) A look at Shimano’s SPD Power Meter Patent: This surprisingly good deep-dive into the patent. Of course, what isn’t clear here is whether or not this patent actually matters. Meaning, there’s often two (or thirty) ways to fry a fish, and this particular way is incredibly specific.
3) US Navy partners with Garmin for COVID-19 study with custom app: Interesting little tidbit on Garmin and the US Navy using a custom Connect IQ app that’s getting higher levels of health data recorded back to central repositories to try and get increased levels of health data to potentially detect COVID-19 on a ship before it spreads more quickly. The exact numbers are a bit fuzzy here, though, they do list the exact models. Would be interesting to know if we’re talking a test of tens, hundreds, or thousands of people. (thanks to reader Jim S. for sending in!)
4) Garmin adds pregnancy tracking: I had really wanted to write about this, this past week, but the week got a bit crazy. It’s something I oft talked with Garmin about over the past 4-5 years (with my athletic wife having three peanuts during that timeframe). They seemed to have really nailed much of this. Super impressive. Albeit, I would have preferred the baby sizing options pull from the BabySizer database. Our favorite week was always Week 21.
6) An open letter to Virtual Coach Amy: A DCR reader wrote this letter to one of Garmin’s virtual coaches (Amy Parkerson-Mitchell), and it’s pretty much spot on. I do think we’re seeing better integration month by month with how Garmin is actually integrating all this data together. And perhaps more importantly – Garmin is actually getting better at explaining how this works. They let one of the top guys at Firstbeat actually explain it in a long post. Still, the open letter brings up many valid points about cross-pollination of data. After all, I saw this most recently with the brand new Index S2 scale – moments where I was like: Why on earth are you asking me this? You’ve known this for years.
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.
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.