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Week in Review–December 13th, 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!

Sports Tech Deals:

There’s still tons of deals out and about, including some renewed/bigger Apple Watch Series 6 and SE deals, if you missed out on Black Friday.

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:

Tuesday: Hammerhead Karoo 2 In-Depth Review
Tuesday: Tacx Boost Trainer In-Depth Review
Wednesday: The Massive 2020 Sportswatch Year in Review with DesFit
Friday: Behind the DCR Cave: How I Made A Smart Package Delivery Box

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 (also, this is really the last two weeks, as I didn’t quite hit publish on last week’s collection):

1) The dictator, the oligarch and the UCI president: If for some reason haven’t seen this piece yet, or read it, obviously, you most definitely should. It’s #1 on the list this week, despite being from last week.

2) Virtual Cycling and Real Cheating: Cracking Down on ‘Digital Doping’: A New York Times piece that I was quoted in a few times, discussing where Zwift stands here, mostly around the topics I discussed in this piece here.

3) The BikePaper Project: This is a 1.5” e-Paper display used on a bike computer, even with ANT+ sensor connectivity. As noted by the creator himself, this isn’t really a viable commercial project, but more of a hobbyist fun thing. Still, it’s always fun to see what people think up. Plus – these are the people that the bike computer companies want to hire. (Thanks KD!)

4) Could AI be the future of bike race coverage? Simply put – yup. At least for less important races. And we haven’t even begun to tap into what will eventually be possible here once beyond line of sight commercial media drone applications are commonplace (within a safe framework).

5) Meet the magnet bike fishers: These guys fish out old bikes, notably my older beloved Velib’s, from Parisian waterways.

6) Wristcam is a $299 Apple Watch Band: I’m struggling immensely to determine why I’d spend $299 for a poor quality camera on a wrist strap…all the size of a Babybel cheese round.

7) Fitbit Kinda Quietly Recalls Some Early Sense Units: We’re talking a few hundred units apparently, due to an issue with ECG failures. My bet here for the reason why Fitbit is doing this is since it touches on an FDA approved medical device. Versus I suspect other aspects of the device that might have seen failures might not have prompted such a recall/replacement.

8) 2020 Sportswatch Year in Review With DesFit: Just in case you missed it above in the link, here’s a super long-form chat with Des on all the watches released this past year.

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.

Garmin MARQ & Fenix 6 Series: Significant update with new features including sport-specific zones, Concept2 with PM5 module support, and a boatload of other tweaks.

Hammerhead Karoo Series Firmware Update: Largely minor tweaks.

With that – thanks for reading!

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14 Comments

  1. Rodrak

    Hi Ray,
    Regarding the E-ink project. I love e-ink on my Kindle i love BW display on my Suuntos and Bolt, but e-ink is dead end for bike computer. The referenced display guarantees 1000000 refresh cycles, thats 278 hours of ride with 1 second refresh rate, if you go 30kmph, thats 8300 km and than you may replace the display. Thats the weak spot of this lovely technology. Unfortunatelly.
    Cheers!

  2. Frank Goehner

    Hey Ray, any chance the fit files podcast with Gplama will start up again?

  3. Dave Messina

    Frank’s got a great question! Ever gonna get the podcast back up and running?!

  4. Pepe

    Hi Ray
    Can you post the .fit file from a run with Coros Pace 2 + Stryd?

  5. Bruce Burkhalter

    Ray –

    What are you thoughts on SPD power meter pedals coming to market in 2021? Think many will ship and will they be relatively accurate?

    Have a great holiday and stay safe!

  6. Duncan Tindall

    Regarding #6 – it’s close to something I’ve been hunting for ages. I run without my phone 99% of time, and when I ride then I’ll have my phone, but zipped in a pocket. And yet there are loads of times I’d love to grab a quick snap for instagram or strava, but CBA to pull from pocket.
    So a really light, fairly low resolution camera, waterproof, that I could clip on (think old Ipod nano) would be a definite purchase. Literally 20 years ago there was a UKP20 thing that was size and thickness of 2 stacked credit cards.
    In other ‘back to the past’ technology then an FM radio for running. I’ve an old Sony MP3 with FM in it and some bose earbuds – when the bose finally break then I’m stuffed. All the wireless/bluetooth earbuds don’t have the cable to act as aerial.

    • Bruce Burkhalter

      Maybe a used, older GoPro? Or maybe a GoPro Session? Might be a little bigger than you are thinking but they are pretty cheap, relatively waterproof without a case, can take some abuse, and with the wide angle you don’t have to be too accurate with your aiming.

    • Duncan Tindall

      GoPro and a clip is too big/heavy bouncy. I do have one, and have used it for paddleboarding.

      I’m after a sports version of link to getnarrative.com – simply press to take a snap, then ideally the photos upload via bluetooth app later, but even if I needed to plug into USB to download I’d be fine. Daft thing is this is really old tech – but somehow nothing has replaced it, or at least it’s been replaced by heavier, larger and with lower battery life devices.

    • Interestingly enough, an Apple patent surfaced yesterday for putting a camera below the screen of the watch itself. link to appleinsider.com

      Of course, Apple files boatloads of patents a year for things that never come true. But would likely solve the problem better than something on the outside.

    • Duncan Tindall

      Bugger. They read my post and were darn quick to lodge it. 😉

      Right, I’m off down the patent office now to protect my next idea. I’m going to add a telephone to a camera. Whilst it may sound daft that you want to talk to someone not there whilst you are taking pictures, trust me, it’s going to change the world….

    • André berger

      Maybe the Canon IVY REC can fit your needs? It looks like it can only be clipped hanging on to something in portrait orientation, but I think some kind of clip could be made and attached to get it straight. link to dpreview.com

  7. Andrew M

    The Bike Paper project could be a really good way of doing Garmin’s Extended Display, without the expense of using an over-spec’ed GPS unit as just a passive display.