Week in Review–December 20th, 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!

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’re looking to squeak in a deal before the end of the year. Most of these deals will end on/about Christmas.

ProductSale PriceAmazonSale Notes
HoverAir X1 Drone - $80 off!$349Note: There's virtually always a $80 coupon that can be clicked on the Amazon page.

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:

Sunday: Week in Review–December 13th, 2020
Tuesday: Apple Fitness Plus Review: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know
Thursday: A Month Later: The Peak Design Cycling Case/Mount System

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) EU approves Google & Fitbit deal: Notable conditions include not being able to use health/fitness data for targeting of ads for EU users only. I suspect once this is approved we’ll see the likes of Apple & Garmin go hard on this point for non-US users in…well..ads (since neither company sells their health/fitness data).

2) Stryd starts to define what their running power actually is: This is a long time coming, and while it seems super nuanced – it’s not. One of the core issues I, and many others, have with running power is the actual definition of it. Nobody agrees upon it, which is the core reason why you see major differences between Stryd, Garmin, Polar, and others – they all define definitely what or isn’t included. Sorta like if making a cake, one company says the icing should be included while another company says only cake but not filling either. Roughly. Will this increase popularity of running power? Of course not. At this point the only remaining chance of that happening is Garmin introducing truly native running power support (including things like structured workout support, being wrist based, etc…). Simply because they have the market share to make it work where others don’t – not because their algorithm is better or worse than others.

3) Westin ends New Balance workout clothes/shoes for guests partnership: While I never took advantage of this during my travels (mainly cause…when would I ever not travel with a pair of running shoes/clothes?) – I did appreciate the concept. Will be interesting to see if in a future COVID-free world if something like this comes back or not.

4) Behind the scenes on Garmin commercial production: This is the second time the company has shown some behind the scenes bits – but this was actually super fascinating, specifically how they used a private YouTube livestream to allow people at Garmin to remotely provide feedback (from a boat no less!).

5) DJI faces host of restrictions in the US: While the company isn’t on a ‘blacklist’ as some on Twitter suggested, it will make it more challenging for the company to source US based parts. But at this point won’t prevent US consumers from buying products.

6) Garmin introduces CIQ payment notifications: Essentially if an app requires some sort of payment, you’ll now see a new notice. However, Garmin Connect IQ still doesn’t have any method of actually buying an app in-house. Obviously that makes life immensely more complicated for Garmin, but at the same time, it makes it far less messier for end users.

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.

GoPro Hero 9 Firmware Update: Increases wireless offload speeds by 30%, improves HyperSmooth 3.0, support for older mic adapter and more

GoPro Hero 8 Firmware Update: Increases wireless offload speeds by 15%, adds new remote compatibility

GoPro MAX Firmware Update: Increases wireless offload speeds by 20%, adds remote compatibility

Garmin Edge 830 & 1030 Plus Firmware BETA Update: Add new crash logging capability [Update – this beta build has been removed]

Garmin Instinct Solar Firmware Update: Added support for Explore app sync, also, pile of bug fixes

Garmin Instinct Firmware Update: Added support for Explore app sync, also, pile of bug fixes

Garmin Venu SQ Firmware Update: New watch faces, but mostly fixes/tweaks

Karoo Series Firmware Update: Mute turn cues, add Route to start, and a few other new features, plus bug fixes

Polar Vantage V2 Firmware Update: Adds training targets based on power, last lap training views (woot!), and ZonePointer for Power & Speed zones, and a few other goodies

Wahoo RIVAL Firmware Update: Adds stability improvements and GPS dropouts during openwater swimming

With that – thanks for reading!

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  1. Benedikt

    No Beta for Edge 830 Units, only 1030 plus.

  2. Leendert

    Don’t know if this still is a problem

    New firmware 1.5 locks your streaming bitrate to 800kbps. Down from 2500-4000kbps.

    link to community.gopro.com

  3. Jonas

    Nearly bought a set of Powerbeats Pro until I realised they are an Apple product and use their nonsense cables rather than USB like the rest of the world. Disaster averted!

    Are you going back in the water to test out the RIVAL firmware update?

    • I’m not sure I’ll jump in right now. Maybe if I need to test something else I’ll do it as a combo dish.

      I’ve got some data sets from earlier this month actually that I need to update that include the OWS fixes noted in that firmware update (these are on the most recent beta now production).

  4. Nick

    Do you use (have you tried) the LUMIX as a webcam? Or do you use the GoPro 9?

    • Leendert

      hero 9; and haven’t updated the firmware (yet), so my live streams aren’t affected luckily.

    • So I did try the GH5 a bit, and used it for something (I can’t remember what). I found it was a bit finicky for my liking, specifically having to set the mode each time on the back display panel.

      That said, the main limiter there for me is simply that I leave one GH5 almost always mounted as my main A camera, so I try not to dork with it much. The second one is the floater for b-roll/b-camera.

  5. Crispin E.

    I found that an interesting article on running power linked above, that uses simple language to tackle the emotive initial challenge from most folks; that directly measured mechanical power is the gold standard and the only sort that matters, so why bother with all of these imprecise estimates. For running, metabolic power is more relevant it seems, as there’s not a linear relationship between mechanical power and metabolic power, as is the case for cycling. Perhaps Stryd should explicitly start calling their power ‘metabolic power’ and be really clear why; the arguments in this article are helping to win me over from being a running power cynic.

    • Uachris

      Agree. People who use running power are effectively using it as a placebo.

    • GLT

      Trying to keep an open mind about Running Power. If nothing else it is a pleasant switch from other contemporary topics. Since there isn’t much licensing of the concept between device makers the state of things seems scattered and provisional. Looks like Ray’s first article on it was in 2017 so it has been lurking around more years than I remembered.

      There are a variety of estimated numbers that people have grown accustomed to using and over time. Wind chill comes to mind. People do generally trust wind chill and adjust their outdoor clothing selection. Having a similar number that accounts for the impact of wind on running effort would be handy. Calorie burn is also an estimate. Apparently at a precision level that few are concerned about & simultaneously not trusted enough that people pay to get Running Power.

      Part of the concern is that people want their numbers to be directly comparable to a rival’s numbers. We probably don’t get that with Running Power with the current state of technology. In the US at least, a squishy placebo that gets more people to exercise consistently is a win.

    • steve

      Physical power = metabolic power… In terms on calories used maybe, but not physiological load, which is why we have normalised power

  6. David E.

    DCR froze his bits off to make that RIVAL firmware update possible, amirite?

  7. Mark

    Sometime since the last time I charged it, Polar OH1+ got a firmware update.

    Way back on 11/23: link to support.polar.com

    (editing works great!)

  8. Christian Boutwell

    Hi Ray.
    Looks like the Garmin inReach Mini deals may have expired.
    Amazon and REI links are for pretty close to full $350.

  9. Bruce Burkhalter

    REI has KICKR Core in stock.

    link to rei.com

  10. Ronald

    If you lack the scientific background to understand the Stryd paper, here’s a very good interpretation by Alex Hutchinson: link to outsideonline.com

    My take-away from Alex’ article is that Stryd as a specialist company is doing things differently and better than, say, Garmin. Unfortunately since running power is more complex to understand a running power meter is probably never going to be as popular as a bicycling power meter because it’s a much tougher sell to prospective buyers. It needs more explanation than the simple number as is the case for bicylcing, or it less suitable for easy comparision with your sporting buddies.

    BTW Alex Hutchinson is the author of the very interesting book “Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance”