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Week in Review–December 20th, 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’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
Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ Deluxe Kit - 35% off!$129⚡ 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!
9th Gen Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - $75 off!$249⚡ This is an awesome deal. 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 Indievelo, Kinomap, 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.
Amazon Echo Dot Kids - 50% off$27Despite being a tech-focused dude, our kids don't actually get much tech in their lives. However, we got these last Christmas for them in their rooms, to play music. They do lots of other things, but our kids mostly just use it to play music (from Spotify and Apple Music too), and occasionally they ask it questions. It has all the parental controls I want, so it locks it down from bedtime/etc...For $27? Solid deal (The coolest 'nice touch' feature is that if you whisper to it, it'll whisper back...in the owl kids voice it has.)
Anker Prime Battery Bank (27,650mAh) - $60 off$119I've been using this on my hikes/treks/daily life since this winter, and have been super happy with it. I can charge drones from it on treks, as well as just a crapton of other devices (wathces/action cams/etc), but it's not too terrible on weight. For day to day life, I use it on planes and such as a laptop battery bank (supports 100w charging). Super happy with it.
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen with USB-C) - $90 off$168⚡ I've been using these since last fall, after years of using the Beats Studio Buds...man, these things rock. Sure, they're good for sports, but frankly, I use them on planes, editing, and such more than anything else.
Apple AirTags (4-Pack) - 11% off!$88⚡I make no secret how much I utilize AirTags, mainly, cause they've saved my butt numerous times already. We have them in every suitcase, and every backpack, and every bike bag. They're also hidden in most of our bikes (sometimes two of them). We were able to get our cargo bike back when it disappeared, as well as figure out when all our suitcases went missing during an annual family vacation where they were (for 5 days), and plan appropriately. Seriously, just get them...for everything.
Apple Airpods (3rd Gen) - $40 off!$119
Apple Watch SE (2022/2nd gen) - $70 off
$249/$299 (cellular)
$169⚡⚡This is now the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) - a very solid deal, especially with the new WatchOS 11 features around Training Load, Vitals, offline mapping, and more.
Apple Watch Series 9 - $120 off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$279⚡This is the lowest price to date we've seen on the Apple Watch Series 9, and notable, given the huge slate of software updates just annoucned at WWDC last month, coming to the Series 9
Apple Watch Ultra 2 - $100 off$699⚡ This is by far the lowest price we've seen an Apple Watch Ultra 2, to date. Very solid deal, and like the Apple Watch Series 9, it too is getting a huge slate of new features just announced last month for WatchOS 11.
Balega Comfort Running Socks - 34% off
$15
$10This is the singular piece of apparel that's lasted the longest in my collection - some 15-16 years of buying the same socks. Heck, some of them are probably half that old. EIther way, this be the ones I use. Love them (well, except for hiking and trail running, then I use other stuff that goes higher).
Beats Fit Pro - 25% off$149
Beats Studio Buds - 47% off
$149
$79
DJI Action 4 - $100 off$299
DJI Air 3 Combo Package - $300 off$1,239If you're looking for an extra zoom lens on the drone (beyond a Mini series drone), and full obstacle avoidance, then the Air 3 is your best bet.
DJI Mini 3 with RC-N1 Remote -$70 off!$349
DJI Mini 4K Drone - $60 off$229This is an incredible deal. I actually picked up one of these back a few months ago to test (haven't quite finished that review), but I've used it in a boatload of review shots since then. Despite me owning all the DJI drones (seriously), this is by far the best value there is.
FORM Smart Swim 2 Goggles - $20 off$229
FORM Swim 1 Goggles (with heads-up display) - $30 off$140
Fitbit Ace LTE Kids Activity Smartwatch - 22% off$179⚡This was just announced last month, and this is the first sale we've seen on it. I've (via my kids) been testing it, and am kinda mixed on it. But if you're looking for a deal - it's here!
Fitbit Charge 6 - 38% off!
$159
$99This is the go-to sale price for the Fitbit Charge 6. It happens often, but it still doesn't take away from the fast that it's argueably the best bang for your buck fitness tracker out there.
Fitbit Sense 2 - $70 off$179This is the lowest price we've seen to date for the Fitbit Sense 2, surpassing the previous low record of $199
Fitbit Versa 4 - $40 of$159This is an OK deal. I'd probably just spend the extra $20 to get the Fitbit Sense 2 currently on sale.
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus Bundle with all Sensors - 44% off$389I'm a bit conflicted on this one. First up, it's a sensor bundle with HR strap, speed sensor, and cadence sensor. But at the same time, it's the Edge 1030 Plus, which isn't receiving updates anymore. Whereas the deal for the Edge 1040 (no sensors) is incredible at $449, and that's still getting *new features updates* and likely will for the next year or so. Your choice, but I'd personally skip the sensors (since your watch likely already can broadcast HR).
Garmin Edge 1040 Cycling GPS - $150 off!$449The deal is back! After we saw this deal in May, it's returned for Amazon Prime Day. This is notable because the Edge 1050 has launched and with it, the Edge 1040 got plenty of new features as well, kept largely in sync between the two. Definitely a steal.
Garmin Enduro 2 - $300 off
$1,099
$599I'm not really sure if I'd call this $500 off like Amazon, as this is on sale a fair bit. That said, if battery life is your key concern - this solves that concern. I did a 8-day 180km trek (with navigation and all features enabled) on this watch on a single charge. Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $400 off!$499⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal. Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates, including new bits just this weekend. ***Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!***
Garmin Epix Sapphire Titanium (Gen 2) - $400 off!$544⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal (insane), and this unit is the Sapphire edition, which has multi-band GNSS on it. Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates, including new bits just this weekend. ***Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!***
Garmin Fenix 7 Solar Sapphire - $250 off!$549⚡⚡ This continues to be a crazy deal, since this is the sapphire edition, which has multiband/dual-GNSS, and also still gets all the latest firmware/feature updates of the newer Garmin Fenix 7 Pro.
Garmin Forerunner 255 Music - 45% off$219⚡⚡This is argueably one of the best budget deals there is, this go around!
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $180 off!$319This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and it's down to an absoultely insane price. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. Note this is the base edition without solar. It'd be hard to find any better deal in sports watches today, from any company (given this has full mapping, tons of new features even this week, etc...). ***Note: This is still available, simply select the 'Other Sellers on Amazon' on right side of product page, and you'll see it there, new from Amazon, for delivery next week. Amazon will automatically prioritize faster shipment over lower price. Enjoy!*** Also, check both color options for non-solar.
Garmin HRM-DUAL (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Strap) - 32% off!
$69
$47This is Garmin's ideal strap if you just want an affordable dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart option, especially when it's on sale like this - it really becomes one of the best deals out there right now for a multi-connection strap.
Garmin Instinct Crossover Solar - $200 off!$299This is by far the lowest price we've seen this.
Garmin Varia RCT715 Camera Radar - $50 off$349
Garmin Varia RVR315 Radar - $50 off$99⚡ This is Garmin's radar without the light, so it's a bit smaller as a result. Same radar tech though, and compatible with Garmin/Stages/Hammerhead/Wahoo bike computers.
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off$149This is Garmin's standalone radar+taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price.
Garmin Vivoactive 5 - $35 off!
$299
$265This is Garmin's newest unit in the Vivoactive 5 realm, and is essentially a mini Venu 3.
Garmin inReach Messenger - $70 off$229
GoPro Hero 12 Black - $100 off!$299This is the lowest price we've seen on the Hero 12 Black to date, easily surpassing Black Friday last year. It's what I use for all my action cam shots.
Google Pixel Watch 2 - $100 off!$299While Google has already announced an early August date for new Pixel devices, the company has also largely brought every feature of the Pixel Watch 2 to the Pixel Watch 1, so I'm not super worried about them cutting off support soon.
HoverAir X1 Drone - $160 off!$309⚡⚡ This has become one of my favorite drones, given it's tiny size (fits in my running shorts pockets) and ease of use. The further updated price of $309 (from $359 at start of sale) is incredible, and by far the lowest price to date.
Insta360 Ace Pro Action Cam - $100 off$349I've been using this a fair bit over the past winter, and it's a solid little contender. In particular, the Garmin/Apple integration to overlay data onto your videos is silly easy to use, and super quick as well.
Jackery Portable Power Station - $80 off!$198This 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. I've even bought a solar panel to hook up to it (surprisingly effective). Heck, I've even powered a KICKR trainer ride from it!
Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Fan (U15617) - 27% off$47This is one of the most popular indoor trainer fan companies 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. It's one of the ones in my rotation.
Nest Cam 2-Pack (Indoor/Outdoor using batteries)$249I use a fleet of Nest Cam's, both at the DCR Cave and at home. They obviously do the security thing, but I've also used them countless times when something incredibly stupid-hilarious happens at the DCR Cave, and this is the only proof of it!
Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Fired Outdoor Portable Pizza Oven - $60 off!$239⚡ I know, I know, I still owe everyone a review. Nonetheless, nearly 3 years later, 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...probably. Also, $239 appears to be the lowest price ever.
Oura Ring Gen3 Horizon - $75 off$425
Peloton Bike+ is $400 off$1,995This is a solid deal for the Bike+, albeit largely the normal sale/deal price. 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.
Peloton Tread - $300 off!$2,695This is my main treadmill at home, and I really like it. I've got no complaints about it, and am happy I went with the smaller Peloton Tread versus the bigger unit.
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 25% off
$89
$75This is a great dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart (with two Bluetooth Smart connections) chest strap that you'll often find me using as a reference strap in heart rate sensor testing. We only tend to see deals on it around Black Friday, always topping out around 20%.
Polar H9 Chest Strap - $10 off$50If you're looking for a good solid high-quality strap, that does both ANT+ & Bluetooth Smart, for a reasonable price...look no further than the Polar H9
Polar Verity Sense - 15% off
$99
$84
SHOKZ OpenFit - Open-Ear Headphones - 31% off$124
SHOKZ OpenRun Pro - Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Headphones - 31% off$124
SONOS Roam 2 - 20% off$143We have a few SONOS speakers around the house and DCR Cave (the Ikea variants at DCR Cave), but by far our favorite is the Roam, which we take outdoors into the garden during the summer, beach vacations, AirBNB's, etc... It has a battery in it, and also connects to both WiFi and Bluetooth. Love, love, love. I think the main reason I love it, is that we heavily use it in summer, so...kinda reminds me of summer.
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 - 47% off$159
Samsung T7 Portable SSD 1-2TB - 50% off$79I 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. Also, the 1TB are only $79, 50% off.
Samsung T9 SSD (1-4TB) - up to 43% off$126I use a literal flotilla of these small SSD's for all my photo/video projects until they get moved off to the NAS system (Synology) for longer term storage. I have T5/T7 units, and are picking up a few of the larger T9 ones given the sale prices. Love them, incredibly fast and reliable.
SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO SD Cards - 49% off$31⚡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 fantastic deal and I'll be filling up.
Scosche RHYTHM+ 2.0 ANT+ & Bluetooth HR Monitor
$79
$23This isn't the newest chicken on the block, but for $23?!?! That's a crazy good price for something that's actually pretty darn accurate. Really accurate.
Therabody Theragun Mini - $50 off!$149My wife uses the Theragun Elite, which is a bit larger than this Mini model, and also includes more tips. But, as noted - people seem happy with all these models.
Therabody Theragun Prime - 20% off$239My wife uses the Theragun Elite, which is relatively similiar to this newer model.
Wahoo BOLT V2 - $45 off
$279
$234
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V2 - 15% off
$399
$339
Wahoo KICKR Core Smart Trainer - $75 off!
$499
$425This is technically the lowest price we've ever seen for this traine as far as I know. It's still a very solid trainer, and the cornerstone to the new Zwift Ride bike as well (it uses the KICKR CORE as the base). It works with the Wahoo KICKR CLIMB too.
Wahoo KICKR ROLLR - $90 off
$599
$509
Whoop 4.0 with 1-year subscription - 17% off$199This brings down the 1-year price to $17/month, which is the lowest it's been (only way to get that is normally a 24-month membership).
Withings Body Comp WiFI Scale - 25% off$149
Withings Body Smart WiFI Scale - 20% off$79

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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20 Comments

  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”