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Week in Review–March 28th, 2021

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 a handful of sports tech deals out there right now, note that the REI deals end at the end of Monday the 29th.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo Edition - $80 off$439All of the DJI Action 2 kits are 15-20% off (depending on the variant you choose), which is the first time we've seen the Action 2 on sale since launch.
DJI Mavic 3 - $150 off
$999
$2,049⚡This is the first 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.
DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo - $150 off$2,849⚡This is the first 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. This is for the full bundle, which includes extra batteries (3 total), ND filters, extra props, and the battery charging station. Note this does not include the RC Pro remote (but does include the base/normal remote).
Elite Direto XR Smart Trainer- $200 off!
$1,000
$800REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Elite Sterzo Smart - 20% off!$100REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Elite Tuo Smart Trainer - $114 off
$580
$464REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Garmin Edge 1030 Plus - $150 off
$599
$449⚡This is the lowest price we've seen to date on the Edge 1030 Plus, far surpassing last spring's $100 off sale. The Edge 1030 Plus came out June 2020, but has continued to receive numerous firmware updates/features, and is Garmin's top-end unit.
Garmin Epix Sapphire Black Titanium - Actually in stock$1,000This isn't on sale at all, however, it might feel like it. Cause this is the first time since launch the Sapphire Editions are actually in-stock and at list prices. Thus, I figured I'd mention it here. 🤣🤣🤣
Garmin Epix Sapphire White Titanium - Actually in stock$1,000This isn't on sale at all, however, it might feel like it. Cause this is the first time since launch the Sapphire Editions are actually in-stock and at list prices. Thus, I figured I'd mention it here. 🤣🤣🤣
Garmin Forerunner 245 & 245 Music - $75 off
$299/$349
$225Both the Forerunner 245 & 245 Music are on sale for $75 off. This is neither a huge sale, nor the lowest we've seen them (previous low was $199 last Black Friday).
Garmin Forerunner 55 - $30 off
$199
$169Oddly enough, this is actually the first record of a sale I have on the FR55. It's not a bad deal, but also not crazy either.
Garmin Forerunner 745 - $150 off
$499/499EUR
$349⚡ This is a solid deal on a very capable watch. More notably, it's also the watch I've long used when I'm not testing other things (and still use to compare things). 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. It's also the lowest price we've seen on the FR745 ever.
Garmin Forerunner 945 - $200 Off
$599/599EUR
$399⚡Officially this is $200 off, but realistically the FR945 (non-LTE) floats at about $520 most of the year, so it's really only about $120 off the norm. Still, a fantastic deal.
Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE - $200 off
$649
$449⚡This is by far the lowest price we've seen on the FR945 LTE. The previous sale last Black Friday was only $100 off. So this is solid!
Garmin Rally RK100 (LOOK KEO Single Sided) - 20% off$520⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally RK200 (LOOK KEO) - $220 off$880⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally RS100 (SPD-SL Single Sided) - 20% off$520⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally RS200 (SPD-SL) - $220 off!$880⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally XC100 (Shimano SPD Single Sided) - 20% off$560⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Rally XC200 (SPD) - $240 off!$959⚡ This is a very solid deal, and only the second time we've seen it on sale. If you were looking at the Rally setup (which can be swapped between pedal types), grab these before this disappears (and it will disappear). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off$149This is Garmin's standalone radar+taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. While Garmin just announced their new RCT715 radar that includes a camera and taillight, that's $399 (and not on sale).
Garmin Venu 2/2S - $50 off
$399
$349Not too bad a deal. Nothing crazy, and not on the Venu 2 Plus with calling features.
Saris H3 (Hammer 3) Smart Trainer - $331 off!
$1,099
$769This is actually the lowest price to date on this trainer, with this 30% off sale. No membership required.
Saris MP1 NFinity Motion Platform - $360 off! (In stock)$839⚡This is by far the lowest price we've seen to date, aided by the 30% sale over the usual 20% sale.
Saris TD1 Trainer Desk - $109 off$251This is the lowest price ever on this trainer desk with power, at 30% off.
Tacx Flow Smart Trainer - $75 off$296REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Tacx Flux 2 Smart Trainer - $180 off
$899USD/€799
$720REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Tacx Flux S Smart Trainer - $150 off!
$749USD/€599
$600REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $280 off!
$1,399
$1,120REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo CLIMB Accessory - $130 off!
$599
$479REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR AXIS Feet - $16 off$64REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR Bike - $270 off!
$3,499
$3,249This is a pretty solid deal on the KICKR Bike, if for no other reason than we haven't really seen much in the way of KICKR Bike sales (except Zwift's clearance event recently). Note officially it lists the retail price as $3,800, but I don't think that's actually the real retail price lately. It's always been $3,500
Wahoo KICKR Core Smart Trainer - $180 off! (In Stock)
$899
$719REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR ROLLR - 20% off
$799
$800⚡ This is a solid deal, and the first time we've seen the ROLLR on sale. Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22
Wahoo KICKR SNAP - $100 off!
$499
$400REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo KICKR V5/2020 - $240 off!
$1,199
$959REI 20% sale, REI members use ANNIV22 code with REI link here to support site.
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) - $200 off!
$649/$999(single/dual)
$800⚡This is the first time we've seen the POWRLINK Zero pedals on sale, and thus far, about 4-5 months since launch - people seem really happy with them (as am I, it's become part of my testing rotation due to strong accuracy). Requires REI membership, using coupon code with REI link here: ANNIV22

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 M2 In-Depth Review
Wednesday: Garmin Rally Power Meter In-Depth Review (SPD/SPD-SL/LOOK KEO)
Friday: Peloton Acquires Atlas Wearables: A Peloton Wearable Ahead?

Those two In-Depth reviews were beasts! I’ll probably touch on the Polar Ignite 2 this week, more of a detailed hands-on post than a review, since it won’t ship for another month.

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, there’s a few things this week that were actually from a week or two ago – I’m just catching up on this list:

1) Apple Considering a Casio-like Rugged Apple Watch version: This would be the first meaningful design departure in the Apple Watch series, if true. Sure, they had the crazy expensive Hermes ones, but by and large, those all looked the same and had the same underlying specs. The key question here though in my mind isn’t so much ruggedness, but what sets Casio and like-watches apart: Battery life. I suppose no matter what Apple does, they sell enough units to make it work, but if they err on the side of prolonged battery life, then that could have ripple effects elsewhere in the industry.

2) Zwift Pace Partners Start Rotating Routes: I love this. Mostly, cause I really enjoyed pace partners. I use past tense because while I loved them for a few months, I could only do so many 100% pancake-flat Coco (Coco Cadence, before her rename) rides, which is all she ever rode. The other faster pace partners were generally too fast for me on the hillier routes, so I’m jazzed that now Coco will meander to other routes with more terrain variability. In fact, I used Coco on a new route today using this. Though, I do wish it was easier to see where the pace bots are within the pack. There are countless times it’s not clear on the screen whether you’re in front or behind the bot, as the symbol isn’t showing properly (on screen, on mini-map, or in list of names). Still, one of my favorite ways to do a ride without a plan.

3) How exactly Canyon is impacted by Suez failboat: This is a surprisingly detailed article, going into all the nuances of how much this will start impacting companies like Canyon and others (but specifically Canyon) and how they source parts.

4) Karoo adds ANT+ Lighting Support: I might cover this tomorrow or so in a dedicated post, as it’s notable enough because it’s the first time a non-Garmin entity has added ANT+ lighting support to their product. Previously, this has been solely limited to the ANT+ Varia Radar. Interestingly, this is a really good example of Hammerhead understanding that while ANT+ lighting support would hardly be called mission-critical to the vast majority of users, it is mission-critical to some. And at this stage in their product development, they’re transitioning from checking off bigger ticket items to more nuanced ones. It’s going to be very difficult to argue in a few months’ time as to why exactly someone would purchase a Wahoo ROAM over a Hammerhead Karoo (currently, that reasoning would be around structured training, primarily with TrainerRoad & Today’s Plan integration).

5) Speed Skating Rink Design gives skaters tailwind: This has been in the news for a few months now, but now there is a final study. It’s just super fascinating to me. To begin with, the concept that there’s a wind curtain to keep the spectator area from warming the ice, and then the concept that such an invisible curtain could be slightly tweaked to improve the chances of records at a facility.

6) Fitbit & Tile integration: You can now convert your Fitbit Inspire 2 into a Tile tracker, allowing you to use your phone to find your Fitbit. Now, at first glance I’d say that’s kinda weird, because most people don’t take-off their Fitbit for long (given the long battery life). However, the inverse is also possible and more useful – you can use your Fitbit to find your phone. Though, if it’s anything like Garmin’s find your phone feature, I find the moment you need it most, is the moment it doesn’t seem to want to work (perhaps the app is closed or not responding or whatever). Also, it’s unclear to me why this is only on the lower end Inspire 2, and not offered on the higher end Fitbit watches too.

7) Three cyclists unofficially compete in Netherlands Wind Championships: The event officially can’t be held this year due to various COVID-related event restrictions, however, in the last windstorm three cyclists did earn themselves honorary slots for next year. As I write this, it’s currently winding out very strongly. Interestingly, it’s been so strong these past two weeks that the very long breakwater/wall/pier I usually use for wind test videos for drones has been closed due to the exceptionally high wind. Gotta find me another pier…

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 Fenix 6/MARQ/Enduro BETA Firmware Update: Bug fixes

Garmin Instinct/Solar BETA Firmware Update: Bug fixes

Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S/Venu BETA Firmware Update: Bug fixes, plus added languages

Garmin Venu SQ/SQ Music Firmware Update: Added broadcast HR control, plus other tweaks.

Fitbit Charge 4 Firmware Update: This adds SpO2 tracking and skin temperature tracking.

Hammerhead Karoo Firmware Update: ANT+ Lighting controls, 4iiii Viiiiva support, a slew of UI changes, sensor changes, and lots more

Wahoo RIVAL GPS Watch Firmware Update: Stability improvements

With that – thanks for reading!

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23 Comments

  1. David E.

    Notice that RIVAL firmware update. I’ve sort of lost the plot on the RIVAL. Have they added any significant features that were missing (eg, structured workouts) or corrected any of the HR or GPS issues that seemed to make the watch such a disappointment when it was released?

    • Nothing major unit. Most of the things would be smaller/minor things – like the paused timer reminder (if you forgot to unpause and started going again), though, broadcasting running pace from Rival via ANT+ & BLE is a nice touch (and appropriate for winter).

      The full list is here: link to support.wahoofitness.com

      My understanding is GPS has been improved a bit as well, and I’ll probably circle back around to testing it soon as other features near.

    • David E.

      Cool. Thanks. My 935 has been acting a little squirrely lately. Wish the Rival was where it needs to be. Or wish Garmin would just go ahead and release a 955. Sigh.

    • Ben C

      Im also holding off buying another watch and waiting for the 955. Knowing my luck if I bought a 945 today, the 955 will come out tomorrow.

    • Brian

      My 935 is also acting “squirrely” lately. Sometimes, mid-way through a run it will stop recording and display the “caution” triangle sign on the screen. Only plugging it in will help get it out of this mode, and each time I discover the battery had not run out and it didn’t delete the workout that was in progress – it just got “stuck”. Also, over the past year or so, the battery life has progressively degraded a lot; it no longer has the awesome 2-week battery life it once did, now only lasting 4-5 days. The only additional feature I really want is maps, although pulse ox would be fun to play with too. I’m thinking the 945 is the new one for me and keeping my fingers crossed that once the 955 comes out, the 945 will drop in price. I think I only paid around $300 for my 935 new when it was on sale. Honestly, spending more than that for a watch – especially one that will only last a few years – is the most I’m willing to pay.

    • Ryan Colligan

      My 935 has also been finicky lately. Only getting through 1 or 2 workouts a week without needing a charge… I’ve been hopefully about the 955 for just over a year now but to no avail…

  2. A Zwifters

    I did a quick post on my blog with the complete pace partner schedule: link to zwiftforkids.com

  3. Mike Richie

    Garmin is doing a sale right now (until April 4) on the Vivoactive 4 for $100 off ($249) which is reflected in the link above from Amazon as well (not $279). Now I just need to decide if I should get this or a 935. Decisions, decisions (but I am tired of not having open water swim capabilities).

    • Mike Richie

      Not sure if anyone will see this in time, but Amazon just dropped the price of a NEW (not refurbished) Forerunner 935 to $269.00. That just convinced me to pull the trigger as it’s only $20 more than the on-sale Vivoactive 4. The 935 doesn’t have Music or Garmin-Pay nor the Maps of the later 945 or Fenix 5 Plus (and above), but it has most of the important fitness activity features (at least to me) with most of the later watches really just refining stuff or adding frills. And my Apple Watch has Maps, ApplePay and Music (which now does Spotify).

    • Thanks for the heads up Mike! Added it in!

  4. Duncan Tindall

    @DC Rainmaker – there’s an easy way to tell if the pace partner is ahead or behind. If you aren’t sure, she (they) are behind. When in front there’s a big column of blue that goes up to the clouds showing where they are. And that’s visible from way way back. So if you aren’t sure if ahead or behind then 99.99% they are behind. At least the ‘gap’ indicator is working properly now and shows it in the right order as you are detaching from the front.

    And Coco is just right for a couple of hours of quality riding. B and A have their places I’m sure, but if I’m doing a short intense workout then I’ll do a structured session not pace partner.

    • So I used to get the column, though I don’t see that anymore. I often – but not always – see the chevron, like in the attached image. Though, it can disappear just as easily often (fwiw, this was, and usually is, Apple TV).

      However, what I don’t understand is why the Pace Partner icon on the mini map comes and goes. Meaning, if the point of it is to show me the pace partner location on the mini-map, why does it seem to not be there most of the time. It’s almost as if the mini-map icon is tied to the main icon. And if one is working, the other is, but if one isn’t working, the other isn’t.

    • JP Miller

      I also don’t like how her chevron is almost the identical color to the thumbstorm of “ride on”s that is always present in her group

  5. Bob

    I can not get my Edge 130 plus to recognize my Bontrager ANT+ lights. Old Edge 520 did work.

    Anyone got this to work?

  6. Will

    For anyone interested… there are only a couple hours left in that REI 20% off Members Sale and they just added the Garmin Rally line to their website (note: they qualify, but the sale ends at midnight PST, USA on March 29th)

    • Ahh, bummer, caught this about 12 mins too late!

      It’s funny, I had a feeling REI might do that. Or more specifically, might be why they held back on adding them last week. REI has a quiet tendency to supposedly go out of stock of Vector 3 every time the 20% sale is on, and then magically the day after it ends, they come back in stock.

      Used to be the same with Wahoo & Tacx trainers, until they finally got pressured enough to add in the ‘no indoor trainer’ clause last year.

    • Will

      That was my suspicion as well when they didn’t have them at all last week and Amazon was out of stock. I just happened to check one last time. We’ll see if power pedals get added to exclusions for the anniversary sale.

  7. usr

    That Apple Watch rumor almost sounds like a company used to dominating the status category panicking upon realizing that in some circles, the Apple Watch might actually be considered the poor man’s Fenix.

    Or perhaps it will be awesome, the mechanical engineering of the Apple Watch has always been exceptional (whereas Garmin, judging by FCC internals, seem almost delightfully “good enough”: “what’s the point? it’s a piece of electronics, just make a small PCB, hook it up with battery and display and call it a day” – and they are right about it!)

    • In my opinion it’ll totally come down to two B words: Batteries & Buttons.

      If Apple changes neither, then it won’t impact Garmin considerably. If Apple changes one of them, then it’ll impact Garmin. If Apple changes both of them considerably, then Garmin could be in a touch spot at the low-end (e.g. Vivo series).

      The higher end (e.g. Forerunner/Fenix) is more tied to the platform, which Apple is nowhere near when it comes to the sports functionality that people expect in an endurance sports watch. It would take years for them to reach that level of maturity. Developing deep endurance sports watch/bike computer platforms is ironically not an area you can easily throw money at, as much of it takes many iterations with real-world feedback. In Garmin’s case, we’re talking roughly 10-13 years of finding out the nuances of what Type-A athletes love and hate.

      It’s easy to dismiss the depth of that, until one tries to make a competitor product, and we look at the never ending graveyard of companies that have tried to enter the endurance or even mid-range market.

  8. Pavel Vishnyakov

    Regarding the bike against the wind challenge – I don’t think those riders qualify. As far as I remember from previous years, you are supposed to ride a typical Dutch city bike – that heavy gearless non-aero thing. Looking at the pictures, I see modern road bikes.

    • Patrick Utrecht

      It’s not qualify as “you’ve competed successfully” but they get an automatically assigned slot to participate in the next event. So they’re qualified and allowed to compete in the next time the event takes place (which is rather random).
      As for the event itself, you’re correct. You get the bike from the organization and are by no means modern road bikes.

  9. Jason van Donovan

    Hi DC love maker

    When the mother fudge do you think we will see a 955 or Fenix 7?

  10. Paul

    Hi DC Rainmaker, Im sure you have been asked this question many times previously, but can we expect a Garmin Forerunner 955 model this year? or are models like the Enduro and possibly the Epix considered there replacements. If you were currently testing a Garmin Forerunner 955 then you wouldn’t be able to discuss until Garmin officially launches the product.

    Cheers Paul