Week in Review–March 28th, 2021


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
4iiii Precision Ride-Ready Power Meters - $100 off!$235This is for their non-drive power meter, in either the 'Ride-Ready' config (they send you a completed unit), or $50 off for the factory-install (where you send in your crank arm). The Ride Ready option is really a solid deal, considering you get a reliable power meter for $235. Ride Ready R7000 - 30% off Ride Ready R8000 - 20% off Factory Install - 20% off
9th Gen Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - $100 off!$229⚡ 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 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.
Amazfit Cheetah Pro - $30 off!$269
Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen with USB-C) - $60 off$189I've been using these the past few months, after years of using the Beats Studio Buds...man, these things rock. My wife has already started stealing them, which means she'll probably get a set for Christmas so she'll stop sealing them.
Apple AirTags (4-Pack) - 20% off!$79⚡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.
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) - $40 off!
$89These aren't the latest anymore, that's the newer 3rd gen units. But if budget is in mind, it's hard to beat these. It's still what my wife uses as her daily driver, including tons of time on the indoor trainer/bike.
Apple Watch SE (2022/2nd gen) - $70 off
$249/$299 (cellular)
$179⚡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 10 features adding in offline topo mapping, power meter support, and plenty more.
Apple Watch Series 9 - $70 off
$399/$499 (cellular)
$329This is Apple's latest Apple Watch model, and did quite well in my review when it launched about two months ago. Especially notable is all the new sports/fitness features it got this year, such as cycling power meter/sensor support.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 - $70 off!$729This is really the first slate of sales we've seen on the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and the lowest price to date. Note: It'll show $739, and then to get the full extra $10 more off, you have to check that 'Apply Coupon' button under the price.
BOB Revolution Flex Running Stroller - 20% off$439There's just no competition in our minds on the best running stroller - it's what we used with all three of our kiddos for everyting from intervals to 20-mile long runs. In fact, we actually have two of them - one at home in Europe, and one with family in Canada that we picked up used. Go Bob Go!
CORE Body Temperature Sensor - 20% off$227Both myself and my wife used these this past summer and fall, in particular as she was training for Kona and preparing for the heat.
DJI Avata Bundle - $300 off!$899The DJI Avata is DJI's smaller form factor FPV drone, and one of my favorites to fly. I don't use it all the time, but more for very specific things requiring a bit more agility (whereas most of the times I'll use the DJI Mini 4 Pro, Air 3, or Mavic 3 Pro).
DJI Mini 2SE Drone - $40 off!
$499 ($549 combo)
$299There's definitely something cool about seeing a sub-$300 drone. And there's nothing wrong with this drone, it's very good. Just be careful though, because it's lack of 360* obstacle avoidance means it's pretty easy to get yourself in a pinch for a beginner drone.
DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC - $100 off!$699
DJI Mini 3 Fly More Combo with DJI RC-N1 Bundle - $60 off$659
DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC - $150 off!$767Up till the Mini 4 Pro came out, this was my go-to drone. It's what I shot almost all my drone footage from, and is great for both cycling and hiking (or trail running with a hydration pack to hold it), as it's super lightweight and includes everything you need.
DJI Mini 4 Pro Fly More Combo with DJI RC2 - $140 off!$959⚡ This is the first time we've seen the DJI Mini 4 Pro on sale, for a product DJI rarely discounts so soon after release. This is a great drone, and my go-to unit now for most trips.
FORM Swim Goggles (with heads-up display) - $70 off!$179This includes both the goggle, and a 1-year membership to their training/coaching platform.
Fenix 7 Pro Solar Series (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$599⚡ This is the first time we've seen the new Fenix 7 Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. The smaller Fenix 7S Pro watch has become my wife's go-to watch since it came out, for all of her training and 24x7 usage.
Fitbit Charge 6 - 38% off!
$99Given this is barely two months old, this is a pretty substantial deal - especially if you don't utilize the built-in GPS side of the device.
Fitbit Sense 2 - $50 off$249This isn't quite the biggest sale we've seen, so I'd expect it to go a bit lower over Black Friday.
Garmin Edge 1040 - $50 off$549This is a modest deal, but hey, a deal is a deal.
Garmin Edge 1040 Solar - $50 off$699This is a modest deal, but hey, a deal is a deal.
Garmin Epix (Gen 2) - $350 off!
From $449⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal, with Amazon having it as low as $449 (insane). Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates. Also note: This deal is *STILL* available. Sometimes you'll have to click to show other retailers (on the right side), but it's still live.
Garmin Epix Pro Series (Sapphire Editions) - $200 off!$799⚡ This is the first time we've seen the new Epix Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. I'd say this is probably my go-to watch these days (middle-sized one), with the singular reason I tend to choose it over the Forerunner 965, being the built-in flashlight for night.
Garmin Epix Pro Series - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is the first time we've seen the new Epix Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. I'd say this is probably my go-to watch these days (middle-sized one), with the singular reason I tend to choose it over the Forerunner 965, being the built-in flashlight for night.
Garmin Epix Sapphire Titanium (Gen 2) - $400 off!$449⚡⚡⚡ This is a crazy super strong deal, with Amazon having it as low as $499 for Sapphire edition (insane). Note that the Epix Gen 2 has continued to receive virtually all of the Epix Pro new features firmware updates.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Series
$329[Note: This is a renewed unit] Obviously, the Fenix 6 isn't the latest anymore, but these are still very capable watches and frankly, at $329, there's absolutely nothing from any of their even brand-new competitor watches (COROS, Polar, Suunto, etc...) that can even remotely compete with the features here. Heck, not even Garmin's own pricing for their Fenix 7 Pro can compete with this. Fwiw, all Garmin renewed units go back to the same factory original units came from. Frankly, there's virtually no difference. If you're on a budget, this is where it's at.
Garmin Fenix 7 Pro Solar Sapphire Series (7S/7/7X Pro) - $200 off!
$699⚡ This is the first time we've seen the new Fenix 7 Pro series on sale, and it's a nice strong sale. The smaller Fenix 7S Pro watch has become my wife's go-to watch since it came out, for all of her training and 24x7 usage.
Garmin Fenix 7 Series (All Models/Styles) - $200 off!
$499⚡This is a strong deal if you don't care about the new optical heart rate sensor (including ECG) of the newer Fenix 7 Pro, especially given the Fenix 7 series has received virtually all of the Fenix 7 Pro's new software features, keeping them essentially identical.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S - $100 off$249This is Garmin's mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics.
Garmin Forerunner 255/255S Music - $100 off!
$299This is Garmin's mid-tier running watch, and is a very polished option with good multi-band GPS, and of course, a boatload of running metrics. This model also includes offline music such as Spotify and Amazon Music.
Garmin Forerunner 265 Series - $50 off!
Garmin Forerunner 55 - $30 off
$169This is a good little running watch, though, it also supports plenty of other sport types as well.
Garmin Forerunner 955 - $100 off!$399This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and this is now the lowest price we've ever seen on it. 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.
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar: $100 off!
$499This is one of Garmin's most popular running watches, and this is now the lowest price we've ever seen on it. I often use this in my accuracy testing comparisons when validating other watches, due to it's very strong GPS performance. This is the SOLAR edition.
Garmin Forerunner 965 - $50 off!$549This is the first time we've seen the Garmin FR965 on sale since launch. While it's not a huge sale, it's something!
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus - 25% off!
$97This strap is one of the two straps I use constantly for other HR sensor accuracy comparisons (alongside Polar H10)
Garmin Instinct 2 Series - $50 Off$299This is a good deal, especially considering the Instinct 2 series got Training Readiness and a host of other new features over the course of just this year alone.
Garmin Instinct 2S Solar $100 off!$199This is a great deal at $199 for the smaller 2S units, especially considering the Instinct 2 series got Training Readiness and a host of other new features over the course of just this year alone. Plus of course all the existing triathlon/power meter/etc support it has built-in.
Garmin Instinct 2X - $100 off!$349This is the first time we've seen the Instinct 2X on sale, and since announcement it's received a huge slate of firmware updates and new features. It's best thought of as an Instinct 2.5, as it has almost enough features to really be more of an Instinct 3 (which doesn't exist at this point).
Garmin Tactix 7 Pro - $200 off!$1,099This is the first time we've seen the Tactix 7 Pro on sale. Note the other Tactix 7 Pro units/variants are also on sale for $200 off too!
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) - $50 off$149This is Garmin's standalone radar+taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price.
Garmin Venu 3 - $50 off!
$399This is the first time we've seen this unit on sale since it launched a couple months ago, so this is a solid deal!
Garmin Venu SQ - 40% off
$199/$249 with Music
$149This is a so-so deal, previous 2021 and 2022 Black Friday's have put it all the way down to $119USD. So...I'd hold.
Garmin inReach 2 Mini Satellite Communicator (2-way) - $100 off$299⚡ This is my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks over the past two years when well outside of cellular service, both in a 24x7 tracking mode for friends and family, but also there in case of emergency. Would strongly recommend for anyone doing anything in the wilderness.
Garmin inReach Messenger - $50 off$249
GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini - $100 off
$249This is the lowest price we've seen on the GoPro Hero 11 Black Mini to date!
GoPro Hero 12 Black - $50 off!$349This is the first time we've seen a sale on the GoPro Hero 12 Black. It's not massive, but hey, it's a good start!
GoPro Hero 12 Black Bundle Combo Kit - $100 off!$349This is a solid little bundle, with the GoPro Hero 12, two Enduro batteries, a floating handle, a head-mount, and a carrying case.
Google Nest Cam Indoors - 30% off$69We have more Nest cam's than I can count. No really, we have half a dozen at the DCR Cave alone, plus more at home. We love them. Nest Cam's really only go on sale about 1-2x per year.
Google Nest Mesh WiFi Router - 55% off two-pack$119These 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. Sure, there are fancier 'Pro' versions now, but really, I just have zero issues.
Google Pixel Watch 1 - $100 off$250While the new Pixel Watch 2 just came out a month ago, the Pixel Watch 2 got almost all the software features two weeks ago via software update. The Pixel Watch 2 does have a slightly better optical HR sensor, and better battery life, but otherwise is relatively similiar.
Hammerhead Karoo 2 - $140 off!
$259⚡The Karoo 2 is down to $299 ($100 off), but you can use DCR coupon code DCRAIN40 to get an additional $40 off, bringing it down to $259!!! A very solid deal given all the software updates it's received!
Hydrow Rowing Machine - $500 off$1,995This is one of the other more popular display-laden rowing machines. I haven't tried this, but my sports-tech reviewing buddy DesFit has (linked at side) and liked it.
Hyperice Normatec 3 Leg Recovery System - $100 off$699While this isn't something I've personally used, I know a ton of you do very much love it. Go forth!
Insta360 Go 3 - $20 off$379I actually quite like the Insat360 Go 3 and the combo of tiny form factor when you want it, and screen-box when you don't. I'm not sure $20 off is a sale worth jumping out of your seat for, but hey...a sale is a sale.
Jackery Portable Power Station - $85 off!$154This 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) - 23% off$73This 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. I've actually got this fan in the DCR Cave recently on advice of many people.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee & Espresso Kit - 30% off$118⚡ 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!
Nest Cam Outdoors - $60 off$119We use one of these and so far after just about five years, it's working great for us. Love it, and works better than trying to stick a regular Nest Cam out the window (since it'll reflect both during daytime and at night with the IR sensor).
Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Fired Outdoor Portable Pizza Oven - $105 off!$244⚡ I know, I know, I still owe everyone a review. Nonetheless, 2+ 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, $244 appears to be the lowest price ever.
Oura Ring Products - Up to $100 off$269Oura has various products on sale, at various discounts, starting from $269, and up to $100 off depending on the model.
Peloton Bike - $350 off$1,095I believe this is the lowest price we've ever seen on the original/base Peloton Bike model (without a bundle required). This is still a solid bike, and actually one that I use at home (I have the newer Peloton Bike+ at the office). Both my wife and I use these bikes interchangeably, and while the Bike+ has a bigger screen and better accuracy, there's very little difference in the core Peloton experience. I'd still recommend this model to most people. Note Peloton has stated/confirmed there will be no 'bigger discounts' on products during this holiday period.
Peloton Bike+ is $400 off$1,995This is a solid deal for the Bike+. 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. Note Peloton has stated/confirmed there will be no 'bigger discounts' on products during this holiday period.
Peloton Row - $250+ off$2,745Peloton has the Peloton Row on sale, both this base unit here, but also various bundled units as well. This is the first times we've seen the base unit (non-bundled) on sale.
Polar Grit X Pro - $70 off
$449This isn't realy the best deal we've seen for this watch, as it was down to $338 last year for Black Friday. Maybe we'll see it go lower this year.
Polar H10 Chest Strap (Dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart) - 24% off
$67This 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%. Note, the medium- size is the one on sale.
Polar Ignite 3 - $75 off!
Polar Pacer - $70 off!$169This is about as low as it gets price-wise for the Polar Pacer (base unit).
Polar Pacer Pro - $70 off!
Polar Vantage M2 - $100
$197This appears to be the lowest price I have on record for the Poalr Vantage M2, which makes it pretty compelling as a starter triathlon watch!
SONOS Roam - 25% off$134We 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
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 - $20 off$279
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic - $70 off$330This is a reasoanbly solid deal for this watch, which came out this past summer.
Samsung T9 SSD (1-4TB) - up to 43% off$109I 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 - 52% off$29⚡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.
Stages Bike SB20 - $500 off!
$1,999⚡ A very solid deal, making it the least expensive smart bike out there. Note that while the deal is marketed as being 37% off, most of the time the bike floats between $2,500 and $2,800. Still - $1,999 is very solid.
Stages Power Meters - Most 20% off units$267Stages is offering 20% off most of their non-drive-side power meters.
Suunto Vertical - $100 off!$529This is the first time we've seen the new Suunto Vertical on sale, and especially notable given the huge firmware update it got this past week with tons of new features from the also-new Suunto Race watch.
Tacx Flux 2 Smart Trainer - $300 off
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $500 off!
$899⚡⚡ Holy crap, this is an incredible deal. Get this while it's hot and lasts. Note that you can also pair this with the NEO Motion Plates, which would give you a slight bit of forward/back rolling motion.
Therabody Theragun Elite - $30 off$289This 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...
Therabody Theragun Prime - $110 off!$189My wife uses the Theragun Elite, which is just slightly more expensive than this model at $299 on sale right now. But hey, I hear good things about all of these.
Wahoo BOLT V2 - $50 off
$229This is a good little deal on the Wahoo BOLT V2.
Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V2 - $80 off
Wahoo KICKR Core Smart Trainer - $120 off!
$479⚡⚡ This deal is back, and it's a pretty incredible deal. It's the Wahoo KICKR CORE down to $499, which REI briefly did this past June. Nobody else seems to be offering this deal, and even though the KICKR CORE got the price reduced to $599 recently, it's virtually unheard of to see these trainers below the $500 marker.
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Dual-sided) - $200 off!
$799⚡ This is a very solid deal that happens twice a year, if you were looking at the Wahoo power meter pedals, grab these before this disappears (and it usually disappears). As with the Garmin Rally pedals, I continue to use Wahoo power meter pedals for accuracy testing of other brands/units.
Wahoo POWRLINK ZERO (Single-sided) - $130 off!$520⚡ This is a very solid deal that happens twice a year, if you were looking at the Wahoo power meter pedals, grab these before this disappears (and it usually disappears). As with the Garmin Rally pedals, I continue to use Wahoo power meter pedals for accuracy testing of other brands/units.
Wahoo RIVAL GPS Watch - 50% off
$99⚡ At some point, everything becomes a steal. While the Wahoo RIVAL struggles to be comepetitive with higher-end watches, at $99, it's a pretty crazy deal - especially for triathletes where Wahoo does some cool stuff around automatic transitions.
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+ WiFi Scale - 30% off$69I've long been a fan of the Withings WiFi scales, especially since they can connect/push data to so many platforms, including Zwift! Note that the Body+ simply includes more data.

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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  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 Vishniakov

    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