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Week in Review–June 6th, 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 number of strong sports tech deals out there right now, primarily tied to Fathers Day coming up.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Garmin Edge 130 Plus - 25% off!
$199
$149The 'Plus' variant is notable compared to the regular unit for having ClimbPro on it, plus a handful of other tweaks. $149 is a good deal for it.
Garmin Fenix 6 Series - $100 all models
$599-$1,149
$100 off⚡ This deal is back! I've gotta believe this is semi-targetted at undercutting COROS's latest Veritx 2 even further, but this brings down the base Fenix 6 model to $449, and the Fenix 6 Pro from $549 (including maps/music/wifi). This also includes the newer Fenix 6/6S Solar units from last summer (so basically, all solar variants too)
Garmin Forerunner 45/45S - $50 off
$199
$149If you're looking for a runners focused watch, this is a pretty good deal, about 25% off. The FR45 basically packs all the features of the previous generation FR235...just now in the FR45 series.
Garmin Forerunner 745 - $100 off
$499/499EUR
$399⚡ This is the best deal we've seen to date on this watch, arguably one of my favorite watches (if not my favorite watch).
Garmin Forerunner 935
$499
$269⚡ Sure, it's not the latest edition, but the FR935 is the staple of many triathletes and runners, and it still an incredibly solid watch. We saw this a bit lower last summer on Amazon Prime Day ($239) - but beyond that, this is pretty darn low. Also, I say $100-$200 off, because the 'base' price fluctuates a bit these days. Sometimes retail is $399 sometimes $499.
Garmin Instinct Solar - $100 off
$399/$449
$299
Garmin Lily Classic - $50 off$199
Garmin Lily Sport - $50 off
$199
$149
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $50 off
$299
$269Officially they say $80 off, but realistically it's about $50 off, maybe a touch less. Remember the Venu 2 came out this past spring.
Garmin Venu SQ - $50 off
$199/$249 with Music
$149
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - Up to $100 off
$299
$249Not the best price we've seen (that was back in June at $189), but still good.
Garmin Vivoactive 4S - Up to $100 off$249
Garmin Vivofit Jr - $40 off
$79
$29⚡I believe this is the lowest price we've ever seen this for. Either way, $29 is kinda crazy. Both my two older girls wear them, with my oldest always having it on, and the middle child mostly having it on. They both love them.
GoPro Hero 9 Black - $50 off$399This is the camera I use for all my daily shooting during sports. Actually, I've bought a few of them. Note that if you're a GoPro Plus Subscriber, then it's a bit cheaper at $349 from GoPro directly, but otherwise, it's $449.
Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer - $100 off! (In Stock)
$1,399
$1,299⚡ Hey, it's on-sale. Which, basically hasn't happened in a long long time. Nor has it been in stock half the time. So getting it both on sale, and in-stock is impressive.

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week, albeit, a heavy Garmin week. As usual, I can’t really control when companies decide to announce their products. Last week was a heavy Wahoo week. Tit for tat.

Wednesday: Garmin Forerunner 55 In-Depth Review
Wednesday: Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE In-Depth Review
Friday: An Explainer: Garmin’s New Wearables LTE Strategy

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) Substantial Strava updates this week: Or rather, what Strava is calling their “biggest update for 2021”. Honestly, I think that’s overselling it a bit. I like the new segment cards and all – it’s tidy, but that mostly assumes you care about segments (for which, I simply do not). Then there’s the challenges piece, which again, is cool if that’s your jam. But since you can only add a limited number of people, it’s not functional for clubs/teams/larger groups. I get it, you have to launch somewhere, but I remain perplexed at how both Strava and Zwift keep missing the boat on larger team/club dynamics here. In any case, if you want the full scoop, hit up Lama’s video below (oh, and related, I still use the now year old one-off routing pieces on a weekly+ basis, including for large chunks of the ride I’m about to head out on now):

2) 2022 Women’s WorldTour Calendar Includes Tour de France Femmes: I’m super excited about this. It’s waaaaaaay overdue. While it’s ‘only’ a week, it’s a start, and it’s a good place to develop an audience. It’ll run directly after the men’s, starting July 24th to July 31st. We won’t see the course till later this year, so that too is an unknown. It’ll be interesting to see what they do here logistically, as starting the same day the men finish means that virtually every bit of media and cycling word is in Paris for the finish. As many others have said though, fan/media-wise, it’d be far better to run these concurrently with roughly the last week of the men’s Tour, with the women simply starting a touch earlier on the same course (as the roads are already closed early that morning anyway). But in any case, baby steps.

3) Fossil doesn’t plan to upgrade existing Wear OS watches: After Google announced last month that they’ll join forces with Samsung to create a new Wear OS version/offering, Fossil basically says ‘sorry’ to existing owners. To be fair, I think this might be the only viable approach, depending on how drastic the changes are. Many people (including myself), would argue the only thing that’s going to make Wear OS halfway palatable is a drastic change. Sometimes pulling off the Band-Aid hurts. I haven’t asked Suunto, Casio, or Polar if they plan to update their Wear OS units.

4) Kiel Reijnen runs with gravel bike for 18 miles during race: Yes, you read that right – 18 miles, or 29 kilometers – after he had a mechanical. He did this in socks, on gravel, with the bike rigged over his shoulder using spare tubes.

5) Peloton acquires yet more tech companies: This time, Latitude 32, an engineering company that has assisted Fitbit, GoPro, and numerous other big names. This includes projects in sport, wearables, audio, and accessories. As if there was really any doubt at this point that Peloton is planning some sort of wearable, after acquiring Atlas and others.

6) How Val Thorens Ski Resort is using Drones: Pretty interesting stuff, from one of the biggest names in skiing in France. And we’re not talking consumer drones here, but industrial ones, used for everything from checking runs for skiers at the end of the day, to checking avalanche systems and more. Also, I want to go back and ski Val Thorens again. Sadly, no skiing this past winter in France.

7) Also – if you want some hilarious blast from the past videos from Val Thorens: Here’s from 6 years ago at Val Thorens when The Girl got ‘stuck’ on a giant zipline that is strung between two peaks. Also, my video, and a lot of other shenanigans. Seriously, it’s absolutely bonkers how high up and far you are. And I’d love to do it again.

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.

This was a huge week for firmware updates from a lot of players!

Garmin Edge 530/830/1030/1030 Plus BETA Firmware Update: Continued tweaking of the routing/map screens. This links just to the 1030 Plus one, but you can find the rest in the Garmin Forums (with the most recent betas, as they update frequently).

Garmin Fenix 6/MARQ/Enduro Series Firmware Update: Just a boatload of fixes and tweaks.

Garmin Forerunner 945 Firmware Update: This is the big one, piles of new features from Ultra Run mode to new sleep tracking, to perceived effort tracking, updated Trail Run options, and more. This has been in beta a long-long time. Finally now, production.

Garmin Forerunner 745 Firmware Update: Basically the same as the FR945 one above.

Garmin Forerunner 245 Firmware Update: Adds daily suggested run workouts, VO2Max for Trail Run activities, perceived effort tracking, and a pile more little things.

Garmin HRM-PRO Firmware Update: Bug fix.

Hammerhead Karoo Series Firmware Update: Major Strava leaderboard updates, plus ANT+ sensor connectivity revamps.

Polar Verity Sense Firmware Update: This increases battery life to 30 hours, adds some SDK stuff for developers, and changes the way the sensor sends data via ANT+ during swim mode, so that the user can see summaries of their laps HR data when connectivity is available. It does NOT however add offline caching of heart rate for Garmin watches (trust me, I tried, then I checked with Polar).

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Series Firmware Update: Adds performance improvements, and tweaks KICKR & FE-C controls to default to passive mode (so they don’t take over your Zwift session and dork it up)

Wahoo KICKR V5 & V4 (2020/2018) Firmware Update: Adds proper Bluetooth FTMS support (woot!)

Wahoo RIVAL Firmware Update: UI tweaks, and bug fixes.

With that, thanks for reading!

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10 Comments

  1. sean s.

    I was looking at buying a 530,but hey I love a sale and bought the 1030,thanks for the heads up.I also loved the riding around Amsterdam video.

  2. Benedikt

    Missed this articles. 👍🏻

  3. John

    Is there also an associated KICKR Core update? It seems to be kind of the stepchild of the Wahoo trainer range.

  4. Sean K.

    Interesting, my Fenix 6 Pro Solar is on 16.60 release. That must have been pulled at some point and they switched back to 15.20. This new update is now 16.70. So I’m curious what went wrong with the 16.60 release. Hopefully, I’ll be getting that update soon to 16.70. I’ve not had any problems myself with 16.60.

  5. Jamie

    Note that the KICKR CORE also got FTMS support.

  6. pavlinux

    Garmin removed the compatibility of the Fenix 6 Pro series watches for the Birdseye Satellite Imagery.

    link to forums.garmin.com

  7. Martyn

    Not convinced about the 245 update… Since updating my Body Battery has been permanently stuck on 5. Sure I don’t wear it at night, but even so! Tried resetting etc, but still no joy.