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.
2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB) - $70 off!
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.
⚡⚡ I use this for almost all my Zwifting. This is a fantastic deal, which runs Zwift, RGT, FulGaz, Rouvy, and more. While Apple just released their newest version (2022), virtually no cycling apps have taken advantage of it yet. And thus for now, the edition on sale for $79 seems like a steal.
⚡ I like the PowerBeats Pro with the over-the-ear design, for more security in workouts, than my Beats Studio Buds. I use these as well as my Beats Studio Buds (and have used the PowerBeats Pro ones longer). $100 off is a solid deal.
⚡I've been using these since last summer (2021), primarily on my indoor workouts, but also on some of my runs (for example, in testing out most watches with music). I like them and they've become my go-to buds.
⚡This deal is on DJI's larger FPV drone, the original one. They've also got the smaller but less powerful one too - Avata, which isn't on sale. This is for the FPV combo deal, saving you $400. This includes the drone, FPV goggles, and controller.
This is the second 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. Of course, you can also now get the DJI Mavic 3 Classic for a fair bit cheaper, minus the zoom lens. Albeit, I personally think the zoom lens is handy (if used correctly).
⚡This is the first time we've seen this on sale - and so it's actually pretty notable. I don't even think it's supposed to be on sale, but this is just Amazon doing Amazon. This is one of the two main HR straps i use these days (alongside the Polar H10). Either way, definitely take this and run!
⚡This is the first time we've seen the Garmin Instinct 2 series devices (all variants) on sale. The Instinct 2 base is from $249 (on Amazon), a very solid deal - especially with all the major software updates it's had over the last year.
This is Garmin's standalone radar/taillight option, and $149 is pretty much the standard sale-price. This product is universally loved, and works with Garmin/Wahoo/Stages/Hammerhead/Bryton, and other bike computers.
This is the first time we've seen this unit on sale, as it only came out earlier this year. It's my defacto satellite communicator when out of coverage area, and I've used it on a number of major treks this year out of cell range already.
⚡ Amazon now has the Hero 11 Black for $100 off the retail price of $499. This does *NOT* require the GoPro subscription (previously called GoPro Plus). The Hero 11 has become my daily action cam (well, actually, I bought two of them).
Google Pixel Buds Pro - Noise Canceling Earbuds (All Colors) - $50 off!
⚡So, the Three Peanuts (girls ages 3/5/6) have used this for over a year now, abd they love it. It's silly simple (there's no real connectivity here), and the videos they ride with are also absurdly laughable. Yet, they love it. Seriously, they fight over it.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee & Espresso Kit - 30% off
⚡ 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!
⚡So this has been fluctuating all day between $54 and $75. So it's a bit of luck of the draw. Either way- these are super low prices and great straps. This is one of my main chest straps I use as a reference device in testing. Works great!
I 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.
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 good, but not yet fantastic deal.
⚡ A very solid deal, making it the least expensive smart bike out there, despite being probably the best built one. (Note: While this sale is marked as 43% off, the reality is most of the time the price hovers around $2,300-2,500) - still, by far the lowest price we've ever seen).
This is the V1 version, whereas the new Tacx NEO Bike Plus came out this past week with some very minor tweaks, however, that bike is $3,999 ($1,300 more than this!). Thus, this kinda looks like a steal.
⚡ This 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...
⚡This is the slightly older ROAM V1, which isn't quite as fancy as the new V2. Still, $200 off is a very solid deal, and it, recently got the new Wahoo Summit Segments feature, as well as other features - so it's still getting the majority (if not all) new firmware features.
This is the lowest price we've ever seen on the Wahoo KICKR AXIS feet, which, if on a hard surface like concrete, will give your KICKR bike slightly more movement side to side. Note these come built-in to the KICKR 2020/2022, but you can install the AXIS feet on all Wahoo KICKR units (not CORE/SNAP).
⚡⚡⚡ This is an incredible deal, by far the lowest the KICKR Bike has ever been. Especially given the just-announced V2 bike is even more expensive now at $4,000. And frankly, aside from built-in WiFi, there's not much otherwise on the newer V2 bike. I plan to take advantage of this deal and finally buy one for myself, this is astounding.
This is lowest we've ever seen the KICKR SNAP priced. While the trend has moved towards wheel-off/direct drive trainers, this is still really solid deal if your budget it tight.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2021 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s Gear Guide too.