Heads up! Big sports tech sales this week! Just a quick heads up that there are some substantial sports tech deals right now, namely in the Garmin camp, with the Fenix 6 Series at $100 off, the Tacx NEO 2T smart trainer at $100 off (rarely on sale), plus the Garmin Forerunner 745 at 25% off. As well as other watches and bike computers. The full listing is here.
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.
⚡ 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)
⚡ 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.
⚡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.
This 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.
⚡ 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.
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 2019 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 2018 Gear Guide too.