Week in Review–September 12th, 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 number of strong sports tech deals out there right now, primarily tied to Garmin’s ‘Birthday’. Which, is also phrased as ‘Right, Fitbit, Apple, and everyone else have just released devices, let’s steal some sales. I mean yes, Birthday. Either way, money savings for you.

ProductSale PriceAmazonOther siteSale Notes
Garmin Edge 130 Plus - 25% off!
$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
$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
$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
$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
$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
Garmin Lily Classic - $50 off$199
Garmin Lily Sport - $50 off
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch - $50 off
$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
Garmin Vivoactive 4 - Up to $100 off
$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
$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)
$1,299⚡ 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:

Sunday: Aero Optim 20J – The Wind Tunnel For Everyone: A Brief Explainer
Monday: Elite’s New Training Desk: First Look
Wednesday: Whoop 4.0 Announced: Here’s What’s New and Changed

This past week was definitely the calm before the September storm. Hold on tight!

YouTube Video 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! Note, this upcoming week would be a strong week to have that notification bell hit too…just sayin’.

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) DesFit and I Go To the Alps to Review Watches: Actually, we went to the Alps for Eurobike. But we hiked/ran/rode nearly 30 hours worth in less than a week (plus squishing in two days at Eurobike). Des has his video up first, comparing the Fenix 6 to COROS Vertix 2, but it’s more of a VLOG style video – complete with dueling baguettes and plenty of fun behind-the-scenes tidbits. I’ve got a companion video between the Enduro & Vertix 2, plus a pile of other videos on other devices (announced and otherwise). In the meantime, enjoy this one:

2) Apple Watch 7 Announcement Expected Tuesday: Apple’s annual fall event is slated for 10AM US Pacific Time, or 7PM Amsterdam time. I should have everything you need to know posted shortly thereafter. Keep in mind that many of the software changes have already been announced back in June.

3) When Building Plans Give Away Product Plans: Granted, there’s very little doubt Peloton is building a rower, it’s just a matter of when. As an aside though, as with Zwift rowing, I remain skeptical on how big that market really is (in the US especially) for people to own home equipment. Every time I do napkin math on it, it just doesn’t even come close to bikes and treadmills.

4) VanMoof becomes most funded e-bike company in the world: The company raised another $128M in its most recent round. No doubt it’ll continue to easily expand, though if Amsterdam bike paths (home to VanMoof) is any indication, then the competition is quickly catching on. I’ve seen a notable increase in share of other hip e-bike companies in the last 12 months among the younger crowd.

5) More changes in Zwift Pack Dynamics: Things continue to evolve here, and seem to be looking better.

6) The FR310XT – 12 years ago: For fun, here’s the review I wrote on the FR310XT some 12 years ago this week. It’s interesting to see how things have shifted, and in some cases, where they haven’t. Either way, it’s crazy to think that little orange is 12 years old now. Doesn’t feel that long ago – but at least we don’t have to deal with the ANT Agent anymore!

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 Series/MARQ/Enduro BETA Firmware Update: The ever-growing pile of new features coming to these watches continues to march through beta iterations.

Garmin FR245/745/945 BETA Firmware Update: Mostly bug fixes.

Hammerhead Karoo Firmware Update: Some good updates to the CLIMBER feature included here, as well as various performance improvements.

Polar Ignite Firmware Update: Various bug fixes.

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Series Firmware Update: Various bug fixes.

With that, thanks for reading!

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  1. marian

    hey ray, some of your posts, (i think the ones with tech deal columns) show up very weirdly on my feedly reader. maybe i am the only one still using a blog reader?


    • Huh, you’re right. That does look like crap in Feedly. Let me dig into it in the morning with the developers. I suspect something it’s being closed correctly in the first column.

  2. Will

    Subscribe newsletter.

  3. Paul

    Surprised that there’s a big discount on the 745 but no discount on the 945 ?

  4. morey

    Garmin released Firmware 19.2 this week. A pretty substantial pile of improvements and features.

  5. Garrett

    Hey Ray, any idea when a new Edge 1040 or whatever they’ll call out may get released? My 1030 battery is far from what it used to be but the 1030 Plus seems like not enough of an upgrade right now. 😕 Anxiously awaiting the opportunity to give Garmin more money! 😂

  6. Bruce Burkhalter

    FYI, September is usually “New GoPro” month. The rumors show the usual upgrades (e.g. higher FPS at higher resolutions). You may want to hold off on GoPro 9 until the 10 is released just in case there is some feature you need.

    Ray – It is awesome you got to go to the Alps but I am *very* envious! I’m heading to Sea Otter in October. I’m in SF so not a big effort to get there. 🙂 You expect a lot of stuff to be announced or was Eurobike the place for it? Or will US companies likely use Sea Otter to launch?

    • I don’t expect much to be released at Sea otter, unfortunately. And also, unfortunately, Eurobike wasn’t really the place for it either. Gonna be a mostly quiet remainder of the year.

  7. Stefan

    Awe, 12 years old! I just moved big orange from my wife’s desk drawer to the retired Garmin box this morning. It still works and in many ways better than the Apple Watch she replaced it with.

  8. Thomas T

    Hi Ray,

    Have you gotten hold of the Fuego 1.0 trainer just released with crazy claims compared to the price of the unit?

  9. Paul

    Trying to decide between 945 and 945 LTE. Would jump at 945 if discounted! Have just seen a new 935 for 243euro though! Decisions decisions……. Still think I’ll hold for 945 sale

    • I’d be semi-surprised if we don’t see the FR945 on sale around Black Friday. Here’s (attached) the historical FR945 deals (mainly US, but that’s mainly where we’ve seen deals).

  10. Karl Brumund

    For anybody wanting a 310XT, $89.95 with free shipping. It’s a Garmin refurb.
    Bands and charging clips also available.
    link to g.factoryoutletstore.com

  11. Goncalo

    With the 19.20 firmware, the Connect App gained a new sleep score “card”, providing detailed score on the several components of sleep score. Seems actually quite interesting. In my case, I started to see a pattern of bad deep sleep, which might mean I need to put aside my phone earlier 🙂

  12. ReHMn

    …still prefer ANT agent over a Garmin Express…
    but due to protocol discrepancy, two laptops are a must.
    One with ANT agent for 910XT and Tanita Scale.
    Second with Express for Edge, 920XT, Drive, and guest devices upload…

    started here with 310XT, because Ray’s review was more useful than reading the manual from Garmin.
    Just like Ray, it was fun to record flying without a barometric altimeter (activity/51776686).

  13. John Clark

    Ray, loving your work as always. How would you compare the Garmin 935 and 745? Good deals on both in the UK – £220 for 935 and £300 for 745. Thanks

  14. Raymond Wright

    I agree that the indoor rower market is small, but there is a place for them. Nordic Track seems to be doing well with their rowers and the iFit app workouts, so maybe Peloton see some competition and market share they are missing out on.

    Note, I am slightly biased here, but with the Concept 2 rowers being the gold standard around the world that is going to be who they want to beat. Now, the rower who want the Concept 2 erg and those that desire the Peloton experience may be different. I guess we will see