Week in Review–March 15th, 2020

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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 of Note:

Here’s some continuing sports tech deals.

Product Sale Price Amazon Clever Training Other site Sale Notes

All Pioneer Power Meters & Bike Computer Gear Clearance! 40% off This is a Pioneer-wide clearance deal for everything power meter and cycling computer from them, following the acquisition by Shimano this past week. Note that Pioneer (as well as Shimano) have stated that warranties/etc will remain in place, as well as support. So risk-wise this is super-low risk. There are some challenges with the 8000 & 9100 based cranksets and accuracy, but Pioneer has options that don’t include those cranksets. Note that Clever Training doesn’t have a ton of extra inventory here, so most of this stuff won’t last very long.

Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) – $20 off $139 I use AirPods primarily when I’m travelling just to listen in airports, planes, etc… I don’t tend to use these for workouts due to them falling out.

CycleOps Hammer (Original) – $200 off $599 This is a solid deal if you don’t mind the slight racket that the original CycleOps Hammer makes. Note that basically there’s virtually no feature differences between the H1/H2/H3 – just different colors of paint and on the H3, a different belt that makes it quieter. They’re already running near identical firmware (the original Hammer got a big firmware update Aug 2019 to bring them all inline).

Garmin Edge 1030 – $200 off! $399

Garmin Edge 130 – $50 off! $149

Garmin RTL510 Varia Cycling Radar – $70 off $129 This is a sweet deal, unclear how long this deal will last. This is notable now that Wahoo, Hammerhead, and Stages all support the Varia radar (plus Garmin of course).

GoPro Hero 8 Black Bundles (norm $399+) $349-$359 ⚡ There’s some great deals in here. The base GoPro Hero 8 Black is down to $349, but many retailers for $10-$20 more are adding in a crapton of accessories you’ll buy anyway like extra batteries, the shorty stick, etc… I’ve linked to a collection of them, my personal fav is linked in the second link, and has two extra GoPro battires, a 64GB microSD card, and then a USB card reader.

Kinetic R1 Smart Trainer with Motion – 30% off $670 Now, if you don’t mind a bit of noise, and a bit of inaccuracy in the power data – then this is a steal for this trainer . Definitely the lowest price we’ve seen it to date. But, read the review first.

Polar Ignite GPS – Normally $229 $179 This is a very solid deal for this unit, and about the lowest we’ve seen it. Note that the price varies slightly based on the exact color band you select. But either way, it’s a great deal.

Tacx NEO 2 Smart $998 ⚡ This is a great deal, especially considering there’s such little difference between the NEO 2 and the NEO 2T. We saw this deal back in the fall, and it looks like Tacx found another pile of original NEO 2’s to clearance out.

Wahoo KICKR CORE Refurb Sale 599EUR/499GBP Wahoo’s running a sale on used/reconditioned KICKR and KICKR Core Trainers. These are invariably ones that came back for service/issues and are fixed. I’m undecided/mixed on whether to recommend these in relation to other units on the market at these price points, but in relation to buying a new Wahoo KICKR/CORE, I’d certainly recommend these. Design’s haven’t changed, and you still get Wahoo’s support guarantee on the refurbs, so if anything goes wrong – you’re good. [Note: KICKR CORE Refurb’s available EU/UK only]

Wahoo KICKR Refurb Sale $749/749EUR/649GBP Wahoo’s running a sale on used/reconditioned KICKR and KICKR Core Trainers. These are invariably ones that came back for service/issues and are fixed. I’m undecided/mixed on whether to recommend these in relation to other units on the market at these price points, but in relation to buying a new Wahoo KICKR/CORE, I’d certainly recommend these. Design’s haven’t changed, and you still get Wahoo’s support guarantee on the refurbs, so if anything goes wrong – you’re good.

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:

Sunday: Week in Review–March 8th, 2020
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: Wahoo’s New ‘Stealth’-Black BOLT, Price Drop, Plus Adds E-Bike Support, ANGi GPS connectivity
Tuesday: Strava Eliminates Multiple Summit Tiers, Simplifies Back to Single Option
Thursday: GoPro Hero 8 Black Charging Door Accessory: Video Review Posted
Saturday: Elite Sterzo Steering/Riser Block Accessory In-Depth Review

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!

FIT FILE Podcast This Week:

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Episode 102 is out!

– Sea Otter is off…then on…then conflicts with their own event?
– Pro teams migrate to indoor trainer apps
– What could TrainerRoad do to partner with teams this season?
– And perhaps Sufferfest too?
– Strava’s “What’s Old is New Again” 2020 campaign continues
– Wahoo drops price on BOLT
– Then Wahoo drops a new BOLT!
– Is there actually ebike integration demand?
– Garmin drops price on Edge 1030/130/Varia Radar.
– GoPro Hero 8 charging door test!

Listen here, or four options for where to find the podcast:

A) iTunes: If you’ve got an Apple device, we’re there!
B) Google Play Music: Yup, we’re here too (and on Google Podcasts app)
C) Spotify: Of course we’re on Spotify now – you can even cache it on your wearable too!
D) RSS Feed: Follow along using the direct RSS feed

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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 (and in this case, some of these are from the past few weeks…as my backlog is a bit longer):

1) Apple Watch appears set to add blood oxygen detection and improved ECG: Among many other vNext Apple Watch or WatchOS features that seemed to have leaked out. I’m not however convinced that Apple will be able to do SpO2 any better than Garmin/Fitbit/etc. It’s easy to do sitting still, it’s really hard to do in movement (the FDA certification doesn’t even attempt to deal with at movement).

2) How pro cyclists scheme to get a PlayStation into quarantine: Oh to look back on those times and think it was just going to be a couple of riders for a few days or weeks.

3) Twitch to stream National Women’s Soccer League games: This is super cool, especially for international audiences who will be able to see every game.

4) France looks at fines and jail time for e-bike modification: This seems a bit over the top. A lot of this really does seem to stem out of the slightly bizarre displeasure in certain circles against many of the bike sharing companies, which has in turn spilled out into e-bikes in general.

5) Ironman’s comments and plans for the upcoming season: Realistically, the short version could be ‘Everything is basically off till further notice. We’re rescheduling eventually, and your race fee goes to a future race. Roughly.’

6) All Peloton studios to be closed to the public: No surprise here, one of many things that’ll become the new normal.

7) Sister company to LifeQ shuts down: As a reminder, LifeQ makes optical sensors that are approved by Qualcomm for use in Google Wear devices (which are, in turn, on the approved list by Google for Google Wear devices). They used to make TomTom running watch optical HR sensors way back when. These days the most notable watch for them is the recent Suunto 7. While it might sound bad that their sister company HealthQ is shutting down, this is really about refocusing on LifeQ. So in this narrow focus, it’s a good thing for LifeQ. I think. Hopefully. (Thanks Matthys)

8) Hansons-Brooks Running Team Rejects Official Placements for Payouts: Essentially, the team is pretending one of the runners within the race results (a known doper) doesn’t exist, and thus from a team payout standpoint are paying each member higher up in the ranking. That’s awesome! (via Jeff Dengate)

9) Withings creates new division for medical research: As part of that, they’ll work more closely with institutions that need their devices for unrelated studies. In addition, this page consolidates studies using their devices.

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 and a few other firmware updates.

[Things be pretty slow in the sports tech world right now. Part of that is seasonality, but a very real part of that is COVID-19]

Garmin Fenix 6 Series & MARQ series devices BETA Firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Fenix 5 Series BETA Firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin Instinct BETA Firmware Update: Minor bug fix.

Garmin FR245 Firmware Update: Updates to support newer CIQ apps.

Garmin Vivoactive 4 Series Firmware Update: Boatload of fixes, also some new features and added emoji.

Polar Vantage M & Vantage V Firmware Update: Bug fixes.

Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT/ROAM Firmware Update: Added ANT+ LEV (e-bikes), SRM power meter fixes, other tweaks.

With that – have a great week ahead!