Week in Review–November 15th, 2020 – DC Rainmaker

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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:

The deals are starting to ramp up. We’re seeing some super strong Amazon deals this weekend on last generation Garmin gear, plus Garmin’s own $150 sale on the Fenix 6 series. Note that I wouldn’t expect any better deal on the Fenix 6 series than that, simply because companies like Garmin carefully plan these deals to not tick off their retail partners by increasing a sale price once it starts (otherwise people want refunds/threaten to return and re-buy/etc…).

Oh, you can always access all deals at dcrainmaker.com/deals

Also – Backcountry.com has a 20% off one item sale right now. While it’s not valid for most of the sports tech products you might want, it is valid on plenty of other supporting gear you probably buy. Using this link you’ll see the 20% coupon on the homepage to add to your cart. Plus, it helps support the site here.

And, there’s also the REI 20% off coupon sale too. You can use that link before buying anything on REI.com (even if shipped to your local store) to help support the site too!

Product Sale Price Amazon Other site Sale Notes
Apple Airpods (2nd Gen) – $50 off
$159
$99 ⚡⚡ This is the lowest price AirPods have ever been – this is solid! 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. Also, with the wireless charging case for $50 off. Personally, I just use the basic model.
Apple Airpods Pro – $55 off
$249
$194 ⚡ This is the lowest AirPods Pro has ever been, even lower than the Amazon Prime Day Deals.
Apple Watch SE – $50 off
$279
$229 This is the first time we’ve seen the Apple Watch SE on sale, and $50 off is a heck of a solid deal considering the far more expensive Apple Watch Series tends to only be on sale for $15-$25 off at a time.
Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)
$169-$179
$169 This is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for the Apple Watch Series 3. While the Series 5 is the new one, the Series 3 has almost all the same features (and still gets all the updates). It’s dipped a few times to $179, but only once ever for Black Friday to $169.
Bontrager Flare/Ion RT Lights (ANT+ Connected) – 20% off From $47 Bontrager was one of the first companies to make connected bike lights that pair up to Garmin’s bike computers and watches. And these tiny little units are still among the best for road bikes as daytime running lights. Love em’. They’ll automatically turn on/off when you start/stop your Garmin.
DJI OSMO Action (Action Cam) – Normally $329
$349
$249 This is a solid price for the DJI OSMO Action, and it’s a very strong first contender from DJI to compete with the Hero 7 Black (realistically, except for the dual-screen, it simply doesn’t compete with the Hero 8 or Hero 9). I really like a lot of elements on the OSMO Action, but especially the dual-screen. Check out my full review for comparative thoughts. While I would have said that maybe we’d see a new OSMO Action sometime this past spring (an annual refresh cycling), I’m pretty sure COVID19 has killed any chance of that happening for a while.
FORM Swim Goggles (with heads-up display) – $20 off $179 We don’t often see deals on the FORM swim goggle (last Black Friday was the last time). So if you’re looking to pick this up, this is the time to do so! Note: Sale doesn’t start until Nov 26th.
Garmin Fenix 5 – 50% off
$599
$249 and up ⚡ Down to $249 is a substantial deal for the Fenix 5 (non-Plus), so don’t expect much in the way of major firmware updates. But still, at that price it’s solid – incredible really.
Garmin Fenix 5S – 50% off
$599
$249 ⚡ Down to $249 is a substantial deal for the Fenix 5s (non-Plus), so don’t expect much in the way of major firmware updates. But still, at that price it’s solid – incredible really. Note: This is still the watch my wife uses as her daily watch, even for her run this morning.
Garmin Fenix 5X – 50% off
$599
$299 ⚡ Down to $249 is a substantial deal for the Fenix 5X (non-Plus), so don’t expect much in the way of major firmware updates. But still, at that price it’s solid – incredible really. Note: The Fenix 5X in this series actually does include mapping, whereas the other Fenix 5 (non-Plus) units don’t have it.
Garmin Fenix 6 Series – $150 all models
$599-$1,149
$150 off This deal is back! This is a great deal that showed up last spring, and it also includes the newly launched Fenix 6/6S Solar units from this past summer
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
$349
$169 ⚡ If one were to have a ‘Yo mama’ joke in here somewhere, the FR735XT has been around longer than Yo Mama, however, at $169…that’s compelling if you just simply want a basic triathlon watch that still supports more sports features than most of its competitors.
Garmin HRM-DUAL (ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Strap) – $15 off
$69
$56 ⚡ This is one of my go-to straps these days (ANT+ & two concurrent BLE connections). It’s floated on and off being on sale, but this is about the lowest we’ve seen it.
Garmin Instinct – $30 off
$299
$220 Sure, the new Solar variants came out this summer with a few new features, but at their core the Instincts are mostly the same. This was quite a bit lower on Amazon Prime Days ($149), so $30 off isn’t really a huge deal (it’s normally $250ish).
Garmin Instinct Solar – $100 off
$399/$449
$299 This is the first time we’ve seen a deal on the Garmin Instinct Solar, and the best deal I expect we’ll see for a while.
Garmin Tactix Charlie – $150 off $599 The Tactix Charlie is essentially a Fenix geared towards military folks (Amazon Prime Days)
Garmin Varia RVR315 Radar – $30 off $120 REI 20% sale – REI members use code GEARUP2020
Garmin Varia Radar (RTL515) – $40 off $160 REI 20% sale – REI members use code GEARUP2020
Garmin Vector 3 – $200 Off
$999
$799 REI 20% sale – REI members use code GEARUP2020
Garmin Vector 3S – $100 Off
$599
$499 REI 20% sale – REI members use code GEARUP2020
Garmin Vivoactive 4/4S – $40 off
$299
$269 This is Garmin’s current offering to compete with the Apple Watch series (alongside the Garmin Venu), and this is a good price, though, not as low as we saw for Amazon Prime Day at $199.
Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator (2-way) – $100 off $249 ⚡ This is a great deal on this unit which can send messages back and forth when there’s no cellular service. It also connects to the Garmin Edge devices plus the Forerunner & Fenix devices for sending urgent messages sans-cell signals
GoPro Hero 9 Black – $50 off $399 REI is running this as a standalone deal, and it’s actually the first time we’ve seen the Hero 9 on sale. 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.
Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds – $20 off $109 This are obviously super popular, and having them be 31% off ought to make them even more popular. Wireless Charging Case included.
Saris H3 Bundle – $220 off! (In Stock) $880 Bundle includes pre-installed cassette, sweat guard, and ANT+ USB stick. REI 20% sale, I do not expect this deal to last very long at all. REI members use code GEARUP2020
Saris MP1 NFinity Motion Platform – $240 off! (In stock) $959 20% off Backcountry coupon Sale, simply use the coupon that shows up at the top of the page after clicking the link, and you’ll get 20% off this item.
Saris TD1 Trainer Desk – $66 off (In Stock) $263 20% off Backcountry coupon Sale, simply use the coupon that shows up at the top of the page after clicking the link, and you’ll get 20% off this item.
Stages Dash L10 – $75 $75 ⚡ This is a fantastic price on this unit. This is a full featured power-meter supporting cycling GPS unit, packed with structured-workout features. Seriously, nothing comes close at this price. Note: Deal *ONLY* valid Nov 25th-Nov 30th, not before then.
Stages Dash L50 – $90 off!
$299
$209 The Stages Dash M50 & L50 are both 30% off, in addition, all Stages Dash accessories are 30% off. Note: Deal *ONLY* valid Nov 25th-Nov 30th, not before then.
Stages Dash M50 – $75 off!
$249
$174 The Stages Dash M50 & L50 are both 30% off, in addition, all Stages Dash accessories are 30% off. Note: Deal *ONLY* valid Nov 25th-Nov 30th, not before then.

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–November 8th, 2020
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: The Smart Trainer Recommendations Guide: Winter 2020-2021
Friday: Heads Up for US Folks: 20% off Sports Tech Sale & $150 off Fenix 6 Series

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:

1) Bike racing is no longer a safe space for racism: A good piece by Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan, a professional cyclist discussing some recent team signings and how those organizations clearly dropped the news on a Saturday afternoon to avoid people noticing. Mind you, nobody ever announces anything on a Saturday afternoon.

2) A look at Shimano’s SPD Power Meter Patent: This surprisingly good deep-dive into the patent. Of course, what isn’t clear here is whether or not this patent actually matters. Meaning, there’s often two (or thirty) ways to fry a fish, and this particular way is incredibly specific.

3) US Navy partners with Garmin for COVID-19 study with custom app: Interesting little tidbit on Garmin and the US Navy using a custom Connect IQ app that’s getting higher levels of health data recorded back to central repositories to try and get increased levels of health data to potentially detect COVID-19 on a ship before it spreads more quickly. The exact numbers are a bit fuzzy here, though, they do list the exact models. Would be interesting to know if we’re talking a test of tens, hundreds, or thousands of people. (thanks to reader Jim S. for sending in!)

4) Garmin adds pregnancy tracking: I had really wanted to write about this, this past week, but the week got a bit crazy. It’s something I oft talked with Garmin about over the past 4-5 years (with my athletic wife having three peanuts during that timeframe). They seemed to have really nailed much of this. Super impressive. Albeit, I would have preferred the baby sizing options pull from the BabySizer database. Our favorite week was always Week 21.

5) What it’s like to write-off a $20,000+ bike on the first ride: Well…yup…that sucks.

6) An open letter to Virtual Coach Amy: A DCR reader wrote this letter to one of Garmin’s virtual coaches (Amy Parkerson-Mitchell), and it’s pretty much spot on. I do think we’re seeing better integration month by month with how Garmin is actually integrating all this data together. And perhaps more importantly – Garmin is actually getting better at explaining how this works. They let one of the top guys at Firstbeat actually explain it in a long post. Still, the open letter brings up many valid points about cross-pollination of data. After all, I saw this most recently with the brand new Index S2 scale – moments where I was like: Why on earth are you asking me this? You’ve known this for years.

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 Edge 530/830/1030/1030 Plus BETA Firmware Update: Removed new radar all-clear tone, other bug fixes

Garmin FR245/245 Music Firmware Update: Minor Bug fixes.

Garmin FR745 Firmware Update: Minor bug fixes.

Garmin FR945 Firmware Update: Minor bug fixes.

Garmin Instinct Solar Firmware Update: Minor bug fixes

Garmin Venu & Vivoactive 4 Firmware Update: Crapton of things listed, including a few new items but mostly performance and bug fixes.

Garmin Vivomove 3 Firmware Update: Added pregnancy tracking feature support

Wahoo TICKR X (2020 edition) Firmware Update: Appears to be trying to fix some flat-lining errors people were getting.

Thanks for reading!