I took delivery of a lovely new Felt VR3 road bike on Friday. This is a genre-bending road/endurance/gravel bike, with a sub-1000g carbon frame, disk brakes and room for up to 38mm tires. I’d been on the lookout for a light gravel bike, after getting my feet wet in the multi-surface world with an aluminum Giant TCX. After reading a set of raves reviews in August after it was announced (e.g. Velonews, RKP) I kept an eye on further news, and put down a deposit at my nearest Felt dealer (Bike Connection in San Francisco) in September when they told me that Felt would be prioritizing delivery for pre-ordered bikes.
The spec on the VR3 was very close to my needs, so I wasn’t tempted by the VR2, although I will be swapping out the wheels very soon. The 3T Discus C35 Pro wheels look fantastic but are not tubeless-ready, which is a strange decision on a bike of this kind. I have a DT Swiss R23 Spline DB wheelset on order, which I will setup tubeless either with 30mm Schwalbe S-One or 35mm Schwalbe G-One. I also have a set of FSA carbon handlebars that I will be swapping on.
Messy cables–why is the front brake hose is so long?
Top-tube mount for a Dark or XLab bento-box:
Another selling point was the all-new “sub-compact” (30/46) Rotor crankset:
Stock tires are Vittoria Rubino Pro 28mm, which measure out at a plump 29.5mm on the 3T rims, but plenty of clearance for bigger tires:
No doubt it’ll be appearing in a lot of my future Instagram shots at @dynamicwatch for my dwMap Garmin watch app project.
Although this will remain as my personal blog, I’ve started a new blog at Medium for anything relating to the business and technology of dwMap, my popular route planning and navigation app for Garmin GPS running watches and cycling computers.
From its start as a hobby app to its success as most popular app in the Garmin App Store and the launch of the paid Premium version, it’s a project that has gone far further than I ever expected. Learning how to leverage communications and marketing channels such as blogging and social media has become an important part of the project, allowing me to learn and explore with real data and a real product.
Back on August 31st I shared that I had created a simple route map app called dwMap for Garmin’s popular line of GPS sports watches.
Since watches like the Garmin Vivoactive do not include the ability to show and follow a route, this seemed to satisfy an unmet need, but at the time I expected that just a few hundred runners and cyclists would find the app useful. I was surprised and excited to see the number of registered users of the app (and its companion website http://dynamic.watch) soon climb pass a few hundred, then a thousand, and now to over 50,000!
Although the Garmin watches and fitness trackers are less well known than the Apple Watch or the Fitbit, they have several advantages, such as long (multiday) battery lives, true built-in GPS capabilities (you can leave your phone at home) and are fully waterproof. New models such as the Vivoactive HR have heart rate sensors built into the back of them. The Forerunner 735XT combines this with full multisport (triathlon) capabilities , while the Fenix 3 HR is both stylish and packed with hiking and skiing-specific features.
As time allows since August I have been working on adding features and interacting with an awesome community of users, and I will hopefully soon be ready to release a V2 with a set of really cool features. I continue to use the app myself almost every day, whether I am just recording my activities (which sync automatically from the app to Garmin Connect and Strava) or using the route map to explore a new area.
Initially this was a hobby project to share with a few like-minded individuals, that morphed into a “Big Magic” creative project that I’ve devoted time and energy to simply for the joy of it, and who knows what might come next?
Garmin GPS watch-owning friends, my latest side-project http://dynamic.watch launched today.
It’s a Garmin Connect IQ app for Garmin Vivoactive, Forerunner 920XT, Fenix 3 and Epix GPS watches that lets you download cycling and running routes that you’ve created using popular tools like MapMyRide and follow them on your watch. No more stopping and pulling out your phone or map as you run, ride or hike on a new route.
Download the app now from Garmin Connect IQ App Store and setup an account to manage your routes on http://dynamic.watch.