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Heart Rate Monitor for biking - advice


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Hey cyclists. I've been off the bike for something like 8 years. And it's now time to change that. Been riding twice a week for the past 3 months or so, starting to put together some equipment again. I used to have a Polar hrm with chest band and sensors for speed (and cadence? Can't remember). Of course I can't find the chest band and it's waaay old. There seems to be a big shift in hrms, brands, chest band reading versus wrist only. Anyone have good advice for me on what to look at? 

- measure and download heart rate

- display and download speed, distance, elapsed time, cadence would be nice, altitude would be nice 

- price is a factor. Looking for reasonable not top of the line

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There are a lot of options these days.  I still prefer Polar, the newer products are much better than the older ones you refer to.  Chest measurement will trump wrist every time if you are interested in decent accuracy, if not wrist based should be OKish.

I have a Polar Vantage V watch and a V650 cycling computer.  Both of the work with a bluetooth strap, cadence and speed sensors.  The watch also do reasonable wrist HR but I avoid it if at all possible.

Alternatively look at the Garmin options.  Suunto may also be an option.

Hope this help.

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for accuracy...chest. 

There is a reason the chest HRM's remain the gold standard when you do high performance or medical fitness tests. 

I use a polar H10 (will set you back R1000). use it with the polar beat/flow app on the phone with it and that does everything you listed up there. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, MORNE said:

for accuracy...chest. 

There is a reason the chest HRM's remain the gold standard when you do high performance or medical fitness tests. 

I use a polar H10 (will set you back R1000). use it with the polar beat/flow app on the phone with it and that does everything you listed up there. 

 

I lost my H10 during my crash 7 weeks ago.  A new one is R1800 at sportsman's warehouse 😪

Unfortunately the Beat/Flow apps cater more for running, foot pod (cadence) work, but bike speed & cadence don't.  Can get speed though via GPS.

Edited by TheoG
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1 minute ago, MORNE said:

for accuracy...chest. 

There is a reason the chest HRM's remain the gold standard when you do high performance or medical fitness tests. 

I use a polar H10 (will set you back R1000). use it with the polar beat/flow app on the phone with it and that does everything you listed up there. 

 

I assume OP is female, my wife hated the chest HRM (chafing and what not)

 

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, TheoG said:

I lost my H10 during my crash 7 weeks ago.  A new one is R1800 at sportsman's warehouse 😪

WTH really, thats crazy. See the h9 can still be had for ±R1000 though. I think the only difference is that the H10 has memory on it to store one training session if you dont want to take your phone with you.

Edited by MORNE
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Posted (edited)

My advise: 

  • Decide if you're focusing on looks over functionality or vice versa. 
  • Look for a few options you like
  • Visit DC Rainmaker's website: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/ and read up on the options you looked at. Now compare the functionality that matters to you, stuff like battery life in GPS mode or where it measures your HR from (wrist or chest) and whether you want a wrist or GPS unit, stuff like that. I mean it is pointless you getting a M400 if you want to use it for Tri-Athlons or ultra endurance events. 
  • Browse the Hub for a 2nd hand alternative to save yourself some cash. You can also load alerts if and when something you want comes up for sale.
Edited by RobertWhitehead
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I have the Polar V800 which has had a strap and case replacement about 3 years ago. Its disintegrating on my arm again and I am wondering how long before it actually falls off. It came bundled with the H7 chest strap which is also due for replacement as the strap clasp broke but I'd be damned if I want to spend around 2k on replacing just that. The battery is also now only good for a weekend's worth of riding i.e. one longish Saturday and a mild Sunday morning out before needing a recharge. It used to be that I could ride an entire weeks worth of rides between charges. It also is not so smooth on the bluetooth synching anymore either.

I am not sure what to replace it with, if at all. Perhaps I am just going to go analogue and ditch it altogether along with Strava etc.

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29 minutes ago, fanievb said:

I assume OP is female, my wife hated the chest HRM (chafing and what not)

 

The chick in my name give it away? Lol! 

 

I'm used to wearing the chest band, so that's not a big issue for me. Thanks for the feedback, I can imagine some people don't find it comfortable

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22 minutes ago, RobertWhitehead said:

My advise: 

  • Decide if you're focusing on looks over functionality or vice versa. 
  • Look for a few options you like
  • Visit DC Rainmaker's website: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/ and read up on the options you looked at. Now compare the functionality that matters to you, stuff like battery life in GPS mode or where it measures your HR from (wrist or chest) and whether you want a wrist or GPS unit, stuff like that. I mean it is pointless you getting a M400 if you want to use it for Tri-Athlons or ultra endurance events. 
  • Browse the Hub for a 2nd hand alternative to save yourself some cash. You can also load alerts if and when something you want comes up for sale.

Thanks for the advice on second hand and the web link for feature comparison, cheers 

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6 minutes ago, Robbie Stewart said:

I have the Polar V800 which has had a strap and case replacement about 3 years ago. Its disintegrating on my arm again and I am wondering how long before it actually falls off. It came bundled with the H7 chest strap which is also due for replacement as the strap clasp broke but I'd be damned if I want to spend around 2k on replacing just that. The battery is also now only good for a weekend's worth of riding i.e. one longish Saturday and a mild Sunday morning out before needing a recharge. It used to be that I could ride an entire weeks worth of rides between charges. It also is not so smooth on the bluetooth synching anymore either.

I am not sure what to replace it with, if at all. Perhaps I am just going to go analogue and ditch it altogether along with Strava etc.

I also had a V800, I loved it. About two weeks ago it started acting weird and it stopped working all together. Fortunately for me I insured it under itemized items and the insurance paid out to the vendor. I need to go and choose another one this week still, I just had not had a chance to go to them 😁.

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8 minutes ago, Robbie Stewart said:

I have the Polar V800 which has had a strap and case replacement about 3 years ago. Its disintegrating on my arm again and I am wondering how long before it actually falls off. It came bundled with the H7 chest strap which is also due for replacement as the strap clasp broke but I'd be damned if I want to spend around 2k on replacing just that. The battery is also now only good for a weekend's worth of riding i.e. one longish Saturday and a mild Sunday morning out before needing a recharge. It used to be that I could ride an entire weeks worth of rides between charges. It also is not so smooth on the bluetooth synching anymore either.

I am not sure what to replace it with, if at all. Perhaps I am just going to go analogue and ditch it altogether along with Strava etc.

Good luck. I joined Strava but for a new sign up, it's R600 a year... Not sure I will commit after the 2 month trial... 

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42 minutes ago, TheoG said:

There are a lot of options these days.  I still prefer Polar, the newer products are much better than the older ones you refer to.  Chest measurement will trump wrist every time if you are interested in decent accuracy, if not wrist based should be OKish.

I have a Polar Vantage V watch and a V650 cycling computer.  Both of the work with a bluetooth strap, cadence and speed sensors.  The watch also do reasonable wrist HR but I avoid it if at all possible.

Alternatively look at the Garmin options.  Suunto may also be an option.

Hope this help.

Thanks Theo

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18 minutes ago, Battery_Chick said:

Good luck. I joined Strava but for a new sign up, it's R600 a year... Not sure I will commit after the 2 month trial... 

I had a paid Strava sub for 2 years. Is it worth it? It was before they moved everything behind the paywall. I could not fathom why I would be expected to pay to see segment performances if I can't even compare to my mates unless they also pay for it. I ended up not renewing when the time came and I do not miss it anymore. I still have it, and I still record my rides, but all the fun has been sucked out of Strava for me. Now I use Strava as much as I use Polar and the only reason I still have it is to collate my data. Other than that, meh.

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