Heart Rate Monitors

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Living Proof, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Living Proof

    Living Proof We All Have The Truth Skier

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    My very basic Timex HRM is no longer functioning, so, it is time to look for a replacement. What I did like about the system was that I could mount the watch type device onto the handlebars or wrist and the large readout of heart rate give instant feedback There are so many new electronic devices on the market today, I'd be willing to consider an upgrade, but not sure I need high end features. GPS is of little interest as an app on my Iphone will perform that function, but, where I ride GPS routing is not needed. I know there are bike computers that have HRM function in addition to the basic computer data, my basic computer tells me all I need to know about time, distance, speed etc.

    I would appreciate any thoughts or experiences with a modern HRM.
     
  2. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    I've noticed that Strava app on my android phone has support for HRM, but I don't know how it works.

    I've got an old Polar chestband and watch, which I used 7-10 years ago when I was running. Since getting on the road bike, the heart rate maxing out thing hasn't been an issue for me. My muscles and lungs give out much quicker.

    But, pair my equipment has been in the back of my mind for a while.

    @Living Proof thanks for the nudge ;-)
     
  3. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    Get a power meter instead. HR is so misleading.
     
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  4. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    HR. You just don't want to know.

    I have a Tickr. Great when it works. Fickle.

    Power meter. You REALLY don't want to know.

    Better you should just ride and assume there is some girl out there who doesn't think, "Who's that old dude?" when you ride by in your spandex. That's mostly what I do and it totally works. Especially during the post-ride coffee and/or beer. Come up and ride with us, LP, before it's too cold.
     
  5. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    If you really want something super basic, and if swim, kayak, or SUP, I would suggest a swim-rated wrist-based HRM.

    No chest strap. Most of them will link to and upload to your phone - you can leave your phone on the beach or in the kayak flotation bag. And they will, of course, work on your bike.

    I appreciate that you don't want fussy modern gizmos just for the sake of having them.

    The point of most of the current crop of devices is not any specific functionality (GPS, routing, cueing, mapping, so forth), which they have, sure, but more importantly they act as head units/displays for all the accessories you could pair with them, like an HRM or smart trainer or cadence monitor or power meter or ...

    If you are determined not to join a Garmin or Polar or ... device ecosystem, then a swim-rated wrist-based HRM is about the simplest I can think of.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  6. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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    Varia RTL510 review soon to be released. :cool:
     
  7. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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    Get a basic Garmin or Wahoo unit that is GPS based. its much more accurate and allows you to save your rides, show accumulated miles and stats on Garmin Express. if you don't care about your ride data, thats fine but for very little money you can have a much better solution than mounting your phone on your bikes bars. I personally don't use Strava BTW, no interest in sharing my ride data or looking at others. For out here, I find the ability to look at total ascent, grade of climbs and other data to very interesting (and fun) and useful when improving my riding. Heart rate is critical to me and I can see actual and average which again, I use for training and energy /output management especially on longer rides. Net year I will get Power meters (left/right) to really manage and improve my riding but you also need to see your heart rate.

    An, as mentioned above, you can link different products to the Garmin like gear shifting on Etap/di2, Varia RTL510 which has become essential to me and the power meter read outs.
     
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  8. firebanex

    firebanex Getting on the lift Skier

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    I've have used two different heart rate straps from Wahoo for about a year now, the chest strap Tickr and the newer arm band Tickrfit. I absolfreakinglutley love the Tickerfit arm band, it actually connects pretty much instantly and since its not a chest strap I don't feel like its trying to keep me from breathing. It's also rechargeable and uses optical based tech for reading your HR rather than the electrode style.. now I have no idea if one way is better than the other but I like the Tirckrfit better. I'm currently too cheap for an actual power meter so I rely upon calculated power after the ride and my HR during the ride to get a general idea of where I'm at.
     
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  9. Primoz

    Primoz Out on the slopes Skier

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    I know power meters are hype for last few years, but it's not all so cool and great as people think. For majority of recreational riders, HRM is still way better then power meters, and also for pro, HRM should still be priority over power meter except in few rare occasions. First, HRM shows what your body is doing, power meters don't. Power meters show your output and that's it. Sure in cycling community people have impression that's all what matters, and to reach certain speed it really is, afterall moving forward on bike is pure physics. But thing is, human body is not machine, and our output depends on too many factors that (just) power meters could be useful for proper training. We have good days, we have bad days, we have hard training yesterday or we had easy week, and our body don't operate same considering all this. If you look just power output, you could be having really easy tempo or super hard workout. While checking HR there are some issues, especially with lag on short sprints, overall working on HR is much better then checking power output.
    As for optical meters, they are surely more comfortable, and have some pluses, especially concerning 24/7 measurement, but their performance is so inferior that they are not really usable for normal training. While majority of chest straps have ECG accuracy, optical sensors on average show 10% different results. While it might not sound much, you have to think that when closing to your max HR, this can be 15-20 bits, and that's means you can be in Z5 while still thinking you are in Z3 or vice versa. So personally I would stay with chest strap for a little while ;) And you get used to it, so after a while you don't even feel it's there.
     
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  10. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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    agree but thats why I said you need both, you need both to see improvement and/or efficiency and in my case, I need to see if I am using both legs equally (or near). You can also use the power meters to understand pedal stroke efficiency so there are specific reason to use both, and that can be mutually exclusive reasons.
     
  11. Primoz

    Primoz Out on the slopes Skier

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    All true @Ron but I just wanted to point out, that nowadays general mentality in cycling community is, HR is useless, power meters are only thing you need. Reality is, you can do without power meters, while you can't do withour HRM. Having both is of course best. But for me, I will still do just with HRM, first because power meters are much less usefull on mtb then they are on road, and I don't ride on road (those few times a year don't count), and second, for recreational riding, that I'm doing now, 600-1000eur for power meter just feels too much. I know I could get some good use out of it, but maybe in few years when their prices will go down to normal one :)
     
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  12. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    Living Proof

    Living Proof We All Have The Truth Skier

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    FIFY Thanks for the invite Q, love to visit Portland. I am a lowly B ride pedestrian who sucks at climbing. I'd be watching your skinny butt ride into a spec of the horizon. Sort of like skiing a good bump run with you.

    Agree with Ron, that a very basic Garmin (some technology) Polar (no technology) would suit my needs best,Ft1 and Garmin 35 are possibilities. I prefer use of a chest strap as the results are more accurate. Minor % errors can screw up training with my aging heart. As I have no interest in wearing a watch 24/7, it will just be used during my training rides. Leaning to Polar, trying to justify a technology upgrade.
     
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  14. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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  15. TexasStout

    TexasStout THE Texan is here! Skier

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    I use a Polar M400. Have a handlebar mount. It has GPS so functions as a bike computer as well. Can also download and compare training rides on the Polar Flow app. Tracks elevation gain, mileage, time in each HR zone, avg and max HR, avg and max speed, calories burned and even maps the course you rode.

    Has different screens to show more or less detail while you ride. I like it a lot.
     
  16. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    Just curious, what do you need the heart rate monitor for?

    I've heard some people set a target zone and use a monitor to stay in that zone. Do they do that to keep them from getting too lazy and taking it too easy or from overdoing it and getting too winded to complete the distance?

    I know little about heart rate monitors because for me it would be like the DIN release scale on my bindings. Sure 7 is suggested, but if I feel I need more than 7 I'll crank it up to what I want it to be. Same with heart rate, I will work out at a level just below aggravating old injuries. If the heart rate said 120 and I thought I needed more workout I would just crank it (my effort level) up. If it said 60 and I thought that was too much of a work out, I would take it easier - regardless of what the monitor said.

    Anecdote (and one reason I ignore heart rates): back when I was in school (around 22 ish), I decided to break the record, and achieved a rate above the theoretically possible charted rate for my age by about 50 bpm. I guess I have a small heart, like a bird. No I don't remember what it was, but I recall the chart had a theoretical maximum and an exercise target range as a percentage of your max.
     
  17. Ron

    Ron Making fresh tracks Pugski Ski Tester

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    yes... :) there many different ways to use it but I know my avg HR is about 150 on a ride and I also know that I try to keep it under 172-173 on longer, steeper climbs. So I can use the Heart rate to monitor my outputs especially on a typical climb of 7-9% I am fine staying i the 165-169 range. Once you get used to this, its pretty amazing how you can literally stay within 1-2 heartbeats. I can also use this on windy days to gauge when I can get too focused on speed and I'm just battling winds resistance or on a route I'm not used to but I know the distance. Its almost like a fuel gauge in your car. The other use is to monitor your recovery, often I'll climb or have to sprint and my HR spikes, I watch where it is and back off until the HR comes back down into my comfort zone. So its a very useful tool.
     
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  18. Joel

    Joel Having fun Skier

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    My Garmin 820 has an HR meter. I like it, tracks what I'm doing at various points during the ride. Recovery is the biggest measure I use, next is a reduction on the same ride as I get into better shape.

    I'm generally happy if it never hits zero
     
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  19. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    One of the fellas playing hockey uses it to keep his heart rate in zone. He had a minor heart attack and since then he's been somewhat limited. He was stellar to begin with though so he's still pretty darn good. 6
     
  20. Primoz

    Primoz Out on the slopes Skier

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    Personally I would say M400 (or M430 now) is by far best watch price/performance vise. It offers almost everything twice more expensive v800 has, and it's super cheap (150eur for something like M400 is, is cheap, especially when considering Garmin and Suunto watches for 500+eur offers less and are way less accurate). I have v800 as when v800 came out, it had so cool features I changed my Polar s725x for it next second when I could get my hands on. And only real difference between v800 in m400 is, you can connect bike sensors to v800 (speed and cadence) and that v800 has route guiding which m400 doesn't.

    Depending on people and why they workout :) For pretty much everyone, who is not 20 anymore, and who still like to push hard, I would say HRMs should be obligatory :) If you are in shape, it's easy to push real hard for long time (ok nothing is really easy in Z5 but still :) ), and I don't think it's really healthy for old(er) heart to be at max over and over again. So seeing your HR number infront of your eyes, and of course knowing your limits, is easy to back off from time to time, and take it a bit easier. That's why i say phone applications with phone in pocket and chest strap connected via bluetooth are useless. You need this data during training/workout not at home on computer (sure also then for analyses, but main thing is during session).
    Another thing is training, even if it's just recreational. With proper training you have easy and hard sessions. And as far as I'm concerned, except for short interval sessions, which can't be done based on HR due lag, HR is only real orientation point on this how your body behaves, feels and what it does. While with lot of training and experience, you can actually guess quite accurately where your HR is during exercise, there's still no replacement for good HRM, so nowadays noone is training without HRMs anymore.
    As far as "charts" goes... they are useless. Those charts are so average of average that they might work for few people on world, and everything else is off. Especially with HR, where 5 bits/min difference actually means a lot. Your numbers depend on training (ok I admit I still have some 500h of training a year, but even nowadays my resting HR is around 38-39 while my max HR is 178), of course your genetics, and on the end also on your age (max HR goes down with years). So it's perfectly normal that someone has max HR 180 while same old and same trained guy has it 210.
     

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