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  1. #1
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    Heart rate moniter

    I have seen some people mention the use of heart rate moniters for training purposes, do any of you use them and are they any good. If they are good what model is the best. ECB!

  2. #2
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I used a Polar when I first started using one. I used it to keep an idea of where my heart rate was while doing many different workouts. I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 now as it gives me more information and it works for running and biking. Now if they just made one for swimming.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  3. #3
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I don't use one. I don't want to know plus I can't afford one.

    I go by "It hurts" or "It doesn't hurt"!

  4. #4
    Member effulgent's Avatar
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    I use a heart rate monitor. I got it cheap because it was discontinued due to the new model, the brand is called Sports Instruments. I use it every time I do cardio or ride. I know what my maximum heart rate is, and where my good training should be. Inevitably, after a particularly rough patch of a hill or whatnot, I'll look down at my heart rate monitor to see that I am about 5-10 beats over the 80% that is considered my "max". I'll slow it down, or sometimes even stop for a few minutes, until my BPM range is right at 60-70% of max, and then I'll start again.

    Right now, I'm mostly doing heart rate training. I don't even really look at distance or cadence. If I can keep my heart rate in the right range (70-80% of max heart rate), for at least 30 minutes, I feel I've had a good exercise session.

  5. #5
    Mike the Bike
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    I use a Garmin Edge 305 because my cardiologist told me that i couldn't ride unless i had a HRM. Being a geek, I went way out there... This also allowed my dr to view my rides as I uploaded to motion based after each ride. My wife also uses an Edge 305. Although he never made HER email him the link to the motion based event for each ride, I assume that he thought she had more sense than me.

    The Garmin Sports products don't just give HR like most of the polar line. (I did train with polar for years though) it gives you mapping (Edge 705) power readings (again 705 if you have a power tap or SRM crank) Heart Rate, Cadence and more realtime data than you really need. Plus it allows you to upload your results to a number of performance tracking web sites.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    I use the HRM that came with my Sigma ROX 8.0 bike computer. It seems to work well, and is nice to have the extra data that it provides, such as calories burned, average heart rate and so forth. Then again, I am sort of of an information junkie.

  7. #7
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    I used them but occasionally as data don't change much on a given route.

    If you do get one, make sure you measure the heart rate recovery time. While most use HRM for "zone" maintenance, most don't measure the heart recovery rate. You have to do this manually - when your heart rate is up, measure the time it takes to go back down (to your normal flat riding level). A fitter heart will recover faster (or work toward a goal).

  8. #8
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    I'm using a Cateye HRM. It's better than not having one, but it's junk, really. The strap isn't comfortable, it goes through batteries really fast, and the bar mount is terrible. A Polar HRM is on my wish list.
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  9. #9
    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    I have a Sigma HR600 or something like that, from eBay. It was less than $25 and it has the basic features plus "zone training." But it doesn't keep track of anything in memory, which stinks.

    I'd love to get a computer/hrm/etc. that maps and counts and correlates. That would be so cool. I want to know how hard I'm working, at which places, when, and all that.
    Go until you stop, then take a break.

  10. #10
    Mass Mover takingcontrol's Avatar
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    I don't have one, but I have seen the Timex Iron Man HRM at Costco for around $40.00. I'm not sure how it rates to the polar, but It is quite a bit cheaper.

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I have a Polar F4 which spends most of its time hanging on my equipment rack. I really only take it out when I'm riding hill repeats and want to stay above a certain HR, or riding super-long and want to keep below a certain HR. I don't do the typical HR Zone training every time I ride, aiming to spend X minutes in Zone 1, and Zone 2, etc.
    Most of my riding is more like what Beanz said: "It hurts, or it doesn't hurt."
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DoubleTap's Avatar
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    I have a Polar, about 5 years old, and I can't remember the model number but it's a middle of the road model. I also have a Timex Ironman watch/HRM and a Suunto watch with HRM. Of all these, I like my Polar the best for basic heart rate monitor and training. I use it daily either on my rides or in my group fitness "boot camps", and it is the easiest to use and most intuitive. The Timex and Suunto are good, but they have too many extra features that I find get in the way of basic heart rate monitor use. They have other features that I use when skiing or hiking.

    If I buy another, it will be a middle of the road Polar again (although I haven't considered the Garmin stuff yet) for its ease of use and simplicity. The only downside to the Polar is that I have to return it to Polar in Dallas about once a year for a battery change. I'm not sure if they make models now with user changeable batteries, but both mine and my wife's Polar require a factory battery change.

  13. #13
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I have had my Polar for over five years and have never had to have a battery change. If it is out of warranty, take it to a jewelry store that changes batteries and they can do it also.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member DoubleTap's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on how much you use them. My wife's doesn't need a battery change often either, but I wear mine about 12-14 hours per week, and it goes through batteries. I've tried taking it to a couple watch battery change places, but their confused looks when I handed it to them didn't inspire confidence, and neither of them had the little rubber o-ring needed to keep the water resistant seal intact. They both planned to reuse the o-ring even though it was clearly out of shape from the removal process. I decided to use Polar.
    Last edited by DoubleTap; 08-30-09 at 11:40 AM.

  15. #15
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I used my Polar about 20 hours per week for about 2 years straight without any issues. I use my Garmin about 10 -15 hours per week and don't have any issues, yet.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
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  16. #16
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    I use a polar watch as well. Be aware that you will have to buy an auxilary chest strap if your chest is over size 48. Most people train too hard when it comes to cardio and are progressing much more slowly. Pushing it can help leg strength but won't improve cardio as quickly. For me, lifting + hills + long rides in the correct HR range have given me the quickest results.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DoubleTap's Avatar
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    I guess I got a Polar lemon...it has needed batteries.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by flip18436572 View Post
    I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 now as it gives me more information and it works for running and biking. Now if they just made one for swimming.
    Looks like Garmin heard your wish, they came out with a waterproof version of the Forerunner 305 recently called the 310XT for swimmers and triathletes:
    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=142&pID=27335

    I've loved my Forerunner 305, the HRM helps me see the fitness progress in my heart rate during my commute comparing to spring time, and the cadence sensor has helped me spin better in the 80-90 rate so my legs don't take so long to recover and so I get a better aerobic workout during my rides than I used to when I first started riding with my 40-50 cadence of those days.
    '09 Surly Long Haul Trucker (commute, hauling kids, all around fun bike)
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  19. #19
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    I use a Garmin Edge 305 and wear the HR monitor on every ride. It's extremely helpful for pacing and training.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  20. #20
    Senior Member MorganRaider's Avatar
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    I use a Polar brand. I use it as a gage on how well my body is adpating to the ride as it progresses. If heart rate does not settle down after warm-up, then I can tell it may not be a good day for pressing too hard. It also lets me know if I am progressing on fitness. One thing that's nice is that on some of my recent return-trip legs, after getting some fresh Gatorade mixed with water, the heart rate actually drops. Nice to see. That let's me know I can crank it up on the way home. Have not done any intervals with it, yet.

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