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  1. #1
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Heart rate monitors & phone apps - choices, choices, choices!

    Wanted to see what everyone else is using. I prefer to run Google's MyTrack app to track my rides and it will work with the Polar Wearlink+ or Zypher HxM, both running Bluetooth. I have also messed around with Strava (but not much) and used to use Endomondo but had issues with the GPS (old phone, haven't tried it on the new one).

    I have a worked over Galaxy S2 Hercules, so batter life isn't ESSENTIAL to me since it lasts well with the batter in it, plus I bring a remote charger if needed. Just to get that out of the way.

    What I am curious to know is what everyone is using? I am looking to purchase a HRM this weekend (we have a AT&T rebate card that needs to get used before the 30th ) and I have about $75 to spend, maybe a little more if I am good to the wife. Anywho, I want something that is reliable, Bluetooth since my phone doesn't have ANT+, easy to use, and accurate. I have read bad on both those HRM, but also open to other brands and different apps.

    So what say ye?
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  2. #2
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    I used Strava on my phone a couple of times, but I don't like the idea of killing my battery in case of an emergency. I use the Garmin HRM, paired with the FR60 for my runs, and the Edge 500 on my bike.

    Once you go Garmin, you never go back, or so I've heard.
    01:20:23:00
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  3. #3
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Side note: It doesn't HAVE to link to a phone, but I would like to see my MPH and HR on a graph versus just having a watch on my wrist with a number.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  4. #4
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    I like the graphs on Garmin Connect. I like them better then the ones on Strava.
    01:20:23:00
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  5. #5
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    I used Strava on my phone a couple of times, but I don't like the idea of killing my battery in case of an emergency. I use the Garmin HRM, paired with the FR60 for my runs, and the Edge 500 on my bike.

    Once you go Garmin, you never go back, or so I've heard.
    Soon on the Garmin, soon.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I had a Zephyr, which I used on MyTracks, and Endomondo. Now I use a Garmin and it's ant+ device, the Zephyr just sits now. Too bad, its a good device.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  7. #7
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    Soon on the Garmin, soon.
    If you plan on getting a garmin just save your pennies until you can instead of spending money on interim solutions. You might be able to find a garmin 500 for less than ludicrous price now that the 510 is out. The lower models can also do what you want.

  8. #8
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    If you plan on getting a garmin just save your pennies until you can instead of spending money on interim solutions. You might be able to find a garmin 500 for less than ludicrous price now that the 510 is out. The lower models can also do what you want.
    That would be probably not till late next year. I would rather sweat it out on the relics I have first, get a new bike next spring, then get all fancy with the electronics. Plus I would be interested in getting something that works with ANT+ bike components and a new phone.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  9. #9
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Ok, I've typed out a bunch of stuff that is a bit incoherent as I just woke up from a nap haha... Lets see if I can't clean it up and have it make more since.


    If you want HRM data you have 2 basic options and a dozen or more app options in the google play/app store.

    For HRM there are a few bluetooth based HRM that sync with specific apps, unforuantly the model is tied to the app from what I have seen... Also these HRM are $60-$80 as I recall

    The other option you've got is ant+ technology, its a low power wireless technology. It's also the same technology that that garmin chose for their HRM and other sensors. There are some phones that have the ant+ radio built in already and also ways to use an ant+ usb stick as a radio. Because ant+ is standardized you can use several different brands of sensors in combination and aren't stuck with one specific brand. There are also several android apps (and Iphone apps) that will use the ant+ sensors.


    I'm a data junkie and like to to track as much info as possible but I'm also frugal (read cheap lol)... Several years ago when I was riding I'd picked up a garmin forerunner 50 with HRM, unfortuantly I lost the watch in a move but still had the HRM. I did a bit of research to see what it would take ot use the ant+ stuff with my phone and found there are a number of phones that do ant+ by default (mostly sony phones), thankfully I found that if your phone has USB host you can use an usb2 ant+ stick and an OTG (on the go) cable the phone could be made to recieve ant+, so I picked up a $3 OTG cable and spent $25 for the ant+ usb2 stick (I had 2 usb1 sticks but it HAS to be usb2) this allowed my phone to see the ant+ sensors.

    For ant+ apps you've got a few options, unfortuantly only one of them works if you are going the external USB stick mode, thankfully the program is an excellent one... It's IPbike, it's free for he first 1,000,000 wheel revolutions (aka LOTS of miles), the guy that designed te app tried to make it as close to using a garmin edge as possible, it prob has more data on it. It takes a bit of work to get it sorted out and figured out but it's an amazing program. The programmer also is very active on his updates, if you've got an idea for it he tends to respond quickly.

    this is my huge galaxy note 2 mounted to my bike with a cheap $9 case from dealsxtreme
    IMG_4527.JPG, I've got the USB2 stick mounted in the bag.

    I also got the garmin cadence/speed sensor so it'll record all that data (although i've had issues mounting the cadence magnet due to how little clearance I have between the crank and frame)

    the best part is the app records all the info and will let you export it to all the major standards that the tracking software uses, I can export with the touch of a button from the program to strava, attackpoint, traningpeaks and another one that I can't recall, but you can export the file and send it to any of these or garmin connect, ridewithGPS, etc. so you can analize the massive amount of data that ipbike will record and track.

    obviously there are other options but thats my take... I like ant+ and the best part is it's compatable with garmin edge if you ever upgrade... I'm still considering buying an older ant+ endabled phone to mount on my bars with no cell service and then toss my good phone in my pack.

    if you've got questions just ask... and no i'm no shill for ipbike... I just like his product
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Podagrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post


    If you want HRM data you have 2 basic options and a dozen or more app options in the google play/app store.

    For HRM there are a few bluetooth based HRM that sync with specific apps, unforuantly the model is tied to the app from what I have seen... Also these HRM are $60-$80 as I recall

    The other option you've got is ant+ technology, its a low power wireless technology. It's also the same technology that that garmin chose for their HRM and other sensors. There are some phones that have the ant+ radio built in already and also ways to use an ant+ usb stick as a radio. Because ant+ is standardized you can use several different brands of sensors in combination and aren't stuck with one specific brand. There are also several android apps (and Iphone apps) that will use the ant+ sensors.


    I'm a data junkie and like to to track as much info as possible but I'm also frugal (read cheap lol)... Several years ago when I was riding I'd picked up a garmin forerunner 50 with HRM, unfortuantly I lost the watch in a move but still had the HRM. I did a bit of research to see what it would take ot use the ant+ stuff with my phone and found there are a number of phones that do ant+ by default (mostly sony phones), thankfully I found that if your phone has USB host you can use an usb2 ant+ stick and an OTG (on the go) cable the phone could be made to recieve ant+, so I picked up a $3 OTG cable and spent $25 for the ant+ usb2 stick (I had 2 usb1 sticks but it HAS to be usb2) this allowed my phone to see the ant+ sensors.

    For ant+ apps you've got a few options, unfortuantly only one of them works if you are going the external USB stick mode, thankfully the program is an excellent one... It's IPbike, it's free for he first 1,000,000 wheel revolutions (aka LOTS of miles), the guy that designed te app tried to make it as close to using a garmin edge as possible, it prob has more data on it. It takes a bit of work to get it sorted out and figured out but it's an amazing program. The programmer also is very active on his updates, if you've got an idea for it he tends to respond quickly.


    if you've got questions just ask... and no i'm no shill for ipbike... I just like his product
    I've gone the ant+ route for now as well, and another good app for it is ubike. Also free, lots of data, lots of layout options. My Droid 4 does not support USB to go, but with a y cable and external battery I can provide the USB power needed and charge my phone at the same time. You need android 3.0 or higher to get USB to go, there are exceptions, like the Droid 4 that require external power. And part of my reasoning with going the ant+route is in case I do go Garmin, I won't need replacement parts.
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  11. #11
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    ya the ant+ has been around long enough that you can find some good deals on ebay if you watch... if you need to get the USB2 stick, HRM, and speed/cadence sensor you might be able to find a good deal with a forerunner watch of some sort... but as with all things ebay you've just got to be patient .. I ended up getting a second usb2 stick when I got my cadence/speed sensor for what most cadence/speed sensors were selling for at the time

    I just wish power meters would drop in price... maybe in a few years ;-)

    on a side note and as a bit of spam... I have 2 USB2 ant+ sticks... if someone needs one I'll sell it cheaper then you'd get it for on ebay by a little bit... trying to raise funds for another frame
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  12. #12
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    also if you are shopping for a phone to use while cycling i'd check this out... http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2012/01/r...-ericsson.html I want ...
    mtbr clyd moderator

  13. #13
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    I have had very good luck with the Wahoo Fitness pack on an iPhone 4. Not cheap, but it works, and I've never had a battery issue with the case. Plus, you can easily upload to Strava.

    (This is the Ant+ version, not the newer Bluetooth)
    2012 CAAD 10 4 / 2011 Masi Speciale Fixed Drop / 2010 Novara Matador MTB / 2008 BMW cruise bike / 1979 Schwinn Varsity (flat handlebar)

  14. #14
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    donalson,

    Thanks for the great write up! Lots of info in there! I already have a Polar Wearlink+ Bluetooth on the way with a case, we had some money from returning change and stuff at the story, plus some credit to Amazon so that is where I go it from. Although the ANT+ stuff sounds way cool! My phone currently doesn't support it and I think for now that is OK as I learn to use a heart rate monitor.

    I am a total tech geek and could (if the money was there) buy all kinds of fun toys for when riding, but I think I will do well with what I am getting. The only thing I will have to do is tweak my battery settings, although I do bring a remote charger that uses 2 AAs to charge a phone. It has worked well for me before.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  15. #15
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    i'm right with ya on the geek side... unfortunately geekery is expensive lol

    it looks like that HRM is compatable with endomondo and cardio trainer and a few other apps... I've used both and they look to be pretty good (i just went the other way with ant+ as I already had some tidbits)

    when I started with my HRM I found that especially out on the MTB trail I was pushing myself to hard for to long... once I got it and figured it all out I started to pull back on effort in a few areas (I'd set the watch to beep at me if I went over a certain level)... once I got used to it I could finish the lap much with a lot more energy in the last 1/4 and ultimately was quicker... it's a good tool to have and learn to use.
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  16. #16
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post
    i'm right with ya on the geek side... unfortunately geekery is expensive lol

    it looks like that HRM is compatable with endomondo and cardio trainer and a few other apps... I've used both and they look to be pretty good (i just went the other way with ant+ as I already had some tidbits)

    when I started with my HRM I found that especially out on the MTB trail I was pushing myself to hard for to long... once I got it and figured it all out I started to pull back on effort in a few areas (I'd set the watch to beep at me if I went over a certain level)... once I got used to it I could finish the lap much with a lot more energy in the last 1/4 and ultimately was quicker... it's a good tool to have and learn to use.

    I had a friend lose 70 lbs in the last year or so and when I asked her what helped the most outside of exercising and eating right, she said the biggest aide was a heart rate monitor. Once she knew what zone was the best for her, she made sure to do something everyday for at least a few minutes to get her heart rate in the zone, and then she did HIIT 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes. I did a HIIT run on Friday and was spent, but feel great today and have a 40+ miler tomorrow (not a race).
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  17. #17
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    I used to rely solely on the cyclemeter app, but i just got a garmin 500 and am using that. I really like it and it is nice to leave the phone battery for emergencies rather than using it to track data. If you really want to intergrate the two the RFLKT from wahoo fitness would be a nice way to do this. While I was still using cyclemeter I made a mistake and bought an ANT+ HR monitor if you are using one of the newer iPhones (4k+) they will support the bluetooth HR monitors (check with your apps support page before purchase) I didn't and had to eat the host.

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