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Thread: Cheap HRM....

  1. #1
    Comfortably numb.
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    Cheap HRM....

    I have been biking for about 6 months or so now and think its about time i got a HRM. However i dont wanna spend a great deal of money on it. I see that performance has some for $40 or so, compared to the +$200 or so ones. Im just curious if the cheap ones will do the job or is it worth the money. Secondly, how cheap can i go and still have a HRM that works well.

    Thanks ahead of time...
    Greg

  2. #2
    Healthy and active twobikes's Avatar
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    Our Wal-Mart has a MIO Sport Select for less than $38. This unit has you touch two buttons with fingers from your other hand for about six seconds to get a reading. That can be a little tricky, but it works if you keep your arm relaxed while holding the handlebars with light pressure, have the skin on your wrist a bit moist, and lick your fingertips before reaching for the buttons. I also have a Sigma BC-2006 with chest strap. The two units read within one heartbeat of each other.
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  3. #3
    urban biker
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    Spend the bucks and get a good HRM from Suunto or Polar. The cheap one will keep you happy for a few weeks then you'll wish you had gotten the better one.

  4. #4
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    Beware that some of the Polar units do not have user replaceable batteries in the chest strap. Or so I understand. Also, it appears to be important that the HRM has coded transmission (chest strap to watch). I assume any digital transmission meets that criteria (to protect against other HRMs, etc. interfering with your unit in use).

    Someone please clarify this issue as I am also looking into HRMs.

    I thought the Polar F11 had a user replaceable battery. But the sheet I picked up today at REI says it is not.

    This may be a good place to buy online, but I do not have experience with them.

    Or you can get a combo cyclocomputer/HRM if you want to go that way, but it would seem to defeat the inexpensive part of the equation.

  5. #5
    Healthy and active twobikes's Avatar
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    Sigma HRM's have a user replaceable battery in the chest strap. The newer Sigma units send information from the chest strap to the display unit by means of digitally encoded packets. Virtually nothing messes with the signal, except for any loss of good electrical contact between the chest strap and your skin.

    Also, I have had my MIO three months and it works just fine.
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    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twobikes View Post
    ...I have had my MIO three months and it works just fine.
    Beautiful state you live in there twobikes.

    Regarding the MIO, I am not very interested in that. I have enough trouble with tingling fingers and hands when I ride. If I have to get my HR info by holding my fingers on something.... I just don't think that will work for me.

    But maybe for the OP it would work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    If you want cheap, get this. It's the Fit 2. I have the Fit 3.
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...art%20Monitors

    They aren't as rugged as Polar, but they are OK. Just don't sit on it.

    Don't forget to read up about Zone Training and Intervals all that crap.

    Sark is also a good source
    http://www.sarkproducts.com/
    He has nice charts that compare features. Only one I actually use is
    the alarm that tells you when you go out of zone.

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    If you want to read quite a few articles on using an HRM and training zones, try this. Some of the articles do not fully agree with each other, but they still make good reading and lots of it.

    Speedlever, thanks for the endorsement of Idaho. I live west of Boise where those who can are intent on covering every square inch of land with new houses. Things have changed here a lot in the last ten years. Thanks also for not mentioning a certain US Senator who got caught tapping his foot in a public restroom. Although many of us liked him earlier, we now think it is time for him to go, IMHO.
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