Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Near St. Louis, Missouri
Bikes: Giant Defy Advanced, Windsor Tourist
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I've had a few Polars over the years. I recommend one with a way to set an upper and lower thresholds that beeps or something. That way you can tell if you are overdoing it or just faking it. Things like tracking time in HR zones are OK but not needed. If you get one that has calories burned, take that with a grain of salt as they usually way overestimate how much burned.
If you plan on using the HR with equipment at a gym, like a LifeCycle stationary bike, that kind of equipment usually works best with the cheaper HR straps. The fancy HRs, like Garmin and the more expensive Polars, are incompatible with a lot of gym equipment.
Speaking of Garmin, consider getting something like an Edge 500 with a HR kit. That way you have your bike computer AND HR monitor all in one device.