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  1. #1
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    HR Monitor options in 2014

    OK, I've been using a garmin with HR and all the bells and whistles for a few years now. My wife has recently re-taken up cycling (she also does spin classes) and is interested in monitoring / tracking her HR. She's thinking in terms of her old polar watch, which I chucked about a year ago but I think she'll eventually get more out of it if she can track it and log it, either on Strava/Garmin connect (which is where mine ends up) or in some other ride tracking format of which I am unaware.

    So - in 2014, what are the different ways she can accomplish that goal? She does have an iPhone, so we could go the wahoo route and either get a RFLKT or mount the phone to her handlebars, or we could suck it up and get a garmin 500 or something along those lines. I had a spare 500 a month ago and I asked her if she wanted it, she said no. so I gave it to my 11 yr old son, who is now the coolest 11 yr old on our street. I can't regift it so that's out.

    Is there something cool out there I'm unaware of? If she got one of the watch type solutions, is there any way to extract that and merge it with ride data?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Well, first, I definitely have to recommend dcrainmaker.com if you haven't visited his site yet. He covers pretty much all the major fitness tech, and he's got previews of 2014 products. As far as your question, I'm not sure how the new products' data will export, definitely don't know if you could merge that with data from another app (other than manually entering an avg HR, which doesn't tell a whole story). I think, if she's also monitoring speed/cadence, all the stuff will have to go through one app for the best tracking. The new offerings by Mio look intriguing as far as wrist based HRM, I'd check out their products, but I think, like the wahoo stuff, your wife would be tied to her phone. The TomTom Multisport is a watch that runs on Bluetooth Smart and communicates with HRM and speed/cadence sensors, so that's one product if your wife isn't keen on using the phone during rides (the RFKLT looks nice, but it relies on the iphone as the gatekeeper). Don't know how helpful I've been, but I think the market for watch type HRM's will start to mature this year.

  3. #3
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Been there, thanks. There's a mishmash of stuff out there, for sure. I don't think tied to the phone is a big problem but personally, I"m not a fan of sticking a fragile, expensive phone on a handlebar.

    I haven't seen that TomTom watch, I"ll check it out - thanks

  4. #4
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    Wahoo makes a HRM that will pair with Strava, CycleMeter, etc., on your wife's iPhone (as long as it's a 4S or higher) using BlueTooth LE. That'll let her track her heart rate during her workouts and also keep a record of her progress. They also make a Speed/Cadence sensor that will pair up to those same apps on her phone too. Both items can pair at the same time, so when she's on her bike, she can track speed, distance, cadence, heart rate, do mapping, etc., all at once.


    As far as mounting her iPhone to her bike, I use Rokform's RokBed V3 phone case and their Pro Series bike mount. The mount itself is aluminum, replaces the stem cap on your bike (bolts into the star nut inside the stem) and the phone case twist-locks to the mount. There's also a little magnet in the rubber part of the case that mates up with the magnet in the mount for added security. I've dumped my bike a few times while riding with my phone secured on the mount and it's never even budged.

    Rokform recommends using the lanyard to hold the 2 sides of the case together, but I find that the case works best on the bike if you use the little clip (also included) hold the 2 sides of the case together. The lanyard can sometimes let the two parts slip a little bit in relation to each other--they won't come apart, but it does let the phone slide a little in the case and that makes it a bit more difficult to access some of the buttons around the periphery of the phone.

    There's also a handy little mount that you can get to put on the dashboard of your car to lock the phone onto so you can use the map functions, iTunes, etc., more easily, rather than just dump the phone in the cup holder or something like that.

    Take a look here for the bike mounts: http://www.rokform.com/bike-mounts/

    Here's the phone cases: http://www.rokform.com/apple/

  5. #5
    Senior Member ctpres's Avatar
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    My use of smart phone for tracking rides was OK for shorter rides but anything getting into multiple hours drained battery. I wasted money on portable power to support phone and finally went with dedicated device. I would not recommend smart phone if budget permits bike specific device. Garmin 500's are old but reliable and very capable and getting cheaper.
    Retired 75 YO. Got my sub 5 ET century at 50 and sub 7 RT at 75. Just want to finish at 80. USNR, USAF, USCGA - riding 2014 Zenetto Steath ZR7.1 Carbon

  6. #6
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    I'm partial to Wahoo... I'm running on an iPhone in quadlock with a wahoo HRM.
    My brother who was killed 2 weeks ago by a drunk had his iPhone in a quadlock and after the drunk ran him over and his bike was pinned underneath the car as he fled his iPhone was still attached to the quadlock, when the cops arrested him 1 mile away.

    ML
    2013 Custom Coconino One Speed
    1996 Giant ATX 870 converted to single speed,

  7. #7
    More Speed = More Work
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSLiechty View Post
    I'm partial to Wahoo... I'm running on an iPhone in quadlock with a wahoo HRM.
    My brother who was killed 2 weeks ago by a drunk had his iPhone in a quadlock and after the drunk ran him over and his bike was pinned underneath the car as he fled his iPhone was still attached to the quadlock, when the cops arrested him 1 mile away.

    ML
    Dude...really sorry to hear about your brother

  8. #8
    Senior Member willieb's Avatar
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    @MSLiechty Really sorry about your brother...


    I am partial to Wahoo as well. I had a Garmin Edge 310 with HR, speed, and cadence sensors. When I bought my Edge the only reason I didn't use my iPhone then is because it wouldn't do HR and cadence. A few months ago I wanted something updated so I looked and looked. I decided to give the iPhone a go and went with the Wahoo bike mount with waterproof case, extra battery, speed/cadence, and HR sensors. It had ant+ built in to the case so my garmin HR strap worked fine. I had a 4S at the time. Some cons of this setup was, it was a bit bulky, when I jogged though the HR strap didn't work unless I used the case, screen sensitivity was lowered, and before each ride I had to remove my phone from my Otterbox Defender and put it in the Wahoo case. Despite those downfalls I still liked it enough to be happier with the additional features gained over my Garmin. I had a large color screen with maps, and full features, plus I could use any app I wanted. I know I could have had that with a newer Edge but didn't want to fork out the money, and I had my iPhone with me all the time anyway.

    Right when the 5S came out, just as soon as the Lifeproof case was available I jumped on board. So, my Wahoo 4S case no longer worked and I had to get a new one. I decided to also take the plunge and get all bluetooth sensors. Well one reason being there wasn't an iPhone 5S case available with built-in ant+. Bluetooth seemed to be the coming trend anyway so I got the wahoo Blue HR and Blue SC sensors. Since I already had a waterproof lifeproof case I went with the handlebar mount sold by lifeproof. This is a great combination. Now it's not bulky at all, the Blue HR works when I run (I also use the same lifeproof case), screen sensitivity is perfect since I'm actually touching the phone screen (I have the nuud), and it takes a half second to clip it in the holder without changing any cases. The only con I see is battery life. I rode for 1.5 hours yesterday and it used 40%. I'm guessing it will give me at least 3 hours worth of power for rides which will be fine unless I'm actively training for a century. An easy fix would be Mophie powerstation for additional power which I'll purchase when I need it.

    Hope this helped...

    P.S. I also have the Wahoo iPhone 5S PROTKT case but I'm so happy with the lifeproof I haven't even opened it lol...
    Last edited by willieb; 03-09-14 at 10:52 PM.
    ~willieb

  9. #9
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    HR Monitor options in 2014

    If you're not sure what type of head unit you plan to use, or if you plan to switch between iPhone and Garmin, I'd check out the Viiiiva HR monitor. I use one of these with my iPhone in spin class and with my Garmin while outside. It also converts any ANT+ signals (speed, cadence, power) to Bluetooth so your iPhone can read them. Has worked very well for me.

  10. #10
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Update: Well, I ended up just busting out the gold card and got a Garmin 800 bundle for her. I figure it's got the most interchangeability with the rest of the stuff I own, which is a definite positive and it has the distinct advantage of being the same thing I got for me. I want to avoid the appearance of breaking the bank on my crap and cheaping out on hers, so the 800 checks that box in a big way.

    And... in other good news, I was stuck at some cub scout thing all day saturday with my son and my wife went for a ride all by herself. I did have to explain how to use the pump after she deflated her tires (ever try that over the phone?) but she went and did 12 hilly miles all by herself.

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