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Old 01-15-09, 02:52 PM   #1
rumrunn6
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Heart Rate Monitor

OK OK OK ... I want one. Should I get a chest strap equipped device or are those wrist watchy things adequate?
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Old 01-15-09, 03:05 PM   #2
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I think you need both. The chest strap measures the heart beats and then you need a device to capture the measurements and display them... hence, the "wrist watchy" thing.
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Old 01-15-09, 03:08 PM   #3
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Oh ... OK. Duh. Can you tell I'm a lazy researcher ...? Actually I'm not - it's too tempting with such a powerful tool as this forum - to just post a question and presto ... an answer! Thank you BTW!
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Old 01-15-09, 03:15 PM   #4
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Keep in mind too that the wrist-watchy things can be mounted on your handlebar so you don't have to keep checking the wrist-watchy thing on your wrist!

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Old 01-15-09, 03:17 PM   #5
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Good because my wrist expands when I excercise and I stopped wearing my watch a year ago because it was uncomfortable.

Anyone know if this is something useful for weight training sessions?
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Old 01-15-09, 03:42 PM   #6
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Not so much.
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Old 01-15-09, 03:49 PM   #7
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There are two types of HRM. The ones that utilise a chest strap send a signal to the monitor all the time so that you get a current reading of the heart rate rate permanently displayed. There is another type that does not use a chest strap and they require you to push a button to display the heart rate. They work off the wrist pulse and are not the best for cycling. One hand twisting so you can reach the button with the other hand does not make for accurate steering and it only displays the heart rate when the button is pushed.

I use a Garmin edge 305 now and the monitor is on the bar stem and it utilises a chest strap. Previous to this I had a polar and the monitor is like a wrist watch. Mounts are made for mounting on the bars so you can permanently see the reading- but I used to have it on my wrist as I had one of the later bar mounts that I did not like.
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Old 01-15-09, 04:42 PM   #8
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Get the chest-strap one. Polar makes good, durable, foolproof ones.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:28 PM   #9
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Get the chest-strap one. Polar makes good, durable, foolproof ones.
+1 and cheap to.
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Old 01-15-09, 07:41 PM   #10
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There are two types of HRM. The ones that utilise a chest strap send a signal to the monitor all the time so that you get a current reading of the heart rate rate permanently displayed. There is another type that does not use a chest strap and they require you to push a button to display the heart rate. They work off the wrist pulse and are not the best for cycling. One hand twisting so you can reach the button with the other hand does not make for accurate steering and it only displays the heart rate when the button is pushed.

I use a Garmin edge 305 now and the monitor is on the bar stem and it utilises a chest strap. Previous to this I had a polar and the monitor is like a wrist watch. Mounts are made for mounting on the bars so you can permanently see the reading- but I used to have it on my wrist as I had one of the later bar mounts that I did not like.
My situation exactly. I now use the Edge 305 to monitor all my exercise, especially since it is so easy to upload data to the PC. I like to log all my exercise; ymmv.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:51 PM   #11
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My polar CS200 (bike computer and hrm) has been reliable over 2 and a bit years including some very heavy rain and rough roads. It doesn't like train line signals though and some internet hot spots have me recording some weird things (like dead or hyper or both )

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Old 01-15-09, 09:21 PM   #12
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Good because my wrist expands when I excercise and I stopped wearing my watch a year ago because it was uncomfortable.

Anyone know if this is something useful for weight training sessions?
If you are doing a high rep/cardio lifting session where you might be lifting 50% of your 10 rep max x 25 reps and need to know when your heart rate returns to Z2 so you can move to the next machine, the HR monitor is invaluable.
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Old 01-15-09, 10:17 PM   #13
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Who knows if it will last but I bought a cheap (about $45.00) Sportline HRM that has a strap but will also work w/o the strap by touching the watch near the dial. Seems to be accutate and easy to work.
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Old 01-15-09, 11:02 PM   #14
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Who knows if it will last but I bought a cheap (about $45.00) Sportline HRM that has a strap but will also work w/o the strap by touching the watch near the dial. Seems to be accutate and easy to work.
I bought a cheap wrist HRM (different brand) that worked like that and it was rubbish - it'd give a reading easily enough but it never bore any relation to my heart rate. I'd rate these as a 'check before you buy' item

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Old 01-16-09, 09:19 AM   #15
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I have a Polar F6 that I got last year after Christmas (with gift cards) and it worked great for time and calories, which is what I really like. Anyway if you get a Polar be sure and register the warranty on-line. I had a problem with mine in December and went online and did a warranty claim and mailed it into them, it still cost me about $20. for battery's and postage but I got it back in a week and a half and they kept me posted with e-mails on when they recieved it, when they fixed it, and when they sent it back. I was very satisfied.
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Old 01-16-09, 03:49 PM   #16
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Just to confuse the issue now.

Polar are a good make so a good one to start with- but do you need a basic one -or an all singing dancing version?

I do have a polar CS200 and this also acts as a bike computer. Couple this in with riders weight and age and how hard you reckon you work and it can give you enough details to really confuse you if you can reckon out what buttons to push.

Or just go basic and get one that shows your current HR and what the max was you reached on the ride.
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Old 01-16-09, 04:01 PM   #17
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Just wait until he asks how to determine his max HR (heh heh heh)......
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Old 01-16-09, 04:36 PM   #18
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HRMs fall into a few rough categories. There are basic ones. Then there are those that have a few functions, like keeping track of how much time you spent in each Zone. I like that feature. Then the next category adds other training options of various kinds. If you need them, you need them, if you don't...
Then the last category you might call super-HRMs. They can talk to computers so you can keep a training database and analyze your progress. Or it could be part of a GPS. Or all of the above and more.

If you are thinking of a HRM, you are prob thinking of getting on a training program, and knowing your Time In Zone is helpful.
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Old 01-16-09, 04:42 PM   #19
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I've been through several over the years from cheapos to Polars. Hated them all. Most quit working or never were totally functional. The Polar was difficult to set up and use due to a poor manual and intermittent buttons.

I finally hit paydirt with the Forerunner 305 which is the smaller wrist version of Stepfam's Edge. I wanted to record in at least three zones simultaneously and got 5 plus GPS for the price of an almost equivalent Polar.

It's very user friendly due to 7 well marked buttons which simplifies the menu structure and it has a large display.

They are about $160 now at Amazon with free ship. It can be handlebar mounted as well.

The Suunto monitors look well designed as well.

The only way to buy a monitor is to google for owner reviews (over 600 on Amazon for the Forerunner) and download the manual and study it before ordering.

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Old 01-16-09, 10:04 PM   #20
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I bought a cheap wrist HRM (different brand) that worked like that and it was rubbish - it'd give a reading easily enough but it never bore any relation to my heart rate. I'd rate these as a 'check before you buy' item

Richard
I guess I lucked out. Readings with the strap to the watch, just using the watch and the strap to the computer on the YMCA spinning bike w/o watch were all within one or two beats each of the three times I tried it.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:49 PM   #21
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I guess I lucked out. Readings with the strap to the watch, just using the watch and the strap to the computer on the YMCA spinning bike w/o watch were all within one or two beats each of the three times I tried it.
I think it's more a case that I had bad luck. The comment probably applies to anything cheap - check before buying, especially with the internet's ability to sell rubbish at prices that make it worth a chance.

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Old 01-17-09, 10:33 AM   #22
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Do you guys really use your HRMs a lot? Do you put on your *cough* bra *cough* chest strap for each ride?
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Old 01-17-09, 11:10 AM   #23
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Do you guys really use your HRMs a lot? Do you put on your *cough* bra *cough* chest strap for each ride?
Yep, every single time. And that includes xx skiing, treadmilling, walking, and shoveling snow.

For me it's a motiviation and tracking issue. I find it very easy to just plug my Garmin 30 into the PC when I'm done and upload to Sport Tracks. I can see where I stand with my exercise for the day/week/month. My goal is 5-6 hours of exercise per week and I know whether I'm hitting that goal!
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Old 01-17-09, 11:31 AM   #24
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Do you guys really use your HRMs a lot? Do you put on your *cough* bra *cough* chest strap for each ride?
I only wear my bra for serious rides. I don't bother with it if I'm just goofing around.

I recently acquired a garmin 50. $80 with including the optional foot pod from costco. It downloads to your pc using the same software the more expensive garmins use. So far I'm thrilled with it. Even though its from garmin its NOT a gps, just a HRM with optional foot pod and bike speed/dist/cadence pickup. Unlike a polar you can change the batteries yourself. Also, the chest strap is coded, which while mostly a good thing, means it doesn't work with gym equipment.

btw, its my 3rd HRM, and the first one I'd actually recommend to someone else!
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Old 01-17-09, 11:44 AM   #25
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I'm a big fan of the Edge for cycling. The only time I don't wear the strap is for commuting or grocery/utility type runs. Or if I forget to put it on when I've layered up for riding in the cold!

I have a forerunner question. Does it record mileage like an edge? The edge doesn't record below a certain speed if I remember correctly. I would like to record distance on hikes plus see a map like I can with the Edge.
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