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  1. #1
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    Scaring an old guy.

    I go biking today. Look at my HRM and it says 216. What is this? I never ever go over 150.
    Stop the bike. Check the strap around my breast. Make sure it is wet and proper tension. HR is normal while not biking.
    Back on the bike. HR goes up to over 200 with easy biking. It must be the HRM. Shut the thing off.

    My mind kicks in and I think I am not feeling so good. perhaps I am falling apart like some of my friends on medication for irregular HR.

    Stop the bike again. Try an engineering solution. Put the HRM strap over the shirt and wet the shirt for contact.
    Success. HR is back to normal.
    I celebrate by going against 15 MPH wind with 18 MPH average for 35 miles.
    Midway stop. Put the HRM strap back where it belongs on the skin. HR is normal.
    I still do not know what happened.
    Anyone has a good Idea?

  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Could have simply been too dry - that's happened to me though a good soaking and working the water into the sensors with your fingers is usually enough. This has only happened to me on the first ride after the strap has been through the washing machine.

    Wireless networks can do strange things to even good units. I use a Polar CS200 and the HRM regularly has hysterics or stops when I ride past intense wireless network zones eg, a large apartment block. It's amazing how fast I can ride when my HRM tells me I'm dead The trip functions go into 'pause' every time I go past a railway signal, along with 'highly excited' heart rate readings. This wasn't a problem a couple of years back but as wireless internet and wireless networks have grown around here, I'm getting more interference to the point where there's a good chance I'll be looking at wired computers in future and just forgetting about the HRM - the numbers are nice but seeing as I don't ride religiously to them, I can do without the irritation of irrational readings.

    Richard
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  3. #3
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    I had this happen to me a couple of years ago. I thought it was the HRM going haywire and didn't think much of it. Later I found I had intermittent Atrial Fibrillation. It was only then I realized it wasn't the HRM.

  4. #4
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    Were you close to any corn fields? Did you check for crop circles?

  5. #5
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    My polar HRM is influenced by wind resistance. If I go fast down hill where the wind is really blowing against me, the HRM will almost always have my heart rate at about 125%.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    It was a frequent occurrence when I was using a Polar HRM. This was due to interference from power lines or passing cars. No such issue since I use a Garmin Edge.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Don't use an HRM so don't have that problem.
    If my heart beats it means I'm OK.

  8. #8
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Don't use an HRM so don't have that problem.
    If my heart beats it means I'm OK.
    Yeah, sure, but you have about 20 years on many of us here. And you're in better shape than a lot of people 50 years your junior.

    So while I appreciate what you're saying and what you do insofar as a bike is concerned, I have to side with Will, et al, who kinda freak out when the HRM flashes an absurd number.

    I hope when I'm your age I can be as content with myself as you are.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Why didn't ypou do a manual check, ya know the old finger on the pulse count 6 seconds, and multiply by 10. If you suspect an abnormally high HR, get second reading.
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  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Why didn't ypou do a manual check, ya know the old finger on the pulse count 6 seconds, and multiply by 10. If you suspect an abnormally high HR, get second reading.
    +1

    Sometimes we become slaves to our technology, and forget the simpler things of life.
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  11. #11
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Why didn't ypou do a manual check, ya know the old finger on the pulse count 6 seconds, and multiply by 10. If you suspect an abnormally high HR, get second reading.
    That's what I did the first time mine went beserk

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  12. #12
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Yep, anything that generates a magnetic field can goof up a heart rate monitor. That includes power lines, transformers, electric fences, WiFi, CB radios, other HRMs, someone else's wireless bike computer, and who knows what else.

  13. #13
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Will-could be nothing.......but I've had bouts with Afib and keep charts on my spikes when I see them and take the info with me on my doctor's visits. It could be the equipment-or it could be some abnormalities. Right now the fact is none of us knows for sure do we. Next time you see something similar try the pulse test to see what you get and maybe that will help provide better information. This is a situation you need to make sure you're dealing with the facts and not conjecture. If it were me I'd not be alarmed but treat it seriously until I could rule out Afib issues.

  14. #14
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    You said breast.

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    There are two local areas where Moitors go berserk. One is at a busy road intersection with plenty of lights working. Local interference I suppose but the other one is offroad in the middle of nowhere. In theory there should be nothing to affect the monitor- but have even had Lights go on the blink in that area.

    And another point--- Not had it myself but Modern trucks are full of electronics and probably the same goes for cars. Had a driver in the workshop a few weeks ago and he was moaning that whenever he switches on His Sat Nav in the cab- his heart monitor has a few wild moments.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Yep, anything that generates a magnetic field can goof up a heart rate monitor. That includes power lines, transformers, electric fences, WiFi, CB radios, other HRMs, someone else's wireless bike computer, and who knows what else.
    + 1 on this My cell phone freaks out my bike computer, and my ham station does it to my HRM..The RF gets into the receiver part of the units..

    Bud

  17. #17
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Why didn't ypou do a manual check, ya know the old finger on the pulse count 6 seconds, and multiply by 10. If you suspect an abnormally high HR, get second reading.

    I would suggest doing a manual check as Howsteep suggests. If your finger count is reasonable (130 for you?), and the HRM reads high at the same time, bike away from any power lines or factories. If it goes back to normal, I think you have electromagnetic interference from power lines or something. I've seen this problem with a Polar when riding near power lines. Not all power lines, but on successive passes of the same power lines. As an electrical engineer it does not surprise me (in fact I expect SOME interference with low-cost consumer electronics) at all if high stray fields are causing this minor disruption of the HRM, especially if it goes back to normal when you go away. If it's always reading this 216, I think you have a bad HRM. If its really random, I think you have a bad HRM.

    Road Fan

  18. #18
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    It could be Flapping Jersey Syndrome. The jersey gets a static charge in dry weather, and makes the HRM jump up to a big number. Try holding the material away from the strap with one hand and see if the numbers go back to normal in a few seconds.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 01-27-09 at 04:08 PM.

  19. #19
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monk View Post
    You said breast.
    I had turkey breast for lunch - so there!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  20. #20
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I had turkey breast for lunch - so there!
    Watch it boys, Dad's listening in

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  21. #21
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Watch it boys, Dad's listening in

    Richard

    The X-Rated old guys thread. This is as good as it gets, folks!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  22. #22
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    OK guys, thanks for the comments and I will try to answer some of the points raised.
    1) The good old manual test. Of course I did that while OFF the bike. My HR was near normal both measured with the HRM and manual. BTW I do not have a very strong signal for a manual test.
    As I go on the bike and bike a reasonable speed, the HR starts accelerating up over 200. I tried but did not succeed in testing manual while pedaling the bike. As someone said: I was somewhat freaked out.
    2) It is a Polar HRM. A electromagnetic interference is the most likely explanation IMHO.
    3) You can have an joke on me. I still use German English every so often especially when I write something. In German Chest is called "Brust" and NOT gender specific. They have other names for gender specific Chest. I had a slip up to translate that "Brust" into Breast and had to think hard what I did wrong.
    Last edited by will dehne; 01-27-09 at 05:26 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    It could be Flapping Jersey Syndrome. The jersey gets a static charge in dry weather, and makes the HRM jump up to a big number. Try holding the material away from the strap with one hand and see if the numbers go back to normal in a few seconds.
    That is a useful suggestion. I had just a Polyester moisture transfer undershirt on. It could indeed do what you describe. As I made that shirt wet, the problem was gone.
    Sounds like that may be it.
    Thanks.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Will-could be nothing.......but I've had bouts with Afib and keep charts on my spikes when I see them and take the info with me on my doctor's visits. It could be the equipment-or it could be some abnormalities. Right now the fact is none of us knows for sure do we. Next time you see something similar try the pulse test to see what you get and maybe that will help provide better information. This is a situation you need to make sure you're dealing with the facts and not conjecture. If it were me I'd not be alarmed but treat it seriously until I could rule out Afib issues.
    Thank you jppe.
    I bike very hard several times per week just to keep the old engine tuned. We got some undulating tiny hills here where I hustle up with all out effort. That to me is HR150. I simply do not dare to go higher.

    I know that the advise is to go to a Sports Doctor. Believe me that a GOOD Sports Doctor does not reside here. So that means that I am my own doctor and that is why I do not take things like this lightly.

    It seems as if I am OK and the Polar HRM had interference of some sort.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by leerltw View Post
    I had this happen to me a couple of years ago. I thought it was the HRM going haywire and didn't think much of it. Later I found I had intermittent Atrial Fibrillation. It was only then I realized it wasn't the HRM.
    That is why I was worried. This is no joke for me.
    Thanks.

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