For the last several months, my stoker and I have been using Cat Eye MSC3DX heart-rate-monitors/computers on our new tandem. We've owned the Cat Eyes for several years, and they've been great but since they aren't encoded, the heart-rate-monitors cross-talk. My stoker has been wearing her chest-strap and I've been flying blind. After searching around a bit for a computer that could display heart-rates from multiple chest straps (without luck) I decided to get my stoker a Garmin Forerunner 301 but keep both Cat Eye's in place also. This way she uses the encoded Forerunner and sees my heart-rate on rear Cat Eye while I see my heart-rate on the front Cat-Eye.
I just wanted to report that this system works great! The Forerunner is a very cool computer that uses GPS so there are NO wires at all. The only thing it lacks, by my way of thinking, is cadence. In addition to all the normal speed functions it has heart-rate, % grade, altitude, and extensive alerting functions; all quite entertaining.
On to the point. My stoker who is now able to see the effort I put in is better able to adjust accordingly. The results are incredible. We averaged about 4mph faster than normal today! Admittedly this is to some extent because the speed gain put us within striking range of the fast guys on our ride which encouraged us to ride hard. During the final ten miles of the ride a race developed between us and the fastest two guys. They worked together and rode hard to catch us after we escaped on a downhill, then purposefully dropped us on a slight uphill and worked themselves into a lather trying to stay off the front for the final few miles. In the end, they reached the parking-lot about 100 yds in front of us. What a blast! I'm happy to be able to play with the guys I normally play with on my single and my stoker is thrilled to be one of the first riders to finish the ride.
What an interesting combo you have there turtlendog. We have a C'Dale road tandem on order, our first tandem. We've only test ridden so far. Currently we ride our 1/2 bikes about 150-200 miles/week. We both use wired computers and Sigma PC14 HRMs. I have wondered about cross-talk with our HRMs when we get on the tandem. I was thinking my body might block out my signal, but that's probably wishful thinking. Even with our 1/2 bikes, sometimes when we get too close to eachother, our HRs go way up, above 200 BPM. MY stoker just says that I still get that excited with I'm so close to her, even after all these years.
It will be interesting learning to tandem together and working out a new set of challenges. Good luck and keep it up.
I thought the same about my body blocking my HR from getting to her computer, but it wasn't the case at all. I considered trying to shield her computer with something, but now that I've taken the plunge on the Forerunner I'm glad I did.
I bought it off Ebay, but later found that samsclub.com has them for $209 BTW. Not a bad price if you're comparing to a Ploar S720i/S725.