Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Bikes: Fixed Surly CrossCheck, Redline Conquest Pro
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A few things can cause the results you've seen.
One thing could be the contacts aren't wet enough. When I see my hr spike to 265, I will try sliding it around to get them wet with sweat, and that sometimes helps.
Also, static build up from polypro shirts can cause bad readings. I have a particular polypro shirt (not all of them do it) that I always causes bad readings when I wear it, and I think it is because it rubs the strap and creates a static charge. Keeping the shirt wet is supposed to help, but the air here is so dry, it isn't easy to do. I haven't figured out a way to stop it.
Bad batteries in either the watch or strap, as you noted, can cause it. You are supposed to send it to Polar to get it replaced. It's about time for me to get the batteries replaced (they are four years old) but I've been meaning to find out if there is a cheaper DIY method, at least for the strap.