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  1. #1
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    Heart rate monitor?

    Do you all have suggestions for a good one I can pick up at Dicks or Sports authority or someplace like that? Are they made equal, and do you advise to start out monitoring this? Is the typical monitor made to wear on the wrist or no? Also, how do you monitor your speed and mileage?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    I've always used a Polar HRM, but I can't swear they're the best because I've never tried any other brands. Polar has worked well for me, plus it's compatible with all the aerobic equipment at my gym (I can just wear the strap and it reads out on the machine control panel; I don't have to grip the machine's pulse-reading handgrips or wear my wrist readout).

    For bike riding I put the wrist readout on the handlebars. A short section of pipe insulation works well as a holder, since the band won't tighten quite enough not to slip and slide on the bars. Glancing at the readout on the handlebars is much easier than trying to look at something on your wrist all the time.

    For speed, distance, and cadence I used a Cateye Astrale 8, which I am very happy with. It's wired so no concerns about crosstalk with the HRM.

    Hope this helps,
    Dagna

  3. #3
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I've got an older specialized p-brain that does HR. You can download your rides. The graphs show hr, mileage, speed and altitude. No cadence though. The monitors that you get at dicks are Polars. Last time I went there, they did not have bike-specific models.

    I think that a wrist mounted hr monitor is fine. I like to have the function where you can set the min-max parameter so that you hear a beep when you are going too fast or slow. POLAR is the big name in HR monitors. In fact my Specialized uses the same sensor. The sensor is a wireless strap that fits accross your chest. I've seen sport bras that are designed to work with the monitor straps. Not sure if that is needed.

    This one looks cool. but it is $150. Not sure if it has a download feature.

    http://www.bikeworld.com/components/...id=1862&cat=94

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    I got a Polar 150 for Christmas and to me it is difficult to use. I am going to send it back and get something a little less complicated(less features). I have been looking at the Polar F11 and a couple of other models.


    -lee-

  5. #5
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    ease of use is pretty important - i think. since this is your first HRM, i would get something less complicated. my polar S150 is okay for displaying and recording heart rate information. however, i find the interface a little hard to use because the buttons are small and the display is small. so, i don't use many of the features it has. they were lost on me.

    i would get a simple speedmeter for your bike - to check speed\distance. then get a simple HRM.

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    I work for a company called Cambiatta. We work in conjunction with a cyclist's cycle computer and heart rate monitor and capture the data that is acquired for download to software. I have a lot of expereince with various heart rate monitors, since we are designed to work in parallel with them. I definitely echo the other replies' advice: target which functions are important to you, and then get the most simple, inexpensive model that fits the bill. As you train more and use the HRM you choose, you'll learn a lot and in a couple of years may choose to upgrade. In the meantime, you want something that makes your training easier and more efficent, not something that requires a lot of your time, attention, and money. The functions and features I like are: the ability to set zones and downloadability.

    There is no need to get a unit that does HR, speed, and cadence. You can get a cycle computer seperately.

    Monitoring your heart rate is an effective way to track and improve your training, but don't get too sucked in. It's easy to focus too much on HR when you first start monitoring it, and forget about other things, like: how your body feels, what's going on around you, and how much fun you are having.

    I would suggest looking online or at your local bike shop, instead of at Dick's. Online will offer you the most selection and your local shop will offer you the best service and advice. At Dick's, you won't necessarily get either.

  7. #7
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    If interested in polar check out www.jomashop.com . That is where I bought my Polar S-725, their prices are amazing. I was able to get it for $231, much better than the $350 retail price.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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  9. #9
    Mmmmm Donuts! FatguyRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dagna
    I've always used a Polar HRM, but I can't swear they're the best because I've never tried any other brands. Hope this helps,
    Dagna
    I have used several other brands. Polar is the best. But that is my opinion. Performance comes in second. You get alot for your money. Im on my 6th HRM in 12 years and its a Polar. The chest straps are bulletproof. Polars are the only ones that havnt short circuited due to my sweat.
    John

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  10. #10
    Newbie Bichufo's Avatar
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    I have a Polar S150. It is incredibly ugly and big. Looks ok on the handlebars though. An important issue for you to take into account is inteference. The S150 works very well if used ALONE; I have another bike (road) with a Cateye wireless speed/cadence unit. But I can't use the Polar S150 when riding the bike with the Cateye. The S150 goes haywire. Registers HR of 240! The Cateye cyclocomputer is not affected by the S150.

    Now Cateye as a new watch, with HRM (HR20). I guess that is compatible with all other Cateye wireless units so no interference(?). It is also much better looking than the Polar S150. Check it out at their web site. Also, take a look at Timex. They have a new HRM unit out now. Hope this helps.

  11. #11
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    Not to hi-jack the original posters thread but thanks for the info guys. I bought a Polar f6 today and it works great! I picked up my bike today at the LBS and he made me a decent deal on the hrm. It is very easy to use(for me anyway) and is adaptable to what features I wanted. I'm going to use it on both my road/mountain bike plus working out at the gym doing cardio/weights. I didn't necessarily need a hrm geared towards cycling so the f6 is perfect for what I wanted: primarily a timer, calories burned, heart rate, avg, high, etc. Thanks again guys!


    -lee-


    -lee-

  12. #12
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    Lots of great information! Thanks!

    Sounds like Polar is a big name, but the sports bra and Timex are interesting too. I've trusted Timex for years, and I'd forgotten they made sports bras with HRMs built in.

    Someone mentioned not being able to read and navigate because of the printout size. That's a great point because I do have trouble reading without glasses, and I don't intend to wear my reading glasses while riding.

    The other great points were sweat and interference. All things I'll take into consideration!

    Everyone here and on other threads has been incredibly helpful and given me a lot to think about. At least I will go in armed with a few upfront questions now.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeinmemphis
    I got a Polar 150 for Christmas and to me it is difficult to use. I am going to send it back and get something a little less complicated(less features). I have been looking at the Polar F11 and a couple of other models.


    -lee-
    Ahhhh- I thought I was the only one. I got a polar 150 a week prior to christmas and I still can't figure this dang thing out
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  14. #14
    Directeur Sportif
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    I love my Polar S-625x.
    I love France. I just hate Toulouse. I'd really hate to lose le Trek.

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