I have recently bought a new heart rate monitor and found I need max heart rate as the key to using it. I have used the equations that were suggested to determine my maximum heart rate but haven't been able to reach the number on any rides. 178 was calculated value and 168 is the max I have seen. How do you get your max rate? As you train can you expect to see your heart rate change as you get in better shape? So far I have raised it to its highest level while drafting a faster rider and spinning as fast as I could go for several miles. I always seem to hit the same rate for a few minites before I have to drop my effort so do I consider that my max rate?