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Old 07-01-04, 08:04 AM   #1
closetbiker
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Polar or Bios?

Some goof stole my speedometer off my handlebar as I walked away from the bike for 2 minutes last week, and I was thinking of just getting a heart rate monitor to replace it. After all, it's not how fast I go, but how hard I'm working right?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I just want the most basic model and the most basic and lowest priced Polar runs $88 in Vancouver. I was shopping at The Real Canadian Superstore and I noticed they had a Bios heart rate monitor for $60.

Are the 2 brands really that different?

I'm the kind of guy that wears a $10 watch for 20 years because it works fine but if the Bios is inaccurate or will malfunction, it won't be worth the money. Still I couldn't understand how the basic electronic functions between the brands could be that much different and, generally speaking, electronic goods these days are fairly reliable. My remote for the TV cost $15 and it works as well as my previous remote that cost $40.
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Old 07-01-04, 08:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
Some goof stole my speedometer off my handlebar as I walked away from the bike for 2 minutes last week, and I was thinking of just getting a heart rate monitor to replace it. After all, it's not how fast I go, but how hard I'm working right?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I just want the most basic model and the most basic and lowest priced Polar runs $88 in Vancouver. I was shopping at The Real Canadian Superstore and I noticed they had a Bios heart rate monitor for $60.

Are the 2 brands really that different?

I'm the kind of guy that wears a $10 watch for 20 years because it works fine but if the Bios is inaccurate or will malfunction, it won't be worth the money. Still I couldn't understand how the basic electronic functions between the brands could be that much different and, generally speaking, electronic goods these days are fairly reliable. My remote for the TV cost $15 and it works as well as my previous remote that cost $40.

If you want just a heart rate monitor (no cycling features) then either is likely fine. Which model of polar are you looking at? www.supergo.com has a polar beat (very basic, only does current heart rate) for $30 US.

I bought a Polar F1 (same thing as the newer A1) for $49 US and it tracks average heart over time.

Then I went and bought a Cateye Astrale 8 for $39 at the LBS. But of course if you can get a bike computer cheaper then that, depending on the features you want.
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Old 07-01-04, 12:59 PM   #3
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I bought a Timex 50-Lap Ironman with HRM from performancebike.com. It was on sale for $54, and if you go to the Hot Deals forum here you can find a 20% discount on top of that. I like it. It is slightly more advanced than the basic Polar HRM. It has audible out-of-zone alarms, stopwatch, etc.
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Old 07-02-04, 08:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
If you want just a heart rate monitor (no cycling features) then either is likely fine.
So then, you're saying both brands work equally as well? The Polar doesn't last longer, or is more accurate, or is more reliable? Why is it more expensive?
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Old 07-02-04, 11:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
So then, you're saying both brands work equally as well? The Polar doesn't last longer, or is more accurate, or is more reliable? Why is it more expensive?

Polar is the bigger name, they can afford to put higher prices on their stuff because many will think it is better quality ( it may or may not be). Polar is certainly a high quality product. Other companies might be just as good or maybe better.

I know more people who have used Polar, so I know Polar has a good record. I know only one person with a Bios brand and so far he has no complaints with it. So for what little I know about it, Bios may be just as good as polar.

You can also get a HRM in a Timex watch, Timex is a proven brand so it is likely that their HRM are good too.

Try doing a google search for HRM reviews. It may give you the information you need to make a choice and feel confident with it.
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Old 07-02-04, 01:13 PM   #6
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Hi fellow Canadian here and I ended up getting the Timex 30-lap ironman just this week actually from Mountain Equipment Co-op

They don't have the 30-lap online, but its very similar to the 100-lap version here. [www.mec.ca]

The watch itself looks like an ordinary watch, and it'll do everything an ordinary timex watch does too. This was very appealing to me, I didn't want to get a HRM watch that required sacrifices (a worse looking watch, less functions, etc), so the Timex ones are nice in that you're getting a good watch plus a HRM. This is why I didn't get a Polar actually. I'm unfamiliar with the Bios ones so can't comment.

The 30-lap version I got for $90 CDN.
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Old 07-03-04, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb
Try doing a google search for HRM reviews.
I'm wondering how good Bios is, as I've looked and not seen that brand reviewed anywhere.
I did a search on Bios and only found a single page that just lists the Bios being sold by London Drugs.
I remember when HRM's first came out and there were lower priced brands that didn't work well but I'm thinking that now, maybe the basic units work all the same.
Maybe I'll just try it out and if I have a problem, I'll learn a lesson about being cheap.
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