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  1. #1
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    Estimating Max Heart Rate on Stationary Bike

    I have used a Polar Heart rate for years. I figured out my max rate a few years ago but it really seems to be too high. Sometimes my unit flashes really high numbers and it makes me wonder if the Max HR it shows is not accurate.

    Is there a more accurate way to estimate Max HR on stationary bike with a Polar heart monitor that minimizes a wrong reading/

    Thanks.
    David

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Sometimes HRMs display erroneous results. It can be your jersey or jacket flapping against the sensor, or the skin under the sensor being too dry for good conductivity.

    OTOH some people have heart defects where their heart really does do 240 bpm. But if that's happening to you, you'd know it.

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Buh-Bump cream.

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    After a few years of use, the "soft" strap (WearLink?) that came with my Polar S725 (~2005) would cause intermittent erratic heart rate readings. I assumed all the usual problems (flapping clothing, bad conductivity, low battery), and readjusting the strap/dipping in salt water/replacing battery always fixed it.

    After a couple years I switched to using Garmin's, and relegated the Polar to the back of the drawer, very infrequently taking the strap out to use on Polar-compatible ellipticals/treadmills. Each time I used the Polar strap it seemed to be more of a problem, and I probably replaced its battery as many times as I used it over the last five years.

    Last month while trying to use it yet again, I noticed a hairline crack in the strap, where it snaps to the wireless transmitter portion. It was clear that twisting/flexing it exacerbated the erratic readings. The crack likely developed from the twisting/prying motion of putting it on and taking it off. Polar redesigned how the wireless transmitter clips to the strap so it shouldn't be a problem in the future, and I was pleased to only have to spend ~$10 on the strap, rather than buy a new transmitter.

  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotherbrian View Post
    After a few years of use, the "soft" strap (WearLink?) that came with my Polar S725 (~2005) would cause intermittent erratic heart rate readings. I assumed all the usual problems (flapping clothing, bad conductivity, low battery), and readjusting the strap/dipping in salt water/replacing battery always fixed it.

    After a couple years I switched to using Garmin's, and relegated the Polar to the back of the drawer, very infrequently taking the strap out to use on Polar-compatible ellipticals/treadmills. Each time I used the Polar strap it seemed to be more of a problem, and I probably replaced its battery as many times as I used it over the last five years.

    Last month while trying to use it yet again, I noticed a hairline crack in the strap, where it snaps to the wireless transmitter portion. It was clear that twisting/flexing it exacerbated the erratic readings. The crack likely developed from the twisting/prying motion of putting it on and taking it off. Polar redesigned how the wireless transmitter clips to the strap so it shouldn't be a problem in the future, and I was pleased to only have to spend ~$10 on the strap, rather than buy a new transmitter.
    I've found the straps last maybe one year. Easier to replace them than to hassle Polar about the 2 year warranty. I've gone through maybe 5 of them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I've also wanted to calculate my max heart rate. I thought of doing a stress test on the trainer, but then I thought wouldn't it be better to look through thousands of miles of captured rides and look up the max HR on those rides? the stress-tests say to do it multiple times and take the average anyway.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

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    I had a stress test done in a cardiologists office ~10 years ago. It was done on a treadmill and the max was nearly the same as the max I'd observed around that time on the bike.

    Ten years later I hit that max +2bpm on my first ride of the year. Prior to that in thousands of miles that I've tracked data, I'd never hit my max on a normal ride. 97%, 98% yes, but never 100 (or 101)%.

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    Although related to max heart rate but not a human. Some years ago we were training our horse for endurance riding,useing a Polar monitor under the girth, the horse ,Chaka , has a normal Hr of 30 at rest,and I was riding at about 90 bpm,in a local forest. A railway line passes through it, I was crossing the line via a bridge,when a train appeared and blew the horn, obviously the horse spooked and hurted off for a good few yards before I got him settled ,as I looked down at the monitor it read 300,and he was calming by then. Us humans don't have much of a heart range eh? 30 to 300.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Debusama's Avatar
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    Of course, you already have to be well warmed up when you start:
    Starting at 80 rpm, increase the cadence by 2 or 3 rpm or increase your gearing by one gear every 2 minutes. When you cannot hold your cadence for the 2 minutes, perform an all-out sprint for 30 seconds. Look at your heart rate monitor at this point; the value should be a good estimate of your maximum heart rate.

    Robert Panzera. Cycling Fast (p. 79). Kindle Edition.

    I suspected mine was around 192, because looking at my Garmin reports, that number kept coming up as the peak HR in all the races I remember being particular intense (particularly, fast crits.) Doing this test, I got the exact same number.
    Cat-3 Fred

  10. #10
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumnagorrach View Post
    Although related to max heart rate but not a human. Some years ago we were training our horse for endurance riding,useing a Polar monitor under the girth, the horse ,Chaka , has a normal Hr of 30 at rest,and I was riding at about 90 bpm,in a local forest. A railway line passes through it, I was crossing the line via a bridge,when a train appeared and blew the horn, obviously the horse spooked and hurted off for a good few yards before I got him settled ,as I looked down at the monitor it read 300,and he was calming by then. Us humans don't have much of a heart range eh? 30 to 300.
    Wow. I went to look for similar data, and it's there. That's amazing. Makes sense, too, since his body is such a huge "engine" and needs more oxygen than ours.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Wow. I went to look for similar data, and it's there. That's amazing. Makes sense, too, since his body is such a huge "engine" and needs more oxygen than ours.
    If you look at their pysiology, it's just designed to run,and fast. When the horse drives forward off its rear legs( they arn't four wheel dive as many people think )it's gut is left behind,and moves to the rear,this action "sucks" the lungs back ,at great speed ,it uses inertia to fill it's lungs,the faster it gallops the greater the force fillings it's lungs.
    Incidently, we used our horses heartrate at the end of an endurance event to indicate if he had any injuries, because horses are prey animals they "mask"injury to prevent predetors picking them out ,so you couldnt always tell if they had pulled muscles unless it was quite serious. If the heartrate stayed above normal for longer than 1/2 an hour ,he was feeling pain and something was wrong.

  12. #12
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    Thanks everybody for your responses. I have bought the buh-bump cream and hope for better HR readings. I do find it interesting that the conversation evolved into HR of horses....

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