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  1. #1
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    heart rate monitors

    hey, i was thinking of training for a tri and using a HRM to help me. i want something simple. it has to be waterproof, shows current HR and average HR. and maybe a lowest and highest. i looked all over www.polarusa.com and it seems like only one of them is waterproof and that one is a few hundred dollars over my budget. anything under 150$ would be idea. i dont know of any brand thats good, so i was wondering what you guys would recommend. my biggest concern is having a waterproof one and it shows average and current HR, so anything else is considered extra. thanks!

  2. #2
    TriBob
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    I wouldn't worry about a water proof one. They have trouble staying on in the pool anyway. You can get good ones for about $75.

  3. #3
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    ahh, i didnt know that. thanks.

    should i just get the Polar A3 then? or is that too crappy and should get the A5?

  4. #4
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    actually.. now that i really think about it, i would stilll like a waterproof HRM that can tell time. so i can just have one watch for everything, and if i wanted to time my laps/sprints or do interval training in the water (not worrying about HR). i would like to just use one watch for everything, instead of having to get another watch to tell time, when i go swim, etc etc etc..

  5. #5
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    i used to use the A3 from polar. don't worry about it, i'm pretty sure they're all waterproof. at least for swimming! you probably shouldn't go scubadiving with them but for swimming the A3 worked "fine".

    however, from my experience hrm function sucks in water! it is anything but accurate! i moved on to a really exepensive model, but hrm function in the water is really useless....

  6. #6
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    My Polar m21 is water resistant to 30m. I've worn it in the pool (for the same purpose you stated) and it was fine. I think the current version of this is the m32 and you can get it for just over $100. I like this one because it also gives you the calories that you burned and the time that you spent in your target zone.

  7. #7
    Industrial Strength BS hoodlum's Avatar
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    I have the A5 and haven't had any problems with it. I was in the same boat as you, looking for something simple and low cost. I'm not sure if it is waterproof, but I worn it in the rain and it's gotten soaked other times and has always worked fine.

  8. #8
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    i was looking around the web and most of the polar ones are waterproof. but i also found this one: http://www.heartratemonitorsusa.com/...ekho-E-10.html its called the Ekho E-10. it has current HR and the time. and its $35.99 (shipping included) so for 36$ i think its a good deal. but i dont know if its realible. i dont want it to break on me after a month of use. and it say it has "Current Heart Rate ECG Accurate" and "The E-10 is
    designed to interface with heart rate interactive exercise equipment in health clubs". what does that mean? does that mean i have to be on an certain machine in order for it to work? help please

  9. #9
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    don't worry about it.

    "designed to interface with heart rate interactive exercise equipment in health clubs"
    simply means that you can use it on most treadmills.
    treadmills or stairmasters or other machines at the gym are "polar ready". that simply means that they can pick up on the signal from the connector and display it on the machine and thereby interactively work with your heart rate (say you programm the machine for a workout with a steady 130 bpm pulse)

  10. #10
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    thanks! im going to place an order as soon as im done christmas shopping

  11. #11
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    Guys,

    Don't want to seem too dense, but really, what's the point of the monitors? I don't have a perfect understanding of all my body's condition during a run, a swim or a ride, but after doing this stuff for many years I can come close to giving a good estimate. I go as hard as I can go for as long as I can go. Push against the limit and take personal inventory periodically during the event. How will a monitor help a reasonably accomplished athlete in any realistic manner?

    Tyson

  12. #12
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    That's an interesting question, and I am sure you will get a range of different answers. For me the HRM is a great way to see if I am getting fitter or not, especially after having time off the bike. As you probably know some days the ride feels easier and some days it feels harder, even though the time doing the ride is exactly the same. The HRM gives me an exact indication as to why it feels one way or the other. Example: When I am fit and ride to work it takes close to 90minutes, when I am unfit it still takes 90 minutes but my AVE. HR is up to 30bpm higher. Yet I may not notice any physical difference in my level of exertion. The HRM shows that even though it took the same time, I was clearly working harder. Over time as my fitness comes back, I can ride the 90 minutes with an increasingly lower HR, up to 30bpm lower. Does it help my training? I think it does, because I can visually see my HR isn't as high, and therefore I know my fitness is coming into form. I find it helps explain why some days feel harder than others. I have ridden for 9 years without a HRM, but I don't leave home without it now.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  13. #13
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    Tyson. Up until my birthday this year I thought the same thing as you. I made fun of one of my buddies because he always had technology out the wazoo whenever he worked out. So he got even with me and bought me a Polar HRM as a gift. Here's the deal...

    There are days that you want to go all out, there are days that you just want to log some miles and go easy. The HRM helps you stay within your desired zone by flashing or beeping at you when you get outside your limits (say 135-156). That way you can know if you're slacking or working too hard for that current workout's goals.

    Specifically on the bike, you can learn about your exertion levels in different gears with different cadences (I never had a cadence monitor until Sept of this year...now I'm a tech geek too). I found this to be very beneficial in my last race of the season because I could get into the proper level of exertion on the bike that wouldn't wipe me out for the run.

    By the way, my HRM also gives me a total calories burned and % from fat...it's kind of a nice feature.

    So do you NEED all of this stuff? Probably not but you may be surprised how much it helps.

  14. #14
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    Dutch and CJ,

    Thanks to both of you for your responses.

    Dutch, on your ride to work, I don't understand why it takes 90 minutes each time. On the days it seems easy presumably your BPM is down. Why don't you get your BPM back up and make the ride in say 86 minutes or so? Isn't the idea in part to get the BPM up and keep it there rather than letting it slow down past a certain point? (You can see I don't grasp certain fundamental of physiology.) On days when things seem easy to me, I just say heck, I'm not working hard enough and push the level up until I'm miserable again. On the other hand, somedays that state comes as soon as I'm out the door. On such ugly days, I work just as hard (and presumably the BPM would show that) but I just don't get there as quickly.

    CJ, I like your notion about seeing what your body does in certain gears at certain speeds and up grades. I haven't been a competitive biker for long and am still learning how to push my old Peugeot U08 as fast as possible. It is only a ten speed so that at least I don't have to fret over too many options. Nonetheless, I'm still learning how to get up hills. Sitting in the saddle versus standing, spinning versus powering up might all reveal something through the HRM. First, I'd better get a speedo and a cadence monitor as well.

    To both of you and the other knowledgable posters, THANKS for making this a nice forum.

    Tyson

  15. #15
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    TysonB, In general I only push really hard one day per week, and save my energy for Saturdays races. The reason I cruise and take 90 minutes is because it's all up hill for the first hour (450m/1476f), and on an easy day when I'm fit my HR average is 71% (145bpm). When I'm unfit it averages 80% (162bpm) the whole ride. So even if I take it easy my HR is working pretty steady. When I'm really fit I can do it in 80 minutes, and my HR is about 165bpm average. However I rarely push that hard as I start my ride at 6.40am, and am not usually motivated to go any faster at that time of the day.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  16. #16
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    And PLEASE do everyone a favor and get some jammers (long shorts) from Speedo or Tyr instead of the "banana hammock". That is...if you're in the US. The "weenie bikini" seems to be an OK option in Europe but most people who wear them around here look pretty silly
    Last edited by cjbruin; 12-10-04 at 12:26 PM.

  17. #17
    Ride On!! PanPanX's Avatar
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    i was thinking of just wearing a gstring. and cut the padding off my regular bike shorts, and sew it on the seat so its there when i jump on. plus the tan lines are horrible with those pants.

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