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Lifespan of Garmin heart monitor

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Lifespan of Garmin heart monitor

Old 11-29-18, 04:11 PM
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Hypno Toad
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Lifespan of Garmin heart monitor

My Garmin chest strap heart monitor started getting flaky on recent rides, the reported heart rate doesn't match my Forerunner or my expected heart rate. This has been easier to notice when riding Zwift.

I changed the batteries in August, so it shouldn't be low batteries. Then I realized I've had the monitor since Aug 2013 (purchased with Edge 510) - I'd estimate nearly 2,000 hours of use. I don't expect these will last forever, thoughts?
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Old 11-29-18, 04:26 PM
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Batteries are cheap, try a new battery. And clean off the contacts in it that contact the battery first, maybe something like a plastic kitchen scouring pad on the contacts. I have a few devices that I find I need to clean the contacts in the device for best results.
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Old 11-29-18, 08:52 PM
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Iíve had the same problem and the battery wasnít the problem. Ended up buying a new chest strap and that fixed the problem.
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Old 11-30-18, 08:51 AM
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I'll give it a cleaning the contact and replace the battery. If the issues persists, I'll buy a new one ... not too much to spend if you can expect 5+ years and 200,000 hours. $33 for just the monitor - or $50 with the chest strap.
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Old 11-30-18, 07:48 PM
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Mine needs to be cleaned every 3-4 weeks. I take some laundry detergent in a Tupperware container put the strap in shake it up let it soak, repeat a few times the Rinse it out. Finishing my 3rd year with mine.

Last edited by Bmach; 12-14-18 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 12-01-18, 06:38 PM
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I was killing the Garmin HR soft straps every 6 months from my sweat. After I got a power meter I stopped riding with HR. I remember hearing that the rigid ones last a lot longer but they arenít as comfortable.
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Old 12-01-18, 06:56 PM
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I went through three Mio wristband HR monitors before I finally tapped out at bought the Garmin. I've had it ten months (600+ hours of use,) and it's been flawless. The Mios run anywhere from $60-80 ( I had two Links and a Velo) while the Garmin soft strap model is $43. If it lasts another two months, I'll feel like I got my money's worth. Anything beyond that is gravy. As far as maintenance, I just wear it into the shower once a week.

I'd say just buy a new one. A new soft strap is $29, and the whole thing is $43. As soon as mine starts acting weird, I'm just buying a fresh one.
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Old 12-01-18, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
I was killing the Garmin HR soft straps every 6 months from my sweat. After I got a power meter I stopped riding with HR. I remember hearing that the rigid ones last a lot longer but they arenít as comfortable.
I had the rigid one for at least half a decade before it finally kicked the bucket. The only other strap I've had for more than a year is the swim one, and I don't use it much. I've had two HRM-Runs die after less than a year, and the strap and transmitter aren't separate on that one.
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Old 12-01-18, 10:02 PM
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Iíve had to replace the strap approximately annually. Was using Polar straps as they worked better for me than Garmin, at least til the last one that lasted just a couple months. Three and one-half years in the transmitter unit itself died. I replaced that and it came with a new style Garmin strap that has been flawless for three months but now Iím occasionally seeing flakey readings again.
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Old 12-02-18, 09:45 AM
  #10  
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My wife bought an older style Garmin HRM that she seldom used and gave it to me. It lasted about a year before it started giving false readings. Replaced it with a Wahoo Tickr in 2013 or 2014. Still have the same unit same strap no problems. I use it 6 days a week wearing it between 3 to 5 hours/day. I know this thread is about a Garmin HRM but the Tickr is dual band and will work with any Ant+ HRM.
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Old 12-02-18, 04:14 PM
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I have the Garmin and it gives me trouble too. It is at least 5 years old and it came with a watch that my wife bought. Since I have a Wahoo Bolt, Kickr, and the other sensors, I'll probably buy the Tickr too when the time comes.
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Old 12-02-18, 09:12 PM
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Iíve used mine for about 5 hours a week for over 5 years and still going strong! Garmin soft strap ďpremiumĒ model. This includes uses in open water as well for tri (although it doesnít transmit the data until I get to the bike).
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Old 12-11-18, 06:34 PM
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After running the chest strap through the wash (delicate setting with mild soap), no more issues. Must have been dirtier than I thought. Time to keep racking up the miles on this one!
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Old 12-12-18, 01:16 AM
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I've read other threads on this topic, perhaps on other forums, and thought it might be worth a mention that I remember posts suggesting more than a few enjoyed success with eBay bought generic chest straps that had the clip on domes that worked with Garmin sender units.

These were purported to be significantly more budget friendly than the genuine Garmin strap.
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Old 12-20-18, 12:53 PM
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I have a Garmin HRM that has been running fine for a year - I only use it for 3 or 4 rides during the week, so maybe not as much use as some of the others here, but it has been excellent. I've changed the battery a couple of times already. Bought a generic strap from Amazon as a backup, but I haven't even needed it yet.

FWIW, I just purchased the Viiiiva HRM so I could use my Garmin Ant+ sensors with Zwift on an iPhone. I didn't need a new HRM, but I figured I could use the Viiiiva as a bridge and then coax my wife into using the Garmin when she goes riding with me. Anyhow, the chest straps are interchangeable! I like the Garmin strap better, and it's already sized for me, so I just switched out the head units. Works great.
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Old 12-20-18, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
My Garmin chest strap heart monitor started getting flaky on recent rides, the reported heart rate doesn't match my Forerunner or my expected heart rate. This has been easier to notice when riding Zwift.

I changed the batteries in August, so it shouldn't be low batteries. Then I realized I've had the monitor since Aug 2013 (purchased with Edge 510) - I'd estimate nearly 2,000 hours of use. I don't expect these will last forever, thoughts?
My first one (hard strap) lasted about a season and a half, and got a little buggy. 2nd one (soft strap) lasted about 2 seasons and got a little buggy. When the third one got buggy I bought a Wahoo Tickr.

FWIW, I ride roughly 400 hours a year, so I think a $50 HR monitor that lasts 600-800 hours without problems is a pretty good deal. Bought the Wahoo more because I wanted to monitor HRV than out of any disdain for Garmin.

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Old 12-26-18, 03:16 AM
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Just need to wash the strap once in a while and change the battery when needed. I haven't had one fail yet. I wash the strap by throwing it in the laundry bag with bibs about weekly. I once had one of the snap on parts not work after a battery change, let it sit without a battery in it for a couple days and then put a new battery in - viola, it worked and is still working 12 months later!
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Old 01-01-19, 12:16 PM
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I've had mine since before 2008. I've never washed it (am I supposed to?) and it works fine to this day. Am I just lucky?
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Old 01-01-19, 05:58 PM
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When un-buttoning the monitor from the Gamrin soft strap this afternoon, my fingernail scraped against the inside of the strap, and what come off was decidedly... green. And I was under the impression that I was maintaining mine fairly regularly. It immediately good a good soapy scrubbing in the sink.
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Old 01-02-19, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
When un-buttoning the monitor from the Gamrin soft strap this afternoon, my fingernail scraped against the inside of the strap, and what come off was decidedly... green. And I was under the impression that I was maintaining mine fairly regularly. It immediately good a good soapy scrubbing in the sink.
icky!
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Old 01-02-19, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I've had mine since before 2008. I've never washed it (am I supposed to?) and it works fine to this day. Am I just lucky?
Do you ordinarily wash things you wear next to your skin while you engage in sweaty activities?
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Old 01-05-19, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Do you ordinarily wash things you wear next to your skin while you engage in sweaty activities?
Ha! Yep, I do. I'm a wear-it-once-then-wash guy.
I think, after reading this, that I must have a different strap. Mine is plastic, and the monitor doesn't snap on. So I just give it a wipe every now and then. I think actually washing in a machine would destroy it.
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Old 01-07-19, 06:02 AM
  #23  
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I too have the rigid one, and is @ five years old. Still no problems other than replacing the strap. I recently got a deal on Craig's list for a spare one with strap.
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Old 06-16-19, 07:42 PM
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Update: the HRM had been mostly better, but still reporting odd data from time-to-time. Like in the Royal (167-mile gravel grinder), I'd check the screen to see low heart rate while climbing. I could move the crest strap around and it'd read more realistic numbers for a while but start flaking out again.
Recently it stopped reporting data during rides. I dug around to find Lisa's old Fenix and tested my HRM with that chest strap ... Problem fixed!
It appears the crest strap was breaking down (delamining?). I'll post if anything else changes.

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 06-17-19 at 02:47 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-17-19, 12:59 PM
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I can only get about 4 years out of mine before the go bad. Just a tough life.
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