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Strava and HRM's

Old 12-30-19, 12:02 PM
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Badbird2000
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Strava and HRM's

So, this past weekend was abnormally warm for east Tennessee, and I was able to get out for two quick rides. I recently purchased a used Litespeed, after being away from cycling for 10 years. I have downloaded the Strava app on my phone, and was using that to record my mileage and distance, and how slow I am riding, lol. I am still in the process of acquiring fun stuff for the bike, but was curious about heart rate monitors that can link up with Strava. I used to wear a Polaris unit that had the chest strap and a wrist watch, so to speak. I have no idea where it is anymore, but would like to use something I could link with my phone (Galaxy Note 9). I have on my list a Cateye Strada cyclecomputer that tracks cadence. I really wasn't looking for much more than that (options and $$$). What kind of HRM do you use?

Btw, I grew up riding in Florida. East Tennessee, every direction from my house is uphill, lol..definitely not in Florida anymore.
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Old 12-31-19, 01:47 AM
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Strava's app won't work with sensors (including HRM) anymore. You need another app or device to record the data and then send it to Strava if you want them to have it.
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Old 12-31-19, 11:47 AM
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Ok, good to know! Thanks!
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Old 12-31-19, 12:32 PM
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For a couple of years I've been using Wahoo Fitness, a free app that's more reliable than Strava's app and less resource intensive. Occasionally I'll run both just to compare results. But Strava glitches too often for recording rides, losing entire logs. Wahoo Fitness has failed only once or twice in a couple of years.

After a ride or workout, I'll transfer the data from Wahoo Fitness to Strava. Easy, takes only a few seconds. Strava is pretty good for analyzing data.

And, yup, Strava no longer supports sensors. So there's no good reason to log rides directly to Strava now. I'd be surprised if they continue to develop and support the app, unless they plan to revamp it completely to support sensors. But Strava has always been opaque and unresponsive to customers so who knows.

I use a Wahoo Tickr for heart rate. It's Bluetooth, compatible with most smartphones and bike computers. Works with my old iPhone and newer Android phone, both using Wahoo Fitness. It's been reliable throughout six months of use several times a week. Occasionally the elastic strap slips a little. It needs to be washed occasionally. Body oils and sweat can make it feel less elastic. I just toss the strap, minus the sensor, into the same bucket or sink with whatever cycling clothing I'm handwashing. Laundry detergent free of softeners, dyes, perfumes, etc., are generally recommended for cycling apparel so I use the same stuff to wash the Tickr strap. So far, so good.

I also have an older Wahoo sensor pack that included an ANT+ adapter in a protective case for the old iPhone 4(s). It included a speed and cadence sensor, wired together and mounted on the left chainstay, with magnets attached to a wheel and another to the inside of the crank arm. These are ANT+ only and incompatible with my Android phone which has Bluetooth only.

Turns out there are magnetless dual-use induction sensors now that can be set to speed or cadence modes. I don't keep up much with electronics so this was new to me. I got one by XOSS a week or so ago. Works fine in Bluetooth mode with my Android phone. Seems to be about as reliable as the ANT+ magnet sensors on my other bike -- IOW, both have occasional glitches in speed and cadence, but are generally reliable overall. I just ignore the spikes that claim I was spinning at 240 rpm, or traveling 50+ mph on a climb. Strava is pretty good at minimizing the effects of those glitches so they don't significantly affect our overall stats for a ride.

There are a few other makers of these more or less generic speed/cadence sensors, for around $10-$20 each. I'll probably get a second XOSS sensor. The first one is serving as a cadence sensor now.

BTW, XOSS claims their speed/cadence sensors are compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+. I need to try it with my old iPhone and Wahoo ANT+ adapter to check that claim. Some users of these generic speed/cadence sensors say occasionally they'll get glitches with Bluetooth not wanting to record the same sensor types on both the crank arm for cadence and wheel hub for speed. There are some differences in security and compatibility between ANT+ and Bluetooth, already covered extensively online in various tech magazine articles.
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Old 12-31-19, 03:57 PM
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I use a Garmin watch. It records cycling, works with my power meter, does turn by turn navigation, etc. It's also useful skiing, hiking, running, swimming, kayaking, and for knowing what time it is.

I send some data to Strava, but not much. I really don't find much value in their platform.
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Old 01-01-20, 02:28 PM
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Outside of the Wahoo Fitness app (as mentioned, 100% free and fully functional) most of the other apps that you find for cycling will force you to go with their premium upgrade in order to use external sensors like HRM, speed and cadence. If you are looking for a HRM unit that will work with your phone, look at the Wahoo Tickr or the Polar HRM units. They use both Bluetooth and Ant+ technology. If you decide to go with a premium subscription to a cycling phone app, look at Cyclemeter. Most of the other apps charge a $6.00 to $10.00 a month subscription whereas Cyclemeter charges a $9.95 annual subscription. It's also much better for stats than many of the other cycling apps that I've seen.
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Old 01-01-20, 04:18 PM
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Ditto, Cyclemeter. I used the premium version for a year in 2017 or 2018 and it was very good with my old iPhone 4s. Lots of customizable features and voice notifications.

The only reason I didn't renew was because my own data was inaccessible after I let the subscription lapse. That irritated me.

But I kinda miss some of the features so I might renew Cyclemeter this year. The yearly premium fee is very reasonable.

And don't judge Cyclemeter on the free trial version. It's so badly crippled and flooded with ads that it actually undermines the app. Dumbest thing they ever did was release a trial version that's not only useless but also incredibly annoying. As with the Dark Sky hyperlocal weather app, only full paid version really shows users what the apps are capable of.
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Old 01-02-20, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Badbird2000 View Post
So, this past weekend was abnormally warm for east Tennessee, and I was able to get out for two quick rides. I recently purchased a used Litespeed, after being away from cycling for 10 years. I have downloaded the Strava app on my phone, and was using that to record my mileage and distance, and how slow I am riding, lol. I am still in the process of acquiring fun stuff for the bike, but was curious about heart rate monitors that can link up with Strava. I used to wear a Polaris unit that had the chest strap and a wrist watch, so to speak. I have no idea where it is anymore, but would like to use something I could link with my phone (Galaxy Note 9). I have on my list a Cateye Strada cyclecomputer that tracks cadence. I really wasn't looking for much more than that (options and $$$). What kind of HRM do you use?

Btw, I grew up riding in Florida. East Tennessee, every direction from my house is uphill, lol..definitely not in Florida anymore.
Ride with GPS supports bluetooth devices including bluetooth heart rate sensors. Excellent app and great for mapping routes. Also, a premium account will give you turn by turn directions, both spoken and on screen
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Old 01-04-20, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The only reason I didn't renew was because my own data was inaccessible after I let the subscription lapse. That irritated me.
The reason you couldn't access your data after the subscription expired is because the Free version only allows access to a limited number of workouts. It used to be 10 but I'm not sure what the limit is currently. The data is kept in a local database so that you don't need any kind of cellular or WiFi connection to access it. Your ride data is still in the database but the queries that extracts the data are different with the free version. As soon as you renew your subscription, all your old data will be displayed.
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Old 01-05-20, 12:21 AM
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Garmin makes their money selling hardware (mostly). They give the software away, but it's only useful if you've bought the hardware.
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Old 01-06-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by .mockingbird. View Post
One of the more popular apps,Garmin Connect, does not require a premium upgrade to capture HR, speed, or cadence data.
As Seattle Forrest mentioned, the Garmin Connect app is not a standalone app and requires an Ant+ or BTLE computer and sensors in order to get the data to it. It's the same with the Wahoo Elemnt Companion app. You see all the stats and route maps in the app but only after it has synched with the computer.
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Old 01-08-20, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by .mockingbird. View Post
As a longtime Garmin user I'm quite familiar with how they work...

What struck me as odd about your comment was the claim that a premium upgrade is required "most of the other apps that you find for cycling will force you to go with their premium upgrade in order to use external sensors like HRM, speed and cadence." which is simply not true with the arguably largest app ecosytem in the GPS space.
Garmin Connect is not a cycling app, in the sense that you can't start/stop a ride and keep track of what you've done without it being connected to a bike computer. It, like the Wahoo Companion app, is a repository app that holds and displays stats on rides created by your bike computer after the ride has ended. The sensor data comes from the bike computer after being synched. My wife uses Garmin Connect for her VivoSport watch. To display any data of her rides or walks, it has to be synched with the watch first. The cycling APPS I'm referring to are apps such as Cyclemeter, Endomondo, RWGPS, MapMyRide, iRide, etc.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Garmin Connect is not a cycling app, in the sense that you can't start/stop a ride and keep track of what you've done without it being connected to a bike computer. It, like the Wahoo Companion app, is a repository app that holds and displays stats on rides created by your bike computer after the ride has ended. The sensor data comes from the bike computer after being synched. My wife uses Garmin Connect for her VivoSport watch. To display any data of her rides or walks, it has to be synched with the watch first. The cycling APPS I'm referring to are apps such as Cyclemeter, Endomondo, RWGPS, MapMyRide, iRide, etc.
When people in this thread mention the Wahoo app, they're not talking about the Wahoo Element Companion app, they're talking about the Wahoo Fitness app, which does let you start/stop/etc. It exports to all sorts of services and is free.
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Old 01-10-20, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Alphamoose View Post
When people in this thread mention the Wahoo app, they're not talking about the Wahoo Element Companion app, they're talking about the Wahoo Fitness app, which does let you start/stop/etc. It exports to all sorts of services and is free.
Yes, I know! Please read my initial post (#6) where I recommended the Wahoo Fitness app and mentioned just that. Also, in the post you quoted, I also stated, It, like the Wahoo Companion app, is a repository app that holds and displays stats on rides created by your bike computer...., putting the Wahoo Companion app and Garmin Connect in the same category.
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