Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Tachycardia or HRM glitches?

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Tachycardia or HRM glitches?

Old 10-03-15, 07:17 PM
  #1  
MinnMan
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 2,752

Bikes: 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 469 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Tachycardia or HRM glitches?

I've had two recent experiences, quite similar to one another, with very high HR reading on my Garmin (Premium softstrap HRM, paired with an Edge 500) that I suspect are glitches, but.....

Both have occurred very early in my ride - in the first mile - with minimal exertion. In both cases, I looked down to see the HRM recording above my MHR (180 BPM). Today it was reading 182, the other time a couple of weeks ago, 189. Based on my perceived effort, I would have expected 110-130 BPM.

In both cases, I stopped as soon as practicable and took my pulse with my wristwatch and wrist pulse. These recorded something like 110 BPM (it's hard to be accurate in this way), but by the time I was able to do this, the Garmin too was reading low, reasonable values.

In both cases, I felt absolutely fine - no racing heart, no symptoms of exertion, nothing. Had I not been wearing my HRM, I would have had no inkling of a problem. But I have read that tachycardia can be otherwise asymptomatic.

In both cases, with cooler weather, I suspect that the HRM could have been malfunctioning (static electricity from my jersey? imperfect connection because I wasn't yet perspiring?

In one case, once I started up again, the HR climbed within less than a minute to about 160 BPM, which made little sense based on exertion. I stopped, the HR went down, my manual pulse seemed normal, and the rest of the ride I had normal reading. In the second case, I had normal readings the rest of the ride without the second coda.

But the readings weren't randomly wacky - again in both cases, when the HRM first coupled to the Edge, the HRs were normal, but as I pedaled they just went up really fast. And then when I stopped, they went down again, quite quickly. If it was just a HRM malfunction, would it behave in that particular way (e.g., mimicking my exertion, but with greatly exaggerated values)? And why were the spurious readings coincidentally be just above my normal actual MHR? The anecdotes I've heard about spurious HR readings have tended to be of the sort where the monitor went to 250 BPM for somebody who had a normal MHR (160, 180, etc.)

Anybody out there with similar experience with their HRMs (or with actual experience with tachycardia)?
MinnMan is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 07:25 PM
  #2  
fthomas
Fred E Fenders
 
fthomas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Again! Philippines & S. California
Posts: 1,453

Bikes: Jamis Aurora Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Maybe it is time to see a Cardiologist. At least eliminate all potential causes of the unusual readings.
__________________
F Thomas

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
fthomas is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 07:29 PM
  #3  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,750
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 895 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
Very common. I get it every ride these days commuting as the weather is dry and I'm wearing wool which isn't very tight. Worst case is when you're going fast down a hill near the start of your ride. Mine settles down after the first decent sized hill.

Next time it happens try riding with one hand and hold the other arm tight against your HR strap. If the HR drops after 10-20 seconds it's just static. Helps to wear a tight fitting jersey and some electrical contact gel if it bothers you. I record my HR but don't really look at it unless I'm going hard or after the ride.

edit: Typical Ride below. Note the high HR at the start until the hill.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
High HR.jpg (86.3 KB, 145 views)

Last edited by gregf83; 10-03-15 at 07:38 PM.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 07:29 PM
  #4  
TGT1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: SGV So Cal
Posts: 834

Bikes: 80's Schwinn High Plains, Motobecane Ti Cyclocross

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I had an HRM fail the same way.
It seemed to happen at first on low humidity days with a synthetic shirt, so it is probably caused by static electricity buildup.

When it died permanently I got a Wahoo. No problems with it so far,

I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that almost all of the HRM manufacturers use the same chip set so it's probably a function of strap design.

If it was Tachycardia you should have felt something.
TGT1 is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 07:31 PM
  #5  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,756
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1573 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 45 Posts
In the past I've frequently seen a Garmin Edge give wacky HR readings about a mile into the ride. I never found a reason for it, but it was always the same location near the city govt buildings, so I was thinking maybe there was a fire/police radio transmitter triggering it. My current 705 with latest firmware is not doing it.
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 07:35 PM
  #6  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,756
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1573 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by TGT1 View Post
If it was Tachycardia you should have felt something.
Not necessarily. In my EMT class a year ago, one of the students discovered he had tachycardia only when his training partner was getting a crazy high pulse on him, and the instructor tried to show her what she was doing wrong. The instructor discovered that really was his pulse, and sent him to the doctor.
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 08:25 PM
  #7  
GravelMN
Senior Member
 
GravelMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rural Minnesota
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When I had a bout of a-fib with a ventricular response (HR) over 160 at rest, all I felt was a mild "not well" feeling, as if I might be coming down with a cold. So not having symptoms does not rule out short runs of tachycardia.

That said, I have a Mio Alpha HRM and occasionally get wacky low or high readings for short periods. I was asymptomatic and when I checked my pulse it was within the expected range, so I learned to ignore brief aberrant readings.

Last edited by GravelMN; 10-03-15 at 08:31 PM.
GravelMN is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 08:44 PM
  #8  
MinnMan
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 2,752

Bikes: 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 469 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Very common. I get it every ride these days commuting as the weather is dry and I'm wearing wool which isn't very tight. Worst case is when you're going fast down a hill near the start of your ride. Mine settles down after the first decent sized hill.

Next time it happens try riding with one hand and hold the other arm tight against your HR strap. If the HR drops after 10-20 seconds it's just static. Helps to wear a tight fitting jersey and some electrical contact gel if it bothers you. I record my HR but don't really look at it unless I'm going hard or after the ride.

edit: Typical Ride below. Note the high HR at the start until the hill.
Yeah, that looks similar- the HR goes up and down where it should, but by way too much.

Guessing that that speed is kph. Either that or you're a Cat1/Pro.
MinnMan is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 08:47 PM
  #9  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 8,750
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 895 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Yeah, that looks similar- the HR goes up and down where it should, but by way too much.

Guessing that that speed is kph. Either that or you're a Cat1/Pro.
Yes kph. After the hill my HR is normal. I was riding fairly hard so it was higher than a normal commute.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 08:55 PM
  #10  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,756
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1573 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 45 Posts
This is from today. I don't know what happened, but the data looked normal when I loaded it into Strava. I'm pretty proud of this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
garmin.jpg (12.7 KB, 21 views)
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 08:59 PM
  #11  
MinnMan
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 2,752

Bikes: 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 469 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
This is from today. I don't know what happened, but the data looked normal when I loaded it into Strava. I'm pretty proud of this.
Give that man a professional contract! And a PED test.
MinnMan is offline  
Old 10-03-15, 09:15 PM
  #12  
hobkirk
Retired dabbler
 
hobkirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Acton, MA (20 miles west of Boston) - GORGEOUS cycling territory!
Posts: 770

Bikes: 2007 Specialized Roubaix Elite Triple - 1st ride = century 9/19/2010 , Ultegra

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My Garmin HRM is often completely wrong for the start of rides. I've seen readings around 250 and had an AHR of 170 for as long as 6 miles. I am trying polarized training, so almost all my rides are in easy rides (AHR under 128). During intervals my max HR is 155, so there's no way my AHR is ever 170!

Does this apply to you? I have no idea. I've been riding for 5 years, average about 4K per year, just turned 70, and I've paid attention to my HR since I started.
hobkirk is offline  
Old 10-04-15, 08:14 AM
  #13  
lphilpot
Saved by Grace
 
lphilpot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: The slow guy in the back
Posts: 740

Bikes: Only one at a time; currently a 2012 Specialized Tricross Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I discovered I was getting interference from my phone (on a handlebar mount). That caused strangeness across the board. I moved the meter to the top tube and it's accurate now. Do you carry a phone?
lphilpot is offline  
Old 10-04-15, 09:37 AM
  #14  
Slash5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 1,890
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've found similar early in a ride, especially when I have just put the strap on. Also see it a lot when I go down a long hill early in a ride.
Slash5 is online now  
Old 10-05-15, 06:35 AM
  #15  
StanSeven
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,085

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 584 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 29 Posts
You've got it exactly right. It's from static electricity from the jersey, the strap not making contact, insufficient moisture from your body which is easy in cool dry weather, or the step not be I got tight e nough. It's nothing to worry about.
StanSeven is offline  
Old 10-05-15, 08:01 AM
  #16  
qcpmsame 
Semper Fi
 
qcpmsame's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barrineau Park, Florida
Posts: 12,437

Bikes: '80 Medici Pro Strada, '86 Tommasini Prestige, '12 CAAD 10 Ultegra

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 982 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
There was a pretty detailed thread, last spring, I believe, that discussed the glitches with the straps for HRMs. Do a search for that one, there were some links to a mfgr. web page addressing this problem. I seem to remember that there was a source for better straps, and for some home brewed fixes.

Bill
__________________
I Didn't Choose To Have Parkinson's Disease, I Have Chosen Not To Allow It To Define How I Live
Life Member "Hairy Eared Engineer's Society"
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ, Whom Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13
qcpmsame is offline  
Old 10-06-15, 01:53 PM
  #17  
ColaJacket
Senior Member
 
ColaJacket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,897

Bikes: Fuji Sportif 1.3 C - 2014

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
There was a pretty detailed thread, last spring, I believe, that discussed the glitches with the straps for HRMs. Do a search for that one, there were some links to a mfgr. web page addressing this problem. I seem to remember that there was a source for better straps, and for some home brewed fixes.

Bill
I think I read that thread. IIRC, the cheap garmin strap had the fewest glitches.

GH
ColaJacket is offline  
Old 10-06-15, 04:36 PM
  #18  
jimincalif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Lake Forest, CA
Posts: 2,035

Bikes: '96 Trek 850, '08 Specialized Roubaix Comp, '18 Niner RLT RDO

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 492 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 31 Times in 14 Posts
Get the Polar HRM strap and snap your Garmin HRM to it, throw the Garmin strap away.

My Garmin strap would more often than not show zero, or it would read 1/2, 1/3 or 2x my heart rate, it was all over the place, never consistent, and no amount of repositioning, it, washing it, or sweating with it on would fix it. It showed me with 47 bpm climbing a 6% hill for 7 miles, it showed me at 185 pedaling along comfortably on flat ground.

Since I got the Polar strap I've had rock solid readings.

http://www.amazon.com/Polar-Soft-Str...t+rate+monitor
jimincalif is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
cyclinfool
Fifty Plus (50+)
7
07-09-13 04:51 PM
ilmooz
Advocacy & Safety
13
06-19-08 06:24 AM
TreeUnit
Living Car Free
27
07-11-07 07:29 AM
Rob_PDX
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
33
09-27-05 08:44 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.