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Looking for advice on a personal fitness tracker and something on the bike.

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Looking for advice on a personal fitness tracker and something on the bike.

Old 04-04-16, 12:41 AM
  #1  
Paul 1052
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Looking for advice on a personal fitness tracker and something on the bike.

Last year i finally started riding again after 10 years off got serious (at least to me) and was riding at least 17 miles 5 to 7 days a week with a cheap speedo to track my mileage and avg speed which was good enough then.
This year I want to get better on it watching heart rate, calories burned, etc, also steps at work and I'm curious about a sleep tracker, I also want to get something for the bike so that I can work on cadence that's hopefully in a trip computer.

So far my first choice to wear is a Garmin Vivosmart HR and second is a Fitbit Charge HR, I'm pretty much doing this on my own so I'm not all that worried about networking with others.
For the kit for the bike I'm still open and not looking to ask my LBS yet since they'll push what they stock not necessarily what I may need.

And yes I have used the search function that was helpful to a point.

TIA all.
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Old 04-04-16, 05:34 AM
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cyclist2000
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I use a Wahoo HR monitor with speed and cadence sensor, this uses a smart phone as the central piece of the system.

I also use a fitbit flex for the steps and other stuff

Last edited by cyclist2000; 04-04-16 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 04-04-16, 07:18 AM
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kevindsingleton 
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I have a Fitbit Charge HR. I'm not aware that it will interface with any bike computers or Ant+ sensors. It's pretty much a step counter and HR monitor. The sleep monitoring is limited to whether you are sleeping, "restless", or awake, and is not really accurate. There are plenty of times that I've been awake (either because the dogs had to go chase the sasquatch, or I got called for work), and the Charge HR didn't realize I was up and about. The device calculates your steps, distance, and calories burned based on its own tables and your input of height and weight. It does not account for your current fitness level, measured stride length, or actual intensity. I've also had some problems which Fitbit eventually resolved by replacing the device. Their tech support was not very helpful with addressing the actual issue, and it took a couple of weeks of back-and-forth emailing to get anything done.
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Old 04-04-16, 10:20 AM
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Garmin 520 edge ,ordered mine be here wed
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Old 04-04-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul 1052 View Post
So far my first choice to wear is a Garmin Vivosmart HR and second is a Fitbit Charge HR, I'm pretty much doing this on my own so I'm not all that worried about networking with others.
No contest, go with the Garmin.

My girlfriend returned her Fitbit Charge HR because she found it lacking in several ways. The HR isn't terribly accurate or responsive (it's a moving average). While the 24/7 recording is neat, it's really not very good for exercise and it records at a pretty low granularity, so she'd get up near hr max HR at times going up the mountain, but the chart after the fact doesn't show it. It's not very useful for cycling. Not waterproof. The strap gave her a rash.
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Old 04-04-16, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul 1052 View Post
This year I want to get better on it watching heart rate, calories burned, etc, also steps at work and I'm curious about a sleep tracker, I also want to get something for the bike so that I can work on cadence that's hopefully in a trip computer.
Originally Posted by mrfreezesdefy3 View Post
Garmin 520 edge ,ordered mine be here wed
How do you get the 520 to tell you how much you walk and sleep?
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Old 04-04-16, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
How do you get the 520 to tell you how much you walk and sleep?
You can start/stop activities and sort them out on Strava or Garmin Connect
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Old 04-05-16, 06:03 AM
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Paul 1052
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
I use a Wahoo HR monitor with speed and cadence sensor, this uses a smart phone as the central piece of the system.

I also use a fitbit flex for the steps and other stuff
Thanks I'll look into that, since posting this I got a popup for a Garmin with a heartrate and cadence sensor for a bit more.
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Old 04-05-16, 04:19 PM
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I also have a fitbit charge HR. The HR is accurate, if the device is tight against your skin. It also must be ABOVE your wristbone (further up on your arm). I always wear mine above my watch on that wrist, so it's in an optimal position almost always. My fitbit charts mirror my garmin charts when I wear both at the same time, albeit the fitbit data is noisier. (I have a garmin running watch with a HR strap which I'm assuming is accurate.) The sleep tracking is less than stellar. The feature I like the most is the "resting" heart rate. It's nice to watch that go down over time when you get in better shape.

I really just got it to make sure I'm being active enough and getting at least 10,000 steps every day. Plus it's nice to see a HR graph for the entire day. (Something the garmin doesn't do.) Oh, I also LOVE the vibrating alarm in the morning. So much nicer to wake up to than an alarm clock/phone. And I love the vibration when someone calls you. That's ESPECIALLY nice when you're riding and you can't really feel your phone vibrate.

But honestly, if the garmin does sleep tracking better, I'd go with it. I've had quite a bit of trouble with my fitbit in terms of syncing to my phone. It takes AGES to sync, sometimes dropping the sync altogether. I turned off "all day sync" so the battery lasts longer, but for me it probably doesn't matter because I charge it for 10-15 minutes every day while I'm in the shower. (It doesn't need to be charged that much, but it keeps the battery in a constant 50% state +- 20%.)

The fitbit DOES to a good job of picking up on activities that I'm doing. It picks up when I'm commuting on my bike, it'll pick up when I go running and forget to start the stopwatch on it. It's pretty accurate when it does that as well. (Surprisingly.)

Pick what you want to use it for most, then buy the corresponding one from here.
Best fitness trackers 2016: Jawbone, Misfit, Fitbit, Garmin and more

Fitbit charge HR on top, garmin 910XT with Hr strap on bottom. I'd say it does pretty well for a "less than optimal" HR monitoring location. With that said, the comparison of HR for running is slightly worse because the fitbit has a bit of a hard time reading when the arm is swinging back and forth so much.
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Last edited by corrado33; 04-05-16 at 04:38 PM.
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