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Heart Rate Monitors choice

Old 04-06-24, 10:12 AM
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Heart Rate Monitors choice

I have always used Garmin watches and GPS stuff. I like my 935 and my 645 music. However I never have any luck with there heart rate straps. I manage to get sometimes 2 years out of them and they go bad. I recently got one and it now is bad and about 6 months old bad. I tried all the tricks and contacted Garmin for replacement. However I use gel on them to start my cycling or running. Garmin does no recommend that and therefore will not replace under warranty.

Should I give up and get Polar are they better? I know many cyclists use them and runners so I am asking for advice. Garmin is cheaper by some $20-30 compared to the Polar 10 which seems to be the best on they have.
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Old 04-06-24, 11:30 AM
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I think you just have to try and find out what works best for you. I use Garmin straps and have never failed to get less than 5 years out of them. I don't do anything special, other than rinse it off after every ride. Occasionally I remove the pod and make sure the snaps aren't building up any crud or corrosion.

But many people claim they get better use from Polar and Wahoo. So pick one and see. At worst you get the same results you did from your Garmin straps.
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Old 04-06-24, 12:44 PM
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It's an activity heart rate monitor...aren't they pretty much a commodity at this point? What does one do that other can't do?

I bought one on Amazon called 'Moofit' for $20 and its worked fine for a year now. I expect it will continue to work fine for another year.
I don't like to buy cheap and replace often, but if the expensive stuff also doesn't last a long time, what's the upside to paying more?
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Old 04-06-24, 12:48 PM
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The info you seek will be here. Best place for honest reviews. I use Polar simply because their products work well. I also like their training app. I've managed to stay away from the Garminverse.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/
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Old 04-06-24, 03:46 PM
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I've had pretty good luck with my garmin straps, did have one die on me once, but I also have one that I bought about 10 years ago, that I use as a back up, but I think the biggest fail point could be when you have to replace the battery, if the gasket is worn or shifted and water\sweat gets in, it can degrade the system. Still amazes me they have not moved to a sealed system yet and rechargeable system. There are several you can find that are rechargeable for fairly low cost, that I am looking into, there is also the arm style that my wife uses that I picked up on Amazon for maybe $25. Rechargeable and when I did a side my side test, it gave me the same results as my Garmin chest strap, so I would even consider moving over to it as well. I had an old Wahoo chest strap that came as a combo with my original Elemnt head unit and it failed on me within a couple of weeks, but the replacement they sent me was flawless for years. In the long run, if this Garmin strap dies, I will not replace it with a Garmin, too many options that work just a good for a fraction of the cost.

Edit: This is the HR Monitor I got my wife... She hates chest straps.
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Old 04-06-24, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
It's an activity heart rate monitor...aren't they pretty much a commodity at this point? What does one do that other can't do?

I bought one on Amazon called 'Moofit' for $20 and its worked fine for a year now. I expect it will continue to work fine for another year.
I don't like to buy cheap and replace often, but if the expensive stuff also doesn't last a long time, what's the upside to paying more?
When my Garmin HRM died, I bought a cheapie no-name HRM from Amazon for about 30 bucks. Works fine. There’s nothing complicated about the technology, so no need to spend $100 or more.
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Old 04-06-24, 04:29 PM
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I like the Coospo from Amazon (~$28):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R8741CN...t_details&th=1

I just replaced my first one at 5 years old. The reason was I wore out the snap on the unit. I always unsnap one side as this makes the battery last much longer year+ vs 6 weeks if I don't. Thing was, I always unsnapped the same side and wore the one side out. I'm now making a point to alternate and presumably the snaps will take even longer to wear.
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Old 04-06-24, 05:52 PM
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stop using gel.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
stop using gel.
My wife is a labor and delivery nurse and she brought me home a container of the ultrasound gel once, it's never caused me an issue in 10 years.

This stuff, just a very small dab works like a champ.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr
My wife is a labor and delivery nurse and she brought me home a container of the ultrasound gel once, it's never caused me an issue in 10 years.

This stuff, just a very small dab works like a champ.
I'm thinking the OP isn't using that grade of stuff. Most slather on the OTC petroleum jelly & keep on applying without cleaning off the old stuff thoroughly. A long time ago when I went to a gym, a guy put vicks vapo rub on the sensor before each use.... unique fella.
The hrt monitor's I've ever used didn't benefit from an additional product, & have lasted for years with a simple charge after use.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
I'm thinking the OP isn't using that grade of stuff. Most slather on the OTC petroleum jelly & keep on applying without cleaning off the old stuff thoroughly. A long time ago when I went to a gym, a guy put vicks vapo rub on the sensor before each use.... unique fella.
The hrt monitor's I've ever used didn't benefit from an additional product, & have lasted for years with a simple charge after use.

Ahhhh... yea did not think of that. Yea I had a polar HR a long time ago and unless you soaked the crap out of it, it would lose connection until you were super sweaty... which is when I started using some sort of this gel and just got used to it. I think that was back in the day where the straps more of a hard plastic across the chest versus what they are today, which are much more pliable.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:58 PM
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Bought one of these which pairs with my Garmin and has been faultless for two years - I use spit on the contacts and rinse with soap after a ride or trainer session.
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Old 04-06-24, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Bought one of these which pairs with my Garmin and has been faultless for two years - I use spit on the contacts and rinse with soap after a ride or trainer session.
when i had erratic/poor readout from a chest strap that I knew had a good charge/battery, I'd briefly position the sensor as close as possible to my left arm pit area. It always helped in my case... The theory was that the slightly "moist" body heat from that area would warm up the sensor & help coach a better signal.
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Old 04-06-24, 07:10 PM
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I wear a Scosche Rhythm+, a hand-me-down Orange Theory one from when my wife joined with her friend for a couple of months, on the side of my upper arm, even though all the product photos show people wearing it on their forearms. Are they really that much less accurate than the chest straps?
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Old 04-06-24, 07:51 PM
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My old Garmin chest strap died after some years, and the strap was really losing it's usual stretch. I had to wet the contacts when I put it on, to get the readings started.
I got a Wahoo, which lasted about 2 years, I think.

The Polar H10 I got a couple of years ago is quite nice. It starts reading within 5-10 seconds of clicking on the strap buckle, no wetting or sweaty skin needed. I haven't seen any of the "220 bpm" static charged flapping jersey false readings that my older straps used to get occasionally. I like it. The sensor pads are smooth and dense, good. The sensor pod clicks into two metal snap connectors on the strap, and I unclip one side when I'm done with the session, which I think helps save the battery when it's not in use.

The H10 uses a CR2025 battery, which is kind of annoying. (I think some users have had success with common CR2032, which are just slightly thicker.) The battery cover pops off easily with a dime as a lever on the tab. Then I need a tiny screwdriver tip to pry the battery out of the cover, but that's not difficult. I like the "press down with two thumbs to secure the cover" method, instead of the usual "turn it 1/8 turn but don't cross thread it". The batteries have lasted many months for me.

I do wonder about the strap length. I have a fairly narrow chest, but the strap adjustment is already within 1.5 inches of the end of the strap. How big a chest does this strap fit?

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Old 04-06-24, 08:06 PM
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My original Garmin chest strap model petered out (sorry Peters) after two years. (The strap also stretched way out and was constantly adjusting it - which was a drag) Couldn’t justify the Garmin price for only a two year span, so found ThinkRider for a bargain. It pairs with Wahoo and Strava besides Garmin.

$10 from AliExpress compared to a $60 Polar.
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Old 04-06-24, 08:24 PM
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HR, speed, cadence sensor are something I see no point in spending actual money on when the cheapo ones work just fine. I've been rocking a coospo HR for years with no issues other than dropping one while crossing river. The only issues I've had with my cheapest I can find speed/cadence sensors is the o-rings they ship with are garbage and tend to break so I just use better o-rings. They even shipped with extra 2032 batteries worth more than I paid for the sensors if I bought brand name batteries.
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Old 04-07-24, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I wear a Scosche Rhythm+, a hand-me-down Orange Theory one from when my wife joined with her friend for a couple of months, on the side of my upper arm, even though all the product photos show people wearing it on their forearms. Are they really that much less accurate than the chest straps?
Mine is as good as any electrical monitor I’ve used and doesn’t give me dermatitis on my chest the way every one of them did.
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Old 04-07-24, 07:29 AM
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That's one of the few times when I might consider an Aliepxress product. No downside, other than losing 10 bucks. Tires: no. Frame: no. HR monitor? Why not?
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Old 04-07-24, 02:10 PM
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Well I decided to get Polar HR9 and it paired with my garmins faster for sure. It seems to be a better strap too. The garmin was crazy to adjust and while the technology is all about the same I give this Polar a try. They too at Polar do not recommend any gel it seems to cause issues with deterioration of strap. The battery change is also far better. My garmin strap had a special screw driver and 4 small screws to change battery. THe cheap plastic over time would break on the screw holes and not hold in the battery. So are without using this Polar is much preferred.
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Old 04-07-24, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark
Well I decided to get Polar HR9 and it paired with my garmins faster for sure. It seems to be a better strap too. The garmin was crazy to adjust and while the technology is all about the same I give this Polar a try. They too at Polar do not recommend any gel it seems to cause issues with deterioration of strap. The battery change is also far better. My garmin strap had a special screw driver and 4 small screws to change battery. THe cheap plastic over time would break on the screw holes and not hold in the battery. So are without using this Polar is much preferred.
Just as a reference, what gel were you using.
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Old 04-07-24, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr
Just as a reference, what gel were you using.
I bought Spectrum 360 Gel. Frankly I have used it for years on prior Garmin straps that last at least 1 year sometimes longer. But this last Garmin was 6 months so no Garmin straps and no gel. I got the Polar today and it says not to use Gel either?
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Old 04-07-24, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Canker
HR, speed, cadence sensor are something I see no point in spending actual money on when the cheapo ones work just fine. I've been rocking a coospo HR for years with no issues other than dropping one while crossing river. The only issues I've had with my cheapest I can find speed/cadence sensors is the o-rings they ship with are garbage and tend to break so I just use better o-rings. They even shipped with extra 2032 batteries worth more than I paid for the sensors if I bought brand name batteries.
I have coospo cadence and speed sensors as well. They work fine have not had the o-ring issue but it’s good to know they can be upgraded at Lowe’s.
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Old 04-07-24, 07:55 PM
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FWIW; I've had more reliability with HR sensors that are rechargeable. I attribute such reliability from it being more sealed, as the "coin" battery kind may allow the bod sweat to find easier ways into the case.
your beats may vary.
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Old 04-08-24, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
stop using gel.
Yeah, this kind of crossed my mind.

It's not an echography, dude. Moisten the electrodes a little before using it, and clean the sensor and strap often, you should be fine.
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