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Completely pissed with HRM

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Completely pissed with HRM

Old 07-31-09, 09:32 PM
  #1  
deepakvrao
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Completely pissed with HRM

I have a Edge 305 which works perfectly for me. The strap is a bit lose for my wife, so I shorten it with a ziptie. With the ziptie it becomes really tight, but just does not detect the HR.

Have tried electrode gel, salt water etc. Sometimes it picks up after a lot of sweating but is irregular. Have tried placing the electrodes on the back but still doesn't work.

Have ordered one for her but am at my wits end as to how to get it to work. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-31-09, 09:35 PM
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I know this is going to sound silly.... but how are you positioning it when in front.
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Old 07-31-09, 09:37 PM
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So the HRM has never worked? Did you switch out the battery in the chest strap?
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Old 07-31-09, 09:38 PM
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unfortunate

Your wife may be too small and even though the leads are making good contact, it sounds like they are just not in the correct place to properly pick up the heart beat. Hopefully you have a compatible monitor and now have a back up. (just kidding).
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Old 07-31-09, 09:38 PM
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I have a timex heart rate monitor and for the longest time I could not get the damn HRM to read properly. I use a mixture of water and a dab of petroleum jelly and it works perfect. Certainly been helpful for training!
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Old 07-31-09, 09:39 PM
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Beaker mentioned the battery. Mine had a twisted O-ring that allowed moisture to get into the battery compartment. Made for some strange readings until it died for good. Give Garmin an Email. I had a response and new unit within 7 days.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:14 PM
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Beaker,

The same strap works fine on me so its not a battery issue. I think she is small and the fit is not right. I'm going to try zip tying small sponge pieces to the inside of the pick up areas, soak that with salt water and apply. I have a feeling the contact will be better between the ribbed areas on the HRM and the chest wall.

Drift, I hope I dont land up with a back up :-)

Kyakdiver - I know this will sound equally silly but she is positioning it below breast level. If above breast level, it works fine but is visible and uncomfortable.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:18 PM
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I've never tried it but the sensors are not the center(hard plastic) part. I'm guessing you know this already. Have you tried rotating it? I'm guessing you have already tried these things....
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Old 07-31-09, 11:00 PM
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i'm not sure that either of these will solve your (wife's) problem, but consider this:

(1) garmin sells a small elastic strap. instead of using a zip-tie, for $8.50 you could just swap straps back and forth (it's easy). maybe this will improve the fit? garmin small elastic strap - garmin part #010-10714-01

here's what we're talking about:


[for what it's worth, before heading out i run the HRM (hard plastic bit) under the faucet for a split second -- no gel, no salt water.]

(2) garmin has recently updated the style of the full heart rate monitor. perhaps this style will be better for your wife. it's garmin part #010-10997-02 . garmin sells it for $70, but i recently ordered one for $45. i can get back to you on it next week.

the new strap looks like this:



as a reminder, the original HRM looks like this:
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Old 07-31-09, 11:03 PM
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Is your wife a zombie?
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Old 07-31-09, 11:13 PM
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Try rotating it left 1 inch, 2 inches, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. If ineffective do same but right.

Position below breasts (even just below rib cage) and above breasts.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:11 PM
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Perhaps your wife should ask on the woman's subforum. Other people with breasts might have positioning suggestions.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:38 PM
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On the garmin website they suggest wearing it on your back if you have issues with it the normal position. I've never tried it myself but it might be worth a shot.

I'm guessing the problem is that the sensors are too far around her chest, probably pretty much under her arms, which is why it doesn't work. Wearing it backward probably won't help but it doesn't cost anything to try it.

The new style might work better since the electronics are a lot narrower than the old one.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:16 PM
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Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I had tried everything except for two things:

1. The new strap - which I'll keep as a last resort as it involves spending money and getting stuff from the US
2. One electrode on the front and one on the back - worked today for about 2 hours, but then so has other positions.

Now that one electrode front and one back seems to work, I have to see if it works consistently over multiple rides.
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Old 08-01-09, 11:17 PM
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time for a new wife?
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Old 08-06-09, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I had tried everything except for two things:

1. The new strap - which I'll keep as a last resort as it involves spending money and getting stuff from the US
2. One electrode on the front and one on the back - worked today for about 2 hours, but then so has other positions.

Now that one electrode front and one back seems to work, I have to see if it works consistently over multiple rides.
hi, deepak:
i hope you did find a solution that is both comfortable and does not involve spending more money.

i wanted to post again as i received the new-style garmin heart rate monitor today and took it for a ride. the picture below shows old (top) and new (bottom) straps.

the plastic portion of the old HRM is, as you can see, much wider. the new one's strap is much softer and more malleable. the center portion of the new HRM is the only inflexible portion. there is a portion of the strap just to the left and right of that center section that seems to contain a sensor, but it is just as flexible as the back strap.

hope that makes sense.

i think it could fit someone with a smaller ribcage. also, if one HAD to adjust the monitor so that it was not centered on the chest, the sides of this new strap will wrap much better than the old one.

for what it's worth, i noticed that the new strap did not require me to water the sensor before starting out for it to pick up a signal. not sure if today was an anomaly or if they've made some change, but if that proves to be true it saves me a step every day.
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Old 08-07-09, 03:42 AM
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Tetonrider,

Thanks - that was very helpful.

Today we went for a ride and with one electrode in front and one on the back the unit read the HR well throughout. This was still with my strap. She gets her Garmin on 15th or so [someone is getting it from the US], so will test with her strap thereafter. Hope she gets the new strap, but I've ordered a refurb from ebay so am doubtful about getting the new strap.

If hers also gives trouble I might just buy the new strap. Could you tell me where you ordered it from please? Her mom is traveling to the US in Oct so she can probably bring it for her. Looking at the picture, I'm pretty sure that it will work.

Funny thing is, on me, I never needed wetting even with my old design strap and have never lost the signal.

Last edited by deepakvrao; 08-07-09 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 08-07-09, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Is your wife a zombie?
Could be a vampire too.
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Old 08-07-09, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jwible View Post
Could be a vampire too.
Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Is your wife a zombie?
Wow - what a sense of humour. You guys must be pretty low on the IQ department.
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Old 08-07-09, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
I have a Edge 305 which works perfectly for me. The strap is a bit lose for my wife, so I shorten it with a ziptie. With the ziptie it becomes really tight, but just does not detect the HR. Any suggestions?
sure, i'll hold it in place for her while she's training, at no additional charge...










j/k
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Old 08-07-09, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Tetonrider,

Thanks - that was very helpful.

Today we went for a ride and with one electrode in front and one on the back the unit read the HR well throughout. This was still with my strap. She gets her Garmin on 15th or so [someone is getting it from the US], so will test with her strap thereafter. Hope she gets the new strap, but I've ordered a refurb from ebay so am doubtful about getting the new strap.

If hers also gives trouble I might just buy the new strap. Could you tell me where you ordered it from please? Her mom is traveling to the US in Oct so she can probably bring it for her. Looking at the picture, I'm pretty sure that it will work.

Funny thing is, on me, I never needed wetting even with my old design strap and have never lost the signal.
i'm 99.9% sure your garmin will come with the old style strap. the new style has just been released, and i think garmin expect to sell them as an upgrade.

i got mine from tigergps.com. i was able to get a discount. i have no affiliation with them other than being satisfied with their service during this one purchase. (nice phone support; fast shipping; good price)

many places do not have this in stock. many of those that do are charging full price (us$70).

perhaps availability and price will both improve by october.

good luck!

(you might consider having your friend remove the unused hrm from the garmin on the way to her so it can be sold as-new. that would probably get $30-40 to offset the cost of a new strap, and if you find the strap at a discount like i did, the net cost would be close to $0.)
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Old 08-07-09, 11:43 PM
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Tetonrider,

Thanks again for the info.

Another 2 hour ride today with the old strap and it read the signal very well, with one electrode in front and one on the back.

Just another unrelated point. Looks like the battery compartment which is, in the older design, against the skin, is not on the back of the new strap? If so, it makes sense NOT to have the compartment exposed to more sweat than is necessary. Having the battery compartment on the outer side should have been something they should have thought of in the very beginning.
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