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Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

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Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Old 12-24-10, 12:07 AM
  #1  
djpfine
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Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

Does anyone use the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor instead of the regular heart rate monitor that comes with most Garmin units? DC Rainmaker's Edge 500 review strongly recommended the soft strap premium, but I've read a number of bad reviews on Amazon vs. nothing but stellar reviews for the regular.

Is it worth spending the extra $20, or will I be happy enough with the normal one?
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Old 12-24-10, 01:26 AM
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the regular one is made up a strip of plastic across the chest and a piece of elastic across the back. The premium one looks like its elastic all the way around.

I own the regular one, and it works perfectly fine. Sometimes the plastic is cold for a second when I put it on, but there's no real downsides to it. After a few minutes of riding I forget about the strap altogether, so I don't really care which strap I own
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Old 12-24-10, 03:22 AM
  #3  
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You'll be happy enough with the normal one. It works fine.
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Old 12-24-10, 04:12 AM
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I have the premium strap with an Edge 500, and I get ridiculous readings almost every time I go out for the first 5-10 minutes. After that time period, it seems to settle down and give the actual reading.

Electrode gel didn't seem to change it at all.
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Old 12-24-10, 04:41 AM
  #5  
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I've used the regular one for a couple of years now and have no issues with it. Only thing that annoys me about it is when I use it for running. If it's a little loose and I'm sweating a lot, it will eventually start slipping down toward my stomach. Nothing a little tightening can't fix but then it feels a little too snug to me. Either way, for cycling it works pretty much flawlessly and you don't even notice it's there.
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Old 12-24-10, 04:43 AM
  #6  
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I had the Polar equivalent of the premium HR strap, and now I have the regular Garmin strap. I found the soft strap to be more comfortable, but it was a lot more finnicky about getting readings. The best thing I found was to completely the pads in warm water before putting it on. The regular Garmin is not as comfortable, but not bad, and pretty much works as soon as I put it on.
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Old 12-24-10, 06:41 AM
  #7  
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I have had no problems with the premium and 500. Have not tried the standard.

Norm
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Old 12-24-10, 07:55 AM
  #8  
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I have the old-tech one and it's pretty much identical to the old Polar one I have; a ~13" semi-flexible plastic strap across the chest with the transmitter module in the middle and an elastic fabric strap the rest way. The Premium one replaces the semi-flexible electrodes on each side of the transmitter module with fabric straps, the benefit being, presumably, that it's more comfortable. Perhaps a side benefit is they can fold up into a smaller package when not in use. There may be some issues with pick-up reliability due to static from flapping jerseys etc. but I've had no significant problems with my existing straps. I'm perfectly satisfied with my current straps but if I was getting a new setup I'd probably opt for the deluxe version, cause that's just the kind of guy I am.
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Old 12-24-10, 08:13 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by jmX View Post
I have the premium strap with an Edge 500, and I get ridiculous readings almost every time I go out for the first 5-10 minutes. After that time period, it seems to settle down and give the actual reading.

Electrode gel didn't seem to change it at all.
I have the same problem but only in the summer. Since you're from Orange, CA, that's why you have it all the time.

The only solution I've heard is wet the jershey before going out to get ride of static. That's something I don't like doing when it's 60 degrees and just starting out.
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Old 12-24-10, 08:18 AM
  #10  
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I find the premium more comfortable than the standard. I'd say if you don't have one at all, it's worth the extra $. If you already have one, prob not.
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Old 12-24-10, 08:32 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by jmX View Post
I have the premium strap with an Edge 500, and I get ridiculous readings almost every time I go out for the first 5-10 minutes. After that time period, it seems to settle down and give the actual reading.

Electrode gel didn't seem to change it at all.
I wet the sensor before I put it on. Occassionally, I'll see a spike to a ridiculous number in the mid 200s when I have a cold descent at the beginning of my ride.

OP, I've never used the premium, but I can't see it be any more comfortable. I don't even notice I'm wearing it anymore.
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Old 12-24-10, 08:47 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by awesomejack View Post
I own the regular one, and it works perfectly fine. Sometimes the plastic is cold for a second when I put it on, but there's no real downsides to it. After a few minutes of riding I forget about the strap altogether, so I don't really care which strap I own
Same here.
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Old 12-24-10, 10:19 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by hamsey View Post
I have had no problems with the premium and 500. Have not tried the standard.

Norm
Same here. No issues and it's comfortable. Usually forget I have it on. No weird readings yet.
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Old 12-24-10, 10:38 AM
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My premium is the best HR strap I've used and I've used a lot of them. It's smaller, more comfortable and has the most consistent readings.
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Old 12-24-10, 10:58 AM
  #15  
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I've broken 2 of the Garmin premium straps within 6 months. I'm not sure why they were so fragile, especially since I was careful to clean them as directed.

In any event, you can use any ANT+ heart rate sensor with your Garmin computer, so I'm using the sensor that came with my PowerTap. It's a hard strap, but it's actually more comfortable for me than the soft Garmin strap, for whatever reason. https://bit.ly/hNMsZX

The ANT+ technology uses 2.4 GHz frequencies for transmission, and that's just prone to interference with static electricity and lack of humidity.

The best heart rate sensor I've used, as far as comfort and zero issues with interference, was the coded sensor that came with my Polar S725X years ago. Whatever wireless frequency it was using was a good choice, as it even worked in the pool, which the ANT+ ones don't.
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Old 12-24-10, 11:52 AM
  #16  
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I prefer the regular Garmin to Polar's soft strap. You would think the plastic front piece on the Garmin would be uncomfortable, but it really isn't. I got flukey HR readings occasionally from my Polar strap (S725) but never tried it in the pool!
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Old 12-24-10, 02:22 PM
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Feedback here mirrors the Amazon reviews. Comfort aside, it seems like people are having more reading/functionality issues with the premium vs. the regular strap.
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Old 12-24-10, 03:42 PM
  #18  
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I've had mine since thanksgiving. No problems whatsoever with the premium strap. Reads normally every time and I don't wet it or use gel or whatever.
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Old 12-25-10, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by djpfine View Post
Does anyone use the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor instead of the regular heart rate monitor that comes with most Garmin units? DC Rainmaker's Edge 500 review strongly recommended the soft strap premium, but I've read a number of bad reviews on Amazon vs. nothing but stellar reviews for the regular.

Is it worth spending the extra $20, or will I be happy enough with the normal one?
I also read that review and expected to get the regular one. I ordered a 500 w/ cadence/HR off PBK and it came with the premium strap, so all 500 bundles may now come with them now anyway.

The strap is comfortable, but I can't say I have noticed any HR strap to be uncomfortable or much different.
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Old 12-25-10, 09:53 PM
  #20  
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I own two of the normal and one of the premium. Both types work great for cycling.

The normal one sucks for running though. Was getting reading spikes and if it wasn't tight, it could slip. Premium one works perfectly for running. No problems.

I'd also say the premium one is a bit more comfortable.
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