Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

HRM strap that doesn't suck?

Notices
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

HRM strap that doesn't suck?

Old 07-10-13, 08:35 AM
  #1  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
Thread Starter
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
HRM strap that doesn't suck?

Seriously tried just about everything in the book and the straps are all failboat. The contact points seem to get corroded or the whole strap just seems to fail altogether.

Yes replaced the battery.

It reads 90 BPM then jumps to 200 and stays there for 5mins then jumps all over.

I'm using the flexible Garmin strap and the heavy duty strap as well.

I've tried the Garmin flex receiver in the Polar strap which worked GREAT for about a month then the same issues all over again.

Ugh.
ovoleg is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:40 AM
  #2  
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
What application are you using it with? Garmin? Android? My Polar strap works great on Sports Tracker, sucks on Endomondo, and Strava doesn't support Bluetooth.

P.S. Wash the strap under running water and drip-dry after each use.
RT is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:46 AM
  #3  
Elduderino2412
Tour De French Fries
 
Elduderino2412's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 1,251

Bikes: 2010 Cervelo R3 SL & 2013 Airborne Goblin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RT View Post
P.S. Wash the strap under running water and drip-dry after each use.
I am way to lazy to do that

My Garmin HRM(newer version) will stop working sometimes. Usually it's the strap has worked itself a little loose, i unsnap and resnap it or i wash it. One of those things will typically fix it.
Elduderino2412 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:53 AM
  #4  
brian416
Roadie
 
brian416's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Traverse City, MI
Posts: 1,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It helps if you use an electrode gel, it will eliminate the spikes and drops., I use this stuff and the bottle lasts for years.

My original plastic Garmin HRM lasted for 3 years before dying.

I then bought the new version, it died in 9 months. A quick call to Garmin and I had a new strap being mailed to be for free. If you truely get a bad Garmin strap, they'll stand behind the warranty.
brian416 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 09:01 AM
  #5  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 17,644

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3015 Post(s)
Liked 933 Times in 707 Posts
LOL. You're supposed to wash the whole thing after every use. If your contacts are corroded, you sure aren't doing that! So that's the first thing. Secondly, just replace the strap if it goes bad. You replace your tires, don't you? The old-style hard Garmin strap lasts a very long time. The newer fabric straps last me about a year. I always have a spare. Touring, I carry a spare.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 09:04 AM
  #6  
generalkdi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 780

Bikes: Argon18 Gallium 2016, Trek Emonda SL6 Pro 2018, Salsa Beargrease

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
preorder a smart helmet?
generalkdi is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 11:03 AM
  #7  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
Thread Starter
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
LOL. You're supposed to wash the whole thing after every use. If your contacts are corroded, you sure aren't doing that! So that's the first thing. Secondly, just replace the strap if it goes bad. You replace your tires, don't you? The old-style hard Garmin strap lasts a very long time. The newer fabric straps last me about a year. I always have a spare. Touring, I carry a spare.
wash the strap after every use? you got to be joking, no way I'm going through that much effort...
ovoleg is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 11:03 AM
  #8  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
Thread Starter
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by brian416 View Post
It helps if you use an electrode gel, it will eliminate the spikes and drops., I use this stuff and the bottle lasts for years.

My original plastic Garmin HRM lasted for 3 years before dying.

I then bought the new version, it died in 9 months. A quick call to Garmin and I had a new strap being mailed to be for free. If you truely get a bad Garmin strap, they'll stand behind the warranty.
going to try the gel as well as giving Garmin a call. Thanks man!
ovoleg is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 11:22 AM
  #9  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
Thread Starter
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just talked to garmin on the phone, they're sending me another strap. They said cleaning it after every ride is highly overboard and I should do it about once a week to once a month.

You guys only ride once a month or something? I ride daily, no way im cleaning it everyday.
ovoleg is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 11:37 AM
  #10  
Bathwater
Senior Member
 
Bathwater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: In my car with my Garmin, stealing all your Strava KOMs
Posts: 327
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think Polar recommends after ever 3 uses. I've used one of their HR straps for a few years now and have never had any issues. It probably gets washed every 5-7 uses, oftentimes more. I wash my workout/cycling clothes often enough so that it's not an issue to toss it in with the rest of the load.
Bathwater is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 12:11 PM
  #11  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Haven't found a clear winner.

I've tried multiple Garmin and Polar straps. The best one I've used has been the most current Garmin premium HRM strap but even that's prone to some finicky behavior from time to time. Although on the bike, honestly, most of them have worked fine. It's running that causes a lot more problems since there's a lot more upper body motion and static electricity buildup.

And FWIW - I've heard about this "wash the strap" business, and having both done it religiously for a while, then not doing at all, my conclusion is - it makes no difference. Thus, I never wash the strap regularly anymore. I have not noticed any improvement from washing.
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 03:45 PM
  #12  
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8,951
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
I like the regular Garmin stiff plastic HRM. Just as (un)comfortable as the deluxe strap. No contacts to corrode. Rubbing a little water or spit into the rubber contact area helps prevent erratic readings in low humidity conditions. I've got ~14000 miles on the one I have and it's working well. The elastic strap is getting all stretched out so will need a new one of those fairly soon. (or just replace the elastic material)

I also have a Suunto HRM monitor and strap that's over 12 years old that also still works fine. The strap is similar in construction to the Garmin strap, but is old-school preANT+.
Looigi is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 03:59 PM
  #13  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 17,644

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3015 Post(s)
Liked 933 Times in 707 Posts
From the Polar website - same strap:
Rinse the strap under running water after every use. Wash the strap regularly in a washing machine at 40C/104F or at lest after every fifth use. Use a washing pouch. Do not soak, spin-dry, iron, dry clean, or bleach the strap. Do not use detergent with bleach or fabric softener.
They used to have a video showing exactly how to wash it by hand, but that's apparently old advice. Use of a pouch in a machine is mandatory

Yes, I use my Garmin or Polar almost every day. Only takes a few seconds to wash it in the kitchen sink and hang it up to dry. A drop of soap on each electrode. I've been doing that for 15 years. It's a habit now. I never wash one in the machine. I also pump my tires before every ride. If one is down 10 pounds, I can change it out before the ride rather than during. I also keep my chain lubed. It's preventative maintenance.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 04:08 PM
  #14  
PRus
Senior Member
 
PRus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 130

Bikes: SEVEN Elium SLX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Had a Garmin strap for just under a year. It has been acting up the last couple month. Called them. They are sending a new one.There seams to be a known issue.
PRus is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 04:18 PM
  #15  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,315

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2719 Post(s)
Liked 2,426 Times in 1,125 Posts
I once washed my Garmin strap and it promptly died. I have not made that mistake again.
caloso is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 04:51 PM
  #16  
Nachoman
well hello there
 
Nachoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Point Loma, CA
Posts: 15,257

Bikes: Bill Holland (Road-Ti), Fuji Roubaix Pro (back-up), Bike Friday (folder), Co-Motion (tandem) & Trek 750 (hybrid)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 450 Post(s)
Liked 208 Times in 133 Posts
Wait . . . am I supposed to wash it or not wash it?
__________________
.
.

Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.
Nachoman is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 04:56 PM
  #17  
Elduderino2412
Tour De French Fries
 
Elduderino2412's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 1,251

Bikes: 2010 Cervelo R3 SL & 2013 Airborne Goblin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Wait . . . am I supposed to wash it or not wash it?
Wash it = It will break
Not wash it = It won't work

Does that clear it up?
Elduderino2412 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 05:28 PM
  #18  
gc3
Falls Downalot
 
gc3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: DC
Posts: 3,103

Bikes: Now I Got Two

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
here's the aftermarket winner...been using mine for over 1.5 years...

https://www.zephyranywherestore.com/S.../dp/B003OE1QHU
gc3 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 06:04 PM
  #19  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
Thread Starter
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Looigi View Post

I also have a Suunto HRM monitor and strap that's over 12 years old that also still works fine. The strap is similar in construction to the Garmin strap, but is old-school preANT+.
My Suunto HRM works flawlessly and is super comfortable but its ANT so my Edge 810 doesn't pick it up
ovoleg is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 07:54 PM
  #20  
garciawork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Meridian, ID
Posts: 1,353

Bikes: Mikkelsen custom steel, Santa Cruz Chameleon SS, old trek trainer bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Never cleaned a strap... never had issues after 2 years either.
garciawork is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:27 PM
  #21  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,199

Bikes: Day6 Semi Recumbent "FIREBALL", 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 910 Post(s)
Liked 470 Times in 313 Posts
Hand rinse after every use, puff or two of air in each snap hole, hang up to dry. Garmin 910XT with soft strap.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:32 PM
  #22  
Mansram01
Senior Member
 
Mansram01's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,344

Bikes: '17 Trek Emonda, '16 Yeti ASR5, '14 Cdale F29 '08 Orbea Orca.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Garmin strap sucks plain and simple. Continue using the Polar's HR strap but you have to rinse it everytime. I run the contacts under running water after every use (as mentioned above to avoid corrosion). It doesn't take more than a minute to do. Then let it air dry. I'll need to wash mine in the washer at some point...

If it's not picking up your heart rate, you can also use a salt-free electrode gel like Spectra 360. You apply it on your skin right where the sensors make contact with you. It's not expensive and it works every time. Just a suggestion.
Mansram01 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 10:00 PM
  #23  
bsektzer
Senior Member
 
bsektzer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 517

Bikes: Pinarello Paris/Ui2, BMC TeamMachine SLR01/Campy Record EPS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've had nothing but bad luck with the Garmin "Deluxe" HRM, and it's not the strap that's the problem. I know this because I've put a non-functioning transmitter unit and put it on a known good strap, and it still fails. Put a working transmitter on the same strap and bingo! it works. Put the same transmitter on the strap the bad one came from and again - fail.

That said, Garmin has been very good about supplying replacements, but they were never able to give me one that would work for more than 4 months. After 3 replacements, I just gave up and asked them to send me the regular hard band/transmitter unit. They did, and it's worked flawlessly since (about a year now). FWIW, I've tried a variety of cleaning regimens with the Deluxe strap from after every use to every week to not at all. The not at all routine seemed to work best, but the units still failed within a few months.
bsektzer is offline  
Old 07-17-13, 12:36 PM
  #24  
ovoleg
Powered by Borscht
Thread Starter
 
ovoleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,342

Bikes: Russian Vodka

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Got the new HRM from Garmin under warranty in the mail. The design is definitely different and it seems like the contacts are bigger. 1st use = worked flawlessly.

Not sure if I want to keep using it, I'm so OVER Heart Rate...seems borderline useless now that I have power.
ovoleg is offline  
Old 07-17-13, 12:46 PM
  #25  
kv501
Senior Member
 
kv501's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by ovoleg View Post
Got the new HRM from Garmin under warranty in the mail. The design is definitely different and it seems like the contacts are bigger. 1st use = worked flawlessly.

Not sure if I want to keep using it, I'm so OVER Heart Rate...seems borderline useless now that I have power.
Like you actually ride. You're to busy whining about seat bags.
kv501 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.