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Optical HRMs worn on the wrist

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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

Optical HRMs worn on the wrist

Old 01-15-15, 07:46 PM
  #26  
Gladius
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I have the Mio Link (one without the display, only a single color changing LED) and it works fine. The first couple of rides I had an issue but since then it's been great.
The one downside is you have to recharge it. They claim 8 hours of active time per charge. I rarely am on the bike that long but it does mean you have to charge it every couple days (or once a week depending on how much you ride). I haven't had any "drop outs" using it with my Garmin 510 or my ANT+ stick on my computer (for trainerroad indoors).

We'll see how its battery life goes as it gets older and has a number of recharge cycles on it. I really like not having to deal with a chest strap - how many times have I forgotten to put the chest strap on after I've already put my bibs and jersey on? and it's a lot easier to take off after a ride at the pub than stripping off your jersey and trying to pry out a chest strap from under a pair of bibs.
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Old 01-15-15, 07:48 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I've been wanting a mountain bike for years! This fall I went backpacking in the North Cascades and must have passed 20 MTBs on the trail. Camped on a gorgeous lake, kept thinking how much I'd enjoy riding there.

I'll be doing a lot better when we get this product out the door. It's been a really dry winter, I haven't been able to do much cross country skiing but I've got a lot of riding in. I'm making big plans for the year.
Awesome....maybe sometime I will get out there and go riding with you and Todd! Get a mountain bike!!!!!!!
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Old 01-15-15, 08:33 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Which one? There are several; only a couple work well, as I understand.
RHYTHM+ | by Scosche

I think the accuracy depends on how well the sensor is held in place.
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Old 01-15-15, 11:51 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by VwFix View Post
I have tried using the Basis Peak, but I found that while optical HR sensors are pretty accurate they do loose the HR count often and you end up with many dead sports in the data or random 20-30 bpm drops throughout the data.
Same experience here. You also forgot to mention that Peak displays the heart rate with a ~30 s delay. And, to keep the sensor working reliably, I have to tighten the wrist strap to the point that I end up having skin irritation under the strap and I have to move the watch from arm to arm every few days. And I don't think it's really a problem that is specific to Basis Peak. It's just too hard to get data from the sensor when it's positioned that way. It may be acceptable for 24/7 usage and daily calorie burn estimation, but you won't be getting accurate or realtime results from a wrist sensor. In fact, I think that the best new feature Basis Peak could add right now is the ability to work with bluetooth 4.0 chest strap HRMs.
AmpStrip looks interesting and I'll be keeping an eye on that one.
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Old 01-16-15, 09:59 AM
  #30  
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I wore a Microsoft Band on my wrist and a PowerCal HR strap on my chest for a 45-minute ride. the reported HR was within 2 bpm of each other. can't tell you whether the trends diverged during the ride.
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Old 01-16-15, 11:08 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
Actually I mentioned it in post #2
I'm greatly relieved.
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Old 01-16-15, 11:38 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by VwFix View Post
I think no matter what chest strap is more reliable than an optic sensor system when motion is involved.
I haven't found that to be the case, especially in winter when colder, drier air means it takes longer to generate enough sweat to help the unit work. I even bought electrode gel to use with my Garmin strap and it was no better.

I've heard some say straps made by others work better, but my Mio Link is definitely an improvement.
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Old 01-16-15, 12:29 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
I haven't found that to be the case, especially in winter when colder, drier air means it takes longer to generate enough sweat to help the unit work. I even bought electrode gel to use with my Garmin strap and it was no better.

I've heard some say straps made by others work better, but my Mio Link is definitely an improvement.
I don't ride in winter (we don't have winter per se) but I find Polar chest strap (with Garmin transmitter) to be working and transmitting seemingly correct data 99% of the time. I don't see how any wrist sensor can be an improvement. Especially considering my experience with Basis. Unless Mio Link has a dramatically better optical sensor (which it might. I saw an article saying that Mio is designed with extra emphasis on intense activities and it has a stronger light. The downside is proportionally shorter battery life. Mio's specs say 7-10 hours. Basis lasts about 4 days per charge.)

And even then, wrist monitor would probably only match the chest strap in accuracy, and still lose in convenience, for example, in terms of battery life - Garmin transmitter lasts a couple of years.
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Old 01-16-15, 12:45 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
I don't ride in winter (we don't have winter per se) but I find Polar chest strap (with Garmin transmitter) to be working and transmitting seemingly correct data 99% of the time. I don't see how any wrist sensor can be an improvement. Especially considering my experience with Basis. Unless Mio Link has a dramatically better optical sensor (which it might. I saw an article saying that Mio is designed with extra emphasis on intense activities and it has a stronger light. The downside is proportionally shorter battery life. Mio's specs say 7-10 hours. Basis lasts about 4 days per charge.)

And even then, wrist monitor would probably only match the chest strap in accuracy, and still lose in convenience, for example, in terms of battery life - Garmin transmitter lasts a couple of years.
Honestly, if you don't ride in cold weather, then you won't see half of the issues that most of us do who complain about chest straps. I don't mind the comfort difference; what I mind is the data difference and that is vast, in my experience.

Also, you may not realize it, but the Mio (at least the Link) has a rechargeable battery. You're not swapping watch-sized batteries every year or so like you do with a Garmin strap. There's no way I'd go back to a conventional HRM strap now.
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Old 01-16-15, 01:23 PM
  #35  
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Mio Alpha here paired with Magellan Cyclo 505 computer/GPS. Comfortable, accurate, and easy to use. Couldn't ask for more.
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Old 01-16-15, 03:39 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
Honestly, if you don't ride in cold weather, then you won't see half of the issues that most of us do who complain about chest straps. I don't mind the comfort difference; what I mind is the data difference and that is vast, in my experience.
+1. I've had problems off and on with chest straps dropping out during rides in the cold. Whether it's the dry air or all of the different layers, I don't know but my Mio hasn't failed me yet.
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Old 01-16-15, 04:57 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
+1. I've had problems off and on with chest straps dropping out during rides in the cold. Whether it's the dry air or all of the different layers, I don't know but my Mio hasn't failed me yet.
Good to know, I have been having the same problem lately and I just bought a Mio Link today. (this thread encouraged me to pull the trigger ) Looking forward to testing it out when I get some free time next week.
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Old 01-17-15, 06:04 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by RNAV View Post
I have the Mio Link and have been pleased with it. It is for sure more comfortable than wearing a chest strap. I also like that it dual-broadcasts ANT+ & Bluetooth (I can simultaneously communicate with my Garmin and my iPhone). It seems to provide similar data to my chest strap, but I don't have any empirical data to support that claim.
I use the Miolink. I also own the Garmin chest strap. The Garmin strap, unless washed after every 3-4 rides would short out for me from the salt in dried perspiration. The Miolink never fails to run and transmits both ANT+ and Bluetooth.

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Old 01-21-15, 08:58 AM
  #39  
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Well, I went on my first ride with the Mio Link today. Based on my initial experience, I can say that for the purpose which I bought it, it failed. Miserably. The readings were all over the place. I tried tightening the strap, loosening the strap, moving it up, moving it down, flipping it around, everything I could think of. It even shut off on me once, I assume due to my sleeve pressing on it. It got different readings based on how I held my hands. I noticed an immediate 20bpm difference just by moving from the hoods to the drops without any change in effort. I don't know, maybe it's just because I have tiny wrists (I already bought the smallest size they make), but I don't think this is going to work for me. I will have to go back to struggling with the chest strap for winter riding and maybe give the Mio another try in the summer.
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Old 01-21-15, 11:01 AM
  #40  
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I got a Mio Fuse on Saturday. So far it's been out on three rides and a hike. Function is very very close to the Garmin chest strap. It doesn't cut out, and readings seem accurate as far as I can tell from having an idea of what each zone feels like.

The one issue I've had: Last night I hit 95 % HR at the top of a hill with a busy light, I'm pretty sure my HR dropped faster than the Mio reported while I was waiting for the light to turn.

I don't have to wet the contacts before I ride. It's been cold, dry, and clear a lot lately and that doesn't affect the heart monitoring. Plus it's a lot more comfortable. And I'm wearing it anyway to get better insurance premiums so I don't have to remember to put it on before I ride. But I have to charge it periodically.
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Old 01-21-15, 11:26 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
Well, I went on my first ride with the Mio Link today. Based on my initial experience, I can say that for the purpose which I bought it, it failed. Miserably. The readings were all over the place. I tried tightening the strap, loosening the strap, moving it up, moving it down, flipping it around, everything I could think of. It even shut off on me once, I assume due to my sleeve pressing on it. It got different readings based on how I held my hands. I noticed an immediate 20bpm difference just by moving from the hoods to the drops without any change in effort. I don't know, maybe it's just because I have tiny wrists (I already bought the smallest size they make), but I don't think this is going to work for me. I will have to go back to struggling with the chest strap for winter riding and maybe give the Mio another try in the summer.
Hmmm, I haven't had those problems with mine. I would bet it just isn't tight enough.

I get good readings with the Mio Link on my wrist, tight...but the directions say to use it a bit up the arm. It didn't work up there for me....I might just have too much meat there to get a good reading. Maybe for you it is moving around on the skin too much???
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Old 01-21-15, 12:04 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
If you just want to do away with the HR strap while riding, Lazer's Genesis Lifebeam helmet has an integrated optical HR sensor and transmits in BLE and ANT+.

Lazer Genesis road cycling helmets with heart rate monitor
true, but they're number one problem is that they're having issues with sizing between the different models because of the internals, so if you go this route make sure you try on the actual helmet before you buy it...
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Old 01-21-15, 12:09 PM
  #43  
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I have a Samsung Gear 2 smart watch with HRM. Bought that mainly for the HRM for my bike exercises. And guess what. I paid another 400USD and bought a decent Garmin 510 bundle.
The Samsung HRM works good if you are sitting down and occasionally want to check your HR. However as it is not as good for any kind of sports none of the known programs(Strava, Runtastic etc.) are compatible with it either.
So my advise would be get a chest strap
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