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Optical HRMs worn on the wrist

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, 11:43 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Optical HRMs worn on the wrist

Does anybody in here use one? Do they work as well as the chest strap?
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Old 01-15-15, 12:17 PM
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Haven't got one yet, but I'm thinking about buying the Mio Link after reading the DC Rainmaker review. I've always hated fumbling around with the chest strap.
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Old 01-15-15, 12:24 PM
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Fitbit is rated the best from the reveiws that I've read.
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Old 01-15-15, 12:27 PM
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I've got a mio. Never used a chest strap, so I can't compare. But I've yet to have a single problem with the mio.
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Old 01-15-15, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Makel View Post
Fitbit is rated the best from the reveiws that I've read.
Unfortunately it doesn't support ANT+ if I remember correctly.
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Old 01-15-15, 12:59 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-15, 01:03 PM
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The company I work for pays us about $200 a year to wear an activity monitor. It keeps our health premiums down if we can show the insurance company people are being proactive about their health. They gave everyone a fitbit a couple years ago, but it's the kind you keep in your pocket, sometimes I forget and send it through the wash, then it doesn't work for a week.

Turns out there's something called Mio Fuse that you wear on your wrist. It counts your steps so it satisfies the insurance thing. It has an HRM and has ANT+ so it should communicate with my Garmin.

I'd love to get rid of the chest strap once and for all. Still find the heart rate data useful sometimes though. So I'm hoping this actually works, but kind of skeptical.
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Old 01-15-15, 02:30 PM
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I think these look pretty interesting:

A look at AmpStrip?the really cool heart rate sticker & activity tracker | DC Rainmaker
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Old 01-15-15, 02:46 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-15, 02:49 PM
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I'm surprised, shocked, and dismayed that no one has yet referred you to: DC Rainmaker
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Old 01-15-15, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
Haven't got one yet, but I'm thinking about buying the Mio Link after reading the DC Rainmaker review. I've always hated fumbling around with the chest strap.
I have one. Works fine. Little more variable than a chest strap, but very good, and more convenient.
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Old 01-15-15, 03:07 PM
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I use the Mio Link and like it quite a bit. It seems to work great and it is small enough, unobtrusive; pairing with my Garmin was super easy. I think the Mio Fuse is a bit bigger but it has a display. The Link's light changes colors depending on what heart rate zone you are in...Fuse probably does something similar. I very much prefer the wrist HR monitor over the chest, which I always felt on rides. I forget I have the Link on most of the times.

The Mio Alpha2 is quite a bit bigger but does a bunch of stuff the Link doesn't do. Maybe worth checking on depending on what you are looking for. A brief look at the Mio Alpha2 optical heart rate watch | DC Rainmaker
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Old 01-15-15, 03:09 PM
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Curious too. Been tempted by the Microsoft Band - HRM and GPS builtin. But the GPS software seems totally running-oriented, not sure how it works for cycling.
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Old 01-15-15, 03:10 PM
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I use a Mio Link and it works great. I have had a spike or two but the overall averages are the same as my chest strap. I use mine with my Garmin 810.

Anyway, I can put up with a spike or two for a comfortable wrist strap over a chest belt.
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Old 01-15-15, 03:36 PM
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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.
Thanks for sharing your experience! That's kind of a bummer. How big a deal do you think this is?
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Old 01-15-15, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RJM View Post
I use the Mio Link and like it quite a bit. It seems to work great and it is small enough, unobtrusive; pairing with my Garmin was super easy. I think the Mio Fuse is a bit bigger but it has a display. The Link's light changes colors depending on what heart rate zone you are in...Fuse probably does something similar. I very much prefer the wrist HR monitor over the chest, which I always felt on rides. I forget I have the Link on most of the times.

The Mio Alpha2 is quite a bit bigger but does a bunch of stuff the Link doesn't do. Maybe worth checking on depending on what you are looking for. A brief look at the Mio Alpha2 optical heart rate watch | DC Rainmaker
Thanks RJM! The light changing color is a cool feature, it doesn't matter what the exact number is, just what zone. I read a review that says it vibrates when you go from one zone to another, too - cool feature.

How's life treating you these days?
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Old 01-15-15, 03:52 PM
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Things are going pretty well, SF. You? Hope the photography is going well.

Got myself a mountain bike, so I've rediscovered a love of trail riding. I've had a blast riding it this winter but it has also made me realize how out of shape I'm in.

You're missed in P&R!
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Old 01-15-15, 05:05 PM
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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.
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Old 01-15-15, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I'm surprised, shocked, and dismayed that no one has yet referred you to: DC Rainmaker
Actually I mentioned it in post #2
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Old 01-15-15, 05:50 PM
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I have a Mio Link. I bought it because I could not get a ANT+ chest strap to work with my Garmin 500. Had a quad bypass in 2012, and my chest was wired back together with titanium wire which I suspect some how blocks the ANT+ signal. Had both the std. and newer premium Garmin straps, and could not get a signal. The Mio solved this, I recommend it, but it's pricey.
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Old 01-15-15, 05:52 PM
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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
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Old 01-15-15, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Does anybody in here use one? Do they work as well as the chest strap?
In my experience, they do not. I bought one that wraps around the forearm and uses an optical sensor. It works, but gives erratic readings. I've gone back to a chest strap.
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Old 01-15-15, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bikepro View Post
In my experience, they do not. I bought one that wraps around the forearm and uses an optical sensor. It works, but gives erratic readings. I've gone back to a chest strap.
Which one? There are several; only a couple work well, as I understand.
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Old 01-15-15, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Which one? There are several; only a couple work well, as I understand.
I think no matter what chest strap is more reliable than an optic sensor system when motion is involved.
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Old 01-15-15, 07:30 PM
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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 get the occasional momentary drop, but not "erratic". Some of them are truly bad.

Of course, if you don't wear it tight enough it really just won't work.
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