Anyone have Polar HRM S720i? Opinions?

  • Thread starter Elisa Francesca Roselli
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Elisa Francesca Roselli

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I've been interested for a while in buying one of those advanced cycling
HRMs with software for tracking all your workouts. The model that seems
to provide the best range of features for my fantasies is the Polar
S720i with the optional Cadence detector:
http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/uk/segments/Cycling/S720i.html

In addition to the full range of heart monitoring functions and bike
computer functions such as average and max speed and day distance, this
will also keep track of altitude, inclination and temperature, of
interest on my hilly ride to work and on my projected vacation in the
hot and hilly Burgundian Loire. (If I kill myself, at least I'll have
the statistics to know why).

Anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?

I have a folding bike and it has been suggested in another thread that
most wireless computers cannot deal with a distance of more than 75 cm
between the magnet that detects the speed on the wheel and the receiving
unit. Because of the small wheels of the folder, this distance may be
greater on my bike. However, also because it is a folder, I've just
destroyed the wired Sigma computer that has been serving its purpose
well up to now - wire caught in pedal and snapped as I unfolded - so now
I'm fed up with wired units. Moreover, the Sigma was supposed to have a
wired cadence sensor but the LBS that installed it said it was not
possible to set it up on my bike's 20" wheel architecture, so I paid for
it but was never able to use it. The Polar Cadence unit is wireless and
goes on the back wheel. Polar has a special "OwnCode" feature to prevent
intereference from other surrounding HRMs. Does anyone know if this
range limitation is present on so upmarket a model? I've tried to ask on
the Polar helpdesk but I don't think they're capable of anything like a
human response.

EFR
Ile de France
 
Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:
:: I've been interested for a while in buying one of those advanced
:: cycling HRMs with software for tracking all your workouts. The model
:: that seems to provide the best range of features for my fantasies is
:: the Polar S720i with the optional Cadence detector:
:: http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/uk/segments/Cycling/S720i.html
::
:: In addition to the full range of heart monitoring functions and bike
:: computer functions such as average and max speed and day distance,
:: this will also keep track of altitude, inclination and temperature,
:: of interest on my hilly ride to work and on my projected vacation in
:: the hot and hilly Burgundian Loire. (If I kill myself, at least I'll
:: have the statistics to know why).

Well, if you've got the money, go for it. I'm not sure if two rides is
enough reason to really pay the extra money over a cheaper model, but I say
get what you like. I didn't know it did inclination, though.

::
:: Anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?
::

The big red button bugs me. My watch band broke. First it was the little
loop part that keeps the end of hte band in close to your wrist. Then the
band itself broke. Seems to be made of plastic. I guess i need to send the
watch back to get a new one, since i probably need a battery too.


:: I have a folding bike and it has been suggested in another thread
:: that most wireless computers cannot deal with a distance of more
:: than 75 cm between the magnet that detects the speed on the wheel
:: and the receiving unit. Because of the small wheels of the folder,
:: this distance may be greater on my bike. However, also because it is
:: a folder, I've just destroyed the wired Sigma computer that has been
:: serving its purpose well up to now - wire caught in pedal and
:: snapped as I unfolded - so now I'm fed up with wired units.
:: Moreover, the Sigma was supposed to have a wired cadence sensor but
:: the LBS that installed it said it was not possible to set it up on
:: my bike's 20" wheel architecture, so I paid for it but was never
:: able to use it. The Polar Cadence unit is wireless and goes on the
:: back wheel. Polar has a special "OwnCode" feature to prevent
:: intereference from other surrounding HRMs. Does anyone know if this
:: range limitation is present on so upmarket a model? I've tried to
:: ask on the Polar helpdesk but I don't think they're capable of
:: anything like a human response.
::

I have no idea.
 
> I've been interested for a while in buying one of those advanced cycling
> HRMs with software for tracking all your workouts. The model that seems to
> provide the best range of features for my fantasies is the Polar
> S720i with the optional Cadence detector:
> http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/uk/segments/Cycling/S720i.html
>
> In addition to the full range of heart monitoring functions and bike
> computer functions such as average and max speed and day distance, this
> will also keep track of altitude, inclination and temperature, of interest
> on my hilly ride to work and on my projected vacation in the hot and hilly
> Burgundian Loire. (If I kill myself, at least I'll have the statistics to
> know why).
>
> Anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?


Or you could go to one of the new Garmin Edge GPS units. Far easier to set
up than the polar, and a lot more information. The software for training
purposes isn't quite as sophisticated... yet. But I have a feeling units
like the Edge 305 are going to put quite a dent into Polar and Ciclomaster
sales.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I've been interested for a while in buying one of those advanced cycling
> HRMs with software for tracking all your workouts. The model that seems to
> provide the best range of features for my fantasies is the Polar
> S720i with the optional Cadence detector:
> http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/uk/segments/Cycling/S720i.html
>
> In addition to the full range of heart monitoring functions and bike
> computer functions such as average and max speed and day distance, this
> will also keep track of altitude, inclination and temperature, of interest
> on my hilly ride to work and on my projected vacation in the hot and hilly
> Burgundian Loire. (If I kill myself, at least I'll have the statistics to
> know why).
>
> Anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?
>
> I have a folding bike and it has been suggested in another thread that
> most wireless computers cannot deal with a distance of more than 75 cm
> between the magnet that detects the speed on the wheel and the receiving
> unit. Because of the small wheels of the folder, this distance may be
> greater on my bike. However, also because it is a folder, I've just
> destroyed the wired Sigma computer that has been serving its purpose well
> up to now - wire caught in pedal and snapped as I unfolded - so now I'm
> fed up with wired units. Moreover, the Sigma was supposed to have a wired
> cadence sensor but the LBS that installed it said it was not possible to
> set it up on my bike's 20" wheel architecture, so I paid for it but was
> never able to use it. The Polar Cadence unit is wireless and goes on the
> back wheel. Polar has a special "OwnCode" feature to prevent intereference
> from other surrounding HRMs. Does anyone know if this range limitation is
> present on so upmarket a model? I've tried to ask on the Polar helpdesk
> but I don't think they're capable of anything like a human response.
>
> EFR
> Ile de France
 
"Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>> Anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?


I have, with the optional cadence on one bike, and the power meter on my
other bike.
Love it. It's great to see the mountains appear in a graph :)

.. Does anyone know if this
> range limitation is present on so upmarket a model? I've tried to ask on
> the Polar helpdesk but I don't think they're capable of anything like a
> human response.
>


There is a distance limitation with the cadance/speed sensor set on its
standard setting, however inside there is a jumper setting which very easily
means you can use the sensor on the rear wheel on a normal size bike with no
problem so it should be just fine on yours!
Polar have excellent on-line resources which tell you how to do most things,
here is the article to help you expand the range of the sendor units:
http://www.polarusa.com/service_repair/show_faq_con.asp?ID=26

Gemm
 
Gemma_k a écrit :
> "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
>
>>>Anyone have one of these? What do you think of it?

>
>
> I have, with the optional cadence on one bike, and the power meter on my
> other bike.
> Love it. It's great to see the mountains appear in a graph :)


Someone on Epinions.com says there is no distance feature on the sensor,
i.e. that he never knows how far he has travelled until he tallies
everything up at the end of the trip. That would be a serious glitch for
me on tours because I use my computer for navigating. I know I have x
number of kms before I reach a set point and if it goes much beyond x
and I haven't reached it I know I'm lost. This was very helpful on my
Czech Republic trip. Can you confirm this or have I misunderstood? Is
there not an odometer or lap distance or other feature sufficiently
visible that one can use instead?


> There is a distance limitation with the cadance/speed sensor set on its
> standard setting, however inside there is a jumper setting which very easily
> means you can use the sensor on the rear wheel on a normal size bike with no
> problem so it should be just fine on yours!


Do you have any idea what the default distance is? Would it not cover a
20" wheel? The jumper business sounds a little fiddly given that if
anything goes wrong I will, once again, not be able to obtain any local
service because this particular model is not sold in France.

Thanks for the helpful feedback,

EFR
Ile de France
 
Artemisia wrote:
> Someone on Epinions.com says there is no distance feature on the sensor,


(I've the S710, but they are much the same)
The watch does have a trip, and like a car trip, it's constantly
accumulating until you reset it (what it doesn't have is an *exercise*
trip, but when you finish the exercise it will show the distance, I
guess that is what the epinions guy meant).

Like others here, I broke the wrist strap, but the replacement has
lasted well. Sending the watch off for battery replacement is a big
minus, especially when you don't have a local agent. I did it myself
in the end, after being without the watch for 18mnths - easy enough if
you have the right screwdriver, have a feel for not over-tigtening
screws in plastic (and evenly tensioning them) and use a bit of silicon
grease on the rubber seal.

> > There is a distance limitation with the cadance/speed sensor set on its
> > standard setting, however inside there is a jumper setting which very easily
> > means you can use the sensor on the rear wheel on a normal size bike with no
> > problem so it should be just fine on yours!

>
> Do you have any idea what the default distance is? Would it not cover a
> 20" wheel? The jumper business sounds a little fiddly given that if
> anything goes wrong I will, once again, not be able to obtain any local
> service because this particular model is not sold in France.


I doubt if you'll need to change the jumper: when I bough mine first,
the default jumper was on lowest power (least i/f with other polar
users + longer battery life), but when I bought a 2nd sensor, it was on
mid power by default - this is enough for the back wheel if there is
not too much hardware in the line of sight between watch and senser -
too much hardware means a Magura rim brake, for example...

Another annoyance is that if you have the watch mounted on the bike and
leave if for a few minutes, it looses you heart rate and decides to end
the exercise (you have to restart when you start off again, unless you
have auto-started selected).

Only being able to set the watch up for two bikes is a bit of a
limitation, if you like me you regularly use four bikes, although I
have two 26"'ers and two 700C'ers, so the speed/distance is almost
nearly right.

The software is great though, if you like stats and data and graphs,
especially the altitude graph, and it helped me improve my training (I
mix training with commuting, so I have to make the best use of the time
and distance of my commute to get a decent workout).
 
sothach a écrit :

> The watch does have a trip, and like a car trip, it's constantly
> accumulating until you reset it


You mean like an odometer? When you reset it do you lose your total
distance from the first time you installed it, or is that datum
preserved elsewhere? Currently I reset the trip distance on my computer
(the one I just broke) every time I set out. I launch the stopwatch at
the same time. That works fine for me.

(what it doesn't have is an *exercise*
> trip, but when you finish the exercise it will show the distance, I
> guess that is what the epinions guy meant).


I'm not sure I grasp the difference.

> I doubt if you'll need to change the jumper: when I bough mine first,
> the default jumper was on lowest power (least i/f with other polar
> users + longer battery life), but when I bought a 2nd sensor, it was on
> mid power by default - this is enough for the back wheel if there is
> not too much hardware in the line of sight between watch and senser -
> too much hardware means a Magura rim brake, for example...


Or a Sram Dualdrive shifter?

> Another annoyance is that if you have the watch mounted on the bike and
> leave if for a few minutes, it looses you heart rate and decides to end
> the exercise (you have to restart when you start off again, unless you
> have auto-started selected).


If the watch is mounted on your wrist, does it capt correctly from the
bike, and stay with you when you go walking?


> Only being able to set the watch up for two bikes is a bit of a
> limitation, if you like me you regularly use four bikes, although I
> have two 26"'ers and two 700C'ers, so the speed/distance is almost
> nearly right.


Well, I have 3 bikes, 700mm, 26" and 20" but I only use the last
regularly for commuting and exercise.


> The software is great though, if you like stats and data and graphs,
> especially the altitude graph, and it helped me improve my training (I
> mix training with commuting, so I have to make the best use of the time
> and distance of my commute to get a decent workout).


Same here - daily commute of 9.24 kms can serve as a "lap". Times are
affected by random external factors such as traffic lights as much as by
my condition, but I have been using the outgoing trip to gather coherent
statistics. It's part biking, part uphill walking.

Found a good price on ebay for a new one, less than half the retail, and
got up at 5:30 on Sunday morning to jump in on the last 5 mins of the
auction.

Now I'm holding my breath hoping it arrives safely through the MeRx.

Cheers all,

EFR
50 today in Ile de France
 
Artemisia wrote:
> sothach a écrit :
>
> > The watch does have a trip, and like a car trip, it's constantly
> > accumulating until you reset it

>
> You mean like an odometer? When you reset it do you lose your total
> distance from the first time you installed it, or is that datum
> preserved elsewhere? Currently I reset the trip distance on my computer
> (the one I just broke) every time I set out. I launch the stopwatch at
> the same time. That works fine for me.


The Polar works the same way.

> (what it doesn't have is an *exercise*
> > trip, but when you finish the exercise it will show the distance, I
> > guess that is what the epinions guy meant).

>
> I'm not sure I grasp the difference.


The annoying thing is, if you have forgotten to reset the trip, or are
just interested in how far you have come since the start of the
exercise (as defined by the stopwatch starting), then you can't until
you finish the exercise and read it back - somewhat silly, cuz the
watch has that data, just no way to view it while exercising.

> > I doubt if you'll need to change the jumper: when I bough mine first,
> > the default jumper was on lowest power (least i/f with other polar
> > users + longer battery life), but when I bought a 2nd sensor, it was on
> > mid power by default - this is enough for the back wheel if there is
> > not too much hardware in the line of sight between watch and senser -
> > too much hardware means a Magura rim brake, for example...

>
> Or a Sram Dualdrive shifter?

Where will you mount the watch to get the shifter in the way?

> > Another annoyance is that if you have the watch mounted on the bike and
> > leave if for a few minutes, it looses you heart rate and decides to end
> > the exercise (you have to restart when you start off again, unless you
> > have auto-started selected).

>
> If the watch is mounted on your wrist, does it capt correctly from the
> bike, and stay with you when you go walking?


yeah, that works. That's what I do now (I have to drop off kids, but
consider that part of the exercise) - keeps recording heart rate as ou
run up and down steps with kids, and then (as well as altitude changes
up the stairs...), and carries on with speed/distance/cadence when back
on the bike.

> Found a good price on ebay for a new one, less than half the retail, and
> got up at 5:30 on Sunday morning to jump in on the last 5 mins of the
> auction.


great, they are a silly price otherwise!

> 50 today in Ile de France

That's hot!
 
sothach wrote:

>>50 today in Ile de France

>
> That's hot!
>


I am, of course, referring to my age, not the temperature, and thank you
for the compliment!

EFR
Ile de France
 

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