Heart Rate Monitor

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Rob Rudeski, Jun 5, 2003.

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  1. Rob Rudeski

    Rob Rudeski Guest

    Hi All,

    I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    recommendations on particular models.

    Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another novelty?

    Thanks in advance.
    --
    Rob Rudeski Trenton, GA RANS V2
     
    Tags:


  2. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    > features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    > recommendations on particular models.
    >
    > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another
    > novelty?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    >
    I first got a Polar HRM but it turned out to be too fickle with regard to High Voltage powerlines. I
    next got a Sprots Instruments ECG5 with calorie consumption.

    The ECG5 functions well. Much better then the Polar. It gave me some interesting information but at
    my level of fitness, I have trouble getting up to the zone on a normal commute. Even my 40 mile
    Saturday ride would only put me in the zone for about 15 minutes of the 2+ hour ride.

    I did not agree on the estimates of calories burned. The HRM estimates were too high by a factor
    of 1.5-2.0.

    In summary it is just another novelty.
    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  3. Jac

    Jac Guest

    A HRM is great if you use it for training purposes. It helps to better define, with some scientific
    exactitude, your hard vs, easy days. I am running a marathon next week and have used it extensively
    in my training, and will wear it on race day. I have a Polar. I agree with Cletus that power lines
    can screw up a reading. I suggest that you go to a bookstore and peruse some of the bookd on HR
    training, and see if it's something you want to tackle. Just to have it for feedback on a weekend
    ride relegates it to a novelty item. I have yet to see any device, other than a computer program
    that can properly compute calories burned. there are too many factors: weight, outside temp., your
    condition (a conditioned muscle is more efficient), etc., etc. good luck!

    john clarke

    "Rob Rudeski" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    > features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    > recommendations on particular
    models.
    >
    > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another
    > novelty?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > --
    > Rob Rudeski Trenton, GA RANS V2
     
  4. After using a HR monitor for a while, whether running or on a bike, you soon learn to "feel" when
    you are operating at the high end of your capacity. In other words, you sense what the monitor says
    without looking at it. But it is a good device to learn what is a safe level for your heart and to
    re-check status from time to time.

    --
    Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush "Cletus Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > Hi All,
    > >
    > > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to
    > > which features are necessary, which are nice to
    have,
    > > and which are useless and, as always, recommendations on particular
    models.
    > >
    > > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or
    is
    > > it just another novelty?
    > >
    > > Thanks in advance.
    > >
    > I first got a Polar HRM but it turned out to be too fickle with regard to
    High Voltage
    > powerlines. I next got a Sprots Instruments ECG5 with calorie consumption.
    >
    > The ECG5 functions well. Much better then the Polar. It gave me some
    interesting information
    > but at my level of fitness, I have trouble getting up to the zone on a
    normal commute. Even my
    > 40 mile Saturday ride would only put me in the zone for about 15 minutes
    of the 2+ hour ride.
    >
    > I did not agree on the estimates of calories burned. The HRM estimates
    were too high by a
    > factor of 1.5-2.0.
    >
    > In summary it is just another novelty.
    > --
    >
    > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  5. Nanc

    Nanc Guest

    > It gave me some interesting information but at my level of fitness, I have trouble getting up to
    > the zone on a normal commute. Even my 40 mile Saturday ride would only put me in the zone for
    > about 15 minutes of the 2+ hour ride.

    There are many ways to determine target heart zones. The most common (albeit much too generic to be
    of much use) is to subtract your age from 220 and then take 65%-80% of that result to determine your
    aerobic training zone. However, I find the following instructions for determining your training zone
    to be more accurate because your fitness level is taken into account.

    1. Determine your resting heart rate. This can only be found in the morning, before you get out of
    bed...and NOT if an alarm wakes you up.

    2. Use the following formula to determine your aerobic training zone:

    220 - age - resting heart rate = X X x .65 + resting heart rate = lower boundary X x .80 +
    resting heart rate = upper boundary

    Below are the generally accepted heart rate zones used for training:

    65% of max (and below) - recovery 66-72% - basic endurance and aerobic capacity 73-79% - high
    level aerobic capacity 80-84% - no man's land 85-90% - lactic acid threshold work 91-100% -
    anaerobic power work

    ~Nanc 1999 Vision R44 USS Gonzales, Louisiana
     
  6. For me a HRM is way more then a novelty. It is a very important tool to not only see how I am
    working but how the bike is doing as well. Trick is to compare average heart rate to average speed.
    Usually on your favorite average route. Question is, how far does one heart beat take me and how can
    that be maximized?

    Cateye HB100 is a good starting point. Or for the more scientific, a Cateye 3 DX can be downloaded
    and studied. My favorite is the PowerTap Steve "Speedy" Delaire

    Rob Rudeski wrote:

    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    > features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    > recommendations on particular models.
    >
    > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another
    > novelty?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > --
    > Rob Rudeski Trenton, GA RANS V2

    -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
    Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 80,000 Newsgroups - 16 Different Servers! =-----
     
  7. Very interesting. I will try that. Now, do I write the data on the back of my left arm or right arm?
    (No heart monitor on my Cateye Astrale, unfortunately.) ;=))

    --
    Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush

    "S. Delaire "Rotatorrecumbent"" wrote> Trick is to compare average heart rate to average speed.
    Usually on your
    > favorite average route. Question is, how far does one heart beat take me
    and how can that be maximized?
     
  8. Rob Rudeski

    Rob Rudeski Guest

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all the info so far. I really appreciate it. This kind of response really shows the value
    of this NG.

    Another question. After doing some more research, it looks like you have to apply some sort of gel
    or cream under the sensor. Is this required for all of those monitors that use the chest strap? If
    so, is it irritating, does it cause any kind of discomfort. What about the chest strap itself? Does
    it chafe or otherwise cause discomfort?
    --
    Rob Rudeski Trenton, GA RANS V2

    "Nanc" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > It gave me some interesting information but at my level of fitness, I have trouble getting up to
    > > the zone on a normal commute. Even my 40 mile Saturday ride would only put me in the zone for
    > > about 15 minutes of the 2+ hour ride.
    >
    > There are many ways to determine target heart zones. The most common (albeit much too generic to
    > be of much use) is to subtract your age from
    220
    > and then take 65%-80% of that result to determine your aerobic training zone. However, I find the
    > following instructions for determining your training zone to be more accurate because your fitness
    > level is taken into account.
    >
    > 1. Determine your resting heart rate. This can only be found in the morning, before you get out of
    > bed...and NOT if an alarm wakes you up.
    >
    > 2. Use the following formula to determine your aerobic training zone:
    >
    > 220 - age - resting heart rate = X X x .65 + resting heart rate = lower boundary X x .80 +
    > resting heart rate = upper boundary
    >
    > Below are the generally accepted heart rate zones used for training:
    >
    > 65% of max (and below) - recovery 66-72% - basic endurance and aerobic capacity 73-79% - high
    > level aerobic capacity 80-84% - no man's land 85-90% - lactic acid threshold work 91-100% -
    > anaerobic power work
    >
    > ~Nanc 1999 Vision R44 USS Gonzales, Louisiana
     
  9. <Chas>

    <Chas> Guest

    "Rob Rudeski" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    > features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    > recommendations on particular
    models.
    >
    > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another
    > novelty?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    > --
    > Rob Rudeski Trenton, GA RANS V2
    >
    I tried a Polar (A5 I think) but it went nuts because of power lines on my commute. I returned it
    and got a SigmaSport PC14. It's more reliable in terms of power lines. But, I find that the chest
    strap moves around too much when I change position on the bike to stop and start. Even when the
    strap is tight, sooner or later the transmitter has moved off the sweet spot and readings become
    erratic. Now I only use the HRM in the gym. I agree with another poster that you can quickly figure
    out how your "perceived effort" level corresponds to your heart rate and eventually you can just
    rely on PE only.

    My $0.02 worth. I'm no athlete, just another old fart on a 'bent

    <Chas> Haluzak Hybrid Race -- the inline wheelchair
     
  10. Rick Moll

    Rick Moll Guest

    I use a HRM every time I ride. I've never used any gel or cream. I can't imagine why you would need
    any, unless you don't plan to work up a sweat; and if you're riding at such a low level of exertion
    that you're not sweating, you probably don't need a HRM. In the winter time when my skin is dry, it
    may take a while until I get warmed up and begin to sweat before the HRM transmitter begins to work;
    but I've never found it to be a problem.

    I've also never found the chest strap transmitter to be uncomfortable. The newer ones have got
    smaller and more ergonomically shaped; which may work better if you are particularly small around
    the chest.

    Rick Moll

    Rob Rudeski wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > Thanks for all the info so far. I really appreciate it. This kind of response really shows the
    > value of this NG.
    >
    > Another question. After doing some more research, it looks like you have to apply some sort of gel
    > or cream under the sensor. Is this required for all of those monitors that use the chest strap? If
    > so, is it irritating, does it cause any kind of discomfort. What about the chest strap itself?
    > Does it chafe or otherwise cause discomfort?
     
  11. Review Boy

    Review Boy Guest

    I agree.

    When you first start using a HRM, you may notice that your usual workout is very uneven: work hard,
    slack off, work hard, slack off. This is not always desirable (depending upon why you ride), and a
    HRM will let you "even out" your workout. For example, I have found that the way I can ride longest
    at a high rate is to get to a few hearbeats below my aerobic-anerobic barrier and keep my effort
    level there. Continually crossing that barrier (back and forth) is tiring and limits the duration of
    the workout.

    Also, for some of us, a HRM warns us that we're entering the anerobic range 5-20 seconds before we
    get other symptoms (heavy breathing, perception of effort).

    So, a HRM is a very sensitive effort meter, in a sense.

    "S. Delaire "Rotatorrecumbent"" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > For me a HRM is way more then a novelty.
     
  12. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > Thanks for all the info so far. I really appreciate it. This kind of response really shows the
    > value of this NG.
    >
    > Another question. After doing some more research, it looks like you have to apply some sort of gel
    > or cream under the sensor. Is this required for all of those monitors that use the chest strap? If
    > so, is it irritating, does it cause any kind of discomfort. What about the chest strap itself?
    > Does it chafe or otherwise cause discomfort?
    >
    The ECG5 that I mentioned previously came with instructions to lubricate the contact pads with
    saliva (spit). I have never used any electrolytic creams or gels. Note that plain water does not
    work. the HRM will get good contact on a sweaty body but that ususally takes a few minutes of
    exercise. The spit lubricant just jump starts the process.

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  13. Review Boy

    Review Boy Guest

    I agree.

    If you are not getting a good contact, try saliva.

    "Rick Moll" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I use a HRM every time I ride. I've never used any gel or cream. I can't imagine why you would
    > need any, unless you don't plan to work up a sweat...[snip]
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Guest

    I use both a polar HRM and also a Cateye (MSC-3Dx). I have never had a problem in winter or summer
    using tap water to get the HRM going. On hot days, of course, the HRM needs no prep as my skin is
    moist enough from the outset.

    I have read posts from others that need creams or jells. My only thought is that either they are
    using brands that work less well than the Cateye or the Polar HRM's that I have, or that the water
    is different here.

    Andy

    "Cletus Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > Hi All,
    > >
    > > Thanks for all the info so far. I really appreciate it. This kind of response really shows the
    > > value of this NG.
    > >
    > > Another question. After doing some more research, it looks like you have
    to
    > > apply some sort of gel or cream under the sensor. Is this required for
    all
    > > of those monitors that use the chest strap? If so, is it irritating,
    does it
    > > cause any kind of discomfort. What about the chest strap itself? Does it chafe or otherwise
    > > cause discomfort?
    > >
    > The ECG5 that I mentioned previously came with instructions to lubricate
    the contact pads with
    > saliva (spit). I have never used any electrolytic creams or gels. Note
    that plain water does
    > not work. the HRM will get good contact on a sweaty body but that ususally
    takes a few minutes
    > of exercise. The spit lubricant just jump starts the process.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    > - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  15. Andy

    Andy Guest

    How do you know at what heart rate is your aerobic-anerobic barrier?

    > For example, I have found that the way I can ride longest at a high rate is to get to a few
    > hearbeats below my aerobic-anerobic barrier and keep my effort level there. Continually crossing
    > that barrier (back and forth) is tiring and limits the duration of the workout.
     
  16. Robert Siegel wrote:
    >
    > After using a HR monitor for a while, whether running or on a bike, you soon learn to "feel" when
    > you are operating at the high end of your capacity. In other words, you sense what the monitor
    > says without looking at it. But it is a good device to learn what is a safe level for your heart
    > and to re-check status from time to time.

    I don't agree. I'm using HRM's for more than 10 years now. I learned that on many occasions, your
    HRM tells you that you are more (or less) intensly busy than you think you feel. It also helps you
    to maintain a specific low or high intensity for a specific purpose. E.G. we have a 5 mile run
    around my work place, with a competition. Using my HRM (Polar A1 for running) I know which intensity
    I can just maintain from start to finish. Without you start a bit too fast, or slow down too much in
    the middle sections. While cycling (Cateye HB100 great, great, great!) it helped me even maximise
    avg on a 150 mile trip. Slowing me down in the first hours, and pushing me the last hour. I had a
    flat 160 bpm over the whole trip.

    Further advice: find some books and start reading. The basics are the same for running and swimming.
    Note: heart rates are sport specific. At the intensity I just can maintain for one hour, my heart
    rate is 5-10 higher compared to recumbing (Challenge Hurricane, seat angle 21degrees BB 9
    inches above seat). Cycling on my DF is also different.

    Kees
     
  17. "Rob Rudeski" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    > features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    > recommendations on particular models.
    >
    > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another
    > novelty?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.

    Hi Rob,

    Depends on why you are looking into getting one. Are you serious about improving performance? If you
    are, IMHO, a HRM is essential to any plan to improve performance. I have a Polar S-610 which has
    been outstanding. You can download your sessions, and the software is super. All your work outs are
    recorded on a calender, and the download(IR) is easy. I've had no problems with power lines. You
    should also get some books on using one and training with one. If you are riding just to enjoy
    riding, are not a hammer head, probably don't need to mess with one. I enjoy feedback, but I ride
    for personal improvement, so I find a HRM necessary. Regards, Greg Dorfmeier RANS V2 #5
     
  18. Review Boy

    Review Boy Guest

    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > How do you know at what heart rate is your aerobic-anerobic barrier?

    HRMs come with tables or formulas that let you calculate your approximate aerobic-anerobic boundary.
    There are also some on the Web. If you do a google search for

    heart rate anerobic forumla age

    you will find example like: www.start2health.com/diet_180formula.html,
    www.hitekracing.com/article.htm, etc. These resources will generally caution you that these
    guidelines do not apply to everyone. Once you start using a HRM you can find out how you deviate
    from the average as follows. Get on your bike and warm up for 20 minutes or so. Head for a flat road
    that doesn't have many stops (signs, lights). Crank it up to 2-3 beats/min below your calculated
    aerobic/anaerobic barrier and hold it there for at least 10-20 minutes. If you start showing signs
    of going anaerobic (breathing hard, etc.), then your barrier is lower than the calculated value. If
    not, then you crank the effort level up about 5 beats per minute and repeat the experiment.
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Guest

    "Rob Rudeski" ... wrote ...
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm looking into getting a heart rate monitor. I'm interested in hearing your opinions as to which
    > features are necessary, which are nice to have, and which are useless and, as always,
    > recommendations on particular models.
    >
    > Also, has using an HRM really helped you improve your fitness level, or is it just another
    > novelty?

    I have had three HRMs over the past eight years, all Polars. One stolen, the others still working
    perfectly. I use them for running, rowing and for cycling. I'd say go for the simplest model (one
    that simply reads out your heart rate) or the top of the line (their greatest feature is recording
    your hear rate every 5, 15 or 60 seconds, storing it and thus giving you the data to graph your own
    heart rate over as many hours as you like). This is a fascinating exercise. You will learn a lot
    about your body and how it responds to different stresses.

    Don't pay too much attention to the 220 minus your age rule; it has no basis in science. To find out
    your maximum hear rate you do NOT use a formula derived from a bunch of middle-aged heart patients -
    like the 220 rule.

    Quite simply you cycle or run till you reach your maximum. There are protocols for this to make sure
    you don't exhaust yourself before your heart rate reaches its maximum. But they are simple rules.
    Anyone who does not have a heart condition can do this. If you can't be bothered, then you probably
    can't be bothered getting the most out of a HRM anyway.

    Saliva works well to support the conductivity. Use only a HRM with a transmission belt on your
    chest, not a clip on your ear or a wrist strap.

    The transmitter is basically the same for all HRMs - cheap or expensive. Some have a different
    transmission frequency so one HRM will not interfere with another nearby. But the physiological
    information coming into the HRM is the same whether you pay $50 or $500.

    Rowers, esp those with well-developed lats, may need to tape the transmission belt on, otherwise it
    can slip down to your belly. This is not a problem for cyclists.

    Ignore the readouts for calories used. The margin of error is immense with so many intervening
    variables that it can be out by over 100%. Just a gimmick.

    Polar have some heart rates from the 2002 Tour de France http://tdf.polar.fi/tdf/polardreamteam.html

    and plan to add more from the 2003 race.

    Keith
     
  20. Bentjay

    Bentjay Guest

    Keith,

    You seem to be very knowledgeable so I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions. I use a
    Cateye computer w/heartrate (when I wear the chest strap.) It has a calorie readout. Since there's
    no way to input my weight, it generates calories based on time and heartrate. Might there be a
    formula to roughly convert the readout into an approximate calorie count. For example, if the Cateye
    is calibrated to a 150 lb person isn't there a ratio for a 300 pounder? I've read that Polar htm
    have batteries that must be replaced only by the factory. Is this true?

    BentJay
     
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