HR Discrepancy - On the Bike vs. On the Trainer



jim.egan

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Oct 6, 2003
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My heart rate zones vary depending on whether I'm road cycling or down in the basement on the stationary bike. Has anyone had a similar experience? My on-bike hear rates are about 10 - 12 beats higher witht the same general perceived exertion rating, or at least I think so. Could it be the HR monitor? Interference?

Any help would be appreciated
 

stowerider

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Sep 23, 2003
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Originally posted by jim.egan
My heart rate zones vary depending on whether I'm road cycling or down in the basement on the stationary bike. Has anyone had a similar experience? My on-bike hear rates are about 10 - 12 beats higher witht the same general perceived exertion rating, or at least I think so. Could it be the HR monitor? Interference?

Any help would be appreciated

Hi,

I have a similar experience - when I work out for 30-45 minutes on my rollers, my heart rate will continue to ratchet up. At the end of my work-out my overall average HR is higher than I would see for riding outdoors (in comparison to something like a club ride).

I put this down to three factors -

a) on the rollers, I'm often doing more structured work-outs which are more compact than I do outside. For example, shorter warm-up and warm down times, intervals. So I'm packing more work into my time on the rollers so my avg HR is higher.

b) connected to last factor - there is more recovery time when I ride outside which pulls my average HR down. For example - work hard to climb a hill then take it easy on the way down, sprint for a marker then soft pedal to recover, slow down in preparation for a big climb, stop signs, traffic lights

c) its hot! even with a fan on me, it gets hot on the rollers and you don't have the wind to cool you down like outside. Might add a few beats to your average HR (this is conjecture - I don't have any empirical evidence to back this up)

If I did similar work-outs outside as I do inside then apart from factor c) I'd expect to get similar heart rate readings.

take it easy.

SR
 

jim.egan

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Oct 6, 2003
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Thanks Stowerider. Only problem is, my HR is higher on the bike than on the trainer. Opposite problem. Can't figure it out.
 

stowerider

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Sep 23, 2003
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Originally posted by jim.egan
Thanks Stowerider. Only problem is, my HR is higher on the bike than on the trainer. Opposite problem. Can't figure it out.

oh.....
 

tomUK

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Oct 20, 2003
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Jim -

I experience a similar phenomena. For example, when out on the road I can achieve my Max HR (188), however, when on the trainer I can only achieve 178. The only explination I can think of is when training indoors you generally don't use the same amount of upper-body strength (esp if you use a turbo). Also, I think it's somewhat physiological - simulating a climb on a turbo doesn't fill me with half the same excitement as climbing a 'real' hill. The added adrenalin I'm sure helps to increase heart rate.

Recently I read about this. What you are experiencing is normal. PE are higher for the same HR when indoors compared to the Asphalt.

Cheers,
Tom.
 

jim.egan

New Member
Oct 6, 2003
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Thanks Tom. That makes sense. On top of this, I'm pretty certain that my HR monitor was being skewed by about 10 beats/min due to a lubricant I was using instead of just wetting it with water prior to using it. It so happened that I wasn't using that lubricant while indoors. Also, I've read that the heart rate is typically lower in the AM. Again, when I ride indoors it's usually in the early morning. All this together would certainly account for the difference.

Thanks again.
 

JC Henry

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Aug 22, 2003
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I too have a harder time maintaining target heart rate zones indoors compared to outdoor rides. The reasons explained in this thread make sense why, but I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem.