HRM. Polar S510 v S710



Thinking of a heart rate monitor? Top of the range: Polar S510 & S710. Which? ??? First check you bank balance! :eek: Both are expensive! :eek: Soon to be even more expensive when the exchange rate kicks in. Both have everything a serious biker needs. Main differences:

S710 measures ambient air temperature (avg, max & min) while riding. Must be mounted on bike not wrist. Not very important to me. Hell, I just KNOW when I'm hot!! :-[

S710 stores many more records on watch than the S510. How many depends on heatbeat interval recording selected (5, 15, or 60 seconds. 15 seconds usually suitable). Important if you're away for a week or so before you can download records to your computer. Otherwise not so important if you download and delete files after each ride.

S710 uses infrared interface. S510 does not have IR but uses SonicLink using computer loudspeakers. Works well. However the S710 does NOT have SonicLink which is a problem if your COM2 port is in use by your modem or something else.

S710 has an altitude sensor. ;D S510 does not. At first I didn't realise this importance. In fact it is one of the main features of the S710. It will give your altitude while riding (actual, max, min & avg) and ascents. Not too important. I rarely switch this feature on while riding. However when you download ride info to Precision Performance (software included. S510 has Polar Coach software), you get a Curve showing actual heartrate and cycling speed at 5 or 15 sec
intervals. But ALSO the actual altitude profile of the ride showing the altitude at whatever time. By moving the cursor over the profile will show for instance at 1h20 into the ride you were on a hill at an altitude of x metres (or feet) with a HR of x BPM (or %max). Seeing the altitude profile this way you can really analyse the ride. It will also give you a summation of the number of ascents you made on the ride. ie an indication of the difficulty of one route v another. Incidentally I also find being able to get a visual profile is a great motivator for going to try a new route, or the same route the other way round.

Both HRM have a cadence sensor as an optional extra. 8)

S710 also has a "power output" option for anyone wanting know their chain tension, chain speed, or power output of their right leg v left leg. 8)
very interesting old timer as i was thinking about a hrm. that is way cool that you can have a ride profile (altitude-distance) with the s710. i can only think of one missing feature :D a gradient feature so you know how many degrees a hill is. but i guess you can work that out too once you have the data on the computer. way cool. could you post a picture of a graph the s710 produces for a ride?. also is the infarred thing for the s710 expensive?. i think its a waste of money if your not geting it with the hrm its essentual. thanks for all the information.
Thats some pretty good info, i think i'd get the S710 :)
For those that dont know, the polar website can be found here

I have an S510. The 710 was too expensive at the time (still is). Its a great tool to have.
Nicholas. The IR interface is an extra. Cost me an extra R295 in South Africa. That's probably why they don't include the SonicLink! Apparently you don't need the IR if you're using Windows 95. Don't quite know how that works. The altitude profile gives you a pretty good idea of the gradient. I can post/upload a picture of a graph the s710 produces for a ride if someone tells me how! ??? Admin? It will need to be a colour picture to make sense.

VO2. Yes, it costs an arm & a leg! But I took early retirement end of December ;D ;D ;D so instead of a gold watch I got myself a S710! ;D
Well guys, in my lunch break today i went and ordered a S710 ;D Old Timer did a pretty good job at selling me one ;)

I think i'll get the power sensor in a month or two
Good on yer, Bruce! ;D I did tell you I was on commission for these things?! (No, only kidding!) ;D If you need any other info I found their main URL in Finland very helpful and prompt to reply:

< Link fixed - Vo2> ;)
Here is an image old timer sent me;

have you got it yet admin?. hey old timer does the s710 tell you your vo2 max?.

im thinking of geting it more and more each day ;D ;D ;D
Nicholas. The S710 (& the S510) have a "fitness test" which shows an approx of your VO2max. It's based on your resting HR, HR vaiability at rest, age, gender, height, body weight, and self assesses physical activity. I've pushed mine up 5 points since I restarted exercising after my 7 week accident layoff. ;D They say to only check it once a month but being an optimistic kind of guy I've been doing it about every day! ::)
So whats your current V02max old timer?

nah Nic I havent got it yet, sould have it at the end of the month though :)

Admin. There are 2 questions you NEVER ask! A ladies age and a guy's VO2max! :eek:
Soooo, Roadster & Elsa if you tell me your age I'll show (I mean tell) you my VO2max! ;)
Anyway it is.......................52! :-[
At Christmas when I was coming off my crutches it was 47. I guess once you get at, or near, your peak, it will only move one point up ;D, or down :'(, every 2 -3 months? Maybe VO2 will comment?
I was only kidding about daily testing. You should test the morning AFTER your rest day to get consistent figure. (See it even motivates you to actually HAVE a rest day!)
52 is about a 10% improvment, gotta be happy with that gain in only a few weeks
I've got a question for those with the S510 and S710. What method do you use to download the information from the watch to the computer, IR or crandle? Does anyone have a Mac and download the data? The reason I ask is that I just bought a S710. I want to download the information to my computer, I have a G4 Mac running OS 9 and OS X :). I also have Virtual PC 5 with the Polar software running on it and it works great :). I sent an email to Polar asking about a USB version of their cradle. They said it will be out in a couple of months. They also said it will not work with VPC as they have tested it and could not get it to work :'(, but they didn't say what version of VPC they used or what OS. I then went to the VPC web site and they said they VPC will work with Windows USB devices as long as I have Windows 98 or higher(I have 2000) and the drivers. Does the cradle come with a driver? If I can't get it to work I may connect it at work and copy the graphs to an email then paste it in my training log at home, I made my own with Filemaker. Any thoughts?
Hi LLCadyJ, welcome to the forums! ;)

OK, lets answer your Q's from top to bottom.
The S510 comes with SonicLink. The download from HRM to PC is done via microphone. The upload from PC to HRM is done via loudspeakers (I use headsets).
The S710 downloads from HRM to PC via IR. If I remember correctly from a previous post, the S710 cannot upload from PC to HRM? I'm shocked if this is true.
I have no clue regarding functionality between the Apple Mac and your S710. I use Win98 and Win2k, so no help there I'm afraid.
Win98 and higher should auto-detect the IR device imo, but I'm not sure if Windows will have a default driver available. Maybe Win2k will? The IR device will probably be supplied with a driver. Old Timer and Admin might be able to shed some light here, as they both have S710's?
You can edit the data files with a normal text editor such as Windows Notepad, so you'll be able to 'upload' the HRM info into your training log.
I thought I would post the reply that Polar sent me about a USB cradle S710 on a Mac

Dear Mr. C,

The USB IR Interface will become available in the next few months. We do not
have an estimated availability date as yet. Your email address will be kept on
file so that we may contact you when it is released.

However we are not sure that the USB IR Interface will work with the Mac. It is
possible to run Windows programs like Polar Precision Performance SW 3.0 in Mac
computers through Windows emulating software such as Virtual PC. In our testing
the software itself works fine.

However, the problem is with hardware i.e. Windows emulating software does not
support external devices well enough to make them work. Although Virtual PC or
other Windows emulating software can run Windows programs there are a lot of
problems in handling external devices like Polar IR Interface which makes it
impossible to transfer exercises from HR monitor to PPP SW 3.0. In our tests we
have not managed to get our interface nor other external interfaces working
through Windows emulators. Only normal functionality for mouse, keyboard and
printer is available.

With iMac there is also a specific problem in terms of a missing serial port. We
have only an IR interface for the serial port available. Although there are USB
to serial adapters in the market we have not managed to make them to work
probably due to bad support for external devices with Windows emulator software.

Computer's internal interface in Mac computers uses IrDA protocol in
communication. Polar S610/S710/S810 monitor have its own protocol that is not
compatible with IrDA i.e. Mac computer's internal infrared port can not be used
with Polar S610/S710/S810 HR monitors. Although emulating software emulates
Win95 it is not possible to switch IrDA to so called direct IR in Macs that is
needed in using computer's internal infrared with Win95.

In summary, it is possible to run Polar Precision Performance SW 3.0 in Mac
computers through Windows emulating software, but because of the bad support for
external devices with emulating software, it is not possible to transfer
exercises through infrared communication.

If you need further assistance please feel free to contact customer service at

Thank you for choosing Polar.

Customer Service

To: Customer Service USA/AS/PEUS1/PEG@Polar Electro Group
Subject: IR Interface for USB

Greetings Polar,
I just purchased a S710 and would like to download the files to my computer.
I only have USB ports, will Polar be making a USB version of the IR
I am using a Mac with Virtual PC to run Polar Precision and I believe an
interface unit is the only way to download the data.

Thank You