OT: Heart Rate Monitor recommendations

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Norman, Jun 24, 2003.

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  1. Norman

    Norman Guest

    This is slightly off-topic, but hopefully, people here can help. I'm looking for recommendations for
    a heart rate monitor.

    This would be used during bike rides and walks. Base features I'm looking for are current heart
    rate, a stopwatch/timer, and current time. Other nice to have features would be a settable zone, and
    a time-in-zone.

    Initially, I was looking at the Polar A1 and A3, however, after reading some complaints about people
    experiencing delays when returning equipment to Polar, and having some disappointing interactions
    with Polar Canada, I'm not against looking at other brands.

    Here are some issues that I'd also like people's opinions on:

    -What HRM do you use? Would you recommend it?

    -How do you find the use of a chest strap with a HRM? How do other technologies compare in accuracy
    & convenience? Some, like Mio (and Timex?) require you to touch two pads on the watch to obtain the
    heart rate.

    -Similarly, I just noticed that there's a pulsemeter from Oregon Instruments which somehow reads the
    rate from an optical sensor in a wrist carried monitor. Are these just as good, or is the chest
    strap the "gold standard"?

    -I'm also looking for a bike computer. What do you think of combination systems (like the Cat Eye
    CC-HB100 or Polar S150)? I've been thinking that separate units means simpler and more reliable.

    -Service. Have you had to return something for service, or a battery change? How would you evaluate
    your interaction with them?

    -Does anyone have any direct experience with Polar Electro Canada? How were they?

    btw, I've set followups to rec.bicycles.tech

    Regards, Norman

    - ---
    Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
     
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  2. Barryg

    Barryg Guest

    I highly recommend that you look for a monitor with user replaceable batteries in BOTH the chest
    strap and watch unit. Unfortunately none of the monitors I've owned have had this feature.

    Barry

    "Norman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > This is slightly off-topic, but hopefully, people here can help. I'm
    looking for
    > recommendations for a heart rate monitor.
    >
    > This would be used during bike rides and walks. Base features I'm looking
    for
    > are current heart rate, a stopwatch/timer, and current time. Other nice to
    have
    > features would be a settable zone, and a time-in-zone.
    >
    > Initially, I was looking at the Polar A1 and A3, however, after reading
    some
    > complaints about people experiencing delays when returning equipment to
    Polar,
    > and having some disappointing interactions with Polar Canada, I'm not
    against
    > looking at other brands.
    >
    > Here are some issues that I'd also like people's opinions on:
    >
    > -What HRM do you use? Would you recommend it?
    >
    > -How do you find the use of a chest strap with a HRM? How do other
    technologies
    > compare in accuracy & convenience? Some, like Mio (and Timex?) require you
    to
    > touch two pads on the watch to obtain the heart rate.
    >
    > -Similarly, I just noticed that there's a pulsemeter from Oregon
    Instruments
    > which somehow reads the rate from an optical sensor in a wrist carried
    monitor.
    > Are these just as good, or is the chest strap the "gold standard"?
    >
    > -I'm also looking for a bike computer. What do you think of combination
    systems
    > (like the Cat Eye CC-HB100 or Polar S150)? I've been thinking that
    separate
    > units means simpler and more reliable.
    >
    > -Service. Have you had to return something for service, or a battery
    change? How
    > would you evaluate your interaction with them?
    >
    > -Does anyone have any direct experience with Polar Electro Canada? How
    were
    > they?
    >
    > btw, I've set followups to rec.bicycles.tech
    >
    > Regards, Norman
    >
    > - ---
    > Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
     
  3. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

    On Tue, 24 Jun 2003 15:22:40 -0400, Norman <[email protected]> wrote:

    >-I'm also looking for a bike computer. What do you think of combination systems (like the Cat Eye
    >CC-HB100 or Polar S150)? I've been thinking that separate units means simpler and more reliable.

    http://www.supergo.com/itemdisplay.asp?parentid=15332&secid=24&subid=1512&compflag=1&company=Supergo

    At $35(US) it's hard to go wrong. BTW, between my Vetta HR-1000s and the above (same product,
    different color buttons) I own five of these. The oldest is on its eleventh season.

    jeverett3<AT>earthlink<DOT>net http://home.earthlink.net/~jeverett3
     
  4. "BarryG" <bg at albany.net> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I highly recommend that you look for a monitor with user replaceable batteries in BOTH the chest
    > strap and watch unit. Unfortunately none of the monitors I've owned have had this feature.

    I would strongly advise the opposite. In my experience, user-replaceable batteries mean the chest
    strap will not remain sweat-proof.

    After Vetta and Cat-eye monitors (see posting from earlier years), I hav esince used a Polar Coach
    (destroyed in crash) and Polar S610. Both wonderful, chest strap life is excellent.

    Robert
     
  5. Garyg

    Garyg Guest

    "Norman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > This is slightly off-topic, but hopefully, people here can help. I'm
    looking for
    > recommendations for a heart rate monitor.
    >
    > This would be used during bike rides and walks. Base features I'm looking
    for
    > are current heart rate, a stopwatch/timer, and current time. Other nice to
    have
    > features would be a settable zone, and a time-in-zone.
    >
    > Initially, I was looking at the Polar A1 and A3, however, after reading
    some
    > complaints about people experiencing delays when returning equipment to
    Polar,
    > and having some disappointing interactions with Polar Canada, I'm not
    against
    > looking at other brands.
    >
    > Here are some issues that I'd also like people's opinions on:
    >
    > -What HRM do you use? Would you recommend it?
    >
    > -How do you find the use of a chest strap with a HRM? How do other
    technologies
    > compare in accuracy & convenience? Some, like Mio (and Timex?) require you
    to
    > touch two pads on the watch to obtain the heart rate.
    >
    > -Similarly, I just noticed that there's a pulsemeter from Oregon
    Instruments
    > which somehow reads the rate from an optical sensor in a wrist carried
    monitor.
    > Are these just as good, or is the chest strap the "gold standard"?
    >
    > -I'm also looking for a bike computer. What do you think of combination
    systems
    > (like the Cat Eye CC-HB100 or Polar S150)? I've been thinking that
    separate
    > units means simpler and more reliable.
    >
    > -Service. Have you had to return something for service, or a battery
    change? How
    > would you evaluate your interaction with them?
    >
    > -Does anyone have any direct experience with Polar Electro Canada? How
    were
    > they?
    >
    > btw, I've set followups to rec.bicycles.tech
    >
    > Regards, Norman
    >
    > - ---
    > Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.

    I've had good results with the Performance "Axiom" series. They're inexpensive and reliable (at
    least, mine have been). They come in several models, one of which will probably meet your needs. All
    of their HRMs can be seen at:

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/subcategory.cfm?Cat_ID=8&Sub_ID=4115

    BTW - two nice-to-have features are Average Heart Rate, and Max. Heart Rate.

    ~_-* ...G/ \G http://www.shastasoftware.com Developers of CycliStats - Software for Cyclists
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Guest

    One feature I have grown to enjoy is the ability to download the HR data to your computer. That
    creates the ability easily review your ride visually or just with straight data readout. I did not
    know how much I would enjoy this feature and now take it for granted. Gary

    GaryG wrote:

    >"Norman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    >>This is slightly off-topic, but hopefully, people here can help. I'm
    >>
    >>
    >looking for
    >
    >
    >>recommendations for a heart rate monitor.
    >>
    >>This would be used during bike rides and walks. Base features I'm looking
    >>
    >>
    >for
    >
    >
    >>are current heart rate, a stopwatch/timer, and current time. Other nice to
    >>
    >>
    >have
    >
    >
    >>features would be a settable zone, and a time-in-zone.
    >>
    >>Initially, I was looking at the Polar A1 and A3, however, after reading
    >>
    >>
    >some
    >
    >
    >>complaints about people experiencing delays when returning equipment to
    >>
    >>
    >Polar,
    >
    >
    >>and having some disappointing interactions with Polar Canada, I'm not
    >>
    >>
    >against
    >
    >
    >>looking at other brands.
    >>
    >>Here are some issues that I'd also like people's opinions on:
    >>
    >>-What HRM do you use? Would you recommend it?
    >>
    >>-How do you find the use of a chest strap with a HRM? How do other
    >>
    >>
    >technologies
    >
    >
    >>compare in accuracy & convenience? Some, like Mio (and Timex?) require you
    >>
    >>
    >to
    >
    >
    >>touch two pads on the watch to obtain the heart rate.
    >>
    >>-Similarly, I just noticed that there's a pulsemeter from Oregon
    >>
    >>
    >Instruments
    >
    >
    >>which somehow reads the rate from an optical sensor in a wrist carried
    >>
    >>
    >monitor.
    >
    >
    >>Are these just as good, or is the chest strap the "gold standard"?
    >>
    >>-I'm also looking for a bike computer. What do you think of combination
    >>
    >>
    >systems
    >
    >
    >>(like the Cat Eye CC-HB100 or Polar S150)? I've been thinking that
    >>
    >>
    >separate
    >
    >
    >>units means simpler and more reliable.
    >>
    >>-Service. Have you had to return something for service, or a battery
    >>
    >>
    >change? How
    >
    >
    >>would you evaluate your interaction with them?
    >>
    >>-Does anyone have any direct experience with Polar Electro Canada? How
    >>
    >>
    >were
    >
    >
    >>they?
    >>
    >>btw, I've set followups to rec.bicycles.tech
    >>
    >>Regards, Norman
    >>
    >>- ---
    >>Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >I've had good results with the Performance "Axiom" series. They're inexpensive and reliable (at
    >least, mine have been). They come in several models, one of which will probably meet your needs.
    >All of their HRMs can be seen at:
    >
    >http://www.performancebike.com/shop/subcategory.cfm?Cat_ID=8&Sub_ID=4115
    >
    >BTW - two nice-to-have features are Average Heart Rate, and Max. Heart Rate.
    >
    > ~_-* ...G/ \G http://www.shastasoftware.com Developers of CycliStats - Software for Cyclists
    >
    >
     
  7. Grl

    Grl Guest

    I bought a Sports Instruments ECG5 from the fellow who sells them on eBay for $55.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2642793114&category=31387

    He shipped with fair-priced shipping and quick delivery. The HRM works fine. The strap is
    comfortable enough so you don't notice it after a few uses (you get used to it). The batteries are
    user-replaceable. At least some Polar models require you to send the watch and/or strap in to do.
    Check review on MTBREVIEW.COM. I'm very satisfied with it (other than thinking that the calories
    burned feature is optimistic).

    Forget about the non-strap models unless you want to constantly be putting your finger on the probe
    to get a reading. Next to useless design.

    For a bike computer consider the Planet Bike 8 model (again, check MTBREVIEW.COM to see what owners
    say). It's about $20 on sale and a superb little device with every feature you'd want other than
    cadence (no big deal). Planet Bike is also a very high class company.

    --

    - GRL

    "It's good to want things."

    Steve Barr (philosopher, poet, humorist, chemist, Visual Basic programmer)
    "Norman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > This is slightly off-topic, but hopefully, people here can help. I'm
    looking for
    > recommendations for a heart rate monitor.
    >
    > This would be used during bike rides and walks. Base features I'm looking
    for
    > are current heart rate, a stopwatch/timer, and current time. Other nice to
    have
    > features would be a settable zone, and a time-in-zone.
    >
    > Initially, I was looking at the Polar A1 and A3, however, after reading
    some
    > complaints about people experiencing delays when returning equipment to
    Polar,
    > and having some disappointing interactions with Polar Canada, I'm not
    against
    > looking at other brands.
    >
    > Here are some issues that I'd also like people's opinions on:
    >
    > -What HRM do you use? Would you recommend it?
    >
    > -How do you find the use of a chest strap with a HRM? How do other
    technologies
    > compare in accuracy & convenience? Some, like Mio (and Timex?) require you
    to
    > touch two pads on the watch to obtain the heart rate.
    >
    > -Similarly, I just noticed that there's a pulsemeter from Oregon
    Instruments
    > which somehow reads the rate from an optical sensor in a wrist carried
    monitor.
    > Are these just as good, or is the chest strap the "gold standard"?
    >
    > -I'm also looking for a bike computer. What do you think of combination
    systems
    > (like the Cat Eye CC-HB100 or Polar S150)? I've been thinking that
    separate
    > units means simpler and more reliable.
    >
    > -Service. Have you had to return something for service, or a battery
    change? How
    > would you evaluate your interaction with them?
    >
    > -Does anyone have any direct experience with Polar Electro Canada? How
    were
    > they?
    >
    > btw, I've set followups to rec.bicycles.tech
    >
    > Regards, Norman
    >
    > - ---
    > Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
     
  8. Norman

    Norman Guest

    On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 21:50:04 -0400, "GRL" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I bought a Sports Instruments ECG5 from the fellow who sells them on eBay for $55.
    *sigh* SI is hard to find. I saw an ECG2 in one store. It was $96 CDN. I shudder to think what
    they'd charge for an EGC5. In fact, this would probably be a good time to rant about the large
    difference in price (even with exchange) between US & Canadian prices for this stuff.

    >http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2642793114&category=31387
    Thanks, I'll check that out.

    - ---
    Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
     
  9. Norman

    Norman Guest

    On 25 Jun 2003 09:25:35 -0700, [email protected] (Robert Saunders) wrote:

    >"BarryG" <bg at albany.net> wrote in message news:<[email protected]iz.net>...
    >> I highly recommend that you look for a monitor with user replaceable batteries in BOTH the chest
    >> strap and watch unit. Unfortunately none of the monitors I've owned have had this feature.
    >
    >I would strongly advise the opposite. In my experience, user-replaceable batteries mean the chest
    >strap will not remain sweat-proof.
    Interestingly, I posed a similar question to Sports Instruments, who reported that it would cost $25
    for a new chest strap if the current one fails. A new Polar strap costs about $25 with a trade-in,
    so I'm wondering if sweat-proof is a major problem (especially considering that Polar is coming out
    with the M31/32 & M61/62 which come with coded chest straps with user-replacable batteries).

    - ---
    Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
     
  10. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    Norman wrote:
    > On 25 Jun 2003 09:25:35 -0700, [email protected] (Robert Saunders) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>"BarryG" <bg at albany.net> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >>
    >>>I highly recommend that you look for a monitor with user replaceable batteries in BOTH the chest
    >>>strap and watch unit. Unfortunately none of the monitors I've owned have had this feature.
    >>
    >>I would strongly advise the opposite. In my experience, user-replaceable batteries mean the chest
    >>strap will not remain sweat-proof.
    >
    > Interestingly, I posed a similar question to Sports Instruments, who reported that it would cost
    > $25 for a new chest strap if the current one fails. A new Polar strap costs about $25 with a
    > trade-in, so I'm wondering if sweat-proof is a major problem (especially considering that Polar is
    > coming out with the M31/32 & M61/62 which come with coded chest straps with user-replacable
    > batteries).

    YMMV... But, I've never had a problem with my replacable battery chest strap and sweat, and I
    __**really**__ sweat!

    David
     
  11. On Sun, 29 Jun 2003 11:08:10 GMT, David Kunz <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Norman wrote:

    >> a major problem (especially considering that Polar is coming out with the M31/32 & M61/62 which
    >> come with coded chest straps with user-replacable batteries).
    >
    >YMMV... But, I've never had a problem with my replacable battery chest strap and sweat, and I
    >__**really**__ sweat!

    Me either. I hope the "improved" model is as water and sweatproof as the old. I also toss mine i n
    the washing machine once or twice a week, with no problems.

    Barry
     
  12. Norman

    Norman Guest

    On Sun, 29 Jun 2003 19:18:38 GMT, B a r r y B u r k e J r . <Keep it in the
    [email protected]> wrote:
    >>YMMV... But, I've never had a problem with my replacable battery chest strap and sweat, and I
    >>__**really**__ sweat!
    >
    >Me either. I hope the "improved" model is as water and sweatproof as the old. I also toss mine i n
    >the washing machine once or twice a week, with no problems.
    So which model are you guys using? I'm a little leery of going with Polar, right now, and would like
    to know if there's anything else out there that works as well.

    Does anyone use Sports Instruments? Are they the next-best-choice?

    - ---
    Norman Please reply via group. E-mail ID does not exist.
     
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