Problem with Garmin Edge 500 and heart rate monitor



frankied

New Member
Jan 29, 2013
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Hi all,

I got a lovely shiny new garmin edge 500 for Christmas and I've started a training plan on trainer road (turbo trainer) since early January in an effort to regain my long lost bike legs and lose 35lbs.

For the first session which was a twenty minute test the hr picked up just fine my training zones were set. Ever since the hr will pick up for the first few minutes of the workout in the warm up phase then it seems as soon as I hit lactate threshold the hr disappears never to return which is really bloody frustrating. I've kept ploughing along with it just guessing how hard I should be working thinking that it's probably my fat that's getting in the way of a reading (I'm 6lbs down in my 35lb crusade) but even if I'm very careful about holding my position on the bike the hr still drops when I get to lactate threshold. I'm on my second chest strap by the way, garmin sent on a replacement. So is it any of the following:

Me and my belly getting in the way?
Could it be a lady specific problem, i.e boobies (I have tried different bras..makes no odds and yes I know I'm setting myself up for some smart suggestions with that question!)
The strap- all of the straps it would seem.
The unit, even sometimes when the hr does pick up on the trainer road screen on the laptop it doesn't pick up in the edge unit.
This never used to happen with my 30 quid polar hrm.
Could there be something in the settings that I'm missing.

It did work for the duration of one other workout out of the 16 I've done so far but I really didn't do anything different, it just worked.

I haven't used it on the road yet but I can't imagine it will make any difference.

Help, please! I like to know exactly where I'm at when I'm training but I am getting really p***ed off now, this piece of equipment with all it's bells and whistles is failing in a basic function.

Any advice appreciated,
 

vspa

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2009
2,203
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frankied said:
I haven't used it on the road yet but I can't imagine it will make any difference. Help, please! I like to know exactly where I'm at when I'm training but I am getting really p***ed off now, this piece of equipment with all it's bells and whistles is failing in a basic function. Any advice appreciated,
some devices are affected by digital TV or other sources of interference within your house, so it would be helpful to try it on an actual road outside,
 

danfoz

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2011
2,432
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It's an odd problem especially since we tend to sweat way more indoors, sweat being key to conducting the HR signal from your heart to the strap. I don't have any of the heads-up display tools for the pc, etc. but the only problems I've had with my Garmin 500 so far is going out on very cold days without pre-licking the two conductor strips on the strap, the Garmin unit taking awhile to kick in on the HR until the sweat is free-flowing.
 

Martybgee

New Member
Apr 1, 2013
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Same issues here, I feel your frustration.

I'm a bit late responding to this and hope you have had some success. If so can you pass on what the trick was, but in case you haven't, here is what I have found:

I started with the standard hard strap - intermittent issues - drop outs after a few minutes etc ( much as you described )
I went to the softstrap with the plugin module - first ride was zero output, second was full ride, intermittent after that
I then tried the Polar softstrap with the Garmin plugin module - No difference. This one reportidly works for some people.

Problem occurs if I am riding or running ( carry Garmin in hand ) but funnily get longer set of results if running than riding.

My Polar strap which I use on my TACX indoor trainer ( Fortius ) has never missed a beat.

There have been comments regarding some shirts creating static. Tried both cotton , lycra, loose, tight, going topless...no joy.

I have tried positioning high, low, back to front, upside down, makes no difference.

Cleaning the sensor strap fully seems to help somewhat but not perfect, so there is a start point.


In an early version Polar ( 20 years ago ) I had a unit that did the same thing, and was advised by Polar that certain people generate slightly different electrical patterns, and this is probably what I have issues with my unit. Have no real idea whether this was true, but the same unit worked fine on the guys at the bike shop and also it passed all the QA tests at Polar.

It got me thinking and one thing I have noticed is that it works most often when I haven't trained for a day or so. My sweat is more salty, so potentially its a conductivity issue, haven't tried a conductive gel yet.

Hope you have some luck, and I'm sure you are had a good hack at the 35lb's by now

Cheers