Would you buy a Ciclosport Hac4 or a Polar S720?



BergMann

New Member
Aug 8, 2003
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Others have mentioned the differences in altimetry functions -- for me this was the dealbreaker, because I wanted the HAC4s reliable altimeter for skiing, hiking, trail running, snowshoeing etc.

The Polar effectively has _no_ altimetry functions. It will display current altitude, but doesn't have features to track total loss/gain, etc. In other words, it is little better than looking at a topo and being able to say "OK, right now I am at elevation X".

I am really impressed with the HAC4's altimeter, and it's very easy to correct for variations in barometric pressure with the software.

It is true that the HAC software is not particularly user friendly (I prefer the "Hactronic" application for its simplicity), and the english manual is beyond the pale. Fortunately, I read German, so I don't need to torture myself with that wretched document (that translator should be barred from the business for life!!!).

As for interference with the HAC4, I live and ride in a rural area and have never had even one instance of interference.

As for cost, get the HAC4 on Ebay -- you can get the "titanium" model for around $220 and the "Plus" (with cadence sensor, interface and full software bundle) for around $300.
 

rek

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Aug 31, 2002
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Originally posted by BergMann
The Polar effectively has _no_ altimetry functions. It will display current altitude, but doesn't have features to track total loss/gain, etc. In other words, it is little better than looking at a topo and being able to say "OK, right now I am at elevation X".

I am really impressed with the HAC4's altimeter, and it's very easy to correct for variations in barometric pressure with the software.
The altimeter on the Polar unit itself is pretty useless, but all of those functions (ascent over a ride/lap/selection, gradient, pressure correction, etc.) are in the PC analysis software.
 

[email protected]

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Sep 4, 2003
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Originally posted by rek
This web page might come in handy for you: http://www.heartratemonitor.co.uk/hac4s710.html

I (as do a number of others here) have an S710 and find it's great (the software being a highlight.) I've never seen, let alone used, a HAC4 so I don't really know how they compare.
I have the s710i, after a few problems as first with set-up and couldn't get the cadence or speed to read, replaced the batteries and hay presto all worked. But i don't have a download device. Which one in the Polar range do you use? Thanking you in advance for an help.
 

rek

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Aug 31, 2002
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I use the serial port IR unit. There is a USB one around as well, but some people have had problems getting that to work.

As you have an S710i, the infrared port on your computer (if it has one) should work, and you wouldn't need the separate IR unit.
 

rcoulonvaux

New Member
Sep 22, 2003
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52
I recently bought a Polar S720i and the Polar Power Output Sensor.
I experience problems with the connection between the metal pins (on the bike mount) and the back cover of the wristwatch receiver : after a few weeks, more and more the S720i receiver looses the signal sent by the Power Output Sendor.
Consequently, the S720i does not display anymore speed, cadence, power, ...
I checked that the wristwatch receiver is correctly installed on the bike mount but this is not sufficient.
During the first weeks, this problem occurred only when riding on roads made of paving stones but now (after 2 months), it happens 50% of the time !!!
I find this unacceptable for such high-end HRM.
Does anybody have an idea on how to solve this problem.
I submitted the problem to the Polar help desk but no answer yet.


Originally posted by Blackie
Have decided the time is nigh to upgrade my Polar M52. Its done its job but sadly cannot do multiple training zones and would be nice to have a watch with cycling features as well, which can easily download to a computer. (At present I use my cateye Astrale, and input the info).

Has anyone any experience of these watches - I'm trying to see whether its worth buying the Polar S720 as in reality its true cost with power is 450ish pounds, compared to 200 quid for the Hac4(with software). I'd like the power feature. Polar for me is a solid brand, but the cost worries me. Also it seems it doesn't beep if you're outside the zones (which would be a weakness). As to the Hac4, it seems weak if it only updates after 20secs, and it seems the power feature is not as accurate, and as its a more recent product the software might not be as well developed. What do you think? Thanks.
 

kneighbour

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Apr 30, 2003
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Originally posted by rcoulonvaux
I find this unacceptable for such high-end HRM.
Does anybody have an idea on how to solve this problem.
I submitted the problem to the Polar help desk but no answer yet.

There are a lot of problems with the S710i/720i units. I have had both, plus a S710 which is a lot worse. I am generally happy with the S710i I now have, but for the money you pay, it is a bit poor.

Some of my problems have been -

1. very marked rainbow artefact on the S720i screen (I had two units, both returned to Polar as unaccepatable). I finally swapped it for a S710i which is a bit better. Still not good though.

2. interference problems. This can be very marked - to the extent the ride becomes a total washout - I have done rides where I supposedly averaged 110kph! I bought the Power sensor for the sole reason of getting around some of the interference problems, and it is a lot better now. But an expensive "fix".

3. The S710 shuts down after 5 minutes of no HR activity. This was so ludicrous and such an obvious design flaw I returned the S710 and bought the S720i, which extends this time to 30 minutes. But the unit still "shuts down" after a short time - I have not worked out how long it is, but after some time it forgets the HR coding,a nd refuses to learn again. So many of my rides end up as two HR files which I have to merge together. And there are many bugs in this area of the Polar software which they still have not fixed.

4. These units are NOT meant for cyclists. They are HRM units with a few cycling functions added as an after thought. This might sound pedantic, but it means the cycle functions are hard to find while riding the bike, or are impossible to read. Most cycling functions are on the very small top line - and at my age that line is almost unreadable while riding.

5. The Power sensor bike mount (where you mount the S710i) has a very flimsy cable plug - this is asking to be broken off at the very least. Poor design - I just know it is going to cost me money to replace someday soon.

While there are a lot of fairly ****ly design problems with the S7x0i units, the software is pretty good - MUCH better than the HAC4 stuff, which is terrible. This, and the extra HR functions on the Polar units decided me when I was looking at buying one.

And funnily enough - and HAC might want to take note - the HAC4 manual is a disgrace. I know it is translated from German, but I feel if a company is that careless about such an important feature of their product, how poorly designed is the rest of their product? This was actually a big deciding factor for me.
 

mesens

New Member
Aug 17, 2003
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I can fully recommend S720, but be carefull about power feature. Too many cables, too high cost. (If you are really top athlete, go for SRM.)

If you were using M52 being satisfied, than I recommend to stay with Polar, HAC has different menus etc. On the other side, I know some HAC users and they are rather satisfied too.

Polar is maybe also having advantage that it is normal nice watch for running, swimming, cross country skiing etc. HAC is more less cyclocomputer, not very pleasant to have on hand.

Good Luck!
Mesens



Originally posted by Blackie
Have decided the time is nigh to upgrade my Polar M52. Its done its job but sadly cannot do multiple training zones and would be nice to have a watch with cycling features as well, which can easily download to a computer. (At present I use my cateye Astrale, and input the info).

Has anyone any experience of these watches - I'm trying to see whether its worth buying the Polar S720 as in reality its true cost with power is 450ish pounds, compared to 200 quid for the Hac4(with software). I'd like the power feature. Polar for me is a solid brand, but the cost worries me. Also it seems it doesn't beep if you're outside the zones (which would be a weakness). As to the Hac4, it seems weak if it only updates after 20secs, and it seems the power feature is not as accurate, and as its a more recent product the software might not be as well developed. What do you think? Thanks.
 

Lada-czech

New Member
Sep 22, 2003
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What are my minuses after two rides and really careful reading of manual and few hours playing with software (ver 4.0).
- the display gets dark(dark patches) already in temp of 12°C
- really do not understand why TRIP has to be reset. Everything is starting from the beginning baut the TRIP remains the same til reset
- basic setup of signal power from sensors (check my other thread how to improve it)
- do not understand why the Max HR is not set to the new higher value in OPTIONS/USER setting when it is reached. It has to be changed manually
- the software ver. 4 (last one) has some bugs e.g. temp is of one degree less in the chart that was actual, there is only one temp and not at least min max avg which are in the watch saved, automatic setting of HR zones based on Max HR, cannot merge two files ...

I do not understand why somebody is claiming that the watch stops to record after 5 min of HR break. If I take coffee break or whatever what takes some times a) I do not want to measure my HR when I am drinking coffee or dozing b) you can tak the watch with you (it takes 10 s to take it from the barhandles)

But it is really good piece of measuring device. I do not regret the money I have put on ( I have 710 for about 250 USD incl serial IR).
 

mesens

New Member
Aug 17, 2003
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Hi Lada & others (are you from Czech? Me too!)
You reminded me about one feature what I really don't like on Polar 710, 720 (otherwise I am fully satisfied with no problems as written above).

710 or 720 really stops recording file when you are more than 5 minutes away from Polar. The result is that recording of your file is definitelly stopped and you cannot recover otherwise than to start the new file which is not convenient at all - the result is that you have two or more exercises in your training diary even if it was actually one.

Of course, this is applicable only if you leave your Polar in bike mount (and go e.g. to take a drink ;). If you wear Polar on your wrist, it doesn't loose the HR signal and you can stop (pause) and start again recording your one file without any problem.

So - overall definition: if Polar looses the HR signal for more than 5 minutes, it stops recording file and you have to start new file (exercise). This is proven, I have asked Polar helpdesk already. Strange is that this logical problem was not present with older types, like XTrainer etc...

Have a nice day.

Originally posted by Lada-czech
What are my minuses after two rides and really careful reading of manual and few hours playing with software (ver 4.0).
- the display gets dark(dark patches) already in temp of 12°C
- really do not understand why TRIP has to be reset. Everything is starting from the beginning baut the TRIP remains the same til reset
- basic setup of signal power from sensors (check my other thread how to improve it)
- do not understand why the Max HR is not set to the new higher value in OPTIONS/USER setting when it is reached. It has to be changed manually
- the software ver. 4 (last one) has some bugs e.g. temp is of one degree less in the chart that was actual, there is only one temp and not at least min max avg which are in the watch saved, automatic setting of HR zones based on Max HR, cannot merge two files ...

I do not understand why somebody is claiming that the watch stops to record after 5 min of HR break. If I take coffee break or whatever what takes some times a) I do not want to measure my HR when I am drinking coffee or dozing b) you can tak the watch with you (it takes 10 s to take it from the barhandles)

But it is really good piece of measuring device. I do not regret the money I have put on ( I have 710 for about 250 USD incl serial IR).
 

kneighbour

New Member
Apr 30, 2003
57
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Originally posted by mesens
710 or 720 really stops recording file when you are more than 5 minutes away from Polar. The result is that recording of your file is definitelly stopped and you cannot recover otherwise than to start the new file which is not convenient at all - the result is that you have two or more exercises in your training diary even if it was actually one.

This is certainly the case. I owned a 710 for a few weeks, but returned it because of this very problem. I could not believe such an expensive item had such a serious flaw!!

I then "upgraded" to a S710i - which has fixed the problem. It now shuts down after 30 minutes, which in practice is normally quite ok.

The S710i has another problem though - after some short time (I dunno - probably 15 minutes or so), the HR readings go to "--". You are then meant to put the S710i close to your chest and it "relearns" your chest transmitter again. In my experience, this absolutely NEVER happens - it never relearns. So you HAVE to stop the recording and start another HR file... the same as with the old S710 units, but a bit more than 5 minutes.

It is things like this that show you that these things are NOT meant for cyclists....you are meant to wear it on your wrist - and this is not something you can do with these units. Why not? Because the temperature will be totally wrong (it will measure body temperature), so the altitude will be wrong. Also, you will have a hard time getting the speed and cadence sensors to work with it on your wrist. And of course the Powe rSensor won't work at all.
 

Lada-czech

New Member
Sep 22, 2003
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Mesens: I am from Ostrava. If you want to merge few files you can. Look/search this board for the merge 720 Polar. Someone put here the lintk to web site to download this programm.
 

bohemiacycle

New Member
Aug 5, 2003
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We can sell you POLAR 720i for £192 and POLAR Power Output Sensor for £200 + shipping. Does it sound good?
 

Chuck-MN

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
10
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Originally posted by Blackie
Have decided the time is nigh to upgrade my Polar M52. Its done its job but sadly cannot do multiple training zones and would be nice to have a watch with cycling features as well, which can easily download to a computer. (At present I use my cateye Astrale, and input the info).

Has anyone any experience of these watches - I'm trying to see whether its worth buying the Polar S720 as in reality its true cost with power is 450ish pounds, compared to 200 quid for the Hac4(with software). I'd like the power feature. Polar for me is a solid brand, but the cost worries me. Also it seems it doesn't beep if you're outside the zones (which would be a weakness). As to the Hac4, it seems weak if it only updates after 20secs, and it seems the power feature is not as accurate, and as its a more recent product the software might not be as well developed. What do you think? Thanks.

I have a Hac-4, they don't work on recumbents and the software
is terrible.. The system is not worth the price. It needs a lot of improvement.. Mine is on the shelf taking up space.
 

Chuck-MN

New Member
Aug 7, 2003
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I don't think these things are perfected yet.. My HAC-4 was a terrible waste of alot of money.
 

Kiwicyclist

New Member
Jun 27, 2003
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I bought a HAC4+ about 6 weeks ago, and am very happy with the unit. For me it's been very robust and 'bullet proof'. THe software is poor - 3 different programs by 3 different designers, and in need of a total over-haul. However I've started using Cyclo-Max software (www.cyclo-max.com ) instead - doesn't have an interface for the HAC4 yet, but is likely to in the next release out soon.