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finally received my Polar S-710(4 posts)

finally received my Polar S-710Duane Gran
Sep 21, 2001 7:15 AM
The topic of this HRM model comes up now and then, so I thought I would mention that my backordered Polar S-710 just came in. Based on email correspondence with Polar USA, the backlog should be quickly satisfied and regular vendors will have stock for sale in about a month.

Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to really test it yet as I've come down with a nasty cold. In a month or so I'll probably post a proper review, but at this point here are some thoughts to chew on.

The thing is loaded with features. I particularly like the variety of options for interval workouts and the display options. For example, you can do an interval based on distance or time and do recovery based on time, distance or recovery heart rate. All of this can be setup with the PC software (sorry, no Mac version) and downloaded to the HRM. This is much easier than fidgeting with the interface on the monitor. The display itself is large and you can easily scroll between other datasets (like altitude, speed, avg speed, max speed, etc) while still showing the HR.

There are really only two things I don't like, which are related. The unit itself is quite large, although not heavy. On my small wrists it looks almost comical, so I don't plan on wearing it as a watch during excercise. Unfortunately, the bike mount isn't very well done. I have an older Polar HRM (Protrainer XT) and it mounts very nicely on the bike. The S-710 comes with the same mount, however it simply doesn't fasten well because the strap is too thick. A solution offered I have heard is to cut away the Polar logo section of the bike mount. That would work, but I'm a little surprised that Polar didn't redesign the bike mount or make the straps thinner.

Overall, this thing looks really snazzy and I'm eager to use it. The software appears to offer excellent analysis of a workout that could be useful. The ability to graph speed, HR and altitude together can be revealing. The software also helps you to see long term trends and changes in fitness. With the addition of the power measurement add on, this could be really cool. At this time the power kit is not expected until next year.

I'll be happy to post some followups as I learn more, but I'm at home bored and sick, so I thought I would toss out a teaser.
Me Too!grzy
Sep 21, 2001 9:54 AM
Yup, just got mine yesterday and it's like a kid at Xmass. So I'm still a kid...

Haven't mastered it yet, but the array of features is impressive. What's even better is that the menus and the buttons that control them make sense. Probably the coolest thing is that with the IR link you can up and down load from the PC. No longer do you have to go through complex button sequencies to set things up. Neato.

I've been able to stuff the either end of the strap into the mount with no problem. At first I thought it didn't fit, but it does. Try it.

Yeah, the thing is massive on my scrawny wrist also. Makes me look like a pilot. Oh wait, I AM a pilot, never mind.

Did you get the caedence kit? I figure my Flight Deck already does this on the road bike, and I don't really care that much about it on the MTB. Figure I need a second wireless speed sensor for the second bike so I can correlate HR, altitude, and speed on the PC.
Me Too!Duane Gran
Sep 24, 2001 5:22 AM
I don't believe the cadence kit is available yet, but I plan on getting the power kit, which comes with cadence. I too have the flight deck, and virtual cadence is just fine for me, but I look forward to analyzing power output per leg.

So far I find the graphs and data analysis from the HRM to be very cool. I know it is a tad silly, but the altitude monitor is really snazzy.
Me Too!grzy
Sep 24, 2001 3:11 PM
Yeah, it's quite nerdy, up till now I used and Avocet Vertech for my altitude info, but being able to correlate them on the same display is way cool. Just got my IR port working today! Gotta close down the Palm Pilot software. Found the Polar website to be helpful, but tediously slow - guess Finland is a long way for the lectrons to go ;-)