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HRM? Which One?(13 posts)

HRM? Which One?morey
Dec 4, 2001 4:49 AM
I have never used a heart monitor, however I am thinking of getting one. Price is not really the factor, but ease of use and effectiveness. What is the way to go?
re: HRM? Which One?DMilkerson
Dec 4, 2001 7:44 AM
There is a great deal on the Polar Coach in Colorado Cyclist. It's a closeout. Used to retail for around $225 and they have it for $119. Just got mine in the mail yesterday. Has a lot of great features, like interval settings, 2 different timers, uploading data to PC, etc. S
re: HRM? Which One?Starliner
Dec 4, 2001 8:54 AM
With so many HRM's out there with many different features at a wide range of prices, it can get real confusing deciding which one will be the best for you if you've never had one. Some people say get one with all the bells and whistles, others will say get a simpler, easy-to-use one.

I say, get a decent inexpensive unit to start with, use it for a while, see what it does for you and what it doesn't. By mixing your own experience in with free advice from others, you will put yourself in the best position to zero in on a unit that will offer the features to meet your needs.

Supergo now has a good HRM made by Vetta for around $35. That will get you going and serve you well.
I had the supergo one.vanzutas
Dec 4, 2001 12:13 PM
I bought the supergo monitor in the beginning of the summer. It lasted about a month, then it died after a ride in the rain. I contacted Supergo and they said to send it back. They gave me all the return numbers and what-not to get a new unit. It has been 3 or 4 months and I haven't seen a new one.

Adam
Check with them now....Starliner
Dec 4, 2001 3:28 PM
It's been out of stock for quite a while. I signed up for their auto-email when it came back in stock, and just got the in-stock notification on Monday.
re: HRM? Which One?tribuddha
Dec 4, 2001 9:34 AM
I was given a Polar Xtrainer, which doubles up as a cycle computer as well, this yr I used it extensively during the key training period leading up to Ironman, it was invaluable, even raced with it. Fairly easy to use, both the cycle and standalone hrt fucntions, the feature I particularly like are the different hrt zones, ability to flip between them and the the ability to present three different timers, combined this allows you to program an entire workout to different hrt levels and record the hrt for each. Very useful for the truly anal among us!

Another tip is to buy the best you can afford, b/c if you are serious then you will soon find the basic hrt monitor limiting.

Have fun.
Money no object and you have computer. . .Polar S710 looks sweetjs5280
Dec 4, 2001 5:00 PM
Somebody once posted data collected by their Polar S710. It was sweet! Heartrate posted against mileage, altitude, etc. Felt my $60 Supergo special (actually had a lot of good features for the price though) just was no longer adequate. Haven't bought a S710 yet but probably will here soon. I admit, I'm a gadget and analysis junkie, but ride mostly for health and enjoyment. Basically time in 3-5 zones is more than you need from a training standpoint (Friel) but hell you can get cool graphs, auto-data uploading, elevation profiles, cyclocomputer functionalty, etc! All it seems to be missing is GPS. Basically a personal medical science device that fits on your wrist. All your's for about $260-280. I know a number of people on here have them and seem to really like them. I'd say stay basic if your not a analysis/gadget person or go all out if you are and have the cash. Here's a link to the Polar site for the S710...

http://www.polarusa.com/cgi-bin/db_manager/catalog.cgi?setup_file=prod_display.setup.cgi&invoice=1902570&search_and_display_db_button=OK
Ditto on S710Duane Gran
Dec 5, 2001 5:11 AM
I own one of these and it is a pleasure to use. It is the most user friendly HRM I've used because it can connect to the computer via the IR port. This allows you to set features on the HRM via a point and click interface instead of "push the magic button combo" on the HRM. Even so, the user interface of the HRM is pretty good.

If you want an example of some graphs from the S710, check out this page I put together:

http://www.SolarisCentral.org/cycling/
Ditto on S710morey
Dec 5, 2001 7:13 AM
WOW! After seeing all the info that can be garnered from this unit, it is the one for me. I tend to be a klutz with computer technology, however my son is a computer engineer and can help. What is an IR port? Do I need to get one?
Ditto on S710Duane Gran
Dec 5, 2001 12:06 PM
Most laptops come with an Infrared Port, which allows you to transmit data between the Polar software and the monitor without any wires. If you use a desktop computer and have an RS-232 serial port (very common) then they sell a $40 add on IR device for use with the monitor. One caveat about the IR port usage on a laptop: It only works with Win95 and won't work with other versions of Windows, so in that case you need to get the $40 external IR port. This baffles me, but it is true.

One other cool thing about the S710 is that they are producing a power kit for it which will measure wattage. For serious cyclists this is an excellent way to monitor progress and conduct more objective tests to maximize performance. This includes a kit to monitor cadence and it can show power usage per pedal, which can be useful to identify your dominant leg and various other things. The power kit is slated for US release "soon". The last date of Oct 2001 slipped by and I hear from some Polar folks that January is the next moving target.

You can get the cadence option by itself if you aren't interested in the power stuff. I think it sells for about $50 and the power kit is about $350. Feel free to aks any questions and I'll try to help. You help me raise my V02 Max and I'll help you with gadgets. :)
Yep, that was it. . .js5280
Dec 5, 2001 3:06 PM
That's what I was talking about. Thanks for posting it again Duane, couldn't find it via search. Very cool stuff.
Polar S series, Timex Ironman, NikeTriax ...Frankl
Dec 4, 2001 10:30 PM
if money is no object to you. then go for the Polar S710. it's the most well functioned HRM for cycling out there. i got one and i kind of like it. it's still new so i need more time before i can comment on the rest. but you simply can't find an all-in-one HRM like the polar S710 out there. (of course, if you don't mind spending an extra $80 for IR interface and cadence kit) other Polar S series looks good too. but they are definitely *not cheap*.

if you want to go for something cheaper. try the Timex Ironman 50 or 100 laps. these are sub $150 and i am sure there they will do the job well. i have the regular 100 laps ironman for a couple of years and it held up well after all the abuse. i also tried the low end Timex HRM (w/ no lap memory). i liked the ease of use and the watch feels like right (feel likes its built for sports).

if you wants looks, then try the Nike Triax 100 laps. also sub $150. i think it looks really cool and they have the graph display. but i've heard that the seal on the chest transmitter is leaky and that makes the battery life of the transmitter really bad. plus i don't really like the idea of you got stuck w/ nike's only watch band if it's due for replacement.

hope this help.
start small, you can alway upgrade.jw25
Dec 5, 2001 10:58 AM
The nicest monitor I've used was the Sigma PC-14. It's pretty basic compared to the Polar S-series, but it had some nice features for the price ($70 - I've seen them go for $50 new on Ebay, though). The signal was strong enough to affect Polar's from 4 feet at trainer parties, and it did max and average heart rates, as well as calories burned (not too accurate, but no HRM is) and time in zone.
I gave it to a friend of mine, and I'm seriously thinking about getting another, but we'd have to stay a few feet apart...
Whatever you end up getting, I highly recommend using one. You'd be surprised how different real vs. perceived exertion can be.
Jon