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Polar S710 and 510(7 posts)

Polar S710 and 510Ron L.
Jan 8, 2002 11:28 AM
I've used the Polar XTrainer HRM for the past few years and have been happy with it. I got a few of the S510 and 710 in stock back in Sept. I go through the setup when I get them to make sure they're working. I really like the XTrainer so never thought of useing one of the new S units.
But there was something about these things that was not quite right.
I set my HRM at the first day of my training week which is Tuesday of every week. I log by, hours riding/wk. Well, I started useing the 710 a few days ago only to find that I had to go through an extra step to reset it to zero, no big deal. Not as bad as a poke in the eye.
But I did not like the stopwatch running all the time. It will suck up batteries in no time flat. And, the total ride time (trip time)as well as the Odometer was missing. I can deal with this thing being almost twice as big and twice as heavy, but where is the total ride time and odometer??

OK, what am I missing here? I'm not stupid; at least on days that end in d-a-y .

If you have the XTrainer I would keep it.

Ron L.
re: Polar S710 and 510grzy
Jan 8, 2002 12:38 PM
I too had an XTrainer, but it died a painful death. The S710 is a huge improvement and features are much easier to to figure out with it's menu driven format. For a while I kept having the stupid alarm going off on me all the time. It got to the point where I stopped using the darn thing. then I sat down and spent some time with the manual and playing with it. And this has to happen more than once. The manual is fairly sparse in it's style and I'd prefer something that is more along the lines of a full users guide in the style of a computer reference manual. However, this is not popular in the world of consumer electronics - we all want to use our toys immediately and don't want to read manuals. You really need to read each word and fully understand it's meaning. It's not enough just to get the gist of things.

You get used to zeroing the thing - I prefer this to having it automatically zero - then you lose your trip info if you take too long a break. I don't think that there is a seperate odometer per se, and total ride time can simply be measured with the stop watch. As far as thinking that the stop watch running will suck down the batteries you're completely wrong. This type of activity is extremely low power consumption. The watch has to run and it must display something. A much bigger use of power is the audible alarm and the light - it's several orders of magnitude. You concern is on par that a few sheets of paper are going to take up all the space in an empty warehouse or clog your hard drive. the battery is advertised to last for two years under normal use with the big qualification being alarm and light usage.

You need to live with the thing for a little while to fully appreciate the vast improvements and sophisitication over the XTrainer. Having my XTrainer finally die and replacing it with the S710 was one of the better things that has happened to me this year. It's like finally getting a new computer - it may take a little effort to get used to it, but once you adjust you never want to go back. Yeah, it's bulky, but I generally mount it on my bars so that I can easily see the info while riding. I'm willing to bet that future generations will be more compact - just like they did with the other watches.
re: Polar S710 and 510Bikewithadam
Jan 8, 2002 5:45 PM
I'm outfitting a new bike and I'm thinking about the S710. Have you used any of the advanced features such as the computer interface or optional cadence/power sensors? These are the real draw for me, at least on paper. I'd like to hear more about how this thing works differently than other computers. Is it hard to manipulate when mounted on the bars? How is the heart rate monitor itself?


re: Polar S710 and 510Velocipedio
Jan 8, 2002 6:11 PM
I have the s510. It's an excellent monitor/computer, with some damned useful features. The problem is that it is hobbled by incredivly crappy training software. That wouldn't be so much of a problem, but PC Coach is the ONLY software the S series monitors are compatible with, and it doesn't let you export your data to any other file format.

I like the s510, but if I had known how bad the software was, I would have shopped around some more.
re: Polar S710 and 510Duane Gran
Jan 9, 2002 4:48 AM
I use the S710 and am really happy with it. The software (Polar Precision Performance 3.0) is very good and you can see an example of some data from a hill climb that I do here:

I have the power sensor on order, which includes cadence, and I think this will be a very interesting add-on. The computer interface is quite easy to use once you get the hang of it. It is a little annoying to mount on the bars, I must say. I wish they would drop the whole "watch" motiff and make a real handlebar mount so I could remove the watch straps. The HRM works just great and allows you to easily swap limits, set intervals and you can switch between bpm and %max HR. The display is large and easy to read.
re: Polar S710 and 510Bikewithadam
Jan 9, 2002 9:19 AM
I think part of my confusion is coming from the various software discussions that are floating around. You mention the Polar Precision Performance 3.0 package. I assume this is an OEM program. However, there's also PCCoach, which I believe is an aftermarket program. Of course, there are also multiple versions of PCCoach with various plugin options.

What's the deal with all of these? Some people like the software and others seem to hate it--I have the sneaking suspicion that we're not all talking about the same software. As far as what you show on your website (re: that hill climb) do you personally find the software that you're using helpful in training?


re: Polar S710 and 510Ron L.
Jan 9, 2002 10:43 PM
I'll give this thing another shot.