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Heart rate monitors- worth the features?(12 posts)

Heart rate monitors- worth the features?filtersweep
Aug 23, 2002 4:55 PM
How many people who use a HR monitor use all the high end features that a Polar S-710 has? Is it worth it for typical use? Or would a monitor that costs HALF do the job.

For example, I really can't imagine downloading data to my PC, but on the other hand, I couldn't imagine riding a bike as nice as I have now when I started riding... and now there are just some things I can't live without. Would I be wasting money by buying features I don't need with an expensive monitor, or wasting money buying a lower-end model if/when I decide I need more features?

At this point, I'm interested in a monitor to help me "slow down" once in a while, and to monitor my progress from the perspective of what my body is actually doing, rather than how I'm riding.

Thoughts? Ideas? Insights? It is about the only thing left on my shopping list.
re: Heart rate monitors- worth the features?Elefantino
Aug 23, 2002 5:10 PM
I am constantly tempted by the bells-and-whistles heart rate monitors. But I stick with my basic monitor: I has arrows that tell me if I'm above, below or in my target zone. It also has a watch. I stick it on my bike, strap on the transmitter and go. I base my workouts on the numbers I see.

Other than that, the only other thing I wish I had was average heart rate.

But I had the money, I'd probably drop it on an S-710. They just look so cool. Of course, I have a Mac, so the heck with it.

re: Heart rate monitors- worth the features?wacomme
Aug 24, 2002 9:06 AM
Can you use the 710 soffware on a Macintosh by using Virtual PC software?
Aug 23, 2002 6:03 PM
At first I wasn't sure if dropping the money would be worth it but it is. You get a great monitor with great features. The speed and altitude are great. Then theres a very accurate 3-5 mins VO2 max test which I use every morning to gauge how my body is handling the workload. Then add in the computer upload with great software which can track all of your training, get very cool looking graphs (altitude, speed, and hr + optional speed and cadence) and a very easy to use interface which helps you change features on the computer such as hr zones. Unfortunately without the computer upload you don't get the true usefulness of this computer. The software makes it very easy to navigate and change options such as heart rate zones, etc.

My friend liked mine so much he gave in and bought his own.

re: Heart rate monitors- worth the features?bm
Aug 23, 2002 8:02 PM
s610 and 710 are sort over-kill in my opinion. unless your professionally coached the data won't mean much. i would go as high as the s210 for the interval data and %HR data. the higher end models at altitude and cycle functions (which you could get elsewhere) . . .

everything above the s410 is cool to have if you have the $$.

i was also thinking about purchasing the protrainer xt model. but i wanted the calculated max HR and %HR
ditto on the 210weiwentg
Aug 23, 2002 10:53 PM
it's the most a serious recreational cyclist really needs.
if I had the dough, or I were my country's national champ, I would get the 710.
re: Heart rate monitors- worth the features?divve
Aug 23, 2002 8:28 PM
I have to admit that I probably don't really need an S710 and would likely do as well with a simpler model. However, the software makes all the difference in interpreting what you did during a training ride. After getting accustomed to the software I can't imagine having to deal with little numbers on an LCD. A graph and options showing clearly in colors and bars how long you spent in certain zones etc., makes it a delight to use.

BTW, I don't recommend saving money by going the S510 route. The memory contraints on that model are very limiting. The most obvious flaw is when you pause too long and it delegates your current exercise to a different memory block. In the process it will loose all detailed data. The 710 doesn't have any of those limitations. You can record up to 44 hours or so of detailed info. It can even get up to 99 hours if you lower the data sample rate.
worth the features?filtersweep
Aug 23, 2002 9:01 PM

I never considered the software aspect. I was thinking about how many over-engineered things I buy where I almost miss the ease of use of the "old days." On the other hand, there are those features in certain products that I can't imagine living without.

There really isn't that much of a price difference between the S 510 and 710.
worth the features?James OCLV
Aug 24, 2002 5:42 AM
I originally bought the 510, but hated the software. I returned it, and for the extra $40 got the 710. The software is awesome (the ability to upload and analyze was the major selling point for me to go to the higher-end model).

Additionally, both the 510 and the 710 have cycle computer functions for up to two bikes. I swap it back and forth between my road bike and my MTB.

If you take analysis of your training seriously, then I would recommend the 710. If not, you can definatly get great benefits out of something like the 210.
worth the features?Skip
Aug 24, 2002 6:15 PM
Don't you need at least a certain level computer in order to upload the data? Thanks.
worth the features?divve
Aug 25, 2002 1:51 PM
Windows 95 or later
Pentium class cpu
10MB HD space

You'll also need a free serial or USB port and the correct optional IR interface. With the newest 710i, 720i, you can also use a standard IrDA port for a PC.
worth the features?wacomme
Aug 25, 2002 3:29 PM
What about Mac users?