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Computer v. Polar 710??(7 posts)

Computer v. Polar 710??outofthesaddle
Oct 11, 2002 10:08 AM
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Flight Deck. Based on some good feedback I decided against the Flight Deck. So I still need to get a computer for the new bike.

For about the same price, I can get either: (i) Open Pros on DA hubs and a cheap speedo; or (ii) Polar 710 (or CicloSport). How do people that use the 710 make use of the detailed data that it provides? Is all that data merely interesting or does it really improve training?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
re: Computer v. Polar 710??Lactate Junkie
Oct 11, 2002 10:26 AM
The answer to the question is not so simple. It depends on what you want to achieve in your training and how serious you are about keeping track of the information and using it to modify your training program. It is an issue of personal rather than monetary investment. The Polar 710 is a very advanced heart rate monitor with additional cycle computer functions. It is very expensive (relatively speaking) but allows you to download your training data to your PC to allow you to accurately evaluate your training. It also allows the option of adding a kit which gives you a readout of your power output—although this addition will double the cost of the unit.

So here are the issues:
1. How serious are you about your training? The question is not "Do people use the information" the answer is yes—the question is "Will you use the information?"
2. Do you have enough knowledge about training with Power to justify the additional expenditure for that feature?
If you are not going to use the product to its fullest, but are only going to use it as a Gee Whiz feature ("Gee Whiz, I'm putting out 200 watts!?) don't bother, you are wasting your money.

Personally, I would stay away from the Ciclomaster unit. IMHO, it is big, hard to use and filled with strange and useless features. Also if you are interested in power, and have a need for it I would look at the Power Tap product from Graber.
re: Computer v. Polar 710??outofthesaddle
Oct 11, 2002 11:24 AM
Thanks Lactate Junkie. I think your question "How serious are you about your training?" gets to the heart of the decision. Probably not serious enough today. But I'm planning on doing some racing next season. In any event, it is unlikely that I will make the switch/investment from HR based training to watts. With that in mind, does the 710 provide an advantage over my current cheap HR monitor and a cheap speedo for serious training?

Thanks for the heads up on CicloSport.
re: Computer v. Polar 710??Lactate Junkie
Oct 11, 2002 2:45 PM
The 710 offers a range of extra features but they ar mostly in terms of things like lap stopwatch and timers and multiple zone capacity. The big thing about the 710 is the download capability and the ability to upgrade to power in the future. If you are not going to use the PC capability or go with power in the close future (there will probably be better systems available over the next few years)then I would personally stick with a more simple unit. The other recommendations are fine. My personal fave is the Sports Instruments SI90HR for abouty $120. It is very simple but it features wireless speed and dist with wireless hr. There are also others such as Vetta, which I don't know much about.
re: Computer v. Polar 710??outofthesaddle
Oct 11, 2002 3:10 PM
Thanks for the detailed info.
re: Computer v. Polar 710??MXL02
Oct 11, 2002 10:48 AM
I have the S710 and only started using its potential once I entered a training program, where doing timed intervals with specified hr limits are required, etc. The S510 does pretty much the same thing but does not have the power unit available. FWIW, you can buy the sigma sport 1400 computer and an inexpensive HRM for about 1/3 what either the s510 or 710 would cost. You just wouldn't get the same integrated reporting functionality.
A little cheaper - Polar Protrainer XTGregory Taylor
Oct 11, 2002 11:21 AM
They go for about $140 now -- good heartrate functions (three programmable zones, average hr, recovery) and wireless cyclocomputer. No fancy computer links, however. I think that Nashbar still has'em.