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Heart Rate Monitor Suggestions? <$150(6 posts)

Heart Rate Monitor Suggestions? <$150cipolini2b
Apr 21, 2003 8:02 PM
Hey there,

I think i'm finally gonna buy a HRM. I am a cat 3 racer, looking for any edge to help me get to the 2s. I don't know how to use it, but it seems like every rider who has one uses it religiously. I do not have a speedo on my bike either, just clean bare bars, which i love, but would be willing to lose if it will result in improved performance. Are there any (quality) computers which effectively provide both functions? thanks.

Thanks
Not what you want to hearfiltersweep
Apr 22, 2003 3:21 AM
You might want to raise your budget to about $280 which will include a Polar S720i AND the USB interface. It is a bike computer in addition to being an HRM. The cool thing is you can very easily and quickly download your ride data to your PC and use the PC to more or less program what you want to do with the HRM (rather than using layer after layer of menus and a few watch buttons to laboriously program it).

For what it includes, it makes a Flight Deck appear to be completely over priced.

It is just a thought... but the Polar has a pretty good GUI (although it is still somewhat crypic). The 510 has some cycling features as well, but I believe it has a much smaller memory and it uses a different method for DLing data to your PC.
cheaper ones...C-40
Apr 22, 2003 4:19 AM
Cateye has the HB100 computer and HR monitor for $100, but I think it has been discontinued, though some are still around.

World Cycling Productions has a Sports Instruments model that's $120.

Personally, I don't care for the Polar models. The wheel speed sensor is a huge ugly thing. The displays are small and difficult to read if the unit is mounted on the bars. Ooverall, the units are so complex, it's ridiculous. I bought one of their early computer and HR combos and found that I couldn't just hit a single reset button to start a new ride. Had to reset 3 or 4 items to cancel out a previous rides' info. Perhaps the new ones are better.
Perspectivefiltersweep
Apr 22, 2003 6:28 AM
I look at it like this: the "new" Polar strap alone retails for something like $80 (it is about as unobtrusive as a strap can be), the IR interface $25-30. It is wireless- and many basic wireless bike computers can run around $40-50. That leaves about $150 for the "watch" itself- and even a crap timepiece can cost $100...

I won't argue that it is somewhat complex to use, but that is where its IR features come in handy- and I'd much rather use IR than "sonic link."
Vetta V100HR ...joekm
Apr 22, 2003 4:24 AM
This is what I use. The HR monitor functions are relatively basic but I find them sufficient for training. You get a decent bike computer with a HR monitor for about the price of a basic Wrist HR monitor. I also got the cadence kit and that proved to be helpful as I was learning to spin. The whole thing was under $80.

If you want to spend a little more, you can get the wireless version. I'm not a big fan of wireless though, I just see it as extra batteries and failure points in the system.
Two answers to two questionsfracisco
Apr 22, 2003 10:36 AM
You can get a decent wired cycling computer for as little as $20. Cateye and Sigma Sport both make nice all-around computers. I have both a Cateye Mity3 and a new for 2003 Sigma BC1200. The BC1200 does everything I want it to, mounts easily, and is legible.

Now you need to ask yourself about what you want the HRM to do. Here is a simple overview article that you can skim through:

http://www.heartmonitors.com/choosing_an_hrm.htm

I have a Polar S150. I do not use the cycling computer functions. The training zone function does not work how I thought it would, so I just use it to display heart rate while I ride. A low-level model could do the same for me, I know.

The new Sports Instruments Pro7 and Pro9 look like good HRM, but I do not know what they cost. The feature that interests me is "5-Zone Automatic Programming:
Based on your Threshold Heart Rate or your Maximum Heart Rate the HRM automatically calculates 5-training levels based on contemporary training philosophy. The HRM then automatically tracks the amount and percentage of time you spend in each training zone during your workout."
:

http://www.sportsinstruments.com

But again, it depends on what you will use it for. It's nice for forcing you to ride slow when you really want to recover, and to see how hard you are working when riding fast tempo, climbing, sprinting. Unless you have a real max heart rate or LTHR known, it's only a piece of the puzzle.