HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

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MugenSi
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HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby MugenSi » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:30 am

My HRM (garmin premium) doesn't appear to pick up my HR until i'm approx. 5/6km into my cycle and my HR is well elevated. I cant seem to get it to pick up when resting (and not sweaty) I have tried wetting my chest with water and/or putting saliva on the two contacts on the rear of the HRM but nothing works initially and its only when my heart is racing that it eventually picks it up. I have a reasonably hairy chest and was wondering if that was the problem?

Garmin recommends moving the monitor to the side or onto your back. I might try having it on my side but I cant imagine having it on the back would be too comfortable.

Anyone any tips for getting it to read from the start.

On a side note,its really annoying also having to start my garmin 520 so as to see if its reading HRM before I set off. I can see that the unit is connected with the HRM in the sensor settings but I don't know if the HR is showing until I start a ride and so I usually just keep going at that stage knowing that it'll suddenly pick it up once my HR increases. Maybe there is another way of seeing the HR without having to start a ride??

redvision
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby redvision » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:36 am

Check the contact pads. They are prone to cracking and even the smallest crack will cause intermittent readings until it eventually stops altogether.

If no sign of cracks, try changing the battery, and also definitely try wearing it on your back. It apparently isn't uncomfortable and does help with readings.

If none of this works you could try replacing the belt (polar belts are compatible with the Garmin sensor) or alternatively just bite the bullet and buy a whole new hrm.

MugenSi
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby MugenSi » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:38 am

redvision wrote:Check the contact pads. They are prone to cracking and even the smallest crack will cause intermittent readings until it eventually stops altogether.

If no sign of cracks, try changing the battery, and also definitely try wearing it on your back. It apparently isn't uncomfortable and does help with readings.

If none of this works you could try replacing the belt (polar belts are compatible with the Garmin sensor) or alternatively just bite the bullet and buy a whole new hrm.


The contacts are in perfect condition. I only bought it approx. 14 months ago. I'll try a new battery as come to think of it, I don't think I've ever replaced it.

keef66
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby keef66 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:40 am

I believe the Wahoo HRM has a light to show you it's working without having to rely on the head unit.

Alternatively have you considered joining the millennials' trend for total body depiliation? (Old age is gradually doing this for me...)

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homers double
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby homers double » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:42 am

I'm having issues with my HRM at the moment, intermittent readings mainly. I got a new monitor off a mate and put a new battery in it but still getting the same issues which leads me to thinking it may be the strap.

What are these cracks you mention?
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JLloyd
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby JLloyd » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:48 am

I used to have this problem

I just stick a dab of hand gel onto my chest under the monitor (think I read about it on here) and it picks up the HR straight away

SurferCyclist
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby SurferCyclist » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:49 am

I get this and I also have a hairy chest! I just lick contacts and usually it works OK. Occasionally it is intermittent at start of ride which is annoying, and then gives spuriously high readings. After a couple miles it settles down and works fine. My HRM is a cheapo Ebay one but overall it works fine 95% of time which is good enough for me as I'm not on a training plan, I can use it to monitor HR on climbs as an aid to not blowing up too soon.

redvision
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby redvision » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:54 am

homers double wrote:I'm having issues with my HRM at the moment, intermittent readings mainly. I got a new monitor off a mate and put a new battery in it but still getting the same issues which leads me to thinking it may be the strap.

What are these cracks you mention?


Just look closely at the contact pads and if there is any type of crack the belt will need replacing soon.

I had an occasional drop in readings last summer and couldn't figure it out. Belt wasn't old, pads were wet, new battery etc. Finally found a tiny crack on the one pad. Contacted Garmin who advised that any cracks will cause reading inaccuracies and the belt needs to be replaced.

Ordered a polar one from Amazon for a tenner and problem was solved.

keef66
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby keef66 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:58 am

Only realised my HRM wasn't working when I noticed the Garmin calorie calculation looked a bit optimistic. Looked back over the past few rides and saw that no HR info had been recorded.

Replaced the battery but still no HR. Washed and dried the strap just in case. Nada. About to bin the strap and buy another when I stumbled on a youtube vid of a chap 'rebooting' one of the old, hard straps by shorting out the contacts with a safety pin. I achieved the same by briefly inserting the battery backwards. Bingo! Normal service resumed.

(The strap is a Polar replacement for the original Garmin soft strap which failed after 2 years, and seems to be outlasting the original)

MugenSi
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby MugenSi » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:01 am

keef66 wrote:I believe the Wahoo HRM has a light to show you it's working without having to rely on the head unit.

Alternatively have you considered joining the millennials' trend for total body depiliation? (Old age is gradually doing this for me...)


Yes considered shaving the area but then i'd look daft when taking the kids to the pool and/or sunbathing with shirt off etc etc

JLloyd wrote:I used to have this problem

I just stick a dab of hand gel onto my chest under the monitor (think I read about it on here) and it picks up the HR straight away


Might try this as it wouldn't dry out as quick as water/saliva. Thanks.

Fenix
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby Fenix » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:04 am

I dont see why having the transmitter on your back would be less comfy than on your front ? My strap goes all the way around and I often forget I have it on.

There is a strap that transmits from your arm - DC Rainmaker is a big fan of it - that might be the solution if backwards and gels dont work.

JLloyd
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby JLloyd » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:04 pm

JLloyd wrote:I used to have this problem

I just stick a dab of hand gel onto my chest under the monitor (think I read about it on here) and it picks up the HR straight away


Might try this as it wouldn't dry out as quick as water/saliva. Thanks.[/quote]

Think it dries out eventually, but the sweat/heartrate kicks in before then - Never had a problem with it

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Step83
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby Step83 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:08 pm

Fenix wrote:I dont see why having the transmitter on your back would be less comfy than on your front ? My strap goes all the way around and I often forget I have it on.

There is a strap that transmits from your arm - DC Rainmaker is a big fan of it - that might be the solution if backwards and gels dont work.


I've been eyeing this up must last few rides have been very intermittent I somehow managed to do a cat 3 climb with a steady heart rate of 67bpm. Im not shaving a strip on my chest for it to work properly.

BongoBiggins
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby BongoBiggins » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:18 pm

Do you wash it regularly? I think a buildup of salts can interfere with the sensors. I put mine in the wash once or twice a week and rinse after every use. Never had any issues with mine but I don't have a hairy chest.

I usually wet the sensors with a bit of water beforehand.

Where on the chest do you wear the strap. I seem to think Garmin recommends below the chest but I always wear mine above the nipples and seems to work fine. It might be worth trying a few different places and see what works best.

PhotoNic69
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby PhotoNic69 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:24 pm

My uncle was incredibly hirsute being half Greek. His beard grew up to just below his eyes and he looked like he was hugging a monkey when his shirt was off!

With me it's just my legs. Top half not too bad, except I look like Pan when I'm in my trunks on the beach

Fenix
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby Fenix » Mon Jul 08, 2019 13:27 pm

Thanks for that image !

KingstonGraham
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby KingstonGraham » Mon Jul 08, 2019 13:32 pm

Fenix wrote:I dont see why having the transmitter on your back would be less comfy than on your front ? My strap goes all the way around and I often forget I have it on.

There is a strap that transmits from your arm - DC Rainmaker is a big fan of it - that might be the solution if backwards and gels dont work.


I've got one of the optical arm ones - Scosche. Works well, and I much prefer it to a chest strap (on the rare occasions when I actually wore it). Very reliable in my experience.
and then the next thing you know

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Chris Bass
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby Chris Bass » Mon Jul 08, 2019 16:12 pm

could you wear it as a sweat band around your forehead? that'd be a strong look!
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Dannbodge
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby Dannbodge » Mon Jul 08, 2019 16:40 pm

Try a different monitor, The garmins are known for dodgy reading issues iirc.

Pilot Pete
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Re: HRM Monitor and Hairy Chest

Postby Pilot Pete » Mon Jul 08, 2019 22:21 pm

Or just a Polar belt which in my experience is far superior to the original Garmin soft strap.

PP


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