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Suunto HRMs - Anyone got one ?

Dave BiggsDave Biggs Posts: 136
edited October 2007 in Workshop
Thinking about buying a Suunto HRM and wondered if anyone has one (pref. a T4 or T6) and would share their experiences. From what I can read, as HRMs go, the T6 especially seems to knock the spots off any of the Polar models, but reading ain't the same as using.
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Posts

  • genkigenki Posts: 305
    I got a T6, mainly because it does bike, running, altitude, data-download and all the rest with one watch. But it is a bit of a compromise compared to a specialist bike computer and a lot pricier. So it won't do cadence for instance, and the stopwatch can't handle auto-start/stop which is annoying if you do things like TT's and don't want to be pushing buttons at the start or during the race. The only other downside in my book is the chest belt isn't compatible with most other HR devices, so you can't use it with gym equipment and tacx turbos for instance (unlike a Polar chest strap).

    The software for analysing the data is a bit basic, but if you are trying to be very scientific there's lots of stuff on VO2max, breathing rate and EPOC that you won't find on a Polar.

    If you get one, make sure you get the skewer bike-pod, not the other two types. If you have more than one bike it's much easier to change the skewer.
  • Thanksfor that - I was mainly interested in the Training Effect feature. Have you used this, and is it useful? This to my mind seems the most useful feature, but only if it works!
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  • genkigenki Posts: 305
    Dave Biggs wrote:
    Thanksfor that - I was mainly interested in the Training Effect feature. Have you used this, and is it useful? This to my mind seems the most useful feature, but only if it works!

    I have used it, but I don't base my training on it. Last night, for instance, I just went into the "over-training" band in the last minute of an 80min turbo session. But experience would also have told me the session was a good one on the limit of overdoing it.

    One drawback is that can't actually see the EPOC/Training Level as you're exercising. You can only see it after you download the data to a PC.

    Where EPOC can be more useful is in interval sessions. Knowing how many intervals it usually takes, or how long a rest period is needed can be worked out looking at the data from old sesssions. EPOC seems to work on some formula relating current heart rate against its moving average. So if you time your rests correctly you can get the Training Level to reach a certain zone in so many saw-tooth moves.

    Where it doesn't work at all is on much longer rides. Once your HR stops rising or falls a bit, the EPOC formula goes haywire so you might end up with the training level in zone 1, 'minor training effect', even though you've just cycled 100 miles and have legs shot to pieces.
  • Cheers mate,
    You've just saved me a few quid! I was looking for something to actually guide my training, but this doesn't look like the thing I need
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  • genkigenki Posts: 305
    Dave Biggs wrote:
    Cheers mate,
    You've just saved me a few quid! I was looking for something to actually guide my training, but this doesn't look like the thing I need

    If you just want it for cycling, I'd save up and get a powermeter which does HR. It'd be more expensive but surely more useful.
  • HarryBHarryB Posts: 197
    Before you even consider anything from Suunto read this thread.

    http://www.concept2.co.uk/forum/viewtop ... ght=suunto
  • Thanks guys - looks like you helped me avoid an expensive mistake.
    Genki - take the point about a powermeter. Had considered one but consider them price-prohibitive for the level I'm at (or more importantly, likely to attain!)

    Thanks again,
    Dave
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  • The new T6 is about to be launched & it does give the epoc read-out real time.
  • HudsterHudster Posts: 142
    I believe the T3 and T4 do real time EPOC read out. The T6 does not, but according to the above post that will change soon...

    I've no experience of using them however. I would imagine that you can use them as a tool to help you make decisions on your own training, but at the end of the day you have to use your own judgement.
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