Heart Rate monitor advice

Dan19
Dan19 Posts: 9
edited January 2014 in Road general
Hello

So, I've been considering getting a heart rate monitor (HRM) for sometime now but were wondering which are best and what the actual advantages are of having one are?

I've been looking at:

The Polar FT2 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Polar-Heart-Mon ... ords=Polar

and the Polar FT4 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Polar-Heart-Mon ... te+monitor

Which one do you think would be most suitable? Or can you recommend another one for a similar price?

Thanks

Comments

  • Buckie2k5
    Buckie2k5 Posts: 600
    Advantages are being able to train using heart rate zones I suppose. In my opinion your aswell saving a wee bit more and getting a garmin with hrm compatibility, be it a watch or edge 500 etc. You can then upload your results (gps tracks and hrm data) to various websites strava for example and see how your training is improving. Some good deals on 2nd hand units to be found in the sales forum from time to time.

    At the end of the day I guess it comes down to how much of a gadget junkie/geek you are ;)
  • Go for an ANT+ compatible Garmin head unit (Edge 500, 510, 800, 810, or Forerunner 310XT if you run as well) which will be bundled with a HRM.
    Personally, I wouldn't bother with a different brand of unit. Garmin have an excellent warranty and returns policy in my experience, the technology is as current as you can get and won't become outdated anytime soon. Plus, you can move up the ladder to a powermeter in the future and you'll be ready to go; that's the only training tool you will greatly benefit from.
  • Dan19
    Dan19 Posts: 9
    i'm not wanting to spend very much on the HRM. In the price range of 40-60 (no more! That's already pushing the boundaries on my budget) I just want it to record basic heart rate with and see what zone I'm working in. :)
  • Depends on what receiver you want to use ?
  • bagz3
    bagz3 Posts: 253
    i rarely use mine to be honest. Well i do, but for no great purpose. You may already have one, but if you dont, i'd get a cadence sensor over a HRM.
  • de_sisti
    de_sisti Posts: 1,283
    Suunto T6c
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Personally, I'd go with an ANT+ compatible heart rate monitor. Polar HRMs - the chest strap and monitoring device (watch) - are Polar specific. If you use an ANT+ system, then there's more scope to swap it around with other units. Fro example, my ANT+ Bryton strap works with my Bryton head unit on the bike but it'll also work with Garmin and Timex. If I got an ANT+ dongle for my phone, it'll work with apps on the phone (and some phones are ANT+ compatible in the first place).

    There's a list of ANT+ devices here, but it's not even complete:

    http://www.thisisant.com/directory

    One advantage of a Polar strap is that if you use gym equipment, a lot of these have licensed the Polar technology so you can use the strap with their displays.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    as others have said save a bit more cash and get a proper bike computer the benefits are huge particularly if you can get the edge 800 and have candence, HR and free maps. Until that time..


    zone 1 = not riding, walking.
    zone 2 = riding gently think basket and cycle path
    zone 3 = riding getting warm but able to talk without any effort
    zone 4 = getting fairly sweaty but still able to speak
    zone 5 = mostly flat out
    max = all you can do is breath / feels like you want to puke / the world looks pink
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd always have gone with Polar in the old days - but as has been said ANT+ seems to be the new standard. A lot of kit is compatible with the ANT+ standard.
  • Bluetooth 4.0/LE is another standard. Natively supported by iPhones 4S and above. There's not many that support this, Wahoo is one.
  • bsharp77
    bsharp77 Posts: 533
    If you are on a tight budget Decathalon have a host of options!

    1. simple heart rate strap and watch for digital readout - less than £20
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/on-rhythm-10 ... 60569.html

    2. ANT+ Heartrate strap, if you are connecting to a ANT compatible display/reciever - £29.99
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/ant-coded-di ... 89560.html

    3. Bluetooth heartrate strap - works with iPhone 4S and above - £29.99
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/bluetooth-sm ... 88269.html

    Ive used a couple of these straps and found them astounding value for money and are great if you are just starting out and don't want to spend a fortune.
    Ive since moved onto a Garmin 800 with HRM, Cadence etc - I would never get on the bike without it again! Amazing piece of kit.

    Hope these options are of some help - I know you mentioned you were on a tight budget, so I think these give you the best bang for your buck, and plenty of options to boot.
  • izza
    izza Posts: 1,561
    Go for a 4iiii one and it is ANT+ and blutooth compatible.
  • BillyImp
    BillyImp Posts: 130
    I've got the Polar FT2 and use it solely for indoor training to get an idea of my effort.
    I've got the Garmin Touring GPS myself which isn't ANT+ compatible so had to buy this separately, kind of regretting that decision now but it's still a wonderful piece of kit.
    The HRM itself is fine, it does the job I need it to do, I don't need anything fancy I just want a heart rate reading and it does precisely that.
  • Dan19
    Dan19 Posts: 9
    Sorry can someone clarify what this ANT+ thing is? I have a Bytron Rider 35 bike computer would the Bytron heart rate sensor be ANT+ compatible?

    Also the reason I was looking at Polar is so I can use the heart rate monitor when I go running and on my mountain bike too which doesn't have a computer mount on it.

    So which Polar HRM watch device would you suggest for around £50? Or another reputable brand?

    I don't think I'm fussed by the ANT+ thing for now.

    Thanks :)
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Basically, ANT+ is an open communications protocol that any device can use - and they all work together. Think of it like fitness equipment bluetooth.

    Bryton devices use ANT+, as do Garmin - so you can use a Bryton heart rate strap and cadence sensor with a Garmin Edge 500 computer. You can also use an ANT+ BTwin speed sensor with a Bryton Ryder 35 etc.

    With Polar, they use their own device protocol - so you can only use polar straps with polar computers etc.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    bagz3 wrote:
    i rarely use mine to be honest. Well i do, but for no great purpose. You may already have one, but if you dont, i'd get a cadence sensor over a HRM.

    A cadence sensor won't be much use if your objective is HR-zone based training.
  • Dan19
    Dan19 Posts: 9
    Hi

    I've found this Suunti online (and it's cheaper than the polar)
    http://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/suunto-t1c-p145235

    Does this have ANT+ so it will pair with my bryton rider 35?

    Thsnks
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    You don't need a full HRM - the ryder 35 will do that - you just need an ANT+ HRM strap.
  • Dan19
    Dan19 Posts: 9
    g00se wrote:
    You don't need a full HRM - the ryder 35 will do that - you just need an ANT+ HRM strap.

    I know but I also want to use the strap for running and on my MTB. Does the Suunto work with ANT+ ? And will the strap work with the ryder 35 aswell?
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Dan19 wrote:
    g00se wrote:
    You don't need a full HRM - the ryder 35 will do that - you just need an ANT+ HRM strap.

    I know but I also want to use the strap for running and on my MTB. Does the Suunto work with ANT+ ? And will the strap work with the ryder 35 aswell?


    Ah, sorry.

    It looks like an old fashioned analog strap (from their website) - not ANT+ compatible.
  • Dan19
    Dan19 Posts: 9
    g00se wrote:
    Dan19 wrote:
    g00se wrote:
    You don't need a full HRM - the ryder 35 will do that - you just need an ANT+ HRM strap.

    I know but I also want to use the strap for running and on my MTB. Does the Suunto work with ANT+ ? And will the strap work with the ryder 35 aswell?


    Ah, sorry.

    It looks like an old fashioned analog strap (from their website) - not ANT+ compatible.

    That's fine thanks. I wonmt be able to get the Suunto anyway as its collect only and I'll have to trek to a store to by it - and I ain't feling that!

    I'll buy the polar so I can use it one my MTB and road bike and for running. Plus it'll be a while before my bike computer needs replacing and whe that time comes I'll buy a HRM and cadence bundle. For now I'll stick with the Polar TF7

    Thanks
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    This might be worth considering for that sort of price:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bryton-Cardio ... 3f2f448df9

    (I'm not recommending that sale in particular - but they seem to go for that price on ebay).