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Alternatives to Garmin heart rate strap

paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
edited April 2015 in Road buying advice
My Garmin 800 had stopped picking up a signal from the heart rate strap. Couple of years old and reading around it seems I am not the first to suffer this problem.

i've tried changing the battery, waiting for a while, shorting the terminals and any other suggestions I could find on the forums.

Anyway, before I press buy on a new strap does anyone have any suggestions for a better alternative? I like the function to show heart rate on the 800 as I find it a good way to train and avoid going too far into the red on rides. Would quite like to try a Fitbit wristband type but have no idea if any of those work with a garmin.

Thanks for any suggestions

Posts

  • londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550
    Lots of people seem to rate the Polar straps but how about one of these if you fancy a wristband:

    http://www.mioglobal.com/Mio-Velo-Cycli ... oductID=23

    They're Ant+ so work with Garmins but are unfortunately a little extortionate and have a pretty short battery life.

    This is another options:

    http://www.scosche.com/rhythm-plus
  • timben83timben83 Posts: 16
    Just started using the wahoo BT and ant+ which I'm very happy with.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    Thanks

    The Mio looks neat but how much! My family in the US might be making a purchase for me if I decide to go that way
  • dork_knightdork_knight Posts: 405
    I picked up a Mio Link from Amazon Warehouse last week, got it for around £46 and it seems pretty good to me.

    The battery life isn't fantastic (compared to the HR Strap) but it'll do me for 99% of the time, just those all day in the saddle rides might be an issue for some that do them on a regular basis.

    I wasn't too sure how I would get on with the wrist strap but it's great.
    The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd.
  • Man Of LardMan Of Lard Posts: 903
    Keep the active part off the Garmin strap and use the Polar soft strap http://www.amazon.co.uk/Polar-Chest-Str ... 007XCLU66/

    Works a treat.
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    Must say I hate chest straps and the idea of a wrist device holds a lot more appeal for me - just hadn't thought about it prior to this thread. So, thanks OP for making the idea click with me!

    Peter
  • I had similar issues for years with Garmin premium soft straps, tried the Polar straps but they fail too, the answer for me was the Garmin standard hard plastic strap, very reliable (for me anyway)
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  • Man Of LardMan Of Lard Posts: 903
    I had similar issues for years with Garmin premium soft straps, tried the Polar straps but they fail too, the answer for me was the Garmin standard hard plastic strap, very reliable (for me anyway)

    They're sure to fail eventually - the fabric part is regarded by Polar & Garmin (& the others) a consumable item - that's why Polar price them as they do. Garmin take a different tack (when I went to buy a replacement Garmin strap the whole thing was £45 or the strap alone was £40)
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    I've a wahoo tickr x that I also use for running. It's great
  • iron-cloveriron-clover Posts: 737
    Are you using the older Garmin strap or the new 'soft strap'?
    The soft strap that came with my Edge 500 was always a bit temperamental, and when it eventually died I got one of the older Garmin HRMs which has been perfectly reliable ever since.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    The Garmin standard hard plastic strap. Very good.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    I had similar issues for years with Garmin premium soft straps, tried the Polar straps but they fail too, the answer for me was the Garmin standard hard plastic strap, very reliable (for me anyway)

    ^This. Never had a problem.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    I'm using a soft strap at the moment. Thinking that I will try a hard strap if I can find one and if I don't like that then I will go for a wrist based alternative
  • londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550
    I've tried four different types of Garmin straps with no luck and am (sadly) quite excited about the LED type. The Scosche looks marginally better (after a 10 second look so any feedback much appreciated) but still a bit pricey at the moment.

    One user mentioned clipping out the Mio and tucking it under the edge of her shorts which sounds even better than the arm strap.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Decathlon do an Ant+ HR strap for about £20 - works fine for me
  • scott_w1987scott_w1987 Posts: 316
    Wrist based isn't that accurate - most of the watches and "lifestyle" bands are all heart rate compatible via bluetooth or ant+ with only one or two of them actually taking a heart rate reading and even then I think it's only close to being accurate at the lower end of the scale. I did some research on them after my partner recently bought a Garmin vivosmart from costco as it was advertised as doing heart rate on the packaging only to get home and find out it was only HRM compatible. It was promtly returned with an arsey email and facebook post to Garmin, they didn't give two hoots!

    I'd stick with a chest strap.
  • londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550
    Wrist based isn't that accurate

    Have a look at in depth reviews like this:

    http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/05/scos ... tical.html

    Just as reliable as chest straps and they don't suffer from inaccurate readings at the beginning when you're waiting to get sweaty enough. I guess some of the "fashion" bands won't be accurate but they also wouldn't be Ant+ etc.

    Here's another one to throw into the mix although I haven't spotted any proper reviews yet:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/ANT-Heart-Rate- ... B00A2PAIT6
  • shmoostershmooster Posts: 335
    Not tried the Garmin straps so can't compare but my Tickr has proved very reliable. Very interested to see the wrist straps, but seems like you need to charge them almost daily compared to the 12 months or so battery life you can get from a chest strap.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    Thanks for the advice and suggestions. Just pressed the button to buy a Mio Link.

    It was close, all the ideas had some merit. The battery life of the Mio seems a little better than the other wrist straps. While it is not uncommon for me to ride for more than 7 hours I hardly ever ride for more than 10. Charging every ride should not be an issue.

    The main reason was the thought of never again having to put on a cold damp chest strap on a winter morning!

    Will give it a go and post a review in a couple of months
  • dork_knightdork_knight Posts: 405
    Remember that the Mio has an on/off button, so any cafe/rest stops on long rides you can knock it off to save battery... you've just got to remember to turn the thing back on though.
    The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd.
  • londoncommuterlondoncommuter Posts: 1,550
    paulwood wrote:
    Thanks for the advice and suggestions. Just pressed the button to buy a Mio Link.

    Out of interest, why the Mio over the Scosche?
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    Not clear but possibly slightly better battery life depending on which review you believe
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    Been using this for a month or so. I want to love it, it is so close to being a five star must have item.

    I love the simplicity, much more convenient and comfortable than a cold clammy chest strap. Pairs instantly with my Garmin so no wasting minutes wetting sensors and stuff. I will never buy another chest strap having used the Mio.

    So what don't I like. I'm not sure of the accuracy of some of the readings, there are short peaks about 20-30 beats higher than I would expect and also longer periods 20 beats lower than I feel I am working at. reservations as a serious training tool but overall the readings seem OK for general fitness use.
    Battery life, I'm getting 8 hours which is the lower end of the 8-10 hours suggested. A little limiting for longer rides. Also the battery is only good for 300 charges and is not changeable so if you charge it 2 times a week you will need a new one quite quickly. Probably still last longer than Garmin chest straps though.
    Also the strap seems a little flimsy and is not replaceable. The Mio needs to be worn quite tight so i am concerned in case the strap starts to tear. Time will tell on that one.

    So overall a great concept, a good product but with sufficient flaws to make me check out the competition next time I am in the market for one of these.
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