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Fitbit for strava and HR monitoring

corriebee1corriebee1 Posts: 390
edited May 2017 in Commuting chat
Doing a bit of running these days as well as cycling, but hate taking my phone out for a run.

Does anyone use a fitbit for recording and uploading rides/runs? Or does anyone use one in general? Am i getting carried away with my annual 2017 fitness binge?!

Posts

  • Unless it's the all singing all dancing one, Fitbits are generally just monitors rather than recorders are they not?

    Also, unless paired with a chest strap HR monitor, the wrist based readings can be taken with a pinch of salt too
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  • Wrist based hrm accuracy is supposed too be getting better. My Fitbit surge is usually pretty close to my Garmin premium chest strap connected to my Garmin edge 25. It's not going to be good enough for some but depending on your needs it could work for you. How accurate do you really need?

    BTW i believe scocche wrist hrm is supposed to be accurate enough for sports use but you need to pair it to a device like phone or cycle computer. DCRainmaker website rates it even though it's a few years old now. Mio wrist hrm are also pretty good.
  • LukeTCLukeTC Posts: 211
    I was looking at a Fitbit Surge until I realised for the same price I could get a Garmin Vivoactive HR from amazon but I guess it all comes down to how much money you're spending I guess. I mean for example, if all my friends were using fitbits and their platform i'd probably get a Fitbit, it just so happens that I already have a few Garmin products, Varia smartlights being among those and I can control them from the watch, things like that helped sell the Garmin to me more.

    If you want to record rides/runs without taking your phone, it's only the Surge model in Fitbit's range that would allow you to do that just FYI. All the others that advertise GPS use "connected" GPS which basically means you need your phone nearby so it can use your phones GPS. Which imo completely negates the point of having a watch for working out because I'd just carry on strapping it to my arm otherwise.
  • Don't buy the Fitbit surge. Earlier Fitbit trackers had an issue with the rubber strap causing an allergic reaction. The surge has that effect too. I started getting it a couple of weeks of use. I used it as a tracker not just for exercise. I find i have to take it off at least 5 hours a day or the skin under the strap starts to look like I've scalded it with hot water. Seriously the skin goes very dry, wrinkly and flaking off. Didn't hurt just wasn't comfortable though.
  • LukeTCLukeTC Posts: 211
    Don't buy the Fitbit surge. Earlier Fitbit trackers had an issue with the rubber strap causing an allergic reaction. The surge has that effect too. I started getting it a couple of weeks of use. I used it as a tracker not just for exercise. I find i have to take it off at least 5 hours a day or the skin under the strap starts to look like I've scalded it with hot water. Seriously the skin goes very dry, wrinkly and flaking off. Didn't hurt just wasn't comfortable though.

    Ooof, sounds a bit nasty, bit of a lucky miss for me then (mr super senstive skin right here) well, that and when I saw that it wasn't recommended to swim with it then the Garmin was really the easy and only choice in the end.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,518
    I bought a Fitbit Blaze for recording resting heart rate and sleep (have a horrible sleep pattern). Absolutely useless for recording during any intense exercise - reads 20-25 bpm too low. Works well for the sleep recording and resting heart rate though, and would be fine if you cared about recording your step count.
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  • I have a Fitbit Surge which I use for running and cycling. I do think about buying a Garmin for the bike, but am trying to stop buying more gadgets to clutter up the house.

    The Surge tracks my ride using GPS, and syncs with Strava.
    You can't read any details while you're riding, not least because it's often hidden beneath a sleeve at this time of year. Also, the data it shows isn't that helpful.
    I've never had an issue with an allergic reaction, although I have heard of that happening.
    It doesn't feel the most sturdy of watches - I think the strap will fail quite quickly and probably not be worth replacing. Someone else in my office had a Sugre and now has a Blaze because the strap on the Surge broke.
    The heart rate is comically out - it will read about 90 when a different (chest strap) heart rate monitor will be reading 150. Oddly, it seems to catch up after a while - after 30-40 mins of exercise, it starts to provide more realistic rates. Even more oddly, it seems to read more accurately when running - it reads a little low on my weekly Parkrun, but not as much as when I'm riding.
    The battery isn't great - plenty good enough for up to about 3 or maybe 4 hours, but will run out before I've finished a 100 mile ride. It also tends to run flat quite quickly if used to track short periods of exercise - I charge it every couple of days which isn't quite as bad as an Apple Watch but it uses a bespoke charging cable which is a faff to carry around - if it was a micro-usb I would already have one at work, etc.
    The sleep monitoring is an interesting gimmick, although I'm not sure there is a huge amount of point to it.

    I'll probably think of some more pros and cons in a bit.

    On balance, it's okay but I probably wouldn't buy again. I'd buy a dedicated (chest strap) running watch for, use my iPhone as a step tracker, and buy a bike-specific GPS as well.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,425
    Just got myself a Garmin fr235 for running and general messing about. It's good, even the wrist based HR is good I used it on my bike yesterday simultaneously with my edge 810 and a HR strap and the results were close enough. Strava suffer score was one different, and it's meant to be worse on the wrist. So to speak.
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  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,509
    I know this thread is old but it's the first one that comes up about Fitbit HR monitoring when you search fitbit on this forum. I've been without my normal Garmin HR strap for a couple of weeks and have been wearing my Fitbit Blaze for cycling just to review the HR data after the workout. I thought I would add some of my experience in case anyone else comes across this.

    Generally I find the HR data is there or thereabouts for day to day, but for hard exercise it is very hit and miss. Below is HR data from this morning's club ride:

    Screenshot%202017-05-06%2014.31.53_zpsxbbimnzk.png

    The first part up to around 1h45 is just about OK, the long section of high/peak HR is the main climb of the day (cat and fiddle, incidentally). But then after that it goes pretty much completely to pot for the rest of the ride. The last peak was at the end of a long flat fast section where I had been on the limit for about 15-20 minutes, and it hasn't been picked up whatsoever. It seems to think my HR was sitting around 90-110, when I can barely start riding without my HR going over 100. Weirdly, that matches up very well with my average cadence through that section (the bit where it's around 60 is the coffee stop).

    I have no idea what caused it to drop out - I was riding in the drops a lot more, the pace was much higher (descents and flat) so there would have been more wind, and the effort was much more variable - it seems to do OK for steadier efforts but really doesn't like surges.

    The above isn't uncommon either, I have had this type of issue most rides. On the turbo it takes maybe 5-10 minutes to start picking up anything, and it doesn't react to short intervals.

    For general day to day tracking and for interest it is OK and I like the product generally (smartwatch functions etc).

    But if anyone was interested in getting accurate workout HR tracking from a fitbit you can basically forget it.
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