Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

Smart watch/activity recorder.

Evening all, I wonder if I could pick the brains of the members with a knowledge of smart watch/activity trackers?

Following another enforced lay off at my doctors advice/threats of death o:) he has given me the go ahead to use my bikes again, but there is a catch, he wants me to use a heart monitor or watch. He wants me to keep my heart rate rate down and not to push myself too far, too early, my sleep pattern is all over the place, so in order to monitor myself, he wants me to get into start being sensible. he knows me only too well.
He is a cyclist, as is his wife and they really put the miles in every year, cycling twice on a weekend of the weather is preferable and 3-4 nights during the week when the nights are longer, so I know he can talk the talk and walk the walk.
So, a few days ago, I started looking at smart watch/activity trackers, but I've become bogged down with all the techno babble and different OS. I tried a friends Garmin 235, but the screen is too small as I wear glasses for driving and reading, but cannot cycle while wearing them, so I'll need a larger faced watch in oder to see the readings. I know someone with the Hauwei watch, but his has glitches and has been returned twice for replacement, it's going back again for a refund and he will never buy another from Hauwei.
Like a great many people, money is an issue, but as I have a birthday in a few weeks, I reckon I can stretch to about £200 to work with. I have a Motorola mobile, so would prefer a watch that works with the android system.
So my fellow cyclists, which road should I take?
Cube Peloton Pro.
Genesis Core 30.

Posts

  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,518
    edited 13 January
    Forerunner 645 Music. Available at Argos for around 200 quid. Big screen. Job done

    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • johnmioshjohnmiosh Posts: 210
    Depends on what your issue is. You will probably need a watch or head unit that works with a chest strap rather than rely on a wrist reading. This will measure heart activity, rather than pulse.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 544
    I find watches difficult to read whilst riding, even when strapped on the bars. Even the largest watches tend to have smaller screens than bike specific devices, and continually raising your wrist to look at what's going on is just a ball ache.

    So as an option.. how about getting a cheap activity tracker like a Xiaomi Mi Fit band (about £30 from Amazon) to track sleep, daytime activities etc. and a Garmin Edge 130 or Wahoo Element / Bolt plus chest strap (or substitute any applicable bike GPS you can get a decent deal on).

    Reckon that would come in under budget then you've got the right device for each job.
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,365
    I have the Garmin Forerunner 645 in the cheaper non-music version and it would be perfect for your proposed use. But Cruff’s quoted price of £200 from Argos must have been a special sale price on Black Friday or something. Its retail price is £299 and most people are offering it around £276 at the moment.

    The most recent Garmin watches have some extra features over the 645. The latest base level Forerunner 45 is £169 retail (£157 on Amazon) and looks a good bet for you. The 245 is also good but over your budget. I would go for a Forerunner model because they have buttons which are easier to use when cycling or running than swipe screens.

    You can set Garmin Forerunner watches up to show just a big heart rate number taking up most of the screen surrounded by coloured bars for heart rate zone during an activity like cycling, walking, running etc which should be legible for most people. You can also set them up to give you a noise or vibration alert when your heart rate goes above whatever rate you set. The latest wrist heart rate Garmin watches are much more accurate than older ones and are fine without a chest strap. The Garmin Connect app for your phone works brilliantly and gives lots of information such as all day heart rate over weeks and months, and sleep and stress patterns. You can also download free custom widgets, data fields etc from the Garmin App Store including different ways to display your heart rate.
  • johnmioshjohnmiosh Posts: 210
    Sorry, too lazy to post an explanation in my last post. It depends on the reason for the OP requiring monitoring, the avoiding death thing made it sound serious.

    For fitness purposes the new wrist monitors are OK, but they only work on actual blood flow. If the OP is experiencing arrhythmias such as Atrial Fibrillation or Supra Ventricular Tachycardia, a chest strap will pick it up, but a wrist monitor won't. I think Garmin Forerunners will pair with an Ant+ chest strap.

    Also if it is a heart rhythm problem, an AliveCor Kardia Mobile would be useful for checking ECG on a regular basis for peace of mind (but this can't be used to monitor during exercise)
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,324
    If it's just for on the bike, I would suggest using a Wahoo Elemnt/Elemnt Bolt with an Ant+ chest strap. 2 reasons for this: you can choose the display density, so could have the screen just display your HR in a massive font with it tracking other aspects in the background, but you can also configure the lights to indicate your heart rate zone. If the lights go red, you're in a high zone and may need to back off.
  • d00d4hd00d4h Posts: 44

    If it's just for on the bike, I would suggest using a Wahoo Elemnt/Elemnt Bolt with an Ant+ chest strap. 2 reasons for this: you can choose the display density, so could have the screen just display your HR in a massive font with it tracking other aspects in the background, but you can also configure the lights to indicate your heart rate zone. If the lights go red, you're in a high zone and may need to back off.

    Likewise, when I started cycling again after a heart attack, I used the alarm function on my Garmin 500 to beep when I exceeded a certain heart rate (as advised by the cardiac rehab unit). I also set a screen up with just the heart rate on it, so that it was bigger/clearer.

    If it's a safety thing, you don't really need to see the numbers, you just need to know when you're too high. I would have thought that the lights on the Elemnt computers would be a good option for this.

  • johnmioshjohnmiosh Posts: 210

    I have the 520 Plus set to alarm at 160. I used the beep at first, but when using the route function, it sounds an alarm at every turn, so I turned it off. It now flashes up a warning if I go above 160. It is useful for me.
  • Thank you all for the replies, I had a trip to my local Argos today and looked at the other Garmins, they would be good for me, except I cannot see the screens clearly because of my eyesight. As has already been mentioned a larger computer/GPS like an Element or the like might be a better choice with having the customizable screen.
    I'll get on and do some researching.

    Thanks you.
    Cube Peloton Pro.
    Genesis Core 30.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,981
    Chest strap and Garmin 25 head unit will show hr. A simple wrist HRM watch could allow alarms to be set up at certain max heart rates. As a safety alarm a cheap garmin hrm watch, even strap only device is good enough for safety use.

    As always people want bang for their bucks so look to more and more features. Imho this could be a wrong approach for the op. I think he needs something to help prevent his effort level from causing harm. Too fancy a device might work against this somehow. Having a hr on display could trigger a competitive response. Try to keep it as close to the max allowed hr without going over it for example. That might not be wise.

    I've never knowingly had heart issues so I really don't know but imho KISS approach makes more sense to me. I think I've got a few old chest strap HRM around that would work for this. One is probably 20 years old. Complete with foam disc to attach to bike handlebars.
Sign In or Register to comment.