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Garmin HRM Strap issues

edited 15 September in Road general
So many riders seem to be having HR dropout issues with the Garmin soft HRM strap, including me. Works fine initially then zero.
I have tried all of the following to resolve:
Polar strap with Garmin transmitter; battery change; wet HRM and chest; new Garmin strap; tightened strap; and a few other recommendations I found on the internet with no fix.
Eventually I found a solution!
I strapped the Garmin soft strap to my chest with the transmitter under my left nipple. Hey presto no issues since. Give it a go it may work for you too.

Posts

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,211
    Ginormous pecs or just moobs? 😉
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • My Garmin heart sensor pod gave out last week too. I tried different things to fix including new battery,trying a different strap, factory re-set of Garmin etc. I thought I would have to buy a new unit.
    In the end I read about a hack for when you replace the battery - insert the battery the wrong way round for 10 seconds and then insert normally- it worked! Brilliant! Apparently, the units can be temperamental when you put in a new battery. The other thing I read was not to insert the new battery straightaway either.

    Incidentally, I bought a couple of cheap Chinese heart straps from Ebay a couple of years ago when my original Garmin strap packed up.They cost less than £10. The Garmin sensor pod clicks straight in and I am still using the first one. Very comfortable too.
  • I've ditched the original Garmin soft strap in favour of a much cheaper polar one which seems to be lasting better. Also once had to short out the contacts in the sensor before a new battery would work. I'll add the left nipple trick to the list of things to try next time it starts playing up.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,232


    Eventually I found a solution!
    I strapped the Garmin soft strap to my chest with the transmitter under my left nipple. Hey presto no issues since. Give it a go it may work for you too.

    If you think about it, if you use a defibrillator you put the plates or electrodes on the side of the chest and over the heart when you shock. So you are effectively moving the strap electrodes into this position, which makes sense. Maybe the strap electrodes also make better contact with the skin like this?

    An interesting tip, thanks.

  • I always sit mine central and under the moobs, apart from a dead battery once I've not had any issues.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • I've had two Garmin premium soft straps, both lasted about 3 years before salt corrodes the strap part. Second one lasted a bit longer than the first because I was more meticulous with washing the strap. The eBay strap extends the life for a relatively low price so is worth doing.

    However I've now bought a new gen Wahoo Tickr (still use with an Edge) and its a much better product. Main advantages are
    1. the pod doesn't protrude anything like as far, making it more comfortable especially with tight aero jerseys
    2. it works on both Bluetooth and Ant+ so can use on the turbo without an Ant+ dongle (e.g. running Zwift on my phone)
    3. the status lights mean working out whether its got battery / contact / connection is much easier
    4. It's a fair bit cheaper

    A new HRM is unlikely to be at the top of anyones upgrade lists, but if you are in the market for a new one; don't buy Garmin's version. It hasn't changed for about 10 years now and is showing its age with some major design shortcomings.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,211
    You do know the Garmin is now dual band BT & ANT+?
    It’s also pretty much the same size and £5 price difference.
    Haters gonna hate.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,519
    Wash it about every 20 rides in warm soapy water. When you change the battery, invert it for 20 seconds first.

    Had all sorts of problems with my first one - but that's cos I washed it maybe twice in three years.
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,211
    edited 18 September
    cruff said:

    Wash it about every 20 rides in warm soapy water. When you change the battery, invert it for 20 seconds first.

    Had all sorts of problems with my first one - but that's cos I washed it maybe twice in three years.

    Garmin actually print wash instructions on the inside that show a wash after every 7 washes. I'm assuming you are a man so don't follow instructions. 🤣🤣🤣
    Edit:- Oh, and don't use a dryer. That'll kill it. Per instructions. 😉
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pblakeney said:

    You do know the Garmin is now dual band BT & ANT+?
    It’s also pretty much the same size and £5 price difference.
    Haters gonna hate.

    Just checked and you are indeed correct they have updated it to dual band.

    But in respect of the other points;
    1. RRP for Garmin is £20 more than Wahoo but you can get Garmin discounted, closing the gap to between £5 and £10, no discounts on Wahoo yet as still new
    2. The pods are indeed the same size (I have both) but Wahoo's implementation is much better as it sits flush to your chest, Garmins pops on top on the strap.

    I'm not a fan of Wahoo or hater of Garmin; I have an Edge 1000 and a Vivoactive and my turbo is an Elite. However, the Garmin Premium HRM was never a very good product. I had the first gen non premium HRM and it was perfectly reliable, only changing because the new version came with my Edge 800, and in many ways the newer version is worse.

    The very fact that there needs to be a thread about working around it's shortcomings shows it's quite a flawed product!

    Anyway, it's only an HRM, it's not going to change your life, there is no way I would "upgrade" to the Wahoo unless mine was broken, but at the same stretch I wouldn't buy a new Garmin now.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,434
    The decathlon HRM transmitter and band seem much more durable than Garmin. I wash my band in the shower once a week or so. Very reliable.
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,698
    edited 20 September
    I got one of these 2x months ago after my soft strap started dying.... Works great with the Garmin pod

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313119471767
  • Frequent rinsing (after every ride) to get salt from sweat out, and washing with soap -- every 5 or so longish rides, seems to help.
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