Which heart rate monitor?

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TimIrons
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Which heart rate monitor?

Postby TimIrons » Wed Oct 03, 2012 13:27 pm

I am fairly new to road cycling having purchased my bike about a year ago and now that i am hooked i have been reading all about focusing my training efforts by using a heart rate monitor. I have found a great many articles and suggestions on how to use heart rate zones on both a turbo trainer and also on the road, but i can't find any advice as to which model of HRM is a good starting point. My training aims are to initially lose some weight but then to increase stamina and then power and speed to enable me to enter some sportives next year.

I have seen how popular the Garmin 500's and 800's are but for my first taste of heart rate monitoring i want to aim a lot lower in terms of price-point, i don't need to gps-track my rides or monitor speed or distance at this stage. I don't want to buy a cheap and nasty model that wont give me what i am after either. I hear that Polar make good reliable monitors and have looked at the FT4 model and FT7. From what i can see if i can establish my personal max HR by cycling up a steadily increasing incline and increasing my effort with then a final sprint, then i can enter this into either of these devices to then be able to monitor which zone i am in during a ride which is what i am aiming at.

Does anyone have any experience with these models or have any other suggestions for the £40-£100 mark. Is there something i am missing in terms of vital data that other more expensive models offer? at the moment i can't see how downloading minute by minute data is going to help me.

i am sorry if there is a thread on this already, i have searched i promise!

twotyred
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby twotyred » Wed Oct 03, 2012 13:57 pm

My training aims are to initially lose some weight but then to increase stamina and then power and speed to enable me to enter some sportives next year


All of the above can be done easily without a HRM by just riding your bike. Knowing your HR and its zones is only useful in the context of some sort of structured training programme

Garmin Edge 200 can be had for about £105 which will allow you to download your data on Garmin Connect or any of the other training software. You might not want it now but the capability to capture HR, cadence and power will be useful later if you want to take your training further.

TimIrons
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby TimIrons » Wed Oct 03, 2012 14:09 pm

Thanks twotyred, i will take a look at the more basic Edge models, i am sure i will move on to monitoring those other items in the future.

I have been continuing to ride, don't get me wrong, i just want to make sure i am putting effort in the right way especially when on the turbo trainer in the winter evenings when i can't get out on the bike. i think i generally push too hard for optimal fat burning and whilst this is probably beneficial to my overall fitness i want to try and focus things more, hence an attempt at a structured training program.

danowat
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby danowat » Wed Oct 03, 2012 14:12 pm

Edge 200 doesn't have HR capabilities

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Pross
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby Pross » Wed Oct 03, 2012 16:00 pm

If you want HRM on a computer with GPS functionality then the cheapest offering is likely to be a Bryton 20 which is £99.99 at Evans with the HR strap (I'm getting one shortly). For a simple bike computer with HR then it might be worth looking at a Polar 100 or similar. However, the reason I am looking at the Bryton is that my Polar 200 has broken in less than 12 months (I've mislaid the box and receipt!) apparently due to water getting in. There are some cheap basic computers with HR function out there but I don't know how good they are.

twotyred
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby twotyred » Wed Oct 03, 2012 18:41 pm

Edge 200 doesn't have HR capabilities


Geez neither it does. I didn't realise how useless it is.

i just want to make sure i am putting effort in the right way especially when on the turbo trainer in the winter evenings


In that case probably worth saving up for something decent like the Edge 500 with a speed/cadence sensor then you could get virtual power from TrainerRoad.

Also don't worry about optimal fat burning zones. Just ride your bike, eat a bit less and the weight will come off.

RandG
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby RandG » Wed Oct 03, 2012 20:18 pm

twotyred wrote: Knowing your HR and its zones is only useful in the context of some sort of structured training programme

.



Rubbish.

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MarkP80
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby MarkP80 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 20:21 pm

Just thinking there, if you want to monitor HR both on the road and on a turbo then the ideal solution would be ANT+ so if you wanted you could use TrainerRoad via a PC.
Garmin 500 is expensive, but would a Garmin ANT HRM connected to a watch-type readout suffice? That could be connected to a 500 head unit later, or indeed a pc and a speed/cadence monitor.
Just a thought.

MarkP
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TimIrons
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby TimIrons » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:09 am

Thanks to all respondents but this seems to be getting more complicated than i think i need. i want to be able to see how much effort i am putting in at any point in time and to do this will look at my % of max HR. From what i have been reading on this forum i can then try to structure some training to make sure i am training in the HR zone i want to be in for the specific aims of that session. This could be on the road or the turbo.

i do not need the gps or speed etc at this stage but can see how this is very useful as i get more serious.

With these being my aims a very simple readout showing HR as a % of max seems all i need and as such a £50 Polar monitor on a watch readout would be reliable and fit for purpose would it not?

Does anyone have any experience of these?

I have just looked up the Garmin ANT HR sensors and think that these are similar to the Polar ones if i link it to a watch. i could then use the speed / cadence monitor too with TrainerRoad as a next step.

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Pross
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby Pross » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:43 am

MarkP80 wrote:Just thinking there, if you want to monitor HR both on the road and on a turbo then the ideal solution would be ANT+ so if you wanted you could use TrainerRoad via a PC.
Garmin 500 is expensive, but would a Garmin ANT HRM connected to a watch-type readout suffice? That could be connected to a 500 head unit later, or indeed a pc and a speed/cadence monitor.
Just a thought.

MarkP


You can just use a Garmin ANT+ speed / cadence sensor with a Bryton 20. You should then have a system that will work with TrainerRoad and also has HR capability for about £135 (plus the ANT+ USB stick). This was the setup I was looking at but I've taken a rain check as I would also need a new turbo trainer.

danowat
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby danowat » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:49 am

TimIrons wrote:i want to be able to see how much effort i am putting in at any point in time and to do this will look at my % of max HR


All I will say is.......

There are many things that affect HR, so it's not limited to effort, also, as your fitness changes, so does your HR in relation to the effort you put in.

twotyred
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby twotyred » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:02 pm

RandG wrote:
twotyred wrote: Knowing your HR and its zones is only useful in the context of some sort of structured training programme

.



Rubbish.


Go on then RandG educate me. I fail to see what use going out for a ride and occasionally looking at a HRM is. As soon as you use a HRM to stay in a particular HR range you are structuring your riding/training. Why else would you need one?

TimIrons
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby TimIrons » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:21 pm

Pross wrote:
MarkP80 wrote:Just thinking there, if you want to monitor HR both on the road and on a turbo then the ideal solution would be ANT+ so if you wanted you could use TrainerRoad via a PC.
Garmin 500 is expensive, but would a Garmin ANT HRM connected to a watch-type readout suffice? That could be connected to a 500 head unit later, or indeed a pc and a speed/cadence monitor.
Just a thought.

MarkP


You can just use a Garmin ANT+ speed / cadence sensor with a Bryton 20. You should then have a system that will work with TrainerRoad and also has HR capability for about £135 (plus the ANT+ USB stick). This was the setup I was looking at but I've taken a rain check as I would also need a new turbo trainer.


Wouldn't i also need a Garmin ANT+ HR strap at c£45 as the Bryton doesn,t come with a HR sensor?

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Pross
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby Pross » Thu Oct 04, 2012 13:17 pm

TimIrons wrote:
Pross wrote:
MarkP80 wrote:Just thinking there, if you want to monitor HR both on the road and on a turbo then the ideal solution would be ANT+ so if you wanted you could use TrainerRoad via a PC.
Garmin 500 is expensive, but would a Garmin ANT HRM connected to a watch-type readout suffice? That could be connected to a 500 head unit later, or indeed a pc and a speed/cadence monitor.
Just a thought.

MarkP


You can just use a Garmin ANT+ speed / cadence sensor with a Bryton 20. You should then have a system that will work with TrainerRoad and also has HR capability for about £135 (plus the ANT+ USB stick). This was the setup I was looking at but I've taken a rain check as I would also need a new turbo trainer.


Wouldn't i also need a Garmin ANT+ HR strap at c£45 as the Bryton doesn,t come with a HR sensor?


You can buy the Bryton with an HRM for £99.99

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bryton/rider-20t-gps-hrm-ec035457#features

Tom Dean
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby Tom Dean » Thu Oct 04, 2012 14:05 pm

danowat wrote:as your fitness changes, so does your HR in relation to the effort you put in.
Are you sure you mean this?

danowat
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby danowat » Thu Oct 04, 2012 14:17 pm

Tom Dean wrote:
danowat wrote:as your fitness changes, so does your HR in relation to the effort you put in.
Are you sure you mean this?


Yes, my heart rate now is lower (about 10-20bpm) in the endurance zone than what it was 18 months ago, I imagine the body gets more effiecient?

Tom Dean
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby Tom Dean » Thu Oct 04, 2012 15:13 pm

Interesting. Any difference at higher levels?

danowat
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby danowat » Thu Oct 04, 2012 15:17 pm

Not really, mainly around aerobic levels.

davenewcastle1973
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby davenewcastle1973 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 15:36 pm

I managed to get a reconditioned Garmin Forerunner 305 for £100ish with HRM included. A wee bit chunky on my wrist but I really miss it if I ride without it...
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Trev The Rev
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Re: Which heart rate monitor?

Postby Trev The Rev » Fri Oct 05, 2012 08:39 am

Many people would say the question should be. Do you need a heart rate monitor? The money might be better spent on something else.


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