Polar CS600X heart rate monitor £229.5

Quality training tool

BikeRadar score 4/5

This is a serious piece of cycling-specific kit. As with all Polar products, setup is simple and inputting user information, heart rate zones and fitting the bar mount and speed sensor took no time. Having to input wheel size feels a bit retro, but it’s hardly a hassle and you can set it up for three bikes.

The WearLink strap feels a bit on the chunky side and the elastic also has fairly sharp edges; we'd be tempted to replace this with one of the old plastic T31 straps. Niggles about the strap aside, out on the bike the CS600X behaved impeccably, syncing in no time at all and never once losing the heart rate or speed signal.

As you’d expect from a cycle-specific monitor, display size was excellent and, even in driving rain, always clear. The incline measurement is a nice touch, surprisingly accurate and adding interest to the ride. You can also pair it with a Polar G3 GPS sensor for post-ride viewing on a map such as Google Earth.

If you’re willing to part with another couple of hundred quid, you could pair it up with the Polar chain vibration power measuring system but, rather than being a plus, this is actually a limitation.

Although it’s a relatively cheap way to measure power output, it’s fiddly to install, notoriously fragile and has questionable accuracy. It’s a real shame the CS600X is tied to this system as Powertap or SRM power crank compatibility would elevate it to another level.

Data recall on the monitor is good but, to get the most out of the CS600X, wirelessly transfer your data using the infrared USB stick and indulge in a training stats fest with the supplied Polar ProTrainer 5 software (PC only).

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