Polar CS500+ cycle computer - in brief review£128.50

User-friendly cycling monitor

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Polar’s diamond-headed unit is very user friendly, with a wealth of data, but expensive for a non-GPS device. Computer and sensor set-up is intuitive, and the big backlit screen is easy to read.

The single mode button and screen-rocking scrolling make it super-easy to operate with gloves or on rough terrain. As you’d hope from the original heart-rate monitor brand, the ‘soft’ HR belt gives excellent comfort and connection, and you can add a cadence sensor. Polar’s Datalink USB dongle lets it download to the polarpersonaltrainer.com site for effective coaching advice based on goals and overall training load. At the ‘dongled’ price though, most of the competition are GPS-driven, which means route data you can upload to Strava.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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