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Heart Rate Monitors

DAVESKY  Feb 9th 2007 at 15:56
Have had lots of reports about using a Hear Rate Monitor, can anyone recommend a good one ,easy to use but not to pricey..
6 replies
AndyB  Feb 9th 2007 at 17:41

Heart rate training if used properly can be a very useful training tool. Polar is a well known reliable make and produce heart rate monitors that can be used with bikes to create a bike computer (speed, distance cadence etc:), a running pod which attaches to your shoe and measure your distance and speed.

Garmin do heart rate monitors which are tied into GPS systems and map your bike or run route, these can be fairly expensive though (£150+).

If it is just something that tells you your current, max and average heart rate then Aldi and Lidl often have offers on very basic models for about £15. They will not last as long as polar watches but for the price are a very good introduction. They will give you an idea of training with heart rate is like and if you want to continue with it then you may wish to buy something more expensive.

Have a look on They stock most heart rate monitors at a resonable price. also have a few of the older polar watches at half price.

I hope this all helps.

Blog: Yellow bikes are the fastest?! Twitter:
RichG  Feb 9th 2007 at 22:44
Definitely worth getting and using but I think the key is that you have to use them to a mid-long term plan or programme and stick strictly to that plan.

I think a lot of HRM's just sit on arms and handlebars to be looked at when someone is sprinting up a hill so to see how high their heart rates go.... not quite the point!!!

I've been using HRM's for about 14 years and I've always got what I've paid for. There is a balance to be struck between the budget you have, the functionality you want and the reliability and longevity of the HRM. Initially I was seduced by models that had all of the functionality and were a lot cheaper than other models, but there is usually a reason why - i.e. they die a lot quicker or they only work 50% of the time.

Polar's are the daddies, in terms of reliability and longevity - but have a price to match. There are lots in between, I'm currently using a Timex which has given me pretty good service. Nike??? - stick to the shoes!!

RichG  Feb 9th 2007 at 22:46
I love the google adverts by the way.... those spiders do a great service!!
Chig  Feb 9th 2007 at 23:23
HRMs are possibly the best piece of kit you can buy if you use it properly. If you're on a tight budget you just need one that reads your heart rate, so you can check your zone.
If you want to spend a bit more, get a better brand, but don't bother with ones that calculate zones for you, unless you go top end, as the cheaper ones just use formulae that are worse than ones in much cheaper tri/cycling books. If you've got a Decathlon nearby, theirs are cheap and appear reliable, or try Ebay or the internet for a new one from there.
Start with a cheap one and see how you go, but once you've used one properly, you'll probably wonder how you ever managed before. Personally, my HRM is the highest spec piece of kit I have, much better quality than my bike, wetsuit etc. After all, your training is the most important thing you do. Spending and extra £500 on a bike may give you 3 mins over 40k, but learning how to train more effectively and productively will give you much more for much less money.
morgan26  Feb 10th 2007 at 12:22
Ive not long invested in a Timex IronmanT5F001:

Was reasonably priced and does everything i want.
Separate upgrades include a GPS unit and Data-Logger.
SteveB  Feb 15th 2007 at 21:51
I use a Polar one, I forget the model number. What I like about them is you can just wear the strap and if your gym has Polar treadmills you can get a heart rate readout on the machine.
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