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HR Monitors... (Read 998 times)


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    Hi All, I'm looking for an HR monitor that, well, won't reak the bank. Since the folks in the Drinkers with a Running Problem group have me psyched about home brewing, I'll have to watch my nickles. ANyway, I read a review recently in a running magazine and am curious about the Timex brand. Target has these and not too expensive. When I was more of a cyclist, I used Polar and another German brand - all of which weren't terrily reliable. ANy suggestions...all are appreciated.

    San Francisco - 7/29/12

    Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

    Chicago - 10/7/12


      I've used all kinds of different HRM and Speed/Distance combos before. I went with a cheap polar, and that was wasted money. I used an expensive timex, which I did not like. I bought a SUPER expensive polar (sx625??), and liked the HRM part of it, but not the speed/distance part of it. My suggestion: spend a bit extra and get the garmin 305. I know it is probably more than you want to spend, but in the end you're probably going to want all of the things that it offers. I also use it on my bike, and wish I hadn't spend the $50 or so on the bike computer that I did. I also was able to sell my polar for 140 or so, and with a 50$ rebate, the garmin was pretty cheap. Anyway, I LOVE the garmin, and would suggest it is worth pinching pennies elsewhere. Modified to add: I know you're asking about strictly HRMs, which is what I was originally in the market for. Then I wanted all the other stuff and wasted a lot of money.

      Race Plans

      New Year's Race Los Angeles, January 3, 2015

      db7


        I bought the $90 Polar and it works fine. I bought a Timex online because it was a good deal and ended up sending it back because it wouldn't function. Lost the shipping on that one. You get what you pay for. If you dont need the distance and speed part, go Polar. All of the Garmin people are crazy over those things though. DB

        Tougher than most, dumber than the rest. "You can not count the miles until you feel them" TVZ


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          The Garmin does appeal to me. I love all the "stuff" the Garmin has on it, although it's total over kill for my training level. However, training will pick up steadily from here on out and so you guys may be right in that I'll want all the other stuff later. Regarding the GPS function, I hear not too good on trails but would be nice to have when I'm exploring new routes. The Home Brew kit may have to wait.

          San Francisco - 7/29/12

          Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

          Chicago - 10/7/12


          Julianne R


            The Garmin does appeal to me. I love all the "stuff" the Garmin has on it, although it's total over kill for my training level. However, training will pick up steadily from here on out and so you guys may be right in that I'll want all the other stuff later. Regarding the GPS function, I hear not too good on trails but would be nice to have when I'm exploring new routes. The Home Brew kit may have to wait.
            I am not sure about this (haven't tried it yet but have read other posts elsewhere) that you can get a signal this time of year (on the east coast of the US at least) b/c there are no leaves on the trees. I was thinking of using mine for cross-country skiiing. Come spring, you might not be able to get a signal.
              Regarding the GPS function, I hear not too good on trails but would be nice to have when I'm exploring new routes.
              I had the same concern when I was thinking about buying one. I had a 201, and it was very patchy when I was on flat trails without dense tree coverage. The 305 has not had any of these problems, and everybody who replied to my original post had similar experiences. Unfortunately, there was a $50 rebate, but I believe it expired as of 11/30. I think their overall price has dropped now though. It has definitely been worth the money to me!
              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                I've never had a problem with the GPS on trails, that I can tell.


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                  I hope to find someone locally who has the new Garmin and get their take. Here in the foothills of SC, satelite links can be " iffy" - (i.e. XM radio) when on the move. So, my GPS continuity concerns are partly artificial from this. Still,the device sounds great. But, the watch/arm device looks heavy (bulky). Any comments on that? I don't intend to sound like I'm picking this thing to death...just that for this kind of cash, I really want to be sure.

                  San Francisco - 7/29/12

                  Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                  Chicago - 10/7/12



                  I've got a fever...

                    I run through rolling wooded hills/trails and have zero problems with GPS coverage with my Garmin Forerunner 305. As T-Runner mentioned, the 305 is a huge improvement on previous generation devices. And it's much less bulky than it looks. I don't even notice it while running (except when it beeps at me! Tongue )

                    On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                      the watch/arm device looks heavy (bulky).
                      It's definitely bigger than a normal watch and will look/feel bulky for the first few runs - but it is not heavy at all.

                      When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                        Hi Trey - I've used a cheap Timex ($60-70) for about a year with no problems. Once in awhile I will get a "spike" to say, 183 or something while I'm jogging, but I ignore it and it goes away in a few seconds - I may be wrong, but I've heard that most HR monitors can give a so-called false reading like this. BTW, I had a Timex Speed Distance GPS watch (w/no HRM) that worked most of the time, but sometimes not under heavy overcast skies, under dense foliage, and lately, for no apparent reason. When it didn't work for a couple of races, I knew I had to get something I could depend on every time. So; I am considering buying the new Garmin Forerunner 50 ($200 for the unit including HRM and footpod). The footpod eliminates the need for GPS, but I want to see some reviews on distance accuracy first. Good luck on your search!

                        "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

                         

                          For what it's worth, I absolutely hate my Garmin Forerunner. I'm on my 3rd unit in 9 months. Unit #1 died during the Pikes Peak Marathon. Wouldn't power up anymore. Garmin replaced it very promptly. Unit #2 (Forerunner 205) discharged a current into my wrist during a 14 hour run and burned a hole in my arm. They replaced that one with a 305, but still has the same design flaw of the charging contacts on the back, exposed to the skin. It's only a matter of time until it goes belly up too. By then I'll be out of warranty and they'll be done with me. Smile Batterly life on them is terrible... only about 10 hours. I have to give Garmin credit for quickly replacing them... but the reliability is awful. As soon as Polar offers a GPS that will map (the RS800 doesn't do mapping, only GPS distance, a huge oversight in my opinion) I'll buy it. My Polar S710 has been super reliable during 8 years of very hard use (500+ hours a year). From my experience, unless you must have GPS mapping, get a Polar HRM. - Chris


                          Just Be

                            Another vouch for the Polar HRMs. My RS200sd has been absolutely amazing so far (only been 4 months). The footpod battery already died, though: but it's just a tripple A and was really easy to replace. Distance is absolutely spot on (after I calibrated the footpod) and I love that it doesn't rely on the GPS system for data. The Garmin 305 uses the SirfStar III chip, AFAIK, which is really sensitive to the GPS signals, but I have a handheld GPS unit which also uses that same chip and it does lose a signal on very cloudy days in my area often, even when I'm just walking.
                              I have a Polar F4 HRM and have had no trouble except for the odd spike. I've had it for 1.5 years and I've used it at least 3 times a week. It would be nice to measure my pace more accurately but it doesn't really matter.

                              Suffering Benefiting from mature onset exercise addiction and low aerobic endorphin release threshold. Hoping there is no cure.


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                                Good input all. At long last, there's the Suunto T series (t4). Most reviews like the functionality of the devices itself but give it low marks for plastic face plates (except t6 has crystal face), poor wrist strap and chest straps, and software difficulty. Almost everyone has an issue with HR monitors regardless of manufacturer, so, I'm going to go with one that has the best warranty and return policy...which ever one that is.

                                San Francisco - 7/29/12

                                Warrior Dash Ohio II - 8/26/12

                                Chicago - 10/7/12


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