Heart Rate Monitor/Cyclecomputer Recommendations?

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Anonymous's picture

I've been looking around for a heart-rate monitor with cyclecomputer functions that would, in an ideal world, include cadence. I've been looking at picking up one of those Polar CS200s, but reading around on Bike Forums etc, there's no real consensus--some people love 'em, some people hate 'em. Does anyone have any personal experience with this model to recommend or warn against a purchase? Alternatively, any suggestions short of going to a Garmin would be appreciated.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)
HR Monitor/Cyclecomputer Recommendations?

Be careful about buying wireless comppnents because they often conflict with each other. Because there are so many microwaves flying around NYC, they are sometimes jammed up by other sources.

I would suggest buying an HR monitor and, separately, buying a cyclometer. This allows you to shop around and could save you some bucks.

I use a Polar F6 HR monitor and a Cat Eye Mity and have been very happy with both. But don't use the HR monitor's assesment feature - do your own tests on the road.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
polar cs200cad hands down

"when i began getting back in shape, i started with an hac4plus (which i haven't had time to put up on craigslist or ebay if anyone is interested). the lousy interface and wonky mount were frustrating so i started looking again.

i decided a couple years ago that i'd never buy a polar again since they started farming out design/production to cheap factories - the buttons lacked the proper feel and the interface changes made no sense.

then polar released the cs200cad and i got calls from my buddies who jumped on it. the interface changes were reverted (so they made sense again) and the buttons were rubberized and had the right ""feel"".

i don't ride much anymore but when i do ride i don't worry about whether the ciclometer or hrm are working. this model works as expected, not only the interface (where navigation and overall behavior is as expected), but the device properly pauses itself during lunch stops and after several hours it knows the next time you ride, it's a new trip. the model can be mounted on the bar or on the stem using supplied rubberbands. the wireless wheel/fork and crank/chainstay adapters are a breeze to put on (although i haven't bothered with the cadence unit yet[*]).

my only gripe is in data management. the polar doesn't come with a usb adapter to download data to your computer. there's a soniclink function where you can download via microphone but i don't bother. polar just released the cs300 (optional cad wireless unit) but they dropped the ball...it's a wristwatch so no way to mount on stem.

i'm keeping my fingers crossed until polar releases their cs999cad, which ideally will come with a usb adapter to download data (on mac or pc) to your choice of software. not expecting it...but hoping none the less...

go with the polar cs200cad. it's reasonably priced and easy to use.



Anonymous's picture
Ted (not verified)
What about a 720i?

I ride with a Polar 720i, which is a watch, but also has a bracket to mount it on the bars. I am very happy with it.
Cadence, speed, altitude, HR, and I download them all in about a minute to the iR port on my computer. (There is even a $300 power option, which seems to be reasonable for 1/3 the price of other options.)

Since it is a watch, I can also use it for other sports, mapping altitude from a car, multiple bikes, etc. You need to read the directions to get it all set up, but the general use is easy once you spend some time to figure it out.

In relation to the other questions, if you don't want to clutter the bike for aesthetic reasons, it works fine mounted on my wrist. (You need to wear it on the inside of your wrist if you want to be able to watch speed in a pace line or in the drops)

It does cost twice the CS200, but with two extra pickups, it works on three bikes, and for running and other cross training. The software isn't super fancy, but I have been happy with it. You can quickly edit out bad data points (spikes the wireless picks up in electrical fields) and looks at all your stats: Total climb, grades for chosen intervals, ave HRs, etc...
On the wireless reliability, I get strange interference spikes about 1/2 the time I cross Park Ave (probably the field from the train tunnel underneath) but very rarely anywhere else.

Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
Are they all hideous?

Not that aesthetics matter that much, but those things are awfully clunky. What is essential and what is better left to a mountable cycle computer?

Anonymous's picture
phil (not verified)
About HR monitors (and also watt monitors)

HR monitors: do they all wrap the electrode around your chest, or are there some less clunky versions (such as around your wrist or something)?

Watt monitors: are there any under $999 bucks? :) (Under $99 even)

cycling trips