Help HR straps and garmin

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#1
I haven't had a hr strap since I threw my second garmin POS away a few years back. Had the power meter so didn't need it I thought.

But after using the HR monitor on the gym trainer the other day I thought it might be fun to start looking at hr again. So I'm in the market.

I say @GrantT had a forearm jobbie the other day and I have heard talk of polar this and that. How about garmin have they finally upped their game or is their strap still an absolute piece of shit.

It needs to work with a garmin edge800.

Let me know your thoughts on this matter lads.
 

Andy in Tokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 16, 2012
605
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Tokyo
#2
Not sure if the new Garmin straps are any good but I've been using this Polar one with the Garmin Bluetooth pod for a couple of years now and haven't had any issues. Just need to melt or shave the plastic surrounding the contacts to allow the Garmin pod to clip in properly.
 
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Cactaur

Speeding Up
Feb 3, 2014
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#3
The garmin that came with my gps bundle is decent so far, but you can't change batteries. Maybe go with another brand that has bt and ant+ like the wahoo.
 
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GrantT

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Oct 2, 2012
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Setagaya
#4
The one I've got is a Scosche RHYTHM+. I chose it after hearing lots of whinging about chest straps and not liking the idea of something that could constrict breathing. Plus DCRainmaker uses it and he's tested all of them. Some high readings on a few descents but otherwise it's seemed accurate so far, including while climbing out the saddle and sweating hard in the summer heat. Stays on fine no problem with chaffing or anything like that. I have it paired with a Forerunner 410 running watch via ANT+. Battery is 8 hours though. But it's simple enough to start and stop if you want to save battery.
 
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kubatyszko

Speeding Up
Jul 29, 2012
79
24
38
Shinagawa, Tokyo
#5
Garmin had 3 types of straps, the old (2009 or so) model - solid, essentially one pretty flat piece with non-detacheable unit was getting better reviews at that time compared to their 2-piece (polar-style) model.
The current model (that came with my Edge 1000) is also similar 2-piece but the strap looks a lot better - I expect this one to work well, and I'm pretty sure that battery can be changed by undoing the case.

My daily HRM is a PowerCal - does both HR and power, good strap, no issues - well maybe once in a blue moon for the first minute or two I get erratic readings until my skin gets conductive enough.
My only pain with PowerCal are batteries - it seems pretty sensitive to battery choice, I had a cheap 10-pack of coin cells from amazon and those don't work well. Now I put another no-name pack (but it does say "high quality battery" ;) )and it's all good.
 
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theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#6
So it seems the polar strap doesn't work to well for the first part of my rides. Maybe it is a contact patch issue. Until I get sweating a bit, it is all over the place. Do you guys use KY gel? .... For the HR strap that is...:innocent:
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#7
So it seems the polar strap doesn't work to well for the first part of my rides. Maybe it is a contact patch issue. Until I get sweating a bit, it is all over the place. Do you guys use KY gel? .... For the HR strap that is...:innocent:
I use an ultrasonic gel that my mum's nurse friend stole from her hospital and gave to me ;)
There are lots of HR gel out there that can be used. I find that they give me a more stable reading than if I just put water on the contact areas of the strap.
 

Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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Ichikawa, Chiba
#8
With the two previous models of Garmin I'd wet a bit before use but with the current one, even though it says to do so, I don't bother and the readings are fine. I used the one before the very latest one (G3?) not looking big ago because of wash day but it was bobbins. I'm my experience they seem to work well for a while and then pack up.

I have a PowerCal that I used to use just as a HR strap and it was accurate but for just that use its expensive and as a power meter it is fairly useless.

Try a gel or spit or a dab of water but if it doesn't work right it won't really get any better. Again, just my experience.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#9
Yeah I have been wetting it, but it seems very reluctant to perform in the first 10minutes. I'll look around for some HR gels.... for the HR strap....:innocent:.... If anyone has some links post em up...
 
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andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Niigata
#12
I find the Garmin strap is more conductive (works without moisture) but the polar is more durable. When I use the polar strap I usually put the whole strap in water before clipping on the Garmin piece (not so much fun in winter granted)

On another note, I always take the plastic piece off after use. If you leave the two pieces together you can get corrosion around the contact points.

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
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macrophotofly

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Aug 27, 2012
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London, UK
www.macrophotofly.com
#13
I hate using my chest HR and I have convinced myself to buy the newly released Garmin FR235 which is a running GPS watch with HR monitor on the back, but most importantly it can ANT+ transmit the HR to my Garmin 800, .....but waiting on DC's long term test of the HR monitor before the cash comes out of the pocket.

When i do use my HR chest strap I find a bit of chamois cream on the contact patches of the strap is enough to get a good signal until I start sweating.
 
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theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#14
I really don't like it either, you should look into Johns one. It will definitely be the way I go in the future.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
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Niigata
#15
I've been riding the rollers recently and had some irregular heart rate readings.

I worked out the problem, another heart rate monitor I have was interfering. I took the battery out of this one (still in its box in another room) and now all is good.

On your garmin display you can make sure it is hooked up:

settings
bike settings
heart rate
ant + hr
search

if you choose sensor details you can lock on to the sensor ID of a specific HRM.

I'm testing out a 4iiii HR belt now, nice fit and seems to read well. It has bluetooth connectivity so can be used with a smartphone (don't think I'll bother as I record all training other than swimming onto the garmin).

I'd say its potential downfall is the old school coin twisting battery cover. I wonder how many polar covers I've ruined over the years...

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
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#16
Whatever you do, DO NOT buy the Mio Link. I bought it as an alternative to having a chest strap, and other than resolving that issue, it is complete shite. Terrible range, rechargeable battery barely lasts 5-6 hours (supposed to be 8-10), and at times randomly shows my HR to be over 200 (my max HR is 175).