HRM recommendations

Hi all, I’ve been using the polar h10 because it picked up some additional metrics vs tickr x (hrv etc). But… I’m having serious issues with reliability. Short version - add soon as you start sweating, it stops working. Have been through 3x now. Which… Is pretty dumb for a device that you’re tracking how hard you’re exercising with.

I did have issues in the past with my wahoo tickr/run/x. My wahoo sensors in question were the older generation (not the colourful ones).

Anyway - what devices are people using that you’re happy with - in situations where you are sweating a lot, for extended workouts (up to 6-7 hours)?

To put it in context I usually lose about 750-1000g / hour on the indoor trainer. Outdoors not as much, but if you’re climbing on even a moderate day it’ll be very sweaty pretty quick. And then there’s rain.

My Garmin Tri HRM has been faultless (but I think mine only transmits ANT+, maybe later versions are dual band).

Edit: Garmin HRM-Pro is dual band, includes running dynamics and can be used while swimming (if these things are important).

I’ve got some knock-off brand at half the price of the cheapest Tickr. Still works three years in. Long and/or sweaty rides/runs are no problem.

No added functionality though. Just heart rate.

Do you drink 750-1000ml / hour to compensate as you ride? If not, you really should.

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Yes. That’s what I need to drink to maintain stasis

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Good!

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@pb07 I use the H10 for strength, yoga, HRV and running and the Tickr for both indoor and outdoor cycling. I have had to replace the Tickr once due to erratic readings and the also replaced the strap once due to the snaps failing but both were well used.

Be sure to rinse the straps and let them dry completely. Also dry the contacts right after working out. Don’t use the Duracell bitter battery as a replacement. It doesn’t work well.

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The Polar OH1 (now called the Polar Verity Sense) is an optical HRM at a fair price. It doesn’t support HRV readings but in my experience accuracy can be really, really good. I get great results with it on my upper forearm, but I know some people wear it around their bicep to get closer to their heart.

The nice thing about the arm-worn optical HR options is how convenient they are to just slip on and start using immediately, with sweat not being a requirement to start use (or saliva, water, gel, or whatever).

I live in a cold climate, so I generally find chest straps frustratingly inaccurate. It can even be worn for swimming, so water is not an issue for this device.

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I run a Garmin HRM. My original one last 5 hard years. My replacement is the Garmin Dual which is both BLTE and Ant+ and has been faultless. Batteries last reasonably long.

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I’m using H10 and Duracell battery with no issues, also a decent sweater and average 17 hours a week soaked.

I do go through batteries though, almost every 3 weeks changing them out. On my second H10 belt in 3-4 years.

Bummer you not having an issue free cycle with yours.

@JSampson yeah I wash the straps, same way I have for every hrm previously for almost 20 years (in the shower). That way the water can’t be too hot to damage anything (otherwise I couldn’t be in the shower…).

This is the third h10 now that’s died… The first one was ok for about 3 months. The latest one died on my first hot sweaty ride.

Wondering if it’s something to do with general humidity or??? I’m in Sydney most of the time, has been a v wet humid summer. The optical arm option is looking attractive atm, or maybe a swimming model… I mean… If a swimming model can’t handle the moisture then…

@Dan do you remove the monitor from the belt when you’re not using it? I found that this dramatically improved battery life for me. It also helps the connection points to dry out and not corrode

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Hi @genolan
I don’t remove the module from the strap. My first strap broke on the strap where the hard rubber contact point sits on the elastic. I find that removing the module from the strap places undue wear on that point. It’s not the easiest module to remove I find.

I assumed that leaving the module in place, on its contact points but with no ‘current’ (conductivity) being able to run a loop (the two contact points completing a circuit through the skin wetness) that the battery would not be ‘being used’ due to no closure of the circuit.

I haven’t had any corrosion on any HR straps (Polar x2, Suunto x4) at the contact points, I ensure the belt is washed/rinsed more often than not.

Wrt battery usage, what numer of training hours per week you doing? I do recall in th Polar literature somewhere they saying to remove the module after use, but it created another issue of strap wear for me, hence I stopped doing that.

Hi @Dan. I’m not at your level of usage. I’m only at 6 hours per week. It’s difficult to say how long a battery lasts me but it’s easily 3 months or so

Disconnecting the module not only stops it looking for a heart rate, it will also stop the Bluetooth and Ant+ sensors which would also still be draining the battery if the app is still connected

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I think you need to remove the connector module from the strap after each use. I suspect it draws some power even when the electrodes are dry and that’s what’s drawing down the batteries. Batteries should last several hundred hours of use.

From the User Manual:

Connector: Detach the connector from the strap after every use and dry the connector with a soft towel. Clean the connector with a mild soap and water solution when needed. Never use alcohol or any abrasive material (e.g. steel wool or cleaning chemicals).

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Currently using a Scosche2+ optical HRM, or my 12 year old standard Garmin HR strap which still works great, though I had to replace the elastic band a few times. If I was going to buy a HRM today, I’d get the Polar optical, like JFC mentioned. Check out DCRainmaker reviews on the subject. Optical HRMs rely on good consistent contact with the skin. The Scosche and Polar are worn on the forearm or upper arm. If an optical HRM is loose or bouncing around like a watch can do, it won’t work well.

An electrical strap type relies on good electrical contact with the skin. Sweat works well, but in cool dry weather, it helps to moisten the strap contact pads and skin to get good conductivity until you start sweating. I just use spit.

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I’ve used a 4iiii Viiiiva HRM chest strap for over 5 years. It offers workout memory, and an ANT/BT bridge, which was nice before other sensors started supporting BT. It’s a chest strap model that takes a 2032 battery.

For outdoor rides I’ve switched to a cheap Chinese arm band optical HRM. It works fine too and has a rechargeable battery.

Garmin HRM Dual - had it for a good few years and changed the battery ?twice. Heavy sweater.

Doesn’t miss a beat (pun intended). Including through my Knighthood.

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@Saddlesaur ironically my experience is exactly the opposite - once the temperature goes up… The electrical one stops working. My old wahoo tickr is still going though. I got the h10 to measure hrv and there’s some other things it can measure that sound cool. But it was just too flaky.

The customer support has been good - they’re doing a full refund for both units (they are both failing the exact same way for me and my wife). So a total of 3x h10 failing now. I think I’ll look at an optical next partly curiosity. I have an apple watch and it tracks the same as my wahoo but the battery life is useless for real workouts (I need at least 6 -7 hours per workout).

Yeah the 'ol knighthood will generally get your sweat happening!

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