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Heart Rate Monitor with Coaching or GPS?

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I have read several posts and way too many articles regarding the heart rate monitors available.

Everything I read says that Polar is the best for training but does not have GPS. However, the coaching it gives with the their software is supposed to be pretty good and give the best training/coaching for improving either endurance, fitness level, etc. I also read they have the most comfortable chest strap and accurate HRM.

However, the Garmin units have GPS. I usually work out in the gym so I can track my distance and everything but thought I could also strap this to my handlebars and track my rides and lap times. I eventually want to get a real GPS but thought this is a quick win.

Anyone have experience with either company or used them while riding? Experience with either company? If you could provide details and the exact model you were using, that would be great.

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I'd say if you think the Garmin is rugged enough to strap to the handlebars then go for it... maybe you can email customer support, describe how you'll be using it, and ask if the unit can handle the vibration.

Is there a specific reason you want to monitor your heart rate while riding? I don't while I work out. Getting your heart rate in the "target" range is good, but it's not necessary to obsess over it. You know when you're working hard- you're sweating, breathing hard, and getting that "high". If you're not somewhat winded, sweating, or not conscious that you're working hard you're taking it too easy. If you need to monitor your heart rate due to a medical condition then that's a different story.

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So everything I have been reading actually contradicts that notion. For real training you need to know your your Max Heart Rate and Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. This differs for every person. Using the charts at gyms that only give you a range for your age is not accurate as much of this comes from genetics.

http://www.racerxvt.com/article/week-1---monday-workout

A person of the same size, age, height and weight can have very different max levels. A heart rate monitor accurately lets you know if you are in the correct training zone. Although I agree with you that you need to be sweating, tired and winded, this is just another tool to help that out. I am planning on doing some serious desert racing and need to be in pretty good shape. Hoping this is just another tool to put in the toolbox.

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Get a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS. I use them for running and cycling. You can wear it on your wrist or strap it to your crossbar pad.

I also use the device to breadcrumb my trail rides. I strap it to the belt on my fanny pack. It's tough enough for MX.

You can get them slightly used on eBay from office moles who buy them for inspiration for running. They usually go for around $125. Just make sure you get a kit that comes with a heart rate monitor strap.

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Thank you. That is one of the big ones I am looking at. I hear the HRM is not as accurate as the Polar but they the GPS is pretty cool to have.

Can you upload the data for analysis with Gramin? Does it give you coaching or fitness advice?

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Thank you. That is one of the big ones I am looking at. I hear the HRM is not as accurate as the Polar but they the GPS is pretty cool to have.

Can you upload the data for analysis with Gramin? Does it give you coaching or fitness advice?

If you plan to use the GPS and the HRM for running and cycling, there's a world of GPS-based training software out there. The 305 comes with some basic training software from Garmin that is installed locally on your PC, but the good stuff is out in the cloud. Garmin has their own cloud based training site called Garmin Connect. Another popular site is called Training Peaks.

My favorite is Strava.com. I use Strava to log and analyze my cycling. I also use mapmyrun.com to log my running but I'm getting ready to commit full time to Strava for both cycling and running.

I prefer the cloud training stuff because you can follow your friends and other athletes if they expose their training. I have 5 friends on Strava that I mountain bike with who are elite local mountain bikers. I'm able to see their rides, look at their heart rates, etc.

Using a HRM when you run or cycle basically allows the software to map your Heart rate levels to different points on your ride. "Was your heart rate up during this climb?" "During a sustained effort you were able to lower your heart rate," and so on.

That being said, I don't know how a HRM is used during a motorcycle ride. I've always assumed that the pros are wearing HRMs to monitor heart rates and validate training off the bike, I don't know if HRMs are being used as a training tool while riding. There are plenty of people on this site who probably know.

I also don't know if someone has written software that helps you train with a HRM while riding. I assume that this would only work on a mx track as you need repeatable outcomes. But again, I'm way outside of my knowledge area.

I use the 305 for cycling and running. For motorcycle stuff, it's purely being used as a breadcrumbing device.

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This is what I am referring to with the Polar models I am looking at.

http://www.polar.fi/support/product_support?product=7879&category=FAQs&documenttitle=%0APolar+STAR+Training+Program&document=/gip/PKBStoGIP.nsf/web_cat/C225742500419A8AC22574720039C2E2?openDocument

I am not sure if it works which I why I was hoping someone on here would be able to shed some light had they used a polar in the past.

Either will be good but for someone like me who mainly trains indoors, I think the additional features will be useful on the Polar vs. the GPS. Someone also recently told me if I attach the the Garmin to my handlebars, it will break quickly due to the vibration which I can believe. I think if I really want to track my laps or trail rides I should get a real GPS or lap timer like this.

http://rlcracing.com/track-commander.htm

Thanks for the advice. I will check those platforms out for sure. Are they free?

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All of the platforms have some type of free subscription and offer a yearly subscription for additional features.

Regarding the vibrations from the bike harming the GPS, this makes sense. I can't speak to whether Garmin's running GPS like the 305 has the same shock proofing their other devices do. Keep in mind that you can always wear it on your wrist while you moto. The 305 could also be lashed to the back of a chest protector.

If you are just looking for a GPS enabled watch like device that has the ability to record HRM you may also want to look at the smaller Garmin running watches. They have a couple of smaller models that could be worn on the wrist while you moto.

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I have the 305 and I love it, the heart rate is the same on my watch as it is on all the machines in the gym +- a couple of heart beats. So for accurate I would say Garmin is very accurate. Plus you take the wrist straps off and it can be mounted to your handle bars, its an extra you have to purchase though. When your done plug into computer and all the data is there including elevation changes.

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I just got the Polar FT60, didn't have much time to look into it since I had $300 of "Health Spending" from my job I had to use before years end. Although so far it is a very good HRM, but I haven't had a chance to use it while on a bike to verify it isn't bothered much by EMI.

I have used it for two quick workouts and it displays calories burned, average heart rate, time spent in 3 different heart rate zones and so on. Also, it offers three different training goals (fat burning, enhance fitness and maximize fitness) and sort of guides you with weekly goals of time spent, calories burned and time spent at various heart rates. Definitely seems more of a training tool than anything.

I'll start up my trials bike (only bike with gas in it) and see if it causes any abnormal affects to the heart rate readings.

FYI, when I contacted Polar about EMI, they recommended their $600+ monitors that use the W.I.N.D. digital transmission band instead of the low frequency analog of normal monitors.

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I'd say if you think the Garmin is rugged enough to strap to the handlebars then go for it... maybe you can email customer support, describe how you'll be using it, and ask if the unit can handle the vibration.

Is there a specific reason you want to monitor your heart rate while riding? I don't while I work out. Getting your heart rate in the "target" range is good, but it's not necessary to obsess over it. You know when you're working hard- you're sweating, breathing hard, and getting that "high". If you're not somewhat winded, sweating, or not conscious that you're working hard you're taking it too easy. If you need to monitor your heart rate due to a medical condition then that's a different story.

I have read recently that RPE is still pretty accurate but I know I find the HR useful as I am lazy and tend to cycle right under 60% of my MHR. I need to do a LTHR test as well, just haven't found the time (laziness and offroading).

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