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Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: June 16, 2018 06:10PM
I've been wondering about my heart rate when I bike. Today there was a point where I had to stop because it felt too hard. A little bit later, my heart wasn't pounding as much but I checked it with my phone. It was about 10bpm over my recommended max. That means earlier I must have been way over.

So now I'm trying to figure out something I can wear to glance down at while I'm riding to see what my heart rate is. A friend of mine uses an Apple Watch for this. I have an Android phone. Although I'm due for a new one, I want to wait until September and get a new iPhone. So an Apple Watch isn't of much use to me just yet.

There's a ton of smart watches out there, each with a large variance in reviews. I can get a deal on Suunto watches, but I'm not sure how good they are. Has anyone here used one? Is there another brand that's better? Ideally it would work well with my phone. Preferably it would also work with Strava, but it seems like the Apple Watch is much better for that.




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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Golfer
Date: June 16, 2018 06:41PM
An Apple Watch will still work to track your work-outs and heart rate without an iPhone. Get the Watch now and enjoy the extra features in September when you get your new iPhone. If you get the new Watch you can still get notifications and take calls with the cellular version.

Features of Apple Watch you can use without an iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2018 06:44PM by Golfer.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: June 16, 2018 07:52PM
Apple Watch is pretty good at tracking my heart rate.

It allegedly does it continuously during a workout, but I've noticed a couple of seconds lag at refreshing the heart rate readout when I glance at the watch during a run. Good enough for me. Maybe not for a pro.

...Also, it agrees very closely with my other gadgets. Seems to be accurate.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2018 07:54PM by Sarcany.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: June 16, 2018 08:31PM
I had a problem last October where my heart rate would get high and I would feel light headed. While attending our local fair I started to feel poorly and used my Apple Watch (series 0) to check my heart rate. I ended up in the medical tent and my Apple Watch heart rate matched their equipment exactly. Long story short I ended up in the hospital and now I take medication every day to keep my heart rate normal. So I would say that an Apple Watch would do what you want.



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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 16, 2018 09:12PM
They have series 1 AWs for $150, great deal.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: June 17, 2018 12:18AM
From what I can tell, you can't setup an apple watch without an iPhone. Will it work with an iPad?




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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: June 17, 2018 01:14AM
Quote
M A V I C
From what I can tell, you can't setup an apple watch without an iPhone.

There's the rub. As far as I know, you do need an iPhone (an iPad won't suffice) to set it up. Once done, the Apple Watch will do a lot of things independently.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 17, 2018 08:12AM
I'm a big Apple fan and I suspect eventually the Apple Watch will be excellent for this function. However, for nearly 30 years (since 1989 or 90) I've used Polar HR monitors for this purpose (I did use a Garmin watch for a couple of years but returned to Polar). For most of that time I had to wear a chest belt to transmit data to the watch, but the latest watch, M430, is self-contained. I've tested it against the belt version ( probably the most accurate continuous measure of HR data), and they are very close. It takes the self-contained watch a couple or few additional seconds to adjust to changes, but the overall average is never more than a single HB/sec different.

Probably one of the best functions of these watches is the ability to set warnings. It will either vibrate or give an audible signal when your HR exceeds a set limit.

Yesterday I rode 36 miles on my Elliptigo ( probably about 20 miles more than I should have gone), and it was doable in large part by hitting a 125 HR average. My goal was to keep my HR under 125, but I pushed the last 7 miles to get it done. My HR over that interval was ~130.

Here is a good review of the Polar M430 Review . DC Rainmaker is a great source of information on sports watches. I think the site also reviews the Apple Watch for cycling.

Happy riding!
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: June 17, 2018 10:06AM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
M A V I C
From what I can tell, you can't setup an apple watch without an iPhone.

There's the rub. As far as I know, you do need an iPhone (an iPad won't suffice) to set it up. Once done, the Apple Watch will do a lot of things independently.

Unlocking it with a code every morning after taking it off to charge is annoying.

It unlocks automatically in a second or two after the iPhone is unlocked. Unlocking the phone is nearly instant if you've got one with touch-ID.

For that alone, you should have both the watch and iPhone.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2018 10:07AM by Sarcany.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: June 17, 2018 10:20AM
another vote for a Polar heart rate monitor. my belted one is a work horse.



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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: June 17, 2018 01:59PM
Quote
Billybob
I'm a big Apple fan and I suspect eventually the Apple Watch will be excellent for this function.

It already is. In fact, it has been since version 0:

[www.redmondpie.com]
[twitter.com]

Quote

Probably one of the best functions of these watches is the ability to set warnings. It will either vibrate or give an audible signal when your HR exceeds a set limit.

Also a feature of the Apple Watch.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 18, 2018 12:37AM
A) you want a chest strap. Wrist based (optical) hr sensors perform poorly at high heart rates.

B) I'd recommend a garmin watch if you want a generalist tool otherwise I'd recommend a cyclocomputer.



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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 18, 2018 06:41AM
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
Billybob
I'm a big Apple fan and I suspect eventually the Apple Watch will be excellent for this function.

It already is. In fact, it has been since version 0:

[www.redmondpie.com]
[twitter.com]

Quote

Probably one of the best functions of these watches is the ability to set warnings. It will either vibrate or give an audible signal when your HR exceeds a set limit.

Also a feature of the Apple Watch.



Hmm, maybe for static readings, but the Apple watch trails the leaders when it comes to continuous HR readings: Apple Watch Review This reviewer tested 3 samples of the Apple Watch 2 and all three performed equally (poorly).

You referenced a website that covers computer industry news and a contributor to social media. I put a bit more credence on a website that has been testing sports watches and technology for years, and whose test results are consistent with my experiences with devices I have used.

The warnings are nice, but continuous reading accuracy is a must.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Billybob
Date: June 18, 2018 06:57AM
Quote
mattkime
A) you want a chest strap. Wrist based (optical) hr sensors perform poorly at high heart rates.

Times have changed. Although chest straps are still the most accurate, the Polar wrist based sensor is pretty darn good:

"Which isn’t to say the M430 was perfect here either....

In fact, I’d even go as far as saying that I think at this point Polar may have the best wrist based optical HR sensor out there with the M430 across a multitude of sports for a mainstream GPS watch. This includes Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, and Suunto." M430 Review

My experience is very similar to the reviewers. For the last 2 months I have been riding with two watches, an M430 on my wrist and a second M430 on the bike mated to a chest strap. The chest strap watch adjusts quicker to changes (from 1-5 secs) but the overall average is never more than 1 hb different and often (80% or more), they are identical.

But you are right, the chest straps are still the most accurate. However, the wrist technology is satisfactory for me.

Drawbacks with chest straps are--you have a chest strap, which is an additional device to keep track of and can be uncomfortable, not to mention you look like a geek when you exercise shirtless rolleyes smiley

Another drawback is that after a few months (6-8 months), the chest strap wears out. It takes it longer to pick up an accurate signal, so you face the expense of replacing the strap on a regular basis.

Quote
mattkime
B) I'd recommend a garmin watch if you want a generalist tool otherwise I'd recommend a cyclocomputer.

If you go with a chest strap, there are many good tools available. My current preference is Polar, but I have used and obtained good results with Garmin.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 18, 2018 09:16AM
>But you are right, the chest straps are still the most accurate. However, the wrist technology is satisfactory for me.

Huh, I'm surprised that it caught up. more options is good.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: June 18, 2018 10:19AM
Whatever you buy get the extended warranty.

Fitbit models don't last much more than a year with my active kids.
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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 18, 2018 04:20PM
The Apple Watch is useless until paired with an iPhone.

A rub for some, but I've always had a 'Phone since 2007, so the Watch was a natural for me.

Does anybody make a bike-mounted HRM display that gets its data from a wrist fitness band, as opposed to a chest fitness band? That would be ideal to me. Like having an external display for your MBP when it's at home.

Timex has a handlebar mount that one can strap their HRM to and feed it data from a chest band. But those seem a little ungainly when being out and about.





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Re: Heart rate monitor? Smart watch?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: June 18, 2018 06:13PM
Quote
Billybob
Quote
Article Accelerator
Quote
Billybob
I'm a big Apple fan and I suspect eventually the Apple Watch will be excellent for this function.

It already is. In fact, it has been since version 0:

[www.redmondpie.com]
[twitter.com]

Quote

Probably one of the best functions of these watches is the ability to set warnings. It will either vibrate or give an audible signal when your HR exceeds a set limit.

Also a feature of the Apple Watch.



Hmm, maybe for static readings, but the Apple watch trails the leaders when it comes to continuous HR readings…You referenced a website that covers computer industry news and a contributor to social media.

…and that Web site simply referenced my second link, i.e. Brad Larson's data. Larson's test was anything but static—his heart rate cycled over a range from about 115 to 160 bpm over a 50 minute period and in this test vs. a chest strap monitor, from about 112 to 165 bpm over a 30 minute period:

[twitter.com]

As Twitter noted, Larson is "An engineer building robots and doing scientific Mac and iPhone development." I think his results are quite credible.
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