- Dec 4, 2018 at 10:25 pm #3567426
next postDec 4, 2018 at 10:29 pm #3567427
I need recommendations on a heart rate monitor that has 4 or 5 settable training zones. It needs to have a chest strap. It must not depend on a smart phone for programming. The simpler the better. Older models are fine with me, provided they are still available as new.
Thanks.Dec 4, 2018 at 11:14 pm #3567439
I know you prefer chest straps but I’d encourage you to consider the new optical fore arm and upper arm heart straps from Scosche (Rhythm24), Polar (OH1) and Wahoo (TICKR Fit). Having tried all of them recently, I settled on the Rhythm24 even though it was still lacking a functional Android app – Scosche released it before the product was fully ready…The app is now in beta.
- highly accurate – just as good as the Suunto chest strap I’ve used with the Ambit3 Peak without the discomfort of a chest strap
- configure Max HR and HR zones
- excellent HRV support with several HRV apps
- supports HR, running HR, swimming and biking (provides cadence data, I haven’t used those modes)
- record HR for long activities – they claim 24 hours, but 18 hours seems to be more realistic
- easy to start and stop HR recording
- Bluetooth and ANT+ support
- phone not needed during activity – in record mode
- rechargeable via provided USB charger cable
- Smartphone required to configure and retrieve activity HR
- Full Android app not yet available – now in beta
Check out preview at DCrainmakerDec 4, 2018 at 11:46 pm #3567445
Can I see the display to monitor my heart rate in realtime?
And, NO I don’t want anything that requires a smart phone or bluetooth connection.
So I’ll hold out for a chest strap.Dec 5, 2018 at 6:31 am #3567500
The point of these straps is that they pair via Bluetooth or ANT+ to your Garmin or Suunto watch or smartphone app which would display the HR. I got mine to replace the chest strap that came with my Suunto Ambit3 Peak.
These straps, in general, have no display. However, the Scosche Rhythm24 has an LED that changes color to indicate the (preconfigured via app) HR range e.g. Blue for resting to 90 bpm, Green for 91-120, Amber for 121-140,……Orange and Red.
The detail and technical background in the reviews on dcrainmaker.com blows anything on other sites out of the water. Ray is simply obsessive when it comes to reviewing these devices.
I only speak as a satisfied customer of the Scosche R24; it’s definitely not perfect but it represents a huge leap in optical HR straps – it uses the Valencell 2.0 chipset. By placing it on the forearm or upper arm, it allows a much snugger fit than the optical wrist worn straps. The wrist straps tend to move around during interval training or hard runs and bike rides which leads to drops and inaccurate readings. Of course the chest straps will continue to be the “gold standard” for HR straps.
I had an opportunity to calibrate the Scosche R24 unit against a HR measurement at a medical facility; it’s remarkably close for a consumer device.Dec 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm #3567577
Rachel PBPL Member
I have a Suunto watch (I started with the Ambit Run but I just got a Spartan Trainer because the Ambit was way too big for me) and the Suunto chest strap. The strap & watch communicate via Bluetooth and can be used without a computer or phone. I find the Suunto chest strap to be very comfortable compared to the Polar H10 strap. If you really don’t want BT then you’ll have to find a chest strap/watch combo that uses ANT+ (I believe Garmin uses it still).Dec 5, 2018 at 8:38 pm #3567631
Rachel PBPL Member
About zone configuration — I just set up the zones on the Spartan Trainer watch just now. No smartphone needed. They have five zones and you can manually configure all of them, it was very easy to set up. The Ambit Run 3 let me configure zones for different sports but I had to do that on my phone (although I bet it had an option on the watch too). DCRainmaker has a ton of good reviews of watches and a good comparison tool. I also found looking at the manuals for watches helped me figure out what features they have.Dec 6, 2018 at 2:14 am #3567710
Thank You Rachel. On my first pass around the net I saw “Wrist” and didn’t dig any deeper. I’m glad to hear a chest strap is an option. Bluetooth from chest to display is fine with me. Bluetooth to a smart phone was the issue.
I’ll go through the manual, but I think this is a winner.Dec 6, 2018 at 3:45 am #3567733
The Garmin Vivoactive 3 can be used with a chest strap (overriding the OHR), and you can set up the zones on the watch. Need an ANT+ chest strap. And someone is selling a Vivoactive 3 in great shape for a very good price…. :-)Dec 6, 2018 at 4:55 am #3567743
Having read the Suunto 3 Fitness manual and now the Vivoactive 3 I see that training and data is about 20% of the feature set and wading through the chaff is a slog.
I am becoming disillusioned. sigh….Dec 6, 2018 at 6:03 am #3567748
Unfortunately I think that’s about all that’s available these days – feature creep hit the wearable industry awhile ago. I’m not sure they even sell a heart rate monitor watch that only or primarily does heart rate. They’re all fitness watches with heart rate one of many things they track. You can still just pay attention to your heart rate, for the most part, but you’re still paying for all the other stuff. FWIW.Dec 6, 2018 at 1:51 pm #3567768
Doug WolfeBPL Member
Would something like a cycling computer work for you? I’ve got a garmin 520 that I use while obviously cycling and it shows real time HR zones. You can also set it to alert you when desired zone is reached. It works with a chest strap and the unit is super small. But the strap needs the unit to relay the data.
All data can be viewed on the unit itself or on garmin connect.
Best of luckDec 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm #3567777
Thanks for the thought, but I need to capture data my “time in zones” on foot, bike, and rower. That’s where this is all going.
The hunt continues.Dec 6, 2018 at 5:29 pm #3567799
“but I need to capture data my “time in zones” on foot, bike, and rower.”
The Garmin devices (don’t know about the Suunto devices) will do this, but you have to upload the info to the Garmin website via computer to see the info on your computer. I’ll email you a screenshot from my computer on what the info looks like.Dec 6, 2018 at 5:45 pm #3567803
Or you can sign up (free) for Strava and link your Suunto or Garmin watch or phone app to it and analyze away….
Or Training Peaks if you like paying money for potentially more analytics.Dec 6, 2018 at 5:49 pm #3567804
Per my email, you can also see the heart rate zone info on your watch without having to go online.Dec 6, 2018 at 9:14 pm #3567832
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