View Full Version : Heart Rate Monitor Watch
01-05-2007, 04:13 AM
Anybody have a heart rate monitor watch? I have been looking at the Suunto t3.
I will be using it for biking and running and maybe also for everyday use since it looks nice.
01-05-2007, 04:24 AM
Suunto makes top shelf quality product
Also look at Polar since they have been doing the hr monitor thing for along time. There is also a company called Mio that does not need a chest strap.
01-05-2007, 07:02 AM
If you plan to use it for biking, take a look at Polar 720. I have one it has many bike specific functions.
01-05-2007, 02:23 PM
I've used Polar for years, they're good, simple, and if you travel a lot for work (not overland travel) the setup is used by a lot of exercise equipment in hotels as well. Polar has a model for everything, from a simple monitor with a high/low alarm (what I use...KISS and all that) to mini computers with a large memory and a computer interface to download your training profile.
Dunno about the others.
One downside, at least in the past, to Polar was that b/c they are completely weatherproof, when the battery dies you have to send it in for a new battery.
Also the old units were particularly susceptible to cold weather failure, just like anything else with a regular battery in the cold...nothing ever wrong with the unit, the battery would just freeze up and the unit would shut down.
01-05-2007, 02:23 PM
I use a Sports Instruments ECG-3. I've had this one about 3 years now, which is longer than the Polar M21 that it replaced. The Polar was flaky the whole time I owned it and completely stopped working after about 18 months. That one cost me about $120 and so when I replaced I didn't want to spend much (I tend to break and lose watches a lot). I spent about $50 on the ECG-3 and it works great. The band is not the best design, but the watch itself has been fine and has taken a good beating. I wear the HRM year 'round on all most trips (hiking, skiing, climbing, riding, etc,) and and many of my races in the spring and summer, so it gets it's share of abuse. My main complaint with it is the button on the side is too easy to hit. I wear my watch on my left arm and with my hands bent back in a normal riding position the top of my hand will press the button, which cycles through the modes. It's mainly an annoyance and wearing it on my right wrist solves the problem.
Edit to add: I got my Sports Instruments at Bike Nashbar on clearance, I think it's normally more like a $75-$100 unit.
01-05-2007, 04:34 PM
I wear a Polar F11 and a very happy with it. The reason I bought the F11 wasn't for extra features on the watch, but rather for the chest strap. It came with a higher quality all fabric strap that is very comfy.
One issue with Polar though... they scratch VERY easily. The watch is all plastic and I quickly gouged the face. It does also lock up every few months but it is easily solved by pressing all of the buttons simultaneously.
01-06-2007, 01:18 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I have decided to look into the Polar watches more. For me the only downside of Polar watches is they don't look very appealing. I will be making a trip to REI to check out the Polar F11 and Suunto t3 since they have a similar price.
slooowr6: I looked at the 720 and it is sweet but out of my price range, at least for now.
01-06-2007, 04:55 AM
Agree, polars are not the prettiest thing, it's more a tool watch. Suunto looks much better.
01-06-2007, 12:43 PM
I'm not familar with the Sunto, but I've used Polar 710 & 720's since 2001. They are great training tools for cycling - one of the things I like best is the software that comes with the the 720 (may also come with other models). Easy to download data from the monitor, graphs simply, and allows lots of flexibility. Once you work through the program everything is simple, but it can take a couple of hours to get comfortable with it.
When I started cycling competively I added the power output units to my TT bike and one road bike. Again, it takes a while to get them dialed in, but once set up well the power measures are consistent and really useful if you want to train that way.
Howard L. Snell
01-06-2007, 07:15 PM
I have owned several polar base model heart rate monitors, and i havent really been inpressed with their performance. i use my hr monitor both in the outdoors and in the gym. they worked great in the gym on the machines, but once you have several layers of cloths on (i snowboard, scramble, snowshoe, etc) the signal is lost several times.
i am currently training for mt. rainier and currently using a sunnto x3hr and i love it! it works with many layers of cloths and it looks good. here is a link to more infor on the x3hr.
Sunnto X3HR (http://www.suuntowatches.com/Suunto-X3HR.pro)
thats just my .02
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