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Basic Heart Rate Monitors

ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

I'm looking into expanding the amount of data I collect while running by adding a heart rate monitor into the mix. Right now, I'm leaning toward picking up the MIO Link which should work with RunKeeper (once they release the next Android version). However, as is always the case, I'm not sure if I am making the right decision or overlooking something better. This is what I'm looking for:

  • Single-purpose device. I don't need it to do anything but monitor heart rate. I have a FitBit One for tracking my steps, and a smart phone for GPS when applicable. It may be old fashioned of me, but I like my devices to do one thing and do them well.
  • Reasonable price (this ties into the above). Really would prefer it to be under $100.
  • Wrist monitoring strongly preferred. I really don't want to wear a chest strap if I can avoid it.
  • Ability to sync with 3rd party applications. Preferably via BTLE. ANT+ is a bonus, though I don't have anything that would need it... yet. While I'd like to track my heart rate directly through RunKeeper, I'd settle for it syncing to another service which will sync with RunKeeper on the backend.

If anyone has other device recommendations for me, can think of something I'm overlooking, or commentary on why I'm a bad, I'm open to hearing it. I'd prefer the first two things over the latter, though.

Comments

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    Have you tried any of the phone apps what use your camera and flash to detect heart rate? I have one installed but i don't use it, nor do I know how accurate it is. Might work as a good stop-gap solution until you find what you are looking for exactly.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    @Sonorous said:
    Have you tried any of the phone apps what use your camera and flash to detect heart rate? I have one installed but i don't use it, nor do I know how accurate it is. Might work as a good stop-gap solution until you find what you are looking for exactly.

    I tried out one of those. It seems like an okay solution for taking one-off readings, but I'm looking for something that can feed data in continuously during a workout. That's why I'd like it to sync with RunKeeper.

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian

    My biggest problem with heart rate monitors is that the chest straps don't tend to fit my chest very well, so I lose a bit of data fairly often. However if a nice one is found, I also use RunKeeper.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    Paging @BetsyD‌. She's done a lot of research on these thingies.

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited Jun 2014

    Wrist monitoring is worthless. Look at Polar for just a basic HR monitor. If you are interested in GPS as well Garmin until you need 5+ hours of GPS polling.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    Let me take a step back and ask why you believe you need a heart rate monitor at all?

  • BetsyDBetsyD Cincinnati, OH Icrontian

    I used Polar RS400 extensively while I was doing HR based training. It provided me an external feedback on if my perception of my exertion level was at all reflective of reality. Unless you have a specific "question" that a record of your heart rate would answer, you probably don't need a HRM. If you still are set on getting a HRM, Polar is an excellent brand. They have monitors at all price points. I also recently picked up the bluetooth enabled Polar chest strap that syncs with my phone. Polar sells multiple sizes of chest strap so that they should fit anyone, tho the strap that comes with the monitors is usually "Medium".

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian

    @Thrax said:
    Let me take a step back and ask why you believe you need a heart rate monitor at all?

    Dost thou even hoist? I want one because I calorie count, and heart rate monitors are going to be a better judge of my burn than "I am this fat"

    _k
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    I calorie count, too, and there are well-known, perfectly reliable formulas that will get you your TDEE without spending a nickel on a monitor.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    @Thrax said:
    I calorie count, too, and there are well-known, perfectly reliable formulas that will get you your TDEE without spending a nickel on a monitor.

    Maybe it's a motivational aspect that warrants the nickels. Some people need the proof to keep going and a formula doesn't grant that satisfaction of the data being at your fingertips.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    Basically? I'm a data junkie. I want constant feedback, I want to be able to look at my past data and see how I was performing when so I can make decisions on what was working and what wasn't. Also, I was thinking of doing zone training, which is easiest to do with a HRM.

    As for the chest straps, I know that a good chest strap is the most accurate tool at this point, but I've read that they tend to be uncomfortable and annoying to use. Not to mention I just don't like having something constricting around my chest. Part of why I was leaning toward the MIO link is because I had read that when worn properly (tightly and above the wrist bone) it's measurements are quite accurate.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    Welp, kind of glad that I never made a decision on this. The next generation of FitBit has Heart Rate monitoring built in. Now I just need to decide if I want to shell out for a Surge, which gets me GPS, full smart-watch functionality, etc. or if I just want the Charge HR, which is the standard wrist worn tracker with heart rate monitor.

  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian

    @ardichoke said:
    Welp, kind of glad that I never made a decision on this. The next generation of FitBit has Heart Rate monitoring built in. Now I just need to decide if I want to shell out for a Surge, which gets me GPS, full smart-watch functionality, etc. or if I just want the Charge HR, which is the standard wrist worn tracker with heart rate monitor.

    I kind of want the GPS because it monitors if you go up and down stairs, which is kind of neat.

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian

    And it looks like the wrist HR monitors that use optical LED tech to watch for volume changes in your veins work well enough.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    @GnomeQueen said:
    I kind of want the GPS because it monitors if you go up and down stairs, which is kind of neat.

    They should all monitor stairs... my old FitBit One monitors stairs also. Pretty sure that it's actually based on an altimeter as well as the step tracking.

    _k
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited Dec 2014

    @ardichoke you may want to wait for the UP3 by jawbone to come out.
    Edit: does not meet under $100 requirement

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    @PirateNinja said:
    ardichoke you may want to wait for the UP3 by jawbone to come out.
    Edit: does not meet under $100 requirement

    FitBit isn't under 100 either. The under 100 desire was for a device that was strictly a HRM. Replacing my FitBit One warrants spending over 100 since it's something that I will be using pretty much 24/7/365. Also, I am extremely happy with FitBit, from their support to their tools to the devices themselves, so I really have no desire to jump ship to jawbone.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    Welp, I decided to get myself a New Year/new job present. Horray for having an overlap between my paid time off payout and my first paycheck at the new job!

    First thoughts: I like it. All the typical FitBit fit and finish. The heart rate tracking seems pretty good. Wore it on a 25 minute treadmill run last night and the data from it looks accurate. I love having better calorie burn data! It's going to take a while to get used to wearing though. I switched it from my non-dominant hand to my dominant hand as it was too annoying having it right next to my watch. Fortunately, FitBit has a setting for that, I assume it adjusts the readings some to compensate for the additional motion.

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