1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

LOL Heart rate monitors without chest straps?

Discussion in 'General' started by Aterius Gmork, 1 Jun 2016.

  1. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    1,809
    Likes Received:
    73
    Can anyone recommend a cheap(ish) heart rate monitor without a chest strap?

    A few weeks ago I had a stroke. The doctors told me I need to be mindful about my heart rate now. However I really don't see why I should stay indoors all summer. I need to get back on my bike as soon as I get out of this hellhole of a clinic.

    Now I am looking for a heart rate monitor that can help me keep my heart rate at a certain interval so I don't have to count my pulse all the time. I know a chest strap would be cheapest and most accurate, but I hate wearing them. Has anyone used one of those fancy new wristbands? Any recommendations or warnings?
     
  2. jrduquemin

    jrduquemin Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    228
    Likes Received:
    5
    You can pick up a Fitbit Charge HR for £120. That is a heartrate monitor that sits on your wrist, it also tracks your exercise patterns too:

    https://www.fitbit.com/uk/chargehr
     
  3. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Posts:
    6,783
    Likes Received:
    101
    Just get a cheap fingertip pulse oximeter. They can be had for as little as $10 on ebay and AFAIK even the cheap ones work great.
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    13,135
    Likes Received:
    2,243
    If you're doing this for medical purposes, do not buy a Fitbit or other wrist-based heartrate monitor (like an Apple Watch or the new Pebbles). They are in no way accurate, with Fitbit even being sued over it. Your best bet is, as Cthippo says, a fingertip pulse oximeter.

    If you want something you can wear while you're cycling, then you're stuck with a chest strap if you want it to read anywhere near reality.

    EDIT: Here's the study (PDF warning) that the law firm carried out. It found the Fitbit Charge HR averaging to 15.5 beats per minute (bpm) out of whack, and the Surge around 22.8 bpm. Conclusion: "The PurePulse Trackers do not accurately measure a user’s heart rate, particularly during moderate to high intensity exercise, and cannot be used to provide a meaningful estimate of a user’s heart rate."

    A major problem is that they tend to read *low* - so if you've been instructed to keep your heartrate below 125 beats per minute, for example, you might think you're achieving that while your actual heartrate is closer to 150 bpm. Not ideal.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2016
  5. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2010
    Posts:
    3,969
    Likes Received:
    460
    Id agree avoid fitbits I have one an its pretty far off the mark I can have my chest strap monitor on an the fitbits about 8bpm lower than my actual rate. Not only that the green light is annoying when your trying to sleep.

    A cheap oximeter will do the job just as well, plus give you the SP02 level which is more useful than how many floors you've walked which is broken, uses barometric pressure, went up in a lift, I did four flight of stairs...

    Have they mentioned about a blood pressure monitor?
     
  6. Valo

    Valo Active Member

    Joined:
    11 Aug 2004
    Posts:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    18
    I'm using a Garmin Vivosmart HR, it does the job. The problem with wrist based HRMs is that they pick up increases in your heart rate with a significant delay. So if you're biking at happy 110-120bpm and you pump up for an upgrade, you end up with your readings all over the place until your heart rate has been at say 150bpm for a while - they use time series analysis to work out your 'live heart rate' by calculating an average over past few datapoints

    After your heart rate stabilises it's pretty much on par with your consumer grade chest wrap
     
  7. asura

    asura jack of all trades

    Joined:
    22 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    1,747
    Likes Received:
    78
    I can't comment on the heart rate portion, but I/we got my better half a M$ Band2 to monitor her sleep and it's pretty good at that. The odd false positive* for wakening periods but nothing like the problems I heard about with fitbit such as; people getting up and going to the toilet and their device reporting unbroken deep sleep.


    *she rolled over and thwacked me in the face mumbling something about beetroot's,** I woke up, but she didn't despite what the smart-watch said. Stuff like that...

    **I kid you not!
     
  8. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    3,767
    Likes Received:
    166
    I've tested my Fitbit Charge HR a few times and the heart rate is always about right, except when exercising, it gets a bit sketchy then.
     
  9. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

    Joined:
    23 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    12,045
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Well according to the apple watch I tried for a laugh, I have no pulse... so probably best avoid that too...
     
  10. freshsandwiches

    freshsandwiches Can I do science to it?

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    552
    Likes Received:
    15
    I just bought this for my better half

    http://www.polar.com/uk-en/products/sport/A360

    It has the wrist HR monitor and you can use a strap with it as well, think it has to be the polar H7.

    Quite a nice looking thing wee to, and the display is very nice.

    You'll never get more accurate than with a chest strap as said earlier though.

    Out of interest, what is the advice you have been given regarding your HR?
     
  11. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    1,809
    Likes Received:
    73
    Thanks for the replies guys! Really great advice here! I will go with a chest strap because it's the safer and cheaper option. Looking at all those watches they really have a lot of fitness BS tacked on that I couldn't care less about.

    Since it is probably a good idea to take a phone with me in the future I will just connect the chest strap and have the phone warn me if my HR gets too high. Damn, I did sports to get out of the house and away from all the techno gadgets. :lol:

    Are there chest straps out there that can be used while swimming (and without a phone) as well?

    @freshsandviches: As stated in the other topic I am 28. Under supervision I may reach a HR of 145 with spikes to 155. However I get dizzy quite often after around 10 mins of training. When alone they recommended to keep the HR 10-15 bpm lower.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2016
  12. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

    Joined:
    23 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    12,045
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Have a look at the ones aimed at triatheletes, iirc garmin do some...


    The 'swim' one. The triathlete one proper has a thinner band [or more accurately the swimming one has a wider band to stop it sliding around when it's wet] but is designed to be worn under a swimsuit...

    whether they satisfy your idea of 'cheap' is another matter...
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2016
  13. crazyg1zm0

    crazyg1zm0 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Feb 2007
    Posts:
    2,335
    Likes Received:
    55
    Both Garmin and Polar do very good Triathlon capable ones.

    Having used polar most of my life and knowing a few people who have used them at elite level triathlon, that's where I would spend my money
     
  14. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

    Joined:
    6 May 2002
    Posts:
    9,646
    Likes Received:
    94
    I use one of these when I'm out riding, I didn't get on with a chest strap and having something on my arm is much more comfortable.

    I tested it against the medical machine my sister-in-law has (a travelling nurse) and it was within 3bpm of it when you account for the short delay.

    [​IMG]
     
Tags:

Share This Page