Here’s how to choose a bike heart rate monitor

Here’s How To Choose A Bike Heart Rate Monitor

There are hundreds of bike heart rate monitors and this makes it hard to choose the right one for you.  I had a difficult time choosing an exercise monitor awhile back.  Each monitor has different feature and some are harder to work with and understand.  You would think that all you need is your heart rate but these new monitors have all kinds of feature.

With all these features, you need a good manual and all monitors have one.  Without it, it makes it difficult to understand how to use it.  If you are exercising to stay fit, then you just need a good quality unit.  So don’t go over board and buy the most expensive one.  You don’t need all of those features.

When considering a bike heart rate monitor, buy a medium price one that has features that you might use in the future.

So how can you determine what you want to buy?  Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you going to collect and store your heart rate over time?
  • What other information will you want to collect other than heart rate?  Will this monitor collect it?
  • Where do you want to wear your monitor?  On your wrist or do you have to wear it on your chest?
  • Can you download your heart data to your computer for storage?
  • Do you need continuous monitoring?

If you decide to buy the chest strap bike heart rate monitor, you will always have to wear it.  This monitor sends information to another device on your wrist or else where.  A digital signal gives you better results. 

If you decide on a chest monitor, you will have to have good contact of its electrodes on your chest to get constant reliable measurement.  These types of monitors may not be good for swimming.

A strapless bike heart rate monitor is placed on your finger or your wrist.  Make sure you buy a medium end monitor, which is calibrated to take measurements like an ECG machine.  Note that strapless devices cannot be used to gather data during your complete workout.  However, you can purchase a combination chest and wrist monitoring device.

When choosing a heart monitor, there are many options to consider.  Many of these options you many not even use.  Here are some options that are useful:

  • Heart rate alarm alerts you when you are above or below your training level.
  • The amount of time you spend in your heart rate zone
  • Gives you information on calories burned
  • Gives you the data on how long it takes the heart to recover from your session.
  • Counter timer for one minute exercises
  • Bike mount for viewing during bike riding

To train properly in bike riding or just to improve your fitness, you definitely need a heart monitor.  Some good monitors are the Garmin, Garmin GPS, Polar, or the Cateye.  Take your time in choosing a good device.  Look at all the features, but don’t buy into one that has more feature than you need.  Once you buy one, try it out right away.  You may not like it, and you may have to return it to the store for another brand.

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