Day 7 – Heart Monitor Comparison

167 days until IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga

HRM = Heart Rate Monitor

As I prepare my training for IM70.3Chatty, I want to be sure that I have a HRM that is, above all, accurate and durable. Comfort is secondary to me, because i can modify the strap if necessary.

I narrowed the search to two manufacturers that make accurate chest strap heart rate monitors with mostly good reviews: Polar and Wahoo. The price range is $40 to almost $90, which is worth the money… if they’re accurate. The nice bit is that either will pair with a wide variety of devices so i don’t have to buy a new one of those.

The Contenders

Polar Heart Monitor
The Polar brand has had its finger on America’s pulse for a long time

The Polar brand has been around for a while and their top level monitor is the H10 for $89.95. The brand is well known, proven and trusted. As an added bonus, my favorite podcasts, Babbittville Radio, are sponsored in part by Polar.

Wahoo TICKR
Wahoo has built a name on its indoor bike trainers

The Wahoo monitor, the TICKR, is on sale for $39.99 for the next four hours. So by the time you read this, it will likely go back up to $49.99 ( today is cyber Monday).

Both monitors boast ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity with the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously (e.g. bike computer and watch). Both also claim to be very accurate and much more comfortable than previous models. Although both claim to be compatible with multiple devices and apps, the TICKR claims it can work with over 50 apps. The Polar website doesn’t say how many apps it will work with.

The Reviews

As far as extra features goes… I don’t plan on using them, so what I’ve told you is about all we need to know. Except for the reviews. I checked the reviews on Amazon.com because that seemed like a “neutral” web site. Of course, we all know that’s not quite true, but it will do for my little bit of research.

The Polar H10 has 101 reviews of which 25% are score 1 or 2. Most of those reviews complain that the monitor doesn’t work very well in water or it has connectivity issues.

The Wahoo TICKR has 1,775 reviews of which 30% are score 1 or 2. The handful of reviews I read complained that the snaps that hold the monitor to the belt were faulty. They also complained about connectivity after several weeks or months of use.

Conclusion

As you noticed, I didn’t say anything about the reviews that scored either item higher than a two. That’s because good reviews basically say the same thing as the marketing hype which I read already. I read the bad reviews because I can accept product failures and manufacturing defects and I don’t get scared off by that unless it’s out of control bad. When anything is mass produced, there is no QA method good enough to catch 100% of the defective products before they go out the door. I am so sorry to inform you that the beautiful busty blonde and the gorgeous hunk wearing the heart rate monitors on the company’s web page did not test each and every item on their sweaty bodies before they sent them to you.

Not a product tester
Neither is he

Of course, you already knew that.

It’s been a few hours since I started writing this so now I only have two hours left to capitalize on the cyber Monday sales. What to do? What to do?

I’m bothered by the snap issue of the Wahoo TICKR, but those reviews were written in 2016 so I expect something would have changed since then. The price of the TICKR is very attractive even when it’s not on sale. Therefore, the Wahoo TICKR it is. If it turns out to be a piece of crap then I’ll start this whole process over again.

Pardon me while I leave this blog and go buy a heart rate monitor.