Any advice for a novice/second-season triathlete for HRM and cycle
computers? Doing my own research, it seems like there are many
variations to this question and it might be a matter of pure personal
preference. However, there does not seem to be a one-unit-fits-all
device to measure cadence, heart rate, distance, speed, is waterproof,
cost under the gross national product of a small nation, et cetera, for
triathlon purposes (run/bike.) So, maybe a cycle computer plus HRM is
My cheap Supergo wireless cycle computer flew off my bike during
a race this spring and I really missed it (especially going downhill -
woohoo!) I am looking to possibly upgrade to something with cadence. Is
it necessary? Or should I stay with the wireless $20 model?
Next, after 2.5 years, my Polar A5 battery died, replaced
battery by a local watch store, did not listen when told "not
guaranteed waterproof" by same store, and now reads a very slow time,
frozen forevermore. Very simple and functional, was. Remember to
replace thru the company. So, I want to upgrade to something with more
bells and whistles, maybe with distance. Again, is this totally
necessary, not sure? I have heard pros and cons about the both foot
thingy versus GPS, like Nike Triax/Polar versus Timex. I don't care
that much about having my stats beemed to the computer - a pen and my
paper training log still work great.
I am looking for good value and good performance, not hottest feature.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated,
Derek from Sunset Beach
* * *
I know it will seem pricey to most, but you really have to love
the new Polar 625X. I too had been wanting a unit that had many options
and this is the one for now. It comes with a foot pod included and the
connection works perfect. Plus, you can add any current Polar cycling
functions/sensors that were used by other S models previously on the
market except the Power Monitor (why, I don't understand) but at least
that will get you cadence and a speed monitor. You have the ability to
run two different sized bikes (I use mountain and road, but you could
use a Road 700 and 650). The only thing that detracts is the fact that
it does not continuously allow for a change between different exercise
settings, so during a race you do have to do a couple of button pushes
to switch to the running mode if you are using the foot pod, but you
can opt not to use it since the pod really is for the distance and you
have that already from the course.
* * *
Just to help a little with your HRM bike computer issue - you
are right that there are so many versions of different gadgets on the
market and if you have bottomless pockets (i.e., mucho $$) you can get
yourself something very fancy.
However, many of the people I work with have asked for the same simple solution as you do and I think it's 2 reliable tools
1. Polar S120 HRM - simple HRM with big screen, heart rate zone
limits, average HR function and $100 + get the handle bar mount for $10
extra (- Polar has always been the best in my opinion - I still use a
Polar watch in the lab I've had since 1996 as it does everything it
needs to perfectly)
2. Cateye Astrale bike computer - speed, cadence, distance, etc
- reliable if you take the time to install it tidily with cable ties
and don't throw your bike around - speed and cadence all based on
cranks and back wheel so you even get speed on your indoor trainer -
yes, cadence is VITAL - $40/50
This way for $150 you have everything you need - large enough
displays to see all readings when riding/ running without having to get
out your magnifying glass (as is the case with some "dual" models)
minus the downloading capability - but as you say pen and paper or
Microsoft excel do the job for a training diary very adequately.
If you do have access to the bank deposit funds of a small
country you can buy the SRM power meter elite for $5500 and the Polar
S625X for $500 - download away all day, get very pretty graphs plus
power output, running speed and something that makes you a cup of tea
in the morning and tells you when your toast is ready!
Hope that helps - feel free to call/ email me for other solutions/questions
858 361 4733
* * *
I bought a Polar 510 off of Ebay (new) for under $300, and that
included wireless speed and wireless cadence. It was a lot of money,
but I really love it. The cadence feature has been of good benefit
I also still have my old Cateye computer on my bike as well, but
only because I haven't found the motivation to take it off. On a
training ride I can look down and see my time, HR, cadence, speed, and
distance. Some think it's geeky, but then again I am pretty geeky.
Good luck in your search for the perfect computer, though I'm not yet convinced it has been produced.
* * *
I just go the Polar S625X (which has the running pod and the
option to also connect to a bike computer). I really like it - as far
as the heart rate monitor/running stats go, in addition, I bought it
because if I wanted to I could add the bike computer on it as well
(although I am not sure if it can track cadence - which my bike
computer can do).
I have used the Nike Triax - in fact had 2 because they broke
both times and would not recommend this product at all, the watches are
very poorly made and in both cases broke. I've also tried the Gamin GPS
system for running and found it very unreliable as my distance always
seemed to be off because I hit spots that I couldn't get a signal.
* * *
Can't really help you out on the whole bike computer thing; but
as far as heart rate monitors go, I use the Nike Triax CV10 and I love
it. I used to have the Timex but it broke several times and would
sometimes give me very inaccurate readings. The HR transmitter and the
SDM pod on the Nike Triax have unique digital ids so they are good if
you are running/spinning at the gym or training with someone who also
is using a HR monitor- it will only pick up a signal from your strap.
The SDM pod that attaches to your shoe is fairly light and extremely
accurate - Iâ€™ve taken it to the track several times and both pace and
distance has been bang on. Plus itâ€™s really easy to use.
Good luck with finding what you need!