Heart rate monitor recommendations?
July 3, 2016 8:58 AM   Subscribe

I am having an impossible time finding a heart rate monitor that fits these requirements. Can you help? 1. Chest strap 2. Syncs with RunKeeper 3. Simultaneously works with a wristwatch so I can see my heart rate while I run without whipping out my phone.
posted by gocubbies to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The wahoo tickr has both Bluetooth and ant+ radios and should be able to sync to both a phone and a watch at the same time. I haven't used it personally though.
posted by GuyZero at 9:31 AM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Garmin Forerunner series of heart rate monitors are wristwatches. All but the lowest-end Forerunners have HRMs as well as GPS tracking. Several now incorporate optical HRM sensors, but those ones (Forerunner 235, 635, etc.) will also work with a chest strap. They sync with Garmin Connect but you can in turn have Garmin Connect sync automatically with RunKeeper.
posted by brianogilvie at 10:09 AM on July 3, 2016

Does it need to be a chest strap? There are new optical HRs that one can wear on their wrists.

All Heart Rate Monitors (wahoo/ Garmin/ Adidas/ Mio Fuse/ Tom Toms) transmit their data through ANT+ or Bluetooth. Basically, what this means is that if your phone has Bluetooth, and is not too old, it should be able to receive all data from any HRMs. Your wrist watch should receive data through ANT+.

My running setup (which may or may not work for you):

1) Adidas miCoach Fit Smart heart rate wrist band, shows heart rate on the wrist, do not have to whip out phone. I only chose miCoach because it had a special sale on, but it does the job of recording heart rates. I used Mio Link before, but the Bluetooth connection was a lot more splotchy.

2) IPhone 6 with the iSmoothRun app (I used to use RunKeeper and Nike+, but I found iSmoothRun to be a much better app then any of them). It records GPS, speed, heart rates from the miCoach wrist band. But Runkeeper would too.
posted by moiraine at 10:27 AM on July 3, 2016

Garmin vivofit2 with hr strap. A one-time setup will sync Garmin's Connect software with RK automatically and everything moves over seamlessly.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:14 PM on July 3, 2016

I have a Stryd, which is also a power meter. Works with Suunto Ambit and Garmin.
posted by gregglind at 2:36 PM on July 3, 2016

I have a Forerunner which does everything you want and works fine. Another option is a Pebble watch, using the Runkeeper app on your phone and a bluetooth HR strap. The Pebble then shows the info from Runkeeper.
posted by blub at 1:45 AM on July 4, 2016

I'm not sure if a wahoo TICKR will still simultaneously broadcast ant+ to a watch if it's already paired via bluetooth. I'm assuming this watch of yours receives via ANT+.

However, before I got my Forerunner 235 (I love it for runs) I used an android phone, a wahoo TICKR, and I had a pebble. I recorded my runs with aerotrackerpro , which displayed heartrate (and other data) via my pebble. Aerotrackerpro can auto sync with runkeeper, strava and dailymile. Aerotrackerpro was much more well featured than the default pebble "activity" tracker via runkeeper or strava.

I've done a run with my pebble/wahoo/phone and my FR235 and the monitors agreed about my HR. However, the FR has a much better GPS than my old phone (original moto g (has gps and glonass, so in theory it's reasonable)), so I don't get large changes in my pace.

Additionally, I'm not sure if it was the phone, the aerotrackerpro app itself, or the wahoo, but I used to get frequent large changes in HR, which made it a bit harder to keep at a certain rate. In theory I believe the HR should have updated about ~5 seconds when the GPS did, but it seemed more like 30-60 seconds. If you're going just a bit faster, that just a bit can bring your HR up a fair amount in the 30-60 seconds before you see an update. The FR seems to update quite frequently making it easier to see when I'm out of zone, which is making it easier to better tune my body to how it feels as the run gets longer.

The pebble had a much stronger vibration, so getting alerts about my heart rate was much easier to notice.
posted by nobeagle at 6:56 AM on July 4, 2016

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