Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

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Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

Postby Jace » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:07 pm

Hey guys,

Just wanting to gauge some opinions here....

I went for a ride on Saturday and towards the end of the ride my Strava data shows my HR sitting at 220ish for 4 minutes, given even when I am hammering it takes a hell of a lot to push it into 170+ I found this strange. Especially given it occurred on a downhill and I felt fine. It also seems to launch from 140 through 160 to 200+ the minute I start going downhill and when I stopped at the lights its back to 155.

Today I went on another ride and on a flat section it randomly shows a spike of 195 for about 10 seconds although the HR either side of the spike its around the 140 mark.

As a bit of background, I am reasonably fit and I went out for a couple of hard rides in the week before with nothing above 160-170 despite some decent hills and pushing hard.

My question is, do those incidents look like something I should get checked out or does it look like my garmin strap is playing silly buggers? On both days with the strange results it was really cold and windy and I hear that you can get some strange results in those conditions but does anyone have any similar experience.

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biker jk
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Re: Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

Postby biker jk » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:46 am

In short, the Garmin HRM is crap. Spikes are common and more usual on descents. They are usually caused by your jersey flapping and producing static electricity. This issue has been discussed in numerous threads on this forum. Some potential "fixes" are replacing the Garmin strap with a Polar model (then clip the Garmin sender unit to it), using ant-static fabric spray on your jersey, and using electrode gel on the HRM contacts. I do all three, and while it has reduced the frequency of spikes significantly, you still get them occasionally. Now that I'm wearing a vest with the colder weather it looks like this is producing static by rubbing my jersey. I will now spray the outside of my jersey and see if this helps. Note that Garmin tried to improve it's strap by adding a third contact point by it too is subject to spikes.

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Re: Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

Postby kb » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:42 am

I find I get a slight improvement by damping the clothing facing side of the contacts too. Probably just inhibits static a touch.

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Re: Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

Postby bychosis » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:15 am

I find mine spikes more often early in the ride, until I've had a chance to build up some sweat then it improves dramatically especially if the humidity is high.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

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Re: Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

Postby MattyK » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:20 pm

I tried a hrm for the first time today (basic Suunto model) and was getting similar spikes up to 220 when only going moderately hard. On the morning ride, no such issues, peaked at 185 or so up a moderate hill. But several high spikes in the afternoon, both on uphills and down.

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foo on patrol
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Re: Heart Rate spiking...(Garmin?)

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:28 pm

One of the blokes I ride with had all sorts of problems with the genuine strap but after getting another different named strap, the problem was solved! :idea: Didn't pay $80 neither! :twisted:

I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
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