Heart Rate Monitors and Riding.

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Postby tuco » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:51 am

I have a hrm which used to also double and cycle computer but the sensor buggered up so now it's just a hrm. It was only $35 on ebay (He's still selling them) and it is very acurate. My wife is a nurse and she vouches for it's acuracy.

The clock does gain time at an annoying rate which worried my about all the speed readings but they didn't seem to be to far out. As an electronic technician I know all the readings would be based on the frequency running the clock and if its fast then all the other readings would be a little high.

The only time you have to worry is when the hrm reads zero and the batteries not flat.
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by BNA » Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:44 am

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Postby generalyuehfei » Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:44 am

Do you know of any HRMs that do not use a chest strap? I found these irritable and prefer something that measures from the wrist....

Does this exist?

Regards, Nick
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Postby sogood » Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:06 pm

tuco wrote:I have a hrm... The only time you have to worry is when the hrm reads zero and the batteries not flat.

Yes, that chest strap has dropped below your belt line and has been measuring something completely different... 8)
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Postby sogood » Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:08 pm

generalyuehfei wrote:Do you know of any HRMs that do not use a chest strap? I found these irritable and prefer something that measures from the wrist....

There are solutions but only if you can keep still.
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Postby Monty » Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:12 pm

I think strapless HRMs exist, for example see this one from Rebel Sport:

http://rebelsport.com.au/?action=view&id=702095&cat=3
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Postby generalyuehfei » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:20 pm

Monty wrote:I think strapless HRMs exist, for example see this one from Rebel Sport:

http://rebelsport.com.au/?action=view&id=702095&cat=3


Thanks Monty

Even cheaper here
http://liquiddigital.com.au/public_html ... hp/cPath/4

I have a York exercise bike at home I bought to recover from my knee recon and this has the same technology. Works really well although sometimes can take up to 30secs to recalibrate if the signal is lost for any reason (like if your heart stops or more likely the contact with your skin changes)

Regards, Nick
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Postby timbo » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:01 pm

They look more like they are designed for runners, but if it does everything you want it to, and accurately, why not. The one problem I can see you having while riding a bike is having to take your hand off the handlebar to read the HRM.
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Postby generalyuehfei » Wed Dec 06, 2006 2:21 pm

This is the one I just decided to purchase...

http://www.oo.com.au/product1.cfm?Produ ... 95&AFID=15

It does not do everything such as being integrated with a cycle computer... Nonetheless I can use it in a number of sporting acitivities and buy a wireless cycle computer to bridge the gap whilst on the bike..

The example I gave was using handlebars on a exercise bike... The watch does it all using the same technology but rather with contact on your wrist. So no problem taking your hands of the bars whilst cycling and no issue with a god damn irritating strap around your chest.

Anyway, lets see how good this one is and 'accurate'. Will advise

Regards, Nick
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Postby moosterbounce » Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:10 pm

I am currently doing a "lifestyle change" - my goal was to lose 28kg in about a year - just me and my bike and a sensible diet. Managed to lose the first 10kg fairly easily (I use the term "fairly" loosely!!) but hit the biggest plateau in history despite riding upwards of 5 hours a week.

I purchased the Polar F11 (not a specific cycling computer) and used their fitness program. Since starting the program, I have lost a further 12kgs averaging just under 1kg a week. I am still doing the same time on the bike, and eating the same foods, but the exercise is more targetted so has been better for me.

I would say that it has really worked for me and I wouldn't be without it. Only 6 more kgs to go and goal reached. Woohoo!! :)

Moo...
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Postby europa » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:43 am

Had a yarn with my doctor today about HRMs and heart rate etc. His advice about what level to work at was based on the thought that I'm a middle aged bloke just trying to survive rather than a specific targetted regime (which he didn't seem to think much of - probably fair enough cosidering the subject animal).

Max load (eg, climbing a steep hill)? - let your body tell you and regard the HRM monitor as an interesting distraction.

Anything under 160 is acceptable but at 160 you're really working too hard to sustain (no showtime :roll: ).

The big problem is that HR isn't a useful measure for the 'am I about to die' question - what we need to be measuring is blood pressure and he did muse for a moment or two about the usefulness of carrying a blood pressure monitor on your bike.

Apparently cycling is one of the five or six exercises recommended for us more mature gentlemen. :D

The above fits in nicely with what I've been thinking. All the cycling programs I've found seem to think you're some sort of super athlete ... and I've read lots and to be honest, have yet to find one I'm tempted to follow. Yes, I have had a look at the Polar site, registered and all that but wasn't really tempted by their program.

I've found that my HR soars when I put a bit of load on the system, but after that, it wants to stay high (140 - 150) mark. Also that my max HR is over 185 (haven't found it it yet) which blows yet another hole in the 170-age formula (no surprise there either). The most complex interataction is HR vs cadence - I can maintain a cadence in the mid-eighties (though I aim for 90) with a HR down in the recovery area of 120-130 only on dead flat ground and my HR drops dramatically as I let my cadence drop. I'm going to work at developing that high cadence though (just need to get fitter ... I hope).

I'm not wedded to the numbers, just using them as a guide to learning what my body is telling me ... and one of those messages is that the 'breathing' test is too subtle and delayed to be of real use to someone like me. It's good to be getting some correlation between the HRM and what my body's doing at last.

My program for the next month or two will look a bit like this.
Hills - work as hard as my body will let me.
Rolling country - let the heart rate run up to 160 if needed but try to keep it down at the 140 mark using the gears but keeping my cadence up around the 90 mark.
On a planned, long ride (50+ km), keep HR below 130 for endurance.
The day after a hard ride, do a one hour 'recovery' ride - dead flat ground with HR in the 120-130 mark (these seem to work for me).
On any day I don't do a long or hard ride, I'll do half an hour on the stationary bike - cadence 90, HR what it wants (though that's about 140 at the moment) - I'll die of boredom if I try for a longer time.

I'm not going to fuss about intervals and all that nonsense because this area has so many hills you get the interval training by default. Besides, I'm not chasing racing type fitness. I reckon this'll do and, of course, I'll look at it again in a few months.

Another interesting thing from the doctor was that montoring your HR over time gives an indication of how you fitness is growing. The hope is that at some time, I'll be fit enough to put some of these damned 'fitness programs' into effect. He also commented that blokes like me tend to go like blazes - which I do I admit, so I'll be using the HRM to keep some sort of leash on my efforts.

That's my plan anyway. Feel free to poke at it, particularly if you don't agree with something.

Richard
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Postby heavymetal » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:51 am

europa wrote:I'm not going to fuss about intervals and all that nonsense because this area has so many hills you get the interval training by default.


I'd be really interested in how you get that new trainer up and down those hills. :D
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Postby europa » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:54 am

bicyclewa wrote:
europa wrote:I'm not going to fuss about intervals and all that nonsense because this area has so many hills you get the interval training by default.


I'd be really interested in how you get that new trainer up and down those hills. :D


I've bought a set of special wheels off ebay. They're the latest design from the American Space Program. And safe too - they're square so they don't roll backwards down the hill if you stop :shock:

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Postby tuco » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:22 am

europa wrote:
bicyclewa wrote:
europa wrote:I'm not going to fuss about intervals and all that nonsense because this area has so many hills you get the interval training by default.


I'd be really interested in how you get that new trainer up and down those hills. :D


I've bought a set of special wheels off ebay. They're the latest design from the American Space Program. And safe too - they're square so they don't roll backwards down the hill if you stop :shock:

Richard


Watch for insulation foam falling off those wheels.

Putting the front wheel higher than the rear on the trainer doesn't count as going up hill.

Your massive post makes sense. If you ride hard one day then do a recovery ride the next. Make sure you have at least one rest day during the week. The recovery is why we ride to the velodrome. We go hard at the track then ride home slowly.

Don't forget the leg stretches for the calves, hamstrings and quads. It's important to loosen up before and especially after a ride.

I've noticed a drop in my HR lately, at rest, while riding and in recovery.
I've also noticed I can push myself and I don't feel as strained. Last night I kept up with my daughter running down what's aptly called the "Goat Track". Normally I slow to a walk along the way but last night there was no stopping me. We even went back up to catch my other daughter and wife still coming down :!:

The other guide I use to getting fitter is my waist measurement. ALL my extra weight is around my waist. I don't care if my weight is stable or even going up as long as my waist measurement goes down.
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Postby generalyuehfei » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:55 am

europa wrote:I've found that my HR soars when I put a bit of load on the system, but after that, it wants to stay high (140 - 150) mark.


Richard, do not be too concerned about this phenomenom. This occurs because even though you have slowed down the pace or the stress on your body, your heart is still attempting to pump out all that lactic acid build up in your muscles (hence, the prolonged high heart rate for a small period after.

For weight loss if anyone interested and this is why I like using heart monitors, it is all about maintaining a certain heart rate for longer than 20mins. Obviously the longer you can do this the better - problem is we get fatigued and sometimes give up. The reason for fatigue is lactic acid in the muscles, so if you are exercising at 160 beats/min at a continuous pace, you will burn out pretty quick. As you have experienced, you can maintain 160 beats/min without killing yourself by allowing the build up to occur, slow down 20%, the heart rate ramains at 160 and will begin to drop a few minutes later (recovery period), then kick it up a notch again until the lactic acid builds and so on.... What you will find is the time of recovery reduces and you become fitter or rather younger.

This allows you to happily exercise longer every day and burn more calories which leads to weight loss... I am currently doing this to shed 10kgs. I have done this in the past and shed 24kgs.

Regards, Nick
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Two words - get one

Postby 99Honeyburst » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:28 pm

First post here!

I've been running for years (and years!) and am just returning to road cycling for my training 'cause my knees and ankles are getting too old! What I can tell you about HRMs is this - every serious runner (including me!) I know has one and swears by it as a training aid. I know when I switched to using one for running, the fitness gains I got were huge. The benefit you get from a HRM is actually counter-intuitive - they don't help you keep your heart rate up - they help you keep it down! If you hunt the running forums you'll find lots of facts about HRM trainng techniques, but briefly - there are five heart rate training zones which you determine based on your maximun heart rate. Finding out what your maximum heart rate is isn't that hard techncially but it is extremely painfull and should only be found out by someone who has a very solid fitness base down - I'm not a doctor but I mean this - if in doubt talk to your doctor first - this can be a dangerous process. There are crude measures like 220 minus your age, but this really isn't that accurate. Your maximum rate is genetically determined and cannot be increased - you just need to know it to do all the rest of this stuff. Again, if you search a bit you won't have too much trouble finding the routines to use to determine your maximum rate.
Once you know what your maximum rate is, you can then determine your five zones - which are expressed as a % of your maximum. Zone 1 is your resting heart rate - the true measure of your aerobic fitness. Again, there's a number of techniques to determine your resting rate - the most common being taking your rate the miinute you wake up and before you move from lying flat - just sitting up in the bed takes you up from your resting rate. Maximum aerobic benefit is acheived when training in zone 3. Zone 4 is what you'd expect to be in when climbing a steep long hill. It doesn't do you much good aerobically to train in this zone because it's all about anaerobic strength, not aerobic fitness/endurance. Nobody (even elite athletes) can spend long in zone 5 - it's very near to at your maximum rate and you're in serious pain when in zone 5. Zone 2 is where you burn lots of fat - but it takes hours and it's a difficult zone to train in 'cause you don't actually feel like you're training at all - think walking pace.

So what a HRM does is help you stay in Zone 3 where you're getting maximum aerobic benefit which = fitness rather than doing what comes more naturally and slipping into zone 4 too much - hence my comment about the benefits fo a HRM being counter-intuitive - they make you go slower not faster!

Finally - what you're aiming to do training is to reduce your resting rate over time. The only way you can determine whether you're actually acheiving this goal is to check it regularly with a HRM - another reason to own one!

Whew...! Hope that helps...
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Re: Two words - get one

Postby europa » Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:42 pm

99Honeyburst wrote:Whew...! Hope that helps...


Umm, what are the percentages for the five zones?

Max heart rate. I'm currently working with the maximum I've recorded in the field -I'm fifty and have had it up to 184. I know that's going to be low but just how far out is it likely to be over time bearing in mind that I have a couple of monster hills in my riding area?

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Postby mikesbytes » Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:17 pm

I would of thought that max heart rate could be worked out by taking the highest ever reading you get, during a couple of hard rides, probably gunning it up a big hill or sprinting after a high speed section.
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Postby 99Honeyburst » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:49 am

europa - I did a quick hunt and found this page which gives a bunch of data on HRM training specific to cycling - incl the % for the 5 zones and a technique for determining your maximum rate using a bike. The latter is similar to the one used most often by runners to determine this.

http://www.cptips.com/hrmntr.htm

This also offers some good case for and against stuff so it's a pretty well balanced article.

mikesbytes - that may well get you your max, but I'd suggest also trying one of the "more scientific" techniques to confirm your max. My rough guide max using the 220 minus age thing at age 40 was 180 yet I found my actual max was 197 using the more formal technique. I was in extreme pain when acheiving this rate - more so than I'd ever been just running - even after a hard sprint to the line at the end of a fast 10km race.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:35 am

Yeh, the 220 - age doesn't work for me, that would make mine 175. Guides don't work for everyone, BMI doesn't work for muscluar guys/gals.
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Postby europa » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:14 am

Thanks for that article. I finally had a chance to read it and it's better than most I've come across.

Time to redo my training thoughts, but my fitness is changing so much that's pretty much a common event these days ... which is a good thing :D

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Postby tuco » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:41 pm

99Honeyburst wrote:My rough guide max using the 220 minus age thing at age 40 was 180 yet I found my actual max was 197 using the more formal technique. I was in extreme pain when acheiving this rate - more so than I'd ever been just running - even after a hard sprint to the line at the end of a fast 10km race.


I thought the max heart rate = 220 - age had been discontinued?

Also agree the BMI isn't much good for muscular people but then I suppose it is only a guide.
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Postby mikesbytes » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:45 pm

tuco wrote:
99Honeyburst wrote:My rough guide max using the 220 minus age thing at age 40 was 180 yet I found my actual max was 197 using the more formal technique. I was in extreme pain when acheiving this rate - more so than I'd ever been just running - even after a hard sprint to the line at the end of a fast 10km race.


I thought the max heart rate = 220 - age had been discontinued?

Also agree the BMI isn't much good for muscular people but then I suppose it is only a guide.


Yeh 220 - age is a guide. I know its wrong for me, but I don't know whats correct either.

BMI is inaccurate for muscular people, but it has been benifical to some, in making them think more about their excess fat. Alternative to BMI is the tape measure around the mid-riff
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Postby Mulger bill » Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:47 pm

europa wrote:I'd wait Mike. I've just taken delivery of last weeks special (and it's been on special before) - the Union XR. For $85, it's a normal bike computer, plus heart rate monitor plus cadence monitor ... all wireless except for the bike computer sensor. It looks good and the heart rate monitor agreed with the old finger against the carotid trick. Considering the Pulsar is over $300, this looks like a good buy.

Richard


So Richard, a few months later, how is it going?

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Postby europa » Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:04 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
europa wrote:I'd wait Mike. I've just taken delivery of last weeks special (and it's been on special before) - the Union XR. For $85, it's a normal bike computer, plus heart rate monitor plus cadence monitor ... all wireless except for the bike computer sensor. It looks good and the heart rate monitor agreed with the old finger against the carotid trick. Considering the Pulsar is over $300, this looks like a good buy.

Richard


So Richard, a few months later, how is it going?

Shaun


I wouldn't touch the UnionXR mate. I'm sure there are better out there for much the same money. For starters, it keeps insisting that I'm dead :shock: Okay, I'm a zombie (shuddup Kev). Actually, that's more a case of if you ignore it, it turns off the HRM and the process to turn it back on again seems odd until you get used to it - it now insists I'm dead but I can convince it to pretend otherwise.

The unit is fitted to my Sow's Ear, that horrible hybrid that now lives on the stationary trainer when it's not towing my daughter on her tag-along, so it does get used regularly.

The mount for the computer is flimsy. I don't know that I'd trust it long term. I've got it mounted so that it's protected by the bars, but you couldn't do that on any bars other than the high rise jobs I've got on the Sow's Ear. The mount is unnecessarily complicated basically - three bits that are supposed to bolt together.

The mount for the computer has a knob that's supposed to press the 'hello, I'm here' button on the underside of the computer. This knob isn't high enough and so the computer doesn't wake up when you mount it. I've put a dollop of super glue on that knob to raise it, and this has worked, but it's still dodgy and to make that dollop any higher will over stress the computer mounts.

Apart from that, it works and does its job. The manual is useless in the extreme and there are displays that mean nothing to me - goodness knows what they are telling me (hell, I hope it's not the lotto numbers for this week). Nor does it show the max hr you reached during a session which peeves me intensely. I doubt it's waterproof (but few of these bottom feeders would be) and though mine has been dropped a couple of times and still works, I'd be wary of it.

Mate, it's cheap and nasty and you get what you pay for. It's doing the job but I'm glad it's on the bike I don't like as opposed to the bike I ride all the time.

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Postby Mulger bill » Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:21 pm

Thanks Richard, still no comp on thenewone yet, I'm pretty convinced that cadence is a good idea, so so for a hrm, I read somone said they had a flightdeck, is it hard to retrofit? I want the basic 'puter functions + cadence, I don't want a wire to a crank sensor, but don't mind a wire to the head unit, any ideas?

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