Garmin Heart Rate Monitors–what a pain

Today marks a rebirth of my blog to focus more on triathlon. In the past I have spent the majority of my time here on technology and my desire to write in that area has waned dramatically.

So first things first I have something I need to get off my chest, literally. I have been using Garmin GPS sports watches for about four years. For many years I uses a Polar and I never had any HRM issues. For the first three years with Garmin I used the “Hard” Heart Rate Monitor with my 305. Near the end of the three years I used the “Hard” strap it started to behave erratically especially on the bike. It would register very high 230+ BPM or not at all. I would come and go erratically with spikes and dips. Usually though once I got warm it would usually work. This spring I replaced it with a 910XT which came with the Premium Soft Heart Rate Monitor. The Premium monitor doesn’t work at all for me. It constantly measures erratically. Even worse after 30 minutes no matter what it doesn’t measure at all. Before you ask yes I have replaced the battery several times. I did some reading and DC Rainmaker put together a great series of articles on solving these problems; Annual HRM Troubleshooting. If you are having these issues I would encourage you to read through these. For me I have tried the gel and I have gone to buying the Polar strap which DC Rainmaker documents. I ordered the XS size here at Amazon as my chest is on the top side of the size 21”-38”.  Well, there is no way this thing will fit someone with anything over a 30” chest! Now I got it on but I couldn’t breathe! So word of warning the XS size should probably read 21-30.

I will update everyone once I get the new strap as to whether it solves the problems.

Now to Garmin – fix this! Because of this I can almost guarantee that I will take a close look at the Polar watches again now that they have built in GPS.


4 Responses

  1. Ditch the HRM.

    pace and power my friend.

    pace and power.

    • Dead on Mr. Bowe, good to hear from you BTW. I also have a power meter, two in fact, a Quarq and Vectors. I will be selling the Quarq when I get my PowerCranks on the bike. I have a significant imbalance I am trying to correct due to leg length difference. All that said I use HR on many other disciplines outside Triathlon; Tae Kwon Do, TRX, etc. so having a consistent data point across disciplines has been very helpful for me.

      Thanks for the idea on my next post. I was going to do bike selection but I think Power Meters would be good.

  2. If you wear the heart rate monitor while doing Tech work… won’t that cross over to your new blog focus?

  3. […] you read my last post about the challenges I have had with my Garmin Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) strap you know I elected to […]

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