Heart rate monitors

I’ve never used a heart rate monitor, what do you guys like? It seems like a chest strap is more reliable. I don’t believe I will use this when actually riding the bike outdoors, just when on the trainer. Thanks !

I use the Garmin-HRM Dual. It’s hit and miss. It hasn’t been much different from my Apple Watch or Garmin Fenix 5. I most of the time just ride with my Fenix 5.

I have a deep hatred for Wahoo. Wahoo gets NO MORE money from me, EXCEPT their HR monitors. They are brilliantly awesome


If I might add, I find the wrist monitors to be an absolute joke, reliability-wise. Some may beg to disagree with me. Granted, it’s been years since I had a Fitbit (never worked when I began to sweat). If your main function is for bike and run, your best bang-4-buck is a strap system. My wahoo has memory, and tracks my run route. I’ve had it for almost 18 months, and the thing is legit. I have nothing nice to say about wahoo, with the exception of my love for their HR monitors

The Wahoo Tickr has worked well for me.

I know people with fancy Garmin watches and Apple watches and the optical HRM in them has a lot of failures that the chest strap doesn’t.


The Wahoo TICKR has been, like 99% reliable for me. Chest straps don’t bother me, and the accuracy and battery life has been excellent.


Not a huge fan of Wahoo, but the Tickr is the best HRM I’ve used in 17 years using one.


Slightly tangential, but for those who dislike Wahoo, can you tell me why?

@jpolchlopek I had to return multiple Kickrs, before going to Saris…no more Wahoo trainers for me. Between my brother and I, we went through 7 trainers in 6 months


The Kickr fiasco and their incredibly slow and poor response.


I prefer to wear a heart rate monitor on my wrist. I use a mio fuse which isnt made anymore. Once this one dies not sure what I would go to but it will more than likely be wrist based.

It does have the odd drop in reading when I ride but it isnt enough to really impact its reliability. I only tend to look at data after I ride, not during my ride.

Don’t dislike Wahoo generally (have an original model Kickr which I’m very happy with). Do think their Tickr isn’t as bulletproof as the Garmin strap. I have a Garmin strap that is now 6 years old, never given me a problem, batteries last forever. Only problem is it is ANT+ only, no BT, and for indoor training I use TR on an iPad so I wanted a BT strap as well. Got a Tickr because it was the cheapest. First one went back under warranty because it just stopped working. Second one is now about 18 months old and has just stopped working as well. Just seems to be locked at 130bpm for some reason, tried changing battery and forgetting and re-pairing, no joy. And in the 18 months I’ve had it I’ve had to change the battery 3-4 times (vs maybe once on the Garmin), and also had to super glue the connector back together because it’s made of cheap plastic which just cracked in half while taking the strap off one time. Have ordered a newer Garmin with dual BT and ANT+ to replace it, hoping it’s as rock solid as the other one.

And yes, I’ve had various wrist-based optical HR (currently have a Garmin Fenix, previously had a Fitbit) and never found it reliable enough, particularly for cycling where wrists are often bent. It’s a bit better for running where wrists are straighter, and it’s fine for all day HR and resting HR at night. Just prefer the reliability of a chest strap for training, plus you get the recovery metrics with the strap which you don’t with the optical HR (or at least not the ones I’ve had).

I had a Garmin HRM for a few years, but after it died, I bought a Polar H10. I’m very happy with it. Not only does it do the basic heart rate measurement, but it also records breathing rate (you need a modern device that can capture that data) and can cache an exercise’s readings for later sync to a device. The downside is that it is Bluetooth only and won’t work with older ANT+ only computers or watches.

Really? You do? I would never.

I played hockey with my Fenix 5X Plus. Then I used my Garmin HR-strap. Images below for comparison. Same RPE, if not tougher during the first session. Perhaps if doing indoor training it would be better but I wouldn’t count on the data to be accurate. Sorry.

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Wahoo chest strap

wouldn’t buy an optical “HR” monitor of any sorts

My Fenix 5 has been substantially less accurate than my old Apple Watch. But yes, it was pretty close. DcRainMaker covered this in his review of the Series 4. It appears the Apple Watch was the closest, if not nearly identical to the TickrX.

Sure - nothing is going to beat a chest strap. But I don’t tend to bank too much on HR data anyways. It’s so varied. The watch did a decent job.

I use a Garmin chest strap for outdoor rides and a scosche rythm (worn above the elbow) for indoor rides. The numbers generated from my fenix5+ when doing a bike workout are pure comedy.


I’ve had a couple of Garmin hr straps over the years and they’ve always worked well. Anytime I’m on a bike I’m wearing a hr strap due to a history of afib, so it’s important to me that it be reliable and comfortable. I don’t necessarily over-analyze the data, but if I go out of sinus rhythm I can tell pretty quickly if I have my heart rate up on my head unit.
I will say that I normally only get about one battery change per monitor. The factory battery dies, I install a new one and it works fine. Once that one dies and I replace it, it seems the unit doesn’t always want to connect anymore. I’ve had that same issue with two previous monitors. We’ll see how the current one holds up.

+1 for Tickr.


The thing with optical HRMs is they need to be perfectly flush with the skin to be reliable and the wrist is one of the worst places for that to happen for most people. The forearm is a much better location for an optical HRM.

I’ve had great success using the Scosche Rhythm+ for a few years now. Other than maybe the first minute or two, it tracks the same as a chest strap HRM for me but I find it much more comfortable and quicker to put on. @dcrainmaker has graphs of the Rhythm+ compared to chest straps if anyone is curious.

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