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  1. #1
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    New Polar CS200 or CS100 HRM bike computers

    has anyone used one polar's new combo heart rate monitor/bike computers, either the CS200 or CS100.
    i have a sports instruments hrm that i like, but am thinking i could use some more data feedback
    one complaint i've heard about polars that would kill the deal is having to send the devices back to polar for batteries.
    here's a link to the polar CS200:
    http://www.polarusa.com/Products/cs/...p?cat=consumer

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mappable
    one complaint i've heard about polars that would kill the deal is having to send the devices back to polar for batteries.
    I've never used the CS series, but I have a S710, and I really like it. About returning them to get batteries replaced, where I live (Vancouver, BC), there is an authorized repair center that does that (a watch & jewelry store with repair center - they charge about $40 Canadian dollars parts and labour plus water-resistance check), so I've never sent my off anywhere. Maybe enquire with your local distributer or retailer. Having to send something back to the manufacturer back to get batteries replaced is dumb. You would think they could train a few people to do the job locally in most major markets. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  3. #3
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    CS200cad

    I purchased the CS200cad from my LBS (in Dallas, TX) a couple of weeks ago. Installation was simple. I've taken the unit on 3 rides so far. Haven't noticed any interference issues whatsoever. Cadence, HR and Speed sensors all work great.

    HOWEVER, my unit is currently en route to Polar's service dept in NY for a "software upgrade". I had some issues when attempting to upload my ride data to polarcyclingcoach.com via the SonicLink connection. The software on my PC would say transfer successful; but the data that showed up on the website never agreed with what was on my CS200 unit (i.e. it would show an avg speed of 8.7mph when in fact it was 14mph).

    When I called Polar's service dept, the rep seemed to know exactly what was wrong with my unit and told me a software upgrade should fix the problem. Polar emailed me a UPS shipping label and I sent off the unit (UPS Ground) on Friday. Keeping fingers crossed that this is only a minor bug. All other features (screen size, layout, buttons, etc..) are great.

  4. #4
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    I've had a Polar for years...

    Years ago, my wife bought a model similar to today's S210 for me as a Christmas present. I've been using it ever since and happy with it.

    Yes - about sending it back to Polar for battery change as follows:
    The Transmitter - the chest strap - is sealed and only Polar or an authorized dealer can change the battery in that piece. It lasts about 2 years.
    The Receiver - the wrist watch - is secured with tiny screws. The battery can be changed at a local jewelry shop capable of watch battery changes, but can't guarantee it will be properly resealed. It lasts about 4 years.
    In four years I sent the Polar back for two battery changes in the Transmitter. The second transmitter battery change included a Receiver battery change - two returns in four years of use of 3 to 4 times a week. Not bad in my opinion.
    I use the Polar when I mountain bike because of its durability. Its never failed, just battery weak. The bike computer (CS Series) unit may allow battery changes in the field or at a Jewelry Shop, but believe the Chest Strap will be similar.

    I recently bought a Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS/Bike Computer with HRM. The Garmin Transmitter allows for battery change at home and the Reveiver has a rechargeable 13 hour battery. The Garmin Transmitter strap doesn't look as durable as the Polar but the Garmin has worked as advertized in all conditions. Also, the Garmin HRM has never been affected by an outside source - the Polar goes crazy as I pass close to a cell phone tower during my regular road ride. I haven't taken the Garmin mountain biking yet, but will shortly.
    The Garmin has been great so far. One advantage is I don't need to install a pick-up on the wheel or transmitter on the Fork to measure speed or distance - the GPS does it all for me including elevation. Also the GPS hasn't lost signal yet, and I've done several rides under moderate tree cover.

    P.S. reading the posting above - The Garmin uploads the same data using a USB connection and can download software upgrades to the Receiver unit. It can also make you a map of your ride using the program on Garmin's web site.

    There are so many choices today. I like the Polar for its size and durability but like the Garmin more for its features and ease of use. Don't gravitate to one because of its name - look at all the features.
    Last edited by Cucucachu; 06-27-2005 at 01:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    Forgot to mention this in earlier post...

    Batteries are user-replaceable in both the CS main unit and the Wearlink T31 HR strap. The cadence and speed sensors are both sealed units; therefore, they will need to be sent to Polar (or your LBS) when you've worn them out. Manual says the batteries will last approx. 365 hours.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsu fan
    HOWEVER, my unit is currently en route to Polar's service dept in NY for a "software upgrade". I had some issues when attempting to upload my ride data to polarcyclingcoach.com via the SonicLink connection. The software on my PC would say transfer successful; but the data that showed up on the website never agreed with what was on my CS200 unit (i.e. it would show an avg speed of 8.7mph when in fact it was 14mph).
    Isu - If you would, keep us posted on this issue. I've got the CS200CAD & have noticed the same issue. When uploaded via WebLink, the speed & distance numbers are off by a factor of 0.621:1 (coincidentally, the miles:km ratio) - it's like the software doesn't understand using miles as your default units.

    In response to the original poster, I really like this computer. In my opinion, it hits the "bang for the buck" sweet spot. Wireless speed, cadence and a decent HRM for $150. I was nonplussed with the output - expected to see a time/speed and/or time/hr plot from the data, but I suppose that's reserved for the $350+ models. My only other quibble is that you must use as-yet-unrelased software to futz with the odometer if you're upgrading from a different computer.

    tdh

  7. #7
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    did polar service happen to say if all new CS200 required the factory installed software update?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdhood
    Isu - If you would, keep us posted on this issue. I've got the CS200CAD & have noticed the same issue. When uploaded via WebLink, the speed & distance numbers are off by a factor of 0.621:1 (coincidentally, the miles:km ratio) - it's like the software doesn't understand using miles as your default units.

    In response to the original poster, I really like this computer. In my opinion, it hits the "bang for the buck" sweet spot. Wireless speed, cadence and a decent HRM for $150. I was nonplussed with the output - expected to see a time/speed and/or time/hr plot from the data, but I suppose that's reserved for the $350+ models. My only other quibble is that you must use as-yet-unrelased software to futz with the odometer if you're upgrading from a different computer.

    tdh

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdhood
    Isu - If you would, keep us posted on this issue. I've got the CS200CAD & have noticed the same issue. When uploaded via WebLink, the speed & distance numbers are off by a factor of 0.621:1 (coincidentally, the miles:km ratio) - it's like the software doesn't understand using miles as your default units.

    In response to the original poster, I really like this computer. In my opinion, it hits the "bang for the buck" sweet spot. Wireless speed, cadence and a decent HRM for $150. I was nonplussed with the output - expected to see a time/speed and/or time/hr plot from the data, but I suppose that's reserved for the $350+ models. My only other quibble is that you must use as-yet-unrelased software to futz with the odometer if you're upgrading from a different computer.

    tdh

    I will definitely keep you posted. Good catch on the miles:km ratio... did you happen to try adjusting your CS200 to metric units? Wonder if it would then be converted to mph when you upload. I too expected to see time/speed...am wondering if that will show up after the "upgrade". Not sure I would use that info very much anyway...but would be nice to have regardless.

    In reply to the last poster....I was not told whether or not all of the CS200 units had this issue.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsu fan
    I will definitely keep you posted. Good catch on the miles:km ratio... did you happen to try adjusting your CS200 to metric units? Wonder if it would then be converted to mph when you upload. I too expected to see time/speed...am wondering if that will show up after the "upgrade". Not sure I would use that info very much anyway...but would be nice to have regardless.

    In reply to the last poster....I was not told whether or not all of the CS200 units had this issue.
    I haven't tried changing the default units to km (like any good American, I must stop & think when using metric speed & distance measures).

    Using the CS200's AutoLap feature, you can (sorta) kludge together a time/time/distance/HR plot - but it's ultimately unsatisfying. The unit will capture up to 50 laps & since my rides (so far) are under 25 miles, I've set my AutoLap distance to 1/2 mile. This way, I can see how my performance progresses through the ride.

    tdh

  10. #10
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    i called polar, 800-227-1314, and asked about first run units needing the firmware update. the rep said that all of the first run units would have to be sent in for updating. she mentioned that another production run might occur in july or august.


    Quote Originally Posted by lsu fan
    I purchased the CS200cad from my LBS (in Dallas, TX) a couple of weeks ago. Installation was simple. I've taken the unit on 3 rides so far. Haven't noticed any interference issues whatsoever. Cadence, HR and Speed sensors all work great.

    HOWEVER, my unit is currently en route to Polar's service dept in NY for a "software upgrade". I had some issues when attempting to upload my ride data to polarcyclingcoach.com via the SonicLink connection. The software on my PC would say transfer successful; but the data that showed up on the website never agreed with what was on my CS200 unit (i.e. it would show an avg speed of 8.7mph when in fact it was 14mph).

    When I called Polar's service dept, the rep seemed to know exactly what was wrong with my unit and told me a software upgrade should fix the problem. Polar emailed me a UPS shipping label and I sent off the unit (UPS Ground) on Friday. Keeping fingers crossed that this is only a minor bug. All other features (screen size, layout, buttons, etc..) are great.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cucucachu
    I recently bought a Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS/Bike Computer with HRM. The Garmin Transmitter allows for battery change at home and the Reveiver has a rechargeable 13 hour battery. The Garmin Transmitter strap doesn't look as durable as the Polar but the Garmin has worked as advertized in all conditions. Also, the Garmin HRM has never been affected by an outside source - the Polar goes crazy as I pass close to a cell phone tower during my regular road ride. I haven't taken the Garmin mountain biking yet, but will shortly.
    The Garmin has been great so far. One advantage is I don't need to install a pick-up on the wheel or transmitter on the Fork to measure speed or distance - the GPS does it all for me including elevation. Also the GPS hasn't lost signal yet, and I've done several rides under moderate tree cover.

    P.S. reading the posting above - The Garmin uploads the same data using a USB connection and can download software upgrades to the Receiver unit. It can also make you a map of your ride using the program on Garmin's web site.

    There are so many choices today. I like the Polar for its size and durability but like the Garmin more for its features and ease of use. Don't gravitate to one because of its name - look at all the features.
    You should write up a review for the Garmin. I've been wondering about it. Thanks for the info.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdhood
    I haven't tried changing the default units to km (like any good American, I must stop & think when using metric speed & distance measures).

    Using the CS200's AutoLap feature, you can (sorta) kludge together a time/time/distance/HR plot - but it's ultimately unsatisfying. The unit will capture up to 50 laps & since my rides (so far) are under 25 miles, I've set my AutoLap distance to 1/2 mile. This way, I can see how my performance progresses through the ride.

    tdh
    Just spoke with Polar....They have received my CS200 today and will *supposedly* ship it back to me via UPS overnight by this afternoon. I did confirm with a Polar rep that the unit is not designed to capture time/speed data as mentioned in the above posts. But I think I can get by with the summary data it does provide. Still a lot of bang for the buck, IMHO.

    tdhood, if I'm reading the manual correctly, we can actually capture 7 "rides" of 50 laps each (350 1/2 mile laps in your case). Can you confirm that? May be a decent workaround to capturing performance progress.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsu fan
    tdhood, if I'm reading the manual correctly, we can actually capture 7 "rides" of 50 laps each (350 1/2 mile laps in your case). Can you confirm that? May be a decent workaround to capturing performance progress.
    That's what I read in the manual, although I haven't hit a 25-mile ride yet. PM me with your e-mail & I'll send you an Excel file that I'm using to manually display the data.

  14. #14
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    Update on my Polar Repair experience...

    I was first told by a Polar Customer Service rep that my unit had been received last Friday and that there would be an immediate turnaround so that I could have my unit by Saturday (they ship UPS overnight). Saturday came and went...no cs200 on my doorstep. I call back on Tuesday and am told that my unit is *definitely* shipping out that afternoon via UPS overnight...So I call back this morning hoping for a UPS tracking number. After 15 minutes of hold time, I am told that the unit was shipped out this morning, so I should have it sometime tomorrow. I was also informed that the UPS tracking number was not yet "in the system". I am keeping my fingers crossed that this software upgrade even solves the uplink problems.

    I understand this was a holiday weekend...but would've appreciated a straight answer from the CS reps.

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