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Thread: HRM vs GPS-HRM

  1. #1
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    HRM vs GPS-HRM

    I posted this in the GPS/HRM/comp forum, but didnt get much response, I guess they are more technically inclined than anything else there.

    I'm wondering how much more beneficial the training data would be having distance, elevation, speed, laps, included with the heart rate (and all constant data). I'm thinking I will be able to see where I get tired, how I am managing on climbs or different sections of trail, etc.
    I guess most HRMs have a lap feature so you aren't totally guessing.

    Anyone have experience with this? Is the GPS data really helpful, or more just for fun?


    I wouldnt normally be looking at such a thing, but I see some Garmin forerunner 305s for under $160.

  2. #2
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    Combined with the cadence sensor you'll get a lot more feedback from your rides. Worth the extra $35 I think (over just the GPS/HRM). That being said, consistency on GPS and things like elevation.. well.. not so much.
    mike

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    I've never really bothered with a cadence sensor on any of my cyclometers, but I could see how it would be extremely helpful combined with HRM. Thanks for that tip!

    I'm not too concerned with exact elevation, as long as I can pick out a climb and maybe some major features of the trail.

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    I have a GPS - a Garmin 705. I spend a few extra dollars buying software (Ascent) that would allow me to analyse the ride data like you suggest- but frankly, though occasionally interesting, it never gave me any insight I hadn't already guessed. It's main value to me as a training aid (over a normal cycling computer) is the function that allows me to save a course done at my own pace, and then go back and race myself around the course. That's pretty cool.

    Even the navigation is fairly disappointing. Frankly, I think GPS is only in it's infancy in terms of User Interface, applications and so on.

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    I used to have a garmin 205, no HRM. I picked up the 305 w/HRM for under $200 this year and have been extremely happy with the addition of a heart rate monitor. The main advantage is that you can figure out what kind of an effort you're putting out during training or a race, and can plot it out with all the other data (speed/distance/elevation/etc). I really enjoy being able to review the stats after a race, especially since you can actually see how hard you were pushing at certain points of the course. I just had a race this past weekend and put in a really hard effort to make a pass near the end of the race. I could see how high I maxed my heart rate and for how long, pretty cool seeing a spike at the end of the race knowing that's the effort that improved your position in the race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiflow_21
    The main advantage is that you can figure out what kind of an effort you're putting out during training or a race, and can plot it out with all the other data (speed/distance/elevation/etc). I really enjoy being able to review the stats after a race, especially since you can actually see how hard you were pushing at certain points of the course.
    I agree 100%. Been riding for years from BMX to MTB so the bike handling was never a issue. I used to go by how I feel when I raced and train, thinking I am getting better each day. But when it came to game day, I just couldn't performed to my potential. By adding a HRM, I was able to monitor my training and the fact that you see yourself improving and knowing how your heart is doing really made my riding experience much more enjoyable. The one thing I love about the HRM, is it gives you a idea when you can push harder and lets you know when your pushing to your limits. I have felt much better after races and rides with this 40yr old body of mine. I never won a race but I have the gratitude of seeing myself doing much better after every ride.

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    Surely the best info you get from a HRM is while you are on the bike. I wonder how useful uploaded data can be, sometimes I think not very. When I browse GarminConnect and look at the different rides people have posted on routes I ride, I can't decipher anything from it (granted it isnt my own ride).

    But I'm always recording and comparing lap times (even though my old cyclocomp doesnt have a lap feature, just remember them), and trying to analyze any data I can get my hands on. So I guess its worthwhile to spend a few extra bucks and get something that will record dist and HR, at least give me something to play with. Maybe after comparing several rides of the same course I will learn subtle differences.


    The one thing I did find from garminconnect is that elevation data is horribly inaccurate, both barometric and gps.

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    I have a Garmin 705 with hr and cadence. In training, I use hr, hr zone, time, lap, and cadence. For fun, I look at elevation, elevation gain, % grade, etc. I have workouts on my schedule where I target specific hr's, hr zones, or cadences. During intervals, I use the lap feature so my coach can analyze my effort during each, rather than having them jumbled together with all the other data. For cadence, I only use that when training on my road bike. On the mtb, I really don't worry too much about it. Hopefully, cadence specific training on the road bike will carry over to the mtb without my having to monitor it.

    I've tried using navigation and the maps once, but to be honest, it's not that easy to see the map on the small screen, so it's not that useful to me. I was on a road ride once where I got lost and had to use the map to find my way home, so it came in handy then.

    If you have no plans to use a power meter, I wouldn't get a 705. A 305 has all the features you need for training.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_co2
    I posted this in the GPS/HRM/comp forum, but didnt get much response, I guess they are more technically inclined than anything else there.

    I'm wondering how much more beneficial the training data would be having distance, elevation, speed, laps, included with the heart rate (and all constant data). I'm thinking I will be able to see where I get tired, how I am managing on climbs or different sections of trail, etc.
    I guess most HRMs have a lap feature so you aren't totally guessing.

    Anyone have experience with this? Is the GPS data really helpful, or more just for fun?


    I wouldnt normally be looking at such a thing, but I see some Garmin forerunner 305s for under $160.
    Having the speed, altitude, cadence etc recorded along with heart rate is useful to help with analysing your riding. The data from a GPS isn't always that accurate, especially if you're riding in woodland, in bad weather etc or wherever you may not get a good satellite signal. Using a wheel speed sensor and cadence sensor is usually more accurate than the GPS readings.

    The links below are extracts from a longer thread about the Specialized Epic. They illustrate what the recorded data from a Polar RS800CX HRM looks like and some of the things that you can do with it.

    Polar S710i Ride Data
    My New S-work Epic impressions

    RS800CX Descending
    My New S-work Epic impressions

    RS800CX Descending G Force
    My New S-work Epic impressions

    RS800CX and Rotor Q-Rings (Polar OwnOptimizer chart at bottom of post)
    My New S-work Epic impressions

  10. #10
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    WR304: That's some impressive data you have there! Although maybe measuring G force from braking is a little excessive (but certainly fun! )

    I especially like the way you can see smaller segments of the data in more detail. I dont know if there is any garmin software that allows such, but I cant find a way to do it on garminconnect, and its a huge limiter for using the data.
    Unfortunately that's a bit beyond my price range.
    Much thanks for the helpful post though!!



    I have found that the Sigma ROX has some strong features for the price
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...75#post6158275

  11. #11
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    check out other software, even some of the freeware out there FAR surpasses the capabilities of GarminConnect (sporttracks in windows is excellent.. rubitrack for Mac off the top of my head.)
    mike

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