HR watch recommendations for moto?

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1/9/2018 4:55 AM

Looking for some recommendations for a current HR monitor watch for training and moto. I'm leaning towards the Garmin 735XT, but wondering what everyone else may be using to track during moto's?

Is the optical HR sensors enough, or do I still need to look into chest straps?

Here's a link to the Garmin 735 I'm looking at:
https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Forerunner-735XT-Black-Gray/dp/B01DOJDPQY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=mxtg-20&linkId=9ac8540159bd715b4ae086e4f1e3c669

Also thought about the Apple watch 3, anyone have any experience with this one?

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1/9/2018 5:04 AM

Back when i bought mine, most articles i read agreed that for high heart rates, chest straps are better than a watch. More accurate.

I have the wahoo X (i think thats the right model). It stores heart rate info on it and you can transfer to your phone. Its a lot cheaper than a high end watch and im not as worried about smashing $100 chest strap as i would be a $300 watch.

It works great for what i use it for. Not so much if you want GPS function.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

1/9/2018 5:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2018 5:09 AM

I have the 735XT - its a triathlon watch. Rather look at the fenix range for moto as they are built more for rough environments.

Polar M400 is what I use on the bike because it ticks all the boxes and optical HR only (which the 735xt has) works accurately when very little/ no light can get between the sensor and your skin - unless you make the watch so tight your hand falls off your HR reading will be a crapshoot. My advice is go for the M400 (its on the wrists of a lot of the factory guys) with a chest strap for hr monitroing as it is accurate

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1/9/2018 5:36 AM

I have Fenix 3HR. For high heart rate you need the strap. Mine was like 30bpm off from time to time using the optical one and you dont want it on your wrist when diving into the dirt so it gets knocked loose.

If you are only using it for moto and not wear is as a personal watch during off training hours, i would go with the cheapest one that can still provide features like "time in zone" where you see how much of your workout you spent in different heart rate zones.

The cheaper 200-series will not give you that. I strap my watch around the handlebar in kind of protected position with several pcs of tape over the OHR sensor to protect it further.

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1/9/2018 6:23 AM

I have a garmin vívoactive hr. It has GPS and I originally got it for riding my mountain bike and not wanting to spend $500 on a watch. So far with moto its done very well with keeping track of speeds and heart rate, you can also sync a chest strap style HR monitor to it for a more accurate tracking.

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2018 KTM 250sx
Instagram CamaroAJ

1/9/2018 6:29 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I'll take a closer look at the Polar M400. Other than moto, I will mainly be using the watch for cross training on my rower, spin bike, etc.. but features like GPS and lap times would be nice to have.

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1/9/2018 6:33 AM

Every true test that has been done on HR monitors without a chest strap have been disappointing to say the least. Without a chest strap, the accuracy is very poor. I have used the Polar RCX3, RCX5 and Garmin 920XT with great results. I am a triathlete as well so my needs are different, but I want accuracy regardless of what sport i'm doing. a cheap polar HR monitor with chest strap is going to give you better HR data than any optical HR monitor at any price. That's just a fact of the current offerings.

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1/9/2018 7:24 AM

I think you need to ask yourself the purpose of this watch. Is it an all-in-one device you seek or just for when you're riding to check vitals?

If you haven't used a HRM with a chest strap...you get used to it. So don't let that stop you. If you want accurate, think about going the HR strap route.

They're not that expensive and if you only want to log your HR. You can save money by not going the smart/ fitness watch route. I have a Garmin Forerunner 25 that I use for HR and it logs session times and even maps my ride. Not real accurate GPS but it gives me overall km's and time which is all I want in addition to HR.(Smaller units tend offer better accuracy especially miles vs km.)

If you want the all-in-one daily watch...that's a lot of money to have a rock smash your screen.

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1/9/2018 7:27 AM

I would not combine the need for GPS/lap times and heart rate/training data into one device. GPS based drain a shitload of battery and you will get tired of charging it if you use it outside moto (and cant leave it in van for charging between days).

I would buy a watch and strap that suits for pulse-related stuff (just remember getting "time in zone" feature), and then use some barpad based timer with button close to the grip that you press every lap for lap times. I use DRC-X. Battery lasts 1-3 years depending on how much you use it. Could not leave without it.

Also great to time longer trainng sessions and race times.

http://www.vitalmx.com/product/guide/Handlebar-Pads,43/DRC/Drc-X-Monitor-Ed1-Bar-Pad,12859


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1/9/2018 8:22 AM

Another vote here for the Polar M400.

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Go Hawks!

1/9/2018 8:37 AM

M400. HR and GPS both. When using for just HR without GPS the battery will last weeks without charging. GPS uses it more but battery will last for over +6 hours of tracking. Last longer than that, 6 hours is the longest I’ve used GPS for continuously. Have had a few hiccups with their website and syncing and some updates but it gets resolved.

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1/9/2018 10:44 AM

I have the Garmin Forerunner 230 HRM.
Pretty nice watch, finds the GPS signal verry quick and the menu's are easy to edit/personalize.
The M400 is also a good watch, sometimes it takes a while to find a gps signal but that's it. Not really a supporter of HR tracking without a strap, just isn't as accurate...
But it all depends on what you're gonna do with it.
Both the forerunner 230 and M400 go for a long time without charging, which I find important.
Nothing as frustrating as a watch with a empty battery when you're about to do some training.

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1/9/2018 11:22 AM

Thanks for the support. The Polar M400 is no longer being produced, the replacement is the optical M430 w/ GPS. All of our optical heart rate ( OHR) devices can be paired with our bluetooth transmitter straps or other brands of BT straps. We provide the A300 to the teams in orange, green, blue and a few others. The A300 ( no longer produced) receives bluetooth and 5khz which the H7 and H10 transmit. In some cases the LITpro will receive the BT signal and the Polar A300 receives the 5KHZ to help with the Polar data collecting. The M400/430 only receive the BT signal. The Polar H10 transmitter will actually record when used with the Polar BEAT app. Let the H10 record and when your track time is over, come back to the phone and end the session. This could be cost effective and eliminates the risk for broken watches. Just a thought. As for any brand of OHR watches, blood flow is important, and only you guys that might currently use OHR can talk about accuracy since you might restrict blood flow with tight gripping?? I do not ride and can speak from experience but getting arm pump might impact the data.
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1/9/2018 11:59 AM

I'll shoot in my experience as well...
I use a Garmin 920XT which does not have a wrist based HR monitor, I have to use the chest strap. All the reviews I have read on any watch with the wrist based HR was its inaccuracy. so don't even try that.
Mine has GPS but you can make a new profile or modify one and set the GPS to off but I bet I can run the GPS 24 hours without needing a charge.
Only disappointment is this...
I wanted to record lap times by GPS so I can see each lap. With my watch being an older model, no one has made an app that triggers the lap the same as physically pushing the lap button. By pushing the button, I can see each individual lap time. All the apps I have tried either just tell me how many laps or just an average lap time.
If I were to buy a new watch, I'd look in the app store and find which lap app will trigger the lap button on the watch so I can see each individual lap, then buy a watch that the app works for.

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1/9/2018 12:31 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2018 1:17 PM

I use my now discontinued Polar M 400 with the H7 Strap for each workout, practice session and race. I also use the Polar FLOW app to track my progress along with a Polar Digital scale.

Polar tracks HR and speed pretty well, and the FLOW app has tons of useful information. The only issue I have is lack of accuracy with the Polar GPS when riding, the GPS that Polar uses in their watch won't properly track high speed direction changes typical when riding a motocross bike, and you can't set the track distance to your exact track length, it can only be in pre determined distances set in the app.

Also odd that Polar has just about every pro MX rider using its product, yet they don't list Motocross on the long list of workouts in the app?

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1/9/2018 1:00 PM

I have passed along a MX suggestion for a new sports profile.

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1/9/2018 1:05 PM

I'm in the market for a HR watch as well and have been doing a lot of research lately. I have ruled out Polar myself because 1. IMO they're extremely ugly, 2. they don't do Lap by Position, and 3. Garmin has the option of adding extra maps and watch faces. I'm looking to get a Fenix 3 HR with chest strap for the durability and for the added functionality of the apps you can add. There is an app specifically for motorsports that will do Lap by Position and well as track heart rate, speed and GPS. I'm just waiting to see if there will be any price drops after new things are announced at CES this week.

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Care Factor Zero

1/9/2018 1:16 PM

I have used my MTB Garmin 500 with cheststrap. I considered the new Garmin Fenix watches too, but too much $$$.

For MX, maybe you should consider getting the Litpro, if it works for Aldon and the Baker boys, it should work for you.

Right now I decided the Apple Watch 3 was a good value for everyday use and off bike training. I am hoping that some apps will come out soon.

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2013 CRF450R Factory Connection revalve, All stock.

1/9/2018 1:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2018 1:58 PM

YellowZonker wrote:

I'm in the market for a HR watch as well and have been doing a lot of research lately. I have ruled out Polar myself because 1. IMO they're extremely ugly, 2. they don't do Lap by Position, and 3. Garmin has the option of adding extra maps and watch faces. I'm looking to get a Fenix 3 HR with chest strap for the durability and for the added functionality of the apps you can add. There is an app specifically for motorsports that will do Lap by Position and well as track heart rate, speed and GPS. I'm just waiting to see if there will be any price drops after new things are announced at CES this week.

Read my post above about Lap By Position.

Other than my one complaint, It does everything.

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1/9/2018 2:22 PM

mx510 wrote:

Another vote here for the Polar M400.

X2

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1/9/2018 2:35 PM

Wayne@PolarUSA wrote:

I have passed along a MX suggestion for a new sports profile.

That’s good news re MX profile.
I use M430, did have M400 untill the M430 came out.
Still use the HR strap as I use LITpro, and the V650 when I am on mtn bike.

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@TONY351KTM

1/9/2018 3:15 PM

Have Polar v800 (needs a strap), and Garmin Forerunner 610 (needs a strap), wife Polar m600 measure via watch,. Forerunner have lap by position, it's very user friendly, but GPS isn't that accurate. V800 have the best GPS, but it's pretty complex to set lap by position, because it's set up differently and I don't know if it works. m600 seems to be the best all around, lesser GPS, but good for training and regular use as watch and smart watch, you see Whats up, texts, whos calling etc.

So far I'm a bit disappointed with all of them, I want lap times, good GPS, heart rate via watch and user friendly. Not possible? I put way to much time figuring out, and I'm still not pleased.

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1/9/2018 3:42 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2018 3:44 PM

Anyone who takes their training seriously, use Garmin.

The 935 and 735 are very good, hard-wearing watches. These watches will hold up in moto. If the watch doesn't hold up if it gets hit by a rock, then be lucky, because that same rock would have blown your wrist apart if the watch wasn't there.

Coming from a community of triathletes who use these watches for day to day with 10+ hours per week of training, the only option is Garmin.

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Suunto_P6521762/?search_string=suunto#p6521762

So from a training and heart rate stand point, 935 and 735 are very very good and will not be beaten.

There are apps you can load on and off the Garmin that track lap time but it (or any other GPS watch for that matter) won't be as reliable as an LIT pro or an automatic lap recording system with a personal transponder.

https://www.freelapaustralia.com.au/product-page/freelap-pro-coach-pedal-prix-timing-system-ble

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1/9/2018 5:46 PM

Wayne@PolarUSA wrote:

I have passed along a MX suggestion for a new sports profile.

Could you send this my way as well, please?

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1/9/2018 10:58 PM

AJ565 wrote:

I have a garmin vívoactive hr. It has GPS and I originally got it for riding my mountain bike and not wanting to spend $500 on a watch. So far with moto its done very well with keeping track of speeds and heart rate, you can also sync a chest strap style HR monitor to it for a more accurate tracking.

Does it have gps position based lap timing? If so how well does it work?

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1/10/2018 12:17 AM

I use the Garmin Fennix - very handy when doing boxing and squash too

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Current rides: 2020 CRF450RWE and 2019 TC300
Occasional ride for VMX: 1985 CR500RF
Adventure/Road bike: CRF1000L

1/10/2018 1:40 AM

Garmin forerunner been flawless with moto and training with strap hr. Im using it to take laptimes also at MX tracks and update all data to connet.garmin.com Most of forerunners and bike Computers have Lap timing for position based so you get lap times. Some others have only laps By km/miles that isnt working MX tracks.

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1/10/2018 4:16 AM

Are the Garmin watches good to use with just the optical wrist sensor, or do they need a chest strap paired with them? If so, what are you guys using for the chest strap?

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1/10/2018 4:19 AM

tek14 wrote:

Garmin forerunner been flawless with moto and training with strap hr. Im using it to take laptimes also at MX tracks and update all data to connet.garmin.com Most of forerunners and bike Computers have Lap timing for position based so you get lap times. Some others have only laps By km/miles that isnt working MX tracks.

garmin 220 gives me a gps layout of track as well as times (download from watch to garmin connect), I use a chest strap for HR, absolutely no issues, don't even feel the chest strap.....highly recommended

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1/10/2018 5:19 AM

mx510 wrote:

Another vote here for the Polar M400.

Same here.

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