Whether you have a mountain or road bike, many riders find it extremely useful to have a heart rate monitor fitted to establish how hard they are working. No matter how experienced a rider you are, these are handy tools to have to gauge your heart rate and fitness levels and in some cases to make sure that you aren’t pushing yourself too hard.
But what type of heart rate monitor should you have? This type of technology is a fairly recent development in sports of this kind but technology has developed quickly and there are now many types of heart rate monitor on the market.
Firstly there is the heart rate monitor that is worn as a wristwatch. This has the benefit of being light and unobtrusive and easy to put in place. As with all monitors, these types of watch systems vary greatly and are as sophisticated or as basic as you need them to be. Basic monitors will do just what they are intended for and will solely monitor your heart rate. Others will give you the time and offer stopwatch facilities while the more elaborate will also come as part of a full GPS package.
Wristwatch monitors are easy to wear and you probably won’t even notice that you have one and they are simple to check and maintain. Prices vary greatly from around £30 to £300 and above, depending on your requirements.
Other riders prefer to look straight ahead rather than have to keep checking a watch as they feel that they can easily lose concentration when they do so. In this instance, you can consider having a heart rate monitor fitted to the handle bar frame.
Once again, with a monitor that’s installed on the frame, you can choose from a wide range of products, each with a set of different features and you can have them as basic or as complicated as you like. These types of monitors can just check your heart rate or they can give you the stopwatch and time facility and also GPS.
In fact, many of the GPS models on the market today also come with a heart rate monitor built in so you may like to consider this if you are looking for a GPS package.
Lastly there are heart rate monitors on the market that can attach to any part of your body and connect to chest straps to gauge your heart’s performance.
Many products that are available connect to chest straps while others are free of this. Others are bike specific while some are produced for sport in general but can be used quite easily by riders.
As with everything, it’s purely a matter of personal choice and requirements. There is a huge range of heart rate monitors to suit every rider and prices to suit all budgets. Whether you are looking for a wristwatch or frame monitor or one that comes as part of a GPS package, there is a vast range to choose from.