Monday, February 2, 2009

A heart rate monitor is reborn.

My Polar heart rate monitor conked out in July, 2007. No goodbyes, no warning, just a blank grey screen. As I was in the midst of a season of long, challenging rides, I didn’t do more than put it away in my drawer to deal with when winter rolled around again and early season training required some precision. Well, a year came and went and it was finally time to figure this out. I went into the Depot a few weeks ago to ask Mike and Geoff what they knew about replacing Polar HRM batteries. As it turns out, I was reading the web site correctly. I was going to need to send it off to Long Island with my credit card number just to change the battery. So send it off I did after realizing that buying a new monitor just because I needed a new battery was absurd.

It’s easy to adjust to life without a HRM. In the past, I used to love to pinpoint my level of exertion to meet training demands or to pace myself during long and difficult events. Over the past year, though, I’ve just approximated a 75-85% workout. Having used a monitor before, I know how deceptive perceived exertion can be. The good news is that after spending $22.63 for a new battery, gasket and shipping I have my HRM back in the same shape it was in before it died on me. The bad news is I have no more excuses for imprecise and inefficient training.

I don’t use a power meter although I know others who do and I am aware of their superiority to HRM training. A guy can only spend so much on gear in one year, though. So for $22.63, I’m back on track. Beginning tomorrow morning, shortly before dawn, I’ll drag myself out of bed, brew a pot of fresh coffee and head off to the studio for some punishment. At least now, I’ll know exactly what my heart thinks of the effort. Now I just have to remember what all these buttons are for. Hope I didn’t throw out that manual.


  1. George- You can stretch that $22.63 even further! Your heart belt is now compatible with the iPhone or iPod touch. Please note that additional hardware is required ... you need a wireless bridge to the ambient computing devices. The good news is you also get speed, cadence and power is coming soon. Check out the iTunes URL:

  2. George,

    Glad to hear you are back and running with your Polar. We always did recommend the service be done by an authorized service center. Reason being, we care about the product even after we sell it. We want you to always be confident your training tool is working 100%.

    Our new line all have user changeable batteries.

    You can download a manual here

    Have a good workout this morning with your "new" Polar!

    -Chris @ Polar USA

  3. Heart rate monitoring tools by Polar are good but I prefer to use heart rate monitoring tool offered by as it offers accuracy as well as software capable of generating a multitude of HRV reports as per your preference.