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Breaking Heart Rate Chest Straps

  • 26-02-2023 7:21pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭

    In the past 12 years I've purchased a whole range of various brands of these. If I get two years out of them I'm doing well and I don't think I've ever had one that made the 3.

    They seem to either just stop working, the battery compartment lid snaps off or the attachment points to the straps corrode and break. Basically for me they're on a par with smart phones (though in recent years with the latter this is manufacturer induced with forced OS upgrades that make them so slow they become useless)

    Do I have special acidic sweat or something or is this a fairly normal occurrence ?

    I've owned other bikes and bike things which seem to go on forever and which I sometimes wish would break so I can justify replacing them.

    By comparison to other bike things, a chest strap looks like a fairly simple piece of engineering that I would expect to last longer.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 38,786 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    Without wanting to tempt fate, I have my Garmin for just over three years and I'm getting between 10 and 15 hours a week with it.

    Is the issue more with the HRM unit itself or the strap.

    Are you washing the straps as per the instructions?

  • Registered Users Posts: 937 ✭✭✭Luxman

    Ive had a Wahoo strap for a while , the attachment of the pod to the straps broke off (crap design) os it was left to rot in the drawer. I then decided to replace it with a Polar, but couldn't justify the 70 euro or so, so I got a strap off Amazon for 12euro. this is a much better design, the strap is continuous and the pod just connect on the buttons (the pod doesnt complete the connection if you know what I mean), it clips on and works perfectly. Ive had it a few years and working fine now. For accuracy however the polar seems to win hands down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,317 ✭✭✭✭Raam

    They also seem to be made out of the coldest known substances

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    Never wash them, that may be a part of the problem.

    I've had problems with both the unit and strap.

    A Garmin just stopped working, replaced batteries but it couldn't be reached from either of my head units. Got a good year plus out of it though.

    With my most recent Lezyne the unit fastener which clips into the strap broke off. Before this the battery compartment lid broke but I was still able to use it. With my previous Lezyne a similar thing happened, one of the fasteners on the strap disintegrated:

    With a very recent Wahoo Tickr it would have dropouts randomly during cycles where the HR would go really low or really high for a period before coming back. And the strap was on much tighter than other straps I've used. Should have sent it back straight away to the Cycle Superstore as it happened from new but in the process of fiddling with it (making sure the battery was sitting properly etc) I broke that lip cap so couldn't send it back.

    And I've had problems with other straps over the years but have long forgotten the specifics.

    So much so that I generally have 2 on the go but am down to 0 now.

    Working on the basis that they're all shite so going cheap and cheerful from now. Just ordered

    from decathlon and I see Halfords have a cheap one which I'll pick up when next near a store.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    Have you a link to that Amazon 12 E one. Looked earlier but saw nothing in that price range

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  • Registered Users Posts: 937 ✭✭✭Luxman

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 38,786 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    A Garmin just stopped working, replaced batteries but it couldn't be reached from either of my head units. Got a good year plus out of it though.

    Mine actually stopped a few months back. I saw online that you can reset the unit by putting the battery in upside down for 5 seconds (no need to close the unit or anything - just put the battery in with negative side facing upwards)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    Ah that's just a replacement strap. Price seemed too good for a whole unit

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    Tried that with the Garmin but no joy unfortunately in this case

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 6,818 Mod ✭✭✭✭eeeee

    I see there's a wahoo arm strap one, I might give that a go next. I've broken 3 in about 5 years 🙄

    Maybe the arm one will be more robust? Always had wahoo ones but they're not reliable at all.

    And never wash them. They don't recover for some unknown reason. I feel like they're manky though, maybe it's the unwashed mank that breaks them?

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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    I've had one fail through excessive sweating, I'd sweated buckets and for whatever reason I threw it to the side when I came in and went to the shower. Lost it for a few weeks and had replaced it when I found it, the sweat had eaten through the connections. One garmin unit failed (2.5 years), even with battery replacement it never was the same although the strap is fine and still gets use. Wahoo I have two of them, mainly because like the polar that failed with sweat, I mislaid one and only found it after I got a new one, both are still working fine, one 4 years, the other 3, both with replaced batteries.

    With both Garmin and Wahoo the readings go wonky as the battery gets low, typically high readings with drop outs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,200 ✭✭✭secman

    I gave up on the Garmin one, too expensive to replace . Went with Wahoo ticker, roughly cost €50 for the unit. They tend to last 2 to 3 years before corrosion kicks in. €100 For approx 5 years ..€20 a year.. I'm okay with that ....

  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭vintcerf

    I bought the exact same one from amazon a few weeks back after my wahoo tickr would fail during zwift sessions - likely destroyed by indoor sweating as mentioned here. when it arrived it looked very aliexpressish but works perfectly - so i looked there and found it for 4 euro. bought it as a spare and it arrived 2 weeks later - no customs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,095 ✭✭✭mosstin

    Polar H/R straps are the worst and I think they have a 6 month warranty? Found their customer service to be really poor also. Have the same issue as the OP - I go through them at a rapid rate, usually one a year. Currently on a Wahoo Tickr strap. 2 months in, great but probably 10 months left in it. Dunno what everyone else does but I detach the unit after every cycle - conserves the battery, right?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    With my most recent Lezyne I started taking the battery out altogether after use as I noticed it was eating through batteries. I don't know whether it's bad standby design to start with or if faults develop as time goes on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    Above got me looking on aliexpress and just ordered

    Saying delivery April but it should arrive just before my new Decathlon one (which should arrive in the next couple of days) breaks 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    From CramCycle above ("new boards doesn't seem to allow you take a section of a post when quoting")

    "With both Garmin and Wahoo the readings go wonky as the battery gets low, typically high readings with drop outs."

    That's interesting. With my Wahoo Tickr I noticed the battery seemed to go down very quick which could explain the dropouts. On opening the battery compartment lid I did notice a little condensation and was wondering was this causing a short or running down the battery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 426 ✭✭gmacww

    I'm on my second strap in 10 years. Current one is 3 years old. All genuine garmin ones.

    I've found with this one (strap not the monitor) is particularly sensitive to any bodily hair. So gotta keep trim right where it goes. Before that I had the previous one before the contact points came away from the inside of the strap.

    Like others I wear mine a lot. After each ride I wear it into the shower and just run a light showergel over it while on and then hang it to dry. Continue with my shower obviously. I put it in the machine maybe once ever 2 or so months and at that it's tucked into the pocket of a jersey so not flapping about on it's own.

    Like I said, been doing that for 10 years now and only on my second one. Well I tell a slight lie. When the first soft garmin strap eventually gave out I replaced it with a cheap €6 job from china off amazon which didn't work at all. Lesson learned and bought the genuine one above. I have that paired now with a dual monitor from halfords. Works perfectly as long as you moisten the contact pads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I've had one Garmin fail on me (but was left a very long time between uses), but apart from that I've found Garmin pretty good to be honest.

    First lockdown I got the below cheap one from Amazon, as I needed bluetooth for Zwift/ Apple TV, and it's still going strong used on the turbo 3 or 4 times a week. Handier to change battery too, as it's just a coin turn thing rather than 4 tiny screws. It is a bigger unit though.

    I think the latest Tickr's have been poor quality going on what I've seen on other forums.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,241 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    what becomes of the broken heart straps?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭Macy0161

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    I know it came up on the bargain alerts thread regarding the batteries, but for HRM (and Power Meters), I find it has to be Duracell/ Energizer. I end up changing the generic ones (what fells like) every couple of weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,627 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    For Wahoo hr units only Panasonic batteries last any meaningful length of time & Wahoo recommend using Panasonic only.

    The trick with Wahoo units os to know when your warranty is up & then raise your problems with customer support 😉

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,605 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    yep I do similar, pop off the actual sensor and just rinse the strap in the shower and hang it to dry, never had any issues

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    The new decathlon one arrived yesterday and used it on the turbo. Took a leaf out of the book of some on here and showered with it on after. Was a bit weary of water getting into the main unit... I gather people just shower with the strap and the pod is removed

  • Registered Users Posts: 426 ✭✭gmacww

    Yep. Take the sensor off first. Don't leave it on in the shower. I give it a quick wipe over, as I'm washing myself then hang it come. Continue on with said shower. Sing in my enclosed shower with amazing acoustics.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,422 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Same here, I got 20 from IKEA but all 20 barely lasted 6 months where the Energiser/Panasonic ones go for a year each.

  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭DJB030244

    I’ve had a few over the years . Garmin , wahoo , decathlon and Halfords etc

    Garmins ones for me are hit and miss , might get a year and a half if lucky . Could get 6 months though .

    The wahoo ticker was worse than the Garmin . I got about 2 months only .

    Halfords ones I found rubbish , very inaccurate . Starts off ok then the HR soars into the 200s particularly noticeable on Zwift . I had 3 returned but got my money back easy enough .

    Currently using a Decathlon one and it’s flawless so far . Have it about 6 months and will pick up another when I’m over there

    I always take then battery clip off after every session

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭crosstownk

    I've been through a few Garmin straps/HRMs. After about two years they seem to just give up the ghost - heart rate reading drops way too low and resetting or replacing batteries makes no difference. I moved to a Wahoo Tickr a few years ago and it's proved far more reliable - so far.

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