Heart Rate Monitor Troubleshooting Advice

  • Creator
  • #60550

    Hey, Uphill Athlete.

    I read TftUA in summer 2020 and decided to try heart rate training. I bought a Wahoo 2 heart rate strap and used it with my Coros Pace watch for about 4 months before the HRM died. I followed the manufacturers instructions to a T: rinsed it after each workout, washed it once a week, wetted the electrodes before each run. And then one day, it just stopped reading accurately. It would just report something like “85 bpm” for an entire run regardless of whether I was sitting on a bench or sprinting up hill.

    I tried:
    – Washing the unit
    – Re-pairing the HRM with my watch
    – Tried both bluetooth and ANT+
    – Replaced the battery
    – Update the firmware

    Nothing really did anything. So I requested a warranty replacement and in the meantime bought a Garmin HRM Dual. That worked for about 4 months again and it died: would report no heart rate or bogus heart rate for an entire workout. I requested a warranty replacement to Garmin and switched to my new Wahoo and today it died. I did an out-and-back run up a ~10-15% grade and the heart rate never went above 114 bpm. I tried taking it off and rewetting it and nothing changed.

    Does anyone have any advice on what might be going wrong? Is this user error? Or is it normal to go through heart rate monitors like tic tacs? Are these bad models/brands and is there another brand I should try, such as Polar?

    Heart rate training seems great and all, but I’m starting to get tired of fiddling with electronics when I want to be enjoying the mountains and the trails and I’m about ready to throw away all the technology and just run by feel.

    Any advice would be great! Thanks.

  • Participant
    dcgm on #60575

    “is it normal to go through heart rate monitors like tic tacs?”
    I think DC Rainmaker has mentioned somewhere that there’s a subpopulation that seems to do this, for unknown reasons.

    “Are these bad models/brands and is there another brand I should try, such as Polar?”
    Polar customer service isn’t the best IME (won’t support their older models, which they discontinued for no apparent reason), but if I had your track record I might give it a shot.

    Shashi on #60593

    I went through three Wahoo Tickr’s, the first one worked for a year and the other two worked well only for a few months. Now I am with Polar H10 since September. No issues so far but will give it another year.

    martyb on #60667

    Polar H10 working well for 1.5 years but only with an iPhone. The same unit had endless problems on Android, as said above, Polar customer service is not very helpful beyond warranty replacement.

    Mariner_9 on #60716

    I have a Suunto Ambit3 Peak. HRM functionality has been problematic almost since I got the watch ~5y ago. Washed the strap each week – didn’t help. Put water on the sensors on the strap prior to use – didn’t help. the Replaced the strap – didn’t help. Replaced the battery – didn’t help. Replaced the sensor – didn’t help. Customer service extremely unresponsive. Ended up replacing the strap and HRM unit with a Polar H10 and it’s been fine since.

    andrewmorris on #60790

    I guess it’s simultaneously comforting and frustrating to know this experience is fairly common. By contrast, my running buddy has had two Wahoo Tickrs, One lasted 5 years and his current one has lasted 2 years. So it sounds like these devices are generally cheaply made and it is a dice roll whether they will last or not.

    I think I will throw away the two Wahoo Tickrs that I’m using now that only work half of the time. I have two more brand new HRMs that were warranty replacements: one from Garmin and one from Wahoo. Hopefully I’ll get lucky on one of those, but if not I’ll try a Polar H10 once those both die.

    Thanks for your responses!

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