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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    16

    Cyclocomputers and heart rate monitors

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    I'd really like to get in great shape for a weeklong ride in June. One way I've decided will help is to use a heart rate monitor and a cyclocomputer. I would like to be able to handle cadence and have a PC interface. Online, I've been able to come up with the Cateye MSC3Dx and the Polar S710. Does anyone have any experience with these, or have any other suggestions? Comments please - I'm pretty new to the cycling world still.
    Thanks,
    Coelura

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Middle of nowhere Texas
    Posts
    42

    Cool HR Monitor/cyclocomputer

    I have a Vetta that works with my HR monitor. It was a magic co-incidence! I got the bike long after I got the HR monitor, it just worked out that way. The only function that it doesn't have is cadence.
    s.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    heart rate monitor

    mine is a simple one, sorry no cadence, or computer interface, but at 30$ US, i couldn't resist
    it's one from Supergo.
    http://www.supergo.com/itemdisplay.a...=24&subid=1512
    It seems to me that some computer/ heart rate monitors are quite expensive, and i am not sure if it's really worth it unless you are super racer...sorry just my opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    16
    I had originally decided I needed all the fancy stuff based on magazines. :-7 I'm really having trouble getting a fast cadence (I think I read 90 RPM?) and thought that it would help me. How important do you think a high cadence is, anyay? And what features in the cyclocomputer and/or HRM do you find most useful?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    cadence

    i'm far from the expert, but i think cadence is important, although i know some people with cyclecomputers that used the cadence feature once, and never thought about it again. so i guess it really depends on the person. i guess i am more of a fan of staying in comfort zones, and see how being in each training zone feels like. I mtb and because i have been using my heart rate monitor, i can tell almost immediately where my heart rate is at based on how i am feeling during the ride. anyway, again just babbling thoughts....

    i liked having the heart rate monitor, and the basic feature of the cyclecomputer. but every persons training is different.

    Han

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Middle of nowhere Texas
    Posts
    42

    Cool hr monitr/cyclo computer

    Yep, a trade off indeed, I'm leaning really hard towards getting a "back-up" with a cadence function. My old Cateye had cadence, but it went with my old bike!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    122

    Cool a little long winded .....

    What's most important is trying to keep a steady cadence, rather than a fast cadence. From my experience, (limited, although I have finally broken the 1000 mile mark on the odometer!) just trying to keep pedalling at a fairly constant pace can be accomplished without the cadence monitor...

    The trick is to find a pedalling speed that is comfortable for you and that doesn't have too much resistance in the pedals. Check that you're not feeling bouncy in the seat, feeling like your feet will fly off the pedals, or feeling like your pedals are 'clunking' in the bottom of the stroke. This means you're pedalling too fast. Also check that you're not feeling like you want to stand up to 'get more leverage' or really forcing the pedals down. This means you're pedalling in the wrong gear; too much resistance in pedals is bad for your knees and you'll pay for it later. Pedalling should be fairly easy no matter how fast you're riding (not, of course, thinking about hills!!)

    Once you've found a comfortable speed, try to maintain that. Having numbers on the brain all the time, I tend to count revolutions in my head. When I'm tired, or pushing too hard, I end up counting out loud. This gets me a lot of funny looks, but whatever works! After awhile, I just 'feel' how fast I usually count, so I know if I'm counting too quickly or too slowly. You can do this by watching the cadence monitor (I don't have one, either) OR by mentally being aware.

    If you're pedally comfortably and pedalling starts to get a little harder than that, shift so that it feels like it did before it got hard. Pay attention, because it can get a lot harder fairly quickly, and you'll want to shift early on. If pedalling gets too easy (i.e. you feel like your feel will fly off, or you feel really bouncy in the seat, or you feel like your pedals are "clunking"), shift the other way so that you can feel a little resistance in pedals.

    After you get used to this, and consistently shifting whenever the pedal feel isn't "right", your cadence will naturally rise because 1) you're mentally more aware of the pedal feel, 2) your legs (hopefully!) are getting stronger with more riding and 3) your leg muscles are more familiar with the pedalling motion.

    Hope this helps, have fun, and see you in June!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    16

    Finally got a cyclocomputer...

    Without the cadence function. Han-grrl, thanks for the Supergo recommendation - that's the one I ended up purchasing. Now to install it... ! :-)

    Lisa, thanks for all the pedalling info. I feel better now about not being able to get anywhere near that 90 rpm number!!! But, I'm not a numbers person so that'll take a lot of practice. Good thing we still have 2 1/2 months - see you in June also! (Anyone want to join us? We're doing the Cycle South Carolina ride across the state! See www.cyclesouthcarolina.com.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    9

    About that cadence...

    I find that I am able to maintain a higher cadence, now that I have been taking spinning classes for much of the winter. A higher cadence is better for your knees.

    The other benefit of spinning classes is being able to train regardless of the weather. I also found that after an hour of class, I was whipped - I think the intensity level is very high in the classes, whereas when I'm outside I tend to be more social and ride easier.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
    Posts
    29
    On spinning and cadence, roger that, Miyata912! Also, I find it's easier to focus on a steady cadence in spinning classes because you don't have to worry about obstacles in the road, lights/stop signs, or inconsiderate motorists.

    Also, here in flat ol' Florida, spinning has helped me to improve my climbing.
    --J
    "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself." --Walt Whitman

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    1,460

    cadence and heart monitor

    I bought a computer with cadence and the heart monitor last year in order to give myself something to focus on during the winter when I have to "ride" my bike on the trainer. I worked on trying to keep my cadence around 90. When I got onto the road in the spring I found that my average speed had gone up about 1/2 mph. It's not huge, but over a long ride it can make a difference. As far as the heart rate monitor... all I discovered is that I can't get my rate up to 80%. I have no idea what that means. Anyway, now that I'm back on the road, I don't wear the monitor and rarely have the computer set to the cadence function. I prefer to be able to just enjoy the ride.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510

    Talking Cadence, heart rate monitors & spinning

    The older you get, the more you need to pay attention to cadence. Not just knees either, your lower back & hips will thank you for not pushing high gears for an extended period of time.

    Spinning has really helped my form on the bike. My instructor is a drill sgt. - she is always dogging us about keeping our upper bodies relaxed, spinning in circles, etc. She has us do drills where we concentrate only on the hamstrings pulling back on the pedal, or the hip flexors pulling up. When I got back on my road bike, I was really amazed that I (1) hadn't lost any aerobic capacity and (2) felt much more comfortable on the bike.

    Heart rate monitors - I like them in spinning class so that I can monitor my "easy days" and "hard days". They're OK on the road bike, but tend to take my attention away from pot holes, crazy drivers, etc., so I'll wear one just to get the readout at the end of the ride - average heart rate, average time in zone & calories burned. I have a Polar & I love it because it's easy to use.

    I'm not advanced enough to interface with my computer. Maybe that is next?

    Kim
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

 

 

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