No matter which way way you look at it you need something to be able to measure your efforts against. Be that cadence, heart rate or power.
Unfortunately I am not lucky enough to have a Power Meter so I measure by heart rate (zones) and cadence. I find this method, although not precise, gives me enough scope to train by.
As this is the case it is essential I have a heart rate monitor; so after my Garmin HRM died after 4 years of impeccable service I decided to purchase the Lifeline HRM from Chain Reaction Cycles.
Links for HRM:
There was 3 considerations for this purchase when looking at Heart Rate Monitors:
- ANT+ compatibility (for the Garmin head unit)
- Cost (again)
With those strict criterion I plumped for the Lifeline Heart Transmitter. The service was top notch once again from Chain Reaction Cycles so here’s a short review of the Heart Rate Monitor itself.
The Heart Rate Monitor is a soft strap with 2 pads on the inside that you dampen with water before putting on. The strap is soft and stretchy as you would expect. One of the main annoyances of the strap is there is no “L” or “R” on the pads on the inside. For most people this wouldn’t be annoying. However, for me this was not ideal…mainly for troubleshooting (more on that later).
Pairing with the Garmin (I had a 500 when I started using the strap last July and got a 520 in the New Year sales) was very straight forward and it was always picked up as soon as it was put on the body and the Garmin was switched on.
During the rides the heart rate was transmitted without fault and never dropped out. The strap was comfortable on the skin also and could be adjusted to get the perfect fit.
So far, so good…
Now for the not so brilliant:
Having used this strap since July 2017 (very almost August) I have gone through two. The first one failed towards the end of November. Chain Reaction swapped this out, which was good of them. The second one failed again this last week. Around the 3/4/2018.
So; in around 8 months I have had two die on me in this period with the same issue. The issue was that the clips that the HRM Transmitter clips on to the strap. The metal corroded and rusted on both causing it to stop working. (Picture below minus the corrosion). In trying the trouble shoot I switched batteries, switched the strap around and changed the orientation of the of Transmitter on the strap (hence no “L” or “R” lettering made this confusing) and then tried to reset the transmitter by unravelling a paperclip and placing it on the metal nodes.
None of these worked so the unit was well and truly dead.
I have now decided to bite the bullet and buy a Garmin Heart Rate Monitor to replace this. Chain Reaction gave a full refund but the hassle of contacting Customer Services and then waiting for a new one to be dispatched is not worth it.
I paid £24 for the Lifeline HRM and I would have to say that due to the issues I have had I would steer clear and pay the extra for a Garmin/Wahoo/Polar (delete as applicable) heart rate strap as I believe that these will last longer. The last Garmin HRM I had lasted 4 years and was corrosion free.
Hope you found this useful and it helps some people.
Team Garmin photo and article header photo are mine.