Garmin Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin MonitorI have waited for about a month to write this due to the number of internet comments regarding the strap on the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor malfunctioning.  Well, afer about four weeks of use mine is still working.

One possible issue with so many failures may have to do with not washing the strap off after each use.  The manual says to do this, but many comments indicate that people don’t do it.  I used a Polar unit prior to the Garmin monitor, and it, too, says to wash the unit strap.  Anyway, I rinse the strap off in luke warm water after each use and then hang it up to air dry.  Between the Polar and Garmin monitors I have three straps and never had a failure in 2+ years of use.

I like the Garmin monitor because it allows me see my instantaneous heart rate on my Edge 800 along with the Garmin Cadence sensor.  Several of my earlier posts focused on training within specific heart rate zones.  Between the heart rate and cadence being displayed prominently on the front of the Edge 800 I am able to maximize the results from my indoor and outdoor training rides.

Linking the heart rate monitor to the Garmin Edge 800 was not difficult at all.

  1. wet the heart rate strap, put it on, and snap the sending unit in place
  2. turn the Edge 800 on
  3. select Menu
  4. select Setup (small wrench in right hand corner)
  5. select Bike Settings
  6. scroll down to Heart Rate and select
  7. select ANT+Heart Rate,
  8. select Heart Rate Monitor
  9. select yes
  10. back out to the previous screen
  11. at this point my unit picked up my heart rate signal automatically, if not
  12. select Search, this should pick up the signal
  13. select Sensor Details, this will give you the Sensor ID of your unit
  14. back out all the way to the main screen

Garmin Menu 1I elected to place the Heart Rate and Cadence on the main screen at the bottom left and right respectively, and the Average Heart Rate and Average Cadence on the second screen.  The process for doing this is fairly simple:

  1. press down on the lower left of the screen with your thumb until the area turns blue, you don’t need to press down too hard and it make take 2-3 seconds to change color
  2. when you lift your thumb a selection of items will appear, scroll down to heart rate
  3. select heart rate
  4. the screen automatically jumped back to the home page and Heart Rate was shown at the lower left
  5. repeat the process to place cadence at the lower right
  6. scroll to the right to screen #2
  7. repeat the above process to place the Cadence Avg on the top bar and Heart Rate  Avg on the bottom bar.

Garmin Menu 2Keep in mind that the instantaneous numbers will appear whenever the Edge picks up a signal, but it will not calculate the average numbers until you start the timer.  You can put whatever numbers you want to track in any of the locations; these are the ones I track for training purposes.  There is a lot more information in the Garmin Instruction Manual.

The nice thing about the Edge 800 is you can customize your screens depending on what activity you are currently doing.

I upload all of my training and outdoor riding to Garmin Connect.  This keeps everything in one place and makes comparisons somewhat easy.

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