Product Review

Polar Heart Rate Tracking WithThe Verity Sense And H10 Sensors

Author: David Hogan

Posted:

The Polar H10 Chest strap is the gold standard of heart rate tracking and we found it the best for Moto.

If you are not tracking your heart rate during your moto riding by now. Why not? Just about every watch come wrist band has some sort of heart rate tracking or activity tracking modality built into its tiny lightweight structure.

It makes becoming a fitness addict easy these days. But also you can also play cardiologist as well with the different levels of monitoring some devices out there have on offer through their secondary web/app-based programs. But are all heart rate trackers built the same? In short no. But at some level, any tracking is better than no tracking. If you had the choice,  what type should you use for your training and Moto riding would be a more precise question worth answering.

That’s where this AlwaysMoto Inspection comes into play. The fantastic team at Polar Australia have been kind enough to provide 3 of the main heart rate tracking devices on the market for AlwaysMoto to inspect under Moto conditions and provide you with some inside info on which fits our sport best.

For many years now heart rate tracking has predominantly been done via a chest strap with a wristwatch for visualisation and collection of the live data. With the advances in everything technology these days. Polar along with all the other available brands has been able to provide users with various options for this once-tried and true method. From wrist-based collection from the back of the watch allowing only one device to be worn during training. To arm/leg-based sensor strap that, much like the Chest strap passes the info wirelessly to the paired wristwatch. For Polar, many of their watches now incorporate any of these options. Their watches have the inbuilt wrist sensors, whilst also being compatible to pair with a Verity Sense (armband) or an H10 chest strap. But which options work best for you in Moto?

The Wrist-based sensor built into the watch in my option is best used for continuous daily heart rate tracking only. When used during any sort of exercise out side of a casual walk. It doesn’t have the ability to read accurately due to the movement of your hand and forearm muscles that alter its contact/ reading point. Making it not great for Moto with all that vibration from the handlebars. At this point, I feel I should tell you that no matter which options you choose for Moto. Never wear the watch on your arm during your motos. Two reasons. One is that the watch will be prone to impact damage during a crash when you leave the bike. Two is the watch will either slide down your arm during riding and bruise the top of your hand, or it will remain in place because you tightened the strap a lot. But in turn, you will get arm pump. So use the Bike Mount to place the watch on your handlebars. Makes for easier viewing of the data mid-ride anyways. Polar Australia also has a perfect mount for just this scenario also.

The Verity Sense with armband is a great alternative to heart rate data capturing. But if I have to choose I’m going with the H10 chest strap when I strap on the Moto boots.

Now the armband for the Verity Sense vs the H10 chest strap is where opinion, fact and personal preference can collide. So this is where you need to consider your personal body type, and if you have any existing issues with arm pump or other arm-based injuries that might be impacted by wearing a firm armband whilst exercising.

The Verity Sense with the armband is much more compact and gives the user inhibited feel of the sensor whilst wearing it. With up to 30hrs of battery life. As well as being able to link to a paired watch or Polar Flow app for monitoring the live data. This sensor is my favourite option for swim training and road cycling.  This sensor is a very capable option for monitoring your heart rate in general. But we are not talking about a general activity when it comes to moto. This armband set-up takes some fine-tuning to get to a comfortable, yet user-friendly and data-sensitive point. The firmness of the strap so as to be firm enough to not slip down your arm. But relaxed enough not to constrict the blood flow or sensation in your limb. The position of the Verity sense to sit laterally. Not over the muscle bulk of the tricep or bicep to have its contact point moving with each arm muscle contraction. All the while finding a position to allow easy access to the on-off button. Once this is found and comfortable it is a very capable heart rate sensor.

For Moto, however, this is not my choice. Despite finding the above-mentioned sweet spot for the sensor position and band firmness. I was not completely comfortable with the even minor constriction felt in my arm and did not want to find out how my arm pump would go with it on during my moto. I also found it to be a bit inconsistent in ramping up and down the heart rate due to the bouncing and general flexing or use of the arm. In a side-by-side test, I ran the Verity on my arm and my H10 on the chest. The Max and Min values throughout the test remained within 1-2beats. But that ramp-up or ramp-down phase was where the big differences occurred. The verity was just always a few seconds behind. Probably in part to it being at a distance from the heart. Whereas the H10 was on top of the heart. But that leads to a slightly lower overall output for the test on the verity vs the H10.

I might be old-fashioned and just used to what works. But the H10 chest strap just does the job for me well. The comfort of it on the body prevents any possible arm pump issues noticed with the verity when it comes to moto. I can tighten that chest strap a lot and don’t notice any impact on breath depth or rate. It also is easily hidden under armour and a jersey. Allowing it to be protected in the event of a crash. The H10 with its changeable battery has up to 400hrs of use before needing replacing. It is useable in swim training but I always find it to have an odd drag feeling with doing turns each lap. Something the Verity sense on the Goggle strap would not. Not that I got around to testing that as this was a Moto-focused test.

The H10 can also be used paired with a Polar Watch or the Polar Flow app to monitor heart rate live.

The Polar range can be paired up with multiple items. The Polar Grit X Pro pictured here is a great GPS Multisport watch that can pair with your Verity Sense or H10. Polar even had a fantastic Bike mount to allow you to get your watch on the handlebars and see the data live much easier mid-Moto.

The benefits of monitoring your heart rate are enormous and potentially life-altering. Knowing you are about to red line in zone 5 before you hit halfway in your moto can make all the difference in your pacing for the event or your training beforehand. No matter what option you choose to use for your heart rate monitoring. The key is consistency. Consistently use the same measuring device. Don’t compare sessions with different measurement devices as you will get different unreliable results. Stick to the same device until you change to an upgraded version. But if you are moto’ing, I’d recommend you get the Polar H10 with one of their super cool Multisport GPS-enabled watches and go nuts with data and improve your performance and knowledge of your ride.

AlwaysMoto will have a review of the Polar Grit X Pro in the coming weeks. But if you want to get a Polar product into your life now. It’s a perfect time to do so with the Polar Australia cyber week sale going on from the 21st to the 28th of November. Follow the link for up to 33% off your purchase. Head to https://bit.ly/3NUNXBJ

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