First though, there have been other apps out there that can check your heart rate for years, and they work pretty well if you don’t mind stopping your work out to out the iphone or the microphone to your chest, and you are in a quite environment. However, for us bikers, that’s just not going to work. We need to know our heart rates as we take climbs, across different elevations changes and over all ave rate across the ride. To do that, we need dedicated hardware.
The leader of the pack is digifit. I have written about these guys before when they were known as SMHeart link. They have grown and have pretty had the market to themselves for a long while. Now we have another competitor in the market; MapMyFitness. Its basically the same solution. A wireless receiver that accepts ANT communications from personal monitoring devices. The good news is that both companies are using ANT, which means you can mix and match devices. Right now the prices are pretty close to each other. Both companies have the receivers at $80. Digifit resells the
Garmin Heart Rate Monitor: a Digifit Ecosystem Premium ANT+ Sensor at $30 while MapMyFitness offers the WaHoo monitor at $50. Since they both use ANT, you can choose the right solution.
Both there is more then just hear rate monitoring available, both companies offer the normal, speed, elevation change, gps and cadence monitoring too, some through the iphone software. They both offer mounting and arm bands to hold the iphone. However neither has temperature monitoring. Odd thing to miss out on given how simple a temp sensor is.
No matter. Now as full disclosure, I have not used either of these system short of demo units set up for the press at conferences, but I asked for a demo unit so I can try it in real life. If one shows up, I’ll put it through the paces and report back. However, if anyone else is using these system, please, let us know what you think.