i use a hr monitor, i have the polar f11, and i just got the garmin 305. both have chest straps, they are not uncomfortable. i mtb and wear a back with straps. there is no problem there. the HR monitor is worn lower on your body, then where the back pack strap will hit. the garmin is really cool because it records all kinds of additional info, but the watch part is kind of big. it has a gps built in. a bike computor will give you the same info, but the garmin graphs it and shows asent and descent, milage, hr at certain point of your ride or work out. really a neat thing to have. if you are looking more for calories, just a HR monitor will do, i think with all the starts and stops on your it wouldnt be a bad idea to get one. chest strap is no problem. i forget i have mine on.
I JUST tested the link I posted and it appears it's no longer there (I think it was originally posted about 10-15 years ago, so it's no wonder). Regardless, it truly is a VERY nice piece of software.
I actually have it as a stand-alone application you can run on your computer. If you'd be interested, I can send you a screen capture. If it looks interesting enough, I'll gladly send it to you to test drive.
To answer your last question first: Lord, NO! The SP calorie counter is horrifically inaccurate. It always tells me I burned somewhere around 1,000-2,000 more than I actually did. Here's a link to a really good calorie calculator that's far more accurate and takes into account a great number of variables with more concise results: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/V ista/6434/CalCalcApplet.html (You'll probably have to copy and paste the link in segments since SP parses links. It also runs an applet, so you may get a security warning but it truly is safe.)
As for your first question: I actually prefer the chest strap because it's so much less intrusive and seems far more accurate (to me) as it rests directly atop my heart vs. a wrist mount like the Garmin series. Being a female, you may well prefer something like the Garmin 305, 405 or 605 (I think all the new ones do it, with the right add-on's) which is a watch type unit.
Hi all, I bike to and from work each day, totaling about 90 minutes each day. I get going at a pretty good clip but because I live in an urban area I get stopped at street lights, etc. Because of the bursts of speed and the stopping and starting I am not sure if Spark's calorie figures are correct.
I am considering buying a heart rate monitor but don't know much about them. I probably wouldn't like the one that straps around the chest (Bodybugg?) because I wear a backpack with a waist and sternum strap. Is there a brand that some of you awesome cyclists prefer?
Or, in your experience, are the Spark calorie figures for cycling pretty accurate?
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