I've been using the Garmin heart rate monitors for nearly two decades, the latest HRM-Dual is the best so far. They finally replaced the Phillips screws for the battery compartment with Torx head screws AND a include your own Torx screwdriver for removing them! Changing the battery is always the biggest headache since the screws, as delivered from the factory, were always so tight it was hard to remove them without stripping the heads. Thanks Garmin for finally addressing this issue. The dual ANT+ and Bluetooth makes pairing quick. I assume there are other internal hardware/firmware changes because the heart rate recording seems more stable and less 'aliasing' (the misidentification of a signal frequency) occurs.
I use this heart rate monitor (HRM) in combination with my Garmin bike computer and trainer (Zwift interface). It is comfortable on long rides. Definitely make sure to follow direction and wet the band prior to riding. This HRM was bought to replace my more expensive Garmin HRM PRO, which had a very short life span under my usage conditions (seal failed, electronics were subsequently corroded and quit working).
Very easy to set-up and use, paired immediately with my Garmin 820 head unit. Properly tensioned with the strap, stays perfectly in place for longer (3+ hrs.) rides. Sensor also snaps off and back on super-easy when washing or cleaning the strap. Haven't had long enough to speak for battery life, but should be a long time.
So in 4 years I'm now buying my 3rd strap. The first one lasted 3 years!, The 2nd one only lasted 13 months, and completely failed, New battery didn't work and the plastic screw holes deteriorated, to where the screws would no longer hold the cover. I might add that is how the 1st strap failed, the screw hole plastic deteriorated and would no longer hold the screws.
I had a Garmin heart rate monitor for several years. At first it worked great, then started giving erratic readings (e.g., over 200 bpm when I knew I was around 140-150) or not transmitting to my Garmin computer at all. I spent many hours reading comment about how to fix it, bought new straps, replaced batteries, etc. Thinking Garmin was the leading company for this stuff, I stuck with it for several years of frustration, but I finally concluded that it's just not a very good product, and got a Yahoo HRM and so far it has worked accurately every time. Garmin really needs to make a better HRM.
I got almost a year out of the HRM Dual, and it worked well for most of that time. I would wash the strap every 6-10 rides after removing the hrm node, hang dry, etc. Started to see dropouts a month or two ago, so I replaced the battery figuring it may be that. It wasn't. Researching it, there are seemingly a few things that go wrong with these, but my strap didn't have any cracks in the contact patches, the battery cavity doesn't have any corrosion, from what I can tell, all the internal cabling was in tact between contacts and connection point, and even after a battery change and vigilant washing to avoid any salt buildup, it would only last the first 10-15 minutes of a ride, then drop out completely. I'd adjust the fit and it would show up on the head unit again, but at a criminally low HR (like 65HR while climbing over FTP). I even tried shaving the chest hair, to no avail. I noticed that one of the contacts on the nodule itself seemed to have some rust underneath the plastic covering the unit on the backside (around one of the circular metal bases attached to the contacts that snap into the strap). This was something I couldn't find examples of online, so I was a little leary of buying and trying another strap, thinking it might be something to do with this corrosion/rust which would mean my HRM unit was toast and a new strap wouldn't remedy the problem.
I opted to buy a new HRM entirely and just anticipate needing to do so once a year or hopefully get a couple years out of these things moving forward, as they're not cheap.
The major reason you would consider this is because of the Bluetooth + ANT support so you can zwift and use your Garmin computer at the same time. Sounds like a great plan, and when it works it is awesome.
My Garmin softstrap/removable hrm units have all had significant issues with hanging heart rates. You can start your ride, HR 75 bpm, 10 minutes of max effort later its still 75... remove the hrm, wait a minute reconnect suddenly its 185 bpm, stop all effort, take a seat on a bench, wait 30 minutes and your HR is still 185...
Thanks to an article from DC Rainmaker I learned that this is a feature from Garmin, want to impress your friends with obviously wrong HRs? Depending on how you play the Garmin strap game you can. This is not a sweat issue, i run my straps under lukewarm water prior to each ride in addition to spraying my chest with water. I wash my straps with technical fabric soaps, after no more than 2 uses, and rinse after every single use.
DC Rainmaker to the rescue, apparently it is a strap issue because he discusses using a polar strap with the garmin hrm. The connection buttons are technically a few mm spaced differently but it works. Tada! My garmin HRM Dual is back to working. Notably this issue has not occured with my Garmin HRMs that are built into the bands. I would not buy this again, I would love to sell it for half of what I paid and just upgrade to the HRM Pro with BT, ANT, and the old school strap/hrm one piece but thatï¿½s another discussion for another day.
Do Not Waste your Time unless you have an old Polar strap to use with this HRM.
I use this primarily with indoor & outdoor cycling and see no drop-outs. The ANT+ and BT connectivity is a plus, but doesn't have an easy access to the battery compartment, compared to three other brands I've used over the years. I needed to change the battery and didn't have the exact right screwdriver and ended up ruining one of the screw holes, yeah, stupid on my part... while it still worked, I was afraid sweat would now get inside and corrode it so when I saw it on sale again, I bought another, and a correct sized screwdriver. :\
This HRM replaces my older Garmin HRM which seemed to go through batteries too quickly. This one seems fine, works with my Garmin head unit and watch and pairs easily with Zwift.
Good sensor in the abstract; band is easy to adjust, connects to my cycling computer with no issues. Easy to wash, and when properly fitted you'll completely forget it's even there- I've worn it on a 4+ hour long century ride and didn't have it bother me at all. However, its response curve is suspect- it seems to think I get up to 190 BPM just walking my bike out the door, and reads an RHR about 15 higher than the one recorded at my last physical. Probably fairly accurate readings in relative terms, but in absolute terms take it with a lot of salt.
I bought this to replace another Garmin HR strap that died after 2-3 years of use. I've been using the new one 3-4 days week for two months and have had no trouble with dropped signals or wonky data during rides and runs. The strap pairs easily with my Wahoo head unit (ANT+) and my iPhone (bluetooth). I've even worn the strap overnight to measure sleeping HR data and only noticed two points where the signal dropped briefly in a 7-hour period. Before working out, follow the instructions and wet the strap before putting it on you. You should also follow the instructions about regular washing, especially if you're a heavy and/or salty sweater.
I can't comment on battery longevity and replacement. However, my package did come with Garmin's proprietary screwdriver, which appears critical to opening and closing the battery compartment.
Easiest to use (comfort, consistency) of any brand I've used over the years. Both my wife and I have moved to Garmin Bike Computers so we just adopted the Garmin Duals that came with the computers.
Two things... 1) battery replacement didn't go well with one of the Garmin transmitter units... I got the battery out, the new one in, and it worked but I damaged one of the screws so I was not going to be able to replace the battery again in the future. The new, new HRM being reviewed now comes with a 'special' screwdriver to use in battery replacement so things may be less risky the next time.
2) I've had two units start to corrode around one of the terminals that snaps into the strap. The two terminals look like a different color/material but one certainly starts to 'rust' before the other. That has happened on two of these HRMS for me. I've tried Garmin's recommended cleaning/drying strategy and I can't say that is extending the life vs just not worrying and just replacing every year or two once it dies. The good(?) news is that I may never need to replace a battery again because the thing rusts before the battery needs replacing.
Final note, the description says 'may not need to replace battery for up to 3.5 years'... welllll... I rode 11,000 miles last year with the HRM and the battery needed replacement early this year... so 3.5 years not so much, unless there are internal changes now that make battery life longer.
This HRM is much more comfortable than an earlier Garmin HRM strap. In dry weather such as cold winter days, it's important to first spray or drizzle some water on the electrodes to get readings started. Otherwise, you may need to wait a bit for sweat to do the job early in a workout. The HRM has worked very reliably and has provided consistent readings on my Garmin bicycle computer. A tool was included for removing small screws when the battery needs replacement.
I've been using my Garmin watch for years to track heart rate but finally decided to try a dedicated monitor. It's way more accurate when compared to the watch and got used to the feeling after a couple rides. I don't even notice it anymore. After you pair it the first time it just works every time.
So it works but I bought it so that I could get heart rate on my watch and Zwift at the same time on my trainer. Haven't gotten it to work that way. I ended up getting the pro version and it has worked flawlessly. This one works for either but not both at the same time from my experience. Tried it connected to my watch with both ant+ and Bluetooth and didn't play well. All that said, it would do either perfectly well, so four stars it is. I should also mention I would have tried harder to figure it out if the pro hadn't gone on sale. May we'll be a way to make it work that I didn't search hard enough for.
After about a year of use, it began dropping out during a ride. Garmin replaced the strap and suggested a few changes:
(1) Even though instructions said the strap could go in the washing machine, the spin cycle might fold it and break the wires. Now I just remove the module and soak the strap in the sink while I shower after a session, adding a few drops of dish detergent once a week.
(2) Buh Bump electrolyte cream on the electrode patches before each session.
(3) Leaving the module off the strap until the next session may increase battery life.
Electrode patches may be bubbling slightly after a year on the replacement strap. So far it has worked perfectly, but I got a new strap just in case. I do 5-6 sessions a week, fairly heavy use.