Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Garmin HR straps don't work for me

Collapse
X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Garmin HR straps don't work for me

    I have an old-style Garmin HR strap that I hadn't used for a few years due to the problem I'll describe below, but was hopeful when I recently got one of the newer ones that snaps onto a softer, more flexible strap. It is definitely a lot more comfortable, but so far I'm very disappointed in the behavior of both of these straps.

    The problem is that when I'm using it for running, it will read accurately for a while, then somewhere in my run it will suddenly give wildly-high reading, such as in the 170s when my certified max HR is about 150 and I can tell from my effort that I'm only in the 120s. Sometimes after a few minutes it will suddenly come back to a correct reading, but the quickest way is to just stop running for a few seconds and it drops right back to where it should be and may or may not act up again. Has anyone experienced behavior like this? Since it happens with both straps I doubt it's a specific issue with the one I have.

    What I suspect is that it's due to the fact that it's winter here and I'm always running with it under two or three layers of synthetic fabrics that might be generating static from the motion of running. It does not do this when I wear it while riding my indoor bike trainer. I remember writing to Garmin when my first strap had problems and they wrote back with a recommendation to the tune of "avoid wearing technical fabric shirts and consider cotton instead." Seriously?? I don't even own any cotton running shirts any longer and wouldn't wear them if I did! Apparently they haven't made the new ones any less susceptible to whatever is going on.

    I can only hope that it settles down once we get to the point where I can just wear a single layer of tech material...

  • #2
    I have had exactly the same problems with 3 different models of Garmin straps. And as you, I have suspected static electricity. When it happens, the HR will typically come close to my running cadence, so it could be "rhythmic" static electricity caused by my running cadence.

    It seems to happen more often with some of my wool shirts, and usually only when the air is dry. After some minutes of sweating - which will probably reduce the static electricity - the problem goes away.

    If I do excessive moistening of the contact pads before the run, I can usually keep the problem away. I guess it may in reality be because some of the excess water will make the shirt damp.

    Comment


    • #3
      It definitely sounds like static. You should at least try running with a cotton shirt as your base layer. In 30deg F weather today I wore a plain old 100% cotton t-shirt, with a synthetic running jacket over top. No issues with HR data. I personally find it comfortable and don't really understand the strong aversion to cotton.

      Comment


      • #4
        Errh, I assume that you never sweat in cold conditions?

        Cotton is the absolutely worst material to wear if you sweat in cold conditions. It will be freezingly cold, even when worn as an inner layer under other, warm layers.

        Comment


        • #5
          I do sweat pretty heavily, but sweating and feeling cold tend not to occur simultaneously for me unless I have a massive fever. I can see if you did a run, and then had to walk/stand around outside for a long while it would be an issue. But in my experience the threats/warnings against cotton are exaggerated and, I secretly suspect, driven by Big Polyester.
          Last edited by nonparametric; 01-06-2019, 08:54 AM. Reason: grammar

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nonparametric View Post
            It definitely sounds like static. You should at least try running with a cotton shirt as your base layer. In 30deg F weather today I wore a plain old 100% cotton t-shirt, with a synthetic running jacket over top. No issues with HR data. I personally find it comfortable and don't really understand the strong aversion to cotton.
            I can at least try that to see if it makes a difference. In really cold weather I've been known to wear a cotton sweatshirt under my usual jacket and not had an issue with it. In the summer it's a different situation when I hate having to stand around or whatever with a soaked shirt.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nonparametric View Post
              But in my experience the threats/warnings against cotton are exaggerated and, I secretly suspect, driven by Big Polyester.
              I speak from personal experience.

              In my dayjob, I design boilers for waste and biomass incineration. This gives me absolutely no professional interest in advocating any fabric, neither cotton, nor wool, nor polyester.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, my strap problem is "fixed" in that it totally stopped working this morning. I was on my bike trainer and the HR readout on my Edge 1000 kept changing between "65" and "---" as though it was having trouble connecting. Just in case, I changed the battery (damn, those screws are tiny!) and then it wouldn't connect or even be found at all. I put the OEM battery back in and even checked it against my 920XT to make sure it wasn't an Edge problem.

                I was not looking forward to trying to call Garmin about it but then found out that I was still in the return window from Amazon. A few clicks later I had my return shipping label and it's already on its way back. Not sure if I'll repurchase since it was primarily for use when running and I've got a 645M with the optical HRM coming in so I'll wait and see how that works for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Before you send it back, remove the new battery, put it in reversed for 30s or so, then fit the right way up. Test.

                  And the $64000 question, how wet is the strap before you put it on? If you soak it in water before using it, you never have to worry about working up a sweat before it starts working.

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X