Consistent and accurate data is important in cycling. It is crucial for improving training, providing insights on where you currently stand and what you should do to improve. To do this, you need to invest in the right tools. The best heart rate monitors for cycling are amongst the most important.
A heart rate monitor has long been a favorite amongst athletes. It measures your heart rate in beats per minute. The harder you are cycling, the faster your heart is beating. By harnessing the power of data, you can train smarter. It helps to keep you in the right cycling or training zone.
Looking for a heart rate monitor is an overwhelming process. From design to features, there are many differences. Read this buying guide and we’ll help you evaluate some of the most notable products available on the market!
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Heart Rate Monitors for Cycling Review
- 1.1 Suunto 9, GPS Sports Watch with Long Battery Life and Wrist-Based Heart Rate
- 1.2 Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband
- 1.3 Scosche Rhythm24 – Waterproof Armband Heart Rate Monitor
- 1.4 Twelve South ActionSleeve for Apple Watch
- 1.5 Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker
- 1.6 Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor (Soft Strap)
- 1.7 Coros PACE Multisport GPS Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
- 1.8 Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor with Chest Strap
- 2 How to Choose Good Heart Rate Monitors for Cycling
Best Heart Rate Monitors for Cycling Review
Suunto 9, GPS Sports Watch with Long Battery Life and Wrist-Based Heart Rate
Built to last – that is how the manufacturer is positioning this option for the best heart rate monitor watch for cycling. From its construction to its battery, this is going to withstand the test of time.
One of its most notable features is the Fused Track algorithm, which has been exclusively developed by the manufacturer to combine GPS with motion sensor for more insightful data about your cycling routine.
The battery life is also incredible! With the in-time mode, the battery will last up to 14 days. On the other hand, with 24/7 tracking, including mobile notifications, the battery will be good for up to 7 days. If you use the GPS and training mode, the battery will approximately last 25 to 50 hours.
Designed for adventurers, this smartwatch and fitness tracker comes with over 80 outdoor modes. Aside from cycling, you can also use it for other physical activities, such as running, hiking, and swimming. It is water-resistant at up to 100 meters!
Another thing that we love about this product is the connectivity option that it offers, allowing you to unlock its full potential. You can pair it with a smartphone app, and in turn, this will provide more valuable insights into your cycling performance.
- Large and easy-to-read display
- Long battery life
- Durable construction
- GPS can be inaccurate
Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband
If you are looking for a budget-friendly heart rate monitor for cycling, then this is another product that should be on your list. It is worn on your arm, which makes it more convenient compared to those that are strapped on your chest.
The simplicity of this cycling heart monitor is its best asset, which is also the reason why it is affordable. It does not have the bells and whistles that you can find in smart fitness trackers, but it does the job well!
With green/yellow optical sensors, it performs intelligent tracking for reliable data about your cycling performance. With precise BPM readings, it is easier for you to stay in your training zone. This is a great way to train smart and get fit.
More so, we also love the eight-hour battery life. The battery life isn’t that incredible, but for most users, this is enough. It is efficient because it does not have the elaborate features that you will find in an advanced heart rate transmitter.
It is also remarkable because of its connectivity. It has both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity. Even better, you can pair it with more than 200 fitness apps!
With its IP67 waterproof construction, you don’t have to be afraid of the rain. This also means that it can monitor your heart rate even when you are swimming.
- Comfortable armband design
- Good wireless connectivity
- Armband collects dust easily
Scosche Rhythm24 – Waterproof Armband Heart Rate Monitor
This is from the same manufacturer as the product above, so you can expect the same great functionality. This option for the best heart rate monitor for cycling comes with a patented optical sensor technology, which is also the one responsible for its hyper-accuracy. With green and yellow sensors, it works well for people with different skin tones.
Aside from the sensors, this is also one of the best heartrate monitors because of its wide compatibility. You can pair it with almost any device. It offers both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity.
The 24-hour battery life is also a plus. We love how it can provide extended use, unlike others that you will need to charge often.
More so, this best cycling heart rate monitor offers different customizations. From heart rate zones to modes, there are many choices. You can monitor different details to give you more insights about your cycling routine. It is equally notable when used in other physical activities, such as running and hiking.
With IP68 sweat and waterproof design, this is built for the most active users. Whether in wet or dry conditions, you will be happy to know that it offers the highest level of reliability.
Lastly, it has an adjustable band design and a soft strap, which will guarantee your comfort. For the best readings, the manufacturer recommends that you position it on your triceps, biceps, or forearms.
- Sweatproof and waterproof construction
- Optical sensor technology delivers accurate readings
- Long-lasting battery
- Poor mobile application
Twelve South ActionSleeve for Apple Watch
First of all, allow us to clarify one thing – this isn’t a heart rate monitor for biking. Rather, it is a sleeve for Apple Watch. This provides a comfortable place where you can keep your Apple watch while you are cycling and allow it to gather important details about your performance.
One of the best things about this product is that it improves the accuracy and performance of the smartwatch. This is because when you flex your wrist or arms, it tightens the connection, which allows the smartwatch to make more accurate readings.
Your comfort is a sure thing with this sleeve. It eliminates friction, so there is no annoying point of contact between the skin and the strap. It also comes with an easily adjustable Velcro so that you can loosen or tighten the fit depending on what you find to be most comfortable. Although, there are some people who noted that the grip of the Velcro can be stronger.
If you are looking for heart rate straps that can protect your Apple Watch, this is a great option. One of the intelligent design features is the bumper. This will protect the face of the watch regardless of how aggressive you are in cycling. Despite this protection, it allows easy access so that you can adjust the smartwatch depending on the desired settings and functions.
- Comfortable fit
- Easy to adjust
- Improves the accuracy of heart rate tracking
- Velcro can easily peel
Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker
The brand name alone is already a compelling reason to include this on your list of the best heart rate monitors in the market. More so, it has a sleek design, which makes it a great functional accessory even when you aren’t cycling or working out. The stylish band isn’t an eyesore!
We love this heart rate monitor for spinning because of its versatility. It does more than just monitoring your heart rate. It is equally impressive when monitoring other physical activities. Plus, you can also track your sleep quality. The watch also shows calls and text alerts, as well as app notifications.
It comes with an elegant touchscreen display. If you have large fingers, the screen may seem tiny. Nonetheless, it is a good thing that it is responsive with a single tap, which is also one of the reasons why it is user-friendly.
The Fitbit health and fitness app is also worth mentioning. Once connected, you can offer valuable insights, which will make it easier to understand your body. You can use it for all-day tracking and guided coaching. It is also intuitive, so it is never frustrating to use. Plus, the app is compatible with thousands of devices.
Lastly, it has an incredible battery life, which can last up to seven days. One of the reasons for its long-lasting battery is because it does not offer GPS functionality.
- Excellent battery life
- Sleek and stylish
- Loaded with many exceptional features
- Does not come with a built-in GPS
Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor (Soft Strap)
This Garmin premium heart rate monitor is a chest strap. Once it is wrapped on your chest, it starts monitoring data accurately, which will make your cycling training smarter. You don’t have to worry about your comfort. it is made using a soft and stretchable fabric, so there is no friction. Plus, there is an adjustable strap, so you can tighten or loosen the fit depending on what you find most comfortable. To add, it is also washable! This makes it effortless to keep the strap clean and hygienic.
In terms of connectivity, it supports ANT+. It may not be as advanced as other bike heart monitors, but for most people, it is more than enough. It is also worth mentioning that the wireless range is up to 3 meters.
As for the battery, this option for the best heart rate monitor strap uses 3-volt CR3032 battery. If you use it one hour per day, the battery can last up to 4.5 years! The battery is contained, which protects it from external elements. However, there are some people who complained that replacing the battery can be a burden. This is because the screws are too small.
- Made of comfortable fabric
- Easy to pair with a compatible device
- Delivers accurate monitoring
- Screws that secure the battery are hard to remove
Coros PACE Multisport GPS Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
As you search for the best heart rate monitor watch, this is one product that you should not miss. With its versatile design, you can use it as an everyday accessory! It is stylish and practical, providing the information you need to know to track your health and fitness.
There are 13 workout modes in this heart rate monitor. You can use it beyond cycling! It is a great addition to your daily workout routine. From running to swimming, there are many ways to use this product beyond the bike.
As it is common with the other bicycle heart rate monitors mentioned in this buying guide, your comfort is a sure thing. It comes with an adjustable and soft strap, so you can easily customize the desired fit. Even when worn for an extended time, you will not complain of discomfort. It is also a good thing that the strap is available in three colors, so you can find which one is most suitable for your personality.
The accuracy of this spin bike heart rate monitor is also impressive. Regardless of the external conditions, such as the altitude, you can be confident that it shows the right data!
To add, it has an innovative CPU that makes it efficient without compromising performance. According to the manufacturer, you can use it for up to 30 days in standard mode. On the other hand, when you use it in GPS mode, the battery lasts up to 25 hours.
- Long battery life
- Does not have navigation features
Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor with Chest Strap
In your search for a Garmin cycling heart rate monitor, this is another product that is worth your attention. It is economical and feature-packed. Best of all, it is from one of the most reputable brands in the market, so you can be confident about its functionality.
The soft strap of this bike HRM is another feature worth highlighting. Once worn, it does not cause uncomfortable pressure or friction on the skin. Best of all, it has an adjustable fit, so you can enjoy the customization of its fit.
One more thing that we love about this Garmin heart monitor is that it is compatible with many products. Once connected, it sends real-time data, which will let you monitor your heart rate. It has both ANT+ and Bluetooth technology, allowing you to establish a seamless connection with other devices.
Best of all, it is hard to run out of juice! It may not come with a rechargeable battery, but you will love how it lasts up to 3.5 years! Even if you use it daily, it will take a long time before the battery requires a replacement. That alone is already enough reason to include this on your list of the best digital heart rate monitors.
- Accurate readings
- Comes with a comfortable and washable strap
- Has both ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity
- No special features
How to Choose Good Heart Rate Monitors for Cycling
With too many options for a bike heart rate monitor, it is easy to be overwhelmed. To help you narrow down the possibilities, below are some of the most important considerations.
Type of Heart Rate Monitor
One of the first things to think about is the type of heart rate monitor to buy. It impacts the design or how you should be wearing the heart rate monitor. Consider what you are most comfortable with. More importantly, think about what can yield the highest level of accuracy.
Optical Heart Rate Monitor
This is a popular heart rate monitor from some of the big names in the global market, including Fitbit and Apple. It uses an optical sensor, which is incorporated into a smartwatch. It rests on your wrist instead of your heart. It uses light transmitted on your skin and analyzes this light as it comes back. It counts your pulse, which is what is displayed as your heart rate. These monitors need to be fit as snugly as possible for more precise heart rate readings.
Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor
If you are looking for better accuracy, however, then this is what we can recommend. It is strapped on your chest and it detects the small electrical signals that your body makes when you are cycling. It is not as convenient as an optical heart rate monitor since you need to wear it around your chest, which some people might find to be too restrictive.
Regardless of the type of heart rate monitor that you use, comfort is a priority. Otherwise, this will affect your performance as you pedal. You will be inefficient if you are uncomfortable with what you are wearing. It should not cause too much friction on the skin. It should also offer several adjustments, making it easy to customize the fit depending on what you prefer.
This is indicative of how advanced a heart rate monitor is. Most of the heart rate monitors will have Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. They have app functionality, which means that they can be connected and controlled through a smartphone. You can even connect it to a computer and use compatible software. This will help you unlock the full potential of the cycling heart rate monitor that you are using.
Almost all heart rate monitors are powered by a battery. For a more reliable product, you should choose one that comes with a long-lasting battery. This will let you use it longer without the need for recharging. It is convenient if the battery can last several days. It is also important that it does not take forever to fully recharge the battery!
If you are using a bicycle heart rate monitor with a screen, such as a smartwatch or a bike computer, then you need to consider the display. It should be large enough so that it easy to see but without being a distraction or discomfort when worn. The display should also be backlit, which will make it easy to view whether you are cycling day or night. Even if it is lit, it should not consume too much power so that you can save battery.
When it rains, your cycling heart rate monitors must be able to keep up. Choose one that is built to be waterproof. This way, you don’t have to worry even if it gets wet. Consider the waterproof rating, especially if you live in a place where it always rains.
Aside from those that have been mentioned above, below are other features that you should be looking for as you try to narrow down the possibilities for heart rate monitors for cycling. With these capabilities, you can unlock more benefits.
This is an important feature as it provides a better understanding of your cycling workout and your health. At the most basic, a good cycling monitor should offer at least three target zones. In the case of the advanced models, you can find up to six heart rate target zones.
In a nutshell, your target heart zone will let you know if you are hitting your target. If not, then this should give you an idea that you need to do more.
Cycling is good exercise for people who would like to lose weight. If this is the case, then you need to spend time tracking the calories that you have burned. This will let you know your progress and inspire you to go further if you need to burn more.
Especially if you are training for a race, a speed monitor is an important feature to have in a biking heart rate monitor. This is a great way to assess your performance, giving you an idea if you have to work more.
Take your training a notch higher with the right accessories. It is hard to go wrong with the best heart rate cycling monitors for cycling, including those mentioned below. They will provide insightful and accurate data, which will make your training smarter. It measures effort and recovery, which are important factors in improving cycling.