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Rachael Wight's picture

Editor here at off-road.cc, Rachael is happiest on two wheels. Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. In the past Rachael has written for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding, she has been equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories or doing the site admin. When she's not busy with all the above she's roasting coffee or coaching mountain biking in the Forest of Dean. 

5 comments

1 month 3 weeks ago

alan sherman wrote:

 

The Forerunner 45 plus does most of the same for £150 less. No touchscreen spotify or O2 sensor, fewer pixels and simpler display.  But if you run as well as cycle a good logging option for both which adds heart rate to just using Strava on your phone.  And saves your phone battery.

 

Thanks - might take a look at that when my Vivio3 fails.  With Garmin the product selection is so wide its hard to even find a starting place sometimes!

1 month 3 weeks ago

MTB Refugee wrote:

I think that you're right about the issue with optical HRM sensors. The reviewer's reasoning doesn't really explain why the location of choice for medical OHRMs is the fingertip. The contact with the skin (and what's underneath it) is the important bit and you have a workaround for your devices. Upper arm OHRMs seem to be more accurate as they can get a snug fit.

 

 

Secret_squirrel wrote:

 

There is a lot of BS about heart rate monitoring, accuracy is much less important than consistency - there is no reason outside of being a professional athelete you need a HRM strap any more.  For measuring Peak, troughs and time in zone the Garmin is fine, as has been every other optical tracker I have used - I would never go back.   DCR has a good review of the HRM performance of the V4.

 

 

I have the Forerunner 245M, my partner has the Vivioactive 4 and I would agree with your observations. The "trick" to getting the HRM working properly is to get the watch in the correct positioned on your wrist and have the strap at a decent tension. Centered on yor wrist and about an inch up from the boney bit in your wrist. If the strap is loose and the watch can move and bounce about then the HRM is trash. Snug but not too light and it's really reliable.

 

1 month 3 weeks ago

Secret_squirrel wrote:

There is a lot of BS about heart rate monitoring, accuracy is much less important than consistency - there is no reason outside of being a professional athelete you need a HRM strap any more.  For measuring Peak, troughs and time in zone the Garmin is fine, as has been every other optical tracker I have used - I would never go back.   DCR has a good review of the HRM performance of the V4.

I have the Forerunner 245M, my partner has the Vivioactive 4 and I would agree with your observations. The "trick" to getting the HRM working properly is to get the watch in the correct positioned on your wrist and have the strap at a decent tension. Centered on yor wrist and about an inch up from the boney bit in your wrist. If the strap is loose and the watch can move and bounce about then the HRM is trash. Snug but not too light and it's really reliable.

1 month 3 weeks ago

The Forerunner 45 plus does most of the same for £150 less. No touchscreen spotify or O2 sensor, fewer pixels and simpler display.  But if you run as well as cycle a good logging option for both which adds heart rate to just using Strava on your phone.  And saves your phone battery.

1 month 3 weeks ago

This is a bit of a wierd review.  I have the Vivioactive 3 - the older model - whose main difference is it doesnt do Oxygen percentage, as the sensor is a little older, and it has 1 hardware button at 3 rather than 2 buttons at 2 and 4.   Otherwise its a pretty similar watch.   My experiences over the last 2 years:

Touchscreen is not an issue - it works as well with gloves as your phone does.  Which is to say not at all if your gloves dont have capacitive fingers.  Its also sensitive to rain just like every other capacitive touch screen.

I dont use it as a bike gps unless I'm commuting and dont want the faff of lots of stuff to take off the bike at the other end.  When you use it explicitly as a bike computer it works well with the caveat it has to be on your wrist not your bars to use the HRM function.

One weakness is that it doesnt play nice with non garmin GPS' bike computers as a HRM.  Its meant to have a Bluetooth broadcast mode but its hit and miss on anything than another Garmin.

There is a lot of BS about heart rate monitoring, accuracy is much less important than consistency - there is no reason outside of being a professional athelete you need a HRM strap any more.  For measuring Peak, troughs and time in zone the Garmin is fine, as has been every other optical tracker I have used - I would never go back.   DCR has a good review of the HRM performance of the V4.

In short this series is a great consumer-centric smart watch that does most basic things well enough for the gifted amateur - especially at the reasonable price, and it does 95% of what Garmins dedicated sport watches do.    There is also near identical model to the Vivioactive 4 called the Venu which has an always on screen which is on my upgrade list.  HRM broadcast niggles aside Im very pleased.

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