3 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2012 10:42 PM by GridReaper
mlb32704 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've recently started using the Nike+ app and sensor for tracking my walking/treadmill activity.  Unfortunately, it does not work on an elliptical machine, but it's still a lot of fun and I'm doing something good for myself in the process. 


The next step is to track my heart rate during exercises, which requires a heart rate monitor (strap) that communicates back to an iPhone app.  I think I've exhausted the possibilities of getting any heart rate monitor to communicate back to the Nike+ app, unless I'm willing to purchase a brand new Nano and cut my music catalog down by a tenth, so that isn't happening.  So I'm looking at a heart rate monitor that will communicate with a widely used, reliable and/or low cost iPhone 4S app, preferably one that can work at the same time as the Nike+ app that is stock, resident and free on the iPhone and which I use and will continue to use while walking with the Nike+ sensor that gets attached to my shoelaces.


The next step is the heart rate monitor itself (strap).  Lots and lots of choices out there but all roads lead toward Wahoo Fitness and their combination ANT+ plug into the base of the iPhone, and the heart rate monitor strap.  Looks like I can get them both on Amazon for about $60, which is a lot cheaper than I saw elsewhere.  Very expensive line of products.  And lots of "hopefullys" - hopefully, it won't drain my battery down on moderate to long walks; hopefully, I can run their app and the Nike+ app at the same time without interfering with one another (they do have a stride sensor but that's just more money that I've already spent on the Nike+ sensor which works fine); and hopefully, the stock strap will fit a 52" - 54" chest (I'm a big guy, they offer no data, they have no contact number, I'd have a drop them a support email and just wait for a response, company reputation for customer service is not good).


So am I looking at the best choice for my needs, or has anyone else recently purchased a similar system for measuring heart rate, stride and/or any other critical components of their exercise routine?  I am up for suggestions and not making any purchases so fast.


Last but not least, my current Nike+ app and sensor also work with my old iPod 3G running iOS5, I'm hoping that whatever I wind up with will work on that setup as well.


Thank you.

iPhone 4S
  • 1. Re: Heart Rate Monitor Recommendations for iPhone 4S and/or iPod 3G?
    aaronfromkekaha Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    http://www.wahoofitness.com/Products/Wahoo-Fitness-Wahoo-Blue-HR-Heart-Rate-Stra p-for-iPhone-4S.asp


    This is the best one out there. Works with tons of apps both apple and android. It connects via bluetooth. I have it and love it.

  • 2. Re: Heart Rate Monitor Recommendations for iPhone 4S and/or iPod 3G?
    mlb32704 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you very much for the response.  I actually purchased and have already returned a Polar heart rate monitor strap and a Nike+ Sportsband.  I could not even get them to work, and the strap was very small on me (I've got a 54" chest).  All roads lead towards Wahoo, but customer support is ABYSMAL.  You basically have to email them a question and wait for a response back, they have no chat or phone.  Ridiculous.  Anyway, my questions to them are pretty basic, maybe you can answer:


    1.) The strap that you recommend works only with the 4S, which is fine, but I also have an iPod 3G that I'd like to use as well.  Some of their other straps are compatible with both.

    2.) There's no measurement on the Polar strap that I just returned, so I have no way of comparing the fit on one or more of these Wahoo straps versus the Polar one.  I know that I just need a big one (XXL or better).  How is the fit on the one that you have?

    3.) The whole reason why I initially went the Polar/Nike+ route was to go with the least complicated setup to get real time data on stride, distance, calories, etc. PLUS heart rate.  All on pretty much two screens (iPhone and Sportband), and with the idea that I could still multitask during a workout (i.e. check email, send a text, toggle between any open apps, etc.).  All of my research so far indicates that a Wahoo setup is going to have problems with this.  First, the rumor is that no app using a Wahoo heart monitor strap is going to allow you to exit that app and still take active readings (again, this would not have been a problem with the Sportband, but I couldn't get it to work).  Then even if that works, I don't know if the chosen Wahoo app will be able to measure heart rate while Nike+ and a shoe sensor are still measuring stride, distance, etc. (i.e. will they interfere with one another?  Will I be forced to purchase the Wahoo stride sensor too, and then it gets back to which apps work with the stride sensor, will they allow multitasking, etc.?)


    It would be SO much easier for me if these Wahoo folks had a PHONE and could answer my questions.  To make purchases, try things out, return them, etc. that's crazy.  Waiting a day or two for presales questions in this day and age is unacceptable, but that's where I'm at.  I'd appreciate your continued input on this.


    Btw, there is a third option beyond Polar/Nike+ and Wahoo, and that's Garmin, but the app reviews were horrible.  Wahoo was the cheapest overall, I just need to know that it's going to work and serve my needs before making the purchase.



  • 3. Re: Heart Rate Monitor Recommendations for iPhone 4S and/or iPod 3G?
    GridReaper Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    I use the Wahoo Blue HR HRM and I'll try to answer as best as I can:


    1) This strap is only compatble with Bluetooth 4.0 devices, like the iPhone 4S and the new iPad.


    2) The strap is adjustable and stretchy, although I think it's prolly the same size most other chest strap HRMs.


    3) Many of the HRM apps multitask. I use the Nike+ GPS app, Zombies, Run! app and the Digifit app at the same time with no interruption when I switch out of these apps or take phone calls during my runs/workouts.