Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Well, it all started with a Polar RS800CX that stopped picking up my heart rate. As I arrived in Port Elizabeth for Ironman South Africa, I immediately bought a new chest strap as this is the most likely cause. The whole event it showed either no heart rate or it was jumping up and down like 120, 160, 120, 220. Any athlete will tell you how important it is to pace yourself right on these events using especially your heart rate as measure. So back in the Cape I took it to the Polar stall at the Two Oceans expo, because who better to sort out this problem than Polar, right? After testing the new chest strap and existing transceiver (showed an error on resistance, but he made no mention of it) the technician said that it is all fine and that the battery was slightly flat. I told him that I replaced the battery within the last week. He also told me that I should wet the chest strap before putting it on and that it should be very tight. (So tight that it will be very uncomfortable in a longer endurance event or training run) Having been using Polar heart rate monitors for the last 11 years, I would know what works and what doesn’t. And this lame sing song of Polar just doesn’t cut it and it does not explain why my HRM stopped working. I have never had a need to wet the belt and I wear the chest strap tight, but comfortable and it always worked.
So off I went as an unhappy customer with a still broken chest strap. I can only blame myself for not being more persistent to get results. Plus a full Two Oceans marathon with no heart rate. I can imagine Polar reading this and asking me, but who is the technician? What is his name? As a customer/consumer the name that I recall, in bright red, is Polar. It’s a pity, because they do have some excellent products which aided me through many super long endurance events and countless hours of training.
I got hold of another WIND transceiver and strap which worked on my HRM and tried different combinations swopping straps and transceivers. It turned out that that problem was in fact with my existing transceiver. Why couldn’t Polar come up with this?!

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