Polar CS500 Bike Computer Heart Monitor

Polar CS500 - nice bit of kit!
Well this was a big surprise on Christmas morning! A Polar CS500 bike computer with heart monitor, cadence and speed monitor.

I've never been a big fan of bike computers, I like riding pure and take great satisfaction in not having a computer sat on my bike stem. I like going by feel. Listening to my body when I'm on the limit. I feel a ride better without the distraction of data. I have a watch which tells me how long I've been cycling and I can plot the route afterwards to know the distance (or ask someone on the club run).

However. A lot of the guys in the club use them, a couple for the GPS element but a lot for the heart monitor and also the power stats. Increasingly conversations have been going on at the cafe stop about the data, talking about heart rate limits and transforming that into performance.

It's quite interesting really as I heard one story about a guy in the club who had (still has) very powerful legs, who was a great performer on the track but was also quite well built. On the annual run to Llanberis he was able to stay with the front group over the Sportsman Pass, simply because he knew he could perform well at a heart rate limit of 175. Using his computer he made sure he kept at around 175.

In 2011 I started Time Trialling and thought to myself after each race that a computer would do me good. Mainly to keep an eye on my heart rate but also speed and time. If you were to look into the course more methodically, ie: I needed to be at a certain corner by such time, you could start controlling your performance a lot better. With the data at hand I would also be able to push myself harder, or ease back and hold on for later on in the course where it more suited me.

It was a great surprise, I doubt I'll use it much when I'm out for a ride at the weekend, I still like that idea of pureness but it will be something I look forward to getting involved with in Time Trials.

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