The Polar CS600 wireless heart rate monitor bicycle computer is for both the professional cyclist and for the cyclist who wants to ride with the best. The Polar CS600 with the Wireless Polar speed sensor W.I.N.D is the market’s most complete cycling system to plan, monitor and analyze your training.
Weaknesses: Complexity, lack of functionality, the company making it and their lack of product support.
Mentioned this in my review of the CS100 which failed at first battery change. The complexity of the CS600 installation required taking it to a shop (note: I am an UBI certified mechanic). The discovered the unit was defective; Polar would only "repair" the defective unit. After $240 of installation costs the unit sporadically worked for 2 months then the power function (the reason for spending all that money) went away entirely. Buy a Powertap. BTW, I will never, ever, spend another dime on a Polar product.
Strengths: Consistent power readings
Well laid out CPU display
Easy and troublefree install
Weaknesses: Infrared data communication for PC download
Bought this unit to replace my aging S725x and to begin using power in my workouts. Was a bit hesitant to try the unit due to some of the complaints about installation hassles and complications, but had the unit installed in ~15 minutes and have not had any real issues with interference or dropped signals.
While I do not have a powertap or other power measuring device to determine accuracy of the unit, what I have found is that it is at least very consistent. For me, consistency is crucial, while accuracy doesn't matter too much unless you are trying to compare your FTP to someone else. The ability to now monitor my power on a consistent basis has helped significantly through the offseason to understand my ability to pace myself through the upcoming races this season.
The CPU itself is laid out nicely with all of the key information easily accessible on the screen and I find that I usually have HR, speed, power and cadence displayed at the same time. Other variations are available, but those are the things I reference most often on a ride.
Strengths: HR, Cadence, Speed & power. It's all there. Best part: the bundled Polar Pro Trainer software. You can build your training plan(workout) and load it on the unit for use during your ride. Pick what performance aspects you want to focus on, and program it. It's the only power meter available with this type of software interface. The others only let you review your data after the workout. While the power data may not be as accurate as the big boys, it's consistent.
Weaknesses: The interface is difficult to work with. Manuals are terrible. Be careful what you tell the software to tell your Polar unit to do.
I bought this product for the price; it's an entry-level power meter for the recreational cyclist that wants to track power.
Initial setup was a little confusing, being that Polar documentation leaves a lot to be desired. But once set up, it worked fine.
Strengths: The data are useful -- I particularly like the altimeter information. I don't invest a great deal of confidence in the accuracy of the altimeter, but the profile at least shows where on the course you are.
My power tap now pretty much stays on my indoor bike (where the Polar apparently will not work well).
Weaknesses: Some of the bells and whistles are, to me, beside the point, with more gee whiz factor than actual value (left-right pedaling?). But I continue to learn about the features, and some may have more use than I am giving them credit for.
It's also not as sensitive as the Powertap. Peak accelerations particularly are inaccurately reported. But, over time, which is the chief value of a power meter -- as a tool to gauge effort for endurance -- it is at least as accurate. The spikes in the power tap can be just noise.
I wanted to try as an alternative to the Powertap. I have a training rig set-up with a Powertap hub, but I found not only that changing the wheel for different bikes was too inconvenient but I missed power data from my racing wheels.
My first go-round was not encouraging. The power signal was intermittent. I called Polar, though, and they sort of kind of acknowledged that earlier generations had a connection problem and sent me a new power unit.
I now have the CS600 set up for three bikes, and I am very happy with it. I probably will get another one for my TT bike (you can only set up three bikes on each CPU), because I want to use it with my Zipp disc.
Strengths: Small, easy to navigate, accurate readings, instant incline/decline readings, adjustable screen displays (5 of 6), easy to upload to computer, plenty of information about nearly everything.
Weaknesses: Backlight a little too dim for night rides (you can see it but you have to stare at it for a sec or two!), no gps, no wind speed. The included Polar ProTrainer software is a little buggy but does a nice job with graphs and readouts.
So far this computer is everything I expected and more. It does a real good job with altitude/ascent readings. It also hasn't taken long to dial it in (I previously owned a CS200CAD). I don't have the power option but I may add that later. If your looking for something small and powerful, this is the computer.
I'm up to a new HR computer, I currently use a Polar S725, which normally (90%) works well but the other 10% drives me crazy. I'm thinking of the HAC 5
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Anyone know how many heart rate zones you can track with the CS600? I am considering this unit or the Rox 9. I know the 9 can track only 3 and was hoping the CS600 could do 4 or 5
JohnRead More »
I 'm interrested in getting a Polar cs600 as my first power meter. I found 2 of this model on eBay :
[url]http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW- ... Read More »
Anyone compared this two when deciding on new computer? I am looking for HRM, Cadence, Altitude gain/loss, %grade, HR as a % of Max, among basic functions. They seem very similar, yet the Polar costs quite a bit more. Am I missing something? Also maybe Garmin Edge 305, but awfully bulky.Read More »
In the $5-$600 range, I can get a polar cs600 or a used powertap wired sl.
I've been training and racing for a couple years now with a couple top tens. Now I have less time than ever and want to make every hour on the bike count. Thus thinking power and maybe down the road a coach.
Anyone ha ... Read More »