Polar S150 Heart Rate Monitors

Available At:
S150

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
John McKenna   Road Racer [Jun 24, 2007]
Strength:

The heart rate monitor works well, and of course during this function you can wear it on your wrist which makes it useful for other sports, crosstraining etc.

Weakness:

Too many to mention ! The installation was frustrating, I have a carbon fiber Schwinn Peleton, and the installation was a nightmare. The speed sensor didnt fit the front forks at all, and I had to use additional rubber and jerry rig the bracket. Suprise! The speed sensor kept failing, (a common fault with this product). If thats not frustrating enough, the screen is almost impossible to read with polarized eyewear, you have to tilt your glasses up or down to read the display, otherwise it looks totally black ! If your in early dawn or twilight, there's no backlight either. The buttons are cumbersome to use, they have very poor responsiveness, you usually have to push them several times. Trying to adjust my glasses, reaching down to adjust the speed sensor, pressing the buttons multiple times, all the while using a rather eloquent splattering of profane language served to raise my heart rate far beyond what I beleived to be possible, but it really wasnt what I had in mind. I get out of the hospital next Tuesday.

Firstly I agree with previous reviews regarding the heart rate monitor function. If all you want is a heart rate monitor, then it serves its purpose, as far as a bicycle computer goes, if falls short in many areas.

Similar Products Used: I might go straight to the top and try the CS600, after this experience,.....I can hardly wait.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
rhopping   Recreational Rider [Apr 19, 2006]

The S150 works quite well as a heart rate monitor. I bought this monitor mostly because it would track multiple heart rate zones.

As other reviewers have noted, to keep the heart rate alarms working properly you have to manually change the target zone during your ride. However, it will track the time in the target zone, and time above and below the target zone. So I did not find it necessary to manually change zones. (Though I did find it necessary to stop the thing from beeping at me!)

The cycling features I found to be cumbersome. Within the first year owning the unit, I had to get a new speed sensor from Polar. They were good about replacing, but that was a pain. As other reviewers have noted, the connects between the sensor and watch are a bit flaky. I also had the watch crash on me once, requiring a reset, losing all of my data.

I have since decided to go back to my CatEye Mity for cycle functions, but I still use the S150 for heart rate.

I recommend you either stick with a straight heart rate monitor and bike computer, or spend the extra money to get a higher end Polar.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Dirt-Rode   Recreational Rider [Mar 17, 2006]
Strength:

None that I found. You can find much better for the money in my opinion.
Thanks to Performance for taking the POS back.

Weakness:

Doesn't work!
Customer Service from Polar is non-existent.

What a disapointment. I swapped out my Sports Instrument for a Polar thinking it was an upgrade? For one - not intuitive to use as already mentioned. The kicker for me was on a 3 hour ride the HRM started a non-stop beep and froze up. Didn't matter what buttons you pushed it wouldn't stop. Two hours of beeping later and I made it home. I was only able to stop the beeping by reseting the watch and thus losing all my odometer miles etc. that I'd logged. And then to think Polar would take care of it? What a crock. Took three days just to talk to anyone - then it's the routine of ship it to us and we'll take a look at it while you sit on your thumb for two weeks. No thanks Polar.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
trainCatcher   Recreational Rider [Jan 17, 2006]
Strength:

- Tells you your heart rate - Records your "lap" time and avg/max HR for the "lap'

Weakness:

- Does not automatically detect heart rate zone - Bike mount never worked for me - Max heart rate not always recorded correctly - Interference is common when close to power lines - Can't download workout files - Other reviews here seem to discuss HRMs other than the S150

I bought the Polar S150 because it was the most heavily discounted HRM+bike computer out there. I thoroughly enjoyed the HRM especially being able to record my avg HR for the various sections of my ride. The S150 offers the possibilty for creating a tailored work by letting you specify three HR zones and the duration of time you want to spend in each zone. The watch will beep when the time for each zone runs out, letting you know you should move your HR into the next zone. You also need to press a button to indicate that you in fact switched to the next zone. Though this might be a cute feature for workouts on a trainer, my rides were far too unstructured for this to be of any use. I would have prefered for the HRM to simply record how much time I spent in each zone, rather than for me to manually have to switch between them by pressing buttons during my ride. I never managed to get the bike mount to work. The connections on the back of the watch just would not line up with those on the mount. Instead of returning the unit like my wife, I used the Dremel tool to "re-center" the mount mold. This did not work and I destroyed the mount in the process, voiding my warranty within days of purchase. Boy do I feel stupid.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
jammer222   Recreational Rider [Aug 06, 2005]
Strength:

- lots of functionality and data if it works. - Polar website has lots of data and they are the

Weakness:

- false readings on almost every ride - can measure only 1 zone unless you manually change zones. - the dreaded red button will be pushed by mistake and erase your ride data - battery replacement expensive thru Polar - Ugly- i would never wear this unless i'm riding which means i will not wear even for the day to enter the data into computer later.

I bought this for the Polar name but returned it in 30 days because of multiple issues. For one it gave lots of false readings, anything would throw the HR reading off from Power poles to jersey flapping and sometimes no reason at all and this is not interference from other riders. My cheap $40 db500 from Performance works much better. I also tried the Polar210 which did not have as much false reading (maybe b/c of own code. the other problem was in order to measure the time spend in each zone, you manually have to change the zone to the range you think you'll be at, this means while you're riding you either only measure 1 zone, or to get 3 zones you constantly have to push buttons based on where you're HR is at, USELESS! The Polar210 and my $40 db500 do not do this! - the buttons are very hard to press and the functionality is not user friendly and i am a techie! - you will inadvertantly press the red button after a ride every once in a while and lose you detailed data. need multiple files. no PC interface. and the Soniclink is not much use. and to top it off, you need to send it to Polar for a battery change. after struggling with this HRM for a couple of weeks, I returned it and bought the $40 db500 which works perfectly and it costs the same as a battery replacement for the Polar, so i'll just buy another one if this goes bad and still be ahead. Last but not least the whole Polar S-series is ugly, why can't they make them look more like the F-series? i never used the bike functions since i have a bike computer.

Similar Products Used: Polar210- If you want Polar this is the cheapest model you want to go with db500(Performance)- cheap and works great, this is what i use now! Timex 50lap Marathon- only 1 Zone
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Mstr7   Road Racer [May 15, 2005]
Strength:

I thought it was the polar name since many people use them but its stock has dropped in my view.

Weakness:

Interference, inaccurate mileage readings. Inconsistent performance. I can't honestly rate this as a good value--it didn't work well.

I was disappointed with this product because it had a lot of interference problems and after one year it began displaying and recording speed and mileage intermittently resulting in inaccurate readings. Plus you had to press a button FIVE times to rest mileage--whats with that?

Similar Products Used: Cateye HR200DW - I replaced the polar with this. The manual was difficult to read but much better design for a cyclist.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
rkerry   Weekend Warrior [May 23, 2004]
Strength:

All in one computer, 3 displays at once

Weakness:

buttons are hard to push while riding, navigation is too difficult while riding

Overall I like this product, but I wouldnt' buy it again. The menu and navigation is too difficult to operate while riding, sure it seems easy when you have it on your wrist, but try riding and hitting those small buttons. It's HR monitor watch, not a bike computer and if I keep that in mind, it serves it's purposes.

Similar Products Used: Avocet bike only computers, solar HR monitor only
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
marimba_artist   Racer [Mar 17, 2004]
Strength:

Tons of functions. Fairly easy to use. Big display. Wireless!!!

Weakness:

Three main weaknesses: 1) Only one "comprehensive" data set is stored. That is after your ride, you can review your time, distance, avg hr, time in hr zones 1, 2, 3, odometer, stopwatch, laps with summaries, etc. Polar claims you can review your last six workouts, but notice, only the most recent workout has "details." The others just show the date, stopwatch, avg and max HR. That brings us to problem 2. 2) If you accidentally hit the "bid red button" after a race or ride, you will possibly clear all of your important data you wanted to write down in your training journal. This will really piss you off! 3) This seems like an obvious oversight to me, but no one has mentioned it. Even though you can review your time in each specific HR zone after your workout, your current HR zone is not displayed on the screen. When I am doing intervals, I really wish I could see this information, rather than trying to remember what my exact HR range is for Zone 5a or Zone 4 for example. 4) I lied, one more weakness. The software is PC only (I use a Mac).

I love it. I like to be able to quantify my rides and it is great to have only one monitor on your bars for the HR and cycling functions. I mainly bought this after reading Joe Friel's Training Bible. Don't pay retail--it's too expensive. These are pretty easy to find below retail. I think mine was $180 on eBay, brand new, still shrinkwrapped. In stores there are $250 and up. Take the plunge, it's worth it. At a race a couple weeks ago, it seemed like every other person had the S520 or S720i. That's good, especially when you need help setting it up!

Similar Products Used: Polar A5 (don't buy this model).
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
indian river rider   Road Racer [Sep 24, 2003]
Strength:

OK, what's good about it? Once you get the hang of how to deal with the red button, sonic-link, the lack of any useful software for logging your results, the crummy cycling functions/interface, and the inaccurate sampling, it does work reliably. It has never quit on me for any reason other than the quirks described above. I have never had to adjust the (humungous/wireless) monitor on my front wheel since I put it on a year ago. Everything works well in the water (this I know because I am out in the kayak every Sunday with my beloved). Its a good tool for tracking your average heart-rate on the bike or off.

Weakness:

Because of all the 'weaknessses', I had this monitor for about 8 months and used it only about once every week or two. What turned me on was the Sally Edwards book. Since I read that, I ride with the monitor every time, even if I'm just noodling on a Monday after a hard weekend ride. I guess when I first bought it I was hoping it would be an inspiring piece of technology. Perhaps that was foolishness on my part. There seems to be alot of information that needs to be absorbed before the use of an HRM becomes meaningful, and once I got that under my belt, I started using the Polar as a tool and getting more out of it.

This review is about the S510. Sorry, I cannot remember what I paid, but it was somewhere around $225 (w/out cadence), could have been more, but not less. The first problem is that if you happen to accidentally hit the big red button before you can get the data downloaded, it is all lost. This happens to me about once a month. Of course, it almost always happens when I think I just set a personal best for a time-trial. Or, as the fellow that upgraded to the 720 initmated, if you start a workout, meet someone on the road, stop for a chat, and then start up again, well, say goodbye to your first leg (the computer will automatically take care of that without any big red button activity on your part). The second problem is sonic-link. It is the download technology from hell. The frustration will drive you mad. DO whatever is possible to upgrade to a monitor that does not use sonic-link. Of course, having said this, tomorrow it will download on the second try. But as a rule, it takes three or four or five or ten attempts, holding the monitor up to the little speaker, trying not to bump it, trying to press the big red button at just the right moment, and holding my breath (literally) until the download completes. The third problem is, well, not really a problem. The software that comes with it is completely useless. (And I bought the software upgrade too). OK, its not completyly useless, because it has Sonic-link! which you must use to download your heart-rate samples, distance, and avg. speed. But once downloaded, the software is then truly useless. It cannot be customized and the interface is ugly. Its so bad, that I've gone back to using an old-fashioned handwritten logbook. The fourth problem is that I paid a bit extra for this model thinking I'd get some more cycling functions. However, the cheap old Cateye on my mountain bike (which I use for recovery rides) beats the Polar. One thing that really irks me is the mileage: it cannot be switched from miles to klicks, and it only gives the miles in tenths (the Cateye gives them in hundredths). Thats kind of important when you are killing yourself trying to see how fast you can ride XX miles in, and as you are sprinting and dying, you have no idea how long that last tenth is going to last! Also, the readout is very cluttered and takes a bit of getting used to. I would recommend using another computer for cycling functions. Finally, the interval timers either do not work, or they work in such a bizarre manner that after a year of trying I am still befuddled. But I won't use up any more of my wordspace trying to describe the problem with this. And as someone else mentioned the sampling will drive you nuts. You know you came off that bridge going 35 and your heart was hitting 167 at the crest, but then you get home you see that your highest speed was 27 and your max heart reate was 160. Is that the best we can do for 200+ smackers?

Similar Products Used: I would like to try another brand, but this is kind of expensive for trial and error.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
Mink   Racer [Jun 12, 2003]
Strength:

Great data capacity allows for really useful graphs. I much prefer the look of the metal case to the others in the S series.

Weakness:

Can't think of any. Maybe that it's not very intuitive - but a weekend invested in going through the handbook and software is time well spent. Also it's a bit chunky as a wristwatch... However, don't buy this baby unless you are going to download data to your computer, and unless you have lots of time to play with the software - it's almost as much addictive as cycling!

I have the S720. This is it - this is the one I've been waiting for. I dabbled with the S510 (the limited sampling and all the hassles of downloading) and, before that, with the Polar Coach and Cardiosport Excel. But the S720 has what I always imagined a good HRM should have! Samples every five seconds for eight hours, plots heart-rate, speed and altitude (and cadence with the optional sensor which I have, and power with the sensor i don't have). It also takes temperature whenever you hit the lap button. The altitude is a great bonus because it plots a profile of your ride - you can see where the hills were, how steep they were (it even gives the grade) and what it did to your HR. Unlike the S510 it doesn't give up on you if you're away from your bike for more than a few minutes - nor does it lose your session if you restart - it just records a second session, which you can merge with the first when you get home. Downloading by infra-red to my Dell notebook computer is easy - haven't had a single problem with it (I believe the S710 was a tricky bugger in this area). The software with the S720 is way better than the awful (third party) program they provided with the S510. Where did they get that crap? And the Polar Precision Performance software (the good stuff) got even better when I downloaded the free upgrade off the Polar website - gives the option of setting the horizontal axis of the graph to distance rather than time, and lots of other nice tweaks. I love all the gadgets involved in cycling but, if I had to choose, this would be the last one I'd give up before my Colnago.

Similar Products Used: Polar S510, Polar Coach, Cardiosport Excel.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 14