Getting the right heart rate monitor is, by far, one of the best ways to track your cycling fitness.
The best heart rate monitor for cycling will not just help you measure your training effort. The training volume and intensity charted by the tool will also help you figure out just how much you need to push yourself.
While these monitors have been around for decades, they’ve only surged in popularity recently due to their reasonable pricing, convenience of use, and accuracy.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the “ultimate” cycling monitor. That being said, finding one that perfectly suits your needs is possible.
We’ve shortlisted the five best heart rate monitors for cycling and also put together a detailed guide to make finding the right product a breeze.
Best Waterproof Heart Rate Monitor Buyers Guide
Gauging the quality of a waterproof HRM by just its price is not the right way to go in a market that’s as vast and diverse as it is. Here are three other things you should look for in your heart rate monitor other than reasonable pricing:
A heart rate monitor with dual-band connectivity is a lot more versatile and generally easier to use.
Ideally, the HRM you get should have both Bluetooth and ANT+ technologies since it can then maintain a wireless connection with several apps on different devices.
But, if the HRM you want to get only has Bluetooth, don’t worry. Bluetooth not only uses less power than other protocols, but it is also a standard protocol that most devices support.
Learning how long an HRM will last before buying it is critical. You must ensure it serves you how much you need it to – an HRM that never works when you need it won’t help you progress much.
Plus, you want to be able to appreciate a good lap and motivate yourself after you do it. Having an HRM die in the middle of a good session can be very frustrating.
Luckily, most modern HRMs have a long battery life, sometimes lasting up to a year on a single coin battery.
A quality heart rate monitor has highly sensitive electrodes that can track even the slightest changes in your heartbeat with minimal to zero lag.
If you are competing in sports such as triathlon or various sports where you might need your HR monitor to get wet then you may want to consider a waterproof heart rate monitor.
Best Heart Rate Monitors For Cycling
#1 POLAR H10
The POLAR H10 strikes the perfect balance between features and pricing, making it one of the most popular HRMs in the market.
The H10 works perfectly with most smartwatches and is seamlessly compatible with fitness apps like Strava and Nike. You can hook it up to all HRM compatible equipment without any issues.
But perhaps what’s more impressive is that the HRM is capable of Bluetooth, ANT+, and 5kHz connectivity. You can also use both Bluetooth and ANT+ simultaneously.
The included chest strap is easy to put on and stays put when you’re cycling. Since the H10 is waterproof, you can also wear it to track your progress when swimming or rowing.
The tool boasts virtually zero lag, making it a favorite amongst pro athletes, seasoned cyclists, and complete beginners alike.
Its internal memory can store the details of one training session, and its operating temperature ranges from 14 °F to 122 °F, making it one of the most versatile HRMs you can buy.
- Works with all phones
- Bluetooth, ANT+ and 5 kHz connectivity
- Super accurate
- Easy-to-buckle chest strap
- Frequent updates
- The Polar Beats app could be better
While the Garmin HRM-Pro is one of the more expensive options on this list, it is worth buying because it can transmit data via both ANT+ and Bluetooth in real-time.
It can seamlessly communicate with other Garmin devices and also fitness equipment and training applications like Zwift.
It’s great for cyclists, but if you can also get it if you like to run. The HRM-Pro can capture running dynamics like ground contact time, stride length, and a lot more, and since it is also waterproof, it is an excellent choice for triathletes.
But perhaps the best thing about it is its size – the HRM-Pro is no bigger than the strap it comes with, so you won’t feel its sides poking into your chest.
It’s several different modes, easy connectivity, and one-year-long battery life make it worth every penny it costs.
- It comes with both Bluetooth and ANT+ technology
- Loaded with features
- Stores and forwards data
- One-year long battery life
- It does not come with an extension strap
If you want to get your hands on both a monitor and a watch but don’t want to spend more money buying them separately, the EZON HRM is the perfect option for you.
It comes with an accurate real-time heart rate monitor, giving you clear workout guidance when you need it. The audio and visual alarms help you stick to the right intensity of exertion to meet your goals.
The EZON monitor also comes with an intelligent calorie feature, giving you insight into how many calories you burnt in a given session.
Both the watch and the monitor are waterproof to 50M, giving you the freedom to wear it regardless of if you’re cycling, swimming, or running.
The large display makes the watch easy to read, and the stopwatch feature in the watch always comes in handy. Another advantage is the look of the watch – the stainless steel bezel makes it look very attractive.
All you need to make it work is a CR2032 battery. The packaging comes with one, and when it runs out, you can replace it with ease.
Considering the price, it is an excellent option for cyclists or any athlete looking to get the most out of their sessions.
- Intelligent calories feature
- Excellent price
- Watch included with HRM
- Visual and audio alarms help maintain intensity
- Battery is not rechargeable
If you want a proven heart rate monitor for cheap, the Powr Labs HRM will not disappoint.
It boasts a dual-band Bluetooth and ANT+ protocol, making it impressively reliable. The tool will work in real-time and send updates to any smartphone or GPS device you hook it up with over Bluetooth and ANT+.
The monitor comes with an adjustable strap, which you can change the size of between 26” and 38”.
Another impressive feature is the monitor’s durability. It is IPX67 water and sweatproof and has been battle-tested by professional cyclists, making it the perfect low-cost option to get.
However, it’s important to note that swimming with the monitor on is not recommended. It is not the right HRM for triathletes.
But that’s a small trade-off for the low price and high reliability.
- 12-month warranty
- Easy to pair
- Bluetooth and ANT+
- IPX67 water and sweat proof
- Not recommended for swimming
#5 Polar OH1+
The OH1+ is very different from other heart rate monitors on this list – you must strap it on your arm or your temple, not your chest.
But it is just as accurate as the Polar H10 discussed above.
The HRM measures your heart rate reliably using six LED heart rate sensors and transmits them to your device either via Bluetooth or ANT+.
It comes with a rechargeable battery and boasts a long battery life.