Written by Matt Hersey Thursday, 04 May 2006 00:00
My first experience with this heart rate monitor was a short run around Portland‘s Back Bay. The chest strap and wristwatch were very comfortable - you could almost forget you were wearing them. Constantly pushing buttons to look at my average and max heart rate was interesting and served as a good distraction. Then I got a couple of unbelievable numbers - literally. 232? Wait?! Theoretically my heart can’t beat that fast. The cateye kept flashing 200’s for about 5 seconds, but I didn’t stop running. Eventually it came back into my 160 range. When I got home I looked in the owner’s manual. I remembered that it had talked about possible electromagnetic interference. It lists many causes of interference: TV, pc, radio, car engines, radar, railroad crossings, cell phones, traffic lights, etc…
Unfortunately, I continued to get bizarre (too high) readings during 50% of my workouts. I asked a friend who has the same model and he said this has been happening to him too. Other friends say that their more expensive heart rate monitors are less influenced by electromagnetic waves, and when they are, they temporarily pause, rather than generate bizarre numbers. Inaccurate numbers are frustrating, but become doubly frustrating when they influence your maximum and average heart rate.
After a few weeks of basic operation, I decided to step things up by programming my User Profile into the cateye. It asks you lots of personal questions - age, weight, sex, and number of hours you exercise each week. With this more specific information, the cateye is better able to calculate each user’s target heart rate zones, calories burned, and the % of calories burned as fat. It’s very obvious that cateye considered novice athletes even when designing the advanced features. When you set up your User Profile, you can choose from walking, running, or cycling as workout activities. Additionally, when calculating your activity score, only 2 hours per week is described as “medium”. More than 2 hours of exercise each week is considered high for the intended user of this product.
Honestly, I took 10 minutes to program the cateye with my specific user profile, but I never found the need to use it. All of this information is interesting and great to have, but I’m just not in the habit of using it. Luckily, this heart rate monitor has a memory function and you can review your last workout, hours of days later, just by pushing the memory button.
There are lots of heart rate monitors available. Some cost hundreds of dollars and have features that interface with your home computer. There are a couple of heart rate monitors that are less expensive than the cateye, but with fewer features. With the HR10, it seems that cateye has tried to create an inexpensive heart rate monitor with wide appeal. It’s easy to use and can be used for many different types of sports (except swimming). With all of its emphasis on calorie burning and fat burning the cateye would also be a good tool for someone who has a goal to lose weight and become more fit. For folks who just enjoy gadgets, the cateye would make a fun wristwatch. This would make a good heart rate monitor for someone who has never had one before. It also might make a good gift.
At the end of the 30 days, I finally decided to give the cateye back. It was fun to use and it made me learn a few things about my workout, but I’m just not a heart rate monitor kind of guy. It’s not my style.
|CatEye MSC-HR10 Heartrate Monitor: Cat Eye MSC-HR10 Heart Rate Monitor features modes such as stop watch, total exercise time, calories including percent of calories burned as fat, current average, and max heart rate. One programmable exercise profile. Backlight display. Current Average and Max heart rate. HR target zone with visual and...|
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