The latest multifaceted heart rate monitor to land has been badged by Garmin as its pinnacle offering, rolling all its top-end heart rate strap model features into one.
Garmin says that the new HRM-Pro will transmit real-time heart rate data over both ANT+ and Bluetooth, making it easier for users to receive heart rate data on any Garmin device, in online training apps and when using compatible fitness equipment.
This feature alone will be music to the ears of indoor trainer users who currently have to run a ANT+ dongle set up to get a laptop to allow indoor cycling apps, such as Zwift, to function properly, and should do away with any possible data time-lag.
The dual functionality also enables multi-unit data reading, with data visible on a head unit, such as a Wattbike or other piece of gym equipment, and also on a corresponding wearable, such as a Garmin watch. In theory, this should allow for entire multiple machine and activity workout sessions to be recorded and uploaded on to your chosen training platform seamlessly.
Garmin fans will be quick to point out that the Garmin HMR-Dual already provides this level of connection compatibility, the HRM-Pro is multi-sport ready, enabling you to use it off the bike.
Boasting 5ATM water resistance makes it ideal for swimming, with data saved on the HRM-Pro model and then automatically downloaded to a compatible smartwatch for analysis alongside other swimming metrics.
This recording ability of the strap could also make it ideal for other sports where a watch isn't suitable to wear, such as martial arts or team sports. Garmin says that information such as steps, calories, and intensity is stored on the heart rate strap module and then synced with a watch via Garmin Connect.
"While cyclists spend a lot of time on the bike" says Richard Robinson, Garmin head of product UK and Ireland, "the chances are you also participate in another sport or activity on the side. The HRM-Pro enables you to capture the data. If it's a multi-sport activity you can see the live data information, and also save it as one training session or race for post-event analysis.
"The HRM-pro is also Garmin Connect IQ enabled, meaning that you can gain the data required for your specialist sport or monitoring app, such as specific performance metrics, this also future proofs the heart rate monitor for any future compatibility requirements".
The launch of the HRM-Pro coincides with the announcement of the new Garmin Forerunner 754 , which the brand has called its most advanced GPS Smartwatch to date.
The watch has been designed specifically for runners and triathletes looking for detailed training data, on-device workouts, and all the smartwatch features that Garmin Connect IQ apps allow.
"It's likely that out and out cyclists will find all they need in the Garmin HRM-Dual" says Robinson, "as it already has the ability to share data simultaneously on a Garmin head unit and app, such as LiveTracker for remote data visibility or Strava, the bonus of the HMR-Pro is the multi-sport function, which will cover almost any sport or activity.
"So if you dabble, like I do, with other sports such as a triathlon or duathlon, or even the gym, you can get a significant amount of data. Teaming it with the Garmin Forerunner also gives the extra data breakdown, such as running dynamics, including ground contact time, cadence, and stride length."
Garmin says the HRM-Pro features a lightweight heart rate monitoring module and a comfortable strap, and includes a user-replaceable battery, that will last for up to one year. Our previous experience with Garmin heart rate strap battery swaps has proved tricky, and ideally requires the skills of a professional horologist, so probably worth keeping the Christmas cracker screwdriver set just for this annual job. Available now, the HRM-Pro has a suggested retail price of £119.99.
Hannah Bussey is Cycling Weekly’s longest serving Tech writer, having started with the Magazine back in 2011.
She's specialises on the technical side of all things cycling, including Pro Peloton Team kit having covered multiple seasons of the Spring Classics, and Grand Tours for both print and websites. Prior to joining Cycling Weekly, Hannah was a successful road and track racer, competing in UCI races across the world, and has raced in most of Europe, China, Pakistan and New Zealand. For fun, she's ridden LEJoG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, win 24 hour mountain bike race and tackle famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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