With all the fandom around smartwatches and their fitness capabilities, we tend to glaze over one small but very important detail – the built-in heart rate monitor is just not that good or accurate. This often results in misleading data about their performance. The folks at Wahoo, have the solution, with their TICKR heart rate monitor, a chest strap solution that is the lightest, slimmest and one of the most reliable heart rate monitors on the market.
Essentially TICKR is a heart rate sensor pod that weighs less than 50g attached to an elasticised front securing strap allowing a secure connection and even more secure fit to prevent sliding and shifting while working out, therefore resulting in more accurate data accumulation. TICKR measures vital workout metrics, including heart rate, calorie burn, and workout duration in real-time with the Wahoo Fitness app. It also works seamlessly with over 50 third party apps – including Zwift, The Sufferfest, Peloton for cycling and Runkeeper and MapMyRun for running.
The TICKR solution has some serious longevity too, with a single battery powering up to 500 tracked workouts all the while supporting up to three simultaneous Bluetooth connections and dual band ANT+ connectivity. On top of the IP67 water resistant rating, one thing we really appreciate about this device is the inclusion of LED indicator lights, often left out on their competitor’s options. Two LED lights (one blue, one red) show visual confirmation of the TICKR connection status via Bluetooth and / or ANT+ while the obvious red blinking LED light being used to indicate when heart rate is being read.
After using TICKR this past month during our new COVID regimen, we are pleasantly surprised at not just how easy this device is to use but more importantly how accurate it is. When put head to head against our Apple Watch Series 4 and other similar leading strap based heart monitors, it provided very accurate results based on our output, going toe to toe with Apple’s offering – what some regard as the best wrist based monitor there is on the market. If we were forced to make a judgement call, we would even say that Wahoo has Apple beat at their own game on this one, not just on monitoring heart rate variability but calorie burn too, which speaks measures of its quality.
To sum up, there is no better way to get tangible metrics on your workouts than with a chest-based heart rate monitor. By design, they sit flusher against the skin providing more accuracy than a wrist-based variant ever could. We love the Wahoo app, too, and it has become our go to when checking the progress of our goals on a daily basis. So, if you are serious about your health and training, buy what the professional athletes use and not something that makes grand claims but delivers on only some.
BUY yours here – Wahoo Fitness TICKR Heart Rate Monitor, Stealth Grey