Something you start to get used to when you train a lot, is your training equipment takes a beating. My Schwinn stationary bike still works fine, but its frame has developed creaks and squeaks, while my A-frame mag trainer seems to be getting louder and louder as time goes by as well. Such is life. Nothing stays new forever and my heart rate monitor is not immune to this either. I picked up a Suunto T3 a while back and it’s been on my wrist on many-a-ride since. Banged up, scratched and starting to give me wacky hrt rate readings (is 17 bpm normal?) I decided to look for a replacement.

I went with the new Suunto X3 HR.

The X3 has most of the same functions as the T3, but instead of measuring “Training Effect” it has some neat-o functions like an Altimeter and Barometer so you can track your terrain. This is interesting to me, because spring has sprung, and now back outside I want to be able to track my elevation gains on my rides. Training for a race in the Canadian Rockies when you live in the prairies is tough, so I want any help I can get.

So far the X3 is cool, except that it’s giving me the same problem as the T3 did – it has a hard time picking up on my heart rate. This, for a heart rate monitor, is clearly a pretty key function… Looking down at your wrist mid-ride to see that your hrt rate monitor is blank and that it hasn’t been measuring anything for who knows how long is super frustrating! (insert much muttering here…)

As much as I like the X3, for its functions, its look, and the price, I think it’s going back to the store. I’m going to expand my horizons and try a Polar, or Garmin and see if they are any more effective for me.

If you have any advice on this, let me know.