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Polar CS200 review

February 14th, 2010 No comments

I recently bought a Cube Sting HPC X0 mountain bike outfitted with a Polar CS200 bike computer. I also bought every available sensor for the computer. So it is capable of showing heart rate, cadence and speed.

Feature wise this bike computer is excellent. It has a patented feature called ownzone, which is pretty cool. This feature guides you through your warm up and determines what the best range of heart rates is to train in. This can change from training to training because of psychological or physical changes in your body. Like not being fully recovered from a previous training, or when you are in the process of catching a cold, or when you’re stressed out.

Every training session is recored when you press start. The recorded data can be transferred to a website owned by polar. You can view your training history on calendars, in graphs and in tables on that website.
Transferring files to the polar website www.polarpersonaltrainer.com to record a personal dairy requires a microphone and a windows computer. There currently is no plugin for OSX to transfer exercise files from the CS200 to polarpersonaltrainer.com. A bit of a disappointment.

My first impressions where pretty bad. I had a few problems with speed dropping out whenever I went above about 30km/h. I moved the speed sensor up the fork to decrease the distance between the computer unit and the speed sensor. This helped, but while in the recommended heart rate range. If the beep signal is enabled and it begins to beep when I’m over the recommended heart range zone while I’m above 30km/h it will still fail to record the speed properly while it is beeping. The solution is to disable the beep and watch your heart rate from time to time. Not the ideal solution, it should work fine with the beep enabled. I can still move the sensor up about 2-3cm, but it’ll be at the rim of my wheel. So I’ll try that and see if that helps.

Overall, I think it’s very useful to exercise with a heart rate monitor. I don’t have a “start too fast” problem any longer. I can maintain a certain heart rate and just keep going for a few hours. The Polar CS200 is a pretty good unit, as long as it works like it should. So a tip while mounting, mount it as high up the fork as you can.