When it comes to the Peloton bike experience, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to track your stats. There are plenty of parameters, of course, and one of the essential tools is a good heart monitor for the Peloton bike.
What follows is an overview of the requirements, along with a guide to getting the best one for you.
The requirements for a heart monitor with your Peloton bike are simple—the monitor needs to be accurate, and it has to provide real-time monitoring and feedback you can use. There are plenty of heart rate monitors that will help you go far beyond these minimal requirements when it comes to fitness and training, so we’ll look at some of those as well.
So let’s start at the beginning—why not use a Peloton heart monitor for the bike? They do offer one, after all, and you can either have it included when you buy the bike or pay for it separately.
Sounds great, but there’s one problem: Many members of Peloton’s user “community” of over 2.6 million riders don’t particularly like it. The biggest complaints were about inaccurate readings within the first year of using the monitor, and those complaints eventually spawned a host of competitors who were eager to serve Peloton riders, especially after over a million people signed up for the free trial of the Peloton app shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic began.
There were other users, too, who wanted different options with heart monitors. Some were users from the Orange Theory and other similar programs, and they wanted quality heart monitors they could use with the Peloton bike.
They now have plenty of options. Prices start at around $25 and go up accordingly, all the way to several hundred dollars if you want something sophisticated.
As the options grew, Peloton recognized the reality that these competitors are here to stay, and they’ve actually worked to accommodate the preferences of their user community. Peloton’s official position on this is that your heart rate monitor must be ANT+ compatible, and they supply instructions for connecting the monitor and getting it to work correctly.
Now that we’ve given you some background, let’s look at some of the top heart rate monitors for the peloton bike.
Best Heart Rate Monitors For Peloton Bike: Top 8 Reviews
- Garmin Heart Rate Monitor
- Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband
- iGPSPORT HR60 Heart Rate Monitor Sensor Armband
- Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor
- CatEye Strada Digital Heart Rate Sensor Kit
- POLAR H10 Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap
- Powr Labs Heart Rate Monitor Chest Strap
Best Heart Rate Monitors For Peloton Bike:
Few companies have the experience and expertise of Garmin when it comes to designing great heart rate monitors, and the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor is no exception when it comes to quality.
It fits well, it’s easy to adjust while training, and the strap material is soft and very comfortable. You should be able to easily establish a connection, and the performance is solid in getting information to your smart phone.
One of the benefits of this heart rate monitor is that once you’ve established the connection with the bike, it will automatically connect with the bike every time you use it.
The convenience also extends to cleanup. The strap and the main module are easy to deal with—just snap off the heart rate module, and you can wash both items separately.
The connectivity for this device is based on ANT+ 2.4, and the battery life is projected at up to 4.5 years if you use it an hour a day. It uses a standard lithium ion battery. The chief drawback is that you won’t be able to use a Bluetooth with this particular model, so be sure to keep that in mind.
Another Garmin possibility is the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor. It offers most of the same features at a slightly lower price point, so if you’re on a budget be sure to add it to your list.
One last recommendation: If you’re looking for long battery life in a Garmin device, consider the HRM- Dual. It’s simple to set up, works with plenty of fitness apps (think Swift and others), and its very light at 1.9 ounces.
The Schosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor gets consistently high reviews among Peloton users. The big selling point is that it stays accurate even when wet, so if you’re working up a lather on the bike your numbers won’t suddenly drop out on you.
Another thing users love is the accuracy of the measurements. The Scosche Rhythm+ operates by using biometric technology, which means it tracks motion using your blood flow. That will give you the kind of precise results a professional athlete would expect, which may be overkill for some. Still, it’s nice to have the capability.
Despite the sophistication, the Scosche is easy to use. Just wrap it around your arm, and you’ll be good to go.
The basic connectivity includes both ANT+ and Bluetooth SMART, and as you might expect you’ll get a variety of fitness-based connectivity to different apps. These include Run Keeper, Mapmyfitness, Digit, and others.
The connectivity extends to both Android phones and iPhones, and it also plays well with watches, tablets and plenty of other fitness equipment.
In addition to the heart rate, you can also monitor pace, speed and distance when you’re not on the bike, and it will show the number of calories burned, too.
And if you happen to be a fashionista, there are plenty of bright colors available you can use to mix and match with your workout outfits.
Simply put, the iGPSPORT HR60 is built to go the distance. This heart monitor is designed specifically to handle heavy-duty, extended workouts, so if you’re a distance athlete and you love to train, this is the heart monitor for you.
The strap is designed for both indoor and outdoor activities, so if you supplement the Peloton with long outdoor bike rides or running this is a great choice, especially if you’re a fan of the Apple watch.
The heart rate is displayed with an LED zone indicator, which makes viewing easy, especially since the display is multicolored.
The level of compatibility goes the extra mile as well. It includes the requisite ANT+, but you also get Bluetooth 4.0, so this heart monitor comes with dual-band technology to simplify the smart phone connection.
Another design element that goes the distance is the battery. This battery gets up to 20 hours on a single charge, and you’ll get access to apps like Strava, Wahoo, Nike+ Running, Garmin, Swift, and plenty of others, too.
Fitbit is looked at by some as a company that makes utilitarian technology, but the Fitbit Alta HR is an exception to that particular point of view.
It tracks daily steps in addition to the heart rate, and you can use SmartTrack technology can be used to automatically log the specifics of your workout routine.
The Fitbit Alta HR also offers a different level of comfort in that it can track all of this from your wrist. That means no need to deal with cumbersome or uncomfortable chest straps.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this device is that it can also monitor your heart rate in your sleep. It tracks the length of time you’ve been asleep, along with the amount of time you’ve spent in deep or light sleep and REM sleep. There’s an alarm as well, but unfortunately it won’t make coffee for you.
The display is superior as well. It’s a super-bright OLED screen that you just tap to bring up your numbers, and the Altra uses SmartTrack technology to access track logs, tell you how much fat you’re burning, your cardio stats and performance peaks.
The Altra also eliminates the need to take your smart phone when you’re out and about doing fitness activities. It displays all notifications, so you’ll never be out of touch, and the Altra provides activity reminders along with compatibility to multiple devices.
Finally, It’s the slimmest heart monitor mentioned here, so keep that in mind when you’re evaluating convenience.
Wahoo has built its reputation on reliability, and the TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor is one of the company’s showcase devices. It’s definitely a brand name that’s known for accuracy and precision.
If you’re athletic and you workout a lot beyond the Peloton bike, this tracker has a lot to offer to meet those needs as well.
It connects to an extensive number of fitness apps—lover 50, to be exact, and it will also connect to Android devices, Apple devices, watches and so on.
The Wahoo isn’t a pricey tracker, but in spite of that it offers real-time monitoring. You can also use the company’s Wahoo Fitness app along with the other apps, and you can list your results on Sweatproof. Its easy to set up, and using it requires almost no effort at all.
Another Wahoo offering to check out is the TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor, which takes this kind of tracking to the next level. To be specific, it captures both motion and intensity, with the ability to synchronize your workout data after storing it in memory.
It’s just as easy to put on and install as the TICKR, but to synch the data you’ll have to use the app on your smart phone. Once you do you can upload workouts to your favorite training platform, and you can refer once again to that huge list of appropriate fitness apps.
As its name implies, The CatEye—ANT+ Heart Rate Sensor Kit is a unique device in the world of heart monitors. It can connect to any ANT+ cycling computer, and the strap is both soft and adjustable, too.
The data collection capability is what makes this monitor unique. It can flag specific data and categorize it as good or bad, and it can even use that data to forecast a possible illness by raising a red flag on the screen.
The ANT+ capability extends to any ANT System, and the computer capability extends to the cc-GL50 system. It also includes GPS altimeter capability, and the display and backlight are both programmable. Throw in the ability to recharge using USB and four months worth of battery warranty, and there isn’t much that’s lacking here.
There’s also plenty of flexibility when it comes to weight and sizing. This heart monitor checks in at just 3.2 ounces, and it fits two dozen chest sizes.
Polar is an old hand when it comes to making quality heart monitors. The company’s heart monitors have been used in medical settings for years, so adapting to the fitness world has been relatively simple for Polar.
That experience allows the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor to work with many smartwatches and other sports equipment and apps. Think HRM Cardio equipment, along with Strava, Nike, and a host of other apps.
The basic ANT+ is here as well, There’s 5KHz compatibility, too. You can also have two simultaneous Bluetooth connections, which is the ultimate in versatility. In addition, it can be used when rowing, swimming or running, so no matter what else you’re doing the Polar H10 can come along as a companion.
One interesting difference with this heart monitor is the battery. The good news is that it gives you a hundred hours of life, but the downside is that it’s not rechargeable.
The PolarH10 is also durable and waterproof, and it does have an internal memory to store workout info. The quality level tends to make it a little more expensive, but it’s well worth it if what you need is reliability.
The Powr Labs Heart Rate Monitor is yet another device that’s been engineered for reliability, with the usual Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ connectivity.
The signature feature of the Power Labs device is unlimited battery replacement for the first 12 months after you purchase this monitor.
You also get water- and sweat-proof design, and it’s been battle-tested by numerous fitness professionals. That means it’s built to last on multiple levels, so you’ll likely get years of use from it.
The recommended apps include Endomondo Elite HRV, Wahoo and Heart Graph, and you can use plenty of others as well, but you should keep in mind that it’s not compatible with Google Fit.
Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For On A Heart Rate Monitor For Peloton
Type Of Heart Rate Monitor
There are two main types of heart rate monitors—chest strap monitors and those that can be worn on the wrist.
The chest-based models tend to be more accurate, largely because they provide a better fit. Chest strap heart monitors can also provide other information about your heart, depending on the sophistication of the model you’re using.
The one caveat when using a chest strap heart monitor is that you’ll need to make sure the contacts touch your skin. The reward for taking the time to do this, and you’ll be happy about the accuracy and precision you get in return.
Chest strap monitors use two basic kinds of technology: ECG and LED. ECG works by taking your pulse rate, then relaying that information to any connected devices. These devices then perform the final task of calculating and displaying your heart rate.
With LED technology, the light from the LED shines on your skin, and the device monitors the changes in reflected light according to the rate and intensity with which blood fills and drains from your capillaries. It does sound like something from a sci-fi movie, and the name reflects that—it’s called photoplethysmography (PPG).
Now that you understand the basic technology, let’s hone in on the decision process. The biggest choice you’ll need to make when you’re buying a heart rate monitor is the feature set, of course.
Simply put, you need to find the right balance for you. Too many and you’ll be scrambling to keep up with them, and this can also cause you to lose focus on your training. Too few and you’ll be ignoring or missing features that could help you sharpen your training and meet or exceed your goals.
Some of this has to do with how technical you are, too. If you like technology and find it easy to set up and use, go for more features and experiment with them, provided you can afford the extras. If you’re at all tech- phobic, though, you may want to stick to the simpler models described here. They’re not hard to set up, but some people like the tried and true for the fitness routines, including the work they do on the Peloton bike.
Also, if you’re using a smart phone as part of this, you need to look at the connectivity issues to get the highest possible level of precision during your workouts on the Peloton bike.
Bluetooth & ANT+ Compatibility
If you want that kind of accuracy, you need a heart monitor with both Bluetooth and ANT+ capability. This will allow you to take advantage of the better connectivity Bluetooth will give you with your smart phone.
ANT+ offers a different kind of advantage. It can be used to give you frequent updates of your work rate, and it also provides more flexibility when it comes to planning your upcoming workouts.
It’s also important to think about the strap when you go about evaluating heart monitors. This might sound like a silly issue, but you do need comfort, and for many people a strap with a softer fabric is the only way to get it.
Keep in mind that there are several kinds of straps. In addition to the aforementioned chest straps, you can also opt to get a heart rate monitor with a wrist strap. These are generally lighter and easier to put on, and they work by using optical sensors to detect your pulse, which is then relayed to your smartwatch and displayed there.
Wrist strap heart monitors are generally considered slightly less accurate than their chest strap counterparts, but some users value the convenience of using the wrist strap with the Peloton bike.
The fabric in the strap should also be flexible and stretchable. This will allow you to move easily, which is obviously important when you’re working out.
Cleaning and washing also factors into the equation. Having a strap that’s waterproof and can resist sweat can simplify the cleanup process considerably. Carelessness with the cleanup can damage your skin, so this is definitely an area where you need to be prudent.
Water & Sweat Proof
In addition, waterproofing can also be an incredibly valuable feature for your heart rate monitor for a minor technical reason.
Bluetooth and ANT+ both transmit over the 2.4 GHz frequency band, and these signals can easily be absorbed by water or sweat, which can cost you accuracy or cause the signal to drop out completely.
The last item we’ll examine for your Peloton heart rate monitor is pricing. The best way to select the right price for you is to start with a range, then determine what you can get at the upper and lower boundaries of that range.
The good news about pricing is that heart monitors have become affordable consumer commodities to a large extent, so its not hard to get a good one. The quality gets better if you add more bells and whistles, but every single monitor listed here is a quality item that should perform well during your workouts.
One basic kind of differentiation you will need to pay attention to with pricing, however, is the connectivity.
The rule of thumb here is simple: If you want Bluetooth, ANT+ or both, you’ll need to pay more than you would for a standard heart rate monitor, and keep in mind once again that ANT+ is essential if you want to use your heart rate monitor with the Peloton bike.
ANT+ does offer certain advantages over Bluetooth. It can transmit heart rate data to multiple devices at the same time, and it uses less energy that Bluetooth, which can help with battery life over time.
The main edge you get with Bluetooth is its simplicity. It’s easy to connect quickly, but it tends to be loved by those who aren’t tech savvy because just about anyone can connect a Bluetooth device in a matter of seconds.
If you want the advantages of both, get a heart rate monitor with dual connectivity. That way you’ll be able to save and synchronize your data to multiple devices, and you’ll have the simplicity of Bluetooth to rely on as a fallback option. Expect to pay a little bit more if you do this, though.
While we covered a lot of ground in the last section, there are a couple of issues that weren’t mentioned.
Specifically, what do you do if you have problems and the heart monitor doesn’t work?
If the heart rate monitor isn’t turning on, you have several options. Make sure it’s fully compatible with the Peloton bike, then check to ensure it’s fully charged. After that, take a brief dive back into the monitor instruction manual and read the section about how to connect the device. Some heart rate monitors will have
instructions on how to connect the monitor to the Peloton app, so you should brush up on that part to make sure it’s not tripping you up.
If that fails to work, you should verify that the Bluetooth connectivity is working. If it’s showing as operational on the heart rate monitor but you still don’t have a connection, the next step is to disconnect the monitor, then shut down the Bluetooth. After that, you need to perform a sequential restart. Begin with the monitor, then activate the Bluetooth again and see if that solves the problem.
The last resort in this part of the process is to double-check the battery. Every now and then you’ll run into a battery that dies or won’t hold a charge, but the good news is that this is a simple fix with a swap-out replacement.
If this sequence doesn’t work, don’t fret. There are still other options.
You can contact Peloton’s customer service department, and they’ll generally offer advice regardless of the brand, although service has been a bit spotty since Covid-19 hit the fan.
Another way to get information on this is to join Peloton’s Facebook group for the bike. This is a surprisingly helpful tactic; posting there will likely give you a host of possible answers, but be forewarned that the opinions of users about different heart monitors are all over the map.
If you still come up short, try checking with friends and fitness groups. This often leads to tip that will get you started in the right direction.
Online resources beyond Peloton can be tremendously helpful, too. There’s no shortage of fitness threads that will either address your problem directly or offer advice and solutions on a related one, and these can be invaluable. Sometimes finding one of these threads and adding your post will get you the best and most direct answer possible, and you can save a ton of time in the process if you do this.