How to Monitor Heart Rate While Cycling

How to Monitor Heart Rate While Cycling
More and more bicyclists are monitoring their heart rates to achieve more efficient workouts with maximum benefit. You can monitor your heart rate with or without an electronic device.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cycling partner Electronic heart rate monitor Cycling power meter Wireless bike computer Chest monitor
  • Cycling partner
  • Electronic heart rate monitor
  • Cycling power meter
  • Wireless bike computer
  • Chest monitor
Step 1
Try to cycle with a riding partner. That enables you to use the talk test to monitor your heart rate. If you can carry on a conversation, usually that means you need to work harder. If you can only answer yes or no, you likely are within your target heart rate range for cardio conditioning, according to a 2004 University of New Mexico report.
Step 2
Wear an electronic heart rate monitor. You can wear one on your wrist that displays speed, distance and heart rate at the same time. Some monitors are equipped with muscle stimulators that can help with cramp prevention and pain management as you cycle.
Step 3
Purchase a cycling power meter. It attaches to your bike and helps you maintain differing levels of intensity during power rides. According to Saris Cycling Group, a power meter can measure your maximum output during different levels of exertion and monitor your heart rate at the same time.
Step 4
Attach a wireless bike computer to your bike. It can display altitude, distance and time as well as heart rate and speed. Most models come with a backlight for nighttime riding.
Step 5
Put on a chest monitor. It wraps around your chest and gives you heart rate readings as you ride. Some have a wireless function that can sync with some global positioning device models, so that you can see your heart rate on the same screen as your map.

Tips & Warnings

Wearing the proper clothing while cycling can keep you comfortable and help you reach your maximum cycling workout. Lightweight fabrics made of synthetic materials that are designed especially for cyclists can keep you cool and dry on a muggy day. It is also a good idea to carry a light windbreaker in your backpack in case of rain.
A heart rate monitor cannot be trusted to interpret how you feel. If you are experiencing intense fatigue, lightheadedness or nausea, take a break. Seek medical attention if your symptoms do not abate.

Article Written By Eleanor Jewell

Eleanor Jewell started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jewell is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in education and a teacher certification.

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