Over the years I’ve used several different heart rate monitors. Most of them offer the same features, the biggest difference was connectivity. A heart rate monitor is useless unless you can actually see that data, so connectivity is a huge factor.
My frist experience with a heart rate monitor was with a Nike + system. I used the Nike + foot pod and sport band. The heart rate monitor would display on the band and I could later sync the data to the Nike site. One of the befits of this is it was a Polar heart rate monitor, which was comparable with the treadmills at my gym. This was nice because I could see realtime results on the treadmill’s display.
From the Nike system I upgraded to a Polar Bluetooth heart rate monitor. Bluetooth was a game changer for me. Wireless connectivity to various phone apps made the new line of bluetooth heart rate monitors extremely appealing. Because of several different devices that I purchased over the years, I grew a collection of bluetooth heart rate monitors.
Despite my collection of perfectly good monitors, I was intrigued by the Tickr X, so I had to give it a try. The Wahoo Fitness Tickr X takes the heart rate monitor to the next level. Packed full of features this device is much more than just a heart rate monitor.
DUAL BAND TECHNOLOGY
Both ANT+ and BLE capabilities allow for a wireless connection to both smartphones and GPS devices. This is great because you’re future proof. No matter what you will be using for a head unit in the next few years, you’ve got the technology built into the TICKR X.
REAL TIME TRACKING
See workout data while you exercise, including vital metrics such as heart rate and calorie burn. Heart rate data is useless unless you monitor it live, and the Wahoo app give you more feedback other than heart rate. They have a burn and burst mode which makes sure you stay in the correct range based on your fitness level. They have a built in test to make sure you’re zones are setup correctly.
Two LED lights show the TICKR’s device connection (blue) and heart rate detection (red). This is an amazingly useful feature. Most heart rate monitors provide no feedback, making troubleshooting a connection painful. The lights let you know what’s going on with just a glance.
THIRD PARTY APP COMPATIBILITY
Works seamlessly with over 50 apps including Nike+ Running, Runkeeper, Strava, and MapMyFitness. I still prefer to used the Wahoo app and then share my data to other sites. But it’s great to know you can use the TICKR X with just about anything out there.
Measures running form across three dimensions to help you improve your individual form and become a stronger runner. Becoming a strong runner takes time and discipline. The running smoothness visually shows you you’re progress. While you don’t get great realtime feedback you are able to she charts of your movements after your run. This is invaluable for training.
Special mode for tracking speed and distance data while on the treadmill. I’ve been using a foot pod to track my treadmill workouts, and it works well. But it’s so convenient to have this feature built into the heart rate monitor. That means it’s one less thing I have to remember to bring to the gym.
Replaces a traditional footpod by providing stride rate data. It also works on the bike, which means I’m able to monitor my heart rate and cadence while in spin class.
ADDITIONAL RUNNING ANALYTICS
Measures several other indicators of running form including vertical oscillation and ground contact time. If you are a data junkie like me, you’ll find all of this data extremely cool and useful.
Track your heart rate, calorie burn, and workout duration without your phone and auto-sync later – holds up to a 16 hour workout! This is great when you don’t have you’re phone around or you don’t want to carry it. You can sync your workouts later and see you’re results.
Captures your indoor cycling cadence. Additional motion analytics (e.g. laps, reps, other sports) to be added in the future firmware updates! This is so cool, I’m not sure how much I’m actually going to use this feature, but it’s great to know it’s there. This will be added soon, and may have been updated by the time you read this. It will be very interesting to see how this works in practice.
Know your TICKR X is connected and indicates when you add a marker during a phone-free workout. It’s all about the feedback, and this vibration alter lets you know what’s going on. Great feature.
RAPID DOUBLE TAP CONTROL
Without your phone – double tap adds markers for specific points throughout your workout. With your phone – control app functions such as music playback and laps. This is actually a really useful feature. The Wahoo app lets you setup different functions of the double tap based on the current workout. This is really nice because when I’m running I tend to hit the sensor a little more than I expected. I was able to change the feature so I wasn’t skipping songs all the time.
The Tickr X is a little larger than the average heart rate monitor, but not large enough to notice a significant difference. One great feature is the LED lights. Blue to show bluetooth connectivity and red to represent heart rate. These are really useful. There is a also a vibration alert, and double tap feature.
In the time I’ve owned the Tickr X, there have been several firmware upgrade adding new features, and the Wahoo Fitness app continues to improve. Admittedly at times bluetooth can be a little finicky, but when it works it’s smooth and simple.
Given the price, only $99, I don’t see why you would every need to buy another heart rate monitor. The one and only negative I have is that it doesn’t link with the polar frequency that used used by most gym equipment. If I was able to get the data on the treadmill it would be great, but I’m able to see it on my phone or Echo watch which is sufficient.