Finally, A Polar Heart Rate Monitors Buyer’s Guide That Doesn’t Suck!

Polar Heart Monitor

There are over 50 Polar brand heart rate monitors and accessories available to satisfy your heart rate training needs.

Picking the one that will perform perfect, suit your needs, be in your price range and look cool is a monumental task.

But don’t worry for another second; This comprehensive Polar Heart Rate Monitors Buyer’s Guide makes doing precise research easy and fast.

The ‘Contents’ below contains links to all the Polar monitors and accessory listings in this guide. You probably already have an idea how much money you want to spend so start by clicking on heading 1, 2 or 3.

Within this guide the listings are organised with each monitor’s
model better above it and model down below it. This makes comparing
similar monitors a cinch.

To find out the best price online simply hover your mouse over the
link provided with each Polar listing.

Update: I have more Polar resources to make your search even easier:

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About This Buyer’s Guide

You will find:

  • 30 Polar watch and add-on gadget reviews.
  • A Glossary list of features.
  • A Frequently Asked Questions section.
  • And all the Polar resource links you could ever need.

Because Polar offers over 50 features across their product line we felt it necessary to research which are the most popular 15 – 20 to keep this guide simple. The surveys we sent out listed all the features on offer by Polar and asked the participant – Important? Yes or No. The features with the most circles ‘Yes’ were considered the deal-breakers.

The 18 most crucial deal-breaker features were found to be (in alphabetical order):

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer (Height above sea-level).
  2. Button-free operation of heart rate monitor (via HeartTouch®)
  3. Calorie expenditure counter (via OwnCal®)
  4. Chest strap with coded transmission (via OwnCode®).
  5. Cycling cadence, speed, distance and pace (via cadence senor and speed sensor).
  6. Data upload to computer (via USB IrDA, FlowLink, DataLink, WindLink, SonicLink or none).
  7. GPS (via G1 and G3 sensors – with optional add-on at least).
  8. Heart rate monitor (With at least: Average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and ability to set target zones).
  9. Pedometer.
  10. Personal heart rate zone limits (via OwnZone®) to avoid overtraining.
  11. Stopwatch (via interval timers, lap recording or in-built stopwatch).
  12. Tell you the incline and decline of your bike rides (via altimeter)
  13. Training data recording/training files (Record and store heart rate and other data in the monitor).
  14. Training diary and load calculator (via Polar software like polarpersonaltrainer.com and Polar Pro Trainer 5 to avoid over and under training).
  15. Training program to optimise training load each and every day (via OwnOptimizer® or STAR Training Program).
  16. User replaceable battery.
  17. VO2max test (via Polar fitness test).
  18. Water resistance (Splash proof, 30m or 50m).

Click Here To See A Full Glossary Of These Features

In addition to the “Feature Spotlight” at those most important features for each watch you will find out:

  • What comes in the box.
  • What the optional add-ons are.
  • What you get extra if you upgrade.
  • What you don’t get if you downgrade.

Organisation Structure

This guide is organised with price being the “high order bit” and Polar series classifications like CS, RS and FT following close behind.

There are 3 price ranges used to group every monitor: $201+, $101 – $200 and $50 – $100. Within each price range the monitors are then organised by series classification with the CS, RS and FT series staying with each-other, respectively.

The monitor listings tell a story. When you read one you get thoughtfully guided to the next best monitor or one model down from the one you are viewing. Hopefully, this helps you easily find and buy the best Polar heart rate monitor for your needs.

How To Pick Your Monitor Now

3 steps:

  1. Pick your price. Although price should not be the ultimate decider for which monitor you get IT IS the easiest way to filter out the one’s you can not afford. And thus, do not need to look at.
  2. Know what features you want. All the monitors below (except FA20) have a heart rate monitor that can output average, maximum and real-time heart rate, and has the ability to at least manually set target heart rate zones. What you need to decide is what extraneous features you need. Check the list ’18 crucial deal-breaker features’ along with the Glossary definitions of each to sort out what you desire.
  3. Know your exercise activity preference. Polar has monitors that suit all types of fitness enthusiasts and athletes. They designate their monitors based on which activity they were designed for (based on what athletes told them). The ‘CS’ is for cycling sport, the ‘RS’ is for running sport and the ‘FT’ is meant for everyone else – the general fitness trainers. Take these designations with a grain of salt. Get the monitor that jumps out at you! If you are a die-hard cyclist then a ‘CS’ will best suit you. Same for runners and the ‘RS’.

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Polar Heart Rate Monitors Buyer’s Guide

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For $201 and Up You Can Get:

CS600X

“For competitive cyclists who want to take their training to its highest level.”

Polar CS600X
  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer? Yes.
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes (With altitude adjustment).
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Cycling speed, distance and pace? Yes.
  5. Data upload to computer? Yes (PC via USB adaptor).
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  7. Daily personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  8. Stopwatch? Yes.
  9. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides. Yes (From altimeter).
  10. Training data recording/training files? Yes. 99 files and able to set resolution to 1s, 5s, 15s and 60s.
  11. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  12. Training program that optimises training load.
  13. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  14. VO2max test? Yes.
  15. Water resistance? Yes. Splash proof.

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • CS600x cycling computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • Speed sensor W.I.N.D.
  • CS bike mount.
  • USB adaptor.
  • Polar pro trainer 5 CD.
  • 2 user manuals: Speed sensor and cycling computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • GPS.
  • Cycling cadence.
  • Power output sensor.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. GPS (Optional add-on).
  2. HeartTouch button-free operation.
  3. Pedometer.

If You Upgrade One Model (We’ll consider RS800CX one model up):

[Extra expenditure: At least $100]

You will get a wrist watch cycling computer, running computer and multisport heart rate monitor all-in-one. Including the ability to get the HRM ‘out of the box’ with G5 GPS and or S3+ stride sensor.

You will get full 50m water resistance and a training program to optimise your training load.

The CS600X is the most advanced cycling computer Polar offers. So if you decide to get the RS800CX makes sure it is because you want a versatile multisport monitor not because you want a better cycling computer (cause your not getting one).

Click Here To Jump To The RS800CX Listing

If You Go One Model Down (To the CS500 and CS500LE):

[Savings: -$50. The CS500 and CS500LE models come with a cadence sensor W.I.N.D. and are thus about dearer.]

The ability to upgrade to GPS is not supported in the CS500 and LE.

You will also lose the features:

  • Data upload via IrDA USB adaptor (CS500 and LE use add-on DataLink).
  • VO2max fitness test.

Liking The Polar CS600X?

Click Here For Best Price Online (With Power Sensor Click Here)

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CS500 Limited Edition Tour de France

“For aspiring Lance Armstrongs.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 13/18 most crucial features):

Polar CS500 Tour de France
  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer? Yes.
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes (With altitude adjustment).
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Cycling cadence, speed, distance and pace? Yes.
  5. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via add-on DataLink).
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  7. Daily personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  8. Stopwatch? Yes.
  9. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides? Yes (From altimeter).
  10. Training data recording? Yes. 30 files without resolution settings.
  11. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  12. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  13. Water resistance? Yes. Splash proof (Immersion up to 1m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • CS500 limited edition tour de france cycling computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • Speed sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Cadence sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Dual lock bike mount.
  • 3 user manuals: Cadence sensor, speed sensor and cycling computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • Computer Datalink.
  • Power output sensor.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. HeartTouch button-free operation.
  2. GPS .
  3. Pedometer.
  4. Training program that optimises training load.
  5. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the CS600X):

[Extra expenditure: -$50. You actually save $50 if you upgrade to the CS600X. The reason is the Tour de France model is a limited edition and comes with cadence sensor W.I.N.D.]

You will gain the features:

  • GPS (via add-on).
  • VO2max fitness test.

If You Go One Model Down (To the CS300):

[Savings: $160]

You will lose the features:

  • Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  • Cadence sensor ‘in the box.’
  • Data upload via DataLink (CS300 uses SonicLink).
  • Dual lock bike mount (CS300 uses universal bike mount).
  • Lap times via stopwatch.
  • Tell you the incline and decline of your rides.
  • Have less training data files (14 instead of 30 or 99).
  • W.I.N.D. compatibility.

However, the CS300 sports 50m water resistance, the VO2max fitness test, button free operation and like said above is $160 cheaper. Click Here To Jump To The CS300 Listing

Liking the Polar CS500 Limited Edition Tour de France?

Click Here For Best Price Online

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CS500

Polar CS500

“For seriously advanced cycling enthusiasts.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 13/18 most crucial features):

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer? Yes.
  2. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides. Yes (From altimeter).
  3. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes (With altitude adjustment).
  4. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  5. Cycling cadence, speed, distance and pace? Yes.
  6. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via add-on DataLink).
  7. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  8. Daily personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  9. Stopwatch? Yes.
  10. Training data recording/training files? Yes. 99 files and able to set resolution to 1s, 5s, 15s and 60s.
  11. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  12. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  13. Water resistance? Yes. Splash proof (Immersion up to 1m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • CS500 cycling computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • Speed sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Cadence sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Dual lock bike mount.
  • 3 user manuals: Cadence sensor, speed sensor and cycling computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • Computer Datalink.
  • Power output sensor.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. HeartTouch button-free operation.
  2. GPS .
  3. Pedometer.
  4. Training program that optimises training load.
  5. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade (To the CS600x):

[Extra expenditure: -$50. You actually save $50 if you upgrade to the CS600X. The reason is the Tour de France model is a limited edition and comes with cadence sensor W.I.N.D.]

You will gain the features:

  • GPS (via add-on).
  • VO2max fitness test.

If You Go One Model Down (To the CS300):

[Savings: $160]

You will lose the features:

  • Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  • Cadence sensor ‘in the box.’
  • Data upload via DataLink (CS300 uses SonicLink).
  • Dual lock bike mount (CS300 uses universal bike mount).
  • Lap times via stopwatch.
  • Tell you the incline and decline of your rides.
  • Have less training data files (14 instead of 30 or 99).
  • W.I.N.D. compatibility.

However, the CS300 sports 50m water resistance, the VO2max fitness test, button free operation and like said above is $160 cheaper. Click Here To Jump To The CS300 Listing

What Is Different Between CS500LE and CS500?

The color. The CS500 is 2g heavier. The CS500LE has less data files and no ability to set data recording resolution. They are both the same price.

Liking The Polar CS500?

Click Here For Best Price Online

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RS800CX

Polar RS800CX

“For multisport advanced athletes who require great detail from their their heart rate training information.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 17/18 most crucial features):

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer? Yes.
  2. Button-free operation. Yes (via HeartTouch).
  3. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides. Yes (From altimeter).
  4. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes (With altitude adjustment).
  5. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  6. Cycling speed, distance and pace? Yes. (Get link for these versions)
  7. Data upload to computer? Yes (PC via USB adaptor).
  8. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed (for each lap and for training session), and Automatic set target heart rate zones
  9. GPS. Yes (You can choose that option ‘out of box’).
  10. Daily personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  11. Stopwatch? Yes (via interval timers).
  12. Training data recording/training files? Yes (99 files and able to set resolution to 1s, 5s, 15s and 60s).
  13. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  14. Training program that optimises training load.
  15. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  16. VO2max test? Yes.
  17. Water resistance? Yes. 50m.

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

Out of box versions:

Stock

  • RS800CX training computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • USB Adaptor.
  • Polar pro trainer 5 CD.
  • User manuals: cycling computer.
  • RS800CX training computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • USB Adaptor.
  • Cadence and speed sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Universal bike mount
  • Polar pro trainer 5 CD.
  • User manuals: Speed sensor and training computer.
  • RS800CX training computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • G3 GPS.
  • USB Adaptor.
  • Polar pro trainer 5 CD.
  • User manuals: GPS sensor and training computer.
  • RS800CX training computer.
  • W.I.N.D. Chest strap.
  • S3 stride sensor.
  • USB Adaptor.
  • Polar pro trainer 5 CD.
  • User manuals: Stride sensor and training computer.

Optional Add-ons (To base model):

  • G3 and G5 GPS.
  • S3+ stride sensor.
  • Speed sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Cadence sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Universal bike mount.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Pedometer

If You Upgrade One Model:

This is the best Polar has, sorry no upgrade available.

If You Go One Model Down (To the RS400 for running HRMs) :

[Savings: $140]

You will lose the features:

  • Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  • Ability to have cycling cadence and speed.
  • GPS.
  • Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).

Liking The Stock Polar RS800CX?

Click Here For Best Price Online

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RS400

Polar RS400

“For purely endurance athletes and runners who have demanding heart rate training needs.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 13/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Data upload to computer? Yes (PC via USB adaptor).
  5. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and  Automatic set target heart rate zones).
  6. Personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  7. Stopwatch? Yes (via interval timers).
  8. Training data recording? Yes (99 files).
  9. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  10. Training program that optimises training load? Yes.
  11. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  12. VO2max? Yes.
  13. Water resistance? Yes (50m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • RS400 training computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • USB adaptor (Comes free).
  • Polar pro trainer 5 CD.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • S1 foot pod.
  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as a bike computer).
  3. GPS (No GPS add-on available for this watch).
  4. Pedometer.
  5. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).

If You Upgrade (To the RS800CX):

[Extra expenditure: $140]

You will gain the features:

  • Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  • Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as a bike computer).
  • GPS.
  • Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).

If You Go One Model Down (We’ll call RS300X one model down):

[Savings: About $100 depending on if you get it with GPS or foot pod.]

You will lose the features:

  • Training program to optimise training load.
  • Polar Pro Trainer 5 CD.
  • USB adaptor data transfer.
  • User replaceable battery.

Click Here To Jump To The RS300X Listing

Liking The Polar RS400?

Click Here For Best Price Online

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FT80

Polar FT80

“For strength and fitness training enthusiasts looking for the ultimate heart rate training coach.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 14/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via FlowLink).
  5. GPS? Yes (via add-on)
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and Automatic age-based target heart rate zones and ability to set manual HR zones).
  7. Personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  8. Stopwatch? Yes.
  9. Training data recording? Yes (100 files/workouts).
  10. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  11. Training program that optimises training load? Yes (via STAR training program).
  12. User replaceable battery. Yes.
  13. VO2max fitness test? Yes.
  14. Water resistance? Yes (50m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • FT80 training computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • FlowLink for data transfer to Mac and PC.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • G1 GPS.
  • S1 foot pod.
  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.
  • Universal bike mount.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as a bike computer – see CS series).
  3. Pedometer.
  4. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).

If You Upgrade One Model (RS800CX is the most suited upgrade for this watch):

[Extra expenditure: $130]

You will gain the features:

  • Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  • Cycling cadence, speed, distance and pace.
  • Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (Using altimeter).
  • Ability to upgrade to: G3 and G5 GPS, S3+ stride sensor, speed sensor W.I.N.D. and cadence sensor W.I.N.D.
  • Calorie expenditure counter with altitude adjustment
  • Data transfer with USB IrDA.
  • Data recording option to set resolution to 1s, 5s, 15s and 60s.

Click Here To Jump To The RS800CX Listing

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT60):

[Savings: $30]

You will lose the features:

  • Stopwatch.
  • FlowLink (incl.) for data transfer to Mac and PC.

Liking The Polar FT80?

Click Here For Best Price Online

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For $101 to $200 You Can Get:

FT60

Polar FT60

“For exercising enthusiasts who really want some guidance and feedback on their training intensity and duration.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 13/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch)
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via add-on FlowLink).
  5. GPS? Yes (via add-on).
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and Automatic age-based target heart rate zones and ability to set manual HR zones).
  7. Personal heart rate zone limits? Yes (via OwnZone)
  8. Training data recording? Yes (100 files/workouts).
  9. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  10. Training program that optimises training load? Yes (via STAR Training Program).
  11. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  12. VO2max fitness test? Yes.
  13. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What’s Comes In The Box?

  • FT60 training computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • FlowLink for data transfer.
  • G1 GPS.
  • S1 foot pod.
  • Universal bike mount.
  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  3. Pedometer.
  4. Stopwatch.
  5. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).

If You Upgrade (To the FT80):

[Extra expenditure: $80]

You will gain the features:

  • Stopwatch.
  • FlowLink (incl.) for data transfer to Mac and PC.

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT40):

[Savings: $35]

You will lose the features:

  • GPS (via optional add-on).
  • Personal heart rate zone limits (via OwnZone).
  • Training program that optimises training load (via STAR training program).
  • Automatic age-based target heart rate zones.

Liking The Polar FT60?

Click Here For Best Price Online (Women Click Here)   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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FT40

Polar FT40

“For committed and active exercisers who want the upper edge that heart rate based training gives.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 10/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission. Yes.
  4. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via add-on FlowLink).
  5. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and ability to MANUALLY set target heart rate zones).
  6. Training data recording? Yes (50 files/workouts).
  7. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  8. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  9. VO2max fitness test? Yes.
  10. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What’s Comes In The Box?

  • FT40 training computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • FlowLink for data transfer.
  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  3. GPS.
  4. Pedometer.
  5. Personal heart rate zone limits.
  6. Stopwatch.
  7. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  8. Training program that optimises training load.

If You Upgrade (To The FT60):

[Extra expenditure: $35]

You will gain the features:

  • GPS (via optional add-on).
  • Personal heart rate zone limits (via OwnZone).
  • Training program that optimises training load (via STAR training program).
  • Automatic age-based target heart rate zones.

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT7):

[Savings: $35]

You will lose the features:

  • VO2max fitness test.

Click Here To Jump To The FT7 Listing

Liking The Polar FT40?

Click Here For Best Price Online (Women Click Here – White version)   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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RS300x

Polar RS300X

“For you if you enjoy playing recreational sports and doing exercise with an HRM that sports all essential heart rate and timing features.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 12/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via add-on FlowLink).
  5. GPS? Yes (via GPS version or add-on).
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  7. Personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  8. Stopwatch? Yes (via interval timers and auto lap recording).
  9. Training data recording? Yes (16 files/workouts).
  10. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  11. VO2max fitness test? Yes.
  12. Water resistance? Yes (50m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

Out of box versions:

Stock Orange Color

  • RS300X training computer.
  • WearLink Chest strap.
  • User manuals: training computer.
  • RS300X training computer.
  • WearLink Chest strap.
  • G1 GPS.
  • User manuals: GPS sensor and training computer.
  • RS300CX training computer.
  • WearLink Chest strap.
  • S1 foot pod.
  • User manuals: Foot pod and training computer.

Optional Add-ons (To base model):

  • FlowLink for data transfer.
  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.
  • G1 GPS (See Multi GPS ‘out of box’ version above).
  • S1 foot pod (See RUN ‘out of box’ version above).

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  3. Pedometer
  4. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  5. Training program that optimises training load.
  6. User replaceable battery.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the RS400):

[Extra expenditure: $105 for stock models]

You will gain the features:

  • Training program to optimise training load.
  • Polar Pro Trainer 5 CD.
  • USB adaptor data transfer.
  • User replaceable battery.
However, if you upgrade to the RS400 you will lose the ability to add-on GPS.

Click Here To Jump To The RS400 Listing

 

If You Go One Model Down (To the RS100 for running HRMs) :

[Savings: $30]

You will lose the features:

  • Ability to have S1 foot pod for running.
  • Ability to have G1 GPS.
  • Data upload (Mac and PC via add-on FlowLink).
  • More data recording (16 vs 1).
  • Training diary and load calculator (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  • VO2max fitness test.

Click Here To Jump To The RS100 Listing

Liking The RS300X?

Click Here For Best Price Online (Orange, With G1 GPS Sensor, With S1 Foot Pod)   |   Click Here Full Review

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CS300

Polar CS300

“For cyclists who want to wear their bike computer on their wrist.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 11/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Cycling speed, distance and pace? Yes.
  5. Data upload to computer? Yes (PC via SonicLink).
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  7. Daily personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  8. Training data recording? Yes (14 training files).
  9. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  10. VO2max fitness test? Yes.
  11. Water resistance? Yes (50m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • CS300 cycling computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • CS speed sensor
  • Universal bike mount.
  • User manuals: Speed sensor and bike computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • CS cadence sensor

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. GPS.
  3. Pedometer (Step counter).
  4. Stopwatch.
  5. Tell you the incline and decline of your bike rides (No altimeter).
  6. Training program that optimises training load.
  7. User replaceable battery.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the CS500 series):

[Extra expenditure: $160 ]

The model up CS500 and CS500LE come with cadence sensors and have an altimeter to tell you the incline and decline of your bike rides. They have user replaceable batteries and lap and interval abilities via their stopwatches.

However, they do not have the VO2max fitness test and the CS300 does.

Click Here To Jump To The CS500 Series Listing

If You Go One Model Down (To the CS200cad):

[Savings: $0. The CS300 and CS200cad are nearly the same price]

But, you will lose the features:

  • VO2max fitness test.
  • Water resistant to 50m.
  • ‘Wrist watch’ style bike computer.
However, the CS200cad comes stock with a CS cadence sensor, has a user replaceable battery and a lap stopwatch timer.

Liking The Polar CS300?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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CS200cad

Polar CS200cad

“For intermediate but serious cyclists looking to track fitness improvements.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 12/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes.(via HeartTouch)
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Cycling cadence, speed, distance and pace? Yes.
  5. Data upload to computer? Yes (PC via SonicLink).
  6. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  7. Daily personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  8. Stopwatch? Yes (Well sort of via the automatic lap recording).
  9. Training data recording? Yes (7 data recording training files).
  10. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  11. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  12. Water resistance? Yes (Splash proof).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • CS200 cycling computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • CS speed sensor.
  • CS cadence sensor.
  • Twist lock bike mount.
  • 3 user manuals: Cadence sensor, speed sensor and cycling computer.
Optional Add-ons:
  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer
  2. GPS
  3. Pedometer (Step counter).
  4. Tell you the incline and decline of your bike rides (No altimeter).
  5. Training program that optimises training load.
  6. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade One Model (To CS300):

[Extra expenditure: $0. CS300 and CS200cad are nearly the same price]

Because the CS200cad comes with a CS cadence sensor it is the same price as the CS300.

The CS300 has VO2max fitness test, is water resistant to 50m (this one is only splash proof) and  is a wrist watch (making it more multi-purpose) but does not have a user replaceable battery or come stock with a CS cadence sensor.

How important to you is having a wrist watch bike computer and the VO2max fitness test?

If You Go One Model Down (To CS100):

[Savings: $40]

You will lose the features:

  • Data upload to computer.
  • CS cadence sensor ‘in the box.’
  • Lose 6 training data recording files (Will only get 1).
  • Training diary and load calculator.
  • WearLink chest strap (You get T31 strap isntead).

Liking The Polar CS200cad?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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CS100

Polar CS100

“For heart rate training enthusiasts that get their best kick from cycling.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 10/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation. Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter. Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission. Yes.
  4. Cycling speed, pace and distance. Yes.
  5. Heart rate monitor. Yes.
  6. Personal heart rate zone limits. Yes.
  7. Stopwatch. Yes (Well sort of via the automatic lap recording).
  8. Training data recording. Yes (1 training file).
  9. User replaceable battery. Yes.
  10. Water resistance. Yes (Splash proof).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • CS100 bike computer.
  • T31 coded chest strap.
  • CS speed sensor.
  • Twist lock bike mount.
  • 2 user manuals: Speed sensor and cycling computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • CS cadence sensor.
  • WearLink Nike+ transmitter.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Data upload to computer.
  3. GPS.
  4. Pedometer (Step counter).
  5. Tell you the incline and decline of your bike rides (No altimeter).
  6. Training diary and load calculator (No way to transfer data to computer).
  7. Training program that optimises training load.
  8. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the CS200cad):

[Extra expenditure: $40]

You will gain the features:

  • Data upload to computer.
  • CS cadence sensor ‘in the box.’
  • Gain 6 training data recording files (Will get 7).
  • Training diary and load calculator.
  • WearLink chest strap (Instead of T31 strap).

If You Go One Model Down:

At $99 this is the cheapest cycling computer Polar offers.

You can take at look at the FT7, RS100, FT4, FT2, FA20 and FT1 if you are on a really tight budget.

Liking The Polar CS100?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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For $51 to $100 You Can Get:

RS100

Polar RS100

“For you if you are just getting started heart rate training but want some cool heart rate and timing features.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 8/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Heart rate monitor? Yes.
  5. Personal heart rate zone limits? Yes.
  6. Stopwatch? Yes (via lap timer).
  7. Training data recording? Yes (1 file/workout).
  8. Water resistance? Yes (50m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • RS100 training computer.
  • WearLink Chest strap.
  • User manuals: training computer.

Optional Add-ons (To base model):

  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  3. Data upload to computer .
  4. GPS.
  5. Pedometer
  6. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  7. Training diary and load calculator.
  8. Training program that optimises training load.
  9. User replaceable battery.
  10. VO2max fitness test

If You Upgrade One Model (To the RS300X):

[Extra expenditure: $30]

You will gain the features:

  • Ability to have S1 foot pod for running.
  • Ability to have G1 GPS.
  • Data upload (Mac and PC via add-on FlowLink).
  • More data recording (16 vs 1).
  • Training diary and load calculator (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  • VO2max fitness test.

Click Here To Jump To The RS300X Listing

If You Go One Model Down (By switching to the ‘F’ series FT7 ) :

[Savings: $0]

You will lose the features:

  • Stopwatch.
However the FT7 also has data upload to computer, training diary and load calculator via polarpersonaltrainer.com and user replaceable battery. So I guess you could say it is less of a downgrade and more of just a trade-off.

Liking The Polar RS100?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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FA20 (Not A HRM)

Polar FA20

 

“For accurately measuring the health and fitness benefits of your daily activities.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 7/18 most crucial features):

  1. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  2. Data upload to computer? Yes (Mac and PC via add-on FlowLink).
  3. Pedometer (Step counter)? Yes (Active steps, time and trend and 24/7 activity measurement).
  4. Training data recording? Yes (100 files/workouts).
  5. Training diary and load calculator? Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  6. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  7. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What’s Comes In The Box?

  • FA20 ACTIVITY computer.
  • User manual: Activity computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. No Heart Rate Monitor (FA20 is a steps based activity training computer).
  2. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  3. Button-free operation.
  4. Chest strap with coded transmission (No HRM means no chest strap required).
  5. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  6. GPS.
  7. Personal heart rate zone limits.
  8. Stopwatch.
  9. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  10. Training program that optimises training load.
  11. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade (We’ll call FT40 the upgrade watch):

[Extra expenditure: $35]

You will gain the features:

  • Heart rate monitor.
  • Button free operation.
  • Chest strap with coded transmission.
  • Vo2max fitness test.

Click Here To Jump To The FT40 Listing

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT7):

[Savings: $15]

It is impossible to usefully compare FA20 and FT7 because FA20 does not have a HRM and FT7 does not have a pedometer.

Liking The Polar FA20?

Click Here For Best Price Online (Men Click Here)

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FT7

Polar FT7

“For you if you want to know and track more HR data than a basic entry level monitor can offer.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 9/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Data upload to computer? Yes (PC and Mac via add-on FlowLink).
  5. Heart rate monitor.(With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and ability to MANUALLY set target heart rate zones).
  6. Training data recording? Yes (99 files/workouts).
  7. Training diary and load calculator. Yes (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  8. User replaceable battery. Yes.
  9. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What’s Comes In The Box?

  • FT7 training computer.
  • WearLink chest strap.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap
  • FlowLink for data transfer.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  3. GPS.
  4. Pedometer.
  5. Personal heart rate zone limits.
  6. Stopwatch.
  7. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  8. Training program that optimises training load.
  9. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade (To The FT40):

[Extra expenditure: $35]

I am skipping FA20 as an upgrade from this because it does not have a HRM (just a pedometer).

You will gain the features:

  • VO2max fitness test.

Click Here To Jump To The FT40 Listing

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT4):

[Savings: $15]

You will lose the features:

  • Data upload to computer (PC and Mac via add-on FlowLink).
  • Training diary and load calculator (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  • 89 data recording files (99 vs 10).
  • WearLink chest strap (FT4 has lower model T31 chest strap).

Liking The Polar FT7?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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FT4

Polar FT4

“For you if you want basic heart rate features as well as a calories burned counter.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 7/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Calorie expenditure counter? Yes.
  3. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  4. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and Automatic age-based target heart rate zones and ability to set manual HR zones).
  5. Training data recording? Yes (10 files/workouts).
  6. User replaceable battery? Yes.
  7. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • FT4 training computer.
  • T31 coded chest strap.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap
  • WearLink chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series)
  3. Data upload to computer.
  4. GPS.
  5. Pedometer (Step counter).
  6. Personal heart rate zone limits.
  7. Stopwatch.
  8. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  9. Training diary and load calculator.
  10. Training program that optimises training load.
  11. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the FT7):

[Extra expenditure: $15]

You will gain the features:

  • Data upload to computer (PC and Mac via add-on FlowLink).
  • Training diary and load calculator (via polarpersonaltrainer.com).
  • 89 data recording files (10 vs 99).
  • WearLink chest strap (WearLink chest strap is better than T31).

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT2):

[Savings: -$15. FT2 is more expensive than FT4]

Spend $15 more and still you will lose the features:

  • Calorie expenditure counter.
  • Will lose 9 training files (10 vs 1).
  • User replaceable battery.

Why is the FT2 more expensive then?

In terms of features there is nothing the FT2 has that the FT4 does not. The seller has just made it more expensive for no real reason that can be explained.

Liking The Polar FT4?

Click Here For Best Price Online (Men Click Here)   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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FT2

Polar FT2

“For most anyone that exercises and wants to improve their fitness with heart rate based training.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 5/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Chest strap with coded transmission. Yes.
  3. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and Automatic age-based target heart rate zones and ability to set manual HR zones).
  4. Training data recording? Yes (1 file/workout).
  5. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • FT2 training computer.
  • T31 coded chest strap.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap
  • WearLink chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Calorie expenditure counter.
  3. Cycling cadence and speed (Not designed as bike computer – see CS series).
  4. Data upload to computer .
  5. GPS.
  6. Pedometer (Step counter).
  7. Personal heart rate zone limits
  8. Stopwatch.
  9. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter).
  10. Training diary and load calculator.
  11. Training program that optimises training load.
  12. User replaceable battery.
  13. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the FT4):

[Extra expenditure: -$15. FT2 is more expensive than FT4]

Not only save $15 but also gain these features:

  • Calorie expenditure counter.
  • 9 more training files (1 vs 10).
  • User replaceable battery.

If You Go One Model Down (To the FT1):

[Savings: $20]

FT1 and FT2 are the exact same except you will lose the feature (if you go to FT1):

  • Automatic age-based target heart rate zones.

Liking The Polar FT2?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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FT1

Polar FT1

“For anyone who wants a solid bit of gear for their first step into heart rate training.”

Feature Spotlight (Has 5/18 most crucial features):

  1. Button-free operation? Yes (via HeartTouch).
  2. Chest strap with coded transmission? Yes.
  3. Heart rate monitor? Yes (With average, maximum and real-time heart rate displayed, and ability to MANUALLY set target heart rate zones).
  4. Training data recording? Yes (1 file/workout).
  5. Water resistance? Yes (30m).

[Glossary]

What Comes In The Box?

  • FT1 training computer.
  • T31 coded chest strap.
  • User manual: Training computer.

Optional Add-ons:

  • WearLink Nike+ chest strap
  • WearLink chest strap.

What You Don’t Get:

  1. Altimeter, barometer and thermometer.
  2. Calorie expenditure counter.
  3. Cycling cadence and speed.
  4. Data upload to computer .
  5. GPS.
  6. Pedometer (Step counter).
  7. Personal heart rate zone limits.
  8. Stopwatch.
  9. Tell you the incline and decline of your rides (No altimeter and not meant to be bike computer).
  10. Training diary and load calculator.
  11. Training program that optimises training load.
  12. User replaceable battery.
  13. VO2max fitness test.

If You Upgrade One Model (To the FT2):

[Extra expenditure: $20]

You will gain the features:

  • Automatic age-based target heart rate zones.

If You Go One Model Down:

Not possible because the FT1 is the entry level Polar heart rate monitor.

Liking The Polar FT1?

Click Here For Best Price Online   |   Click Here For My Full Review

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Polar Accessories and Add-ons

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Chest Straps

Polar WearLink Chest Strap

Just in case you are unhappy with the chest strap that accompanies your HRM, Polar has a wide range of different heart rate sensors:

  • WearLink Nike+ (Compatible: FT80, FT60, FT40, FT7, FT4, FT2, FT1, CS300, CS200cad, CS100, RS400, RS300X, RS100).

For seamlessly integrating your heart rate information with nikeplus.com fitness training web service through comptable input devices like iPod Nano 6th and 5th generation (Click Here For Best Price Online: 16GB nano 6th gen, 8GB nano 5th gen).

Links directly with your mobile device if you have one of those mobile apps.

When you combine the bluetooth chest strap with one of those mobile apps you can seamlessly record your hearts signal to your mobile device. And later, you can go and have a closer look on the apps website base.

The hybrid has the ability to talk with the Polar watch with 2.4GHZ transmission as well as 5kHZ signal. This ensures the chest strap is always communicating with your chest strap with the most affective transmission wavelength.

  • WearLink . (Compatible: CS500, CS500LE, CS600x, RS800CX).

Polar’s W.I.N.D. technology uses an advanced signal to give you piece of mind when exercising seriously. If you  need more confidence in your chest strap to watch connection this is the most advanced option with compatibility.

  • T31c Coded Transmitter (Compatible: FT80, FT60, FT40, FT7, FT4, FT2, FT1, CS300, CS200cad, CS100, RS400, RS300X).

The baseline coded chest strap prevents possible interfering signals from disrupting your watch to chest strap connection.

  • T31 Non-coded Transmitter. (Compatible: FT80, FT60, FT40, FT7, FT4, FT2, FT1, CS300, CS200cad, CS100, RS400, RS300X, RS100)

The non-coded transmitter does not have as high reliability as the other chest strap models, but it still does the job. If you exercise out on the trails then you are someone who wouldn’t drastically benefit from having a coded transmission.

Regardless of the chest strap name, all have an embedded electrode that picks up your heart’s electrical signal and transmits that with a (depending on model you choose) coded 5kHz and 2.4GHz signal to your wrist watch or cycling computer. A coded signal, I believe, is crucial because you definitely do not want your HRM to cut out during training.

Things to look for in a chest strap are: User replaceable battery, coded transmission and made from textile so you can wash the stinky bugger.

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Sports Bra With Built In HR Sensing

Polar Women's Sports Bra

See the little buttons on the sports bra?

Well, that’s where you can attach the WearLink transmitter to instead of wearing the chest strap. The different WearLink transmitters can be viewed from the Chest Straps section above.

The Downside:

Only women need sports bras – where is the guy’s version?

The Upside:

If you wear this polyester/spandex combo sports bra with WearLink attached to the supplied buttons then you will never have to wear a chest strap again.

This is the future folks. I’m keeping an eye out for men’s clothes with built in HR technology.

Check Here For Best Price Online

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Add-ons For Cycling

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Speed Sensor W.I.N.D.

Polar Speed Sensor WIND

With the W.I.N.D. speed sensor you can accurately measure your current, average and maximum speeds.

The Wireless Interface Network Device (W.I.N.D) speed sensor pictured right sports the latest Polar transmission technology. It has more reliable connectivity with the HRM than the CS series speed sensor.

It is a must have for serious cyclists owning the CS600X or CS500LE.

It attaches to the forks of your bike and uses a magnet attached to your wheel spokes to calculate and store your training values.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Cadence Sensor W.I.N.D.

Polar Cadence Sensor WINDWith the W.I.N.D. cadence sensor you can accurately measure your average and real time pedaling rate in revs/minute.

The Wireless Interface Network Device (W.I.N.D) cadence sensor pictured right sports the latest Polar transmission technology. It has more reliable connectivity with the HRM than the CS series cadence sensor.

It is a must have for serious cyclists owning the CS600X, CS500LE or RS800CX.

It attaches to the forks of your bike and uses a magnet attached to your wheel spokes to calculate and store your training values.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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CS Series Cadence Sensor

Polar CS Series Cadence Sensor

With the CS cadence sensor you can accurately measure your average and real time pedaling rate in revs/minute.

The cadence sensor pictured right does not sport the latest Polar transmission technology – W.I.N.D.

But it is half the price.

It is a must have for cyclists owning the CS300, CS200cad or CS100.

It attaches to the forks of your bike and uses a magnet attached to your wheel spokes to calculate and store your training values.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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CS Series Speed Sensor

Polar CS Series Speed Sensor

With the CS speed sensor you can accurately measure your current, average and maximum speeds.

The speed sensor pictured right does not sport the latest Polar transmission technology – W.I.N.D.

But it is half the price.

It is a must have for cyclists owning the CS300, CS200cad or CS100.

It attaches to the forks of your bike and uses a magnet attached to your wheel spokes to calculate and store your training values

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Twist Lock Bike Mount – CS Series

Polar BIke Mount CS Series

The CS series twist lock bike mount is what you put your cycling computer in on the handlebars of your bike.

The cycling computers compatible with the mount are CS600X, CS200cad and CS100.

It is easy to attach to your bike and the cycling computer easily twist locks to fit snug while you pedal away.

If you purchase a CS series Polar bike computer your watch will come with a bike mount (So no need to add-on).

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Universal Bike Mount – S Series

Polar Bike Mount S Series

The S series universal bike mount allows you to take your Polar heart rate monitor wrist watch and attach it to your bike handlebars – in the universal bike mount.

If you have the FT80, FT60, FT40, RS800CX, CS300, FT7, RS400, FT4, FT2, RS300X, FT1 or RS100 then you can use this mount to watch your heart rate while cycling. This awesome, especially for the more laid back cyclists who want to use their HRM for various exercises.

It is easy to attach to your bike and your wrist watch HRM easily locks to fit snug while you pedal away.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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W.I.N.D. Power Output Sensor

Polar Bike Mount S Series

The power output sensor is a must for serious cyclists looking to accurately measure and record their cycling power, pedalling rate and pedal power balance (left/right).

If you have the CS600X then you can use this sensor.

The power output sensor is actually made up of a main unit, a battery case, a chain speed sensor and a cadence magnet (fitted to your pedal crank). The combo fits on your bike at different spots on the rear stay. The devices, in unison, measure chain tension and chain speed to output:

  • Actual, average and maximum power values.
  • Cadence (pedal rate).
  • Your pedalling balance (left/right) given as an index.

You could use the sensor to help improve how you cycle. Ideally you would want an even pedal balance and somewhat even cadence throughout your rides.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Add-ons For Multisport and Running

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G1 GPS

Polar Bike Mount S Series

The G1 series GPS sensor provides you with speed/pace and distance. It is ideal for multisport, running and cycling.

If you have the FT80, FT60 or RS300X then you can use this.

It attaches to the GPS strap (In the box) and you wear it on your arm/bicep like you would a music player. It talks with your watch throughout your workout to give you real time accurate speed/pace and distance.

  • The model up G3 GPS W.I.N.D. (Compatible: CS600X and RS800CX) will take you anywhere doing anything and still output accurate speed/pace and distance information.

The G3 is ideal for those that ski, kayak, mountain bike and generally just get out into the wild to train.

The G3 uses a more sensitive GPS system to better receive satellite signal.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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S3 Stride Sensor

Polar Bike Mount S Series

The S3 stride sensor records your stride and helps to analyse the efficiency of your style. You attach it to your shoelace.

If you have the RS800CX then you can use this to help you train for a race or to simply make your stride more efficient. You see, your stride during a race has a profound effect on your energy output and thus race times. Use the stride sensor to optimise your stride length for your race.

If you buy this sensor and train with it then over time you will knock off time.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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S1 Foot Pod

Polar Foot Pod

The foot pod attaches to your shoelaces and measures your running pace, speed and distance.

It works with the FT80, FT60, RS400 and RS300X.

Things you might use the S1 foot pod for:

  • Training for a marathon more efficiently by always knowing your pace.
  • Racing against yourself on tracks you run each week.

This accessory has been quality tested and is proven robust at not only staying attached to your shoelace during intense runs but also to withstand any weather conditions.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Add-ons For Data Transfer To Computer

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Polar IrDA USB Adaptor

Polar USB Adaptor

This USB to IrDA (infrared) adaptor allows you to communicate with your HRM via the USB port of your PC.

So that once you get home from your heart rate training you can effortlessly upload your data to the Polar website or software.

If you have a CS600X, RS800CX or RS400 then you can make use of this great little gadget.

In almost all the reviews I have read online for Polar HRMs by far the biggest complaint I see is the terrible reliability of the SonicLink. It is the “stock” way Polar has implemented to transfer data to your computer (via your computer speakers) from your HRM.

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Polar WindLink and DataLink

Polar Computer Datalink

[They both look like the photo right]

Both are used to transfer data from you Polar HRM to your Mac or PC via a USB port on your computer.

  • WindLink: Real time heart rate recording to a PC. Good for labs, uni’s and exercise physiologists because you can watch the heart rate on a computer screen when the “subject” is 20 meters away.

Compatible: CS500LE, CS600x, RS800CX via the WearLink W.I.N.D. transmitter chest strap.

  • DataLink: Not real-time but still for data transfer to Mac or PC.

Compatible: CS500LE

Click Here For Best WindLink Price Online  |  Click Here for Best DataLink Price Online

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Polar FlowLink

Polar Flowlink

The FlowLink is the preferred option for data upload to Mac or PC for most Polar monitors.

It is compatible with FT80, FT60, FT40, FT7, FA20 and RS300x.

You plug the FlowLink in to your computer USB and it automatically picks up your HRM and prompts you for instruction.

The FlowLink is definately a better option for data upload than the SonicLink which uses your computer speakers to transfer data (and is not reliable).

Click Here For Best Price Online

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Glossary of Features

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Polar names their features with unique names that are hard to understand. Knowing what each feature does and how it can benefit you is essential.

This glossary defines and explains the 18 most crucial deal-breaker Polar HRM features that are analysed for every HRM above.

Altimeter, Barometer and Thermometer

These 3 gauges work in unison to give you height above sea-level. The HRM can use this data to output trends in terms of equivalent travelled distance up and down with respect to sea level, how far with respect to the ground and at what steepness.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX

Button-free Operation of Heart Rate Monitor

Polar calls it HeartTouch® and it allows for screen toggling to a pre-set screen when you bring your wrist watch in close proximity to your chest strap sensor. It is meant for allowing hands-free access of additional information not normally displayed on the home screen.

HRMs with this: RS800CX  |  RS400  | FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  RS100  |  FT7  |  FT4  |  FT2  |  FT1

Calorie Expenditure Counter

Polar calls it OwnCal® and it accurately counts your energy output during exercise (in kCal). You can record your energy output and get the monitor to keep a cumulative log.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  RS100  |  FA20  |  FT7  |  FT4

Chest Strap With Coded Transmission

Polar calls it OwnCode® and it protects communication between the monitor and the chest strap heart rate sensor from interference.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad |  CS100  |  RS100  |  FA20  |  FT7  |  FT4 |  FT2  |  FT1

Cycling Cadence, Speed, Distance and Pace

Cycling cadence sensors tell you your pedaling rate in revolutions per second.

Cycling speed sensors tell you your speed/pace and distance .

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |  CS100

Data Upload to Computer

Can upload data with Polar USB IrDA, FlowLink, DataLink, WindLink or SonicLink.

Your Polar device can store your heart rate training data for later use. One later use is to upload to Mac or PC your data for use in a Polar web based app or compatible.

HRMs that can use USB IrDA: CS600X  |  CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400

HRMs that can use FlowLink: FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  FA20  |  FT7

HRMs that can use DataLink:  CS500LE

HRMs that can use WindLink via WearLink chest strap: CS600X  |  CS500LE  |  RS800CX

HRMs that can use SonicLink: CS300  |  CS200cad

GPS

Global Positioning System capable devices can use satellites within the global navigation satellite system to get your location under all conditions.

HRMs that can have this: CS600X  |  RS800CX  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  RS300X

Heart Rate Monitor

Senses your heart rate in beats per minute. Polar HRMs have the ability to at least tell you average, maximum and real-time heart rate of training, and gives you the ability to manually set target zones (some have automatic and are based on age or Polar fitness test).

HRMs with Automatic this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  RS100  |  FT4  |  FT2

HRMs with Manual this: FT40  |  FT7  |  FT1

Pedometer

Counts your steps.

HRMs with this: FA20

Personal Heart Rate Zone Limits

Polar call it OwnZone® and it gives you personal targets/limits for each training session. It helps to prevent under and over training.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400   |  FT80  |  FT60  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  RS100

Stopwatch

A timer that allows you to record intervals/laps and or allows you to easily start, stop and reset an up-counting timer as you please.

HRMs with this capability: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400   |  FT80  |  RS300X  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  RS100

Tell You the Incline and Decline of Your Bike Rides

With an altimeter the training/cycling computer can record and then later tell you how much incline and decline the roads you rode on had.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX

Training Data Recording/Training Files

A small hard drive can record and store heart rate and other data in the monitor.

Monitors have varying hard drive sizes.

HRMs with this: CS600X   |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  RS100  |  FA20  |  FT7  |  FT4  |  FT2  |  FT1

Training Diary and Load Calculator

Works via Polar software to avoid over and under training.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  CS200cad  |   FA20  |  FT7

Training Program to Optimise Training Load Each and Every Day

Polar call it OwnOptimizer® or STAR Training Program and both essentially act as your personal trainer telling you how hard to train each session (in target heart rate zones). The suggestion is based on training load (heart rate). The real-time feedback is key to improving fitness and enhancing performance.

HRMs with this: CS600X   |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60

User Replaceable Battery

Ability to take Polar device apart and with correct replacement battery install into monitor.

HRMs with this: CS600X   |  CS500LE  | CS500  |  RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  CS200cad  |  CS100  |  FA20  |  FT7  |  FT4   |  FT1

VO2max Test

Measures your bodies maximum capacity to move and use oxygen during exercise. It is considered to be a good test of overall fitness.

HRMs with this: CS600X  |  RS800CX |  RS400  |  FT80  |  FT60  |  FT40  |  RS300X  |  CS300

Water Resistance

Ability to operate properly in water conditions.

HRMs with 50m: RS800CX  |  RS400  |  FT80  |  RS300X  |  CS300  |  RS100

HRMs with 30m: FT60  |  FT40  |  FA20  |  FT7  |  FT4  |  FT2  |  FT1

HRMs with splash proof: CS600X   |  CS500LE  | CS500 |  CS200cad  |  CS100

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FAQ

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[Want to ask a question? Click Here.]

Q: How do I read the Polar heart rate monitors model numbers?

Polar names their monitors according to the fitness activity each watch is designed for:

  • FT = General Fitness Training
  • RS = Running and multi Sport
  • CS = Cycling Sport

The most expensive one’s have dual designations – RS800CX, for example, is awesome for both runners and cyclists.

Q: If I only cycle should I only look at the CS watches and same for running and the RS models?

If you only cycle, or only run, then I suggest you buy a CS or RS, respectively. Polar has spent over 30 years tweaking their watches feature sets for professional athletes. And those athletes (cyclists, runners, triathletes etc.) have guided Polar down the right path.

Q: What does the ‘X’ in CS600X, RS800CX and RS300X represent?

‘X’ means that that watch has multiple ‘out of the box’ versions… You know how Honda Civic cars come in CX, DX and SI models?

If Honda were using Polar naming convention they would have called it CivicX because you can get multiple versions of the same car ‘out of the box.’

Q: Can you list out the prices for every single monitor in the Buyer’s Guide?

Yes I can. As of August 2011 each costs:

$201 and Up

  • CS600X: $262
  • CS500LE: $310
  • CS500 with Cadence Sensor: $308
  • RS800CX: $360
  • RS400: $216
  • FT80: $229

$101 to $200

  • FT60: $150
  • FT40: $116
  • FT7 (Depends on version you select): $74 up to $139
  • RS300X: $108
  • RS100 (In this category for ease of comparison to model up RS300X): $77
  • CS300: $140
  • CS200cad: $139
  • CS100: $99

$51 to $100

  • FT4 (Depends on version you select): $68 up to $115
  • FT2: $79
  • FA20: $81
  • FT1: $59

Q: What does the acronym W.I.N.D. stand for?

Wireless Interface Network Device.

Q: Is there a phone app that will collect heart rate data via bluetooth onto your phone and then sync to a website where you can review your performance?

Yes. Polar makes a WearLink bluetooth transmitter chest strap.

You wear it just like you would a normal heart rate detecting chest strap. A compatible mobile app like Sports-tracker will pick up your heart rate over bluetooth. Thus cutting the HRM watch out of the equation.

Q: How do I ask a question? Click Here.

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Want More Polar Resources?

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[Have a cool Polar resource to share? Click Here.]

To get top-notch heart rate training information and tips check out what I like to call Heart Rate Training 101. It is a series Polar has put together for you. It contains 50 short articles breaking down everything there is to know.

To ask questions, learn the latest and connect with other like minded people check out their active Facebook Page and Twitter account ( follow @ChrisPolarUSA).

If you run into Polar watch or accessory issues head on over to the Polar Forums to ask the massive community for help. You can view my account by clicking here. If you don’t like reading or writing and would prefer to learn the solution to your problem by video then head on over to the Polar Video Tutorials webpage. They have 14 videos instructing you on how to use GPS to how to synchronize computer data with your watch.

Take a sneak peak at the Polar User Manuals for all the Polar heart rate monitors you are interested in.

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Notes:

*All the Polar heart rate monitors photos above were not taken by Richard Delta. They are displayed here for educational and affiliate purposes only. I have not altered or modified any of the photos, which were sourced from Amazon.com, and you may not either. 

*The best price for each monitor online varies and as such from time to time one or two of the HRMs above may be in the wrong price range section. Just “click here for best price online” to check out the best price.

*Although I do my best to keep this guide up to date and 100% accurate I can not guarantee that it is. Make sure you read the full manufacturers description before you purchase any HRM I have linked to above.

*Be sure to familiarise yourself with www.HeartRateMonitorReviewsTips.com Privacy Policy and Disclosures. You can find them in the footer just below.

2014 Polar Heart Rate Monitors Buyer’s Guide by Richard Delta