There are several companies that make heart rate monitors, and in this Garmin Dual HRM review I explain why I went with Garmin over those other brands. Like any Bluetooth device that requires pairing, there are bound to be common problems. We will cover troubleshooting those common problems and more. Above all, you will learn how to choose the hear rate monitor best for you.
A Garmin Dual DRM review would not be complete without pairing instructions with compatible devices and products. Heart rate monitors help you stay in a specific zone during your workout. They are not an essential tool, but they can help enhance your training experience.
Dual HRM Not Working
Let’s start with the most common problem. You took your Garmin HRM Dual out of the box, turned on Zwift, guided yourself to the Heart Rate Pairing screen, and… its not working. It happens all the time, especially if you purchased your heart rate monitor from a small local fitness store.
The fix is simple. You need to replace your battery. The heart rate monitor you buy locally may have sat on the shelf for 8 months. It may have sat overnight in a freezing cold truck. Lots of things happen between the time it ships from Garmin’s facility and ends up on the shelf in your local bike shop or running store.
It sucks to shell out up to $70 and have to guy buy a battery day 1. It happens and consider that a small tax for supporting local.
The other common problem is the HRM not picking up a reading to turn itself on. I’d recommend wetting your skin where the strap’s contact points touch. It helps stick the monitor better so it can get a reading. I usually splash a little water on it before I get started. Your sweat will keep it lubricated for the remainder of your workout.
Hear Rate Monitor Replacement Strap
If you want to replace the strap its easy to do so. Garmin heart rate monitor straps are compatible with several other heart rate monitor manufacture’s. The cost of a good replacement strap is almost $40. I’ve tried cheaper alternatives and had to buy three before I found one that worked so in the end I was out the same amount of money.
The factory strap adjusts in size from 25″ to 52″ which fits most body types.
Considering the price difference, strap replacement is not worth it. In order words, replacing the entire unit is the way to go. There is almost always a sale going on somewhere for Garmin heart rate monitors. I usually find the best deal on Amazon. (Check Current Price on Amazon Here)
Garmin Dual HRM Battery
The battery you need to use in your Garmin Dual HRM is a common one. It is a CR2032 which happens to be the same size battery in my bathroom scale, food scale and even my garage door opener. It’s a battery size I found in my ‘junk’ drawer.
According to Garmin the battery can last up to 3.5 years. That won’t happen if you leave your heart rate monitor in the care overnight during a freezing winter night, for instance. The same goes for waking up on a hot summer day to see your HRM sitting in direct sunlight in a hot car.
In other words, treat your battery the way you like to be treated. Store your heart rate monitor indoors in normal temperature ranges of 60-80 degrees. It can go on a winter run or bike ride with you, but bring it inside when you get home.
Garmin Heart Rate Monitor Alternatives
If you can’t stomach the high price of Garmin Heart Rate Monitors there are alternatives. You will be sacrificing the quality, reliability and accuracy of data Garmin is famous for. Some of those other brands come with steeper price tags than Garmin.
For cyclists the biggest alternative to Garmin is Wahoo Fitness. Their heart rate monitors look great. In addition, I use the entire Wahoo Ecosystem already. I’m surprised I never thought of them when researching hear rate monitors, but I think that’s a estimate to Garmin’s reputation
Other brands to consider are Polar, Suunto, Scosche and FitBit. Above all, get the hear rate monitor you find most comfortable. If it’s not comfortable you won’t wear it anyway.
Garmin Dual HRM Pairing
I always pair my heart rate monitor to Zwift. I’m usually on my Wahoo KICKR, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in indoor cycling. (Read: Wahoo KICKR Smart Trainer Review) The only reason I did this Garmin Dual HRM review was because I wanted the heart rate data during my Zwift Academy workouts.
In conclusion, pairing the heart rate monitor is a simple task. In Zwift you go to the pairing page, select heart rate monitor and it automatically searches for the signal. Its the same process with every other app too. There is no On/Off button to worry about. The Heart Rate Monitor simply knows when its on your body and broadcasts your heart rate numbers via Ant+ signal.
The Garmin Hear Rate Monitor will be a great addition to your fitness accessory lineup. However, know it is not necessary or required to train properly.