Racing without HRM

New to Zwift and just tried my first group ride(Scotland Glasgow).
I see that there is a lot of discussion regarding HRM’s and races being a requirement, which I don’t have.

Question: Can a person enter a race even though they don’t have a HRM or is that bad etiquette?

At my age I’m not out to win anything just having some fun is all.

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Hi @Dave_Lincoln

Welcome to the forum.

You should be able to enter most races. Some elite races will not be available if you don’t have a HR monitor.

Some races will DQ in Zwift power after the race for not having a HR monitor.

But for the most part you can enter races.

And no not having HRM is not bad etiquette, infact I dont see the need for one since HR max is very variable.

So happy racing.

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Hi Dave, I’m about your age (¾ century !) and I seldom race but I do have a HRM; it’s a Tickr Fit, about $80 in Canada. I’m super healthy, never smoked or drank and have no history of heart trouble, but I just like to keep an eye on it. I’ve got to know what should happen at a certain effort and fatigue level and if it should vary I might consider a checkup because of my “age comorbidity” It links to Zwift or the Wahoo Fitness app on my phone so sometimes I wear it out on the road too. And on Zwift, it’s just fun to watch it vary in real time over the varying terrain!

ps: I’ve been on Zwift for 4¼ years.


Please do enter some races! Don’t worry about the HRM. If you ever feel like getting a HRM, the cheap ones are usually fine. If you don’t like wearing a chest strap, the arm band type will be adequate - it doesn’t need to be accurate if you just want to be included in the ZwiftPower results. Any signal will do.

don’t worry about it if you’re not blowing the race apart, people might get annoyed then but otherwise i doubt anyone would mind. i only wear mine as a courtesy since i don’t use HR as a training metric… in fact, seeing my HR freaks me out so much i actually put electrical tape over my pc monitor to hide the display

You can just take your pulse manually and use the chat to live-stream your HR during the race :smiley:

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Thanks everyone for the timely responses - much appreciated.

Between downloading the app, companion app, sync’ing everything and then trying out things in training was interesting so thought the “Group Ride” might be fun since it was open. Then when everyone took off from the start like a Bat out of H—, well you can imagine my surprise and the quick realization that my definition of a group ride was maybe a tad off.

So thought I better try to get more info and the Zwift app, What’s on Swift, ZwiftPower, Swift forums exploration began and I’m kind of in information overload.

Gerrie, I will probably try some more races just for the fun of it.
Stu - can’t say I’m leading as healthy a lifestyle as you. A month in Italy sampling their wines and a last November in Scotland sampling their beverages. Well I’ve got some new passions (LOL).
S A - after years of X-C skiing I find it darn near impossible to get my heart rate very high so won’t need the tape.
Tom - Granted I’m still learning but the visual content on the app while training or doing the Scotland ride was pretty daunting. Not sure I’m up to the task or maybe I should say feat of doing the chat.

BUT - I’m going into Calgary tomorrow (Alberta Canada) as the wife wants to look at Apple Watches. I see they monitor physical activity and heart rate so that might work. Looks like I’m going to be doing some Googling today to see.

Thanks Everyone for responding.

I have seen some reports of the APPLE watch not working.

Gerrie, thanks for the heads up. I’ll do some looking and see if I can get some more info this afternoon (Google is my friend is going to be this afternoons mantra)

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I don’t think I could reliably count to ten when I’m racing, so my thing was entirely a joke :slight_smile:

Tom - Well now, that makes sense! I figured I missed a speech to text icon somewhere (lol).

TaDa! found some info in thecyclingpoint on how to pair an Apple Watch for Zwift use.

So it looks like watch pairing can be done. But I’m guessing the right steps in the right order are going to be key or nothing is going to seen by the hardware - they kind of hint at that it seems.

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Greetings, fellow Canadian. I lived in Calgary for 24 years, '79 to '03. Now I’m in Chatham-Kent Ontario.

The Apple Watch pairing was flaky enough that I bought another HR monitor. I didn’t want to download other 3rd party apps to proxy HR signals etc. Hopefully whatever you land on works for you.

Cool. We’re about an hour or so northwest of Calgary located on a small river in the foothills - country living at its finest.

Not sure what it’s going to be if anything.

Have you noticed that when trying to connect to something it requires some sort of technical gymnastics of olympian status, yet go to disconnect and find it’s connected to everything else in the universe. (Seems to be my luck anyway).

Well, yeah, if you’re just using the apple watch and companion app, it often doesn’t connect, then when it connects it often disconnects at some point later in the ride. There have been a few workarounds posted, I’ve tried a bunch of them, none worked consistently. Zwift at one point said the apple watch was officially not supported due to all the issues with it, and they said they were going to pull the companion app from the app store. I believe they decided not to do that.

There is a workaround that people have posted to install a separate app to use which will transfer the HR data from the watch to Zwift (forget which app that is), I have not tried to do that because I didn’t want to install yet another app, I bought another HRM. I still wear my watch all the time, but I don’t bother trying to pair it anymore.

If you are about to afford an apple watch, I guess you have a couple if bucks left to get a HR monitor, too.

Cris; Haven’t decided yet as there is very little I can actually wear. I used to be able to move the second hand on a watch by moving my hand near the watch - not sure how that works. But have found watches that I’ve worn in the past usually stop working shortly after putting them on so haven’t worn one in years. But thought it would be interesting to try again - may have to see if the wife will lend me her watch for an initial trial (could be an easy sell with the roses I got her for valentines day :slight_smile:

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My mom’s dad was like that–watches wouldn’t work for more than a day or two after he started wearing them.

Just get a CooSpoo HRM.
Cheap and works great for 4-6 years then replace
They all fail because of the corrosion from being in a salty, sweaty environment.
Easy to replace at $25 or less.