Remove mandatory HRM requirement

Replacement straps for the tickr are quite cheap, no need to buy wahoo. And a coospo rechargeable arm band is $35. Optical so it only wears out when the rechargeable battery dies. This is not a comment on your suggestion, but the requirement isn’t going away so you’ll need some other solution.

Zwift was never able to get their apple watch app working correctly and eventually officially discontinued support for it. I don’t know why it is even still around, they should have removed it entirely from the code so people wouldn’t think it does something. See complaints about that app going back to 2021 here: Apple Watch Unpaired Bug - #97 by Michael_Cleveland_wu

Thanks for all the replies. I hadn’t had the chance to respond as the thread has gone left and right quite a bit.

I am by no means one of the more prolific members on here, but I have been Zwifting for coming up to 3 years and in that time am coming up to 200 races.

I disagree with the suggestion that mandatory HRM has been a ‘thing’ for a long time. It may well have been there from a user experience option, but I’ve never ever encountered enforcement of it until recently and then - several times in one week. It seems to me that more organisers are enforcing it than before, but that’s just anecdotal.

I completely agree with the poster above who says that there is no need for it other than elite events. It doesn’t really do much for cheating and it just creates an extra cost impediment to get people racing.

Like that person, I am now on my 3rd HRM. It’s a pain to get it all synced up and working without a ‘No connection’ error and - in any event - I seem to be killing the chest straps at a rate of knots. I’m not racing ZRL at the moment and so I’ve been more than happy to bumble along, but now some of the events I used to ride are off limits to me, hence my OP here.

I already wear a Garmin Forerunner 245 while riding, so if it’s about providing evidence that I’m not cheating, I’ve got that as backup - having a chest strap is overkill IMO, but others clearly feel strongly to the contrary.

Yeah hardware enforcement showed up after CE I believe. Not many organizers use it and many only enforce the power meter to kick out the zpower crowd.

HRM enforcement used to be just that if your activity lacks HR data altogether, you got disqualified on Zwiftpower afterwards. I’m okay with the requirement (the main idea being that the HR approximately tracks changes in power in the way you’d expect) and even some sort of enforcement at start even if there are plenty of poor (presumably optical) sensors that make a joke of the policy, but the current overzealous enforcement where you have to hope the dreaded no signal goes away in however many seconds you have before you get kicked out of the race is just excessive. Pairing a different sensor mid-race is not a real option either.

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I’ve heard that about Wahoo before.

My Garmin strap that came with my Forerunner 305 ~2008 still works, though I don’t use it anymore (was the old plastic strap) - I’ve never had any of my Garmin chest straps fail.

Anyway, I believe you can use your Garmin 245 to broadcast HR data to Zwift - I’ve used a Vivoactive 3 for that before. There’s no reason that you can’t use that as your only HR data.

Can’t you just use the broadcast feature within the watch to broadcast your HR and be done with it.

HR is not particularly helpful for an individual race, but allows and supports a users profile over a number of races… For racing to have some transparency then it is needed post race and stored for public viewing.

How do you do that? I’ve fiddled with lots of different settings and the best I’ve been able to do is broadcast from my 245 to my Edge when riding, but even that’s hit and miss. I understood (and my understanding is weak!) that the 245 broadcasts via Ant+ so can’t be picked up by my Android device on which I’m running Zwift.

You might be right on the ant+ broadcast only, I have the 255 and that does BT broadcast.

Though some Android phones pick up ant+… atleast they used to.

Edit - though randomly, the virtual run option will broadcast heart rate over BT… I’m not sure if there is a workaround to use it via that

The 245 is supposed to support Bluetooth. It’s on the list.

Depends on what phone, some android phones speak ANT+, some don’t. It’s the same radio as Bluetooth, so it’s just software that the manufacturer has licensed or not. And some you might be able to coax into it with 3rd party apps.

But like the link from Paul says - it looks like the 245 should be able to broadcast on Bluetooth anyway.

Many Android devices don’t have the ANT+ hardware, but they may work with an ANT+ dongle added. This app will help sort it out.

I’m on my second Tickr, and that’s what it does, it just flatlines to 120 randomly no matter how hard I’m going and every once in a while it will kick out of that state. I do find if I wash the strap in warm water and soap after a ride it is less likely to do that, but it’s hard for me to get it 100% reliable. So I’m thinking of moving the polar optical armband thingy.

Have you tried replacing the strap with one of the cheap ones? I’m not against the optical arm bands (I’m using the Coospo HW706) but the straps are interchangeable amongst most of the popular models.

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Rate-Monitor-Replacement-Strap/dp/B085DBKLSQ/

I am on my second Tickr strap which is now not reliable again - they seem to last like 6months before starting to get flaky regardless of new batteries, washing etc. So I’m skeptical of straps, my assumption is if I get a third party strap it will eventually run into the same problem.

My 3 year old Garmin strap still works, and I am pretty lazy about caring for it. I think you’re experiencing a common Tickr problem. If you don’t fancy switching to an optical HRM, try a Garmin strap with your Tickr. If you kill it in 6 months then optical is probably your best choice. It looks like the Coospo HW706 costs about the same as a Garmin strap.

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Funnily enough, mine is a Garmin strap that keeps dying. The screws that hold the battery cover don’t seem to hold up too well whenever I change the battery and the cover starts pulling off leaving the screws behind, at which point sweat can get in.

This is the 3rd chest strap I’ve got through in 2 years so might try to rethink my entire set-up to be honest, as the root cause of a lot of the issues and equipment choices is that old device I’m running Zwift on.

Chest strap HRMs seem more popular, but I don’t understand why – versus an armband version such as a Scosche and others now out there. What am I missing?

Chest straps usually respond a little quicker, and they are traditional. Optical HRMs have a bit of a bad reputation since there are a lot of crappy watches out there. My experience with a cheap arm band is that the numbers are about the same as my Garmin HRM-DUAL chest strap. Plus I don’t have to put on a cold wet chest strap. I’ve even put on an arm band during a race and paired it without getting dropped, which saved us from a team loss by DQ. I’ve also failed to start a race because it took too long to change the battery in the Garmin.

Yeah, I’ve not tried that type but comparing my Garmin Fenix 6 watch with my Garmin HRM Dual chest strap, the former is much slower to react to changes in HR. This doesn’t matter too much over longer durations, as it tends to average out, but it makes training to short duration intervals almost impossible.

Personally I don’t have any issues with the chest HRMs I’ve used. They seem to last “forever” despite me not washing them as often as is recommended, they are reliable and I don’t notice I’m wearing them.