Exercise Equipment Review

Polar CS100 Review

Polar CS100 image

Heart rate monitors have advanced significantly since Polar introduced the first wireless heart rate monitor more than three decades ago. The numerous advancements have resulted in heart rate monitors for specific activities. After runners, cyclists are probably the largest group of people who use a heart rate monitor for a specific activity. A heart rate monitor is beneficial for a cyclist because it educate people on how to dispense their energy efficiently, prevent overtraining, and motivate themselves. The Polar CS100, which you mount onto your bike's handlebars, is the lower-end Polar heart rate monitor for cyclists. Polar indicates that recreational cyclists interested in improving their level of fitness are who will benefit most from this heart rate monitor.

The Polar CS100 offers numerous basic and cyclist-specific features. As you would expect, this monitor can record and display your heart rate, calories burned, and time. Cyclists will appreciate using the monitor to record their speed, distance, and trip data. There is a wireless speed sensor that you can attach to the bike for the heart rate monitor to record your speed and distance. You are able to record information, such as your maximum heart rate, for up to 50 laps. If you have more than one bicycle, you can enter the wheel size for each one so the monitor can accurately keep track of your performance on each.

In addition to the features listed above, the Polar CS100 offers three additional features: Polar Cycling Coach, OwnCal, and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). The Polar Cycling Coach is a website that you can link to with the Polar CS100 to obtain training information specifically for you. You can also use this feature to upload your records from the monitor. Weight management is possible with the Polar CS100 OwnCal feature, which monitors your outgoing calories for an exercise session and/or outgoing calories over a specific period of time. The Estimate Time of Arrival (ETA) feature enables you to input a distance and have the monitor notify you when you have reached the distance.

Safety is an important concern when cyclists use heart rate monitors. The Polar CS100 includes several safety features. While you are riding your bicycle, you want to be able to easily read the information on your display. This monitor has an automatic display scroll that alternates between different information so that you don't have to use your hands to scroll. Another safety feature is that you set your maximum heart rate (Hrmax), and when your heart rate goes outside of this range the heart rate monitor can sound an audible alarm or display a visual indicator, depending on your setting.

There isn't a significant amount of feedback about the Polar CS100, but what is available is generally positive. People appreciate the number of features the monitor offers. Most complaints that people have are related to the speed sensor, which Polar admits may vary in functionality from bike to bike.

Polar is a top manufacturer of heart rate monitors and associated accessories and software. The company originated in Finland in 1977 and continues to produce products and literature related to heart rate measurement.

Final Word: EER gives the Polar CS100 a thumbs up because it appreciates the fact that this heart rate monitor is targeted to cyclists, but has sufficient features to benefit people wanting to improve their general level of fitness. This is beneficial in case you are unable to ride your bicycle or switch activities.