Enhancements to hearth rate with wrist sensor
Prequel: I know about the chest HR sensor, I just prefer not to use one if not strictly necessary. Also note I have a vertical heart signal and even medical ECG can have an hard time locking to my HR.
In general the wrist heart rate sensor works fairly well. It takes a few minutes to “lock on” but once it does it is quite stable. As long as the effort is also fairly constant in time.
A bit of context: my main sport is Mountain Biking, mostly trail riding and light enduro. This means I have to climb, but also technical climbs and descends on very bumpy surfaces. There might also be breaks or frequent change of peace during the activity (for example if I’m in place with a lift and I need to queue). Definitely not the most ideal situation, as I understand the problem with the bumpy terrain.
Whenever the effort I make is not constant and I have fairly quick changes of heart rate (in both directions) the watch lose the lock on and gives me non sense numbers such as 50 bpm or so. This happens also if I go around with friends who might not be as fit and I have to lower the pace or not be constant. It also happens when I use my road bike to go to work, for example if I stand up for a punchy climb. In this case the surface is smooth, but I change my riding position.
Here is an example
As you can see during the initial climb the HR is correct, until minute 40 to where my HR goes down to 50 to 63 where the HR was completely wrong. Note there was also a quick glitch at minute 24-28 after a significant effort during a technical climb on a very uneven terrain.
After that there is a roller coaster going up and down, with the watch struggling to lock on to my HR. Please note I have a fairly high HR. At rest I can have anything between 80 and 100. When exercising I will definitely have more than 100 no matter how slow I take it. All the data under that is garbage.
I found an interesting workaround, which is unfortunately very annoying. To let the watch lock on, I can stop and stand perfectly still for a minute or two. Usually this allows the watch to lock on again on the HR, but might lose me again once I start moving again, and have to stop again until it manages to keep the lock. This starting and stopping is very annoying and not always possible. In this ride I didn’t do it, hence the watch didn’t have that chance of locking on again.
I guess there is a noise cancelling algorithm in either the watch or the sensor. What I would like to be able to do is to “reset” it on demand, so I don’t have to start and stop, or possibly being able to configure the watch to just discard readings below, let’s say, 100 bpm as I can’t have such a low HR when exercising.
I already checked if I’m wearing the watch the correct way. It’s tight and the sensor is clean.
Maybe I just have to bit the bullet and accept the annoyance of the chest HR sensor, but I feel the wrist sensor is actually quite good and very very close to work very well.
s a noise cancelling algorithm in either the watch or the sensor. What I would like to be able to do is to “reset” it on demand, so I don’t have to start and stop, or possibly be
I have similar when biking. I am pushing and the OHR shows me 50bpm which is ridiculous. Also when running it locks to my cadence and while I am in between 110 to 120 the watch reads 170 (my cadence). What I have noticed is that when you ‘press’ the handles of your bike and stiffen your palm the blood vessels stiffen too so less blood flow is available for the watch to get readable info. Either do not press your palms too much or wear the watch as highly as possible or even facing downwards (this will damage the GPS though).