One of the more interesting things I do in the shop is try out new products myself and tell you about them. What I offer in the shop isn’t just products but also a real world level of experience in using them but well I still like to ride as much as my schedule allows. I aim to give you honest authentic feedback on how technology can help you with your riding, whether it is making the time you have more productive or just more comfortable.
I came across Lifebeam a few years ago-it was one of those crowd funded type deals. Personally I don’t actually buy any of those products until they actually hit the market but that’s me. Anyway what caught my attention was that it moved the heart rate reading from the chest area with a strap to part of the headband in the helmet. Now if you have no experience using a heart rate strap then what I am about to say won’t be familiar so bear with me.
Heart rate readings off the chest are accurate as proved by lots of testing that’s good. What is bad is that the chest straps are subject to slipping out of place and for most women I have talked to the straps are uncomfortable since the sports tops that they wear are in the same spot as good placement for the heart rate strap. This makes for to much pressure in one spot for most riders liking. Moving the heart rate to the head is a great solution and my thought is that it is more accurate then some of the light based monitors out there.
My first ride
An update- Shimano has purchased a few brands recently and one of them is Lazer helmets. Bonus for me one of the accessories available for the Lazer helmets is the Lifebeam heart rate! Finally my chance to try it. Here are some pictures of what it looks like installed. Note it uses a micro usb to charge is and the mount that it comes with is designed to work perfectly with Lazer helmets, I used the Blade for my ride.
On the ride the heart rate pick up was perfect from what I can tell. All the numbers I saw looked “normal”. Below I am including the screen shot of the ride. No drop off of heart rate on the ride and overall I wouldn’t even know it was there. Bonus: the fit on the helmet was great, it wasn’t bouncing around etc which can be really annoying.
Okay like most electronics this one is both unique and not cheap. It is $130 and then you need to pick out a helmet to go with it. You will probably spend $230 and up for the whole package. You decide but for me there are significant benefits like not forgetting my strap and consistent readings that I will take.