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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Cycling Training Computer, delicate speed sensor magnet
I am an active fitness and cycling user. After years of training without support from any devices, I decided to get one. I reviewed many options and my final selection was between the Garmin 405 and the Polar RCX5. Albeit it initially appeared that the Garmin piece was a bit more user friendly and had better recommendations, I took the leap of faith since the RCX5...
Published on January 23, 2012 by USNA 05 DAD

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heart Monitor works but DataLink USB device needed to upload workouts to Polar Personal Trainer Website was dead on arrival
I just received this Bike unit and have not really had time to test all the features yet. But initially--out of the box--the DataLink USB device did not work. You install the latest Polar WebSync software on your PC or Mac which communicates, through the DataLink USB device with their PolarPersonalTrainer.com Website. The process uploads workout data from the heart...
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Cycling Training Computer, delicate speed sensor magnet, January 23, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I am an active fitness and cycling user. After years of training without support from any devices, I decided to get one. I reviewed many options and my final selection was between the Garmin 405 and the Polar RCX5. Albeit it initially appeared that the Garmin piece was a bit more user friendly and had better recommendations, I took the leap of faith since the RCX5 appeared to be more versatile for multi-sport use. Also, I researched about the algorithms used by Polar in most of the applications and calculations and found them to be more fundamentally sound, albeit in fairness the GPS capabilities of the Garmin are greatly superior. Also, after carefully reading the manual, it is relatively easy to uncover the many features of this device, which offers a plethora of opportunities to enhance training.

This computer has really enabled a marked improvement in how I train. The ability to modify the training views for different activities really helps, as well as the post-training information for follow-up have been really beneficial. Although the Polar website needs some work, at my current level of training it does the job. Obviously I cannot speak for heavy-duty activities such as tri-athlons or even marathons and the training associated with those activities. I'd like to re-emphasize that my perspective is that of an active 52 year-old using this device for routine fitness training 3-4 times a week and twice-weekly 10-25 mile bicycle rides.

My only disappointment has been the speed sensor. Before I start sharing my experience, I need to clarify that I ride a full-fledged mountain bike and not a road bike. After three rides, I found the sensor to be totally unreliable. More often than not, the device went out of alignment during the ride, despite careful mounting and adjustments. In desperation, after my last ride I noticed that the cause for this distortion was the magnet. It only had one screw and it was small for the spokes of my bike. In an attempt to solve this issue, I tried using my old Cateye computer's magnet, and, lo and behold, it did work!!! Since this magnet fits nested between two spokes, the support is much better than with the single screw model that came with the sensor. Also, it is flat, such that it always faces the sensor and it is not affected by cross-winds or vibration from rough terrain.

Aside form the faux-pass with the speed sensor, this device is otherwise a remarkable, versatile and helpful piece of equipment for multi-sport training. I have really enjoyed its many capabilities.

Four month update: Can't find adequate words to describe how good this product is. Once I fixed the speed sensor situation, I have trained weekly and used every feature. It is worthwhile to read the manuals and learn the many capabilities to put them to good use. I have improved my average speed by about 3 mph and can easily decide which zone to train in...endurance, cardio or fat-burning. I have used te device to determine my max hear rate and it provides an excellent history of your ride or workout. I have enjoyed the multisport capabilities as well. If you are considering buying this machine, wait no longer.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough features to make James Bond jealous., June 29, 2012
By 
J. Richards (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I use this watch mostly for cycling (30~45 mile rides on average) and weight training, but occasionally for running or swimming.

So what do I love about this heart rate monitor?
*It's very versatile and easy to customize profiles for all my different training. Going to go cycling couple clicks and I'm ready for that training with exactly what I am most interested in seeing customized on the display.
*This model is the only one that works for swimming.
*I love that this watch doesn't have to sit on a charger every night. It actually goes into sleep mode to save battery life instead.
*I found that the watch is incredibly easy to setup & sync to polar sensors. Even more interesting when I go to the gym and jump on the stationary bike or treadmill, which are polar equipped at the gym I go to, it immediately sensed I was using a polar device and synced up to me without doing anything.
*The watch is thin and stylish and is my casual everyday watch also.
*It's very solid, still looks almost new after months of rough use.
*It let's me know I'm being safe, but it makes me want to train harder with far more useful & detailed information on my work outs.

Anything I don't love about this watch?
*I don't like the back lighting. It's a dim faded green glow that is almost useless unless pitch black. Glad I don't train much in low light.

Side Note: Even though the book tells you to put the speed sensor on the front wheel of the bike I setup the speed sensor to the rear wheel on my bike. This is for when winter comes and I stick the bike on the indoor trainer. This will allow me to keep using the polar watch to track speed and distance. You just have to mount it far enough back so it doesn't cause interference with a cadence sensor magnet if you decide to add that sensor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, June 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is my second Polar HR monitor, first one was the RS300X that I love it but I started to feel that I need more room for analysis and integration for my training workouts. So based on my previous experience with Polar I decided to go with the RCX5 and I wasn't disappointed.
This new interface is very intuitive, easy to understand and use, I have two different bikes, a Trek 29er hardtail MTB for the off-road and the Orbea for road and triathlon competition, and I can set up both and choice what I'm using with a single botton. Only this HR monitor is able to be used under water for the swimming workouts, and if as I, do you like to do it in open water, you can use the G5 GPS on the back of the head cap to track the swimming distance.
This is a REAL tool, is not simple gadget, for me is fundamental to understand and listen what my body is telling and push it to the limits in a safe way, if you want to be a better runner, cyclist or swimmer, What are you doing thinking? try this tool, and start training with the heart (literally)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I wait so long?, February 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I never saw why people were so concerned with their heart rate monitors....that is until I picked this up. I use it for Spin, Integral training, yoga, and as a cycling computer on my road bike and this is awesome. The online portion is great too. You just plug your USB into an open port and it syncs to the watch and loads your workouts to your online profile. There you can see how long you hit your heart rate zones, duration of workouts and a lot of other data. This is one of the best investments I have made for my fitness. I would by this again tomorrow if I lost the one I have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent for Bike training, January 31, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
The product works very well and it is a complete gadget for the bike, I do recomend it. The quality of the product is as expected (solid and well made)
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obese trying to get back into shape, August 10, 2011
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I went to the polar shop and explained that I'm obese and badly out of shape. I want a heart rate monitor that will warn me when my pulse gets too high, so maybe I'll be able to get back into shape without getting a heart attack.

There are, however, a few complications: I'm studying martial arts (long staff, Ninjutsu), and I sometimes train alone, outside in the night. So I need a watch that will have a very loud alarm tone, a very visible display in dark conditions, and that will be configurable so that it beeps when my pulse rises above a higher threshold but will keep silent when my pulse goes down to resting pulse (lessons I attend sometimes include long durations of low intensity, such as when listening to the instructor and watching demonstrations, and it would be very annoying to the class if my watch started beeping).

So the salesman said "No Problem", and sold me one of the most expensive watches in the shop. But - even though I sometimes feel the watch is insulted because I use such a small portion of its capabilities - I'm very happy with this purchase.

This is the third polar watch I have - the previous was an F55 - and it's by far the one I enjoy the best.

And for the next phase I intend to walk in the pool (this way the water will ease the weight on my knees) and to swim, so I'm really happy this watch is supposed to also work in the pool. The F55 did badly there.

P.S - Zagg have a protector especially for this watch. Today Ive succeeded in attaching it, and I'm relieved since I really hated the scratches on my old one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heart Monitor works but DataLink USB device needed to upload workouts to Polar Personal Trainer Website was dead on arrival, November 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
I just received this Bike unit and have not really had time to test all the features yet. But initially--out of the box--the DataLink USB device did not work. You install the latest Polar WebSync software on your PC or Mac which communicates, through the DataLink USB device with their PolarPersonalTrainer.com Website. The process uploads workout data from the heart monitor watch, and, supposedly, create and download custom workouts to the watch/computer. Well I never got that far. The WebSync software could not recognize the DataLink USB device on my Windows 8 desktop. Working with Polar Tech Support (I did get through fast), he determined the DataLink was defective because it did NOT light up when placed into any of my PC's main USB ports. So he recommended sending the DataLink to Polar Repair for a replacement unit, which I did today. I did test the heart monitor & computer which worked great with my health club's machines, detecting the heart rate and the watch ("computer") accurately recorded it.

But doesn't Polar test their units before shipping? We'll see how long I have to wait and what the result is and I will update this review and as I test other components as well. I could have returned the whole unit to Amazon and ordered another, but I decided to go the Polar recommended route.

Update 12-4-2013
I ended up sending the DataLink unit back to Polar as instructed by a Polar Repair tech. They supposedly replaced it, or fixed it. The "new" unit failed again to be recognized by my desktop and the light which should glow when plugged into the USB port did not light. I do not know if they just returned the original. Maybe there is something about my computer that doesn't recognize it. Whatever, it is useless to me. So I am returning it. The tech support service also left much to be desired. The first tech told me to return just the DataLink, whereas, I was supposed to return the whole thing. They did not have a record of my first call nor any repair ticket. There was no tracking number or way on their Website to track the repair ticket. All-in-all, I was sorry I just didn't return or replace the unit using Amazon's service rather than go through Polar support. I am finished dealing with Polar products or their repair service.

Note, the heart monitor seemed to work fine. It was just the DataLink that failed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tool, March 1, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
Product arrived in perfect condition. Easy to follow instructions for setting it up. I have used it a number of times and think this will become a very valuable tool in prepping me for the Tough Mudder in June. I do with the contrast of the screen was a bit better. Sometimes hard to read, especially in the sunlight. The Polar website and YouTube are great resources if you don't like to read the entire manual.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Mixed Activities, February 21, 2013
By 
Chris K. (Turnersville, NJ) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
The RCX5 is a really good HRM for cyclist that want to also use it for other activities. This is really a triathlete HRM with built in functionality for Swimming, Running, and Cycling. It also has an "other sport" mode if needed. This version is optimized for cyclist as it comes with a bike speed sensor. Other sensors (cadence, stride, GPS) are available.

Only complaint is the screen is a little dim. Works perfect in bright light but riding on a trainer indoors requires some light. The built in light is too dim to be useful. Also, the speed and cadence sensors are "disposable" in that the batteries cannot be replaced. They claim to last 3000 hrs. But I hate to think of throwing away a $50 sensor. Check out youtube. You'll find instructions on how to replace the battery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good monitor with a few cons., June 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Sports)
Good looking, fine monitor. A few cons:

* Doesn't have altitude meter
* Doesn't have a temperature meter
* Display is not as easily readable as in other monitors like the S725X, which I like a lot.

Something that I wouldn't classify as a con, but something curious, is that the Fitness Test gives you very different results (higher values) than other monitors like, again, the S725X.

Other options you should consider are provided by Garmin.

2012-11-23 Update: the unit recently failed and it kind of got a little stain in the display caused by the liquid cristal itself. Thankfully Polar has an international guarantee policy and my unit was replaced, but I had to pay $25.00 for "paperwork" and I had to wait for a week. I already emailed Polar Customer service (about a month ago) asking them why I had to pay for my unit to be replaced but they keep telling me that they have too many emails to reply so they will be "contacting me soon". I think I will post my inquiry in the forums to get an reply.ttt
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Polar RCX5 Bike Heart Rate Monitor (Black)
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