I have been using my Road Trainer heart rate monitor for several weeks now, and must say it is a must-have for runners and athletes. This is the first HRM I have ever used, so I offer no comparative reviews to other models, but here are a few pros and cons of this particular unit:
PROS: * Accurate heart beat measurement (just make sure to wet the chest pads a bit with water before wearing) * Great tracking and review of workout stats (includes: total minutes of workout, time in heart rate zone, peak heart rate, minimum heart rate, calories burned and recovery time) * Easy-to-read display, which is critical when you just want to glance down at the watch before looking back at the road/path * Chest strap is very comfortable and stays in place (I'm a lean 5'11" 154lbs, so I can understand if larger guys find the strap snug) * Customizable heart rate zone, great for changing the intensity of your workout * Really informative manual and heart-health booklet included with this * The watch looks nice enough to wear casually
CONS: * The wrist watch strap is fairly large -- even for those with larger wrists * There seems to be some relay lag between chest strap and watch if I start running too quickly. This is resolved if I slow down and allow the watch to "catch up," but it generally takes over two minutes to synch if I don't do this, which obviously skews the data * The calorie counter tends to be somewhat inconsistent, either showing far too many or too few calories burned (I am by no means trying to lose weight, but I do need to monitor how many calories I need to consume in order to refuel -- especially when approaching race day)
I have not used this for biking or swimming, but I run roughly 15-20 miles per week, and can honestly say I will never be without my Road Trainer. My only regret is not having purchased it sooner!