Wahoo updated their popular TICKR family heart rate monitors today with a number of features and a new design.
The TICKR is a heart rate chest strap, worn around your chest and measures the electrical activity of the heart. Even though some might find chest straps to be uncomfortable, this method of heart rate measurement is known to this day to be more accurate than optical heart rate sensors you find in watches or some armbands.
HERE IS EVERYTHING NEW WITH THE TICKR/TICKR X:
- Connect up to three Bluetooth devices.
- 10% slimmer pod
- Battery life increased to 500 hours (up from 350 hours). Uses a CR2032 battery.
- LEDs moved to the top of the body.
TICKR X ONLY
- Run Dynamics transmitted via ANT+ to compatible smartwatches
- Internal memory increased to store 50 hours of data (up from 16 hours)
In the box, you will find the TICKR along with the heart rate strap and manual. CR 2032 battery is included.
These updates might not seem much. But we are talking about a heart rate monitor. After all, there isn’t much to expect from a heart rate chest strap other than accurately measure and transmit your heart rate but Wahoo addressed almost every point to put the TICKR ahead of its competition.
Here is everything in the manual:
Here is the TICKR next to an iPhone X
Here is another view with the TICKR behind the iPhone X. It’s just a few millimeters thicker.
In case you don’t have an iPhone X, her is another view next to a pencil. We all have one of these and yes, my son chewed off the eraser.
DUAL BAND & MULT-BLUETOOTH
I really like the slimmer design and the lights on top. The blue and red lights on top serve two purposes: Show you there is life in the device and connection status. But what I really like about the new TICKR is the multi-Bluetooth support.
When training indoors, ANT+ has been widely used but unfortunately, it’s not supported by most devices that we use indoors such as tablets, computers without an ANT+ USB key, and Apple TV.
Also, signal interference is a major issue when using ANT+ indoors as it uses the same 2.4 GHz frequency as many other devices used inside most homes such as your WiFi. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is supported by almost every device out there.
However, unlike ANT+, Bluetooth can only connect to one device at a time. This presented a problem if you connect your heart rate monitor to your phone as an example and forget to disconnect it or turn off the app that was using your heart rate monitor. To solve this issue, Wahoo and other companies started building multi-Bluetooth channels into their devices to allow for multiple connections.
Here is the TICKR connected to TrainerRoad and Zwift at the same time.
As for accuracy, Wahoo sent me the TICKER months ago and it’s been my primary heart rate monitor for the past few weeks. For data comparison sake, I tested the TICKR against my Polar H10 heart rate strap and it was consistently 1 beat lower than the H10. For the full ride you see below, the TICKR average HR was 128 BPM where Polar was 129 BPM. Peak HR was 150 BPM measure by the H10 and 149 measured by the TICKR.
Here is more data from a run. Similar to the bike ride, the TICKR was measure 1 BMP lower or Polar H10 was measuring 1 beat higher. Either way, it’s nothing I would worry about. 1 or 2 BPM isn’t going to make or break your training.
At the beginning of the run, it looks like there was a short disconnect in signal in Zwift. My treadmill sits a little further away from my PC so it’s possible the PC was trying to find my TICKR and lost connection for a second or two. But it was solid for the remainder of the run.
Here is a close up of some strides towards the end. Both monitors were moving together and only one beat off.
Heart monitors are, after all, not very complicated devices. They generally do one job and you hope they do that job well. In the case of the TICKR, its main job is to measure your heart rate and broadcast it to a compatible device or multiple devices in the case of the TICKR. The TICKR did its job and did it well.
If you are looking to upgrade your heart rate monitor or looking for a new heart rate monitor that is compatible with your Peloton bike, Zwift, TrainerRoad,
The TICKR retails for $49.99 and the TICKR X with running dynamics retails for $79.99. The new stealth color previewed in this post will also be included as part of the ELEMNT ROAM and ELEMNT BOLT Stealth Edition Bundles. You can buy the TICKR or TICKR X directly from Wahoo Fitness.