The convenience of exercising at home, easily accessible live workouts, integrating innovative ANT+ technology—just a few reasons the Peloton bike has gained so much popularity in such a short time.
Despite the groundbreaking technology that is such an important constituent of the bike’s popularity, however, its heart rate monitor (HRM) is not very well-made. In a year or less, many users complain about the loss of accuracy in their native Peloton HRM.
But instead of sitting around asking why, the right course of action is to find yourself the best heart rate monitor for Peloton. Whether you’re looking to buy the bike or already own one, we’ve created this guide to help you. Here are our top 5 picks.
Best Heart Rate Monitors for Peloton Reviews
Keeping a number of important factors in mind, we have conducted deep and thorough research on the heart rate monitors on the market. Here are the 5 we have shortlisted.
1. Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor
- Strap made from soft fabric for comfortable and extended wear
- Very lightweight; weighs only 1.6 ounces
- Offers water resistance of up to 30 meters
- Optimized ANT+ technology automatically pairs with your Peloton bike in seconds
With over 4 decades of experience in manufacturing high-quality sporting technology, Garmin is a brand that has justly earned its high reputation. This chest heart rate monitor is just one of the many examples of their ability to produce high-performing electronics.
Equipped with ANT+ connectivity capabilities, this heart rate monitor offers live wireless transmission of heart rate data to your Peloton bike. You will be able to see your data in real-time as you cycle. Also, it weighs only 1.6 ounces; you won’t even notice that it’s there!
While it does not offer Bluetooth connectivity, the monitor’s ANT+ capabilities are more than enough. Not only is it highly efficient, but it’s optimized for use in areas where other ANT+ devices might interfere with the signal: once you pair it with your Peloton bike, the monitor will automatically pick up the signal every time.
Equipped with a soft and comfortable elastic strap for easy wear, the Garmin Premium HRM is meant to be worn around the chest. You can easily adjust the sizing of the strap to find the right fit for your chest dimensions. Plus, the strap is super easy to wash and will dry quickly.
One drawback of this HRM is that it’s not designed for use while swimming, even though it does have water resistance capabilities of up to 30 meters. However, since you’ll be using it with your Peloton bike, we think that’s hardly a major disadvantage!
2. Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband
- Tracks all relevant information besides heart rate, including burned calories
- Offers both ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility
- Can be submerged up to 1 meter thanks to Ip67 waterproof construction
- One-touch instant functionality using start-up button
- Available in 5 attractive color options including green and pink
For our next pick, we have the wildly popular Scosche Rhythm+ HRM armband. Offering numerous attractive features and integrating highly efficient technology in all its components, this armband is pretty much a cult classic at this point. Here’s why it’s so popular.
First off, this armband is compatible with both Bluetooth and ANT+ technology. So not only is it compatible with your Peloton bike, but you can use it with your other smart devices as well. What’s more, it’s also compatible with most fitness and health apps.
The Rhythm+ utilizes PPG (photoplethysmography) technology. It works using an optical method which shines a light onto your arm skin to monitor heart rate. On the front of the strap is a single button; once you press that, it instantly starts up and begins monitoring.
What we love most about the Rhythm+ is that it displays all information relevant to your workout: it tracks not only your heart rate but also calories burned, pace, and distance, to name just a few. In our eyes, it’s the ideal workout partner. Furthermore, you’re not confined to your Peloton bike; you can easily take it with you when exercising in wet conditions. That’s thanks to its Ip67 waterproof construction, which allows up to 1 meter of submerging.
Another one of the many reasons this armband is so popular is the lack of a chest-strap requirement. For many, this is a much more comfortable option; however, it’s worth noting that some reports point to lower accuracy due to this factor.
3. Wahoo TICKR FIT Heart Rate Monitor Armband
- Compatible with most popular fitness and health apps
- Offers both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity
- Rechargeable battery lasts up to 35 hours on one charge
- Instantly displays relevant workout data on your device of choice
Since we’re on the topic of high-performing dual-technology heart rate monitors, we would be remiss in not mentioning the Wahoo HRM armband. Just like the Scorsche Rhythm+, this one is also extremely popular. Here’s why.
Compatible with both Bluetooth and ANT+ technology, this armband is ideal for use not only with your Peloton bike but with other smart devices as well. Whether it’s a bike computer, GPS watch, or simply your smartphone, connectivity will never be a concern.
On that note, this armband is also fully compatible with the vast majority of the most popular health and wellness apps out there, including Wahoo’s very own and very popular Wahoo Fitness. Recording your workout data has never been so easy.
But wait, what do we mean by “workout data”? Well, you already know that this thing tracks your heart rate. But it also displays a calorie count, training zones, and workout duration, among others.
And because it’s an armband, putting it on and getting on with your workout is super easy and quick. Since it’s adjustable as well, you can choose to strap it to either your upper arm or forearm. Wherever you put it, though, it will instantly and efficiently turn on the optical sensor and get to work.
4. iGPSPORT HR60 Heart Rate Monitor Armband
- Offers both Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility for varied use
- Arm band constructed from breathable and comfortable elastic textile
- Integrated heart rate LED indicator allows you to track workout intensity
- Comes in two bright colors: blue and orange
With all this talk of big-name brands and their big-name products, it’s easy to get swept away into the glamorous world of expensive heart rate monitors. While our next pick from iGPSPORT isn’t exactly cheap, it still offers a world of functionality at a much lower price.
To begin with, we want to focus on this armband’s technological capabilities. Equipped with both ANT+ and Bluetooth technology, this device promises to be your workout companion no matter whether you’re on the Peloton or off it. And of course, you’ll be able to enjoy an effortless connection to your smartphone and fitness apps.
Something that really stands out about this armband is its integrated LED heart-rate zone indicator. As the name suggests, this allows you to monitor the intensity of your workout by referring to your heart rate. For example, when it glows pink, that means your heart rate is less than 130bpm. Red indicates a heart rate of over 160bpm, which is a sign to slow down.
This level of performance does drain the battery of the HR60 somewhat quickly, even though the battery is supposed to provide 20 hours of power in one charge. However, this also depends on the device(s) you have the wristband paired with; for greater energy efficiency, we would recommend only connecting to your bike at a time.
Other than that, however, there’s really not much to complain about with regards to this armband. Especially considering the price and dual-band functionality, we think it’s pretty much a steal.
5. Fitbit Alta HR
- Displays workout data in Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak modes
- Capable of tracking REM and deep sleep along with all required activity data
- Fitbit app compatible with over 200 different Android, iPhone, and Windows devices
- Available in 5 stylish color options including coral and fuchsia
- Sleek display sends reminders to fulfill fitness goals
Our final pick is from a brand well-loved by millions of millennials and modern fitness-conscious peeps: Fitbit. Compared to all the other HRMs we’ve looked at today, the Fitbit Alta HR offers the highest number of features; however, that also means it’s the most expensive of the bunch, so proceed only if you can afford!
Sorry, non-Fitbit users, but you’re missing out. With this wristband, you’re not only going to be informed of your heart rate but so much more. The Fitbit tracks the number of steps you walk each day, duration of the activity, and calories burned, among others.
“But other HRMs can do that too,” you’re thinking. Sure, but can they also track the time you spend in light conditions, along with monitoring your REM and deep sleep? Didn’t think so.
What’s more, this thing also displays “use zones” according to your heart rate: you can track the intensity of your workout according to Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peak mode. Optimizing your workout just becomes a walk in the park.
The Fitbit comes with a streamlined and super easy-to-use app, which in turn can sync your data with more than 200 different Android, iPhone, and Windows devices. And speaking of convenience, the Fitbit is undoubtedly the easiest to put on quickly and get on with your day. Plus, it looks so great, it’s a fashion statement all on its own!
Buying Guide for Heart Rate Monitors
The heart rate monitor is an integral aspect of your Peloton workout experience. So before you invest, remember to keep the following factors in mind.
Heart Rate Detection Method
HRMs detect your pulse rate using one of two methods: ECG or LED. ECG types use sensors to detect your pulse rate, and then transmit that information to connected devices which calculate and display your heart rate.
Other HRMs use LED light by shining it onto your skin and monitoring the alterations in reflected light according to the filling and draining of blood from capillaries. This process is called photoplethysmography (PPG).
Bluetooth / ANT+ Compatibility
It goes without saying that your HRM should have wireless connectivity options. But between Bluetooth and ANT+, which one is better? Well, it depends.
The benefit of an ANT+ powered HRM is that it can send your heart rate data to multiple devices at once. Furthermore, it's considered to be more energy-efficient than Bluetooth.
Bluetooth, on the other hand, offers faster and simpler connectivity. One drawback is that it can't connect to more than one device. However, when it comes down to it, the simplicity of Bluetooth is preferred by those who aren't super into tech.
Alternatively, if you're super tech-savvy and want all your data synchronized on multiple devices, you could always opt for an HRM that offers both kinds of connectivity. This will cost you a little bit more, however.
Beyond deciding whether you want a chest or wrist strap, it's also important to ensure that the strap is well-made and comfortable to wear. Chafing is the last thing you want to deal with when working out.
It's also important to opt for waterproof materials when considering the strap construction. You don't want a strap that wears out over time due to exposure to sweat.
In order to work properly, heart rate monitors have to be strapped to a pulse point in your body. The vast majority of HRMs can be strapped either to your wrist or to your chest.
Wrist HRMs tend to be more lightweight and are easier to strap on. They work by detecting your pulse on your wrist using optical heart rate sensors. Then the information is displayed on your smartwatch.
Chest strap HRMs measure your pulse using electrical signals, then sends the heart rate data to any device you may have connected, such as your tablet or smartphone or, in this case, your Peloton bike.
Only you can decide whether the wrist or chest strap works better for you, but generally, chest straps are preferred over wrist straps for accuracy. Plus, they fit your body more closely.
FAQs for Peloton Heart Rate Monitors
1. Which is a more accurate heart-rate detection technology, PPG or ECG?
ECG is typically preferred over PPG as it outshines the latter in terms of accuracy, energy efficiency, and ease of integration.
2. What is the best way to clean my heart rate monitor strap?
Many people prefer to wash their HRM strap after every use, as sweat and salt accumulation can interfere with the HRM's performance. Not all straps are machine-washable, though, so remember to check the care instructions.
3. Should I opt for a chest strap or wrist strap?
Chest straps are usually preferred as they provide greater accuracy. This is due to the fact that they're more close-fitting than wrist straps. Wrist straps provide quick and easy data; however, because they don’t fit as closely, you might get garbled heart rate readings.
4. What is the best affordable HRM for my Peloton bike?
Although HRMs are hardly cheap, the iGPSPORT HR60 Heart Rate Monitor Armband offers great functionality at a reasonable price.
5. Is it necessary to buy a waterproof heart rate monitor?
In our opinion, yes. Both Bluetooth and ANT+ transmit data using 2.4Ghz microwave frequency band, the signals for which can be absorbed by water/sweat quite easily.
Ultimately, the best heart rate monitor for Peloton for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and wishes.
That being said, the Scosche Rhythm+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband definitely stands out to us for its capabilities. If you want a more feature-heavy HRM, we’d recommend the Fitbit Alta HR.
We wish you a healthy life. Good luck with your workouts!