TICKR X- Heart Rate Monitor Review
TICKR X First Impressions
I’ll come completely clean right from the start. I’m a distance runner that’s done zero fitness data tracking up to this point, so I was the perfect candidate to give a completely unbiased review of the new Wahoo Fitness TICKR X heart rate monitor. Wahoo is known in the fitness tech market as the company that effectively utilizes smartphone technologies as the platform for collecting and analyzing training data to plan for ultimate performance. The TICKR X has a couple distinct features that set it apart from or give it an edge over its parent models (the TICKR & TICKR RUN) and other branded HRM’s. But, first, I’ll talk about its basic assets.
TICKR X Basic Features
Fit and comfort:
TICKR X is comfortable. It stays in place and the elastic strap does not chafe. I wore the HRM on long runs, short jaunts and in the rain. I never once had had to pull the device up or readjust, nor did I have any chafing or lose skin on the rib cage or under the arms.
Ease of use:
The free Wahoo Fitness app downloads with ease. The training videos & instructions embedded in the app make it VERY easy to synch the HRM with the app; to set min/max heart rate; to access fitness plans; and adjust app settings to track pace, lap, heart rate etc. for each unique workout type i.e. running, cycling, swimming.
When running or cycling with the HRM and your phone, the data display is nice and comprehensive. The Wahoo app collects data then displays your route on a GPS map with active time, lap splits, pace, heart rate, calories burned, foot strike and a couple other data points post workout. While exercising, your smart phone screen prominently shows active time, distance and pace, so you don’t have to mess with scrolling down the page to keep an eye on critical “inner workout” data. You can also set the app to do “audible announcements” at specific distances while being able to customize what information you want “announced” per interval for each workout (pace, distance, etc.), or you can simply turn off the audio cues.
When a workout is finished you simply hit save and the data is accessible in the Wahoo Fitness app workout history. You can also export the workout data or share the workout report with 10+ workout applications and Dropbox.
TICKR X NEW AND IMPROVED FEATURES
The TICKR X model has “workout memory” capabilities. This allows athletes to do intense training wearing the HRM without carrying their smartphones. They can then synch the workout data to the Wahoo Fitness app post-workout for assessment. The X also has a motion analysis component, so athletes can track foot strike or cycling cadence. This feature, however, is only accessible when you carry your smartphone.
The device free workout option is nice for intense and/or swim workouts. Granted you can’t track splits or review distance covered while you’re running or swimming, but the TICKR X has a feature where you can double touch the HRM device. This will put a marker in the workout that you can review after you synch the workout data to the fitness app. This comes in handy when you’re doing a track or pool workout where you already know the total distance covered and exact length of each interval. You simply double touch the HRM for each lap or interval, and then review your splits after info is synched to Wahoo. One word of caution on the double touch feature, in the instructions/videos it says that you’ll feel a vibration when you double touch the HRM to mark an interval. I never felt the vibration, but the interval was always marked in the workout report. Simply, don’t frenetically hit the HRM each interval because you don’t think it picked up the marker. You’ll drive yourself crazy, and you’ll mess up your interval tracking…Trust the double tap (it works for zombies).
The new motion analytics feature is probably great for cyclists but provides little useful information for runners, so I don’t have any relevant or meaningful comments on this new aspect of the TICKR X.
TICKR X Final Thoughts
TICKR X won’t disappoint the fitness data heads, and I for one, really appreciated the fit. When you’re running, cycling, or swimming you want to focus on the workout, the scenery or what you’re going to eat for lunch! You never want to play with or worry about an accessory that’s slipping down or riding up. I was pleased with the performance and ability to analyze my workouts. Every time I went out, I was on a mission to improve my times and splits. You’ll be pleased with the relative ease of use, and the analytical data it produces.
Wahoo Fitness Website: http://www.wahoofitness.com/
TICKR X video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EArTD6itqn8