Heart rate monitor specialist Polar has launched its all new “cycling system”, the CS600X. It’s an upgrade to the existing CS600 and “was developed to meet the demands of serious performance-based riders and anyone who wants to ride with the best of the best”.
Out of the box, the CS600X includes a speed sensor and chest strap, while the unit itself contains an altimeter. It can do quite a lot with those, offering easy-to-check graphical representations of your absolute, average and relative heart rate, plus relaxation rate, which indicates the speed of physical recovery. It’ll tot up how much climbing and descending you’ve done, tell you how much you should be eating and lots more.
And that’s just for starters. There’s also a range of optional additional sensors for power, cadence and location. The power sensor will report power output, cycling efficiency, “pedalling index” (and we don’t mind admitting that we don’t know what that is) and tell you if you’re pedalling harder with one leg than the other. The wireless cadence sensor gives you pedal revolutions per minute.
The really interesting add-on, though, is the G3 GPS Sensor. Using this, the CX600X can measure speed and distance via satellite rather than relying on the wheel sensor, which means you can get away without fitting a wheel sensor – sometimes handy on MTBs, definitely handy for using on multiple bikes and you’ll be able to use it while running too. It’ll keep a log of where you’ve been, which you can download straight into Google Earth – the resulting track will be colour-coded according to heart rate so you can see which bits were hardest/most exciting.
Other features include the Interval Trainer that allows you to create and name your own favourite guided workout based on target heart rate, speed and/or time; Polar Sport Zones – an easy way to select and monitor the intensity of your training; the OwnOptimizer™ that shows the status of your training load to help find the perfect balance between training and recovery; memory to store full details of the last 99 rides and also a 99 lap memory.
With all that going on, it’s a good thing that the CS600X has a large, customisable display. You’ll probably still have to rely on Polar’s ProTrainer 5 software to get the most out of it, though – that’ll keep track of, and analyse, all your recorded data as well as helping you to plan training sessions and transfer them to the bike unit.
This is all clearly high-end stuff for those who take their training seriously, so the £379 price tag won’t come as too much of a surprise. Visit www.polarelectro.co.uk to find out more.