Another Polar HRM Question -- PC Coach Software
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  1. #1
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    Question Another Polar HRM Question -- PC Coach Software

    I'm looking at replacing my old Polar Protrainer XT (it's dying...and it isn't cost effective to send it to Polar for another rehab). I'm looking at the S520. My question is with the software -- my understanding is that it comes bundled with a "lite" version of a data logging/coaching software developed by PC Coach. PC Coach is offering a package deal where they will sell you the Polar 520 and the cycling-specific full-boat PC Coach software for $265.

    The coaching software is supposedly based on the training philosophy of Dr. Edmund Burke, a well respected name. It's supposed to be customizable based on your goals, etc.

    Is anyone out there using this? I know that I could put together something myself using Friel and a spreadsheet, but I like the idea of having the data collection and calendaring as automated as possible.

    Also, any comments on the Polar S520? Finicky? How about the Sonic Link?
    It's Been Fun...See You Down The Road.

  2. #2
    Windrider (Stubborn)
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    I'd skip the 520 myself........

    and pay the slight premium for the 720.

    As I understand it, the 520 can only hold one exercise file, whereas the 720 can handle multiple files. This is great when you are doing multiday events or don't want to download after every ride.

    I have never been able to get sonic link to work correctly, I use the IR interface (only because I needed it for an earlier computer). My current computer will connect with it's buuilt in IR interface.

    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/commo...661&TextMode=0

    The premium for the 720 is about $40.00 over the 520 and you get the full blown software and the multi file capability (as well as a few more bells and whistles.

    Len



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  3. #3

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    Thumbs down A Polar detractor .......

    I've used the PCCoach software with my PC Coach HRM (mainly for running). I purchased the upgrade software which I think they called the 'Elite'. The software was HORRID ! Absolutely rotten user-interface, not intuitive, not friendly to changes, additions, creating custom charts/graphs or data analysis - just basically a log. It's like it was written by someone as a high-school programming project.

    I also purchased a couple of their coaching packages to integrate into the PCCoach calendar tool. It too was amateurish in both design and execution.

    The poor software, and lack of user-replaceable batteries, has had me write off Polar. I now wear my Polar HRM as my daily watch (the batteries in the chest band died long ago). For the price of a battery replacement in the Chest Band I got a wired version of the Vetta V100HR from Performance Bike. It's got all the HRM functions I need, plus great bike functions - all for the price of chest-band batteries from Polar.

    I'm not fond of their products, their software, or their pricing.

    Now for the caveat: My experience is based on the a purchase about 2 years ago. Things may have improved.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Taylor
    I'm looking at replacing my old Polar Protrainer XT (it's dying...and it isn't cost effective to send it to Polar for another rehab). I'm looking at the S520. My question is with the software -- my understanding is that it comes bundled with a "lite" version of a data logging/coaching software developed by PC Coach. PC Coach is offering a package deal where they will sell you the Polar 520 and the cycling-specific full-boat PC Coach software for $265.

    The coaching software is supposedly based on the training philosophy of Dr. Edmund Burke, a well respected name. It's supposed to be customizable based on your goals, etc.

    Is anyone out there using this? I know that I could put together something myself using Friel and a spreadsheet, but I like the idea of having the data collection and calendaring as automated as possible.

    Also, any comments on the Polar S520? Finicky? How about the Sonic Link?

  4. #4
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    S520 or S720 ?

    At the moment, I'm using both an older X trainer plus and a Polar Coach, which is very much like the S520, without the cycling functions. I also use the PC Coach Elite software to keep tab on all my data. With the software, I can graph out all sorts of useless information like Yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily amounts of time in zone 4.
    Yes, the S720 has more bells and whistles than the S520, but only you can say if you need them. I even use the software for my X Trainer Plus, because Polar's software, at the time, was kinda' lame.
    I've haven't had any problem with Polar's equipment, including the chest strap. The belt's battery last a very long time. I believe that your HRM has a coded chest strap, so that it will work with either the S520 or the S720. If you have a speed sensor, it should also work.
    If you don't mind downloading the S520 every night, it's easy to use a microphone to work the sonic link. If you feel the need to record your HR every 5 seconds throughout your ride, the S720's for you. I'm pretty sure that if you get the S720, you can now get a USB downloader instead of the older serial downloader.
    Either way, stick with Polar, it's the best.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Taylor
    I'm looking at replacing my old Polar Protrainer XT (it's dying...and it isn't cost effective to send it to Polar for another rehab). I'm looking at the S520. My question is with the software -- my understanding is that it comes bundled with a "lite" version of a data logging/coaching software developed by PC Coach. PC Coach is offering a package deal where they will sell you the Polar 520 and the cycling-specific full-boat PC Coach software for $265.

    The coaching software is supposedly based on the training philosophy of Dr. Edmund Burke, a well respected name. It's supposed to be customizable based on your goals, etc.

    Is anyone out there using this? I know that I could put together something myself using Friel and a spreadsheet, but I like the idea of having the data collection and calendaring as automated as possible.

    Also, any comments on the Polar S520? Finicky? How about the Sonic Link?
    I use the 720i as well, the IR interface and other functions are worth it for me. I have tried PC coach software, and it has a difficult learning curve. My style is to ride and then use the download to log the details of my ride. PC Coach is meant to develop a training schedule, follow it and monitor the results. If that is your style, you may find it useful.

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