Connect with us

Gear & Tech

The Limited Edition Polar CS500 Cycling Computer Rocks!

Polar has been in close partnership with top pro cycling teams for more than ten years and are celebrating the 98th Tour de France by launching a limited edition of the CS500 cycling computer. Polar have aimed this unit at the Cycling market, but I was keen to try it out as a multisport athlete.

Published

on

Polar has been in close partnership with top pro cycling teams for more than ten years and are celebrating the 98th Tour de France by launching a limited edition of the CS500 cycling computer.

Polar-CS500 cycling computer cad-TDFPolar have aimed this unit at the Cycling market, but I was keen to try it out as a multisport athlete. I have been using the Polar RS800CX  product for a while, and while this has served as my cycling computer it does have the down side that I will not attach it to my bike during competitions as I want to use the unit for the other legs as well. Glancing at your wrist regularly to check speed and cadence during a race is possible, but probably not that safe, and consequently I felt I would benefit from a permanently mounted bike computer as well.

When you open the box you are immediately struck by the size of the unit, the unique diamond design, and the stylish Tour de France logo and yellow colouring on the back of the unit. While it is obvious that the size of the unit is going to make the display very easy to read while on the move, I did have concern as a triathlete as to whether the unit would fit comfortably onto the front stem of the bike, where it has to compete for space with aerobars. However this turned out not to be an issue at all, with the unit fitting very comfortably between the aerobar mounts. I also wondered whether it would squeeze my fingers when I held onto the arm rest portion of the aerobars on long uphill sections, but again no problem at all.

One of the stand out features of this unit is I believe just how easy it is to set up and attach to the bike. I dread the fitting of these units and often spend the best part of an evening getting the unit set up, however to my surprise and delight I had the unit out of the box, mounted and ready to use in less than 10 minutes. I did have the advantage of already having the cadence and speed sensors attached to the bike which I use with my current unit, but was impressed with how easy it was to attach the main unit and enter all the required information about the user (wheel size, personal data etc.)

The unit is supplied with a heart rate strap, speed and cadence sensors, all of which have been aligned with the unit so you do not need to do any set up. I already had all of these accessories and so had to ‘teach’ the unit to recognise my existing devices, but again this was super easy and only took a few seconds per accessory.

Click here for further details and or to buy online 

 

So after a few minutes I was ready to test the unit on the road. Once on the road again the theme was ‘ease of use’. The display is huge and easy to read. You scroll between different functions just by rocking the unit to the right, and it shows everything you could want to know about your ride: speed, distance, heart rate, temperature, cadence, ascent, descent (all in averages and maximum) calories, training load (which gives an indication of over/under training). All of this you can then download to your computer wirelessly after the ride so you can analyse performance and progress.

Of particular interest is that Polar have teamed up with Look to develop the Polar Look Keo Power system. Training with data on power output as well as heart rate information has long been proven to enable athletes to make step improvements in their performance (see this sites articles on training with power), but cost of the power meters has been a prohibitive factor for amatuer athletes until now.

The Polar Look Keo Power system will be the first pedal based power meter to the market place and will be compatible with CS500 and CS600. Cofidis and Quickstep have both conducted extensive field testing of the new power system with good reports, and claim it is as accurate as SRM power meters. While price is yet to be confirmed it is expected to be significantly cheaper than other power meters options on the market, and it can be fitted, calibrated and moved between bikes in seconds. This accessory was not available to be tested by me yet, but it is hoped that it will be available in December/January. They are running a competition during the Tour to be able to win the system.

The Limited Edition Polar CS500 looks great, it helps you get in the spirit of le Tour, and above all is easy: easy to fit, easy to use, and easy to get all of the data you can possibly need. The addition of the Polar Look Keo Power system has the potential make this a category killer, but even without this it is a great unit for cyclists and triathletes to get now and get on board with le Tour!

Features:

Extended Memory Capacity

CS500 Tour de France comes with extended memory capacity which has been
doubled compared to the previous version of the CS500. If the product is used with
a Polar Power Output Sensor W.I.N.D. or Polar LOOK Kéo Power pedals, the memory
recording rate is automatically set to 1 second to ensure adequate accuracy of the
training data.

Oversized Display

The oversized display guarantees visibility of your training data in all conditions,
improving your safety. Bigger size allows more data on the screen and ensures better
display readability while the fl at lens minimizes disturbing refl ections in direct
sunlight.

Rocker Switch

With a 2-way rocker switch, it’s quick and safe to control your cycling computer even
at high speeds. You can operate your cycling computer simply by gently touching the
left or right side of the handlebar unit. The advanced double pivot gives an extremely
light and sensible button feel.

W.I.N.D. Technology

The reliable 2.4 GHz W.I.N.D. technology guarantees disturbance-free data
communication. Its coded heart rate transmission prevents cross-talk between cycling
computers, so you can be sure you’ll get your heart rate and not your training buddy’s.
W.I.N.D. technology also gives longer range for the cycling computer and its sensors,
making it the ideal solution for cycling.

Polarpersonaltrainer.com

Add something extra to your ride by recording your training online. There’s a range of
training programs designed to guide and motivate you to a better workout.

  • Create personalized training programs
  • Follow your improvement with the training diary
  • Transfer your training data wirelessly
  • Challenge and get advice from other members

Training Load and Recovery Time

Training Load tells the user conveniently at a glance on polarpersonaltrainer.com
the cumulative training load for every day with color codes in the weekday headers.
In addition, the cumulative training load can now be viewed as a graph, illustrating
the time needed to recover to a certain level. The graph will also predict how the
cumulative training load will develop based on the user’s training plan, helping the
user optimize timing for training sessions.

Dual Lock Bike Mount

The Dual Lock Bike Mount is the most advanced bike mount on the market. It’s easy
to install and can be mounted on the stem or handlebar. Bike mount’s precise metal
parts guarantee firm attachment for the cycling computer, allowing even cross-country
cycling.

Click here for further details and or to buy online 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Gear & Tech

Quintana Roo Unveils Its All-New PRsix Disc Triathlon Bike

Published

on

American Bicycle Group (ABG), the manufacturer of award-winning high-performance bicycles – Litespeed (LS) and Quintana Roo (QR) – this week unveiled its all-new PRsix Disc Series of triathlon bikes at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Disc brakes enhance safety and reliability and are opening the door to improved wheel designs. With the PRsix Disc, there is no longer any restriction on rim shapes and tire sizes. The PRsix Disc is available in five colours – electric blue, neutron, atomic orange, teal, red, black/stealth – and limited colours and sizes are available now. The full line will be available in December 2017.

With no-nonsense braking, easy wheel changes, no rim width adjustments, and thru-axles front and rear, the PRsix Disc is stiffer than ever before and virtually eliminates wheel slip. New internal brake cable routing (front and rear) makes for a clean and more aero overall profile. The PRsix Disc is ready for new levels of aerodynamics, traction, and aero position comfort while racing at any distance.

According to ABG engineer Brad Devaney: “The placement of the callipers is unique and no-nonsense, and avoids gimmicks in the way of shrouds and covers. The rotors are incredibly aero efficient, and because of that, we’ve chosen not to add surface area and complexity. QR remains focused on efficient leading edges of the fork. For the rear brake, we’ve parlayed the LEA technology, which makes the non-drive side chainstay better than invisible. With no leading edge and an optimized ‘sail effect’ surface, we’ve nestled the calliper out of the amplified flow created by our SHIFT+ downtube orientation. I’m super excited to see the linking of technologies integrate so well in our latest design.”

“I’m thrilled about what we have done here,” said Peter Hurley, president, American Bicycle Group. “Our engineering staff has created a bike that is unlike any other in the market. The disc configuration they developed is a huge step and means that changing rim shapes no longer requires brake adjustment. We think it’s the best design ever.”

The PRsix Series, including the Disc, are nearly do-it-yourself bikes when it comes to mechanical fixes and shipping. No need to pay for specialized services when only two sizes of Allen wrenches and a basic knowledge of bike mechanics is needed. Easy to disassemble, ship and reassemble.

The new PRfive and PRsix Series bikes are painted and assembled at ABG’s 40,000 sq. ft. facility in Chattanooga, TN. QR is offering a frameset for $4,295 and has two bike versions – Shimano Ultegra Di2 disc with carbon race wheels for $9,595 and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc with carbon race wheels for $12,495, all of which can be preordered today.

Continue Reading

Gear & Tech

Review: KuaiFit Multisport headphones, not your usual set of sports headphones

Published

on

The complicated and over catered for sports headphone market is certainly jam-packed with products competing for your aural dollar. Most of the headphones are simply ‘sportified’ copies of the standard headphone (with a price tag to match), with limited, if any benefit to a multi-sport athlete.  Most of us will appreciate the frustration the first time you try to run without an ear loop on your headphones and the tinny base marketed as a safety feature!  Kuaiwear the company responsible for the KuaiFit headphones take a drastically different approach to the market, their multisport headphones are developed as a training enabler, providing real-time feedback, coaching, and improvement plans all while providing a decent set of headphones to blast Tay Tay to your heart’s content.

Models, Options & Pricing

The KuaiFit headphones currently come only in a sweat resistant run, bike and gym dry land multi-sport model, which is the focus of this review. Kuaiwear tells me that there is a swimming model due to be released Q1 2018 rounding out the appeal for triathletes, something we will update you on when they are released.  The KuaiFit headphones current retail for $159 USD on Amazon.  You can also buy the headphones with an ANT+ Cadence sensor for $209 USD or the Cadence sensor later for $49 USD, which when compared to the standalone and compatible Garmin GSC-10 is a bit at the expensive end of town.

Update: – Amazon currently have both the swimming model available for pre order and the base non swimming version.

Unboxing, construction & Fit

The first thing that strikes you when opening up the Kuaifit box is the size of the headphones, and they’re huge.  This has to do with Kuaiwears decision to enable changes to the heart rate, plan and in-flight programme and music without the need for an app, more on this in a minute, but the inclusion of physical switches is a welcome one.  The large loop fits snugly over your ear (excuse my ear and grey hair in the picture), and I couldn’t help feeling that these would look great next time I was to get assimilated by the Borg.

I did multiple runs and bikes with these headphones with some significant efforts thrown in, and they stayed in place throughout, an impressive feat, granted I did get some strange looks and a few questions!

Lots of toys in the box

Also, makes you more attractive at your next comic convention.

The earphones come with the standard set of interchangeable earpieces, depending on the size of your ‘ere oles’ and they all feel very comfortable.

The headphones can be recharged using a standard Micro USB charging port under one of the earbuds, as you can tell this design will certainly keep the sweat out.

Update – Post review Kuaiwear tell me that the USB port has been waterproofed to 5m to provide an added layer of protection for the base unit.

Great decision by Kuaiwear to have manual buttons on the headset.

Sweat resistant charging port under the earpiece.

Background and Framework

KuaiFit was successfully funded on KickStarter back in 2015 and shipped in 2017. They are more of an integrated system than a pair of headphones with multiple parts which I will talk about individually. In summary, its comprised of a set of sports headphones with an integrated Heartrate Monitor, a website used to track stats and plans, a phone App (Apple and Android) for real-time visual feedback and a desktop App for syncing music and maps (in the future).

Setup

The first step is to establish a user account on the Kuaifit website, used to download plans, manage your activities and settings.  The App on your phone, is your real-time visual interface into your headphones, displaying metrics such as Heart rate and cadence.  Finally, you have your headphones, which you pair with your phone as a regular set of Bluetooth headphones.  The process isn’t particularly onerous and well documented. However, you do find yourself jumping around websites and phone functions a fair bit with the overall process taking me 20 minutes or so.  The headphones strangely come pre-loaded with some euro trance music and ‘train-esque’ easy rock which plays during setup and whenever you start the App, presumably to get you in the mood.

Headphones, Sound Quality & pairing options

A good pair of sports headphones need to be able to blast out your tunes to keep you motivated, right? Well, the KuaiFit headphones are surprisingly full-featured. The headphones have 8GB of memory inbuilt, enough for 1,500 songs (more than sufficient for an Ironman build), but it can also actively stream music over Bluetooth.  Once the tunes are cranking through the headphones, they provide clear audio, high volume, and solid bass. Something that’s important when you’re trying to blast out 150 BPM running bangers. Overall even without the training capabilities, these are a solid set of sports headphones.

One thing to take into consideration is that most of the earpieces for me almost entirely blocked out any external sound. I didn’t mind this running. However, it did make me feel uncomfortable riding outside.  Now I’m not a big fan of riding with headphones anyway, however, if you do, best to keep one out.

Kuaiwear tell me they have multiple earbuds available to help choose the amount of noise let in.  They were not present on the review unit, but suffice to say they should give you some control over the noise.

Stated playtime is 7 hours, and I found that the be pretty much bang on, so props there.

An innovative feature in the integrated heart rate monitor (HRM) within the headphones themselves. It’s an interesting decision to do so, and I initially wondered how it could produce an accurate measurement given the position. However, the science supports it seamlessly and accurately captured my max heart rate and in-flight heart rate as accurately as my Garmin does. When you are ready to go, you just select the activity using your controls and start the session using either the headphones standalone or via the mobile app.

Once in a session, you use the buttons on the side to adjust heart rate zones with the earphones providing real-time feedback as to where you are currently are against the zones.  If a training plan is in place, it will dynamically range and alert you if you are overperforming or underperforming.

The headphones also act as an ANT+ receiver, automatically detecting ANT+ devices near the unit and presenting them via the mobile App. There is no way to set up a manual paring, which is a huge oversight by Kuaiwear – it gives us an indication as to the target market. More on this later.

The Kuaifit ear phones also send data via ANT+ and Bluetooth, allowing Gym equipment and Garmin devices to use the earphones as a heart rate monitor.  A cool feature that could conceivably see you removing the need of a dedicated Heart rate monitor.

I initially tested the device at my squads Mag Trainer session, the device automatically picks up sensors within range, whilst simple to use, it can cause some issues if there are multiple devices around.  This issue needs fixing in a future release.

Paring with devices is simple in concept however I had trouble connecting to my earphones to some devices, in particular, power meter’s (Rotor and  Vector) and could only get a cadence sensor reading from a Garmin GC – 10.  Some ability to troubleshoot connectivity would be welcome via the mobile app.

Website

Most likely your first point of call is the KuaiFit website. The bare-bones interface gives you access to your history with the standard set of activity stats. It also gives you the ability to customise individual alerts for each of the sports, calorie burn, heart rate levels, etc. The website and App doesn’t allow you to change your heart rate zones for each sport (you can overall), which again is a major problem for cyclists. Our achievable maximum heart rate on a bike is often 10-15 beats per minute lower than running, something that you cannot adjust. Therefore the cycling programmes and heart rate will always be higher than where it should be.

The website also gives you access to a series of training plans for both cycling and running which are well constructed with real-time feedback. However, there are only six plans available, focused towards beginners, with plenty in the pipeline

Multiple alerts and configurable metrics. Shame I cannot set zones per sport

Only six training plans are available at launch. Additional plans are reasonability priced.

Mobile Application

The mobile App provides real-time feedback depending on the activity. It captures heart rate and cadence and is easy to understand. It’s quite limited in its stats so far. However, I’m sure this will improve over time.

Simple, easy to use mobile app – perhaps a bit too simple.

Conclusion

As you can tell the headphones are very clearly a version 1 release product. As a runner I find these headphones quite a competent set, providing solid sound to keep me entertained. However, would I ditch my Garmin for them? No way…not yet anyway. The real-time feedback is nowhere near what I need as a runner (admittedly one obsessed with stats), and if anything, it just gets in the way of my tunes. The coaching features are simplistic and will work if you’re building up to your first 5km. As a cyclist, I found the device connectivity to be troublesome (Power Meters in particular) and with limited troubleshooting I found it to be a frustrating experience.

So would these work in the context of being a Triathlete? Not really, partially as these don’t support swimming as of yet and the features don’t meet my needs for the individual component sport, particularly cycling.

But would I buy a pair? ..well Yes. If you’re in the market for headphones, the build and audio quality put these at the top end of the market, competing at an audio level way beyond the price point. The real interesting aspect is that the headphones are a solid platform for Kuaiwear to build on.  The proof will be in the pudding to see if Kuaiwear continues to invest in the platform and deliver on the promise.  Looking forward to seeing the swimming version in the near future and the improvements to the overall framework!

Trizone Review
  • Price
  • Features
  • Usability

Summary

A solid set of Sports Headphones with great future potential.

Pros:

  • Solid set of headphones
  • Great bass
  • High levels of potential

Cons:

  • Generation 1 product
  • Cycling support misses the mark
  • No swimming support (yet)
3.0
Continue Reading

Gear & Tech

3 Reasons Why You Should Look at The New Wahoo Kickr + Kickr Climb

Published

on

The new Wahoo Kickr Climb is the best way to get more out of your indoor training thanks to increased bike compatibility and integration with real-time gradient training. New developments make your indoor training more realistic than ever before to enhance your fitness and make the most of your indoor training.

1. Your front wheel is replaced with a carbon steel attachment that simulates real-world elevation

Why is this cool?

When you pedal on your trainer, your whole bike will tilt in real-time according to the elevation of your route. If you pair Zwift with your Wahoo KICKR, you can climb the virtual hills of Watopia (One of Zwift’s awesome areas) If you thought Watopia’s peak was tough before, with KICKR Climb you’ll be exhausted to a whole new level.

If you don’t have Zwift, no worries. If you’ve saved a route on your ELEMNT, KICKR Climb can adjust your route according to the gradient of that route.

Why it’ll make you faster

You’ll have to stand up and adjust to new angles. You can work harder than on any other indoor trainer and get more out of your indoor sessions.

Climb works with the KICKR (2017 model only) and KICKR Snap.

2. 12×148 Thru axle compatibility

Why is this cool?

Your favourite bike can plug right into your indoor bike trainer without an adapter

Why this will make you faster

You can practice the toughest climbs on the actual bike you’ll ride outdoors, so you’ll know exactly what to do on race day.

3. Improved disc brake clearance

Why this is cool

More bikes are using disc brakes, so it’s likely the next bike you use on the KICKR will have disc brakes.

Why this will make you faster

You’ll get real-world practice with bikes with disc brakes indoors and outdoors. Simple.

Training indoors is the reality for most triathletes throughout the seasons, for post-race recovery and as a vital part of any training regime. The new Wahoo KICKR is the perfect way to maximise your indoor training and get fitter than the athletes next to you on the start line.

Continue Reading

Gear & Tech

Danish Start-up Launches the World’s First Custom Fitted Swimming Goggles

Published

on

New Danish technology has paved the way for the world’s first custom fitted swimming goggles, making the swimwear comfortable and 100 percent waterproof. The product is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter until October 31st.

Have you ever experienced water leakage or discomfort with your swimming google? Problems with swimming goggles are well known among professional swimmers, triathletes and fitness enthusiasts. But soon it will all belong to the past.

The Danish start-up THEMAGIC5 has developed a new groundbreaking technology that can 3D outline your face directly through your smartphone on THEMAGIC5’s app. Based on the 3D animation, your swimming goggles are custom fitted to perfectly match the shape of your face.

“It has been our ambition to develop the world’s best swimming goggles – completely custom fitted for you,” says Rasmus Barfred, Co-Founder of THEMAGIC5.

The product is on sale through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter until October 31st. THEMAGIC5 is targeting to sell around 1,000 goggles and raise 50.000 USD in capital.

Several World Championship swimmers have already begun using their custom fitted THEMAGIC5-goggles. Most recently at the World Cup in Budapest in July.

“We have the ambition to be the leader in the market globally. We have launched a product and technology that the world has never seen before. Therefore, of course, we are extremely pleased that our goggles have been well received by World Championship swimmers,” says Rasmus Barfred.

“Since I started using THEMAGIC5s swimming goggle I have not felt the urge to adjust my swimming goggles all the time. When you swim as much as I do, the irritation you get from your swimming goggle seems a part of the game. I am happy that this problem has finally been fixed so I can focus my attention on the joy of swimming,” says Marina Heller Hansen, Part of the Danish national team and participant at the 2017 FINA World Championships.

Continue Reading

Gear & Tech

CorSense​ ​HRV​ ​Monitor:​ ​Optimise​ ​Health​ ​and​ ​Fitness​ ​Without​ ​Wearables

Published

on

Elite HRV, creators of the popular heart rate variability (HRV) app and platform, has launched the CorSense via a global Kickstarter campaign.

CorSense is an HRV sensor that slips onto any size fingertip. With CorSense, in just two minutes/day, users can optimize nutrition, training, recovery, sleep and stress without the use of chest strap monitors or 24/7 wearables. HRV is a unique biomarker used by hundreds of thousands of coaches, athletes, clinicians, wellness seekers, and researchers. It is a comprehensive “check-engine light” for the body and mind that is also non-invasive and responsive. HRV is linked to biological aging, athletic performance, and risk of numerous chronic illnesses.

CorSense is a highly-accurate, easier, comfier, non-wearable alternative to chest-strap heart monitors, patches, ear-clips, fitness bands, and adhesives. Utilizing advanced sensor technology, CorSense slips onto a fingertip and automatically activates, senses the pulse waveform, syncs via Bluetooth, and transmits HRV data to any compatible HRV app.

“The number one request from our 130,000-plus users has been to make HRV tracking simpler and more comfortable without compromising accuracy. Based on this feedback, we designed CorSense from the ground up to precisely track HRV with no user intervention apart from slipping it onto their finger. CorSense does the rest.”

With CorSense and HRV, enhanced health, fitness and wellbeing takes just 2 minutes/day.

CorSense on the finger.

Using the new CorSense device along with the EliteHRV App.

Continue Reading

Gear & Tech

Do Your TrainingPeaks workouts in Zwift

Published

on

Are you a TrainingPeaks user and also love using Zwift on those days that aren’t great to be outdoors? Well, today marks a significant step forward for both companies as the integration just got a whole heap better for us.

Many of us are using TrainingPeaks because our coach uses it and they put the required workout information in there for us to complete (or not) plus it’s great for understanding certain key metrics.

From today, you can now do your TrainingPeaks Structured Training within Zwift without doing any fancy export/import or be recreating those sessions in Zwift – and hands up who has done that before? Just login to Zwift and make sure your account is linked to your TrainingPeaks account – you can check this on the connections page. If they are connected, disconnect and connect them again just to be safe. Next, make sure your workout has been saved via TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Builder.

Lastly, login to Zwift, select workouts, and find today’s workout under the TrainingPeaks dropdown. You’ll only see the workout for the current day, and it updates automatically each day.

Continue Reading

Trending