What to say about Polar?

No connection between RCX5 and G5 GPS sensor.

A year ago I needed a new heart rate monitor. Polar introduced a new interesting productand and I instantly knew that´s the HRM I wanted. I bought Polar RCX5 and I was happy with my purchase.

I made my decision between RCX5 and Garmin Edge 800. They are not competing products, but I thought that RCX5 paired with G5 GPS would be more flexible choice for my purposes. I needed a wrist top computer rather than a bike mounted navigator. I´m doing a lot of other exercises than cycling, and that in mind I chose Polar.

I started to use my RCX5 with WearLink + Hybrid transmitter issued within the package. I was happy with the product and I told everybody how good it was. After a month or two I bought a G5 GPS sensor to track my runs. That was great, because I really wanted to know my speed and the exact distance I was running.

After three months of intensive use the problems started. My measured heart rate was bouncing from zero to 220. Sometimes I didn´t get any connection from the Hybrid transmitter. I tried to change the battery with no help.

RCX5 with WearLink + Hybrid transmitter was sent to Polar for maintenance. After a week I got it back with a brand new WearLink and everything was great. The problem was “corrosion” in the transmitter electrodes.

Intensive training for another three months and there was this same problem again. Now Polar sent me a new model of WearLink and new instructions to keep it clean. With the new WearLink you only have to rinse it and hang it to dry after use. You are not aloud to wash it in a washing machine anymore.

Everything has been good after receiving the new Wearlink. I also bought CS Cadence sensor (W.I.N.D) to gain more data of my cycling exercises and summer rides were just fantastic this year.

Couple of weeks ago my RCX5 needed a battery change. I went to an authorized Polar dealer in Helsinki to get battery change done professionally. After a couple of minutes I was told that my RCX5 has to be shipped to Polar. Again? That´s the third time! I was getting frustrated.

It took more than a week before I got my HRM back. And what I got was a brand new RCX5. Polar had replaced my old one because of some software problems and broken battery lid. OK, I thought, now I only have to do some reprogramming and I´m good to go!

How wrong I was 😦

First I couldn´t pair the new RCX5 with my G5 GPS. Now I´m unable to sync with polarpersonaltrainer.com with WebSync (Yes, I´ve uninstalled WebSync and reinstalled it). I Haven´t tried does this RCX5 link with my cadence sensor but that´s really not an issue…

It´s a pity, since as a Finn I like to support Finnish companies and buy Finnish products. I have also been interested in purchasing Polar CS500+ because I would like to have elevation information as well.

I don´t know what to do anymore. If I could rethink my purchase, I think I would buy a basic HRM for my exercises and Garmin Edge 800 for cycling purposes. Now I only have this RCX5 which is not performing like it is supposed to: Can´t upload my training data and can´t use the GPS…

Yesterday and today I sent email to Polar customer service and I have been Tweeting about this problem of mine. Let´s see if anything happens…

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Stavrota mountain, Lefkas

My first real climb was in Lefkas, Greece. This was in June 2011. I was having a one week holiday there and I had my mountain bike with me. All together I made four longer rides and they all included some climbs. But one ride was to the top of mountain Stavrota. The peak is at 1158 metres above sea level.

I started my climb from the village of Nikiana, which is on the Eastern bank of the Lefkas Island. My first goal was a small mountain village Alexandros, approx. at the height of 410 metres. The road from Nikiana was hard to find, because there was signs only on the other side of the road and they were covered with vegetation.

My mountain bike Rose Count Solo 4, year model 2011. It has Sram X9 groupset and Easton wheelset.

One of the first bends. Many to come…

First leg was the hardest part of the climb. The road was very steep, weather was hot and there wasn´t any breeze. I was sweating a lot and I had to stop regularly to catch my breath. My heart rate was over 170 bmp. Stopping wasn´t a relief either. There was a lot of wasp´s and other insects flying around me, and I didn´t want to get beaten by one.

When I reached the Village of Alexandros the weather cooled down significantly and riding the bike was easier. Actually I was a little cold at first, because my jersey was all wet.

My second goal was Karia, approx. at the height of 510 metres. Karia is a nice little village, with some restaurants and shops. I stopped there to for some snack and refilled my Camelbak.

From Karia I still had about 600 metres to the top of mountain Stavrota. After Karia the climb was easier. Not that steep, and weather was cooler. Unfortunately I have no pictures from the top, because of restrictions on photography. There was some radar installations and two military barracs (one abandoned). After Karia I saw only one human on my way to the top. A lot of goats and many snakes.

My whole trip was 74 kilometres, of which half was climbing. Top speed was little less than 60 km/h and calory consuption was 3 260. I drank about 4 litres of water during 5 hours of riding.

The machine: Rose Xeon RS (2012)

I´m riding the Rose Xeon RS roadbike. It´s my first road machine and it has proven to be one fast and agile bike.

It´s equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 compact drive. Xeon RS is an aluminum frame bike, which is a little odd in this carbon era. But it has proved many critics this year. The bike is very light, only 7,4 kg without pedals. That´s pretty amazing for a aluminium frame bike. Xyrium Elite wheelset is also a top pick for less than 2,4k€ bike.

There has not been any problems with the bike. Only downside is the matt white paintjob. It´s challenging to keep it clean, and you can imagine how it looks after that rainy ride :/

You cannot buy Rose bikes from any dealer. They can only be bought from Rose Bikeworld in Bocholt Germany or from their online-shop. You can by a bike from their list or use online configurator to build your own dreambike. All bikes are made for customers needs, so don´t be afraid to customize your own!

This is the machine I´m going to use for my challenge.