Polar ProTrainer 5 – Average speed readout

Now that I’m using my Polar RS800cx during my cycling tours, I’m of course am using the Polar ProTrainer 5 software to get nice overviews on the registered data!
It’s a great tool to keep track of your trainings.

But also with this software there are some things that are a bit awkward. One of them it the average speed readout. Let me show you through an example.

Recently I rode from the seashore back to my home, this trip would take up some 150km. So overall a long ride! During this I was using both my Trek speed sensor and my Polar RS800cx. When I got home, I uploaded the Polar data to my pc, to take a look at it in ProTrainer 5.

First thing I mostly do, is taking a look at the overall ride in the graph mode. This mode has all data plotted in a big line graph ( default setting ), like the heart rate, speed, cadence and temperature. It will also give you a good overview of all the totals underneath the graph, like total riding time, max and average speed and others… This overview pointed out that I rode an average speed of 25.3 km/h!
Just take a look at it here:
graph overview

But before you can see the actual graph overview, you first get a smaller window with also some detailed data already available! The weird thing here is that the given average speed here is only 23.7 km/h!
Just take a look at it here:
Small overview

So I was a bit confused on how this was possible! Because what is the actual average speed now? Through some calculations of my own, it seems that the average speed on the small overview is the correct one, because the total registered time is 6hours 30minutes and the total distance is 154.1 km. Using this, you would get the 23.7 km/h for an average speed!
So how would the 25.3 km/h be possible? This got me thinking and thanks to my Trek speed sensor I’m able to interpret this. Because my Trek sensor gave following data:
Total distance: 152.4 km ( ok slightly of but on such a distance, nothing to worry about )
Total time: 6hours 2minutes ( hey that is much less than on my Polar!! )
Average speed: 25 km/h ( look the 25 figure is comming back )

So we can have following conclusion: Polar does keep track of the average speed calculated on the total time, total distance basis, BUT it will also give you the actual riding average speed!! Meaning that the 25.3 km/h is the average speed while the speed sensor was registering data!! All the time I was standing still is omitted! ( like how other speed sensor, like the Trek, work! )
But because I didn’t pause on every occasion that we had to stop during the ride, my Polar has a longer total time registered! Resulting in the lower 23.7 km/h average speed given in the smaller overview.

To summarise, I actually don’t mind that these 2 readouts are available in the software! To be honest, I’m glad it gives this, but I don’t like the fact that there is no indication in the software that this data could be different and also any explanation is missing!!
The other thing that bothers me is that the graph data does indeed give me the average speed for the actual riding time, but doesn’t present my what the actual riding time was!! Very annoying.

[Tags]Polar, ProTrainer5, RS800cx, Cycling[/Tags]

Polar RS800cx PTE – IrDA problem

Only after a few usages ( I only have my Polar RS800cx for a few months ) my Polar IrDA usb device just stopped working.
Well actually, it didn’t stop… when I plugged it in the usb port, Windows detected it and the IrDA device started flashing red! But I couldn’t make any connection with other infra red devices, so also not with my Polar RS800cx! A real problem because my training sessions were filling up the memory on the watch!

I didn’t see any other option then to drive up to the Polar Service center here in Belgium. At the center they had the same ‘problem’ as I had and they just gave my a new usb device!
All is working well again now, but it worries me that the usb device just stopped working so fast. I hope it was just a bad unit, but looking at the Polar support forum, it seems I’m not the only one with IrDA problems!

For the record, I was also using the Black model with the grey tip and also got this model again as replacement.

[Tags]Polar, RS800cx, IrDA[/Tags]

Polar RS800cx PTE settings – part 2 – Using temperature

Second post on how to use the Polar RS800cx PTE concerns the temperature!
One of the nice features of the watch, is the ability to register the environment temperature during your exercise! Best way to get a good readout is not to wear the watch on your wrist during the ride, but place it on the handle bar mount.

But again there is something a bit strange on how to get the temperature data… When you finished a free exercise, you’ll be able to get a quick overview in the log file on the watch itself through the File>ExerciseLog menu! In this log, you’ll notice that the temperature is registered. But when you transfer the log to the Polar ProTrainer 5 software, the temperature will not be visible in the overview graph!

This phenomenon is due to the fact the the Polar ProTrainer 5 will only show temperature readout for each lap during the exercise!! Meaning that per default you will not have a ‘first’ lap when you start a free exercise!

To solve this problem, you’ll have to start a lap manually at the beginning of the exercise. To do this you start up the exercise by pressing the large red button on the watch, start the exercise and again press the large red button at the beginning to set the first lap!

After this, when you upload the log to the Polar ProTrainer 5 software, you’ll have the temperature visible in the grid.

[Tags]Polar, RS800CX, Cycling[/Tags]

Polar RS800cx PTE settings – part 1 – Using a speed or cadence sensor

Like I stated before, I currently own a Polar hrm that works great! But the first time use can be a bit daunting!
Even looking at the support forum of Polar, it seems that I’m not the only one with some first time usage problems… So for back reference and to maybe help other people I’ll post a series of how to set some features.

First up an overview of the main screen:
Polar RS800CX PTE

Secondly the first detailed feature:
Using a speed or cadence sensor

When buying the PTE edition of the RS800CX you’ll get a bundled speed and cadence sensor! But if you buy a regular RS800CX, you can add sensors later on.
Getting the sensors in sink with the watch isn’t actually a big problem. But what most people will have trouble with, like myself the first time, is the fact that you won’t see any data appearing the first time you start a free training.
This is due to the fact that the first time you start a training with the Polar watch, you have to select what type of material you’ll be using during the training! So in my case, my bike.

How to get set:


When you added the sensors, through the >Settings>Features menu – Shoes/Bike 1/2/3>Cadence, you can start a training!


When you are in the training menu for the first time it is imperative that you select the correct tool for the training! Otherwise the watch won’t know for what sensors to look for…
So in the Training menu go to Settings>Shoes/Bikes ( is not the same menu as the Settings menu in the Main ), choose the correct bike and you’re set!
After this you’ll get the small Bike icon in the lower left hand side when the training has started and you’ll be able to see the speed and cadence data.

[Tags]Polar, RS800CX, Cycling[/Tags]

Heart rate training

Currently I’m riding my bike only when I have the time, in other words I don’t have any real training goals set.
But, if everything goes well, I’ll be riding the Mont Ventoux next year.
So best to get serious on setting up a training schedule!

First things first, buying a Heart Rate monitor. For me this means only one brand and that’s Polar. But this doesn’t narrow down the choices very much 🙂
What I was looking for, was the option to fine tune a training on my computer and upload this to the Polar product. So I needed one that could work with Polar ProTrainer 5!
On the other hand I would love to be able to do more than just ride my bike, so getting a watch instead of a normal monitor was the second thing on my list!

All things considered there was only one item that could satisfy my needs and that was the Polar RS800cx Pro Team Edition!
I must say I love the product… it has all the features I was looking for and the use of the Polar ProTrainer 5 software is just fabulous!

There are some weird settings you have to take into account when using the watch and looking at the support forum at Polar I’m not the only one with these problems. So for future reference I’ll post them here on this blog.

So keep an eye out for future posts, they’ll be about the use of the watch!

[Tags]Cycling, Polar[/Tags]

Clothing for cyclists

Here is some news I wasn’t expecting !! I don’t know if this has been communicated somehow, but I found out by accident, so let me share it…

It’s said that Nike will stop with their cycling line !! Let me state that again, no more cycling goods from Nike !

I don’t get this… not that I can’t understand it, it still strikes me very odd ! Nike has always been the brand that exists in almost every sport and with the success Lance Armstrong had during the Tour de France their clothing line was fixed with good advertising ! Lance even got involved in the design of sveral products and now this ? Even his LiveStrong organisation has cycling clothing made by Nike !! Of course Lance has more focus on running these days, but why change a winning team ( in my personal opinion ) ?

The ‘good’ side of the story is that Trek would take over a big part of the product line but under their brandname… I don’t know if this is really the case, because I got it through word of mouth. But Trek doesn’t have the same amount to offer that Nike could.

But getting back to the sad part of the story, not that I am a real top cyclist, I do own several cycling clothing ! And let’s get one thing straight, bike clothing has to be very comfortable with a high quality so that it will not interfere with the actual bike ride you are about to make.
And that’s where Nike comes in… all the different brands I have tried and own, nothing feels as good as my Nike jersey and Nike cycling socks !! It’s all in the details… the jersey is of the finest material I’ve used so far, light, comfortable and still it regulates my body very good. The zipper is invisible, the slider is very small and has no annoying brand mark plate on it and the box ( at the bottom of the zipper ) is also very small, unnoticeable and most importantly doesn’t scar the bike pants !!
And the socks, well I just don’t feel them when I’m riding, that’s something I can’t say about other brands.

But then again like I stated, I’m no expert and it are all just my personal views… but if you still have the chance, buy a jersey and see for yourselves. I was hooked from the get-go !
Currently still available online : Nike and LiveStrong.

[tags]Nike, Trek, Cycling, Clothing[/tags]

Eddy Merckx route

Like some other cycling fans, me and some colleagues went on a small trip and got together to ride the Eddy Merckx route !

The toughest climb of the day was the Paterberg. It has a max climbing % of 20 and that combined with the fact the road is not paved makes it very difficult. Some people of our group had to walk the last part… 😉 ( I made it, but I couldn’t stay seated. I had to get up and stand on the pedals )

The other climbs of the day were fun and compared to the Paterberg, not that difficult. Because of the fact we started on the top of the Kluisberg we still had to do this one at the end of our journey. So even though it isn’t that steep, it was a bit hard because we had already done 47km.

It was a lot of fun 🙂

[Tags]Eddy Merckx, Cycling[/Tags]

Bike upgrade

With the current petrol prices, it seems a good choice to jump more on my bike to get to work! With that in mind I rode more during the month May then I’ve done before… and because of this I began to wonder if I couldn’t ‘upgrade’ my bike a little bit to get more comfort out of riding.

Well one of the things that was still on my bike wish-list where click pedals! I bought my bike several years ago and still haven’t got around to changing the normal pedals to a click version.
To get more grip and comfort during riding it would only seem natural to get new pedals.

Well today I rode my first trip with all the new materials installed!! And I have to say, I enjoyed it very much and there is indeed a difference with or without them !!

Here a quick overview of the things I bought.

Pedals : Shimano PD-R540 Silver – A set of SPD SL shields

Shoes : Sidi Genius 5.1 – Steel/Black/Red colour combination

[Tags]Sidi, Shimano, Cycling[/Tags]