If you’re wondering if the best heart rate monitor for Peloton is the one that comes with your bike or Tread, this blog post will answer that question. I can tell you that when we first got our Peloton bike in 2016, I strapped on the Peloton heart rate monitor and started working out. However, with two people sharing that chest strap Peloton HRM, things got gross quickly. Obviously, we needed to do one of two things.
One, washing the heart rate monitor strap after every workout. Practical, sure, but not convenient.
Two, invest in a second heart rate monitor to use with our Peloton.
We opted for option two.
However, before I get into the details of which heart rate monitor we bought–which one we ended up thinking was the best heart rate monitor for Peloton–let me first address the Peloton heart rate monitor.
Peloton heart rate monitor
The Peloton branded heart rate monitor is the one that you can get as part of your accessories package. Since we bought the “Works” package when we bought our bike, it was part of that package.
The Peloton HRM is a chest strap heart rate monitor. Other brands that have a chest strap include the Polar heart rate monitor, which my younger daughter first introduced me to. She used it for her non-Peloton workouts.
It takes some getting used to when wearing a heart rate monitor with a chest strap. This is especially true for women wearing sports bras. It is admittedly uncomfortable, at first, to have the heart rate monitor right under your breasts and then have a sports bra on top of that. But eventually you do not notice it anymore.
How the Peloton heart rate monitor works
A chest strap heart rate monitor features an oval “device” that sits on the strap near your breastbone. It connects with two snaps. The monitor takes a flat, coin-shaped battery like you might put in a digital scale and works through Bluetooth.
Then, on either side of the “device” are two oblong synthetic patches. These are design to “conduct” against your skin and send a heart rate reading to the monitor.
At first they might not seem like they’re working. However, moisture helps the conductivity. Therefore, the sweatier you get, the “cleaner” the signal is to the heart rate monitor. So don’t sweat it (pun intended).
Speaking of sweat, you can help the HRM to connect faster by wetting the two synthetic patches before putting on the heart rate monitor. I would pour a little bit of liquid out of my water bottle onto my fingers and then swipe them across the patches to moisten them.
Connecting to the bike
As I mentioned I have the Peloton bike. So, I can tell you how you go about connecting the Peloton heart rate monitor to the bike.
First, power up your bike. You want to make sure you have the Peloton heart rate monitor near the bike and turned on.
Second, look for the three dots on the lower right hand side of your screen. Tap on them.
Then, a sidebar will open on the screen. Look for “Device Settings.” Click on Bluetooth Settings.
Finally, look for your device. Tap on it and hit “Ok.”
The first time you do this, however, you may have to go through an extra step that ask the bike to “pair” with you Bluetooth device. But, it’s super easy.
This is how you set up or pair the Peloton heart rate monitor
Using a heart rate monitor with the app
If you’re read my post on the Peloton app, then you know that I use it off the bike for my yoga practice plus strength and outdoors classes. I didn’t realize that I could also connect my heart rate monitor to the digital app.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I headed over to the Peloton website to learn how to connect a heart rate monitor with the app. Briefly, you just have to have Bluetooth turned on with your IOS or Android device, and your heart rate should show up in your class.
However, this article from the Peloton seems a bit out of date, as per the instructors it references. So it’s entirely possible this advice is out of date, too.
Review of the Peloton HRM
I’m not sure how long heart rate monitors are supposed to last, but our Peloton heart rate monitor gave us two good years. Then, it stopped working and started having issues. I would replace the battery and still it wouldn’t pair with the bike. After multiple battery replacements, I figured the battery wasn’t the issue. FYI, my Peloton heart rate monitor took the 2032 battery.
I ended up searching Google for answers as to why the Peloton heart rate monitor was not connecting. In one of my searches, I learned about the trick of wetting the synthetic patches before connecting. That worked for a short time. And then it didn’t.
Suddenly, I found myself needing a new heart rate monitor to use with Peloton. So, my quick review of the Peloton heart rate monitor is this: it will do in a pinch, but for the long haul, I would recommend buying another heart rate monitor. Below, I offer my suggestions.
Best heart rate monitor for Peloton
I ended up investing in the Scosche RHYTHM+ Heart Rate Monitor Armband. Let me tell you why I think the Scosche is the best heart rate monitor for Peloton.
First, you wear the Scosche on your forearm. You don’t have to worry about strapping it around your chest and, if you’re a girl, making it fit comfortably under your sports bras. It’s so easy to get on and off.
Second, here’s another reason I think it’s the best heart rate monitor for Peloton–or really any workout where you need a heart rate monitor. It doesn’t slip around. So, unlike the chest heart rate monitor, the Scosche never loses contact with my skin and “blips” out.
Third, it holds its charge for a couple of weeks. Additionally, when you do need to recharge it, that happens quickly. It’s an easy snap-into the charging “port” and by the next ride, it’s ready to go.
Why I chose this heart rate monitor
Here’s why I like the Scosche RHYTHM heart rate monitor.
There are other brands of heart rate monitors that classed as “ANT+” and therefore considered to be compatible with the Peloton. You may find these to be the best heart rate monitor for Peloton for you. These include:
- Wahoo Tickr Fit arm band heart rate monitor. Note: this is more of a forearm arm band rate monitor; it is not worn on hour wrist.
- Garmin Fenix heart rate monitors that you wear on your wrist. This includes the Fenix 5, Fenix 5S and Fenix 5X.
All of these offer Peloton compatibility.
Note: neither the FitBit nor the AppleWatch actually pairs with the Peloton to act as your heart rate monitor. While both can monitor your heart rate as you work out, to be sure, it won’t show up on the Peloton screen.
If it is important for you to see what heart rate zone you’re in during class, then you’ll need to invest in an “external” HRM. Again, I’ll put in a plug for the Scosche, which I know is compatible with the Apple Watch.
How to wash a heart rate monitor
The best way to wash your heart rate monitor is to take off the strap. Then, place it in a lingeries bag. Finally, toss in washing machine on gentle cycle with our other delicates. Additionally, you can use a non-abrasive cleaner on the “monitor” portion.
I think the best wipes for cleaning anything having to do with Peloton are the Wipex natural fitness equipment wipes.
For more information on how to clean your Peloton, including the heart rate monitor, please check out my blog post How to Clean Your Peloton.
Why you always want to wear a heart rate monitor
Check out the graphic below. It shows the difference in calories burned while wearing your Peloton heart rate monitor and during a ride when I did not wear my heart rate monitor.
You’ll notice how many more calories the bike estimated I’d burned when I wasn’t wearing a heart rate monitor. If you’re riding the bike as part of a weight-loss plan, the heart rate monitor keeps you “honest.” Otherwise, you’ll think you’ll have burned twice as many calories, maybe you’ll overeat afterwards, and then you’ll wonder why you aren’t losing weight.
Final HRM questions answer
So, do you need the Peloton heart rate monitor? The brand? No.
Do you need a heart rate monitor to use with a Peloton? Yes, I believe you do. Again, if it’s important to know what heart rate zone you’re in while exercising, you definitely want an HRM that pairs with the bike or Tread.
And, as the graphic above shows, if you want an accurate count of how many calories you’ve burned while working out, you also want to make sure you wear a heart rate monitor.
Which HRM works with Peloton? Because Peloton uses Ant+ (or ant plus), you want a Bluetooth heart rate monitor that is Ant+ compatible. This include:
- Scosche RHYTHM (again, use code SCOSCHE15 at checkout to save 15%.)
- Wahoo Tickr Fit arm band heart rate monitor
- Garmin Fenix heart rate monitors
Can you use the Orangetheory heart rate monitor with Peloton? Great news, former Orangetheory gym goers. Yes, you can use the Orangetheory heart rate monitor with your Peloton equipment. Both use Bluetooth, and I’ve had people confirm for me that the HRMs are, in fact, compatible.