I have owned my Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor for over 12 months now and can honestly say it is the best sports cardio watch for fitness training that I have used. I have had various heart rate monitors from polar and timex and this is as good as any other watch I have owned. It has benefits and qualities that the others have failed with.
Qualities of the T6D
For a start, the Suunto has a great feel to it. The strap is a thick robust plastic with a good feel to it which does not snag on the hairs on your wrist. It is designed so that the adjustment is part of the strap and will fit almost any wrist with ease. It looks and feels good and the quality and build are second to none. Totally waterproof and usable in the swimming pool if you desire.
I have changed the battery twice now in mine and would say that it lasts for between 12 and 18 months depending on how often you use the watch. It is a simple job to open the back and remove the battery and replace it with a standard 2025 battery. This will cost you around £2, unlike the polar watches that need to go back to polar to have the battery changed, followed by a bill for around £35. The strap also has a very easy clip off back to change the battery.
One option is to buy the “Cycling Pack”. This comes with the following items; T6D watch, Cadence POD, Roadbike POD, and the excellent Dual Comfort Belt. The belt is the best I have used and worn and is very easy to fit and remove. Also included is a data cable that links to the watch to the computer so that you can log your sport onto the Suunto Movescount Website.
The T6D is very easy to use and most of the settings are pretty straightforward. The only settings that may require a little research are the TE (Training Effect) and the EPOC settings.
With five buttons on the outer edge, it is designed with sports in mind. Suunto is renowned as one of the best on the market, and in my opinion, this is THE best watch out there for sports people who train both indoors and outdoors.
Real-Time Heart Rate
Excellent Quality Dual Comfort Belt
Easy to Change the Battery Yourself
No water ingress even after the battery has been changed
Normal 2025 battery
Extras include a Suunto foot pod for runners and bike pod for the road or mountain bike
Indoor and Outdoor Fitness Training
Most watches that are used as a cardiovascular aid show you a heart reading. Knowing if this is a correct reading and one that actually does read the heart is only accomplished when you actually test the watch or read reviews like this that tell you how it works. I have a Garmin 705 Heart Rate Monitor which is fitted to each of my bikes when I go out training. It is a great tool for a lot of things, but the heart rate belt does not give you an accurate heart rate result when showing your calories consumed. (Read More Here).
The Suunto reads the heart rate and correctly shows the number of calories burned for the heart rate monitor. This is a great way of seeing how many calories you are burning in a day, and the readings are spot on. How do I know this? Well, I have 2 monitors on my bike, and I have been training for a long time. I also train indoors on cross machines and know what a reading should be like when I am actually flat out.
The Suunto T6D works exactly how a Heart Rate Monitor should work in that it calculates your calories burned against your heart rate. This is very important if you want an accurate reading of calories that you are actually burning. A lot of heart rate monitors calculate calories burned against speed that you are traveling at, which is totally wrong. The Garmin 705 heart rate monitor is a prime example of this. As great as it is for everything else, this is it’s the biggest downfall. It does not stop it from being my main heart rate monitor purely on the fact that I do so much competition with Strava.com and the Garmin links to it perfectly. It is not as good at recording true calories burned as the Suunto.
Outdoor Fitness Training
With the Suunto when you are traveling along on your bike at say 20mph on the flat and relatively easy your heart rate will be nice and steady and you will be burning calories at a steady rate. Should you suddenly hit a climb your heart rate will rise and your calories will be burned at a faster rate, and your speed on the bike will drop accordingly.
On other monitors, your heart rate will rise, but your calories will drop. This is because they are monitoring your speed and not your heart rate. My Garmin Edge 705 is a prime example of this. When I am flying down a mountain at say 50 mph my Garmin burns an alarming rate of calories in that time, twice as many as my Suunto. Yet my heart rate might only be 90 bpm. It is completely the wrong way around. That is why the Suunto T6D shines as it gets this right from the start.
Indoor Fitness Training
This is a very important point if you are looking for a watch for indoor fitness training. The Suunto T6D is the perfect watch for indoor and outdoor fitness training. It monitors your heart as you train and gives you back your calories burned and all the necessary heart rate information. This is excellent if you use an indoor cycle trainer, a cross-machine or a rowing machine as it will give you perfect results every time.
Once you have completed your workout you can move your details across to movescount.com. This is an online sports community where you can view detailed facts about your latest workout and share them with other like-minded people through social media like facebook and twitter, or upload the stats to your own website. The website is an excellent source of information and very well laid out. There are various downloads and training guides for you to look at. These are available as a pdf download if required. This is great if you have a decent iPhone or an iPad as you can view them in your own time.
Recommended Heart Rate Monitors
My choice due to its Strava connection and Mapping Capabilities and due to the fact it is now 3rd on the list and others always want the latest gadget so its possible to get a complete bargain. This is a 4-star product recommended by 30 customer reviews. I would now rate it as 5 Star due to the fact it can be purchased for a much better price.
The 705 also track your heart rate, cadence, power (from optional ANT + Sport-enabled third-party power meters), climb and descent. Other nifty features include the following.
It has a Virtual Partner that lets you race either one of your old performances or a virtual competitor over a specified distance and speed
Auto Pause pauses the timer when you slow down or stop and resumes when you speed up again, so you can focus on your ride
A customizable computer screen shows up to eight different data fields. I use this with 6 on one screen and 4 on the other which is available at the flick of a switch
There are program alerts to sound if you want to stay within a set time and speed range, say to burn fat or build cardiovascular. Alerts can also indicate when a set amount of time or distance has passed
Auto Lap automatically starts a new lap each time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance
The small click button helps users navigate through the various options
Whether your bike is a means of transportation or escape, having maps at your fingertips makes every journey easier and more fun.
Garmin Edge 800 GPS comes with a built-in base map that shows major roads and cities, plus it’s compatible with the micro SD cards packed with either street or topo maps. Select a destination and Edge 800 provides turn-by-turn navigation prompts on the screen. The basic map is good enough if you intend using this for cycling as you can upload map routes direct from Strava.com for all your needs.
Newest version 2013 with Bluetooth. Cannot justify an upgrade due to the quality of the 705. Still the best buy for me.
The live tracking feature allows your friends and family to follow your races and training activities in real time. Invite followers using email or social media, so they can view your live data on a Garmin Connect tracking page. Once they get your email invite, they can click to follow and see your stats and location on the map.
Works for Cycling and Running and gives a true heart rate reading.
Dial in your exercise regimen with the Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor. When paired with the Dual Comfort Belt and Suunto Movescount website and software, this stylish watch provides you detailed performance statistics such as
excess post-exercise oxygen consumption
The altimeter tracks your ascents and descents ideal for bicyclists riding hill intervals. The chronograph features a stopwatch, countdown and interval timer. And, of course, the watch function actually tells you the time so you know when to stop training and come home. Invite the Suunto T6D Heart Rate Monitor to be your training partner and reap the rewards.
Suunto T6D User Guide Suunto has a very comprehensive video collection on youtube that is worth looking at.