Wahoo Tickr X Review
Take almost any workout and any metric and this heart rate strap will find it. Wahoo!
As a Personal trainer with a good few years of training under my belt, it’s safe to say I’ve used many a heart rate monitor, from chest straps to arm bands, wrist watches to pulse checks via your finger and your mobile phone. I’ve tried the lot.
This is the best heart rate monitor, I have ever used.
Is it perfect?
Let me tell you, it comes pretty darn close.
Wahoo Tickr X Features
At a glance the Wahoo Tickr X features:
Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor
Dual band Technology - Thanks to its Bluetooth heart rate monitor, the heart rate strap can signal to two devices at once, ie. your watch and your mobile phone.
Heart Rate Monitor App
Real time heart rate and calorie tracking - I prop my phone up and have the Wahoo app on display throughout my training, where you can clearly see all your top metrics including speed, calories and heart beat meter. Plus, an added bonus for fellow four eyes...it’s clear enough that you can see your scores whilst training without glasses!
Device Free Heart Rate Tracking
Internal Memory - As soon as you snap the strap to the monitor and it finds a heart rate, the tracker will start recording, meaning you can leave you phone at home, head out for a run and then download your data to your phone later.
Heart Rate Strap with Running Analytics
This is so unique for a heart rate strap, usually you would need a foot pod but this strap does it all. Monitor your cadence, smoothness, left-right, up-down, forward-backward, ground contact and oscillation, along with classic speed, distance and pace.
Indoor cycling Wahoo cadence - With separate workout screens for indoor cycle and even spinning; RPM, speed and heart rate on one screen.
Third Party App Compatibility
Wahoo itself has multiple fitness apps (more details later) plus the strap is compatible with all the main fitness apps, from Strava to MyFitnessPal.
Visible Heart Rate Connection and Alerts
The moment you strap the Tickr X strap together, it flashes to show it has made a heart rate connection. The computer can then be set to alert you with small vibrations for milestones such as distance travelled or laps completed. The main computer can also be used as a remote to control your other devices with its tap feature, allowing you to skip tracks or other features such as begin a lap or pause a workout (the action this command creates is set up in the app and can be different for each workout setting). Alerts play via headphones or speaker as you hit milestones and will tell you your average heart rate, pace and distance.
Heart Rate Tracking in Treadmill Mode
The Wahoo Tickr heart rate monitor has a designated workout setting for training indoors on the treadmill - so your hard work still counts. You can track your speed and distance just as accurately as if you were outdoors.
This heart rate monitor takes in far more than just your heartbeat, using a combined measure of body motion and impact shock in 3 directions.
Take the heart rate monitor out for a run or ride and review your route on the app with GPS for precise location and distance feedback.
Wahoo Tickr X Setup
Setting up the device is simple either partner the strap with your regular fitness watch for heart rate readings direct to your watch or for the full user experience download the Wahoo Fitness App. The Tickr X is also compatible with Wahoo apps Runfit and 7 minute workout, but the Fitness app is the Wahoo hub. Here after entering details such as age, weight and height your user is set up and you’re ready to go.
Selecting and creating a workout
Once you’re ready to go the Wahoo Fitness app already has pre-programmed workout modes:
- Indoor Bike
- Spin Class
You can then add your own workouts - for example, I’ve added Metafit and Workout DVD.
Starting a Workout with The Tickr X Heart Rate Strap
Once you’re ready to start a workout with the accompanying app, you simply strap together the monitor across your chest and press go, a woman with a bizarre accent - let's call her Miss Wahoo, will count you in 3,2,1 (always embarrassing when you’re at the gym and this comes out on speaker making it look like you count yourself in) and then you’re away.
Whilst training with the app you can scroll through numerous pages of statistics, I like to have the heart rate screen up throughout training (if I’m not running) to ensure I stay in the right zones throughout my workout. You can’t lie to your heart rate. You can also scroll through the app to skip through music, meaning you don't have to multitask through multiple apps. Simple.
Heart Rate Monitoring during Running
9 times out of 10, this heart rate strap was spot on, however setting up the strap correctly is essential. I’ve had two blips with the watch thus far: 1) Taking too deep a breath and pinging the strap off (which I clearly hadn’t fitted correctly anyway) and then flashing half the local neighbourhood mid run as I tried to lift my top up to do it back up - not wanting to miss tracking any valuable data of course! 2) Leaving the tap setting as skip track, meaning when I’m running and there’s a bit of bounce with the old bust, I’m skipping tracks every other footstep and my playlist sounds more like a stuck old record than my motivational playlist that gets me bouncing off the walls.
When the watch does work, it’s great, super effective and every mile or kilometre depending on your preference your overall time, pace and average heart rate are stated by Miss Wahoo, like your very own robotic PT. This is really useful as it means when running with a phone, you don’t need to keep unlocking the device to view your stats, just wait for Miss Wahoo to keep you updated.
Stand Alone Heart Rate Monitoring
Forgot your phone? Hate running with a device? No problem. This monitor works all by itself. Once the heart rate strap is clipped together, flashing lights signal it is recording and that’s all you need to do. When your workout is finished you can unclip the device and download the workout to the app the next time you have your phone and heart rate monitor strap together to view detailed feedback.
Wahoo Tickr X Heart Rate Accuracy
I’ve now worn this strap for multiple types of workout, from HIIT to kettlebells, battle ropes to running, spinning to boxing. Throughout all these workouts the strap has kept up well 95% of the time. When compared with the Mio Fuse, the heart rate picks up and drops far more in line with real-time, allowing more accurate data. It is also paired with my Wahoo Balance scales meaning that I can get the most precise data feedback, as my profile updates every time I weigh myself. The only difficulties I have with this strap and in fact, all heart rate straps, is when it comes to chest exercises, as the strap often inevitably loses connectivity, this is the nature of where you wear the device, so I don’t feel it’s a deal breaker.
Wahoo Tickr X Speed
The Wahoo X also has the ability to monitor your speed during indoor workouts such as spin, indoor cycle and on a treadmill. Whilst during spin, I found the strap and bike corresponded exactly on my speed, the treadmill would often think I wasn’t even moving - even i’m not that slow! It was an odd anomaly for the heart rate monitor, as with all other speed monitoring and outdoor running, it has been spot on.
Additional Wahoo Tickr X Features:
Double Tap Feature
The double tap feature allows you to control multiple aspects of your workout, from starting a new lap, to adding a bolt into your workout, or my personal favourite - skipping a track. A simple double tap to the chest and the strap skips you to the next track on your playlist, meaning you can have all your best tunes, without having to stop training to skip through them.
Resting Heart Rate
For those who want the most accurate readings, the watch can do a test on your resting heart rate. From this it can then deliver your specific workout intensity targets for each heart rate zone - rather than using your age as a guideline. I found this feature useful - although the app does not explain that the best time of day to do this is when you wake up - prior to any caffeine, so you get the most fair and accurate reading.
Wahoo Running Smoothness
The Wahoo running smoothness feature is a revolution in heart rate straps, as normally you would need to wear a foot pod or additional device to monitor stride and technique. After a running session the smoothness graph details your minimum, maximum and average smoothness, your left-right, right-left and up-down smoothness, ground contact and oscillation. This wide array of feedback is great for those training towards running goals such as a marathon or even triathlon and Ironman. Whilst this detail and level of feedback is fantastic, I do feel Wahoo has missed a trick in not detailing how you can fix area’s of issue to improve your score, rather than adjust your technique and see how you go, I’d like to be told what a poor left-right score means and how this can be developed.
When you open the app you are presented with a four week summary of your training history, but the app also stores all your workouts in it’s history, so it is easy to review your progress as the weeks go by.
Wahoo 7 minute Workout
This little app sets you 7 minute challenges and tracks your reps as well. It’s a great tool for upping your daily burn without having to take a chunk out of your day, or even worry about counting reps!
Wahoo Tickr Heart Rate Monitor Review
Overall, this is so much more than a heart rate monitor, it’s a fitness monitor and delivers so much feedback which can be used to adjust and improve your workouts, whatever they may be. It’s simple, easy to get along with and provides accurate feedback.
This brand is aptly named, because you’ll be shouting WAHOO I’m so happy I found this heart rate monitor …