Archive for category technology
As you may have figured out from my previous review here, I have been using my iPhone 4S to record my rides and runs. A few weeks ago I got a Blue HR heart rate monitor from the folks at Wahoo Fitness. It’s a Bluetooth heart rate strap which was incredibly easy to set up and use.
At the time I first started using it a couple months ago, Strava didn’t support it (they do now), so I downloaded the WahooFitness App from the app store. There is a big list of supported apps so your favorite training app is probably on the list.
I didn’t play around too much with the settings, just turned it on and let it find the HR monitor. It has options to upload saved runs or rides to Strava so it all gets over there in the end.
For $79.99 it’s a really great accessory for the iPhone 4S. Worked seamlessly, easy to set up, and pretty versatile with variety of compatible apps.
Here’s the Strava chart for my off-road lunch ride from Tuesday with the Heart Rate input:
Wahoo Fitness is about to release their new product, the Fisica Sensor Case for the iPhone 4, 3GS and 3G, this coming January. The case is a clean design and has been made to be as compact as possible while retaining its Ant+ technology: allows you to wirelessly connect to any Ant+ heart rate, speed, cadence and/or power sensors.
Made from ABS, the case is durable and weatherproof. Overall control of your iPhone is possible through the clear lexan screen cover, that works very well to the touch and I found that I could navigate with gloves on. The phone is usable while you are on the road whether you are using a headphone jacked or Bluetooth ear piece. There is an attached cap to access your headphone jack and a rubber button to allow use of the top lock button of the iPhone. On the bottom of the case you will find a micro USB outlet which can be used for charging your iPhone and data connection. Wahoo Fitness is currently working on an external battery pack that will attach in between the case and the bike mount, connect to the micro USB and charge your iPhone while you ride. The case allows you to utilize your iPhone’s camera while stowed in the case, however for the iPhone 4, the flash will not work due to the lack of port size in the case.
Opening the case you will unlock six waterproof nylon latches; they keep your iPhone nice and dry in the most unforgiving weather conditions. The case comes with two liners, one for the iPhone 4 and one for the iPhone 3GS/3G. I found it easy to install the liner and would advise to take extra care on the top of the liner in between the headphone jack and top lock button, that the seal lip seats and the liner button is pushed through the case as far as possible. Once you are ready to lay your iPhone in the case, you will see a clear plastic tab, this is so you can easy remove your iPhone. Closing the case is fairly simple and you will find your iPhone safely stowed.
The case comes with a bike mount, which allows quick disconnect of your case via a slide latch. It can be attached to your stem or handlebar to display your iPhone in either landscape or portrait position, this is changed easily via the center Phillips head screw. On install, ensure the center screw is nice and snug prior to heading out. I found the landscape position to best on a road bike.
The case can work with many different manufactures Ant+ sensor, my review was tested with Wahoo Fitness’s Soft Heart Rate Belt sensor and their Speed and Cadence Bike sensor. The heart rate belt fits well with button snaps and is adjustable. The speed and cadence sensors attach easily to the bike with zip ties and has rubber feet to keep the sensors from moving. When installing the cadence magnet on the crankarm, I suggest to tighten the zip tie prior to the aligning mark of the sensors and use your fingers to push the zip tie and magnet up the arm of the crank for a super tight fit. I would recommend that once you finish the installation of the sensors and the case, is to download Wahoo Fitness’s free Fisica Sensor Utility app. The app is helpful to ensure each sensor is connecting and installed correctly.
Overall this is a great case and sensor package and I would recommend it. It leverages that iPhone you are carrying with you on your ride and pushes your rides to be training exercises. On Wahoo Fitness’s website you can review app and choose which works best for your training. I tested their free Fisica Fitness app and Biky Coach app, which fit me well for my training regimen. I would like to see some minor improvement made to the size of the camera port. The pictures taken for test had a slight vignette from the case. Possible future productions of the case Would be to size the port slightly larger. There was a slight rattle of the case on the mount on some rough road conditions; however a little electrical tape on the mount easily cures this. Both concerns are not a deal breaker. Currently being offered for pre-order on a January 2011 release, the Wahoo Fitness Bike Pack 2 is priced at $206.99, which includes the case, bike mount, heart rate belt and the speed/cadence sensor. If you already own an Ant+ sensor you can purchase just the Fisica Sensor Case, currently for $119.99, check their compatibility chart prior to purchase.
Photography by Mariea Rummel Photography