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The instructions that ship with the Echo bike don’t really cut the mustard when it comes to the compatibility of heart rate monitors (or HRM’s for short) with the bike’s console. I ended up contacting Rogue’s support line to work out just what exactly I could and couldn’t pair with it – and the answer was still surprisingly vague! After quite a lot of research as well as money spent on the different options, here’s what I know.
At a glance…
- The Rogue Echo bike is compatible with the Polar T31C and Polar H10 heart rate monitors. You can pick them up here.
- Check out the H10 on Amazon here
- Check out the T31C on Amazon here
- Of these the more expensive H10 is more versatile and therefore useful for other things
- The T31C does the basics reasonably well, but could be more user friendly
- The Echo is NOT compatible with general ANT+ or Bluetooth monitors and therefore won’t pair with a Garmin or Apple Watch
Which is the BEST heart rate sensor for the Rogue Echo?
We can get in to the specifics below, but overall the Polar H10 is the best sensor that works with the Echo. While I don’t personally own this one right now, looking back it is definitely the better option than the T31 I went for – it offers compatibility with the Rogue as mentioned BUT also ANT+ and Bluetooth options as well so it can sync to your phone as well as other equipment – including C2 rowers.
Overall I think this makes it the best HRM available for those of us using an air bike regularly who want to train using heart rate zones properly. Check it out on Amazon now.
What heart rate monitor works with the Rogue Echo bike?
There are only TWO officially supported heart rate monitors:
T31C Coded Heart Rate Transmitter
Polar’s T31C is a basic slimline chest-strap HRM. It really is basic – simply strap it on and that’s literally all your an do. There are no buttons or connections to worry about – it’s a sealed unit with a removal elastic strap. I bought this particular model as it was the cheapest available that was compatible with the Echo bike and I felt the Polar H10 (see below) was a lot more money to duplicate quite a few features I already had access to via my Wahoo Tickr.
Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor
The Polar H10 is a heavyweight HRM – unlike the T31C above it has ANT+ and Bluetooth connections so can be synced to a phone or other device. This is actually a LOT more useful than the basic T31C so if you don’t already have a HRM then I would spring the extra for the H10.
It supports dual connections so you can sync with a phone simultaneously as well as any other compatible device. One of my biggest bugbears with air bikes in that the basic monitor functionality lacks the ability to store historic workouts. By syncing to an app on your phone you can keep an eye on your performance over time quite easily.
What about other HRM’s?
So we’ve covered the two officially supported HRM’s above, so what else do we need to know?
Is the Echo bike ANT+ compatible?
No – unfortunately the Rogue monitor does NOT pick up ANT+ heart rate monitors and I have not found a way to force them to connect either.
Does it work with Bluetooth?
Again, unfortunately NOT. I spent quite bit of time trying to get a Wahoo Tickr (my HRM of choice) to pair with my Rogue Echo but it simply doesn’t pick it up.
Does it sync with an Apple Watch?
Three for three – NO. Frustratingly the Rogue Echo is not compatible with the Apple Watch.
HOW do you use the heart rate monitor on a Rogue Echo?
Once you have deciphered which HRM’s are compatible with the Echo connecting is actually pretty straight forward. Using my Polar T31C as an example I simply:
- Moisten the T31C body on the sensors (the two “blades” that touch the chest)
- Strap it on reasonably tightly – I have mine just at the base of the pec muscle. It seems to provide consistent signal and doesn’t get uncomfortable
- Jump on the Rogue Echo and it SHOULD pick up the signal automatically. There are no buttons to press – it simply works (or it doesn’t)
Truth be told the interface for heart rate monitors is pretty basic – no button to trigger a connection attempt is a bit frustrating at times. Particularly as some interference can occasionally ‘lock’ my Echo on to something else so even when I’m wearing a compatible monitor the reading is holding a steady 188bpm due to this interference. That is not my heart rate I cans sure you 🙂
The reading on the console is quite handy for ‘keeping an eye’ on heart rate during HIIT or LISS but if focusing on that metric in particular I prefer to use a phone and dedicated app. Personally I use the Wahoo app as it offers the functionality I need but I am sure there are loads of equally decent or better alternatives for those more focused on cardio training. Polar for example have a highly rated app which would work really well with the H10 HRM above, and would neatly sync with both the bike console AND your phone simultaneously.
Maybe I need another heart rate monitor, actually…
In summary the Rogue Echo bike has limited compatibility with MOST heart rate monitors. It works with the Polar T31C and H10 HRM’s and that therefore will force your hand if you are set on pairing with the built in console. Of the two I own the T31C and find it too basic to be much use beyond simply pairing with the console therefore if I was buying again I would spring the extra for the H10 – at least then it would be able to work with my phone as well.
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