Wahoo Trackr Heart Rate Monitor Review

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Today, Wahoo has launched its latest chest strap heart rate monitor, which has been completely redeveloped from previous generations.

The main selling point of this HRM is the rechargeable battery, which should significantly increase reliability and durability as there is significantly less chance of liquid ingress.  

Features

Wahoo Trackr Heart Rate Monitor Review 1

Rechargeable Battery:

  • The heart rate monitor features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, boasting over 110 hours of active runtime and an impressive 320 days of standby time.
  • The use of a rechargeable battery significantly reduces the risk of liquid ingress, enhancing the overall durability and reliability of the device.
  • Charging is made easy with a magnetic USB-C cable, which ensures proper alignment and connectivity.
  • The magnetic charging cable is the same as the Shokz cable and there are plenty of affordable third party replacements.

Accuracy and Data Transmission:

  • The Wahoo Trackr focuses on precision and reliability. It offers real-time heart rate data (BPM), average heart rate, max heart rate, and total calories burned, available in the activity summary in the Wahoo app.
  • It supports R-R interval data for HRV (Heart Rate Variability) monitoring, making it suitable for advanced fitness tracking.
  • Connectivity options include up to three Bluetooth and ANT+ connections, allowing for versatile use with various devices.

Design and Comfort:

  • The chest strap features larger electrodes with more surface area, enhancing data accuracy and reducing noise and interference.
  • Designed for comfort, the strap uses soft, skin-friendly materials and a sturdy metal clip for a secure fit.
  • The front closure design prevents any discomfort or chafing during workouts.

Ease of Use:

  • The Trackr is simple to set up and pair with devices. Users can wake up the device by connecting it to a charger, and then use the QR code in the box to connect to the Wahoo app.
  • The Wahoo app checks for firmware updates to ensure the device runs the latest software.
  • The device ID is printed on the back of the HRM, making it easy to pair in group environments without confusion.

Water Resistance and Durability:

  • The Wahoo Trackr has an IPX7 rating, offering water resistance, although it is not designed for swimming.
  • The fully sealed design protects against liquid ingress, which has been a common issue with other HRMs.

Limitations

The Wahoo HRM keeps things simple, there is no on-board memory, so it can’t be used independently without other devices nor can it be used for swimming.

There are also no running dynamics such as running power, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.

Unboxing and Design

Wahoo Trackr Heart Rate Monitor

The overall design is mostly unremarkable, being a typical-looking chest strap HRM.

The one difference from all other HRMs in this style is the small magnetic electrodes used for charging.

A small useful feature is that Wahoo has printed the ID code on the back of the HRM, so you can guarantee you are pairing up the correct sensor if you are in a group environment with other people wearing HRMs.

The chest strap uses larger electrodes and more surface areas than previous generations, which helps improve the accuracy and reliability of readings.

Set Up & Pairing with Devices

The Wahoo HRM will work with bike computers and sports watches out of the box. To wake up the HRM for pairing you need to:

  • Step 1: Connect the charger to a power source.
  • Step 2: Attach the charger to the TRACKR pod to wake it up.
  • Step 3: Wait for the LEDs to illuminate.
  • Step 4: Scan the QR code provided in the box to connect to the app when pairing to the Wahoo app.
  • Note: There is an image in the box to assist with this process.

When paired with the Wahoo app, the app will then check for any available firmware updates.

Wahoo App

The Wahoo app is good for tracking activities if you don’t have a compatible device. You can pair up and connect multiple external sensors. For example, I paired up my Stryd when I went for an outdoor run.

When tracking an activity, you have all the data you need. If you have a decent phone mount for a bike, this will work perfectly as an alternative to a bike computer.

The data that is recorded and available in history is impressive.

Performance: Accuracy of Wahoo Trackr Heart vs Garmin HRM Pro

Wahoo vs Garmin 2

For most of my testing, I rode in Zwift with the Garmin HRM Pro connected to Zwift, and the Wahoo Trackr connected to my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro.

Both heart rate monitors tracked my heart almost identically. For example:

  • Ride 1 average heart rate
    • Wahoo Trackr: 154.02 bpm
    • Garmin HRM Pro: 153.68 bpm
  • Ride 2 average heart rate
    • Wahoo Trackr: 132.41 bpm
    • Garmin HRM Pro: 133.78 bpm
  • Ride 3 average heart rate
    • Wahoo Trackr: 160.63 bpm
    • Garmin HRM Pro: 160.77 bpm

I suspect the minor difference in average heart rate was due to me taking a few seconds extra to pause Zwift vs my Garmin.

Additionally, I did one run with the Garmin HRM Pro paired with my watch and the Wahoo paired with the Wahoo app:

  • Wahoo Trackr: 154.08 bpm (took a few seconds to get my phone out and pause the app)
  • Garmin HRM Pro: 154.29 bpm

Then, a (rare) outdoor bike ride with the Garmin HRM Pro paired to my Garmin and the Wahoo paired to the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM V2.

Apart from the average BPM, when I plotted the heart rate data in a graph, both the Garmin and Wahoo tracked each other almost perfectly. On the few occasions where the readings strayed, it appears that Garmin was at fault. In one example there as with a jump of up to 7bpm compared to the Wahoo for almost 90 seconds before settling back down.

Wahoo vs Garmin

HRV Data

This new Wahoo HRM has the ability to broadcast the R-R interval data allowing it to be used to test HRV with a compatible device. As my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro does not support manual measurements, I used the HRv4Training app. I had some issues with the app connecting to the HRM, I often had to attach the power cable to wake it up, but apart from this it worked much better than the basic camera method of measuring the HRV.  

Battery Life, Charging, and Durability from Liquid Ingress

The stand-out feature of this HRM is that it has a rechargeable battery with an incredibly long 100-hour battery life.

While this is not as long as competing products with replaceable batteries, it is significantly longer than the 20 hours the Polar Sense Verity can achieve or the 30 hours the TICKR FIT heart rate armband. Those are optical armband HRMs, which is why they use more battery; as far as I am aware, there are no chest band HRMs with a rechargeable battery.

While it is great to have a rechargeable battery for convenience, the main benefit is that all the electronics are fully enclosed. This should help ensure that the HRM stays sealed off from liquid ingress, which has been my biggest issue with HRMs over the past few years. I have spent hundreds on them, and they all die within 18 months. The two exceptions are the Polar Sense Verity and, by some miracle, my Garmin HRM-Pro is still going strong even after a battery change.

The downside to the rechargeable battery is the magnetic cable that you need to charge it with. With 100 hours between charges, my ADHD brain is never going to be able to find it. Thankfully, Wahoo have taken a very sensible approach. As you would hope, they will sell it on their website, but the magnetic charger is exactly the same as the one used on Shokz headphones and Amazon has plenty of third party chargers for as little as £7 for two.  

Price and Alternative Options

The RRP of the Wahoo Trackr Heart Rate Monitor across all regions is:

  • US: $89.99
  • CAN: $119.99
  • EU: €89.99
  • GPB: £79.99
  • AUD: $149.95
  • JPY: ¥10,100

My two favourite heart rate monitors have been the Garmin HRM-Pro and Polar Sense Verity, purely because they have lasted more than a couple of years.

It looks like the Garmin HRM-Pro has been phased out in favour of the Garmin HRM-Pro Plus, which costs £85 on Amazon with an RRP of £120. The only important differences are that the HRM-PRO Plus has a new tool-less battery door design, and it can transmit pace/distance both indoors and outdoors (within sensor settings). The main advantage this has over the Wahoo is that it has full run dynamics and on-board storage.

The Polar Sense Verity is £80 on Amazon and £86.50 from Polar. It is an optical HRM, so technically not as accurate but it has an internal memory and can be used for swimming.

For similar chest straps, I have personally not had much luck, they all die within a year or two, likely due to liquid ingress.

Options include:

  • Garmin HRM Run – No longer sold but died after a year
  • COOSPO Heart Rate Monitor for £28 (died on me)
  • Polar H9 Heart Rate Sensor for £55 (died on me)
  • Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor for £60 (died on me)
  • Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor for £47, £60 RRP (died on me after 6 months)
  • Garmin HRM Fit for £140 – designed for women, so I haven’t tried it. At £140, it seems to have a significant pink tax.

Overall

Due to my history of broken heart rate monitors, the most important thing to me is durability and reliability. I am happy to sacrifice a bit of accuracy if it just works, which is why I used the Polar Sense Verity for so many years.

I have only used the Wahoo Trackr HRM for a couple of weeks, so I can’t know for sure if it will stand the test of time, but logically, it should last much longer than most competing products due to the fully sealed design.

Beyond that, the rechargeable design is convenient, and I am grateful that Wahoo has used a charger with affordable third-party replacements. The battery life is superb. With a full charge, I should be able to get a couple of months usage out of it.

Accuracy has also been superb, as far as I can tell. It matched up with my Garmin HRM-Pro almost perfectly.

Things like run dynamics and onboard storage would have been nice. I have a Stryd for outdoor runs, and a growing number of watches support running power and dynamics, so it isn’t as useful as it once was. I find the data for indoor runs too inaccurate, so I prefer to use the Wahoo for indoor activities.

At £80, the price is a bit high; it’s more expensive than other similar chest straps and only slightly cheaper than the technically superior Garmin HRM-Pro Plus, with the exception of the rechargeable battery. I would hope/expect that this will be discounted within a few months.

Overall, on the assumption that this will last much longer than competing HRMs, then I love the Wahoo Trackr. It is a relatively simple HRM, but it is accurate, has a good battery life, and hopefully will last for years.

Specification

FeatureDetails
BatteryRechargeable Lithium-ion
Battery LifeOver 110 hours Active runtime in optimal conditions
Estimated Standby Time: 320 days
Low-Battery IndicatorLED on Device,
Current battery status shown in app and a paired ELEMNT Bike computer
LED IndicatorsConnectivity and Battery Status
ConnectivityUp to three Bluetooth and ANT+
Heart Rate DataBPM in-activity
Average Heart Rate
Max Heart Rate
Total Calories (available in the activity summary in the Wahoo App)
Water Ingress Protection RatingIPX7
Charging CableUSB-C to Magnetic Connection
Charging Cable Length24in/61cm
Warranty1-year
HRVYes, with compatible app
Running DynamicsNo
Onboard MemoryNo
Wahoo Trackr Heart Rate Monitor Review

Summary

Assuming this will last much longer than competing HRMs, I love the Wahoo Trackr. It is a relatively simple HRM, but it is accurate, has a good battery life, and hopefully will last for years.

Overall
90%
90%
  • Overall - 90%
    90%

Pros

  • Accurate and reliable performance
  • Rechargeable battery
  • It should be much more durable than competing HRMs due the sealed design

Cons

  • Price is a little high
  • No running dynamics or on-board memory

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