Wahoo TICKR X Review – Are Chest-Strap Heart Rate Monitors Phased Out?

With the invention of optical heart rate monitors (HRM) and ECG accurate HRM devices that live not just in your wrists but on your earbuds as well, has the time for chest-strap HRMs passed? I doubt so.

Introducing the Wahoo TICKR X

The Wahoo TICKR X is the latest HRM device invented by Wahoo Fitness. It is a classic chest-strapped HRM device that monitors your heart rate whilst you workout. But that isn’t just all it is. The TICKR X boasts a variety of features such as step counting for runners and cadence measurements for cyclists.

Design

The Wahoo TICKR X is simplistic in design, appearing just like any chest-strapped HRM. It attaches easily onto the soft strap band which is fairly comfortable and snug unlike some other HRMs. It emits a low energy Bluetooth wave that allows it to pair with your phone so pairing the device to your smartphone is especially convenient and almost instantaneous.

Being made of plastic, the device is extremely light but yet at the same time, feels solid and sturdy. With a battery life of over a year, the TICKR X shouldn’t need much maintenance apart from some regular cleaning after workouts.

Features

Heart Rate Monitoring

With so many other methods of measuring heart rate such as using wrist-based HRMs or even smart earphones, some might question the need for uncomfortable and bulky chest straps. However, most pro runners and atheletes will know that these “uncomfortable” devices are still the most accurate methods of measuring heart rate whilst exercising. In fact, they are still represent the gold standard in the fitness scene. So if accuracy is important to you, then the Wahoo TICKR X should definitely be a gadget in your training arsenal.

Data Storage

What sets the TICKR X apart from other chest-strap HRMs is the fact that you can store up to 16 hours worth of workout data on the device, which is incredibly impressive. Don’t want to bring a cumbersome smartphone on your run, no problem, strap on the TICKR X, hit the road and sync your workout metrics later. In fact, if you have a compatible workout device such as a Garmin fitness band or watch, you can sync data live to your compatible device of choice.

Workout Modes

The TICKR X has several workout modes for you to choose from, namely Running, Walking and Cycling, which are the bread and butter of all HRM users. For running and walking, the TICKR X even has step counting to helo you gauge your pace which may be valuable for serious athletes. For bikers pedal speed and hence cadence can be gauged as well which is certainly interesting and hence even indoor spinning can also be tracked with the TICKR X. Fascinating isnt it?

Now, that’s not all. Even cross training and bodyweight circuits such as the famous 7 minute home workout can be tracked within the Wahoo app.

Last but not least, this device is waterproof, so if you want to bring it swimming, it wouldn’t be an issue at all. Of course, you will be odd duckling wearing a chest strap which may attract some stares.

Considering the HRM is most useful for athletes involved in cardiovascular training, the TICKR X definitely still has a place in the fitness scene for those who value accurate HRM.

App & Compatibility

The Wahoo TICKR X is compatible with countless of mobile apps and is extremely well integrated into the entire fitness ecosystem. It can sync with over 50+ fitness apps such as myfitnesspal, MapMyFitness, Strava and so on.

Of course, lets not forget the native Wahoo Fitness App which is simple and easy to use. It  may not appear to be very fanciful, but it sure is a clean application.

Furthermore, it is highly customisable. You can choose to add in audio announcements that will be delivered to your headphones whilst you workout to give you updates and even control your music by tapping the device on your chest. Awesome, eh? However, it only works with your phone’s native music app and not external apps like Spotify or SoundCloud.

 Conclusion

Is the WAHOO TICKR X worth the money and the uncomfortable feeling of wearing a sports bra? It depends. If you are a serious athlete who wants to maximise every second of every workout, precise heart-rate monitoring worth the gold standard in the fitness industry, the TICKR X is without a doubt, your gadget. However, if you are simply a recreational fitness enthusiast, the TICKR X might be worth the price but not the cumbersome strap-on process.