Wahoo Fitness has an updated version of their popular TICKR heart rate monitor after six years on the market, and they have made the device slimmer, with enhanced functionality and ease of use. Some people live by heart rate monitors, and others couldn’t care less. Whether you’re training to podium a stage race, or just trying to determine how many slices of pizza you can eat after a big ride, heart rate monitors can provide useful information, and the Wahoo Tickr V2 has been a breeze to use.
About the TICKR V2
In short, there are a few key updates to the second versions of both the TICKR and TICKR X. They both can connect with up to three Bluetooth devices at a time, and also to devices with an ANT+ connection. The pods are 10% slimmer than the previous versions. The LED lights have been moved to the top of the pod for easier visibility, and the battery life has been lengthened, for a total of 500 hours per change. Waterproofing is still rated up to a five-foot depth. My TICKR V2 test unit weighed 46.1g with the strap.
The TICKR X has a few different features than the base TICKR and can track indoor cycling cadence, and transmit it to the Wahoo Fitness app, although the cadence tracking isn’t new. The TICKR X also tracks what Wahoo calls Running Smoothness for runners to give them a better idea of their cadence and ground contact time. Another main differentiation on the TICKR X is its ability to store up to 50 hours of workout data on the unit itself, before it needs to be uploaded to the Wahoo Fitness app. The previous TICKR X could store up to 16 hours of data. Basically, if you want to get an indoor workout without a phone in your pocket, cyclists can wear the TICKR X and leave the phone on the charger, and upload the workout later.
The newest TICKR still costs $50, and the TICKR X costs $80.
The cool thing about the TICKR — and other heart rate monitors — is that it’s still easy to get data without an expensive GPS unit. I had a Wahoo Elemnt lying around from last year’s test, so I initially paired the V2 TICKR with the Elemnt Roam. Although it’s a killer cycling computer, at close to $400, not everyone is going to want or need it, for use with the TICKR.
Pairing with the Elemnt was simple, however and I added a sensor through the Elemnt app, and a few seconds later, I saw my heart rate pop up on the display. Without a GPS unit, users need to download the Wahoo Fitness app, and will also need it to check for any updates.
Most people are using Strava to track their rides these days, but Strava doesn’t allow direct pairing of heart rate monitors through its app anymore. So, in order to get heart rate data merged into Strava, you must connect your Wahoo Fitness app to your Strava account. By recording a workout through the Wahoo Fitness app, it will push the ride to Strava after it is complete, and all of your heart rate data will be gloriously entwined with every segment you rode, and an average and max heart rate, along with a heart rate zone breakdown and relative effort measurement.
The strap is easy to get along with and not uncomfortable. Even when it’s a little tighter than it needs to be, it’s not itchy or annoying. I loosened it quite a bit and the strap still stayed in place just fine. With a bare stomach, you can look down and see that the TICKR is connected (blue light) and reading a pulse (red light), like a little ambulance on your chest. There is still no need to turn anything on with the TICKR, just strap it up, make sure it’s connected and reading, and start the workout.
The Wahoo TICKR is an easy choice for data-curious mountain bikers tracking their heart rate, and the V2 looks like a solid update to the simple item. Paired with only a phone, the TICKR is an inexpensive option to track your heart rate, and anyone will appreciate the slimmer design and longer battery life.
Thank to Wahoo Fitness for providing the TICKR for testing and review.