July 15, 2007 As this year's Tour de France hits the brutal climbs of the French Alps, cycling computer specialist Polar has announced the release its latest electronic monitoring systems which were developed using feedback from pro cycling teams during the 2006 tour. The flagship CS600 model is designed to provide in-depth metrics “out of the box”, including power output, left/right pedaling distribution, heart rate data, caloric expenditure and a new cycling efficiency reading that calculates the forward momentum of the bike in relation to the cyclists energy output.
The CS600 CS600 w/ Power measures speed, distance and chain speed and transmits data wirelessly to the display unit using a more powerful transmission signal (2.4 Ghz) than previously available, improving range and minimizing interference. The systems also offer information on environmental factors such as incline measurement and altitude and an optional wireless cadence sensor is also available which measures pedaling rate as rpm.
Developed over a period of four years including testing conducted with six pro cycling teams during the 2006 Tour de France, the CS600 also measures “cycling efficiency” by analyzing how much energy output on the bike translates into forward momentum – technology previously only available in sports performance labs according to Polar.
Both the high-end CS600 w/ Power and CS400 models work with the Polar ProTrainer 5 Software that enables personalized workouts to be uploaded and reviewed after the ride. Specified heart rate or cadence zones can therefore be pre-set to create benchmarks during training and heart rate (bpm) can be calculated relative to absolute and average levels to provide an indication of intensity during a ride.
The CS600 unit can also hold pre-sets for up to three different bikes (the CS400 allows for two sets of data) and does not require calibration or a dedicated hub or crank set and can be used with any wheel set.
The available data can also be used for planning rides. For example the measurement of workload as kcal/h and kcal/km allows users to predict calorie consumption and ensure that their intake is sufficient for a long ride.
The flagship CS600 w/ Power retails for approximately US$699.95, the standard CS600 costs US$419.95 and the CS400 costs US$339.95.
For further reading see the Polar website.