Technology moves so fast it can be hard to get a simple tool for a simple job. We found three entry-level bike-specific heart rate monitors and put them through their paces.

Set-up and use of the Polar was pleasingly simple and intuitive. A large display gave all relevant information, and post-ride analysis was easy, with essential information supplied readily and clearly. The simple bar or stem mounting is also a winner.

With more functions than the other two, the Sigma was the most difficult to get started with. The array of other functions such as altitude and temperature make up for this in the long run, though. Coded transmission helps reduce interference with other users. It did, however, take the longest to get used to.

Intuitive ?quick start? instructions got me on the road with the Cardiosport in no time. Post ride summary is accessed easily and displayed the essential figures to record in the training diary. It?s got the smallest display but is very easy to use.

Polar?s heart rate monitors are still the best, with Cardiosport a very close challenger. The Sigma was blessed with a dizzying array of functions but was the toughest to get started with.

Polar CS100 £74.50
Contact Polar UK 01926 310330

Cardiosport GT3 £89.99
Contact, Heathcote Technology Limited
0239 2257388

Sigma BC2006 MHR £94.95
Contact 01692 650673