Problem showing pulse from workouts

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by felixen2121, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. felixen2121 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    #1
    Hi

    I am the happy owner of an aluminum Apple Watch 3. I just switched from Fitbit.. most things seem to be working fine, except for the fact that it won't show my pulse/BPM data after cycling workouts, even though it is able to show me my average BPM.

    I can check my BPM on the watch during workouts, but when I go to check it in the activity app afterwards it says "data unavailable" due to too few measurements. I have tried with both Runkeeper and Apple's own workout app. The weird thing is that I can get the pulse data from my runs with Nike Run Club.

    I believe I am wearing it pretty snug. I have tried even tighter than I used to wear my Fitbit.

    Another small nuisance is that the Health app and the activity app often show a different number of stairs climbed. Today the Health app shows 6 and the activity app shows 3. I have had both my phone and watch on me the whole day so far. Anybody else with this problem?

    Many thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    #2
    Just tried tracking a walk with the activity app. Everything worked as planned and I was able to see the pulse data for the workout afterwards.

    I then did a 45 minute ride on my bike. Afterwards I am able to see the average BPM but still no chart showing how my pulse changed throughout the ride.

    So it seems that for running and walking there are no problems, but for riding my bike I cannot get the data. So strange. Any suggestions?
     
  3. edhchoe macrumors 6502a

    edhchoe

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #3
    if you go into health app on iphone and go to Sources -> apple watch . scroll down to vitals and go into heart rate..
    what do you see during your bike ride time?
    Do you have measurements every few seconds?
     
  4. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2011
    #4
    Nah. It seems very sporadic. Sometimes there’s 10 measurements per minute for consecutive minutes. Suddenly there is a gap of 10 minutes with no measurement.
     
  5. MJ22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    #5
    I had two Fitbits with heart rate and the technology just isn’t perfect all the time. I wouldn’t get a reading sometimes, especially if I was really sweaty. I don’t expect a reading 100% of the time, it’s just not a flawless technology.
     
  6. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2011
    #6
    I know that the technology isn’t perfect but something else must be up here. It has failed to measure 5 out of 5 bike rides. At the same time it has no problem measuring a much more sweaty run.

    Regarding Fitbit. I actually used my Fitbit for measuring my bike pulse on bike rides. Never had any problem getting measurements.

    I am not saying that Fitbit is a better product. The AW is so much more complete. I just wish I could get it to measure my rides.
     
  7. risenphoenixkai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #7
    How tightly are you gripping the handlebars when you ride? Since the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor is optically-based, anything that constricts blood flow to your arms/hands is going to result in either low readings or none at all. If you have the grips on your bike in a death grip when you're riding, that's probably what's causing the issue.
     
  8. edhchoe macrumors 6502a

    edhchoe

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    #8
    bike riders do not grip the handlebar very tight.
    We rest the palm on the handlebar gently. Sitting back with most of your weight on the saddle seems to yield the most comfort, stability, and power. Your feet, hands, neck, and shoulders should stay relaxed.
    So constriction of blood flow seems non issue here.

    It is odd that he doesn't get good readings when bicycling...... Weird.
     
  9. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2011
    #9
    I agree with you. Not gripping the bar very tightly. Tried again this morning. Just a slow 15 minute ride on a different bike. I still get “data unavailable”, but I am still able to get an average.

    Could it be some weird setting I am not aware about?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2017 ---
    Just to reply to this as well. Even if I was gripping the handlebar very tightly, it would still be strange that my Fitbit has no measuring. It also uses an optical HR sensor.
     
  10. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2011
    #10
    Tried something else today on my way home. I switched to a fixed distance instead of the standard “open goal”. That seemed to do the trick. I got a nice little diagram showing my pulse measurements.

    My ride from this morning was with “open goal” and that didn’t give me a diagram. Almost seems like a software issue.
     
  11. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #11
    That's great that you got it to work for you. Yes it could be a s/w bug.. but I'm thinking switching the goal was a coincidence. My cycling HR readings have always been very patchy. I use HeartWatch (cannot recommend this app enough) to monitor HR data, and I've always noticed huge gaps in HR readings when cycling or lifting weights. (see restricting blood flow comment above) I have found a fix however. It involves getting a band that you can wear around your arm (I got the action sleeve from 12south, but there may be others). This has significantly improved the HR consistency of these workouts.
     
  12. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2011
    #12
    Could be a coincidence. Just a bit strange that my first 7 rides didn’t have a diagram, and the first time I change to a different goal, I get a diagram. Anyway, I will test some more.

    A bit disappointed if the Watch has some much trouble measuring HR while riding a bike. Especially coming from a Fitbit, who didn’t have a problem with it. At last I got measurements. If the were correct or not is another matter..

    Thanks for the tip regarding Heartrate. I just bought it. It seems a bit overwhelming at first. There is a lot of information, but very cool. I am sure I will be happy with it
     
  13. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

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    Feb 27, 2011
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    Denmark
    #13
    I run a lot and get these nice charts - have taken the bike for a 40 min ride to work and never had a problem with the old software so might be a bug in the new one (haven’t tested)
     
  14. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #14
    Yeah there is a TON of data in there. I'd focus primarily (at least initially) on the "vitals" tab at the bottom. This is what the app started out as (with the focus on HR) and is still what I use 99% of the time. The app has since expanded to "activity" (how much are you moving) and "dashboard" (an overall picture of health with HR/activity combined), but I find most of this info not particularly useful for me. The app gets even better if you wear the watch to sleep (any sleep tracking app will do, but I use AutoSleep made by the same dev).
     
  15. newellj, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017

    newellj macrumors 604

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    Oct 15, 2014
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    Boston, MA, US
    #15
    May not be the OP's problem (probably isn't), but some riders ride in positions that bend the wrists at a sharp angle, which can affect accuracy or even availability of a pulse reading.

    Agree on HeartWatch. Their AutoSleep app is pretty informative, too.
     
  16. felixen2121 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2011
    #16
    Agree on AutoSleep. I already had that
    I was on the fence regarding HeartWatch, but your recommendation made me pull the trigger.
     

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15 October 11, 2017