Is there a Natural Life Expectancy for a HRM?

Ive tried new batteries, Ive tried pairing, Ive tried resetting. And still the HRM of my Garmin 301 will not work. I know its an old model! The screen shows, the GPS works, the HRM doesnt.

Is there a natural life expectancy for a HRM? Im in two minds as to what to do. Whether to bother sending it off to Garmin, and them extrat money out of me, whether to just buy a new belt and see what happens, or to chuck it and get a new model completely.

Any thoughts, please?


  • Ive just seen that a new strap for the garmin is £40...... that may influence my decision...... I will get onto Amazon and see what new one to get....


  • Might sound a bit daft, but have you tried giving the plastic bit of the strap (the ridged bit) a good scrub with some soap and a nail brush? Sometimes skin/salt/general muck that you can't really see stops these things from working and a good scrub solves that. Had it myself before now. Worth a go! 


  • Oh, and if you want to try a new strap, try ebay or similar. 

  • I've had a couple of HRMs replaced for free by Garmin but had a newer model watch. I'd give them a call if nothing else. It'll probably come down to how long you've had the HRM.

  • 2 years, Ninja.... I fear that because I have an old, no, an ancient model, that its actually a damn sight older!!

    I will try cleaning it, and also going onto ebay.

    Ive been on Amazon, and tbh, none of them seem the real deal... there are plenty of reports of them not working for one reason or another.... faulty bezels, frozen screen, condensation. All I want is one that works! And not too expensive. Its the 110 that does not show a current lap pace, well I think it doesnt,, again its not v clear.

    This is why Im reluctant to buy new, at least I knew where I was with the 301, altho a 2 year life isnt great? Maybe its something I have to put up with....

  • Have you tried changing the batttery in the strap? Don't throw the baby out with the bath water just yet!



  • Yes, Ive done that with two new batteries.... the baby is screaming, Im afraid....


  • Put a dummy in its mouth for a minute. Does anyone have a HRM strap you can try with your Garmin, and ditto your strap with their Garmin?




  • .... 410 favourite, but price wise expensive (for me!)..


  • Don't forget Garmin sometimes sell reconditioned watches - but they may be able to repair yours. If all else fails, I'd send the watch into Garmin and see what they say.

  • If cleaning it doesn't work, definitely see if someone has a strap you can try, and then ring Garmin - they can be very helpful. Also, I have been told that inserting the battery (in the strap) upside down and then putting it back the right way can fix some problems (but don't ask me why this is!).

    If all else fails and it is a whole new watch bundle then check out the reviews by DC Rainmaker, he's very thorough. I think for most runners he recommends the Garmin FR210, which you should be able to pick up cheaper than the FR410. Handtec often do a good deal, and watch prices on Amazon, they go up and down quite a lot, so you might be able to catch it when it is at a slightly lower price than normal...

  • Thank you, All...... by coincidence, I was looking at the DC Rainmaker webiste...... an absolute mine of information... far better than anything on RW, Amazon etc... xx

    Trouble is, Ive been on this now for 2 hours.... just to sort out a HRM....

  • Sometimes after replacing the strap battery I've had to rescan for the HR monitor. Worth trying if you haven't yet done that. Also make sure the battery terminals are connecting as that can be a bit of a pain as well.

  • Is that the gold bits that are seated inside the strap, groovy?

  • Garmins seem to fail a lot ?

    I've used polar hrms in the past and they never had problems.
  • I'd think there are more people with Garmins and people will only post when something fails - which is sometimes user error anyhow.  Otherwise, normally it's the strap that's gone or a computer problem - not the watch itself. Fortunately we don't have too many I love my Garmin threadsimage




  • My search for a new HRM has got me all confused. On Amazon, they are advertising the 410 Garmin at £157... but then there is the same model for £320 for exactly the same thing... why do some Companies offer it so much cheaper? I am totally cofused by it.... any help please??

  • my 301 HRM failed after several hard years of use. Plus the various buttons were getting sticky and difficult to use.

    Replaced it last month with a 410 which has been easy to use despite the comments about the bezel etc. The HRM strap is a bit flimsy but the Rainmaker site (which is very good indeed)  has an excellent work around solution - basically buy a Polar strap for about £10 !!

    My 410 with HRM cost £139 from Amazon on a price match day with another site!!!  The offer had disappeared the next day.
    So keep looking until a really good deal turns up - I had an email from Amazon on Friday offering me the 410 for £159 - as though I would be interested in buying another one just a month onimage!!
    Just make sure that the deal actually contains all you want - sometimes the bundle will not include the HR strap, charger or ANT stick for wireless transfer to your computer and buying thoise separately will cost a lot!!

  • If the Amazon deal is £159, it's obviously the real deal. Just look for the what's in the box description.

    So this post was just an excuse to buy a new Garmin? People normally try a bit lessimage


  • ... Im actually a bit of a meany, LN, and didnt intend to get a new one. But you know what its like... you go onto Amazon, see the price of everything, do the "havent the prices come down" bit, then the "ooh, these are are a lot smaller than the 301", then the "oh, isnt that a nice colour", then the "gosh, look what you get for just £20 more" and before I know it, Im looking at a 910..... image

    Fortunately, I have come away from the 910, but the new ones are so nice....image

  • I've been using a series of Garmin HRMs over the years since 2005. I've had a couple of straps where the chest strap just stopped sending reliable signals after a couple of years' use, despite scrubbing it and changing the battery. I gave up and bought a new strap. the newer ones are more comfortable anyway. That fixed the problem. Who's to say I couldn't have fixed them if I had persevered, but I prefer to use a little money rather than mess around for hours and keep having signal problems.

    The watches themselves last longer and I'm still waiting for the 310XT to have a problem so I can justify a 910 image

    Sometimes the watch prices vary because a chest strap is not included.

  • Thanks for that, Steve. I have a feeling it may be the strap, but will have to pay £40 for the privileg of finding out.. OK if it works, but not if it doesnt...

    Think Im like you...... want a new one, but cannot fully justify it....

    Checked Amazon price, and yes, strap was incl.

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