Polar has announced that it’ll be launching what it calls ‘the world’s smartest training computer’, the V800, in April. The V800 comes with integrated GPS and is said to offer athletes a true picture of their recovery status.
The new computer combines your training load with data on the rest of the activity you do in everyday life to give your required recovery time between training sessions…. and recovery is what it’s all about when it comes to improving your fitness.
“Recovery. That's the name of the game in cycling. Whoever recovers the fastest wins.” Who said that? It was Lance, um, Armstrong. Okay, bad example. But he was right in this instance.
Polar list these key features (what follows in italics are Polar’s own words):
• Integrated GPS – fast, accurate speed, distance and route measurement.
• Smart and accurate monitoring of training sessions with an integrated activity tracker that automatically adjusts your recovery status to give a true account of how much rest you get in between hard sessions. Now every movement is registered, from your toughest workout to a walk up the stairs.
• Instant analysis and in-depth insights into all your training and recovery on the Polar V800 when used with the Polar Flow web service.
• Records your heart rate even while swimming – making it perfect for triathletes – and includes the most accurate altitude readings with a built-in barometric pressure sensor.
• Rechargeable battery which offers up to 14 hours of training time, 50 hours in low power GPS mode, or 30 days in time mode with 24/7 activity monitoring.
• Running Index data shows your aerobic fitness and running economy.
• Orthostatic Test to help you avoid over-training by gaining insight into recovery status over the long term. You can access four weeks of your training history at the touch of a button.
• Gorilla Glass face set in stainless steel with an aluminum core and soft, breathable polyurethane straps.
• Updatable software which will allow users to add new features from the comfort of their own home as they become available. The wireless connection to a smartphone creates the possibility for further features, such as SMS notification and music control, which will be added as updates later in 2014.
• Power monitoring function for serious cyclists, which will be available mid-2014 to be used in conjunction with new Bluetooth Smart power pedals.
Polar arguably used to lead the way in performance analysis tools although we’d say that they’ve never been as strong as Garmin, for example, when it comes to GPS instruments, so It’ll be interesting to try out the V800. We’ll ask to get one in for review here at road.cc. That recovery measurement feature sounds especially interesting.
The Polar V800 will be available around the world in April for a suggested retail price of €399.90 (€449.90 with heart rate sensor). UK prices have yet to be confirmed – a straight Euros to Sterling conversion would be £331 (£372 with heart rate sensor) at today's exchange rate. It will be available in black with a blue version added in June. An optional running stride sensor is available separately. Speed, cadence and power-measuring pedals will also be available separately.
All accessories are Bluetooth Smart compatible, including Polar’s heart rate sensor.
You can find out more about the Polar V800 at www.polarv800.com.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.