I've never like the Garmin branded chest strap for heart rate, and lo and behold, mine's crapped out. Is there anything on a compatible protocol that's better at a similar price?
I have a Scosche Rhythm+ rechargeable optical HRM. It goes around your arm and works really well. I haven't had any issues with it, other than being annoyed when I am all dressed to go out and ride in my winter duds and I forgot to put it on, which means pulling my arm through my sleeve to get it around my bicep.
BTW, still sucks to have to semi undress to put on a chest strap when you've forgotten to do it first.
The Wahoo Tickr seems to have far less dropouts than the opticals I've tried (Apple Watch and the Mio) but the wrist mounted HR doohickeys are more convenient. I figure eventually those will become more accurate, perhaps by integrating some aspect of the Tickr-type sensors into the back of the wrist sensor?
Drift: I'd like to either have the Apple Watch pick up Ant+ compatibility or the newest Garmin speed and cadence sensors get Bluetooth compatibility. The only Bluetooth speed/cadence sensors I've seen are 2-in-1 arrangements that go on the rear non-drive-side chainstay and are clumsy/awkward to position safely and accurately (one heel kick away from the rear wheel.)
Polar straps are(?)/have been compatible with the garmin pod.
I got two on the recommendation of SteveP. They work great and have been more durable than the Garmin strap.
I've used a wahoo strap and sensor which also works great. I second that recommendation too.
i've used the schosche for a couple of years now...i hate wearing a monitor around my chest...far more comfortable for me as chest straps always have a tendency to slide down
i wear it above my elbow in the summer and below the elbow in the winter when i'm wearing long sleeves to help secure it in place
only downside is you have to charge it regularly (and there is no battery indicator)...i usually charge it up every 3-4 rides with my fenix watch
Another Schosche guy here. I download my Garmin 800 on Thursday and Sunday and charge the Schosche at the same time. More often if my rides approach the 8 hour total time between normal charges. I wear it above my bicep year round with the sensor on the inside. It's never bugged me, slid down, or chafed. I've compared it between there and my forearm and didn't see any difference. It transmits in ANT+ and Bluetooth so you can use it with a phone app. There is some lag but it's outlasted any "premium" Garmin strap I've tried.
I heart burnt bikes.
Also another good point on the Scosche: I am a hirsute dude and my chest hair always made it hard for HR straps to find my heartbeat, unless I wetted the strap, which is always irritating and kinda gross. There's none of that with the Scosche.
I wanted bluetooth and ant connectivity, so I went with the wahoo tickr. They have one that is fancier, didn't need that. Just like anything involving small electronic wireless-connected computers, I had problems with it at first. Then I realized that it was mostly my phone and other apps that were causing the problems. Taking that into account, it works fine.
wahoo tickr. love it. hated the stock Garmin one and the Wahoo is much more comfy; it's even in "forget it's there" territory after a little while. I've been using mine for about a year now on the same battery, which is way better than charging every couple rides. for optical/wrist-based ones, I tried the Mio but it's was pretty awful. it seemed that every time I really wanted to look at my heart rate - like while climbing - it was giving some obviously bogus value. or would die ten miles into the ride. never had a single issue like that (or otherwise) with the tickr.