Review: Wahoo Fitness Tickr Run

Wahoo Fitness' Tickr Run is a heart rate and movement monitor that connects to smartphones.

Photo: John David Becker

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Want to train using heart rate, but aren’t ready to shell out money for a fully loaded GPS watch? Wahoo Fitness may have your answer with its Tickr Run—a heart rate and movement monitor that connects to smartphones.

A heart rate monitor is simple enough—it measures an athlete’s effort level via beats per minute (BPM), and using heart rate zones to guide your training can help increase endurance and aerobic capacity. What distinguishes the Tickr Run from other devices, though, is its built-in accelerometer and iPhone compatibility. When paired with the Wahoo Fitness app, the Tickr Run will give you a Wahoo Running Smoothness score—a number ranging from 50 to 150 that measures your running efficiency. A higher score denotes minimal side-to-side movement and a soft impact on the ground—two elements of a running gait that not only indicate efficient run form but also decrease your likelihood for injury.
With so many fitness apps and products on the market, the Tickr Run’s cross-compatibility is an enticing feature. Although the smoothness score is available only when paired with the Wahoo Fitness app, the Tickr Run will work with GPS watches and other fitness sites like Strava and TrainingPeaks.

Its functionality is straightforward as well: Simply wet the sensors, attach the device around your chest with the provided band and pair with your ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart device. The flashing blue light means it’s connected, and the flashing red light means your pulse has been acquired.

After a week of testing, the Tickr Run impressed. It connected to my iPhone and Garmin Forerunner 310XT immediately, and the Tickr Run cut out less and had a more accurate reading than my Garmin HRM3 Premium heart rate monitor. (One thing I found flawed was the cumbersome way the strap attached to the back of the device—you have to snap one side, wrap it around your body, and then snap the other side.) The battery compartment is easy to access—simply use a coin to unscrew the cap—no chance of stripping tiny screws when changing the battery.

The Tickr Run is not limited to running; I paired the device with my Garmin while cycling and the signal stayed strong through a 60-mile ride. It is also water resistant, and it worked perfectly after an hour-long swim-run brick. Although I didn’t try it, the Tickr Run will also provide smoothness data when running on a treadmill after calibration.

The Tickr Run is the second heart rate product offered by Wahoo Fitness. The third model, Tickr X, is coming soon and will measure heart rate and running smoothness, use workout motion capture and include onboard memory.

RELATED – 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Apps

The Draw:
– The Wahoo Running Smoothness score indicates your side-to-side movement and ground impact
– Pairs with ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart devices
– Connects to Strava and TrainingPeaks

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