The Wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor is a dual band ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart (BLE 4.0) heart rate strap that you can use with any smart  phone based fitness app, any GPS bike computer and any multisport watch and fitness tracker that lets you pair with external sensors.

First released in 2014 the TICKR is one of three heart rate monitors in the Wahoo line up, the others are the TICKR Run and TICKR X. This is a review of the Wahoo TICKR but there is a comparison table to the other models near the end of the review.

Wahoo TICKR Package Contents

The Wahoo TICKR comes packaged in a box with fold out cover held by two magnets that tells you most things you need to know about the Wahoo TICKR heart rate strap that’s inside.

Inside the box is the Wahoo TICKR and two documents, one is the Wahoo TICKR instructions and the other looks like your standard sort of disclaimer document written in multiple languages. If you haven’t used the Wahoo Fitness app before there is a link on the instruction sheet.

Click to enlarge pictures.

Removing the Wahoo TICKR you will see it contains two items, the band or strap and the pod. The band simply snaps into the pins on the back of the pod once you have adjusted the strap to suit your chest size and then you are ready to pair it to your device.

Using the Wahoo TICKR Heart Rate Monitor

Pairing to a device or app will depend on what you use to monitor your rides and workouts but should be as simple as navigating to the screen where you connect sensors and add heart rate. You would have noticed when you clicked the strap into the sender pod that there are two flashing LED lights on the front of the pod, one red and one blue. The blue light will flash while searching for a connection and both the red and blue will flash while making the connection.

How does the Wahoo TICKR compare to other heart rate straps? I normally use a Polar strap with a Garmin pod as the Polar pod is only Bluetooth Smart capable and I mostly use ANT+ (the bare Polar strap is better than the Garmin). You will notice from the two photos below the straps are similar in design with just one obvious difference in the fastening mechanism. The Polar strap has a slide type fastener that secures either to your left or right side whereas the Wahoo TICKR secures by the snap pin type fastener on the pod itself which sits in the center of your chest.

There is no obvious benefit or shortfall with either of them it will come down to your own preference. One thing I did notice is the Wahoo TICKR strap is a little more flexible and just a little bit more comfortable to wear.

Wahoo TICKR compared to the Polar strap with Garmin pod.
Wahoo TICKR compared to the Polar strap with Garmin pod.

The Polar and Garmin straps only transmit on either Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ not both so the Wahoo TICKR has an advantage there. We reviewed the Scosche RHYTHM+ optical heart rate sensor and that is a dual band sensor that records heart rate with an optical sensor but it is worn on your arm rather than around your chest. It’s great for running and other activities but for cycling I prefer chest straps and they are just a bit more accurate than the optical sensors.

As mentioned earlier the Wahoo TICKR will connect with virtually any current bike computer, fitness device and fitness apps including any for Apple’s iPhone or iPad.

Wahoo TICKR compared to TICKR Run and TICKR x

The Wahoo TICKR is one of three Wahoo heart rate monitors, the others are the Wahoo TICKR Run and the Wahoo TICKR x. The external appearance is the same but the two more expensive models have advanced features for running including running smoothness, treadmill modes, built in memory and the TICKR x is capable of measuring cadence with the Wahoo Fitness app.

The feature comparison between each heart rate monitor is in the table below.

Wahoo Heart Rate Monitor FeaturesTICKRTICKR RunTICKR x
Dual Band Technology (Bluetooth 4.0 & ANT+)
Real Time Heart Rate & Calorie Tracking
Visible Connection
Third Party App Compatibility
Personalized Heart Rate Training with the RunFit App
Running Smoothness™
Treadmill Mode
Running Cadence Measurement
Additional Running Analytics
Built-In Memory
Indoor Cycling Cadence with the Wahoo Fitness App
Rep Counting with the 7 Minute Workout App
Rapid Double Tap Control
Replaceable Battery
Water Proof & Sweat Proof

Summary

The Wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor is comfortable to wear, connects with any device or fitness app you would want to use via ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart, it’s accurate and priced competitively for a premium heart rate strap.

It’s a device I would highly recommend.

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