Heart Rate Strap and Monitor Not Working? Here Are a Few Things to Check

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Gear

If you your Heart Rate (HR) Strap is not reading accurately, this post contains ideas that have helped bring many old straps back to life!

If these troubleshoot ideas don’t work or you are fed up!

1) Clean & Inspect

  • Wash the strap with soap and water (take the battery pack/pod off it)
  • Clean with soap regularly is a good idea – check that the connections between the battery and the strap are not rusted or dirty and clean if they are.
  • Don’t machine wash and don’t soak the sensor (wipe with a cloth)


2) Reset of the Heart Rate strap Sensor and check the connections inside are not bent

  • Take the battery out and put it in upside down for ~10sec *This seems like it won’t work but has been a popular fix
  •  If you have a new battery, use that to rule out the chance of a low/dead battery
  •  Check that your battery connections inside the sensor are not bent or missing/broken. This is very common on cheaper models. The battery shouldn’t move around once installed.


3) ‘Forget’ and Re-connect to device

  • Delete and re-pair the HR strap to the device / bike computer.
  • You should also try to pair your strap to another device, just to ensure that it’s not your device acting up! (If it is your device that isn’t reading it, restart your device.)


4) Firmware/Software on your device (or strap?)

  • Check for firmware updates for all devices and/or smart-straps – Occasionally an update to your computer can solve an issue that has suddenly popped up.
  • Many devices do this once connected to a computer or upon syncing but some may require a quick search on the companies website or a search for “your device” + Firmware


5) Review proper heart rate strap usage and orientation

  • Many Heart rate straps have a right and left side, typically this means that the logo should be upright.
  • Straps should be moist. Wet the strap before you leave rather than waiting to sweat. Irregular readings early in a ride are often due to dry straps (e.g. you are not sweating yet)
  • The strap should be tight/snug (they loosen over time and when wiped dry)
  • Heart Rate Straps are worn *under* all clothing and bib straps so that all of the straps is directly on the skin (we see this a few times a year)


6) Situational Errors – wind, static, battery choice

  • Wind and flapping vests/coats can cause erratic readings. This may be unavoidable but a moistened/tight strap, different vest or a strap worn backwards may help.
  • Try a different shirt (some technical fabrics can affect it). This may be an issue for runners and is worth trying.
  • Ensure the connections/snaps for the battery/sensor are not rusted on the strap. If your strap is old then this is very possible.
  • Ensure the battery pack and strap are worn with the correct orientation. There may be a left/right marking. A good rule of thumb is to align logo on the battery vertically.
  • Wahoo straps suggest certain ‘non-coated batteries. Getting a new battery is a good general troubleshoot technique.


7) Need a New Heart Rate Strap?


Watch our troubleshooting guide here:

Some more troubleshooting links that may help for popular heart rate straps:


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