Polar V650 cycle computer

Initial thoughts

I recently received a Polar V650  as a gift.  It looks great, the touch screen works well even when riding.  The GPS seems to work well, and integrates nicely with Strava.  Installation was a breeze, although I think the rubber bands that hold the bracket on the bike will stretch.

My Software Experience

To get the units data in to Strava you have to perform the following:-

  1. Connect the Polar V650 via it’s micro-usb port to a computer.
  2. The FlowSync software from Polar is supposed to recognise the  Polar V650 and start syncing the device to the Polar Flow web site.
  3. Polar then syncs the data to Strava.
  4. Strava then allows you to edit the ride before saving it into your dashboard.

Problems

  1. My Polar V650 unit turned up with old firmware. That shouldn’t be a problem, the FlowSync software is supposed to recognise out of date firmware and offer to upgrade the unit.  I run Linux and Mac OS X El Capitan at home, unfortunately the former is not supported by Polar and the latter had a fairly major bug, where it didn’t recognise the Polar V650 at all on that OS. The local support said a new later version of FlowSync would fix the problem, to my knowledge that never occurred. In the end I borrowed a Windows laptop and upgraded my Polar V650.  In the new firmware you tell it that you are connecting to Mac OS X El Capitan ( I wonder why?).
  2. Using Mac OS X El Capitan on the MacBook Air I have to force run FlowSync for the synchronising to work, note I use the actual onboard USB ports for this.
  3. Using Mac OS X El Capitan on the iMac I plug the Polar V650 into a USB hub. The hub has two external hard drives connected, they are immediately ejected, but do come back! I again have to force run FlowSync but it never sees the Polar V650 unit.

Feature Requests

  1. The Routes feature only shows you your favourite routes, i.e. ones you have already ridden, it would be nice to be able to upload GPX files with a route that you are about to do.  There are work arounds mentioned in the Polar forums.
  2. It we be nice if it handles running. Instead f having the ability to have 4 bike profiles, one of them could be running. I wouldn’t need to take my phone on a run then.
  3. In Australia it is the law that all cyclists have to ride with a bell. It would be good if this was available from the pull down menu or a new pull up menu.

On the whole I like the unit, the software around the Polar V650 let it down. Some of the bugs related to USB shouldn’t exist, it’s been around a while now.  I’m hoping  Polar fix the bugs and include some of the features requests, using it would be a much better experience.

 

 

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