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Whether you ride for health and fitness or for the excitement of pushing yourself farther, a heart rate monitor (HRM) is a great accessory. A wristwatch with a chest strap and electrodes uses radio waves to transmit your heart's electrical activity in beats per minute.
If you're looking to burn fat or ride faster, longer or harder, a HRM will help you maintain an optimum rate for what you're looking to accomplish. It will keep you from both underachieving or overexerting.