A heart rate monitor with no sensor strap looks like a comfort dream come true for sporty women

Conventional heart rate monitors can be annoying. Modern sensor straps put the transmitter in a spot between your breasts that can be uncomfortable. Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of the strap altogether?

Mio’s new Alpha heart rate monitor does just that. It uses an optical detector on the back of the watch to measure your heart rate, so there’s no need for a strap.

First impressions are good. In short, it works: you put it on, press the ‘HR’ button and it tells you your heart rate. Take it off at this point and you find a couple of bright green LEDs that shine through your skin so the sensor can detect your pulse.

There’s a Bluetooth chip in there, so it can talk to lots of modern phones and some bike computers. Install an app like Endomondo or Strava and you can record your heart rate along with the rest of your ride data.

Till Wednesday, you can get a Mio Alpha direct from the US at an introductory price of $199 plus $30 handling. When it becomes available in the UK, it’ll be £169 plus shipping.

More info from Mio.