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The reason for banning shopping recommendations is that the recommendation might become obsolete. There aren't any HRMs going off the market. All the ones that I see for sale today were available 5 years ago. It's not like asking for recommendations for PC components to buy which will be obsolete within 6 months. Even if for some reason the Polar RS100 goes off the market, it will be replaced by a different RS model with similar functions. If you can't get the FT1 anymore, the FT2 and FT4 are still available. And so on.

The HRM question should be re-opened, the rules should be applied according to the spirit, rather than the letter.

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The recently closed question was closed as not constructive for this reason:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

Polling the site audience for varying opinions or suggestions, all of which are valid answers, is not what Stack Exchange's purpose is. The answers will add up to nothing more than a list of products, something that one can easily do on his own time by browsing online or physical retailers. It is too broad in its current format and extended discussion does not belong here.

If the shopping question doesn't apply heart rate monitors, then what about other fitness equipment and gadgetry? Stack Exchange does not exist as an "anything goes" site and was created to filter out those type of low-quality questions. That kind of question does not fit the spirit of Stack Exchange.

  • The only reason it was worded like that was to get around the shopping recommendation requirement. A running HRM narrows it down significantly, and allows for an objective list of pros & cons for each one that's relevant to anyone who might have that question. – Robin Ashe Oct 6 '12 at 23:16
  • It's pretty clear that if an answer will stand the test of time, it remains. Barbells and plates aren't going to change any time soon, so recommendations on which weights to buy for a home gym are quite valid. The answer will still be valid 10 years from now. Running shoes wouldn't support answers because the models keep getting phased out every year or two. – Robin Ashe Oct 6 '12 at 23:19
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    @RobinAshe - Please watch the attitude of your comments. – Nathan Wheeler Oct 8 '12 at 16:03
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Running watch - purchasing suggestions for beginning runners

I'm interested in buying a running watch (with heart-rate monitor).

Can any experienced runners suggest their favorites?

(Nb: I used to own the Polar RS200, but I'm very interested to receive feedback from currently active and experienced runners.)

From the part of the FAQ Matt Chan quoted:

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

Additionally, from the What kind of questions should I not ask here? section of the FAQ:

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

The question's text, which I have directly copied and pasted above, easily falls into both of these categories. It promotes discussion, links to external sites (which lead to link rot), opinionated debate about a product or set of products, it isn't a real, answerable question, and answers to the question will automatically not be supported by facts, references (other than advertising materials), or specific expertise.

The words suggest and receive feedback are automatic flags that go off when I see a question, as well as seeing purchasing suggestions in the question title. These questions are fine in chat, but do not fit within the defined scope of the site, and will be closed. The shopping recommendations ban applies to all shopping recommendation questions, and will continue to do so.

Models of any device are continuously improved upon. I might link you directly to a page on Amazon selling a Garmin HRM, a Polar HRM, or a Sigma HRM. Then when that specific model goes off the market, the link rots, and all the information, specs, and the rest of my answer on that question is useless.

  • Again, even if the model goes off the market, it doesn't matter. An FT1 serves the same purpose as an FT4. An RS100 serves the same purpose as an RS200. So if someone recommends an RS100 for runners, and the RS100 gets EOL, all anyone in the future needs to do is look at what RS models Polar currently sells and go for one of those. – Robin Ashe Oct 8 '12 at 19:27
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The main problem is that the Question was full of subjective things no one can answer for sure.

What are experienced runners? What is a beginning runner? Is he only using it for running? Does he maybe need other features? What didn't he like about the watch he owns? How should we all know and possibly answer this?

If the question would have been rephrased to something like "I have just started running three days ago and decided to buy a watch, but it is totally unclear to me which features I really need in a watch/hrm combination that fulfill my needs" it would be on topic and even some suggestions in the answers would pop up.

Those answers would be far more useful because the people answering will not just say which watch they own, but they had to tell which features they looked for when buying and why they consider those features useful. Simple "look at this $1399 baby I got myself" answers would not answer the core question and could be deleted, while in the original question they couldn't.

  • It's actually not that hard. Polar's the primary brand, and they segment their HRMs according to what you do. So for runners you've got a fairly short list of ideal HRMs. I can see why you'd think it might be challenging to appropriately answer it, but if you've researched HRMs it actually isn't. That's why I'm saying that HRMs should actually be an exception to the no shopping recommendation rule. You can get high quality answers that are relevant to many people. I suspect the reason he asked for favourites was to get around the no shopping recommendation stipulation. – Robin Ashe Oct 7 '12 at 8:46
  • The problem with exceptions is that other people wont understand them. If there is only one solution then it would be no problem to rephrase the question and probably get the desired answer as well. – Baarn Oct 7 '12 at 9:19
  • And in the meantime you could answer his question in chat, he asked the question there again. – Baarn Oct 7 '12 at 9:20
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    I just checked Amazon for "pulsmesser" (german for hrm) and wound up with more than 5 vendors. How should a beginner know that Polar is the primary brand? Is it really so? In which country? I found HRMs from Sigma, they are high quality, too. In fact that would be the first brand I have had looked at. – Baarn Oct 7 '12 at 9:29
  • A beginner wouldn't know, that's why they ask on SE and someone who isn't a beginner answers. – Robin Ashe Oct 7 '12 at 19:26

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