Hi everybody. Any clue’s or advice on how to get the rate up and make my “climbing” more efficient ?
I’m 69 very fit and active but frustrated when I can’t stay with my pals when we reach the hills. 
Can we get better or is that how it is ?
Best regards David Moore. 
Cheddar Dave.


Cycling and pacemakers

by IAN MC - 2019-01-11 09:59:06

Hi Dave  ...nice part of the world, Cheddar ( I was there a couple of weeks ago ! )

If your heart-rate doesn't increase as it should when you cycle up hills, then you are suffering from ' Chronotropic Incompetence " . To fix this , first of all, you need your pacemaker  Rate Response switching on.

I see from your bio that you have a Boston Scientific ADVANTIO  . This is supposed to be one of the best pacemakers you can have for cycling providing that its Rate Response function is set correctly.

Your PM has two sensors to detect the fact that you are exercising, One sensor, the accelerometer, detects upper-body movement but unfortunately you don't get much of that when you are cycling. If you tap your PM with your forefinger you can increase your heart-rate but this is a bit tricky if you are cycling round a hair-pin bend at the time !

The other sensor , known as the " minute ventilation " sensor , detects an increase in your breathing and should then increase your heart-rate which should theoretically work OK for cycling.

It sounds to me as though your Rate Response sensors haven't been adjusted properly. You need an optimum blend of the 2 sensors. I would recommend that you persuade your PM guru to do adjustments while you are on a treadmill ( or better still, on an exercise bike ! )  It is the only way to really optimise your settings to reflect real-life exercising. To get it done on the NHS  may need all your powers of persuasion but I've had it done a few times, so it is possible !

Final piece of advice on how to keep up with your pals .....   get some pals who are MUCH older than you !

Best of luck



by Skeet - 2019-01-11 14:07:12

Dave, Ian Mc said was there a week ago. I have been there for 11 years and I am still there. If you find that PM guru please let me know. 

It was 5 years before any tech ( I had a different one every 6 months) would turn on accelerometer, rate response, or MV. Then another year before a tech would turn them up. By then I was in very bad shape, and my bicycle racing days were over. At that point I just about quit riding all together. Fast forward to Feb. 2017 new PM (BS Essentio L101), new Cardiologist, new  tech, and new hope. After multiple tech visits and no success adjusting PM my MV was turned off in early 2018 (due to PM computer issue). Accelerometer and Rate Response were turned up to max, still no pulse. 110 average or less for a 2 to 3 hour ride. On Sept. 2018 MV turned back on. Now my average pulse for 3 hour ride is over 160. After 4 tech visits and turning down Acc. and RR my pulse still  hovers at 166 on my rides.  That is too much. I am 71 years old now. I just would like a pulse that is low when I am going slow and high when I am going hard. That sounds simple but I guess that it is not. I hope you find that adjustment that is right for you.

PS. Tapping works some time but not always, and will not hold pulse up.   

Cyclling and pacemaker

by airwayotto - 2019-01-13 13:52:30

I have the same problem as Cheddar Dave.  I am 65 and a serious cyclist with a PM.  The hills and sprints are a problem.  My PM puts me at 160 when it detects significant excercise It just stays there until I just coast along.  The response on that seems pretty good.  The problem is that I cannot push beyond that 160 rate, even when I am beating my brains out on those steep pitches or sprinting to the top.  I end up winded and slowed to almost a stop, even though my legs have more to give.  To compensate, I carefully monitor my output with a power meter to avoid that condition.

I would like to have more duration of top end power.  I suspect the problem is that my heart rate cannot get above 160.  Is there a setting that limits my heart rate to that 160 level?  I really would not want to raise that excercise rate other than for those short bursts of max exertion.  

I have a 2nd degree heart block (now, after years of pacing, probably 3rd degree) but have never experienced symptoms.  I am generally very healthy and do not otherwise notice my pacemaker.

Any ideas?


BTW, my doctor's office has been fairly helpful in setting up the pacemaker and fiddling with settings.  However, there are a lot of them and it takes some time and repeat visits.  This is my main complaint.

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As for my pacemaker (almost 7 years old) I like to think of it in the terms of the old Timex commercial - takes a licking and keeps on ticking.