Polar CS500 Cycling Computer Mac Compatible

After debuting at Eurobike and then Interbike last summer, Polar
is finally set to release the new CS500 cycling computer. A sleek new functional design coupled with Polar's classic heart rate monitoring technology, this cycling computer will be a must have for the ambitious cyclist looking to improve their performance this season.  After a great deal of customer frustration, the CS500 will be Polar's first product that is Mac compatible. I hear you cheering but don't get too excited just yet. 

The key design innovation in the CS500 cycling computer is the two way rocker switch, allowing you to effortlessly navigate through various performance data while you are tearing it up on the bike. Securely mounted on your handlebars, a gently tap to the left or right side of the CS500 will change the data shown on the oversized display. 

The CS500 is compatible with most of Polar's 2.4 GHz W.I.N.D technology units such as the power output sensor , cadence sensor and speed sensor. Unfortunately the GPS W.I.N.D sensor is excluded from that list. Regardless, the CS500 cycling computer can measure speed, distance, cadence and temperature. It also displays current altitude, ascended/descended meters and hill steepness. Nutrition and drink reminders will ensure you don't bonk during your ride. 

The CS500 cycling computer weighs only 50 grams and comes in two packages: one with the Polar Speed Sensor W.I.N.D.
and Dual Lock Bike Mount or one with both the speed sensor and bike mount plus the Polar Cadence Sensor W.I.N.D.
Check the Polar USA or Polar Facebook pages for exact launch date information- they are claiming Spring 2010 and in some comments they say May 2010. The two CS500 packages will retail for $299.95 and $339.95 respectively. 

The big news on the software front is that Polar will finally provide Mac support for the DataLink data communication used by the CS500. The bad news- the CS500 only works with the polarpersonaltrainer.com web-based training application. So say goodbye to your Polar ProTrainer 5 if you buy the CS500. 

If the CS500 data can only be uploaded to the web application does it really matter then that the DataLink is Mac compatible? Most Macs don't have IR ports and the earlier Polar IR-USB adapters don't work with Macs so maybe they are just finally making an IR-USB that will work with a Mac? Not very exciting. 

You can see the rocker in action in the video below:


No Comments Yet
  1. I think (hope?) you’ll find that the ‘Datalink’ interface is something more like the FlowLink interface than an IR interface – details seem to be scarce at the moment. I seem to remember that when the CS500 was first announced, it was described as using the FlowLink interface.

    Are you sure about the GPS sensor – it’s shown in the panel beneath the CS500 in your photo? Although the panel does just mention speed and distance data – no mention of GPS positional data.

    Hopefully, we’ll have it working with iSMARTtrain soon after its released to provide an alternative to Polar’s Protrainer software.

  2. Hi Stuart,

    I just heard from Chris at Polar. The DataLink will be W.I.N.D technology. The CS500 will connect to your computer via a WIND USB device that comes with both Mac and PC drivers. In terms of the GPS, on their Facebook pages they say they do not work with their GPS units but as you say they show it in the picture above and they do now have a WIND GPS unit. This pic is from ISPO so maybe they have now incorporated it since Interbike and Eurobike.

    Thanks for the comment and I know iSMARTtrain is a good Mac software alternative for everyone out there!

  3. With no built-in GPS, potentially no positional GPS at all, no ANT+, no PPT5,… why would anybody buy this instead of an Edge 500 at the same weight and price?

    Still, at least found out about iSMARTtrain… now that’s a good thing–good luck!

  4. Hi Yonadav!

    I guess the main thing that Polar has going for them is that they own all the patents on algorithms for calculating calorie consumption. The Garmin devices are supposedly way off on that front. So if calorie counts matter to you…. đŸ™‚


  5. The 605 and 705 had a really bad algorithm but my 500 (and the FR60) is not far off my Polar RS800CX as it’s based on HR. Nothing else to say for the CS500? Why is Polar they falling so far behind?

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