To get the best from your training you need to know what your body is doing, how it copes with exercise and plan accordingly. Using heart rate is a very good way to train and with the latest generation of pulse monitors it has never been easier. Simply put the chest strap around your trunk and heart rate is transmitted wirelessly to the head unit either on your handlebars or wrist. A constant readout is clearly displayed allowing you to keep track of your training.
Cycling specific pulse monitors offer so much more than just heart rate measurement though. They also perform the same functions as cycle computers so show current speed, distance, elapsed time, average speed, cadence, cumulative distance, cadence, altitude etc, the list goes on depending on model. They also store all your training data from sessions and most offer the ability to download sessions after exercise for further analysis and comparing training. They are very simple to set up and once done do not require any further adjustments, just put the chest strap on, put the head unit on your handlebars and away you go, it really is that easy.