In this study we aim to determine, from body surface potential map (BSPM) data, the optimal bipolar chest electrode placement for maximum R-wave amplitude. The study data consisted of 117-lead 352-node BSPM data recorded from 229 healthy subjects. The dataset was split into a training set of 172 subjects and a testing set of the remaining 57 subjects. Optimal electrode placement was determined using a lead selection method based on the difference in R-wave amplitude across all 352 nodes for each patient. R-wave values were then extracted and used to create a median BSPM of the training data. From this median BSPM the optimal electrode placement was defined as the location of the minimum and maximum R-wave values. On the testing dataset this new optimal bipolar chest lead (R-lead) was then compared to all of the leads of the Mason-Likar 12-lead ECG and previously described bipolar chest leads, CM5, CS5, CC5 and CB5. The R-lead showed significant improvement in median R-wave amplitude over the next best lead, CM5 (2562μV vs. 2420μV, Wilcoxon sign ranked test, p< 0.001). Given the improvement in signal strength, an improvement in automated R-wave detection and R-R interval analysis from single lead ECG monitors may be achieved.