Revisiting Strava

Quite awhile ago, I posted my Giant GPS Data Sharing Site Shootout, and Strava was included in that review, and not reviewed well. Strava has been showing up in a lot of online discussions lately, and having a lot of favorable comments. It seems a lot of people are starting to use it, and some of those comments suggested that there have been some changes since my big review. That page is rather unweildy, so rather than add all of this there and make it worse, I thought I’d make a new post, and just put a link to it there.

First off, Strava offers embedding with a free account. Seeing as that’s a major thing I use for data sharing sites, adding this feature is pretty important to me. Here’s a short ride from last weekend.

Accessing this feature is easy enough. Go to the activity, and find the “Share Ride” dropdown, and choose the “embed on Blog” option. Copy and paste the code and voila!

There’s a premium membership option that includes additional analysis options if you’d like them, which is a nice option for the folks really looking to optimize performance. Strava’s pricing is pretty reasonable, so it may not be quite as expensive as Training Peaks (nor does it offer THAT much analysis), but the pricing compares well to most other sites that offer premium services.

The neat thing about Strava is that it has segments. You can define a segment as a portion of a ride where you can compete against others. You can define a segment (commonly a climb) and Strava will track your performance on that segment every time you ride it. If you make that segment public, others can track their own performance on it as compared to you and other people who ride it. As you can see, those segments can be shared and embedded, too. With the premium memberships, you can even compare yourself against others in different age groups and weight classes.

It will also link to your Twitter or Facebook account, if you’re interested. There is also a nice suite of unique social features within the site. You can join various clubs or bike shops and have your ride stats compared in different competitions.

When searching for rides, you can filter your searches by climb categorization, you can search for segments, and you can search for a particular athlete.

All in all, I think the additions Strava has made since my earlier review are positive additions that make the service attractive to a wider variety of people. The service supports iOS, Android, Garmin Communicator uploads directly from the device, as well as manual .gpx, .tcx, and .fit uploads allowing for a wide range of device compatibility.

3 comments to Revisiting Strava

  • Peter

    I just replaced my Garmin 60csx with a Garmin Edge 200 with plans on using both Strava and Garmin Connect. It sees that Strava has a larger MTB following in my area Western NC than Garmin Connet does. My only disappointment is with Strava is that I can not pre download other riders courses to my Edge course feature.

  • The GPS Geek

    you can create a course from any .gpx or .tcx file using Garmin Training Center. Just load the file into GTC, then right click on it and select “create course from activity” and bam, you’re good to go. That doesn’t appear to be part of the API that Garmin lets other sites use. My guess is that Garmin does the necessary file conversions on its end separately. When you download from elsewhere, you have to do that step yourself.

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