Just wanted to start a thread about STRAVA. See what the general consensus is. Free App, can be used as a GPS nav tool to track all the metrics. Community based. Pay more if you want more, etc.
I am personally all for it, think its a great tool to monitor health, performance. See what your friends are doing. Create routes, look for trails anywhere. Watch the trends on who is attacking what. I love the local competitiveness of it.
That being said, I have seen first hand the negative effects of it with respect to effecting unwanted trail use. As a trail builder, if someone asked me to “not strava” I wouldnt even question it.
I also know a lot of riders who wont use it, have used it and stopped. All for various valid personnel reasons.
What do you love about it?
What do you dislike about it?
Agreed and I would also add that I often ride solo and love the added safety the app provides by allowing me to share my live location with someone when I start my ride.
I used to pay for Strava then stopped as I was not using the training tools and was just using it to track rides and it seemed like a lot of money just to track rides so I went back to the free version. But then they hid literally every feature behind a paywall so I switched to Trail Forks for my ride tracking needs. If I have to pay for something I feel better paying Trail Forks since they at least support the trail associations.
Don’t get me wrong, there are also downsides to Trail Forks, but that is a whole other thing.
Anecdotally, As a beginner mountain biker, my wife and a friend were riding along, some dude came up behind them yelling “Strava! Strava!” before blowing by them in a huff. She had no idea what was going on. When she came home I had to tell her what Strava was, and the subspecies of user known as the “Stravasshole”.
I’ve never used Strava and have heard of issues with secret trails getting exposed, although couldn’t this also happen with someone tracking their ride on Trailforks? I thought they had a heatmap feature as well, although I can’t seem to find it right now.
I stopped using my Garmin this year and haven’t logged any of my rides on Strava. The deviation between different devices really doesn’t make it super accurate, and all I really cared about was how long I was gone for and how many kms I’ve ridden. My apple watch does that for me now.
Anyone can get fast riding the same segment over and over, trying to beat a clock. If I want to compete against other people I will do it at a race event where the times are real and we are all riding the same conditions.
If you have a Garmin device you can do live track from the Garmin Connect app and not have to use Strava beacon feature. I use the location services on my watch for the same safety reason and share the location info to my wifes phone.
It has its place, i do enjoy tracking my progression in my riding seeing improvement in my times .
Also i have it linked to pro bike mechanic which tracks the hours on each bike and gives a notification as to when the bike as a whole or specific components should be serviced
Thats a really cool feature!
I used to be more into it than I am now, I still use it for my rides, but I don’t care as much about segments, there are a few that I like to push on and use strava to track it, but there are just so many segments now, its kinda blown out.
I get the part about exposing trails, but I honestly think that ship has sailed, so many people use it, and other tracking software, with global heat maps it just takes one person to expose a trail so anyone can see it.
I enjoy it for tracking my improvements and my rides. Have never paid for it or even used my free trial (saving it?). Do enjoy the chance to see how I stack up and what is possible. I would say I even get some enjoyment out of some of the back and forth of the KOMs on new segments.
I generally just ride the same places so have never had issues with someone asking me not to Strava something.
Have never yelled Strava at someone but do find people will pull off to the side if they see you coming up behind them quickly and I would do the same. However, I have had one guy that pulled off yell to his friend ahead “Strava!” as I approached, likely more because of the lycra and huffing and puffing than the pace.
One thing with strava, if your just using it on your phone its prone to glitching. It tracked me doing 218 kms an hour on inglis street and crossint the harbor where the bridge isnt.
But othet than that its a decent free tool if your not paying for it
I find it to be a useful tool and am a subscriber.
Some of my fav features:
- ability to share a gpx/fit file w others so they can load it on their device. I’ve used this three times in the last month for out of towners coming to McRun who want a ‘e-guided’ turn-by-turn tour. I’ve also done the reverse when I travel to new areas, I can easily search out a variety of ride files and upload it onto my device and follow it.
- I also use the heatmap and route building features regularly but more for road and gravel rides.
- tracking mileage on each bike for service purposes
- tracking monthly hrs in the saddle
- all the ride info, data, history, etc is in one place. People often say “you can use Garmin Connect for this, you can use Trail Forks for that, you can use Map My Ride for the other”, etc and I think “I can use Strava for all of it quickly and easily and in one place.”
Agree w Paul M 100% that trying to put the technology genie back in the bottle to keep trails secret isn’t going to happen.
To the concern about Stravassholes I don’t find that surprising but I think we could simply classify them as assholes. Misplaced competitiveness, recklessness and rudeness are not a result of Strava, they existed long before Strava and will continue long after Strava. Agree w Josh that if you want to know who’s legit fast on a bike go to a race.
My only real concern w Strava is the privacy aspect. I keep the acct private unless i choose to publish a ride. I have had these concerns since I joined a dozen or so yrs ago. I limit those I follow and my followers to 25 close friends or riders I regularly race with. My ‘pending request to follow’ list is up over 250 people but I simply have no interest in adding everyone and telling the world automatically where I ride, when I ride, with who I ride, what kind of bike I ride, where I live, etc. Sometimes I’m like "Come on, I’m on IG, FB,Twitter, how much more do you need to know?! lol. Riding is sacred, I like to keep it private unless i choose to share it.
Great points so far, not a-lot of negatives really.
-Fully agree on the privacy issues. Especially if you are rolling out from your front door daily on a commute. You can set up zones now around your property which is good.
-I also like the new “blog” portion of it. Lots of pros posting some cool stuff.
-the gpx file thing is huge, use it on my most of my “new” road routes. (Is this a premium feature?)
-the difference between hardware and gps is for sure real, but like people are stating. You want a real race go sign up.
-The thing I find funny about the aggressive strava people are I can guarantee whoever did that isnt on any local top 10 leaderboards, but maybe I am wrong.
I think the amount of segments currently in mrwa, fight are total overkill. But that is truly a first world issue.
I do love seeing some of the times though on the old school stuff from 2017 and whatnot, on harder more rugged trails.
The large amounts of segments in one small geographic area is one thing I really didn’t like.
Edit: also short segments. There should be a minimum length that the segment needs to be.
Agreed, short segs are a bit silly. Conversely I’m always amused at the crazy long and complicated ones with names like ‘CK to NoraW, Cracker clkwise, return via DucknRun and Attic, No Fire Escape’ lol. Hundreds of people riding in there and only 4 people have ever hit this seg in the order of trails that it was created.
Having traveled quite a bit I actually think MRWA, Railyard, etc have relatively few segs compared to many places. I’ve done rides in places where you can scroll page after page of segs after your ride.
I assume for the most part if someone is into segs and they ride an area regularly they have a decent idea of which ones they pay attention to and they just ignore the rest.
I’ve been a subscriber for some time. Like others, I like that everything is in one place so. I rely on it to keep track of yearly mileage and this year took the time to enter the various bikes, just for interests sake. I don’t really care about the segment aspect on mtb but will try to improve on various road ones. I just discovered/looked at the heatmap thing so now I’ve got a summer+ of filling in a pile of gaps of gravel. I also like it because I get to see what folks I know but rarely see are up to.
Only negative for me is seeing how much riding people are doing and how much I’m not. But that’s just social media for you in a different format. I just rarely scroll through anymore unless I’ve actually done a ride.
You could use the “fly by” feature to figure that out.
I’m not a fan. I don’t record any of my rides anymore, except for on video because I think it’s fun. Tracking speed, distance, etc. adds nothing to my enjoyment, and usually distracts.
I prefer to just enjoy what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with.
I don’t use it very often. When it was free I used the route planning feature a fair bit, especially when traveling, I might even pay for it in the future if I get to go on a big trip again, but would likely cancel the next month.
I deleted Strava last year. I’d stopped using it seriously a bit before but still recorded each ride. I shifted to TrailForks but have even using that has petered out.
I just got sick of people making money from my data while also trying to charge me for the privledge.
I have a Garmin 520 which I still use, but mainly for maps (I have downloaded the TrailForks map pack) and to get notifications while riding.