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Strava - good or bad for cycling?

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Strava - good or bad for cycling?

Old 01-06-13, 01:34 AM
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All these comments about strava being a game...

Last time I checked, racing road bikes was a game too.

Just go ride your bike. If strava makes you ride more and enjoy it more, awesome. If you don't like strava and just want to go ride...cool.
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Old 01-06-13, 01:53 AM
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I've been a Strava fan for a while, but more as a great way to log and mine data. Today's ride was an excellent case in point. I did a 6mile climb that I last did in late November early in my base period. A fellow BF member has divided this climb into 6 segments. Neither climb was blazingly fast as I was trying to ride within myself each time. From looking at segment times, HR and my power meter data, I could see that my base work was paying off as each segment time was a bit faster, at a lower HR and with higher power (i.e. better efficiency). Also looking across segments I could see that I was maintaining my power much more steadily over the climb compared to the last ride in November. Yes, that info could be obtained in other ways, but having the segments auto created for me makes it so much easier.
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Old 01-06-13, 03:47 AM
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I love Strava.

Tracks my progress. Adds a social element to riding as I have met so many great riding partners through it. Shows me what is possible in terms of what others can achieve on a segment. Motivates me to push myself more as I ride.

When I need to recover or just take it easy..I leave my Garmin at home and just enjoy the road.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by aztimm
+1.

I've found people near me on some segments, commented on their rides, and met a couple in person for riding together. It has been a great way to meet other cyclists--some who live very close to me

I doubt I'll ever do a real race, but I do like the whole segment thing on Strava. Yes, I sometimes do, "go after," a segment, especially if I have a good tailwind.
Every tour I've completed has tons of Strava segments. And someone always makes one big segment for the entire tour.
+2 on this. I move around a lot, it's fun to watch my friends in Colorado, or Whistler. I've also met a few people in the area this way. I pretty much have to ride on my own all the time so Strava adds a little fun to the equation. Anything taken to extremes is just plain silly.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:05 AM
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love me some strava.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by starjag
Sure it can be a game, but it can also be a tool.
... as can the people using it ...

Seems to me it's just one of many things that can be used to provide a bit of friendly competition, a means to measure your progress with objective benchmarks and a place to find new interesting routes. Or it can be used to provide another obsession, another excuse to beat yourself up for not riding hard enough today, or another reason to pursue a gold star on a web site to the extent you your life and the lives of others in its pursuit.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:57 AM
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I don't use strava but endomondo. The new version offers 'user benchmarking' which is just a
other way to compare yourself to others. Personally I think its a good log book that encourages me to exercise more. I couldn't care less if others are faster or slower.
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Old 01-06-13, 09:12 AM
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Yes, agree that both are true. Obviously it can distract you which is a good or bad thing. However, I do like the ability to read out whatever data I want on the garmin. I also find though it can distract me in a positive way and keep my mind from wondering off on the straights or climbs to the point of danger. Mostly though, I find that Strava is one of the largest consistent motivators I have. It definitely gives me a reason to ride even when the weather is crap and none of my riding partners are available. In addition, i have already met a couple of great cycling connects through Strava by browsing through similar rides. We have ridden together a couple of times already. I have nothing but positive things to say about Strava. I have pretty much stopped using map my ride and even my own program that I developed.
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Old 01-06-13, 11:51 AM
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It's a fun little thing that encourages me to ride different parts of the city. People who are ******bags about Strava are probably the same guys sandbagging local races.
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Old 01-06-13, 12:36 PM
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It seems to me that Strava's value depends totally on how a person uses it. Obviously I can't speak to what anyone else does with it, but for me, it's just another way of tracking my own performance, which is all I'm really interested in. In that regard, the only difference between Strava and say, Golden Cheetah or Garmin Connect is that it has shown me that there actually are people (not many) slower than me

Like most other things in this life, it's only a negative if you take it too seriously.
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Old 01-06-13, 01:00 PM
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Good, if used properly; Bad if you're an idiot who puts Strava numbers ahead of common sense and safety when training on public roads.
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Old 01-06-13, 01:09 PM
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I love strava- it's what taught me how to safely motor pace a semi truck up local hills so I can nail those KOMs and put other riders in their place.
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Old 01-06-13, 01:12 PM
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I like it for all the reasons already mentioned. I also was very happy when I was in another city, Strava enabled me to find the "real" local rides with real data of what to expect on those rides.
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Old 01-06-13, 01:37 PM
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Let's be honest - the only thing Strava has going for it is segments, for those who use them. There are many other applications out there that do a far superior job in collecting and presenting one's own data (everything else). That also includes riding against one's previous times on the same routes.
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Old 01-06-13, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by James1:17
I'm sure there are any number of gifted cyclists participating in strava.
https://app.strava.com/athletes/125154
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Old 01-06-13, 10:00 PM
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Stopped using Garmin Connect in favor of Strava about seven months ago... It is kind of fun to find out you are 978th fastest descending GMR.
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Old 01-06-13, 10:02 PM
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I use it,but i run Strava and Map my ride at the same time,on and android phone.Strava was crapping out,putting all my rides back in 1980,i guess because i was so fast getting all my koms i went thru time,anyway thats what customer support said.I like them both for the diff features and will keep using.
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Old 01-06-13, 10:28 PM
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I use it for hiking and mountain climbing as well - it's a nice record of where you've been, and there are segments as well. "KOM"s are called "CR"s - but otherwise it's basically the same thing.

https://app.strava.com/activities/36404295
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Old 01-07-13, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Falchoon
Yes, lance along with many many other pro's use Strava and for a reason. I haven't found any program that handles riding groups better than strava. Sportstracker may be cooler on a individual data terms but Strava handles the grouping of riders far better.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:22 AM
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On the opposite side, how is Strava using it for data mining?
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Old 01-07-13, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider
Yes, lance along with many many other pro's use Strava and for a reason. I haven't found any program that handles riding groups better than strava. Sportstracker may be cooler on a individual data terms but Strava handles the grouping of riders far better.
I believe I conceded this. It really boils down to the Segment crowd and the personal data crowd.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:27 AM
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...and just wait until Garmin finally realizes that hardware is not where its at, it's the software platform and the aggregation/presentation of data. Soon, one company will have it all. I believe Strava's days are numbered, as in they will be absorbed by another company. I really don't know what Garmin is waiting for.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:39 AM
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I love Strava. Because of strava i latch on to the back of pickup trucks when i see a segment is coming up. I also remove my helmet to improve aerodynamics.


but seriously, i like it just to see how i've progressed and so i can see other local riders and where they ride. I've copied a few rides i've seen on there that I would have never done.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:56 AM
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I think Strava and apps like it are terrific. I'm sure lots of apps are as good, I use Strava only because all of my friends use it. Also, it's fun to track the pros' training through it.

I enjoy the social aspect and find the KOM/segment stuff to be a lot of fun, as long as you don't take it seriously. The watt and altitude ratings seem within the ballpark as well (or at least consistant). Overall, I think Strava just makes things simpler. Personally, having Strava and a cheap Cateye computer eliminates any need I would have for a Garmin, especially since I was already riding with my phone anyway.

Overall, I think Strava should continue to expand the social aspects of the service. Cycling is best enjoyed in groups and the more Strava can do to make it easy to find groups to ride with, the better. Of course this would have to be carefully moderated to make sure that you don't wind up in too fast or too slow a group, that would just annoy everyone involved. One thing I'd like to see them add is the ability to "post" rides and gather participants. A lot of clubs use massage boards, email lists and the like, having it all combined into Strava would be nice. You could even provide phone notifications for a posted ride and have EVite-style acceptance/decline listings.

Expanding upon that, Strava should introduce better route tracking and planning. I'd like to be able to track history over a given route and aggregate results along that entire route. That way, people considering joining a group on a given ride could look at the history of a given route with a given group and decide if the pace makes sense.

I'd also like to see better group administration, it's currently rudimentary. I think the Google Plus "Circles" model is ideal. That way, you could control who sees posted rides carefully.
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Old 01-07-13, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RTDub
...and just wait until Garmin finally realizes that hardware is not where its at, it's the software platform and the aggregation/presentation of data. Soon, one company will have it all. I believe Strava's days are numbered, as in they will be absorbed by another company. I really don't know what Garmin is waiting for.
Garmin profits >>> Strava or any other sports software platform out there right now

I think TrainerRoad is where someone came up with a very simple, but elegant software solution, and is now raking in very good profits for something that a good programmer could probably write in under 3 weeks. Still, I don't begrudge them the profits - it's good stuff. I do think, however, they'll have some competition very soon (already with Peripedal) so they'll have to keep raising their game to stay in the hunt after a year or two.
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