When I first got into cycling, I had never heard of the Strava Cycling App, or more so just the Strava Fitness Tracker App. I use it for cycling, but the app, in general, is an overall workout app. If you’re looking for a way to keep track of your rides and workouts, Strava is one of the best fitness tracker apps on the market.
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What Is Strava App?
The Strava app is a social network for athletes combined with a fitness tracker. When you start your ride or workout, you start the tracker. The Strava App can keep track of your heart rate, distance, speed, PR times, height climbed, and much more depending on what accessories you have. It can be paired with devices such as Apple Watches, heart rate monitors, and cycling computers to give you the most data possible on every one of your rides.
After your ride, run, swim, etc. you can then share the stats and route of your exercise for all your friends to see. Your friends can then give you “kudos” which is the same as a like on other social media apps or they can comment on your workout.
There are tons of activities that Strava works for which you can see in the next section, but in this article, we’ll mainly be focused on cycling.
What Activities Are Tracked on Strava?
- E-Bike Rides
- Ice Skating
- Rock Climbing
- Roller Skiing
- Alpine Skiing
- Backcountry Skiing
- Nordic Skiing
- Stand Up Paddling
Strava packs a ton of amazing features into their fitness tracking app. Some of them are standard for a fitness app, others are unique to Strava.
Strava Routes & Strava Route Planner
Strava Routes allows you to look at the routes that people ride around you.
The Strava Route Planner lets you plan out your route on the computer and look at previous routes you’ve ridden and save them for future rides. After saving the route you can get directions on the route the next time you ride the route. If you do your directions on the route this way, it still logs your ride as a workout while giving you directions. Using the route planner is also great if you will be riding areas that aren’t streets. It will still be able to help navigate you through trails.
Fitness Tracker Stats
When you log a ride on Strava, it keeps track of a bunch of stats for you. I have my Strava paired with my apple watch so it keeps track of my heart rate in addition to the normal stuff that can be done on your phone.
The app keeps track of your individual ride stats but it also keeps track of some of your overall stats based on year-to-date (YTD) and all time stats.
Below I list all the stats that the app keeps track of without paying for a subscription. When you pay for a subscription you get some extra information such as Power Zones, Heart Rate Zones, and more.
Individual Ride Stats (Shown Above)
- Elevation Gain
- Max Elevation
- Avg Power
- Moving Time
- Avg Speed
- Max Speed
- Average Rides/Week
- Avg Time/Week
- Avg Distance/Week
- Total Rides YTD
- Total Time YTD
- Total Distance YTD
- Elevation Gain YTD
All Time Stats
- Total Rides
- Total Distance
- Longest Ride
- Biggest Climb
There are a number of sponsored challenges every month by 3rd party companies and when you complete the challenges, they reward you with discounts, raffles, and virtual accolades/trophies. If they reward you with discounts, it’s usually to whichever company sponsored the challenge. These challenges can range from doing a few hours of activity in a week, to climbing thousands of feet, or doing a Gran Fondo.
Strava Clubs are groups of people with similar interests in a sport. There are many cycling groups in my area that host group rides and events through their Strava Clubs. These clubs allow you to get into the community of your desired sport. Overall
Segments – What are Strava KOMs?
Segments are a great Strava feature that makes riding a little more competitive. Strava segments are small sections for time attacks that are spread out around most cities. There are professional cyclists or retired professional cyclists where all they do is go around setting new records on the segments.
When you’re using Strava to record your rides, you can get a notification for each segment that you have saved. It’ll let you know when you’re approaching the segment so that you know exactly where they start and end. This allows you to attack the segment without losing focus.
When you pair Strava with a cycling computer, it can even display time updates such as whether or not you’re ahead of your previous times and by how much. That way you know how hard you need to push to break your previous PR times.
When you set a new record time on a segment, not a personal record, but an overall record, it’s called a KOM or QOM. On Strava, A KOM stands for King of the Mountain and QOM stands for Queen of the Mountain.
The feed is like the feed on many other social media sites, it’s a scrollable feed that shows all your friends’ workouts. From there you can give them “kudos” also known as a like or you can comment on the ride.
On your friends’ rides, you can’t see all of their stats, but you can see enough to see how their ride went. You can also see the route that they took. Strava did a great job of turning working out into a social activity.
What are Strava Privacy Zones?
One feature that I think was an amazing idea by Strava is your privacy zones.
Many cyclists have very expensive bikes and if they have a public Strava profile it could open them up to theft. Strava shows your routes that you ride, so, if you start from your house repeatedly, it would be easy to find out where someone lived. Strava realized this and implemented a feature called privacy zones.
The privacy zones allow you to add in an address and set a privacy radius. Strava then hides all your route activity within the range of that address from other people. This keeps your home hidden and your bike safe.
Why Should You Use Strava Cycling App?
I hope that the rest of this article gives you enough reason why you should use the Strava App for Cycling, but here’s another reason to use the strava app to record your rides. There’s a common saying within the cycling community about people’s rides, “If it isn’t on Strava, then it didn’t happen”. This comes from the common saying “proof/pictures or it didn’t happen”.
Everyone knows that one person that has the most elaborate stories but never has any proof. Well when you use Strava you have proof. You don’t get to just say I did a 100 mile ride yesterday. You have proof that you did the 100 mile ride and exactly where you road, times and stats.
The Strava Fitness App is an amazing app that promotes community and socializing. Strava did an amazing job tying everything together. They brought in competition, comradery, socializing, and working out, while tying it together in an amazing way.
If you don’t have Strava, you should at least give it a chance, it’s a great way to keep track of your overall cycling progress and to get involved in the cycling community.