Strava means to strive in swedish. But, it is also a new phenomenon online, just what is it and why and should you log in?
Strava is a powerful tool for any cyclist to measure and compare their ride and it is pretty simple to get started with. Simply record your ride using a Garmin unit, iPhone or Android smart phone and upload to Strava via your computer or phone through an app. Then see it laid out, mile by mile, heart beat by heart beat. Just how fast did you ascend your favourite climb?
But that's not all; what is really unique is that Strava compares your times on a climb or sprint with anyone who's ever done it, and shows you a leaderboard without you any pressing buttons. Strava does it for you.
We thought we'd see how user friendly Strava is. We rode around Surrey on Wednesday morning. Back at Condor towers we completed the sign up, plugged in the Garmin Edge unit, uploaded the ride and started competing and comparing. All within five minutes. It ticks the boxes for making it easy and accessible and that might just be why Strava has come straight out of no-where and is causing a buzz.
We rode up Box Hill, Surrey, and were placed 25th. As soon as we'd seen our result we wanted to get out there again and ride it faster. Strava awards 'King of Mountain' titles to riders who can dance on their pedals like the Pro-Tour's finest. The trouble is that competition for the title is always open and Strava is nice enough to notify you when your time has been beaten.
Sign up is free. For a small monthly fee, become a premium member Strava will analyse you heart rate data and segment it, provide you with a suffer score and estimate your power (unless you are using a power meter), plus offers lots of other comparison tools.
The more users logging in, the more data and the more competition. Follow friends and fellow riders and get updates on their latest logged miles. Strava becomes addictive almost immediately. For those who have a hunger for stats it motivates you to get out and ride and then get your ride online as quickly as you can.
Strava is back-datable. Did you ride the Etape in 2010? Do you want to see how fast you rode Col de Solar versus everyone else? Did you claim the King or Queen of the mountains?
Whether you want to be the best or just track fitness milestones, Strava makes fitness a social experience, providing motivation and camaraderie - even if you’re exercising alone.