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iPhone - Yes
Android - Yes
Free - Yes
Paid - Yes

The Strava Cycling app offers a depth of useful stats, plus some unique social and tracking features that make it an addictive app for cyclists. There are plenty of apps that map and log your ride data, but Strava takes smartphone cycling GPS to the next level, with a huge catalog of "records" for climbs, descents, and more that you can challenge. The basic free app gives you lots to do, but you can also upgrade to the premium version for $5.99 per month, or $59.99 per year.

Strava Cycling is Strong on Competitive and Social Features

The Strava Cycling app has a lot of appeal for serious cyclists who have a competitive streak. The app's most distinctive feature is its ability to save your personal bests for marked climbs, road sections, and circuits, and immediately compare them, both on your app, and within its free online service, with other riders. And it makes this comparison very easy to do. Simply start the app when you start your ride, and it will automatically time you and measure your speed on sections that Strava riders have designated as record zones. I live in an area where there are many serious cyclists, and I rode through seven such zones during a single, 26-mile ride.

When you have finished your ride, simply call up the "ride detail" screen, and you will see your summary stats, but also your "results" for each of the timed zones. These lists include the names of the athletes, speed, time, and your place overall. Upgrading to the premium version lets you see age group and male/female categorized results, as well.

Besides those interesting comparative stats, the ride detail screen also shows a nicely presented elevation graph, a speed graph, and heart rate, if you are using a compatible Bluetooth or ANT+ wireless heart rate monitor.

Strava's social features aren't all about competition. An "explore" mode shows all of the routes marked by other riders in your region, so you can easily locate the cycling hot spots. "Challenges" such as the CTS Bucket List, which happened to be active when I tested the app, are goals (ride 574 miles in two weeks) that list all participating riders (more than 18,000!) and their total distances for the challenge

Two more social features include the ability to "follow" the latest stats of specific riders (via information they agree to make public) and to see a list of friends who are currently out riding.

Core Functionality

Beyond all of those advanced social features, Strava is a proficient ride tracker and logger that keeps plenty of stats right in the app, but also automatically uploads your stats to Strava.com. To start a ride, simply go to the "record" screen, tap the start button, and ride. I don't recommend handlebar-mounting your smartphone, due to water, dirt, and vibration damage issues, but if you were to handlebar-mount it, you would see elapsed time, mileage, and average speed on the screen.

When your ride is finished, its entire route map and all of its stats are saved to the "feed" screen and archived. It's easy scroll through your individual rides, and the results.

Online, the Strava.com service provides an impressive set of free features, including weekly progress, progress toward goals, and Facebook connectivity. Another handy feature, you may set up a "privacy zone" around your home to prevent your home location from being shown publicly in Strava. I recommend taking this privacy step.

Stepping up to premium service includes graphing and tracking "power zone analysis," a "suffer score" if you are using a heart rate monitor, real-time segments, segment effort comparison, the ability to download GPX files, and more. By the way, you may also use Garmin GPS cyclecomputers, such as the 810, to receive GPX ride files from Strava.

Overall, Strava is a fine app and motivator for serious cycling enthusiasts and for the more casual rider it's great for tracking your weekly rides and seeing your mileage and attitude totals etc climb for the last 30 days

Would I recommend it... Yes
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Last update on February 28, 1:47 pm by Les Stoner.
"There is no glory in Practice.. But without Practice there is no glory"
I love using strava it's a constant motivator
Mtb4Life
The thing is the strava app doesnt work with older android phones...mine is only 30 months old and strava wont work on it...so I have to get anew phone for strava?? hmm...nah.
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Rolf Riley said...

The thing is the strava app doesnt work with older android phones...mine is only 30 months old and strava wont work on it...so I have to get anew phone for strava?? hmm...nah.


I've had my share of problems with strava too.
The site has a nice social thing going, but the app is more trouble than joy. Not working from time to time, gps fix problems, upload problems, etc...

That's why I now use sports-tracker to register my rides. Download the gpx files from the site and upload them to Strava.

Another good tracker is IpBike for Android (i use it as a back-up tracker on long rides atm):
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iforpowell.android.ipbike&hl=nl

Has the options to upload to Strava and many option to customize.
Works with ant+ devices as well as gps.

As soon as I find a way to pay for the full version without credit-card of pay-pal I will buy the full version. It's one of the best i've used so far.
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