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Not using Strava? Here are six reasons why you should

Strava has become hugely popular since it was first launched in 2008 and is now a familiar term in the cycling language. For many cyclists, the social-media app is an integral part of cycling. If you’ve not yet embraced Strava, here are six reasons why you should. A warning, though, Strava can be very addictive.

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1. Your friends are using it

Chances are your friends are already using Strava. You don’t want to miss out, do you? There are also many top-level professional cyclists using it as well if you want some inspiration and see how fast it is possible to ride a bicycle.

2. It’s free

The app is available to download on most smartphones. You don’t need any special dedicated hardware, simply download the app, press start and off you go. It's also compatible with a host of GPS cycling computers if you don't have a smartphone.

3. It’s a friendly community

You can follow others and offer encouragement with kudos and comments, adding a social element to your training, useful if you mainly ride on your own. You can also join clubs and be part of a local, or wider, cycling community. This social aspect of Strava is, for many users, its most appealing benefit. road.cc even has a club. Join us. Go on.

4. It'll motivate you

Strava challenges, held every month, are a unique feature and provide virtual motivation that helps many cyclists get outside on their bike when the weather or motivation might be against you. There are challenges to suit all different types of cyclists, from climbing challenges to the most distance covered.

5. Measure your progress and improvements

Strava provides a wealth of tools for tracking your improvements, with features including a training calendar for totting up your mileage every month to heart rate and power data analysis if you want to go into a lot more detail. If you like it simple, the suffer score, if using heart rate, gives a rough indication of how hard a ride was. You can also plan routes using the Route Builder and take advantage of local cycling knowledge by highlighting popular roads and segments.

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6. King of the Mountains

Yes, the reason many people become addicted to Strava is the challenge of being at the top of a leaderboard on a segment with a KOM (King of the Mountains) or QOM (Queen of the Mountains). A segment is user defined and can be a local hill of a stretch of road between two traffic lights, and a leaderboard compares your time with that of everyone who has ridden it. Intoxicatingly addictive for many, a turn off for others.

Do you use Strava? Let's hear your reasons for using, or avoiding, Strava in the comments below. You're not a Strava wanker are you?

- 19 professional cyclists on Strava for you to follow

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

38 comments

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Plasterer's Radio [305 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes

KOM chasers are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 5 months ago
16 likes

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

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drosco [313 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

I use Strava a lot, have been for years. There are good points, listed above, however the competitive side does tire sometimes. Even between friends, perhaps subconsciously comparing ride averages and segment times can remove some of the joy of just riding.

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SingleSpeed [316 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

1. Yes but you can't set it to default to only your activities so all you see is the people without their own businesses, children etc clocking up 250k a week and 32kmh averages day in day out.

2. After you've spent £250 on a Garmin...then you need to get a Forerunner to for running... and subscribe to Zwift, Go Premium

3. I once had some guy get so pissed he flagged nearly every single ride of mine...I can only assume it was because I had a ride where I got several KOMs a number of which taken from one guy.

4. See, one it actually makes me feel worse about the pitiful amount of hours I'm riding.

5. Or a downward spiral!

6. Once upon a time I had 6 pages now I'm probably down to 3 and these are probably down to Trail changes or from a particular race course I tend not to get hung up on them apart from two or three which I can use as bench marks for fitness.

Certainly round Dartmoor there needs to be some moderation in local segments, looking at some stretches there are 200m segments. Stuff like a 30m long 'Haytor - tree to signpost' whats the point?

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SingleSpeed [316 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes
unconstituted wrote:

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

It's definately a way to break a chain up, there are some people who suddenly smash it off the front because of a segment it is indeed annoying

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valeriesmith [2 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

I wonder how much Strava paid for this "article?"

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bendertherobot [1435 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

1. Yes but you can't set it to default to only your activities so all you see is the people without their own businesses, children etc clocking up 250k a week and 32kmh averages day in day out.

2. After you've spent £250 on a Garmin...then you need to get a Forerunner to for running... and subscribe to Zwift, Go Premium

3. I once had some guy get so pissed he flagged nearly every single ride of mine...I can only assume it was because I had a ride where I got several KOMs a number of which taken from one guy.

4. See, one it actually makes me feel worse about the pitiful amount of hours I'm riding.

5. Or a downward spiral!

6. Once upon a time I had 6 pages now I'm probably down to 3 and these are probably down to Trail changes or from a particular race course I tend not to get hung up on them apart from two or three which I can use as bench marks for fitness.

Certainly round Dartmoor there needs to be some moderation in local segments, looking at some stretches there are 200m segments. Stuff like a 30m long 'Haytor - tree to signpost' whats the point?

 

Point 2: Fenix 

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Yorkshire wallet [1252 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Strava is great when you're smashing it but you've got to learn to take the rough with the smooth and not get demotivated if you end up in the bottom quarter on certain days.

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PaulCee52 [26 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Must admit, I find the flybys feature useful - not so much for knowing who you saw, although that can be interesting but, because they are doing similar routes - comparing segments can give either a smug, warm glow because you're faster or encourage you to try harder next time...

 

Did come as a bit of a shock, though, when I realised that some of my local segments had been used in the 2015 Tour of Britain - those guys are frighteningly fast..!

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zanf [932 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes
valeriesmith wrote:

I wonder how much Strava paid for this "article?"

Hail Corporate!

I used since not long after it started (my athlete number is sub-5000). I've come to loathe the social aspect of it now so make all my rides private by default. Nowt worse than a bunch of randoms giving kudos for rides where I barely broke a sweat!

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SingleSpeed [316 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
bendertherobot wrote:

Point 2: Fenix 

 

I'd thought about getting one of those or the new watch that as I am 'Wetsuit Curious'.

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David Arthur @d... [779 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes

valeriesmith wrote:

I wonder how much Strava paid for this "article?"

 

Nothing. 

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Leviathan [2667 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

3. I once had some guy get so pissed he flagged nearly every single ride of mine...I can only assume it was because I had a ride where I got several KOMs a number of which taken from one guy.

He must really have a chip on his shoulder. You can fluke a KOM with bad GPS, but not all in one day, and you need to be quite close most of the time. In my area I see the same names coming up all the time. There are about half a dozen guys in Manchester that have over 2000 segments between them. You can't get angry or defensive if you aren't much cope yourself.

bendertherobot wrote:

Point 2: Fenix 

You have a pet fox?

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zanf [932 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:
bendertherobot wrote:

Point 2: Fenix

I'd thought about getting one of those or the new watch that as I am 'Wetsuit Curious'.

Rule 42 please!  3

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SingleSpeed [316 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

You've lost me there, 42 - the meaning of life?

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zanf [932 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Its "the rules", mkay?  3

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valeriesmith [2 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Fabulous!  If that's true, then I'd like to suggest a few new content ideas in that realm:

  1. 6 Reasons to use Zwift
  2. 6 Reasons to use RideWithGps
  3. 6 Reasons to use VeloPro
  4. 6 Reasons to use TrainerRoad
  5. 6 Reasons to use TrainingPeaks

VS

 

 

David Arthur @davearthur wrote:
valeriesmith wrote:

I wonder how much Strava paid for this "article?"

 

Nothing. 

 

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SingleSpeed [316 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
zanf wrote:

Its "the rules", mkay?  3

Words fail me.

One can only assume that is a piss take of grown men who shave their legs!

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Plasterer's Radio [305 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
unconstituted wrote:

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

haha. Over 2000 posts and that's the best you can do?

Diddums 

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Griff500 [205 posts] 5 months ago
5 likes
Plasterer's Radio]</p>

<p>[quote=unconstituted

wrote:

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

haha. Over 2000 posts and that's the best you can do?

Diddums 

[/quowte]

Well if "likes" are anything to by he did 300% better than you!

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davel [1499 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:
zanf wrote:

Its "the rules", mkay?  3

Words fail me.

One can only assume that is a piss take of grown men who shave their legs!

So you know what chaingangs are like but have only just been introduced to The Rules? I think you might have found the only chaingang in the country that doesn't mention them at least every 3rd ride, even in an ironic sense.

I want in. 

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Plasterer's Radio [305 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Griff500]</p>

<p>[quote=Plasterer's Radio

wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

haha. Over 2000 posts and that's the best you can do?

Diddums 

[/quowte]

Well if "likes" are anything to by he did 300% better than you!

Trump is popular too.

Strava wankers!

Avatar
Carton [387 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

Well done.

In any case the guys I know who actually have KOMs tend to go for them maybe once a month, if that.

Then again I had someone flag me for a GPS glitch that gave me a KOM (my only one  3 on their dumb-as-nails 200m slightly downhill segment which had six attempts. Pro-tip: if you're that thirsty for a KOM don't make your idiotic segment 300m away from the start of the towns most popular hill climb. I'd actually out-sprinted a much better rider on that ride and didn't get to hold it over his head on Strava. The horror.

Avatar
Griff500 [205 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Carton wrote:
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

People who complain about KOMs are often very anti-social. I've stopped riding with certain types because of it.

Fun for them; boring and tiresome for their riding buddies.

Well done.

Well done who? You do realise you've attributed the wrong quote to Plasterer's Radio don't you?

Avatar
Carton [387 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

Well done who? You do realise you've attributed the wrong quote to Plasterer's Radio don't you?

Ha. Guess I did. My bad. I'd like to apologize to anyone who I may have offended.

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kamoshika [217 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

Certainly round Dartmoor there needs to be some moderation in local segments, looking at some stretches there are 200m segments. Stuff like a 30m long 'Haytor - tree to signpost' whats the point?

I believe the way the "hide segment" feature works in Strava is that you can hide segments you don't want to see, but in addition if enough people hide a segment it will default to hidden for all users. When I can be bothered I'll go through and hide all the pointless segments for a ride, especially if it's on roads I ride regularly. I consider it a service to the Strava community  3 That said, I do wish they'd introduce a "hide all segments under ***m" feature so I didn't have to bother, or have my activity filled up with junk segments.

Avatar
LastBoyScout [236 posts] 5 months ago
3 likes

I quite like Strava - I mainly use it for logging distance and routes, but it's interesting for comparing myself against other riders.

It's also interesting to see where other people have ridden, especially abroad.

 

What I really DON'T like about it is being barged out of the way at my local trail centre by people desperate to get KOMs on busy Sunday mornings - if you're that desperate to get a KOM, then come back in the evenings when it's quiet.

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mike the bike [917 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

 

I quite like Strava.  It keeps a certain type of cyclist occupied and out of the tea-stops.

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NPlus1Bikelight... [29 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
valeriesmith wrote:

I wonder how much Strava paid for this "article?"

 

Hopefully they got more than last time they posted it, this site needs money for a copy editor.  More investigative & proactive journalism please road.cc  you raised you own bar recently

Avatar
stenmeister [342 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 

I quite like Strava.  It keeps a certain type of cyclist occupied and out of the tea-stops.

 

Me too. I love cycling and hate stopping for tea. Why go out on a bike ride if you're just going to stop?

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