Apparently it’s not just users that are frustrated with Strava’s stagnation.
Strava segments are still tons of fun, but there is so much more they could do to improve what is really the only compelling differentiated feature they have. TR is so far ahead of them on any kind of ride analysis that I don’t see how Strava ever catches up. Even the rather basic weekly tss chart is way better than Strava’s implementation. It would be cool if TR could send power PRs back to Strava. That would be fun to see in feeds when someone hits a milestone that is a legit breakthrough effort and not just sailing on a windy day. Maybe it would inspiré Strava to also be thinking up ways to make the leaderboards more engaging, inclusive, based on things other than just speed, etc. So many great ideas sitting on their feedback pages for years. But they are just so stagnant as things stand today.
I think Strava could do a lot more in terms of adventure riding. Suggesting paths to take (can be curated by community, sure).
Not everyone needs this for sure, but I think when you first start riding (or with a new type of bike), it’s not so easy to know where to go. Or if you are introduced to some places by friends or a group you might just stick to that path and not risk getting lost (for those of us that are directionally clueless). Sometimes I see people doing graphical routes (drawing something), and that would be cool to try but I personally don’t want to figure out how to do it.
I understand I can find segments and routes manually, but it would be interesting to be recommended something and shown the full path to get there from my house. A lot of this stuff, I figure out manually with ridewithgps.com, but that’s a lot of friction.
Strava must have taken a deliberate decision not to build proper power analytics. Its not a lot of work. One guy could do it in under a year. Maybe their strategy is to focus on more casual athletes (runners?).
It would be interesting to see whether Strava further develop current features or take a new direction, or both. In a playground with several great players, I’d think Strava’s best bet is to cultivate what they’re great at rather than reinvent the wheel.
There are some features I think add sufficient value to warrant being a paying user, and that differentiates Strava from other platforms: The segments and associated leader boards, the route builder, following one another’s activities including the photo uploads, and the API (which allows for third party stuff like Veloviewer, local segment competitions, etc.). These features have largely stayed the same for many years now.
As a training platform for planning and analysis, Strava is nigh on useless, and the change from Premium to Summit is just a source of confusion (differentiating between “Training” and “Analysis” seems weird, and why does Heatmaps belong to “Safety”).
It is the use of TrainerRoad and TrainingPeaks that makes me a faster and better cyclist, and I don’t see how Strava will be able to replace either of these offerings in the near term. Likewise, I don’t see TR or TP move into the space that Strava is strong at either. Of the three mentioned platforms, I believe TR has the biggest growth potential in regards to replacing TP (which is another discussion).
Totally different business model to TR I think. TR is a coaching service that primarily gets it’s revenue from subscriptions. Strava is a social media platform for cyclists/athletes whose revenue I suspect comes mainly from monetising the huge amounts of data they have. E.g. selling it to urban planners who want to know where all the cyclists are riding and how to improve traffic flows.
As an activity based social media platform they have a monopoly. Pretty much anybody who wants to share their rides/runs/swims with friends is doing so via Strava. The coaching/analytics market is much more crowded with established companies like TR, TP and Sufferfest, disruptors like Xert, and the likelihood that Zwift will continue to muscle into that territory since they have the scale and funding. I’m not sure Strava should be spending money to try and compete. I’d prefer to see them enhance their current offering. Properly supporting sports other than cycling, swimming and running would be a start. Enhancing their route planning would be another - the concept of using popular routes used by other cyclists is great, the execution is less so. Maybe acquiring (or shamelessly stealing from) some of the innovative companies that are producing services using the Strava API, and using that to enhance their core or Premium offering. Or target organisations not individuals - e.g. do a Club subscription with some much better features around leaderboards, club rides, communications, etc. Similar thing for race organisers maybe.
I don’t ever see myself paying for Strava Premium for their training analytics, it’s not what I use it for
Yes, but also here Strava has treaded water for years. So let’s assume Strava wants to remain the social network of cycling/sports and not want to venture too much into the training realm. Fair enough, IMHO that is good thinking.
I absolutely agree with you that Strava has missed the boat on group features, which IMHO is a pretty obvious direction to go into. Why Strava is cutting core features like sensor support is just beyond me. Perhaps only a few cyclists are like me, who are pairing their power meter to their iPhone, but I reckon (occasional) runners might want to pair their heart rate strap to their phone.
Treading water and not innovating is pretty much the hallmark of monopolies
I would guess sensor support was used by very few people and maybe cost quite a bit to maintain across multiple platforms and sensor types. I can’t imagine there are many people who are serious enough about cycling to have stumped up the $$$ for a PM who haven’t also stumped up the $$ for a head unit, particularly as the price has come down. And on running there are so many affordable GPS watches and activity trackers with optical HR and/or sensor support I don’t know why anybody who runs and wants HR would use their phone to do it
I have the Analysis pack to push starred segments to my Wahoo and that is the only justification I can see for Summit TBH.
same for me, starred segments make for good and fun training…
As best as I understand, Strava has about 40 million users. Even if we are talking about a single-digit percentage, that’d be several hundred thousand to a million people. The impact is not small. While for cyclists, I think this is really the exception, I don’t think the same is true for runners. I don’t have any numbers, but I suspect the market share of GPS watches amongst runners is lower than that of cycling computers amongst cyclists.
Strava’s arguments are not very good for why it was necessary to remove code: the claim that it causes crashes also for people who haven’t paired sensors to their devices really reeks of bad software design. According to the press release, they have recorded crashes for millions of users. I am using Wahoo’s app now, and I don’t think it has crashed on me once. Data collection is core functionality here, and getting your head around sensors connected via Bluetooth should be table stakes IMHO.
The other thing that Strava has going for it is that for many people, it is their universal repository of fitness information. As people switch between Fitbit, Garmin, Wahoo, Suunto, Polar, etc watches and head units, all of that information tends to end up on Strava as well, rather than being isolated on each manufacturer’s own online platform.
TP, Golden Cheetah, etc are also possibilities, but I suspect they don’t get nearly the volume or consistency that Strava does.
Sir, I wanted to say thank you and greatly appreciate Intervals.icu!
I was curious if you had any future updates (LTP) or maybe even an iOS app?
Keep up the good work!
Strava is going backwards. I was supporting it via summit, and then it decided it owned my data and cut Relive out. I didn’t really use that many premium features, mainly saving other people’s routes, but I did use Relive, so I stopped my subscription.
As for a repository, I use Garmin connect. I manual upload from my Bolt.
Strava is great for meeting new local riders, finding out about group rides, finding people who are at a similar fitness level, finding faster people/groups to ride with, general sportsmanship and encouragement for each other, and of course the infamous segment chasing. I enjoy it as a platform, not necessarily a training tool. I enjoy it, even though I don’t understand some of their decisions like cutting sensor pairing.
Thanks! Probably not an IOS or Android app, thats a lot of work and you can get close with a normal web app these days. I want to keep building out functionality (have a long todo list from users and myself) including more coach features, more stuff for running, likely different languages etc…
@davidtinker will you admit that you rank world elite when it comes to cycling analytics web site development?
Some people might say a sub-5 minute mile is not a lot of work.
I think Strava should focus on the community side of the app. They should work on a kind of Facebook for athletes. Strava should include a chat, a better group feature, hashtags and a profile with way more info. This would allow us to better ogranize group rides and connect easily with people.
I’ve always wondered why they don’t have favorites, I would love to have a quick reference to certain rides that I could add into there, whether I did them or other people
And how they keep track of KOMs, I think Top10s should have a section as well, cause there’s still good competition in the Top10 even if you can’t KOM everything