Strava cuts direct bluetooth linking

Just got this email from Strava in my mailbox:

Blockquote
When you record a workout on Strava, it’s our job to make sure your effort is captured accurately and reliably. We recently discovered that pairing Bluetooth heart rate monitors and power meters directly with the app is causing Strava to crash for millions of athletes — most of whom don’t even use these kinds of sensors. So to significantly improve the stability of the app, we’ll no longer support direct Bluetooth and ANT+ device pairing as of October 28th, 2019.
If you record activities using a GPS watch or bike computer, this change will not affect you at all. But if you want to record activities using your phone and capture sensor data, you’ll have to record with one of the many apps that upload to Strava. Here are some tips to get you started. We know that even small changes in your routine or equipment can make a big difference, so we appreciate your understanding.

There goes my backup for when my BOLT dies/gets left at home for some reason. Have to say I’ve never experienced the crashes they mention.

Also, there’s this very weird sentence: “We recently discovered that pairing Bluetooth heart rate monitors and power meters directly with the app is causing Strava to crash for millions of athletes — most of whom don’t even use these kinds of sensors.” :thinking: If they don’t even use these kinds of sensors how can it be that these sensors crash their Strava apps?

Anyhow, does anyone have a good alternative recording app on the iPhone that allows recording HR and power via Bluetooth?

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And syncs nicely with TrainerRoad. I think I’d like to continue recording outdoor rides and syncing them to TrainerRoad when I’m on rides that I don’t have my Wahoo Bolt. So an app is desirable, but I’m finding Strava is no longer… desirable.

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The Wahoo Fitness app and Cyclemeter are worth considering. The Wahoo app is free. Cyclemeter is very good but in recent years it’s become a subscription service once you’re pairing devices.

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Another option is the Runtastic app. I used this years ago and it still seams to be going

Wahoo fitness app for me as replacement for my running activities. Way better than the strava app on iphone. I can finally select to which sensor the app is connecting. I always ended up having the hr data from my gf at some point in the run. Too bad I didn’t know about the wahoo app before… Very complete solution, for free.

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The Wahoo fitness app works well. It seems like Strava is going to just become a database.

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lol strava

“we found a bug but can’t be bothered fixing it. keep giving us your money. thanks.”

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And just like that, I deleted my Summit membership. Used Bluetooth pairing to my HRM while running, now no more!

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Or the “fix” will be available to Summit subscribers only in the very near future…

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Used it a few times before my Garmin watch to track runs with my tickr.
Can’t do that anymore.
Seems everything strava does is against what made it great to start with. This, the (Non) chronological feed, subscriptions for full access. Shame, I can see a lot of people abandoning it.

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I use Cyclemeter. It’s got the capability to make audio announcements on various stats (distance, power, speed, HR) as well as when these stats exceed a set threshold (eg HR, useful for pacing).

I don’t use a bike computer, so the audio announcements are very helpful.

And while we’re on the subject of audio announcements, ViewRanger is a mapping app that will make an audible sound when you go off route from a GPS track that you’ve loaded.

The audio capabilities of both of these apps are great when riding on a mountain bike when it’s hard to find time/a safe spot to look down at a screen.

This pisses me off to no end. I pay for Summit not just for the features but to give them money to develop stuff, and they cant even keep basic functionality. I use my phone/app to record MTB rides because my wahoo bolt is pretty crap at GPS tracking in the woods, puts me in the middle of lakes, does not sync with strava segments due to position tracking being off. Pairing my HR strap to the app was a nice addition to help me get a sense of how hard I was working.

Cancelled Summit and emailed them to refund my money. Mine just renewed in September, if I knew they were taking this basic function away I would not have bothered renewing since they aren’t putting my subscription fees to good use.

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Exactly! “Here is a list of apps you can switch to that are able to do the thing we can’t be bothered with.” I feel pretty special, being one of the negligible percentage of cyclists who track heart rate and cadence.

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This is ridiculous. Why can’t they just by default disable bluetooth/ANT links, and allow us who successfully use this feature to opt-in and turn it on?
My summit membership has been cancelled
Will give the Wahoo app a try thanks to the recommendations in this thread

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For people using the Wahoo app to record, do you find that it still tracks better compared to the actual Wahoo unit? I’ve always had distance discrepencies between the strava app and using my BOLT in the woods since the BOLT tracked wrong and would short me on distance/speed/time.

RideWithGPS app using free Starter account. For offline maps when in the mountains outside cell coverage you need the paid Basic subscription. Haven’t used Wahoo app to track recently (only using to update Kickr software), and seem to recall preferring RideWithGPS vs Wahoo app for backup tracking, probably because I was modifying club routes on RWGPS site and also the (paid feature) offline map support.

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I’ve used iSmoothRun in the past. Despite the name it works great for cycling as well, and exports to Strava (which TR can then pull).

I use my Garmin FR945 watch as a backup. It does GPS, connects to sensors, and uploads to Garmin connect. So far it has been completely reliable for recording rides. Just a little small for me to read without glasses. But a fine backup.

I’ve been using Cyclemeter for iOS, as I previously had paid for the full app in order to do more with my old Wahoo RFLKT. I also occasionally have used RideWithGPS for iOS, and I’d sooner pay subscription fees to that app than Strava.

I’ve never experienced a Strava crash on mobile, ever, so I have no idea what kind of harm they’re shielding me from with the new policy. They state that Bluetooth connections were the trouble spot, but their statement regarding what they WILL support prospectively tries to speak colloquially but instead is simply unclear.

This could either mean -
that they’ll no longer support the simultaneous use of both BT and ANT+ device pairings, and using ANT+ device pairings is preserved as a supported function
’ - or -
that they’ll neither support BT device pairings nor ANT+ device pairings.
It’s most likely the latter meaning that they were going for, given the context of claiming that most users don’t use heart rate monitors and power meters. I’m not sure why, if their problems have been with all HR and PM devices, irrespective of wireless communication protocol, they don’t simply say wireless HR and PM. Maybe the communications team there simply considers all wireless sensors as being, “you know, Bluetooth.”
I’d expect they’ll walk this back somewhat after all users of sensors don’t happily assign other apps to feed to Strava, but if not, no tears will be shed here. The only trouble will be getting my wife used to using something else to record outdoor workouts, and likely just in time for GPS cyclecomputers to receive seasonal discounts. Will it be worth Strava’s money to provide me an app or web site that allows me to check on friends who post their activities but yet not record with nor report to them any of my own? If so, I’ll give them one thing - “kudos.”

This was exactly the push I needed to cancel Summit and most likely stop bothering with Strava altogether. I don’t even need to link my devices to the app, it’s the more the fact that they’re the only company I can think of that charge a monthly fee yet seem to either not develop new stuff or take features away!

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