Strava Shows Garmin Connect What’s Up, Makes Training Competitively Social

Strava, a new app and online training social network, looks like it’s going to make Garmin Connect a little less tasty by serving up a health dose of social networking and friendly competition.

Why the comparison to Garmin? Because you can upload ride data directly from your Garmin Forerunner or Edge computer, or just use the free Strava App for both iPhone iOS and Android. From there, it charts and graphs all of your info in a more graphically elegant manner than Connect. But the real coup de grace is the social comparisons of your ride to others that have done the same ride. It lets you show in real movement how you did against the others by simply including others’ rides in your chart then sliding the timeline along the segment. Of course all this would be much easier to show you then tell you, which is why there’s a handy video from Strava right after the break. There’s a free plan with a few limitations or a $6/month all-you-can-ride plan.

And if you’re headed to the Tour of California, they’ll be there tracking several of the pros on some stages (along with other events like The Leadville Trail 100) and let you compare your own performance against theirs the next time you ride those routes. Jump past the break for more…

PRESS RELEASE:

North America’s top cycling event just got more social for riders and fans. Today, Strava, creator of powerful Web and mobile applications for avid athletes, and AEG, one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world, announced that Strava will power social fitness for Amgen Tour of California fans. Strava is a social platform that allows athletes to compete with each other and interact as a part of an online community. The addition of this technology to AEG’s cycling event websites makes them valuable resources for training and racing information.

This three-year partnership adds Strava’s event maps and compare-and-compete GPS technology to the websites for the Amgen Tour of California, its Stage 7 “ride the route” event, L’Etape du California, and the Leadville Qualifying Series. As an added benefit to all registrants, Strava is supplying complimentary premium memberships to all race participants and will also offer training and race-day challenges.

“We are excited to partner with AEG to bring the sport of cycling even closer to the fans,” said Michael Horvath, CEO of Strava. “Strava’s GPS maps and online competitions allow avid cyclists to follow their favorite pros, compare and compete, and gain deeper insight into their own training.”

Amateur riders can compare their distance, speed, heart rate and elevation gain against professional riders such as Ted King, a U.S. pro with the Italian powerhouse Liquigas-Cannondale team and Levi Leipheimer of Team Radio Shack, the three-time Amgen Tour of California champion. Many fans will be inspired to pre-ride segments of Amgen Tour of California, L’Etape du California, and Leadville courses to track their fitness and compare performance on climbs and sprint with others.

“Strava has developed a powerful tool for serious cyclists to test themselves in a competitive format against professionals and other local riders,” said Andrew Messick, President of AEG Sports. “With Strava’s technology, we are expanding the social aspect of our websites which will give fans of the Amgen Tour of California an interactive experience that is unique to the world of cycling.”

Strava provides an easy-to-use GPS-based solution for athletes, who now represent nearly 25 percent of all U.S. households, according to the Simmons National Consumer Survey. Strava uses unique segmentation technology to provide a range of comparison and competition data, enabling athletes to track milestones and compete with themselves and others to improve performance. In March, Strava also launched an iPhone application that allows athletes to easily and seamlessly upload their workouts and races to their Strava account. In the twelve months since launch, the company has grown more than ten-fold through simple word-of-mouth.

For more information about the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com. For more information about Strava, the new mobile application and up-to-date news on professional cyclists, please visit www.strava.com.

Comments

ancker - 04/11/11 - 5:57pm

This is fine and dandy except for the $6/mo thing. Without it you’re limited to 5 rides a month. Lets be honest, who only rides 5 times a month, has spent over $250 on a GPS, and will pre-ride AToC stages?

I understand the social aspect is supposed to be the “value add” here, but I’m not buying it. Literally.
Other social networking sites get along without charging users. They get their money, just not from a monthly fee per user. These sites succeed because EVERYONE is on them. I can’t see Facebook growing as it did if they started as a pay service.
I’m betting some will argue that the price will remove the need for ads. That’s fine. I’d be surprised if it made much of a different after about a year or so.

Strava looks awesome. I may upload a few Garmin files to see how it works in real life, but I doubt It’ll end up getting $6/mo out of me for not a whole lot more over what Garmin Connect gets me for free. Since my other riding friends didn’t seem interested in shelling out $6/mo for this either, I doubt I’ll see many of the Social benefits beyond comparing myself to strangers and Pros.

CCH - 04/11/11 - 7:40pm

Garmin Connect has always felt like an afterthought, with little in the way of features and a clunky interface. Strava is very “Web 2.0″, and they are adding features very quickly. Garmin basically is a hardware company, and Strava is a software company.

I don’t mind paying the $6, though hopefully that drops with more adoption. On the internet, if you are not paying for something, you are being sold, literally. Just look at what Facebook does with your personal data.

Chuck - 04/11/11 - 8:09pm

This isn’t offering anything the that sportypal, and endomodo aren’t offering already. What’s lacking in the world of GPS enabled smart phones is a working stack for Texas Instruments’ WiLink (Versions 6 and 7 support ANT+). Lots of smart phones on the market have wilink chipsets built in, but for what ever reason TI, Motorola, HTC, and others have not provided a framework for developers to incorporate ANT+ compatibility into their apps. I hate my bluetooth HRM, only because it only works with my phone, as a multi sport athlete I’m anxiously awaiting a bluetooth enabled cycling computer (Bontrager I love the node, are you listening?) or preferably Qualcomm starts putting out it’s own ANT+ enabled devices via HTC who will stop attempting to lock down their devices, and sell them to the 26,370,025 (according to the Simmons National Consumer Survey) households that are using said devices.

Monn - 04/11/11 - 8:14pm

Been using Strava for over a year and its all i use now for my training/race data.

For me it all comes down to segments. Being able to compare your time up climbs with your past rides and with others in your area, or even pros sometimes. Its far more powerful than Garmin Connect, and the fact its all online is perfect for me.

Money well spent as far as im concerned.

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