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Thread: How much

  1. #1
    LMN
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    How much

    has Strava changed the way you ride?

    Around here all the segments that matter are on downhills. This means that biggest efforts of the rides are now made on the descents not on climbs. This year all my peak heart rates are being set on descents. Makes me realize just how important fitness is for descending speed.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Well I know in my neck of the woods it's both downhills and climbs. Personally I use it to beat my Personal Records, as well see how well I compare to my friends. Honestly Strava is the social media equiv to that of Facebook - except for guy/gals who exercise consistently. So back to the question, how has it changed the way I ride, well I think it's made me want to ride harder to beat my and my friends best times. Then of course to obtain as many KOH's as possible.

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    It motivates my training on the road but not so much on trails. It can be a dangerous thing, too: you might be so focused on making the top 10, if not the KOM, that you ride too hard too much and neglect recovery rides. (I suppose you could say this about your own timed personal bests on the road, but Strava increases the temptation to go harder in my opinion because you see the times and distances of so many people--and in my case, people that are much faster than me on the road.) Strava also, of course, doesn't factor in wind and whether you're riding in a group on the road. Nor does it consider temperature. This leads to some variability. (Riding with a tailwind, I look much stronger than I am.) On the whole, though, I think it's a pretty useful tool for motivating riders.

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    We refer to it as "Category 6 racing" among my road racing friends. Haven't ever used GPS myself, can see how it would be fun, but not my cup of tea.
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    Funny you bring this up. Was just thinking about this.

    I've been on Strava for the last month and think it's changed my riding a few ways:
    -Was always trying to hit the upper end of zones, trying to get highest average speed possible
    -Deliberately looking for segments for PRs, mostly ones that work with my training plan.
    -If I'm doing six minute interval (for example), I trying to look for a six minute hill that's close by.

    Now that I'm over the initial excitement of it, I really don't care as much about overall average speed. With our friends having so many followers there's really no time to look at stats very closely anyway. Most rides are just given a glance.

    But I'm still excited for the downhills. I've even created several downhill segments close to my house. Not because I'm chasing KOM on any, but because it seems that it's something that is easy to repeat and works well within general riding without much impact to the weekly plan (Unlike chasing a KOM on a 20min climb). It'll also be cool to make comparison of your different bikes as well (hardtail vs. fully).

    Related question - If you're using a Garmin head unit, do you have to hook up to the computer to upload rides? Similar to a PM head unit?

    I use a smart phone app which makes it pretty slick. It goes from smart phone directly to website.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 04-08-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Related question - If you're using a Garmin head unit, do you have to hook up to the computer to upload rides? Similar to a PM head unit?
    You can either upload directly from the Garmin head unit or upload a file from the computer instead. I copy all the original .fit files off my Garmin Edge 500 and keep them in a folder on the computer. If I ever need to go back, or want to upload the .fit file into a different program or website, then they're still available without filling up the Garmin's onboard memory.

    Strava hasn't really made that much difference to my riding. I'll occasionally upload a file to Strava but you're limited in how many files you can upload unless you pay. WKO+ 3.0 is a better way to look at the ride information too so Strava isn't a priority.

    If you're doing a well known loop that lots of people ride regularly then I can see how it would be popular. Most of the offroad routes I do tend not to have Strava segments on though. There are some but not many. There usually aren't that many uploaded files for each segment either. On the road sections where there are more Strava segments then it can be quite interesting to compare times but you never really know the history behind the uploaded rides.

    Pictured below: You can manually upload Garmin.fit files to Strava without needing the head unit to be connected.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How much-strava_upload.jpg  


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    has Strava changed the way you ride?
    .
    Yes.

    I am much more humble knowing how a local pro rider did a 10 mile loop 22 minutes faster than my best time so far this year.
    Get it unlocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by estabro View Post
    Yes.

    I am much more humble knowing how a local pro rider did a 10 mile loop 22 minutes faster than my best time so far this year.
    Also, Strava makes you realize how fast the pros descend. All the Strava local DHs are dominated by them, and it makes you realize the importance of engine size, even in a downhill.
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    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Also, Strava makes you realize how fast the pros descend. All the Strava local DHs are dominated by them, and it makes you realize the importance of engine size, even in a downhill.
    It isn't just engine size. A pro just spends more time on their bike. That much practice means they are that much better on the descents.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    you're limited in how many files you can upload unless you pay. .
    Is that because you're loading power and gps files?

    Per my smart phone app with gps data only, it's been pretty unlimited so far.
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    There are times when I go try to "Strava" something. Though more often than not, my "Strava" is ruined because it is more important to me to ensure that A) I maintain a safe speed on multi use trails, and B) I don't get too far ahead of the people I am riding with.

    I like Strava as a post race analysis tool. Nice to know I am descending well. I don't need Strava to tell me I can't hang on the climbs.

    If I did more riding on trails in the middle of the week when there was less traffic, and trained alone, then maybe KOM's would be something to chase. This might be something that I am doing soon with the new job.... no more training with the wife.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    ... but you're limited in how many files you can upload unless you pay.
    This used to be the case....but they changed this about 6 months ago or so. You can upload unlimited rides on the free program.

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    Strava is pretty popular near me....our most popular segments (road and dirt, ups and downs, and everything in between) have been ridden thousands of times so it gets a lot of use. Tons of my friends and riders in my area use it....so it's made training much more social for me especially because I am riding solo 50% of the time probably. Plus I get to spy on what my competitors are doing (none of us make our rides 'private' as that defeats the social aspect of it).

    I started using it a year ago, and I upload all my rides to it. After using it for a year, it's nice to see how all my times on various segments change between seasons (when I'm peaking vs. just base riding, etc.). In this sense, I use it as my riding "journal".

    When I need a hard workout, that's when I may go for KOM's. Otherwise, I'm just logging data and heckling my friends. If the social aspect wasn't there (i.e. the ability to follow your friends, see what their riding, and then comment and heckle them), I would lose interest pretty fast as I don't generally like to geek out on "ride data". (power numbers, HR averages, etc.).

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    CB2
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    I think strava is fun. Most of our segments are on climbs though.
    On the offroad segments, and I guess the road as well to a smaller extent, the conditions are constantly changing, so a KOM set when conditions are ideal might not be challenged even by a fitter rider if there is erosion or deadfall, etc.

    It's humbling to see how much faster others can ride on the road, especially in wind.

    I'm a premium subscriber because I like the way it splits and records time in HR zones.

    It really hasn't change the way I ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Strava is pretty popular near me....our most popular segments (road and dirt, ups and downs, and everything in between) have been ridden thousands of times so it gets a lot of use. Tons of my friends and riders in my area use it....so it's made training much more social for me especially because I am riding solo 50% of the time probably. Plus I get to spy on what my competitors are doing (none of us make our rides 'private' as that defeats the social aspect of it).

    I started using it a year ago, and I upload all my rides to it. After using it for a year, it's nice to see how all my times on various segments change between seasons (when I'm peaking vs. just base riding, etc.). In this sense, I use it as my riding "journal".

    When I need a hard workout, that's when I may go for KOM's. Otherwise, I'm just logging data and heckling my friends. If the social aspect wasn't there (i.e. the ability to follow your friends, see what their riding, and then comment and heckle them), I would lose interest pretty fast as I don't generally like to geek out on "ride data". (power numbers, HR averages, etc.).
    Maybe I should give it a shot. Seems like it might be more fun than I'd guessed. I need a computer for the MTB at some point anyway...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    This used to be the case....but they changed this about 6 months ago or so. You can upload unlimited rides on the free program.
    ...
    Strava is pretty popular near me....our most popular segments (road and dirt, ups and downs, and everything in between) have been ridden thousands of times so it gets a lot of use. Tons of my friends and riders in my area use it....so it's made training much more social for me especially because I am riding solo 50% of the time probably. Plus I get to spy on what my competitors are doing (none of us make our rides 'private' as that defeats the social aspect of it).
    There used to be a 5 file upload limit per month to Strava. It shows how much I use Strava that it took until now to realise that the limit no longer applies.

    On a typical Strava segment here there are maybe 10-15 different times, mostly dating back to 2011 or 2010.

  17. #17
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    I live in Boulder, everyone has blasted off on strava since middle of last season. Even cruiser rides on the bike path's are now strava'd. I'd say it's definitely brought up everyone's game. Can't tell you how many times been on a group ride and someone says 'there is a strava segment up here' and everyone blasts off, or sprints to the top of a climb to take it.

    For mountain bikers now though, the local DH segments are really turning into the big deal as LMN said.... not as easy as they once where as JHK and a few dozen other pro's are now out swapping around on the leader boards weekly
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Maybe I should give it a shot. Seems like it might be more fun than I'd guessed...
    As other have alluded to here....it gets more fun as more and more people in your area start using it.

    When I started using it, just a little over a year ago, there weren't that many dirt segments yet, and only a handful of the local Pro/1/2 roadies seemed to be using it. So me and some buddies started creating alot of the local dirt segments on our own, and started yammering about it on all our group rides. Then people got curious, signed on, and we all got hooked. You could actually see how it spread across local riding club to local riding club kind of in waves....now one year later, nearly everyone in our large riding/racing community uses it, and almost every little hill and bump in the road seems to be a segment (there actually might be TOO many segments now!).

    Also, the "Explore" feature is nice to find routes and local hills and what not when you are traveling away from home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Also, the "Explore" feature is nice to find routes and local hills and what not when you are traveling away from home.
    Nearly all our trails are on private land and no strictly speaking legal. This means that there is no official maps of the trails. Creating big Strava segements for trails gives an un-official map.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    As other have alluded to here....it gets more fun as more and more people in your area start using it.

    When I started using it, just a little over a year ago, there weren't that many dirt segments yet, and only a handful of the local Pro/1/2 roadies seemed to be using it. So me and some buddies started creating alot of the local dirt segments on our own, and started yammering about it on all our group rides. Then people got curious, signed on, and we all got hooked. You could actually see how it spread across local riding club to local riding club kind of in waves....now one year later, nearly everyone in our large riding/racing community uses it, and almost every little hill and bump in the road seems to be a segment (there actually might be TOO many segments now!).

    Also, the "Explore" feature is nice to find routes and local hills and what not when you are traveling away from home.
    Looking at other riders' routes has added variety to my local rides. I often look at routes that Cat 1/Pro roadies take in here in Austin, Texas, and although I don't follow Lance Armstrong (he has enough followers already), I sometimes look at his road routes in Austin. I can't say how many Cat 1/Pro roadies use Strava in Austin, but there are enough to make the road segments plenty challenging for me.

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    I will have to look into Strava...I don't think it's popularity has really hit here in Eastern Canada yet.
    I currently use CycleMeter so will have to look into if the data can be downloaded into Strava.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    I need a computer for the MTB at some point anyway...
    Those Garmin computers are damn expensive. Consider the smartphone option. A smartphone is so multi use that it seems worth it, even with the continual monthly bills.

    The only issue seems to be battery life. Friends with Iphones told me that their power runs out pretty quick. I have the Droid 2 and have recorded up to 5 hour rides with power left over; it's pretty good.

    But another drawback with a smartphone is you don't get real time stats. I stick my phone in my back pocket and check the "running time" periodically during the ride. It doesn't display "ride time" (or anything else) as you ride.
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 04-09-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    A smartphone is so multi use that it seems worth it, even with the continual monthly billing.

    The only issue seems to be battery life. Friends with Iphones told me that their power runs out pretty quick. I have the Droid 2 and have recorded up to 5 hour rides with power left over; it's pretty good.

    But another drawback with a smartphone is you don't get real time stats. I stick my phone in my back pocket and check the "running time" periodically during the ride. It doesn't display "ride time" as you ride.
    One more issue is it might screw you out of a KOM...

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    One more issue is it might screw you out of a KOM...

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!
    That's funny. There's always risk that you don't complete the whole segment, because you don't know exactly where it ends.

    Another local issue with road segments we're having is people running Strava on vehicles/motorcyles. One guy averaging 41mph up a 6 minute 11% climb?? I don't think so. My best has been 11.9 mph!!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post

    Another local issue with road segments we're having is people running Strava on vehicles/motorcyles. One guy averaging 41mph up a 6 minute 11% climb?? I don't think so. My best has been 11.9 mph!!
    yeah, that can be pretty annoying. People forget to turn off their GPS's all the time. Luckily, Strava makes it easy to remove those rides from the Leaderboards for when you notice something like that. All you have to do is click on that particular ride, go over to the "action" button, and hit "flag ride". The a screen pops up asking why you want to flag it and one of the choices is "speeds abnormally high, likely driven in a car, false KOMs" (or something like that). Then you flag it, BAM, the ride is removed from the leaderboards.

    A few of my KOMs are on climbs that are very close by popular road ride start/end points, so I have to do this all the time as my KOM's keep getting taken by people cruising at 50mph, with a HR at 90 bpm who forget to turn their GPS's off after their rides.

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