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Thread: How much

  1. #1
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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  


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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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    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.
    Try to be good.

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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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    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.

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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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    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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    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.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    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.

    So if I don't like the fact that somebody has just clobbered me on one of my descents I could get rid of them?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How much-screen-shot-2012-04-09-10.31.27-am.png  

    Last edited by LMN; 04-14-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    So if I don't like the fact that somebody has just clobbered me on one of my descents I could get ride of them? Because it is going to take a lot of work to close the gap to the Mad Handler
    HA! yes, I believe you actually good. That is definitely a major flaw that Strava has. I know that once a ride is flagged like that, it will eventually get reviewed, so if someone gets pissed and starts going around flagging peoples legit rides, I would think those rides wouldn't be gone for very long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    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!!
    I guess if someone wanted to cheat badly enough they could motor-pace on a bike, but that would be a pretty lame move.
    Get it unlocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    HA! yes, I believe you actually good. That is definitely a major flaw that Strava has. I know that once a ride is flagged like that, it will eventually get reviewed, so if someone gets pissed and starts going around flagging peoples legit rides, I would think those rides wouldn't be gone for very long.
    Actually on that trail have decided that anybody who goes under 4 minutes for the descent gets a T-shirt.

    Although I am temped to flags Matts run because it would really piss him off. I think he actually went and did a specific warm-up before setting that time.
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    I haven't uploaded much, but I'm seeing my planned ride today has between 3-5 segments(depending on how much I ride when I get to the trail system), although 2 of them are on the road so I don't expect to put myself on a leaderboard for those. My normal weekday ride spots have a lot of sections marked out on Strava.

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    I love Strava. I've been trying to plug it to the locals I ride with and some have picked it up. Still pretty sparse around here, though (Helena, Montana). AS someone noted, it is a bit of a bummer that the Strava smartphone app doesn't have much for live stats. What I like to use when I want to keep closer track of the route is use the app My Tracks. This is a great smartphone GPS app. It has an audio cue that you can setup to broadcast some ride stats at specific intervals, either by time or by distance. It also has a live map if you are in a data area. Then after you finish your ride and save it, just email it as a GPX file to strava and it shows up in your account.

    Another trick for extending the smartphone battery life is to turn off the mobile network while you are riding. You won't be able to download data so you can't see the map using the My Tracks app I just described. If you don't want to be bothered with phone calls, or are in an area with lousy service anyway, put the phone in Airplane Mode for the maximum battery life possible. The GPS still works on my phone while in Airplane Mode.

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    Strava is great. It made me realize how lucky I am because there are so many rated road climbs around where I live(cat 3 and 4). I usually ride alone and knowing that the segments are there helps me push myself a little bit harder in those spots. I also searched out other climbs to change up my rides and make if more interesting. We don't have many off road segments, but as more people get on it more will get made.

    I also like to compete against my friends and it gives me a goal and feeds my competitive nature when they get a KOM.

  33. #33
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    Strava kicks butt. Still need to workout the "download to Device" option though so you can "follow" a ride live. For that I still use garmin connect, although there are other options to convert files and send them to your garmin.

  34. #34
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    I really enjoy Strava. It adds fun and challenge to nearly all of my rides. It was partially responsible for the route I took while returning home from a nearly 7 hour mountain bike ride today as well - knowing your friends will be watching later discourages punking out.

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    I cant see how strava can HELP you become a better athelete. I share my data with myself and my coach. I wouldnt want to get worried about what everyone else is doing. Race day is when it counts

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    One thing I don't like about Strava is that they don't notify you when someone beats one of your KOM's. So if you have a lot of them, you have to keep an eye on them to see if one 'disappears' from your list...and who has time for that? According to Strava's support forums, they have been working on integrating this feature soon, but one MTBR member (he posts in the NorCal forum) couldn't wait and created this nifty web app....if you sign up, you will get an email notification when one of your KOM's is taken.

    It takes seconds to sign up and it works.....I know it works because this morning I got an email saying that one of my KOM's was beat. Looks like I'm going in to work late today, because I got some 'work' to do. HAHA!

    Here's the notification service site -> Strava KOM Tracking Service

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    I put one on my dirt bike now and then. (kidding!) Don't use a gps, because I mainly ride for the health benefit.

    Also as a side note be careful about posting other people's names on the internet without their consent. I would edit that post with that info.

  38. #38
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    We got a guy who set our communities fastest time down our TT stretch. Motorpaced by a scooter!

    I like strava but it simply doesnt work with my iphone which irritates me. I go out to place well on the leaderboards and my phone wont record those segments.

    Its probably best anyway. I like having a big strava penis but racing is really for sundays only.
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  39. #39
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    Recently due to the climbing challenge thing on Strava I have been doing my extra riding on hills instead of flats. Heres a shocker, I am more comfortable on climbs and if I have to ride an extended flat section my body just feels confused by it.

    As far as KOM hunting, I usually don't bother but I do like to see the effect of different tires, gearing, etc. on timed trail segments.

  40. #40
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    Never used it, don't think I ever will.
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

    michaelmblog.wordpress.com

  41. #41
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    Strava has definitely altered the way I ride on the road bike. When I know that my friends and "enemies" will be seeing my times, I tend to give it just a bit more than I would on a solo ride.

    Also, I don't have a computer on my MTB so It's nice to measure the offroad rides on more than just intensity and duration.

    My iPhone batter only last for about 4 hours, to that sucks.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    We got a guy who set our communities fastest time down our TT stretch. Motorpaced by a scooter!

    I like strava but it simply doesnt work with my iphone which irritates me. I go out to place well on the leaderboards and my phone wont record those segments.

    Its probably best anyway. I like having a big strava penis but racing is really for sundays only.
    I have mixed feelings about the motorpacing thing. At least around Boulder, the FasCat Coaching guys label the rides with "Motorpacing - BLAH" so you can tell that all their KOMs aren't individual efforts. I would prefer that Strava added an option to the rides that would allow you to specify if you were motorpacing and/or in a paceline. Then you could filter out individual efforts more easily.
    It's a 6" 29er, 69 HTA, 29" standover, setup for 31.6 Joplin, 83mm BB, blah blah blah. A bike for being stupid. --Walt Wehner

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiway View Post
    What's the difference? Still doing the actual effort to get the result. I see it as no different than any onboard GPS unit or old fashioned stop watch.
    The difference is you can compare to other people. For the competitive among us this is a good and a bad thing.

    BTW I don't know who called it Category 6 racing but that is awesome.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  44. #44
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    What's the difference? Still doing the actual effort to get the result. I see it as no different than any onboard GPS unit or old fashioned stop watch.

  45. #45
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    Still don't see what the difference is. If the other people are forced to have no feedback on their pace at all then I would see where you are coming from. As it stands many people have a variety of things to give them feedback.

    Motorized vs. gps, vs. a guy shouting out your pace etc. all to me are the same. You still do the pedaling.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiway View Post
    What's the difference? Still doing the actual effort to get the result. I see it as no different than any onboard GPS unit or old fashioned stop watch.
    It is the "segment" feature that makes Strava unique and different than just recording your ride time. Every other rider who rides the same segment will have their time and stats posted to the segment leader board. It makes every ride a "race" for the best segment time. Excellent motivator. Plus you can analyze your own segment performances to monitor your progress over time or to see how something affected you.

  47. #47
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    And you still haven't addressed there is no real way to verify those people are just using the app and no other means to monitor their pace.

    You really didn't address the point.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiway View Post
    And you still haven't addressed there is no real way to verify those people are just using the app and no other means to monitor their pace.

    You really didn't address the point.
    I'm not really sure why you want to verify if people are using more than Strava during their rides? I do have an onboard bike computer but it doesn't record the track to look back on later. I also will often use the My Tracks app instead of the Strava app which I have setup to give me an audio cue every 10 minutes of total distance and average time. Then I email the track as a GPX file to Strava. The fun part of Strava is the leaderboard, not real time stats. The Strava app is pretty weak for any real time monitoring. If I had one of those cool and expensive Garmin bike computers then it would accomplish everything in one package.

  49. #49
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    I'm not wanting to verify... My point is no one can verify. The person's critique of someone using a scooter to pace as being unfair is really bogus to me because to me it's the same as a good pacing computer.

    Just because -you- don't doesn't mean everyone does...

    And if you back up the thread a bit, I was responding to the user "Tony" post anyway.

    That's my point.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiway View Post
    I'm not wanting to verify... My point is no one can verify. The person's critique of someone using a scooter to pace as being unfair is really bogus to me because to me it's the same as a good pacing computer...
    Not the same. The point of using a scooter is to use the draft. A pacing computer will not provide a draft to help with holding the speed.
    FEATURES: RBA Q&A: MOTOR PACING & PRO EQUIPMENT CHOICES
    Motor pacing has been a staple in the training programs of professionals and top amateur racers for years. Riding at high speed in the draft of a scooter simulates the speed and intensity of racing. But unlike racing, the rider has full control over the workoutís duration and intensity. Most of the top European professionals motor pace multiple times per week to train their ability to pedal a big gear at a high cadenceósomething you canít do without either racing or motor pacing.

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