When I use an iBody thing to measure my time + fitness, I generally have stuck with the Garmin Connect Interface or Runkeeper. I’ve had varying success with them and generally like them both. I live and die by my heart rate monitor and Garmin FR60 Watch. I also have the speed and cadence thingamabobber on the back of my bike too so I can see just how damned fast I’m shredding the trails
which is about 1.2 miles per hour.
I decided to give Strava a whirl a while back and my opinion was moot about it so I stuck with Runkeeper. Recently I decided to give it another whirl and see if I could make it stick. I’ve tested it over three rides and have some thoughts.
I was very impressed with the user interface. It’s well designed (and since I’m a design snob, this is important. Also, since the world revolves around me, this is doubly important). Many times phone apps will be thrown together and they did not think about, nor budget for, a designer.
The reason there is a line backed out four miles long in front of an Apple Store is not because the ravenous nerds must have their iThings3 immediately (okay, well, actually that’s the truth) but it’s because the iPhone and iPad are so elegantly designed verses the other stuff (now, let the flame wars begin about how your phone is oh so much better than mine. It’s not, Apple has told me this therefore your argument is invalid).
One of the things I really liked about the user interface was “press button. start ride.” Now that’s nice. With Runkeeper, you have to jump through 200 hoops just to get going. By then your a.m. ride has turned into a p.m. ride and it’s time for beer. So the ride is dead.
Long live beer.
It’s been my experience that it’s light on memory usage. Runkeeper seems to bog down and crash on really long rides, I did not have this problem with Strava.
The web interface is pretty slick, too. You can follow your bro’s and kudo them
while you were stuck at work, workin’ for the man, late until the wee hours while your buddy got to shred the trails all day long. There is also have a nice layout of everything and it’s pretty easy to find stuff (although some things like “why isn’t my Garmin FR60 supported” was non-existant).
It’s easy to follow friends and share your profile. I have always had a hard time with this on Garmin’s site…I think you can do this with Runkeeper, I just never really bothered with it. Seems as if all the people I know who bike are on Strava – so this works a bit better. Following you friends creates a mini social network because let’s face it…with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and the reigning king of them all, Myspace…you need another social network. But hey, this one seems to stick a bit because I actually want to see what my
competition friends are up to.
I found the maps to be great for the most part. Strava maps out your ride by plotting it with a red line. Runkeeper also does something similar (plotting a map of where you’ve ridden) however I’ve had terrible performance with long rides and it crashing. Generally with Runkeeper and an endurance ride, my phone turns into mini-oven (which is kinda cool if you like your Clif Bars on the toasty side) and crashes. This did not happen with Strava however my phone did get hot.
Maps of my recent rides
You can also create your own segments. That’s really cool! Here’s a video on how to do it. Or just use mine, which is way better
Other things I loved about the web interface:
The suffer score: your heart rate info + some fancy secret recipes and they spit out your score for a ride
I also enjoyed the exploration on the site, too. This was really awesome
If your phone is not out in visible view of a satellite, there is a canopy of trees or if the Mayans have used secret ancient weaponry to knock out our satellites – your GPS with Strava gets dropped and your mileage off thus you get thrown down the leaderboard and you’re sad. All apps do this, of course. If you do not have a direct view of the sky – you get dropped.
As stated not all Garmin devices are supported. That’s frustrating. I can’t plop down money for a supercharged Garmin device…unless… Saaaaay, Garmin…are you reading this review? Do you know how many ka-bazillion people (maybe more…maybe infinity!) are coming to my site? Would you like your Edge 800 reviewed so people go running to your site to buy it? I’m your corporate shill…sign me up and sell me out. (Remember, the “Scott’s riding the continental divide and loves sponsors” thang).
Here’s a visual:
I think the one thing that frustrated me more than anything was when I’d load up Spotify and play it simultaneously with Strava to listen to some tunes. It crashes every. single. time I play a song from Ke$ha. I mean, come on…what gives!? Ke$ha’s complex multi-talents make her up to be one of the most important singer/songwriters of our times and Strava has the nerve to make sure everything crashes on her delicious hooks and groovy tunes.
I noticed that Styx, REO Speedwagon, The Doors, Wham and Justin Bieber did not crash
not…that I listened to any of these. The jury is still out for Josh Groban. If Strava crashes on the Grobster – I’m done.
No one crashes the Grobster.
It depends on if they become a sponsor and give me money, swag and a jersey – then sure. THEY ARE TERRIFIC!
I’m kidding. Yes, I’d recommend Strava to any of my biker buddies. It’d be neat to have a leaderboard among friends. Plus if I got knocked off my #1 spot, I could work really hard at catching back up. Good thing that’ll never happen.
No. sorry. I make me sexy like me
lol, no. it’s simple to setup and easy to use.
After two hours of use the battery was around half. Then it dropped quickly after the next two hours. The solar chargers kept it going for another 3 hours. At the end of a seven and a half hour ride, it still had a bit of juice with it.
An Android will do
please god say you don’t have a Blackberry
this never gets old.
yes. It’s that way cool jr
take fewer breaks
I altered a bunch of stuff thanks to being a graphic designer. Honestly, if you’re a cyclist or a runner and you like a solid community check it out. I found this to be better than Runkeeper and Garmin’s social network combined. Also, Macy and Fat Tom Cruise are two close friends of mine. I think the world of them (except that Fat Tom Cruise is big as a world…or an entire planetary system).
No. But it will heat up your phone if you run your tunes and Strava at the same time.. iPhones don’t do well in heat, YMMV.
Really? That’s awesome and thank you. Do you mind liking it on Facebook or tweeting about it? The exposure is really nice. (see the like button just below this post)
let’s keep that our little secret!