A look at the now available Wahoo Fitness Strava Segments App

A little over a week ago Wahoo Fitness released the Strava Segments app.  It was ironically just shy of a year ago that I previewed the app at the time of the KICKR unveiling at Eurobike.  Since then the app has received a bit of polish, as well as updating to minimize issues related to bad GPS data making it difficult to ride routes.  In other words, it moved from an app that was developed literally over a weekend just in time for Eurobike, to one that’s sellable.

Since I continue to receive a number of questions asking when the app will be ready, I figured I’d take a quick moment to walk through how the app works, as well as some thoughts on pricing (since it’s now released).

How it all works:

Upon starting it up for the first time you’ll need to authenticate with Strava.  This allows the Segments app (which is made and sold by Wahoo Fitness, not by Strava, though it does has Strava’s blessing) to access your Strava account and pull your segment information.

Once that’s completed, you’ll be brought to the main screen.  This screen uses your current GPS location to enumerate segments in the area (as a starting point).

You can use the search box in the upper corner to narrow it down to a specific address or area somewhere else in the world.

When you do this it in turn narrows down the segments displayed within that area:

Alternatively, I can also just pinch with my fingers and zoom from there or anywhere, then hit refresh for a given area to enumerate segments:

I decided to wander back to Paris though, since I have more rides there:

After finding a specific segment on the map, I can expand it out from the left side.  In this case, I’ve selected a segment that I’ve ridden locally (and placed semi-high up in):

Before we ride it though, we should probably configure the KICKR with the software.  To do so, you’ll tap the little settings icon to open up the settings page:

Within here you’ll choose workout settings and then pair your KICKR, as well as any other Bluetooth Smart (or ANT+ with the adapter) devices you have:

These can include speed/cadence sensors or heart rate straps:

Additionally, you can configure workout zones, triggers and and a few other settings here.  Later on I’ll talk about sharing.  With that done, go ahead and close it out.

To start riding the Segment with the KICKR, I’ll go ahead and tap the ‘Crank it Up’ button in the lower right corner:

It’ll then download the route and elevation data for that segment and a few seconds later bring you to here:

You can now start pedaling to get fully up to speed.  Like in real life, you’ll want to start the segment with the highest possible speed, otherwise (especially for shortest segments), you’ll be behind the curve from the get-go.

As you ride, the resistance is automatically controlled depending on the grade in that area.  Wahoo has done some work to try and address issues with bad elevation data for a segment by introducing some smoothing that protects against that.  However, I found that even on what are perfectly flat segments within the real world, I’m still seeing some variation in grade where there shouldn’t be.

You’ll see the grade information displayed on the left side, along with other metrics. On the map you’ll see the person you’re racing against, as well as your position (dots).

To get a feel for the entire experience, I found a nice short 60-second segment that I had already done out on the real road, and went to town on the KICKR.  Here’s a quick video:

You’ll notice that the grade changed a few times.  In this case the road is actually pancake flat – so as I was inclining, I was at a bit of a disadvantage in that the real-world person was going flat.  And while there was ‘downhill’ segments in the recreation, the KICKR doesn’t drive the wheel forward, so these non-real downhill’s don’t really help.

A couple of other items.  You can specify to race against a specific person – such as yourself from a past real-world ride, or a past trainer ride.  By default it’ll race against a past trainer ride if you have one for that segment.  To race against a specific person, simply tap their name, then tap “Crank it up”:

Once you’ve completed the segment, it’ll be saved – but not with segment information to Strava, rather, to a local cache of your previously ridden segments.  Given the complexities in the real world (lights/cars/people/wind/etc…), it wouldn’t quite be fair to upload these there.  Though, I wish there was a way for Strava to simply flag them as trainer segments and have them in a separate category.  Over time I suspect apps like this will become more popular, and standards will be solidified in the coming months such that it won’t be only the KICKR that could use an app like this – but other trainers as well.

When you do upload the ride to Strava, there’s no actual GPS information – rather, it just shows up like a generic training ride.  Here’s what it looks like:

You can also upload your completed ride to any number of web services that have API’s or connections from the Wahoo app:

Or, you can just e-mail yourself the TCX/FIT/PWX/CSV/etc… files too.

Price:

The app isn’t free, but rather $15 for a short while, before jumping up to $30.  At first glance, that may seem expensive for an iPad app – and in the realm of iPad apps, that’s pretty true.

But, I think it’s also realistic.  And more importantly, I think it allows developers to actually build pretty and well executed apps that can sustain themselves, rather than ugly and crappy apps that nobody wants.  Ultimately, in the small segment that is the sports technology market (and even smaller segment of users that have the KICKR today), you simply couldn’t recoup development costs for a 99 cent app.

Now, there’s debate about whether this app since it’s provided by Wahoo should be free since you already bought the KICKR from Wahoo.  And I can see that.  But I’d also like to see Wahoo focus on other software gaps in their lineup.  And if that means that the Segments app proves to them that they can do that for a reasonable price, then I’d love to see what else they can develop.

For example, looking at the KICKR software lineup today, there’s gaps in multiplayer (internet or studio), gaps in simply riding an existing course/route (i.e. a route you uploaded to Garmin Connect), or even the ability to stream your KICKR workout real-time to a site or to upload it to a Wahoo-focused site.  All areas that I’d happily pay $15-$30 as a one-time fee to have.  And that’s all before we talk Android or other platforms.  Keeping in mind that most other software suites out there from CycleOps, Tacx, and Racermate (CompuTrainer) cost hundreds of dollars (though do deliver more).

Summary:

As it stands today, the price of $15 for the Segments App seems like a pretty good deal to me to be able to ride endless Strava segments.  I do wish I could ride more than just a segment (for example, re-ride an entire route/ride), but for now, I’m content with what’s there.

I’m optimistic they’ll continue to develop and update on it – just like any other product, and given last week’s update to the release, that seems to be the right direction.  For example, I’d love to see basic RFLKT integration with it, allowing me to start/stop the workout from my handlebars as opposed to my iPad.

As always, if you’ve got any questions – feel free to drop a note below.

Thanks for reading!

DC Rainmaker :

View Comments (189)

  • Just found this review, which is odd because I frequently read here think I read the kickr review 20 times before deciding to buy it!

    Really wish Wahoo would provide better support for Android. The Kickr is amazing but the Wahoo fitness app is severley lacking / buggy on Android and why No Strava Segments? Android is a massive portion of the market yet so many developers overlook it.

    Love the Kickr, but with Android phone and desktop I'm using 3rd party apps > Anything from Wahoo, hopefully someone else will come out with something otherwise I'll keep just making custom routes in Cycle ops VT to ride segments I want to practice

  • Loving the Kickr and Segments App, mostly for their interoperability and simplicity. But, having said that, I can't seem to find out how to get elevation data to show up on my Strava segments. Am I missing something? Segments captures speed, distance, and elevation (%) in real time, but I can't get the total elevation of the segment I just rode at the end posted to my Strava page...weird. Am I missing something?

    Signed,
    Loving my Kickr in Cali

    • Hi

      I actually just posted an update to Apple for review adds support for uploading Virtual Rides to Strava! It also includes some fixes for iOS 9 and a couple other UI issues.

    • Hi,

      As Strava introduced the "Virtual Ride" type, when will you update the app to support this? I'm waiting for this as the key feature before buying the app.

      thanks!

    • Hi Eli,

      At this stage Strava doesn't support us uploading the elevation data since the ride is indoors, although they are in the process of making changes so we can upload both Elevation and even the Map. Once they have rolled out the changes we will be working on an update to the Segments app.

    • I also have this app on my iPad (mini) and it works. I agree that for this price, Wahoo Fitness should have done more. I am looking forward to seeing what the updates to this app will bring.

    • I've been attempting to add 'starred segments' to my Segments app list of Strava Segments and apparently the link between my Strava account and the Segments app is no longer working (??) I've logged in and logged out, I've deleted the Segments app and re-downloaded it...all with no result.

      I've tried to download a fresh copy vs. downloading from my "purchased" list within the app store and the Segments app appears to not even be available anymore.

      I'm extremely disappointed as this app wasn't cheap at $30.

      Does anyone have a working copy of this app on their iPad? For the 'Starred Segments' that do transfer over to the app, many of them simply crash when I attempt to ride them.

    • Wahoo have removed the app from the app store due to problems.
      the reply I got from Wahoo this week (jan 2016) : saying they have taken it off and will fix the problems and then update existing owners and put it back on the app store...

    • I am interested in the Segments app but can't find it. It is not available in Canada for the iPad?

    • Hi John,

      We don't currently have any plans in porting Segments to Android although we do have lots of plans for other Android apps in the next 12 months.

      Why is Wahoo so iOS heavy? Its a historical answer, iOS was the first platform that allowed us to use ANT+ (about 5 years before Android) and was also the first platform with Bluetooth LE (about 4 years before the 1st Android device). As a result until this year, all of our customers had iOS devices since you just couldn't connect to the same sensors on most Android devices. This is changing and so are we.

  • Hi, I have the Wahoo kick which also came with a Wahoo cadence thing for the pedal. All works great on apps like Swift and Fulgaz, but when I use the Wahoo app Segments , the app only controls the trainer if I disable the cadence thing. For some reason the Segment app only seethe cadence as "speed and Cadence" and not just cadence. and so if its enabled it doesn't control the kickr. As soon as Disable the and restart the app then all is good but I then I have no cadence.
    there's nothin in the app to let me tell the app usr the speed from the kicker.
    any views or is the a cadence thingy that works with it?

  • ... How do we get it downloaded from outside the USA.

    Locked as far as South African iTunes are concerned.

    Anyone know someone that can pull some strings.

    G

  • DC

    Love your work - very helpful on a number of things I have wanted the answer/facts to make a decision.

    Agree with the Wahoo Kickr gap with being able to ride a course you select/have ridden. When read your stuff on Segments - I was in and purchased an i-pad… For some reason the App is not (no longer) available in Australia! Do you know anything about if this is going to change or if there is a way around it.

    All the best

    JR

    • Unfortunately I don't see them returning to it. Though, Kinomap introduced similar functionality last summer.

  • I take it this app is dead? Is there anything out there like it? I'm trying to find something to build a Kickr workout from Strava routes.

    • You may want to try SKUGA. It will let you ride your previous segments from Strava. It was not for me but it is worth trying out

  • For those of us who paid money for this app, are the developers prepared to refund given that they’re not fulfilling their obligation of providing a product that works any longer.

    • It’s been five years since this app was released, and about 3-4 years since they removed it from the store...

      Still, I suspect you could request a refund since Wahoo themselves noted to do so if you found the app no longer works for you.

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