Strava’s CEO Resigns: Company Begins Search for New KOM

Strava’s CEO, Michael Horvath, has resigned, saying that “I have decided that Strava needs a CEO with the experience and skills to help us make the most of this next chapter”. The company says that “the search for Strava’s next CEO is underway”. While not listed in the letter, I’ve been told other members of the executive team are leaving as well, in a decision supported by the Strava board. Horvath will continue to serve as CEO until a replacement is found.

Michael Horvath and Mark Gainey originally founded Strava in 2009, and it has since grown to over 100 million users, a portion of which are also paid subscribers. This is not the first time though that Michael Horvath has left the company. He previously left in 2013, though joined again in 2019 as CEO. The company changed directions then to focusing primarily on new features for paid subscribers, including cutting off much of the leaderboard for free users, as well as reducing access to mapping tools. While unpopular with non-paying users, the company did add a significant number of new features since he became CEO in 2019 – following a period where Strava seemingly went years without anything changing.

In terms of the resignation, Strava employees were notified of the decision a week ago. This followed a few rough months of news for the company. First Strava laid off about 15% of their employees in December, followed by multiple rounds of bad press after the company significantly increased prices without notifying customers. At present, Strava has yet to notify their subscribers of their unilateral price changes (or the CEO change), though they are allowing folks to request a discount via customer service (more on that down below).

Full Copy of Letter:

Here is a full copy of the letter that was published to the press site. This appears to be different than what was sent internally (entirely logical):

Dear Strava Community,


This week I let Strava, the company, know that we are commencing the search for my successor as CEO. I feel it is important to share the same news with you, the Strava Community.


When Mark Gainey and I, together with the founding team of Davis Kitchel, Chris Donahue, Mark Shaw and Pelle Sommansson, started Strava in 2009 we set out to bring people together around what they loved to do to be active. Over the years we have grown the team and our community well beyond the expectations we set for ourselves at the time. I am so appreciative of the hundreds of individuals who have joined us over the years in building Strava into what it is today, the service you rely on for daily connection and motivation. I am extremely proud that in my second run as CEO, through the dedication of this team and under my leadership, we have expanded who Strava is built for, invested in people and technologies to help more people find the motivation to be more active, and transformed our business success through the simple principle of making the product better.


I have great confidence that these investments will put Strava and our subscription at the center of connected fitness for many, many more people over the coming decade and beyond. This represents a massive opportunity to help the world be more active and healthier! Yet, as co-founder and CEO, it’s only part of my job to ensure we are picking the right path to that destination. The other part of it is to ensure we always recruit and support the right leaders for the right times. What got us here will not be exactly the same as what will get us there. I have decided that Strava needs a CEO with the experience and skills to help us make the most of this next chapter. The search for Strava’s next CEO is underway and I can’t wait to see how Strava becomes the company and service that motivates the world to move.


Mark and I are as committed to Strava’s future as ever. We’ve got exciting things in store for all of you in 2023. Together with the support of our leadership team and board of directors, I want to ensure that Strava doesn’t miss a beat between now and when we find our new leader.


With deep gratitude,

You can find a copy of the letter on Strava’s press site here.

A Pricing Update

For those following along at home, undoubtedly, a core reason for this decision being supported by the board was Strava’s aim to increase (or find) profitability. Those efforts have been met with significant resistance and cancellations in the wake of their pricing changes last month. As noted above, Strava has yet to announce these policy/pricing changes to users via e-mail. Instead, users are only notified once they get within 30 days of their upcoming renewal date.

Without rehashing a previous post too much, many EU users have been upset at the different pricing levels for different EU counties – a stance that the EU says isn’t actually legal for online services such as Strava (given it doesn’t have a different media/product catalog as a company like Netflix would). As a result, some users have e-mailed Strava Customer service, asking why they should be paying significantly more than another EU member state directly next door.

Turns out, Strava customer service seems to agree in spirit, and is offering these users a 33% discount upon request:


Such a discount for a German user paying €74.99 would essentially make it match the lowest EU member state price, from Sweden, which pays ~€49 (depending on the day’s exchange rate) – thus in effect bringing it into compliance with the EU requirement for a single price discrimination policy for non-differentiated products.

Going Forward:

While a new CEO will undoubtedly change the direction for Strava, it won’t immediately fix the near-term issues the company faces. The biggest issue is actually the hardest one to solve: Its free product is simply too good.

Strava has tried to remedy this under now previous CEO Michael Horvath, via a blend of new features for subscribers only – but also cutting and removing existing features for free users. The challenge is, they simply haven’t found the right blend there yet. In many cases, some of the new features Strava has added (like video support last summer), should realistically have been paid features – giving one more carrot (no matter how small) to try and get people to subscribe. And inversely, Strava’s cutting of core free features (such as the leaderboards a few years ago), only served to alienate the very (long-term) users they’d eventually try and entice to the paid side.

But beyond that, if Strava wants to charge the premium they do, Strava simply needs to find a way to make new features memorable. We again find ourselves in the same spot as 4 years ago, where virtually nobody can name even one new Strava feature in the last year. This isn’t to say Strava hasn’t added features in that time period – they actually very much have (such as the offline maps and trail activities). But many of them don’t often seem targeted at Strava’s long-time core user base, but rather at adjacent user bases. And while trying to market to new audiences is always important, trying to win back users already familiar with your product is generally easier.

Further, many of these features are ones already offered by watch/device makers. One of the most common refrains I’ve heard in the past few weeks has been: “Garmin Connect already does XYZ feature anyway”, which kinda surprised me. Not because it was a surprise those features exist in Garmin Connect, but because Garmin as a company has grown their market share so much in the last 3-5 years that the overlap between paying Strava subscriber and paying Garmin device owner is probably pretty high. Thus in some ways Strava has been building features for consumers that already have them.

Strava’s often unmentioned strength is the very deep community of apps that connects to it via the Strava API (for apps such as VeloViewer). And while Strava often neglects these developers (in numerous ways), the app developers that manage to persist are an incredible draw for many Strava users and communities. As a company, Strava needs to figure out a way to partner with these apps to bring them and their features into the fold (such as their recently announced FATMAP acquisition). Obviously, there are pros and cons to acquiring smaller companies – but it’s clear there’s significant value in many of these features.

Finally, at the same time – Strava needs to learn to listen to the new blood employees it hires. One common thread I’ve heard from existing and former Strava employees over the last few weeks, is that many times suggestions for improvements in recent years are dismissed by the ‘old guard’. Be it technical/feature suggestions, communications suggestions, or policy suggestions. Perhaps this changing of the guard will open the doors a bit more to that.

With that – thanks for reading!


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  1. Ed

    This should be a slam dunk. Some sliding scale like $4.99 annually for basic features up to super premium. I think most people I follow would pay $4.99 vs free. Then you have them in the paid system and can get them buying new features. I also wonder why they haven’t done a better job with challenge promotions — could give away a lot of promotional swag around these monthly goals. Hope the new team doesn’t crash the plane.

    • Bruno

      I agree!

      A cheap subscrition 5€ fee with basic features, probably would be the best option, and a better one 30€ would be very good.

    • Chts

      Report to the support the sheer problems of fake data in challenges and they don’t care or even attempt to fix the issues. Even when they’re obvious like runners doing 100k in elevation.

      I came to the conclusion that if they don’t care to fix the simple issues, I don’t care to give them money

    • dr_lha

      Ed, you’re showing some naivety as to how businesses are run and how and customers work if you think forcing people to pay anything is a good idea. I think you’d be surprised how many customers they’d loose if they went to a “you must pay $5 to use Strava” model. I mean, people complain about $2 apps on the iPhone being “expensive”. There are just people out there who won’t pay. What to do with those people? Well you still want their data (which is why forcing people off your platform isn’t a good idea), but you want to provide as much of a carrot to convert a high enough percentage to paying that you make a profit. Meanwhile, those non-paying uses give you lots of lovely data, so it’s not like they’re freeloaders.

      Strava’s issue is a carrot one. Their premium features, while nice (I pay for them) aren’t really good enough to bring enough folks over. So they were punitive about it and took features away, this created upset customers, so was a bad idea. Now they’re raising prices, but being sneaky about it, more upset customers.

      What Strava needs to do is make Strava worth paying for for more people, or figure out other revenue streams. New CEO might mean free Strava becomes ad supported for example. We’ll see.

    • Mike

      Every free user costs Strava money, losing these people won’t cost them anything, maybe just in investor valuation, it is clear that selling usage data is not a profitable model, however converting 20% of free users into paying $1 a month or $10 a year is a massive revenue stream, however this would need to be balanced with existing subscribers downgrading, I can’t see anybody complaining over $10 a year, give 3-6 month free access before charging.

    • Alex B

      Losing free users could cost Strava insofar as having everyone on it is part of what makes it work as a social network. I love Strava because I get to see all my friends’ activities, whether they are free or paid, and I get kudos on my activities from my friends, whether they are free or paid. I don’t use most of the paid features but I happily pay because that social angle brings me value. If all of my friends on free accounts vanished from the app, it would make my experience a lot worse.

    • Willy

      Ditching the free tier would also leave room for a PE-backed upstart to gain a foothold and start to eat Strava’s lunch.

      Strava already basically does ads in the form of the sponsored “challenges”, but I think the additional revenue stream with the lowest risk of user alienation is some form of straight up advertising. You get rid of the free tier and people will peace out and a not-insignificant number of paying users will follow.

    • AC

      Exactly. The only feature they have that I don’t use better versions of elsewhere is leaderboards. And, oh, yeah, I created a lot of those segments I look at. You’re welcome strava.

    • Old Town Outsider

      It’s only on the Internet that people expect to get something for nothing. Go walk into your favorite brick and mortar and try that.

      If people want free Strava then they suffer with ads. If people want ad-free Strava then pay $10/year. If people want the premium Strava experience then pay $60-70/year. Why is this so difficult?

    • There’s two tiers of challenges there:

      A) As others noted, Strava’s core unique features to many paying users is the social aspects. Most other features can be found within device-maker sites/apps. If those free users go away, so does the social element that most people actually use Strava for.

      B) Previously (a few years ago), Strava noted that the advertising side just wasn’t bringing in the money that they’d hoped. Of course, Strava also never really went all-in on ads, instead aiming more for sponsored challenges. Nonetheless, this is *defnitely* not the time to try and make a go of launching an ad-supported business. That’s due to a blend of many companies pulling out of ad spend, especially in the fitness industry, but also because companies know (as demonstrated in the comments here in this very post), that most users just ignore ads like this. Obviously, simple web advertising still exists, but it continues its slow decline.


      I wonder what outcome will be

      However many ‘cool’ premium non social features are added, Garmin Connect (already ahead for everything but social) can match.

      Strava can’t add premium social features because by definition people’s networks include free users.

      I reckon either
      A) GC will improve social features by opening up site to non Garmin users but restricting certain features to owners of Garmin devices
      B) someone like Google / Facebook will buy it and then monetise the data

    • Marco Derix

      I think the tiered pricing model would be a good idea.
      Basic – Price: Free – Features: basic functionality similar as now, but restrict the API access for basic users to lets say one or two import sources, and no export
      Advanced – Price: between 5 and 10 bucks a year – Features: same as free but with less API restrictions
      Premium – Price: same as now, only better uniformity 🤣 – Features: the whole shebang

    • usr

      Strava is first of all a communication platform. Not like a chat platform for direct messaging, but “I’ve done that hill behind the bakery in 3:35, how fast have all you people been” and some others like that. Like “hey, you’ve been out in that weather!”. If a large fraction of communication partners disappears the subscription stops being worth it.

      And about tiered pricing: Strava already did that, wasn’t quite the panacea. If they aren’t able to operate profitably on their current level of subscriptions they never willl.

    • Pavel Vishniakov

      > Strava can’t add premium social features because by definition people’s networks include free users.

      Sure they can. Imagine scheduling group rides (with calendar integration, route planning / sharing) on Strava etc complete with group tracking and after-ride overview of the route and how every participant performed. Paid members can create these things, free members can only join when invited.

    • Rodrigo Jara Piccardo

      I would pay 5$ for sure

    • Richard

      Totally agree, many challenges that start that day already have a bot on a new hundred % more than the challenge needs just hours after it’s started. The same for segments.I have reported WR running paces for them and they still are on there months afterwards. It needs some simple coding if it’s with X% of a WR then it needs human approval before been allowed to be shown to the public. With simple changes like this would make me pay until that nar Strava your ok thanks 👍🏻

  2. Gary

    They really need multi sport. (duathalon,Triathlon) Garmin support it so not sure why they still think filling the feed with 5 separate activities is a good user experience

    • Jani

      Try swimrun and it’s spamming even more! It’s really annoying, I know people who do swimruns just as one activity to avoid Strava going bonkers. Looked for example one swimrun race, it’s 26 activities in Strava.

    • usr

      The platform is certainly lacking multi-sport usefulness, but they shouldn’t fool themselves that having better (or rather: any at all, no matter how good) multi-sport support would make even the tiniest dent in the monetary issues they apparently have.

  3. Zloturtle

    Whenever I finish a treadmill run on my Garmin i choose Calibrate and manually enter the correct distance. My Garmin activity and other sites linked to it show the adjusted distance ok. But Strava has always displayed the incorrect, non-adjusted one which can be way off. Strava has had many tickets to address it but has done nothing about it. They know it is an issue. It affects every Garmin user who runs on a treadmill! Garmin is free and allows me to edit the distance too on their site. Strava is wrong, doesn’t allow me to edit, all my training analysis is therefore off too, and then want to charge money.

    • Tim

      Not sure your comment on this specific article is going to get that fixed. Regardless, last time I fixed a treadmill run in Garmin, it only adjusted the overall distance – Garmin doesn’t scale your pace, laps, etc.

      Assuming you meant pace analysis by “training analysis” (since distance is not a metric used for analysis): At this point, if accuracy of treadmill pace is critically important to you you will be investing in one of the smart treadmills or speed sensors reviewed here.

  4. Thomas

    There are so many small things Strava could implement quickly for paid subscriber. The biggest reason many athletes keep using Strava is because it’s a central repository to store all their activities and its supported by every application that need to access your activity. Why Strava don’t support the storage of all the ‘.fit’ files field (left/right balance for instance or all the other Connect IQ fields) that just get lost when uploading an activity to Strava. That could easily be a paid feature and suits the core service:be a central repository to store your activity that you can sync with other services.

  5. Elliott Gruber

    I’ve always thought of garmin connect as my inwards facing training log and strava as my outwards facing one (and back up if I decide to get a different device). Strava seems to neglect that social aspect. For example, if I see a friend ran a 10k and I want to check if it’s their pr I can navigate to their page which has best effort and actual pr. The best effort is usually some trash gps file from several devices ago and the actual pr hasn’t been updated in years. I have tried to update my prs in the app but can’t get it done so no blame to my friends. It seems like how gear could only be added via the site until very recently.

    • Luke

      Several years ago Strava was great at updating your yearly PR even if you didn’t make a new total overall PR. That was great, not sure why they got rid of it…

  6. Ms G

    I have cancelled my Strava subscription due to pending increase, I can get the features elsewhere. RwGPS does better mapping and route transfer. For data analysis, Fetcheveryone link to fetcheveryone.com is a free training site, run by one guy and funded by user’s donations. He has a feature request section which is voted on by users and takes feedback, adjusts and updates on them. It’s also got a friendly forum and GPS based games.

  7. Jesse C Jarjour

    I’ve never understood why Strava doesn’t do more to monetize their free users. Want the free version? Fine but you’ll see ads during your experience. Maybe they already do that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’ve been paying for years.

  8. Tim

    Time for Ray to get a new title…CEO

  9. Steve Lambert

    There are many simple solutions they have refused to consider. I was a paid subscriber for years, but the requests many of us made on the Strava forum were never implemented, not did we receive any acknowledgement that they even read our thoughts directed at Strava management. Totally deaf, so I quite being a paid subscriber.

  10. Chris

    I’m a basic user and don’t need the ‘fun to have’ stuff Strava has been adding to the platform. In the current economy I can not justify the increased subscription rate. I’m out.

  11. Arthur

    There’s many easy ways Strava can differentiate paid and free plans for users.

    I think the easiest would be to add dark mode for subscribers only.

    • Willy

      I could see one of the Silicon Valley behemoths acquiring them even if just for their data. Google would probably mismanage the hell out of it and shut it down in a few years after ripping out any monetizable features and plopping them into Google Fit. (Hopefully this doesn’t happen)

  12. Gregory S

    Rats fleeing the ship

  13. Johnny

    New CEO for a startup at Strava’s stage (and showing signs of struggle) usually means they are looking for someone to help with an exit — likely get acquired in this case.

  14. What would be really good if Strava added a Segment Search that works. The current implementation is basically unusable on mobile and web. As it is now, I just star segments in Chrome to find them later. If you star more than a dozen segments in Strava, it really messes with the Garmin Edge units — even the Edge 1040 Solar. And, with an unusable segment search implementation, it’s very difficult to add one on the fly.

    Also, why haven’t they made a usable bike component tracking system with weights specified in grams, fix the GMT bugs, allows you to retroactively enter parts and move saved components from bike to another that works on mobile and web. The current component tracking is beyond useless. Also, the webapp should use HTTP GET for web search AS EVERY OTHER SEARCH ENGINE HAS DONE SINCE 1994! I filed a support ticket on this 2012! Is this baby’s first web application?

    As for their moneygeddon problems — IDK. There is nothing real in the garden of deception that is the US economy. Money has increasingly become a world unto itself now, a self-referential hall-of-mirrors that only sees itself and is increasingly confused by what it sees in that self. Large banks don’t have to rely the citizenry for funding. They just tap into Treasure Direct after they fail in the free market. Why should large corporations that actually provide a useful service be treated differently?

  15. George

    They should probably take a page from the freemium gaming sector, where the focus is on the monetization funnel, with users paying for more “time” above a free level of usage.

    In practice that might mean features, as they’ve done, but it also might mean limiting usage to some level of uploads per month in the free tier. You’d lose some users, but heavy users are the ones who should pay, as they actually derive value from the platform. Someone who only uses it a few times a month is not likely to ever be a paid user.

    • AC

      That’s the model they had back when I first got on Strava in 2009. I think it was 5 uploads per month, pay after that.

    • Meta Peter

      I’d suggest that they just limit how much history you can see as a free user… Maybe you can only see a year back if you don’t pay, but if you pay, you go back as far as they have data…

      Another add-in on that theme is that the APIs only return a month of data if you are a free user… So you can try some of the other apps, but they aren’t as fully useful for deep training.

      I do think Garmin connect has gotten better, but it’s still a horribly unusable 72 menu items that all sounds similar and hide features. Strava strength has been it’s ability to show the data from my Garmin in a way that is useful… Oh, and not discouraging. I’m tired of hearing complaints everytime my wife’s watch tells her she is “Unproductive” . Garmin has no idea how to motivate or cheer someone on for their hard work.

  16. JdR

    I do love the map & create route feature for cyclists though. Its very reliable (no weird tracks), shows popular roads based on a lot of data, and gives me inspiration for new routes. Any really good alternatives for this?

    • Henry

      I have this question as well. I have yet to find anything as good as Strava for quickly and reliably generating a bike route of a specific length.

  17. Dan

    Time for Garmin to step up and create a spin off straight from their Connections /Badge /Challanges branches.

  18. Herbert Poul

    Strava is sitting on an immense amount of data. How is it possible that they can’t monetize that? They have millions of people daily mapping out the world for them.. That must be worth something… Take Foursquare, they “just” sell data of businesses and locations where people “checked in” and their demographic..
    Or like.. i mean.. advertisement.. Why on earth don’t I get coupons from those hundred Coffeeshops I’m passing like.. daily.. and Strava knows it :-D

    • Neil Jones

      They do commoditise their aggregated data – see https://labs.strava.com. I’m not sure how significant a part of their business that is though.

      However, if they were to start selling individual data, anonymised or not, to be used in targeted advertising, I suspect that would be a surefire way of losing more subscribers/users faster than they could ever imagine.

    • Correct, they do (or did) sell heatmap style data to governments to help with traffic/bike lane planning. But they previously said the revenue there was so trivial, especially as governments can now get that data from other sources than they could have a decade ago.

    • ReHMn

      Why on Earth should I record my everyday cycling route to Strava? It is not even on GC. That means 7000 km/user/year missing on those heatmaps.
      Strava’s profile was designed for competition amongst users, racing maps, KOMs/QOMs, and social media/comments and features missing from GC.

      For this reason, heatmaps from Strava are quite bad selling articles.

    • commuter

      Why should you not? I record every ride to work and this automatically ends up in gc and strava. So do most others I suspect. for many people this is the only activity they do at all.

      I also do not see how it would make heatmaps less useful if they didn’t.

    • Geoff Hutchison

      I’d think they have a lot of additional useful aggregate data:

      – performance prediction (e.g., aggregate all the training data vs. race performances including HR)
      – marketing (e.g., showing ads to Garmin users to consider the latest Polar or Coros watch)
      – running shoe lifetime (e.g., aggregate data for users marking shoes)
      – research studies (e.g., the Stanford “Elite” study seeking high VO2max athletes)

      I’d guess they have the largest aggregate group of endurance athletes in the world. That has to be worth *something*.

      The biggest problem is what you mention at the end — this corporate culture that seems to dismiss new ideas from users (or new employees).

  19. James McG

    Auto flagging by Strava for segments clearly in cars and e-bikes I feel like I work at Strava !

  20. Tim

    I’m surprised that they haven’t gone the route of adding in advertising, the same way that FB or Twitter do. They could put some rules around it – e.g. must be fitness focussed or whatever.

    Then remove the ads for paying subscribers.

  21. AN

    “And inversely, Strava’s cutting of core free features (such as the leaderboards a few years ago), only served to alienate the very (long-term) users they’d eventually try and entice to the paid side.”

    I was one of those people; I can understand the need to generate revenue… just show me a few Gatorade ads or something and keep the free features! People are pretty used to that model these days. Would have likely brought the subscription price down as well. Strava has always been a little too pricey for me, even before the price hike.

    • carvicnatjor

      I’m with you AN.
      Cutting the leaderboards alienated me – they did it with no warning or communication – like they did with the subscription fees this time round. They just treat their users with contempt time and time again. I find it hard to want to give them my money when they treat us like that.
      Plus how hard can it be to auto-flag someone who rides 50km/h up a 10% grade in 30s at 20w/kg – surely there’s an algorithm that can figure this all out.

    • Kevin Morice

      The other part of this was that it got rid of those of us that actually built and maintained the content of their site. I made most of the run and bike segments within 50miles of here (including all the local races), and I was the one who policed them for cars and the like. The minute they cut my access the local segments went to shit, and the value to those people that were paying went right out the window as well.

  22. David

    I love the free services 3rd party apps can provide using the Strava API but its surprising to me Strava has let this go on for so long. When services like intervals.icu and Sauce can offer more than complementary free services using Strava’s data, users don’t need Strava Premium and the value of Premium services is much less. Users doesn’t even need to use Strava at all if they keep their data private. Strava just becomes a common repository.

  23. craig cramer

    what do you think the end game is for Strava? Sale to larger company at valuation discount?

    • End-game at this point is simply to make money like any other company.

      Strava’s become too big (valuation-wise) for anyone to buy. Or more specifically, any company to want to buy. The only two options are:

      A) Random Chinese company that buys it mostly for show
      B) Apple

      Seriously, that’s it. And Apple’s not gonna buy it, cause it doesn’t make sense as it’s too into the weeds. Just like it doesn’t make sense for Garmin to buy it, because there’s no real upside for Garmin to do so. They already get everything they want out of Strava, since they’re the leading provider of 3rd party data into Strava. Garmin says jump, and Strava jumps. And Garmin doesn’t have to pay a cent for it.

      PE and other investors don’t want to touch it either (most can’t afford a buy-out based on the theoretical valuations), because as Strava has demonstrated over the last nearly 15 years: They can’t figure out a way to reliably make money. And to Strava’s credit, they’ve tried a number of things (even if botched). So unless you get someone that’s *VERY* convinced they know the secret to unlocking Strava’s revenue problem, I just don’t see acquisition as viable.

      Again, ultimately, they just have to grow-up and figure out how to make money like a normal company.

    • Julien

      interesting – what do you think is their valuation ?

    • Renato

      Sorry, I don’t understand. How is the valuation high if they don’t make enough money? Aren’t (shouldn’t) the two things be related ?

  24. Mikael Jonsson

    Strava has on big feature, My speed/pace is always better there du to not counting standing still time!!!
    Intervalls outside with GPS watch and even I can have fantastic pace :-D

    • cvh

      This. I can’t pay for something that does not give me the most basic stat I have. Real pace. Not fake inflated moving pace (I do running, not bike, so interval sessions are ridiculously inflated). You can trick it by do a 1-s manual pause a couple of times, but I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops.

  25. Kevin Morice

    Until they accept that giving free users back their basic functionality of segments and accepting that an advertising model is the only sane way forward they are just going to keep bleeding users. The charges already don’t match the product and all the opposition have caught up with anything that the basic user actually wants.

  26. Albert

    I use Strava as a social network, and I am not paying for any social network (no, Teslawitter included).

    I prefer other solutions for what Strava offers as paid features.

  27. Mike

    Strava is supposed to be a community tool, but in reality it isn’t, I can’t see who attended the club run, only the people in my group, I could be wrong but I bet a majority of the paid users are in cycle clubs (sorry I don’t run or do anything else), adding more paid features here would drive more club riders to the pay model, over the cafe stop… did you see this feature from last week, no ? ah you are a free user… take out a subscription, this is exactly how Strava grew, do the same for paid features, but they need to be relevant, which they are not today

    • Barry

      This. They need to up the social network quotient. You need to be able to DM people; FlyBy needs to be an opt out; there needs to be a news feed for comments of people you follow; there needs to better coverage of professional racing.

      But they also need to improve and increase the metrics for paid users.

    • I agree. It’s crazy to me that there’s no way to share routes on Strava to a team that automatically pushes to your Garmin Connect/etc account for the group ride that day/etc. The tech is already there, it’s trivial to implement, and other companies do it.

      Specialized had their ‘Ride’ app that started to go down this route of being a hub for cyclists. Obviously, never really took off the way Specialized wanted, but they had features including live integration of beacon-like functionality in case riders missed the start of the ride to catch-up.

      So much stuff Strava can do here.

    • AC

      I’ve said this elsewhere too, but imagine if Strava improved the route sharing abilities and picked up one of the race registration companies. Currently organizers share routes with rwgps, sign up with bikereg (a financial leach on athletics) and then share their activities with each other via strava. Strava could be a one stop shop here, and add another revenue stream with registrations.

      Better yet, maybe rwgpgs will get better at segments, team with a reg provider, and be the new sheriff in town.

  28. Adam

    CEOs and Shareholders seem to be the death of so many companies lately.

    Suggestion for a key employment criteria: Must ride or run and have been a Strava user for 5 years or more.

    • Willy

      Agreed- dogfooding your own product at the top level should be a basic requirement

    • To be fair to Michael Horvath, he does upload constantly to his Strava feed: link to strava.com

      (Also, fun tidbit, look at his user ID number – while not 1, it’s damn low. Many times companies have other test/throwaway/etc accounts in the early days.)

      I think the problem is that often times executives become so disconnected from the day to day user, or, perhaps more accurately, the upset user. It’s easy to appease the random person excited to meet the Strava CEO (or any company CEO), but those aren’t really the people you need to figure out how to win back/appease. Obviously, there’s a balance between chasing your tail through every internet forum, but, you need to either understand the shifting tides. Like a tsunami, it’s those deep underground earthquakes starting in other corners of the earth that eventually end up on your shores. Ignoring them doesn’t make the problem go away, it usually just makes it bigger.

  29. Kaur Virunurm

    Strava caters for a single market – young active athletes.
    It ignores everyone else, and their money.

    I cycle, I ski, I swim, I hike, I do everything possible outdoors and many things indoors.
    I would LOVE to have a single place or app for all my activities.
    I would pay for that.

    Strava does not do it.
    Instead, it blasts me with a flow of pointless notifications. I am 53 years old, I don’t care about new personal bests or being the second fastest guy on this segment or that.
    Strava treats me as a teenager in constant need for competition, challenges, new new new new something.

    I would pay for a stable service, clean UI, less numbers.
    My friends are my age – and they ask for the same.
    But Strava does not care.

    I think we – middle-aged men and women, not in lycra but still healthy and active and with money to spend – could be a substantial market.
    But NO app nor device maker has noticed us yet.

    • davie

      While I think this is a good option for Strava to consider (I’m 47 and not interested in KOM’s), I also wonder if you have reviewed the settings in your account?
      You can turn off several of the notifications in strava that you claim are bothering you.

    • Ms G

      Second what Davie says, you can turn off nearly all, if not all of these notifications.
      Also as I posted earlier, there is a free website (I’m a member not the owner!) Fetcheveryone.com which does provide a place to upload all your activities plus a big social element. He’s on twitter under the fetcheveryone handle if you want to ask Ian anything. There’s also a welcome thread to ask questions.
      link to fetcheveryone.com

      No vested interest, just a happy user of the website

  30. davie

    I’m 100% certain that the following comment is the same as one I posted 4 years ago about Strava. Indicating they just have not learnt.
    Strava forum is full of feature requests with YEARS of follow up posts asking what is happening.

    Nothing. Ever. Happens. So people give up asking.

    How hard can it be Strava? Use agile development. Read the forums, Build a backlog of feature requests and implement them as paid features fast as possible!
    What on earth do all your staff do all day?

    • Stanislav

      Which of the 3 forums?

      The current forum (the community hub) is the 3rd incarnation. The previous two were killed after being ignored by Strava for multiple years each. The 3rd one started well, and Strava has even addressed a few minor issues reported by users. But now it seems to be going the same way as the previous two forums.

    • Steven H

      (Answering as a software engineer and not trying to defend Strava) I agree that would be the goal of true customer facing agile development. However, it would require a software architecture that is nimble to provide updates quickly and efficiently. I wonder if the core architecture is very rigid and in need of a major refactoring that no one wants to pay for. But then as you say, what the hell do the software engineers at Strava even do? Even if they are spending time improving the back-end, the front facing experience is what users see and notice. Clearly they could prioritize some features that make users happy.

      I look at MS Teams which has a formal process for users to submit feature requests and then allow people to vote on them which gives a prioritized list… but even then popular requests can sit around idle for some time. But at least they have a process for them and they do pay attention.

  31. Steve Deckert

    I’m not paying for strava unless they add the (long requested) deviation between classic skiing and skate skiing.

    I’m a long time premium user, but all the features in strava premium I can get with polar flow, which actually supports classic and skate skiing as separate activities and has a better cardio load/fitness freshness tool. I will miss the maps, but I can use ridewithgps.

  32. Laurie

    I think Garmin Connect has really improved a lot in the last few years. In fact, social stuff aside, I think it’s way better than Strava for analysis.

    Strava is still the place I go for social stuff just because everyone is on there. But I won’t renew premium just because I get everything I need from GC and RWGPS

  33. Nick

    I say it every time Strava is brought up, they just need to listen to the request of their user base. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel, they have the answers to their problems being given to them by their community and they stubbornly refuse to implement features that have been requested for years. As a cyclist I’d pay money for useful features. Ie: my weight updated automatically after connecting strava to my wireless scale (instead of having do this in a janky workaround way). Another easily implemented feature would be having the ablity to sort your attempts on a segment by power output. I’d find that data really interesting. The list goes on and on.

  34. Indy Jonze

    it’s like when i finally canceled pay tv (directv). once you go through with it you end up never missing it and instead sit at home counting your newfound riches. in that case, it was $135 per month. in this case it’s obviously much smaller, but the end result is the same. i wish them well, but this ordeal showed me that i just don’t need strava…

  35. Koen Miseur

    I would just hope they will take a good look at the routebuilder, there are still so many bugs (in Chrome I can’t delete points for example) and so many things that could made better and most of all faster!

  36. Jase

    It feels like Strava add features *they* want rather than listening to their users.
    A great premium feature would be visibility based on activity type. I won’t hold my breath though…

  37. The great (maybe the only) appeal that Strava has over Garmin Connect and other platforms wedded to a single brand is that on Strava we can follow our friends shenanigans no matter what device they use.

    It’s the social thing–and the social thing is available to free users.

  38. Mister Ray

    Seems like an obvious thing to do. Support Zwift maps when the activity is Zwift.

  39. GH

    I’ve been a Strava user and a subscriber for a long time. Plenty of haters out there, mostly unjustified in my opinion. Strava provides real service at a reasonable cost. They haven’t innovated terribly well, but they are good at tracking rides and runs and that’s what I care about.

    Having watched the company for a long time, and known a few people over there, it’s a bummer to see this upheaval persist. Horvath (founder / CEO) had to take over from an ineffective CEO, now appears to be handing things back. I don’t know anything about the business side but I hope someone can figure it out without doubling my fees :).

  40. Carlos Neustadtl

    Thanks for the information and the insides, your data most of the time is beneficial and you are an opinion leader, in the sports matter.

  41. Pat

    It should be indicated in the headline that Strava could very well be searching for the new QOM for the company, no?

    • I was using it in the more generic sense that sports history has largely used it with respect to anyone of any gender. But obviously, I’d be just as thrilled for it to be a kickass woman as well.

  42. Alastair

    My biggest annoyance with Strava is the way they handle open water swimming. If you swim breaststroke then it draws a straight line between points where you’ve raised the watch above the waterline, and then calculates a ridiculously low ‘moving time’. There is a segment nearby that I occasionally swim and the leaderboard shows people having swum 200 metres in a few seconds!

    There’s also the problem with statistics such as cadence not pulling through from Apple Health for running activities. It feels like a product that was designed for cyclists, with runners and swimmers being an afterthought.

    • Wilf

      That’s not really a problem with strava but the GPS units such watches. All data can do is use the data it is given. Garbage in garbage out as they say.

  43. Kellen

    I shouldn’t have to continually manually flag rides from people leaving their devices on and driving home from a park or beach ride and snagging a handful of KOMs @ 55mph. The fact that this simple issue remains unresolved as a paid user of nearly 10yrs is a joke. On top of that, the fact that flagging rides is such a pain in the ass, and impossible from the app is another strike.

  44. Will

    People love “free”

    Strava subscribers should be entered to a “free” raffle each month. Win prizes like kit and vouchers.

    They could monetise the data for example: “we see you’re Brand X shoes have done 500miles would you like another pair of Brand X shoes with a discount code?” etc etc

  45. NeilM

    The simple fact that Strava cant interpret my Polar data correctly and still have moving time as a default over elapsed time (essentially making a run much faster than it was) means I will never become a paid subscriber. No matter what features or the price. They simply DONT listen to user requests that have been going on for years.

    Hopefully a change is coming, but Im not so confident in them

  46. Titus

    I used to be a subscriber but most of the paid features are not things I would touch with any kind of regularity. I would like to see the leaderboards but with so many cheaters and the steep price, subscribing just for leaderboards makes no sense. I fulfill my maps and training data needs elsewhere – komoot and garmin.

  47. David

    My subscription lapses tomorrow. I will not be renewing, the underhanded nature of the pricing changes and the discriminatory pricing model in the EU. Will survive without.

  48. Karl-Eric

    I personally find STRAVA frustrating.
    If it was not for Veloviewer.com (annual cost £10) I wouldn’t pay any money to STRAVA.

  49. David

    Maybe with annual revenue of $160+mil a year the first question shouldn’t be how to get more people paying, but how to make your business more lean.

    I am not talking about making people redundant (even though I appreciate that is always an option too), but making your business better at managing what you already have through waste elimination.

    • Leslie Harris

      So Strava has apparently 100 million subscribers at the last count. Of which 95% don’t pay for premium. Therefore 5% do, so that is 5 million paid subscriptions. If they make $160M, then that is $32 per paid subscription.

      Their issue is a business model that relied on continual growth, but as discussed by DC, how can Strava convert the 95% to a paid subscription, unless they offer a killer feature. More likely any sort of further minimising of the free service, would result in users simply coming off Strava and not lead them into a paid subscription.

      It seems to me the reason people liked Strava over something like Garmin Connect, is the Social Networking, KOM’s etc…. But my experience was e-bikes and accidental not ended activities made KOM’s ridiculous. And who is willing to for social networking anyway?

      It’s not the £160M a year for now that’s the issue, it’s how much they take in 2025.

      Looks to me like the subscription cost increases were out of desperation to squeeze more money, and it backfired due to typical internet startup inexperience, killing the golden goose because of greed.

  50. Daoud Amojee

    Ray Maker for KOM

  51. usr

    More features won’t help strava an inch, hardly anybody those who don’t subscribe today would ever start paying. There’s a considerable fraction of athletes who’d rather go low-tech than subscribe and those simply aren’t part of the adresssable market. Not adressable, even if Strava added the entire featuresets of Trainerroads, Zwift, Kinomap, Komoot, the various software platforms offered by the three main GPS players, Peloton and, for good measure, Tiktok to their subscription. They won’t pay but allowing them to participate for free on a feature subset makes the platform more interesting for some who will pay. Even if Strava added those features, and used that as a pretext for a price hike, they wouldn’t retain any subscribers except some of those who currently subribe to all of those at once (but many of them would still prefer to mix and match).

  52. Frans

    I started to pay for Strava when that was required in order to get my data to Veloviewer. Maybe the remaining 20% was regarding leader board changes that were made at the same time.

    With the coming price hike I don’t see that Strava give me enough value, I actually do not see any value in the social bits.

    I think that heatmaps and the routing is good though, but still not enough to pay the price.

    I wish that Veloviewer could get the data directly from Garmin, which in my case always is the source. Of course I see the issue from the Veloviewer point of view of having to maintain a bunch of integrations instead of one, to Strava…

  53. Seamus

    I went online to cancel my paid $60 sub but all that would do was not auto-sub in the fall. No money returned to me for the unused months. I will DEFINITELY not being paying $80 for ‘data toys’ that I can glean from other places for free (Garmin). I can afford Strava’s service by the payload, it’s just the principle of a 25% increase without so much as a blown kiss before being screwed over starts.

  54. Isaac

    They should go after other enterprises or companies that utilize their API and get smarter with in site/ in app ads revenue. I already cancelled my paid subscription but, I really think they can benefit from fresh ideas and new management. And especially they could use a CTO that will make dev team more efficient. Time spent and feature development ratio is boring as hell. Stale and archaic.

  55. gingerneil

    I use the social side of strava.. but not much more than having a look to see what friends have done, and adding the odd kudos and comment. I won’t pay for this.
    I *do* currently pay for sporttracks – but that hasn’t seen much dev for a long time now, and I’m wondering how long I will continue to subscribe. The analysis side of sporttracks is excellent – and I use it all the time. I am not 100% sure what strava does in this area (they list some bullets on the ‘subscribe’ page, but don’t seem to make much effort to actually sell it to me by making it clear what I will get..). If strava upped their game, I would consider switching over, especially as Strava also has all my history.
    Outside of run analysis, the basic social stuff is interesting, but I wont pay for it. However, advanced tools to share proper training analysis with others would be great and would likely see me subscribing. I tweeted Ray recently to push Garmin to enable workout template sharing.. is this an area where strava could step in if Garmin wont?!? Allow me to define a complex multistep workout, with start time and location – then push that to others in a ‘group’ from my running club. Everyone with a Garmin who turns up already has the steps etc ready to go. I think 50% of my running club would subscribe to strava for that. You could then have workout step comparisons and analysis – who ran interval x the quickest, who was most consistent, who managed to speed up on each step etc etc. Not just ‘you ran with x people’ and that’s it. Add little trophies for each element of the comparison, with a long term leader board for the club over weeks/months of training – way beyond just a leader board for most mileage that the same 2 or 3 people are always top of..
    Its not hard (the tech is there), it just needs some thinking about how it would work in practise.

    • Meta Peter

      Y, agree that Strava would do well to add things like stride length, left-right balance, running power analysis and comparisons to your team mates… Then you could be competing not just on speed, but on form.

      And definitely group route sharing would be a pretty killer feature.

    • AC

      Funny, I after many years of use, I dropped Sporttracks this year (and dropped Strava last summer). With ST, it just seemed like I was paying and they weren’t improving the product, or listening in any way. So I pay for intervals, even though its voluntary, zwift, and just added trainer road.

  56. Stu Cann

    Nice, thanks Ray. I think the ~2009 time fad of Strava has fadded, i quit my premium some years ago when i realised, damn, Garmin Connect is actually better if the Social / KOM stuff isnt so important to you and being a fully fledged Garmin man for decades anyway, to be honest i really dont care about Strava that much so RIP.

  57. Julien

    I agree there are a lot of things that drive me nuts with Strava.
    But lets not forget how good they are (not thinking that DCR is, I am referring to some of the comments).
    They have managed to create an incredible company, that millions use every day.
    Thank you Michael Horvath and the rest of the team
    Also well done for knowing when to pass the baton – it is not easy

  58. Boris

    Ray, I still don’t quite understand why they don’t want to dab into ads space. SensorTower tells that Strava earned ~$85M from subscriptions in the past 12 months, which doesn’t include people who signed up directly on their site. I’d give it +50% correction to adjust for SensorTower data collection method and add those directly subscribed users, which brings their subscription revenue to $130M per year max.

    If they can get $1/user per year from advertising, it is already $100M/year, which is very comparable to their subscription revenue. I think they will be able to extract $1/user/year by simply using existing ads targeting systems without even writing their own.

  59. Craig

    I’ve come to the point I don’t use Strava anymore. I can do everything in Garmin Connect and Training Peaks that I need. Strava was getting to the point of being too much of a hassle ad the price increases just made me disconnect all together. I’m to the point I’m not concerned if people see concerned if people see me do a 50 mile XC race or ride the bike path with my nephew, it doesn’t matter.

  60. I’d love to have more features around managing clubs on Strava. I’m an admin for the local tri club, and the features there are pretty limited. You can create group activities, but only runs or bikes – no swimming meetups! There’s no calendar as far as I can tell. If you want to make a route you have to be subscribed, but even then those routes aren’t synchronized to Garmin/other GPS devices or shared in a way usable by the group. This is a feature I would gladly pay for, as long as those routes could be shared with club members regardless of subscription.

    They seem so focused on adding stuff like more niche sports (how many subscribers did they get when they added squash?) while totally neglecting things that people would actually use. When people ask me what Strava is, I always tell them its “social media for athletes”. That’s a market that doesn’t have a whole lot of competition – for example sure, Garmin has groups, but then you need to have a Garmin device. Strava is the only social platform that plugs into all the various athletic devices and platforms. Few people are using Strava as their primary training tracker, but loads of people are using it to share workouts with their friends. That’s what they need to leverage. Make it the place where every run club, tri club, and training group communicates and it would be indispensable!

  61. CJ

    Here’s my gripe with Strava. I’ve been a paid member since th start. I even defended the modest fee.
    But the amount of new features, that are clearly bumping up the price don’t apply to me. I don’t care about pickleball options. I don’t care about ski runs people are tracking. And worse, I don’t care about videos people are posting that are clearly causing Strava to raise prices for storage space.
    I was reluctant to switch to Strava from mapmyride almost a decade ago, but Strava had alienated the very people who helped them build this platform- the cyclists. And though Garmin Connect isn’t as visually appealing as Strava but can do the same as earlier Strava, then I will switch again, this time Strava becomes the mapmyride.

  62. Dave Stern

    I canceled, will run out the rest of my subscription then only free whatever that brings. The sneaky price increase was the last straw. Now that I’m on Garmin with my edge, epix 2, and inreach mini 2, I have all the data I need including power calculations. The epix is amazing, I pay for the watch and don’t have any bs like Strava is doing. I’ll have to live without the segments and will put the Strava savings toward my next Garmin product the descent (mk3i). Ray was 100% right on that point. I hope Strava finds their way but mostly for my kids’ sake as I’m out.

  63. Rick

    I would build more analytical features like Runanalyz or others. This might bring the crowd that likes to go deep into stats.

  64. Martin

    For me the biggest problem is that Strava went from a love brand (before cancelling leaderboards) to hated brand. I wanted to start paying for Strava several times (as I’m getting older, I’m more likely to pay for things) – but they just come up with new reason why I don’t want to support such company.

    I agree that it is mostly a social platform – yet, it really doesn’t work for anything than seeing activities of your friends. I’ve seen several attempts around as someone tried to do some group activity (several training groups, some social local groups) – and Strava is just bad for that. It could even bring new users as people wanting to join those activities would join Strava.

    I can also see some potential for “local events” – advertisments/challanges that people running in some area would get notified about – be it a local race, a new running shop trying to build a community around it etc. I know – there are some privacy concerns but I believe many of us wouldn’t mind. The biggest benefit is that it could really step up the social game. If someone will find and join some local community thanks to Strava, he will get some real value from it – finally some reason to join.

    Honestly, if I was starting running today, I wouldn’t see the need for Strava anymore.

    I’m a tech geak – I’m importing my Gamrin activities to Coros Training Hub just get get better statistics (next watch will be Coros), so there is even some space left for analytical tools for Strava. But realistically I don’t think that they can win that race in the long run. (I somehow hope that Gamrin will fix their awful Garmin Conenct experience on PC in the future)

  65. JimTN

    I have been through a similar CEO change scenario in my previous work life. It was done to “fatten the cow” prior to an IPO. The subscription price increases and the management turn over smacks strongly of looking to take Strava public. This will be a good thing for the founders but users may have a less happy outcome.

  66. Charley

    Did the CEO post his resignation as a comment on a ride he did? It would’ve been awesome if he did.

  67. PeterF

    I’m sure that if Strava gives subscribers (and subscribers only) the option to filter unwanted activities from their feed the number of subscribers will boom.

    Yes, there are browser plugins that will hide the million “XYZ joined challenge” that clutter my feed, but not in the app. Hiding activities shorter than nn minutes would be very worthwhile, as would activities of a certain type (think Zwift, e-bikes, whatever)

  68. Jesper N

    As other folks have said, Strava’s biggest, if not only, really selling point, is the segment/leaderboard/KOM part. So it beats me, why they don’t do all they can to develop it.
    Why not expand it with a subscriber only KOM of the week/month/day/Year?? KOW, KOMM, KOD, KOM2022, KOM23 or whatever they want to call them. With icons like the crown today.
    Conditions change through the seasons, especially for MTB with muddy trails during the wet, so this time a year, not much chance of getting a KOM, when riding against a time set on a hard packed dry summer trail… This would give folks some extra motivation to get out riding in the cold, wet and dark.

    And do the same for age and weight. Make KOM40 and KOM50.
    And yes, I know paying useds can go and select those sub-leaderboards, but today they don’t give you any icons/fame, so others won’t see that you just crushed the record up Alpe D’huez for +90 kg riders over 40 years….

    And give us tools to maintain the leaderboard. My local MTB trail has a road running along it and anybody riding the road, will beat MTB riders. Today there is no way to click and say “This effort/activity was not on this segment”. Only way is to flag the whole ride.

    • Paul S.

      They did annual KOM’s a few years ago. Don’t know what happened to them.

      Personally I have no interest in segments or leaderboards, and I wish I could just turn leaderboards for segments and challenges off, or maybe limit them to people I follow. Sure, it’s mildly interesting that the pros that showed up for the first couple of Trans Sylvania Epics still hold high places on local segments, but I could live without knowing that. For me, Strava is for storing my activities and for gathering information about local conditions from reports/photographs that the people I follow post. The cheating on leaderboards is glaring; I took part in last months “January Fresh Start Challenge” with the goal of 30 hours of activity and towards the end of January the first 16 people on the leaderboard were claiming more hours than there were in January. (For some reason, Strava cleaned that up, but the remaining first 20 are still unbelievable.) So I’d rather not see leaderboards at all.

    • I think in some ways you’ve highlighted part of the challenge Strava has (or, any company), different people value different things. While years ago, I’d have said Strava Segments were a bigger draw, I get the pretty clear impression from virtually everyone I interact with in a real-world level (friends, family, industry folks), that they personally/themselves just don’t care about segments anymore.

      Sure, there’s some ribbing between friends sometimes, but with the poor data in segments combined with riding outside on roads getting less and less safe in most countries, people just don’t care as much anymore. Obviously, that doesn’t translate to off-road, but then inversely, people off-road tended to care less about segment times (historically).

      I do agree though, there’s a lot of different things Strava can ‘fix’ that aren’t specifically new features, but might kinda feel like it.

  69. Gabe

    New ceo focus.. cost cutting and profitability.

    Am I seeing any downside in a company like garmin scooping them up and integrating their product into garmin connect or visa versa?

    • usr

      > New ceo focus.. cost cutting and profitability.

      I sure hope so, because I’d really miss Strava.

      Much of Strava’s value is in being that one platform where Garminians connect with Wahoo users, where RGT users stay in contact with Zwifters over the winter, and the occasional smartphone-only person. Getting “scooped up” would end that. Then they’d only be “that website with the segments everybody was crazy about back in the 10s years”. Strava is in a strong position right now, they have an almost unbelievably good ratio of paying vs free users amongst regular users, what they don’t have is room to grow revenue because no hypothetical feature exists that would make paying users willing to pay significantly more, or would entice a significant fraction of those who don’t subsribe now reconsider.

      If the new CEO focuses on cost cutting he’s doing precisely the right thing because every other focus wouldn’t really help solve the problems Strava apparently has. I’d even go so far as suggesting that if Strava at one point had idle capacity (engineering and design) that they would like to throw at a project like indoor cycling or a really serious training analytics/advice platform and they believe their idle team would be really, really good at it, they’d be better off picking up some struggling brand in that field and keeping it a separate subscription even after the product has been completely overhauled, because chances are a large fraction of Strava subscribers would not be interested at all in getting their subscription forcibly upgraded. Kind of like Garmin does not seem to show any intention of switching the Tacx business to “Garmin Neo 3” and “Garmin bottles” (but with neither Garmin nor Tacx being in the subscription game, the harm of a brand merge would be much smaller).

    • What if… they built (or acquired) some better stand alone apps on their API for professional/hard core/specialist use. VeloViewer is a great example of building a better mousetrap for the intended audience using existing data.

      Maybe this way the Strava price can become a bit sharper as well, and then just subscribe to the bits you need. Like the route planner. If it were not bundled and a reasonable price, I’d subscribe. As it is I’m using other tools for route planning now so they missed my wallet when the changed to pricing model.

    • usr

      They had mix&match feature subsets before the Horwath return and they weren’t really a success.

      Mostly because it forces a conflict between pennywise and feeling like a second class customer and that simply isn’t a very positive customer experience. Consider Netflix: I probably don’t watch more than 30h a month and the subscription feels acceptable, but if it was pay-per-few at a dime an hour there’s not a single show that I’d consider worth paying for. Likewise, with a modular Strava you start questioning every single submodule on its own and at the end of that process you might very well end up with at zero or very close (I’m pretty sure I would). An all-inclusive package on the other hand gives that nice feeling of having been generous to yourself (and to the company that needs to somehow pay wages and rent).

      It costs Strava literally nothing to include features in the subscription of a user who does not really care for that feature, that’s why the downside of subscription modularity outweigh the benefits. They just have to deal with the consequence that adding/improving features won’t really help profitability, they need to solve that on the cost side. And if they do want to diversify, as I have hypothesized in the second paragraph of the post above, they’d better find a way to do so that does *not* make the regular subscription feel like a second-class module. Just like how Garmin makes sure a Neo does not feel like not living up to its potential if you happen to run Wahoo on the out-front.

  70. KenZ

    “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

    Share your accomplishments… in your own head.

    -Grizzled old guy still kickin’ it.

  71. LP

    We’ve seen this movie before. The next CEO will be charged with preparing Strava for a sale. Be prepared to find an alternative.

  72. Brooks

    I’m a free version user of Strava. I primarily use the app as “exercise social media” to see what friends are doing and get ideas on good routes, trails, etc… I enjoy going after PR’s and KOM’s, but am not type-A enough to care when they took away my access to the leaderboards. And as a confession, I feel that social media on the whole has been a net-negative on society. So, I’m biased to not pay for a social media service.

    My main reason for not paying for Strava is that I track my cycling fitness using Golden Cheetah (GC). GC is super robust, free, and my 8 years of data is stored locally on my computer and backed up to the cloud. In other words, I have ownership of my data via my computer. My concern with using Strava as a performance tool is that if I decide to stop the subscription (maybe prices get too high) I would lose all the data. Or I would have to re-enter years of data and notes into a new program. I don’t know that Strava can address this scenario, but it’s my experience/two-cents.

  73. Mathew

    Strava’s forced change to their feed years ago, and their treatment of the various add-on app developers that I really valued, when I was a paid subscriber, so upset me that I have refused to pay since. The company seems to have an identity crisis: Are they a fitness app (with all their metrics on fitness), a social media app (with their feed “algorithm”s), a place to store data, a reseller of customer data, what? I was happy when the original CEO came back and started fixing some of the wrongs of the social media focused bunch, but really can’t bring myself to pay for something that basically just feels like instagram lite, with the “content” being pages of “challenges” and “morning ride” etc.

  74. The founding father thing is hard to overcome. By stepping aside and lets hope they do then it might be possible for Strava to grow in a way that adds real value users are prepared to pay for.

  75. Mike

    Decided not to renew my subscription this year. It was always quite expensive I thought, but now I think they are taking the mick. I will miss the local legend stuff, will hopefully get what I need from the free version.

  76. Roady

    Long term Strava subscriber (since 2014), who will be cancelling. Just nothing there I use ‘enough’ to warrant the £10+ per month. I can justify it, as the few things I do use work well, just feel they don’t ‘deserve’ my subscription for them any more. Features that have not changed for several years I can get the same/similar data these days elsewhere for free. On Strava there’s enough ‘broken data’ (read: easily fixed) and half baked features (which having been around long enough should already have evolved multiple times). It feels they don’t have the majority of subscribers uses as their primary focus. I’ll still use Strava free for ‘everything’ (it’s my platform to combine data from various sources), alaongside the social aspects (which are second to none), but until they focus their developments to broader useful features, polish their long-term flaky functionality and actually give added ‘value’ to the platform then I’ll save some money. Hopefully the new CEO will be a driving force for some of that.

    I bet most of us are in agreement, but basically, if they’re not profitable by now, with the old and dated system(s) they have. They need to seriously re-think and re-structure to make it so. There should be no reason why they’re not. So make it worth the price hike – as at the moment it feels like it’s not even worth the current one!

  77. Nicholas Wood

    Thanks for the tip re discount. I’m in Australia and worded a quick 3 sentence support ticket (Loyal Customer, Increasing Costs, Cancelling Membership, 33% discount please) and 10 days later I have a discount code. Another 12 months of paid Strava for me!

    Oh and I’m spending the saving on becoming a DCR supporter :)

  78. John

    In fact, as a US-based subscriber, I received NO prior notification from Strava that it would raise my subscription price. Wham! Strava charged my credit card $4 more in February 2023 with NO notice. I unsubscribed and explained to Strava that the increased subscription fee was not the reason for my cancellation. Rather it was Strava’s lack of respect for me as its customer, or its arrogance in raising the price with no explanation via a direct message to me.

  79. I started using Strava only when they allowed free users to upload all their rides. My opinion is that Strava has over-indexed on the hard core racer-wannabe who cares about PRs, leaderboards, and local legend status and doesn’t provide enough social features for me to use. For instance, I’d love to see: “So and so rode this route on the same day just 2 hours earlier/later.” The comments need to be threaded and I’d like to be able to upvote/downvote them. Suggestions for new routes to explore because my friends rode them and rated them highly. But since neither me nor my friends care about leaderboards we’re not considered core customers.

    • John

      I find your perspective spot on, I relate completely. I too could care less about leaderboards, KOMs, etc. I understand there are those that do. Fine. Let me know when someone has achieved a new KOM in my region so I can give them kudos. But definitely have the courtesy to email me directly if you are going to raise my price with an explanation.

  80. Wilf

    That’s not really a problem with strava but the GPS units such watches. All data can do is use the data it is given. Garbage in garbage out as they say.