Yesterday, Strava held ‘Camp Strava’, a physical real-world event where a bunch of people gathered together to talk about Strava. This seems to be vaguely developer-focused, and vaguely regular athlete-focused. The schedule had a host of non-technical things on it, including a run and happy hour. But did include a keynote, where Strava’s outgoing CEO discussed the company’s history, followed by a more technical session outlining a host of new features coming to the platform over the coming months.
The technical section of the presentation was done by Misha Gopaul, founder of FatMap, which is a company Strava acquired earlier this year. His new title at Strava is “VP of Product”. He explained that some things were going live within the FatMap app today, while others would be consolidated into the Strava app by the end of the year. It sounded like the goal was to have everything consolidated by the end of the year, but that part was a bit fuzzy. Either way, here’s the new things and where they sit now.
First up, is that immediately within the Fatmap App, you can look at all your existing Strava Routes, including in 3D fly-throughs of every route. With the plan for this to be part of the Strava app by “the end of this year”:
Further, they’re expanding the idea of the heat map. To begin, you can now filter where people have been riding in just the past week. Or skiing in just the past week (such as for late-season skiing). They went on to say that they want the app to adapt to “whatever question you have”, citing examples of:
– Being able to instantly overlay the “official Swiss [trail/mountain] map” in the app
– Being able to see/overlay where sun will be on the mountain (side) throughout the day
– Being able to overlay avalanche risk profiles within the mountains onto the map
– Show how much snow has fallen in the last two days
– Show which ski lifts are open at that moment in time (live data)
You can see some examples here (sorry, it was hard to snip this out of the presentation, so kinda low-res). Maybe Strava will publish or send over some higher-res pics I can swap out.
Above, left to right: Skiing heatmap for last 7 days, sun exposure in mountains, Swiss map overlay).
And below, left to right: ski lifts currently open (live data), and avalanche risk via pitch.
Next, Strava is revamping their route planning creation engine, adding “AI”, as they stated. The new engine adds many more variables, such as asking for popular rides, but alternatively asking for ‘new’ routes that you haven’t done before. You’ll then get a selection of routes, again focused on being “the best” route, rather than the fastest or shortest.
The new routes page has been re-designed to more prominently display photos and community insights (such as which friends have done it recently, or other random people too). After you’ve selected a route, it’ll also offline store both the route as well as all the map data on your phone, in case you’re using the Strava app for routing.
Next is a new “Official Routes” platform. This will allow brands/businesses/organizations/cities to publish official trails. For example, a ski resort could publish a list of official mountain bike trails. Same goes for an event organizer, like Ironman. Or Rapha for bike routes for group rides.
That ties into ‘Route Collections’ – either for yourself, with friends, or create themed collections. The idea being that you could create a collection for a trip, ones around a given destination, such as hiking trails around Chamonix. Or mountain bike trails at a given park.
I’d find this super useful myself, as people visiting Amsterdam are always asking for my favorite routes. And the same was true in Paris when I lived there (and even made an entire page of routes). This approach is much cleaner, and more akin to what Komoot has.
All of the routes and maps, including the 3D fly-throughs, will soon be embeddable in 3rd party websites:
Next, “over the next year” Strava says they’re “completely rebuilding” the way Strava groups work. They say they’re shifting towards more of the ‘community’ aspect rather than it being built around leaderboards. In other words, most clubs aren’t really about Strava Segment hunting. Instead, they’re about a group of people either sharing rides, or using like routes, or some sort of commonality. The first phase of that is the new group page launched last week:
The idea being you can plan events, routes, and also managing people RSVP’d for a ride. Further, when you RSVP to the event, the route is now “seamlessly” integrated, into the person’s account. Further, there are group heatmaps as well:
This becomes a group ‘interest map’ so that you can easily see where others in that group are running/riding. Next, they’re adding better video support into the apps and groups in particular, including soon the ability to add YouTube videos into group posts.
Strava also says they’re expanding the limits of group challenges from 25 members to 500 members. This frankly still seems silly small for any larger groups, but hey, that’s where Strava wants you to then use their sponsored challenges.
Finally, Strava says a new Nike partnership is coming. Albeit, details are thin. They say “within a few weeks” Nike members will have the ability to share their Nike Run Club & Nike Training Club activities to Strava, effectively like any other normal activity (including kudos/likes). It sounds like Strava will release more details in the coming days on this.
Now, if you want to watch the full keynote – you can do that here, below. Though I promise, I’ve got all the good bits listed above.
Additionally, there’s also the Vimeo livestream of the rest of the day. I haven’t watched that (and the video seems kinda broken), but looking at the agenda, that doesn’t appear to be focused on the Strava platform, as much as more athletics/community. Maybe you’ll find a fixed link elsewhere on Twitter.
Anyways, looks like some pretty cool new features – looking forward to giving them a poke once they’re out. Outside of saying ‘by the end of the year’, there wasn’t much of a timeline on most of the things announced.
With that – thanks for reading!
And still nothing simple like folders. There are good bits in there nonetheless.
Or assigning all content synced from Zwift to one bike, and from my Garmin to another.
But no. Still gotta edit each activity.
Do they listen to their customers at all?
They did update the default bike based on activity type. So, if you have zwift coming in as a virtual ride it will default to a certain bike, or your gravel or road rides default to different bikes. Check out GP LLama’s video. It has some good bits.
Honestly, categorization of routes is basically folders by a different name. We’ll have to see the final implementation, but that seems like it solves that problem at first glance.
RE: Assigning bikes by source
Indeed, this seems like this was mostly solved yesterday via automatic gear assignment: link to dcrainmaker.com
No, they don’t. And they haven’t for years.
Being able to manually group routes into named folders or even better be able to create smart folders would make organising things so much easier. Categorising of routes is completely useless for this.
I emptied Strava of most of my routes, because Strava became such an unwieldy mess and I now use RWGPS to filter routes to find things more easily instead. RWGPS also needs folders, because one can’t always remember the right keyword to find a route.
Did they show web browser Strava at all? I can’t be alone in avoiding route creation on any app, and Strava’s app is so useless for analysis that Komoot plus trainingpeaks or intervals is more convenient and congruent. Such a weird disconnect between browser strava and app strava
You don’t like how the links you get to share an activity with in Strava are links that require the receiver to use the app to open them and not a general URL that can open in a browser and prompt to open in the app if you want?
Strava web app and Strava mobile app are being developed by different teams from different companies, both living on different planets.
I use Strava, but only on the web.
Any new features that are app-only are simply useless for me.
Strava is targeting a young athlete who:
a) gets better in his sport every year – new personal bests etc
b) has perfect eyesight 🙂
Once you are over 40, you stop comparing your current results to 10 years younger you, and half of Strava’s functions suddenly become pointless. Then you get 50 and your eyes get worse – and ALL of Strava goes out of the window.
These map features are barely new though, what happened to the city collections from a couple of years ago? Those routes were pretty good, but then they disappeared and were replaced by nothing until now. I moved to Amsterdam a few months ago for school and I spent hours trying to find Strava’s collections. All that did was turn me more toward Komoot’s route suggestions, which were a thousand times better than Strava’s. And I could find Komoot’s suggestion on their iPad app (which Strava still doesn’t have) or online. I guess if Strava wants to be just a social media app they’re on a good track to do so
To be fair, the city collections from a few years ago (which were cool), was literally just a generic web page with a list of links to routes. Nothing more than a very basic HTML page from like 1990.
That said, I too was super disappointed when Strava killed those off. Sure, there wasn’t a ton of cities, but they had a lot of major ones, and with some really good routes. No idea why they just didn’t copy/paste that list into a random Strava Blog post and call it done.
Hopefully though, this idea will be better long-term, and essentially compete with what Komoot has with collections.
And still no multi sport support on their news feed. They would rather spam users when someone uploads an adventure race or triathlon 😫
How about being able classify an indoor run or a swim as a workout… You know basic stuff for 2 popular sports.
Out of curiosity, what is the specific reason to tag something as a ‘workout’? I’ve literally never done it, so I’m curious why I’d do that versus not.
For me, it would be the difference between just a casual or recovery run, and then a “workout” where I’m trying to hit specific paces such as intervals or a tempo run. Tagging it as a workout let’s you review them over time, for example, when looking through the training log they are coloured differently and you can scan to see them easily. Also, on the training log screen, you can then see if the relative effort is due to running a longer distance or because it was a workout.
They need a better way to filter out people in a group. For example if you have a local club there should be a way to specify the general area covered by the club and so identify who is or isn’t riding in that area.
Strava for routes won’t be as good as gwgps if you can’t search for specific routes and only given a list it thinks may be good. I.e. looking for a specific route that you know exists? Not really possible in Strava but do easy in ride with gps. Probably why all the clubs and big group rides I know of use rwgps
I’ve said for years that one of Strava’s biggest failings is cycling groups/clubs, get clubs to plan everything viabStrava and you instantly increase exposure/membership and maybe even subscription, glad to see they are waking up to this… 10 years too late !
Yup, agree. There were things that Specialized launched in their app years ago that were really just no-brainers that Strava should have had around clubs, group tracking, and more.
Next step should be to enable a group leader to specify a session plan (for example, intervals, pyramid etc) and then those in the group be able to sync that to their garmin/coros/polar etc. Riding or running a route together as an event is nice, but co-ordinating a track interval session would be cool too.
I just want to see leaderboards that aren’t full of ebikes and drives home with the garmin still running.
Generally Strava doesn’t allow e-bike rides on segments, at least around here. When I take my eMTB out, there are usually no segments listed, since the ride is marked as an e-bike ride by my Edge. There’s one segment that does show up, but I suspect that may be e-bike only.
Same thing for most challenges, both vertical and horizontal distances don’t count. The ~600 m vertical I plan to ride on my eMTB tomorrow won’t count for the May climbing challenge.
yeah, the point is lots of ebikers classify their rides as rides, not ebike rides.
re segments, you can create them if you want to see them. Most of the good ones were created by someone. And yes, ebike rides correctly are excluded from most challenges.
I agree. Lots of segments near me have a KOM with an average speed of 24.9 kph, which is a bit too coincidental. Other activities have average speeds recorded of 80 kph – on running segments.
Even the most basic filtering will pick out the worst of these so I don’t understand why Strava doesn’t implement it.
I think the point is that Strava needs to filter out rides that don’t have heart rate or power data to back them up. There’s too many rides on leaderboards that are clearly unmarked ebikes.
My eMTB has a built in power meter (supposed to be just “me power” rather than including motor power) and I always wear HR, so you’d have to be more sophisticated than that. (In fact, since my AeroPod died a while ago and I didn’t replace it because Velocomp doesn’t support M series Macs, it’s the only bike I ride outdoors with anything resembling a power meter.) Of course, my eMTB rides are always marked that way so they don’t get counted. Still, there must be some basic filtering they could do.
My preference would for Strava to just get rid of global leaderboards for challenges and segments (which I care nothing about anyway) to remove the incentive to cheat, but I realize that’s not going to be a popular choice.
These are all.. great? But all I want for Christmas is the ability to create a sliding window for PRs, so I’m not futilely racing my 15-year younger self, who I will never, ever beat. It’s much more relevant to me if I can improve on my time from last year than if I can improve on my time from 2008.
Big agree on that one – it’s getting steadily more depressing as I get older!
Or calculate the age grade score for a distance and then allow you to manage PRs based on that?
I’m still occasionally getting PRs at the age of 67 having been on Strava from pretty much Day 1, but they are pitifully few these days! I’d love a selectable date-range window for PRs. I’m aware that the various leaderboards give quite a few options for refining the field, but it would be nice to be able to define it yourself.
Park run just does it by giving you best ever and best this year. Very simple but effective
that’s a lot of new features, nice that there’s finally something happening at Strava
Still no Zwift maps for Zwift virtual rides.
I will never improve upon some of my more vo2 max dependent PRs from when I was childless and reliably riding 100s of km per week. Now that I have two young kids and am getting older…
This is one thing I like about zwift and it’s focus on 90 day PRs. It gives my a much better idea of how I am trending through a season.
I replied to the wrong comment….
meant to be about sliding PR windows.
I am still waiting for a global heatmap that shows the difference between road and gravel. When travelling and plotting a route it is often hard to work out if you have made a route tat suddenly turns into single track or a mountain bike path, no fun when on a roadbike…
The most important route creation feature that I see missing is the ability to follow heatmap instead of official trail. Especially mountain and gravel biking, where you have to manually add points on a trail because Strava doesn’t not recognize it.
As for features for recording with the app, until they bring back full sensor connection, I just don’t see myself doing it. All this focus on lady minute planning from the phone that are not available on the web, that just seems to me spending a lot of effort for the minimum impact. Of the hundreds of routes that my family, friends and I have planned in the pat couple of years, under 10 were from the phone. If at least they made the iPad app full resolution, maybe I would use that. For now, I would use a tablet or computer web interface
Route planners following heat maps should be a no brainer and yet…
Did they mention dark mode?
I’d be curious to see a way to load Strava routes on Google maps and get step by step audio instructions while riding or running. (It would be even better if Strava could do it themselves but that’s probably too much to ask)
The routing works relatively ok on a bike computer, not very useful on a watch with navigation because of the size of the screen but audio would really make a difference.
I wish a routing app (I don’t care which one, I currently use komoot) would release a decent cafe stop feature. It’s the main thing I care about when routing, especially somewhere new. Which cafes are good for cyclists, opening times, coffee quality, etc.
I really like the Strava route generation. I use it a lot. But I don’t understand the route lengths that can be selected.
Either 80 or 120 km. Why not 100km?
(I can switch to imperial measurement, then choose 60miles – pretty much 100km. But why can’t I choose 100km. I find this strangely annoying.
I agree. I have no idea why they need all that UI space, versus just having a darn slider – even if that slider ‘snaps’ into 20KM chunks or something, it’d give them more UI space, and more user flexibility.
Yet I still can’t see my running PBs for various distances and a history of efforts for these. I would be happy with just the Power Curve graph being reused as a Pace Curve graph.
I’ve always found it super annoying that the categories for your type of ride is either workout, race, or commute. Can’t I just ride my bike for fun!!
Quite simple: Don‘t choose any.
I let my membership lapse this month because they seem to focus on all the wrong things. Instead of pretty maps, how about the ability to merge activities when your watch dies without needing to export / import? Or making a roll-up “workout” out of multiple activities would be really nice instead of run-lift-ride-run in the feed, it could all be presented as 1 workout.
The groups demo piece really fell flat. You could hear the audience breathing.
Yeah, I think it was just kinda a positioning fail there. Specifically, there’s some cool stuff they showed on screen, but didn’t really explain why it was cool in the audio bits.
It does seem legit cool looking at what they have on-screen, but I don’t think the spoken part of that demo really conveyed it well.
Be interested to know which are “free” features vs. paid features
As a ride leader for my local cycling club, it would be great to be able to save Routes to the Club, rather than having to choose from your own. Being able to have a set of Club routes would make it so much more convenient for ride leaders to post rides. Not everyone is confident at creating Routes, so this would really help.
Was there anything about routing based on popularity at a particular time of the day/night? Not all routes I’m comfortable running at night, which I imagine is shared by others in my area, so it would be great if it could consider that.
Wow, Strava is trying to be Relive and RideWithGPS and yet I still can’t track my swimming PRs there.
Also, I feel like the social aspects of Strava are entirely useless unless there’s DM. I don’t want to publish my phone number publicly.
Yep. The only reason I have kept strava was for the social stuff. I dont use much other social media as its so full off ads, data theft and spam.
If they could build a safe and private messaging app built in this would be game changer.
Cool. Think ill park my sub for another couple of years until some of this stuff comes online or they actually make other stuff useful. Just not enough value now. For example why do I have to resort to using Google to find routes on strava ? Lots of sliders and other stupid metrics that never seem to find the route I want. How about a list with just a simple search box. Took years to just get a search box to search my own historical activities.
Did they mention anything about the recent price increase or did they already move on ?
They’ve moved on.
That said, I’ve had a few DM’s from people showing odd price decreases here and there. So I’m not quite sure what’s up.
I think in the avalanche risk screenshots that right hand image is showing slope pitch in degrees, not temperature. Slope pitch would be the most critical factor. I’m not clear what the middle image is showing. Snow accumulation perhaps?
Good catch. The middle one his showing recent snow.
I have very mixed feelings about tools like Fatmap and it’s use for offpiste skiing – especially if combined with a very rudimentary avalanche risk overlay. Gradient is obviously an important factor regarding the risk, but as anyone who knows just a little about avalanches can tell you, there is a ton of variables and a few meters difference in line choice can make a massive difference as to how high the risk is.
The development in ski technology has already made offpiste skiing much more accessible to people with limited knowledge of offpiste skiing and I fear these kind of tools will tempt people to venture much further away from the easily accessible offpiste (which is often far safer) and into real backcountry skiing where the risks are far higher.
Still nothing on multisport or multi-day activities?
The only feature I actually want is last year’s subscription price
HOW’S ABOUT A FILTER FOR ROUTES WITHOUT GATES THAT YOU’D NEED TO LIFT A HEAVY E BIKE OVER? THAT’D BE GOOD FOR THOSE FOLKS
Good summary, as always Ray.
One question I have and perhaps someone has brought it up already, are there any plans to add construction updates, maybe integrating with an app like Waze, to the route builder on Strava? It’s quite frustrating to build a route for, say a 100km ride, then once you get out there you find the road is all torn up (or closed) due to construction. Granted, I could always go on municipal websites to check for construction updates, but this could be rather time consuming, especially if doing a ride that crosses multiple municipal boundaries.
It would be helpful – totally agree.
But I haven’t heard anything there. I ran across that recently with some routes in Mallorca after storms a month prior meant there was tons of road construction/work (to remove broken limbs/trees) – closing countless major routes.
Thanks for the response, Ray. Hopefully something comes out that does this.
Ride on and keep up the good work in doing what you do 🙂
Any news on DMs for Strava?
Can you please please please add the name of the day in the name of the activity? The current writing is: “20 May 2023 at 09.98 . Amsterdam, Noord-Holland”. If I just want to know what I did on the Monday 2 weeks ago I’m searching in my list of activities and I have no clue which activity is done on that Monday. Especially when you have activities/sessions every day of the week. Can it please be updated to “Saturday 20 May 2023 at 09.98 . Amsterdam, Noord-Holland”?
To be fair, this is kinda exactly what ActivityFix and others are for – pretty much spot on to do that kind of stuff: link to activityfix.com
Thanks for the link Ray! Will need to do a deep dive into that tool. Watched the Shane Miller video on the AF website and its kinda overwhelming for a non-techy like me.
Or you can just use your training calendar on Strava to separate activities by date.
That will not work if I’m scrolling through a friend’s training activities (via the Strava app), looking for that one session he did on a Tuesday. I never use Strava web browser. I just cant understand why Strava is not adding the weekday in the date field by itself in the app.