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Strava extends footprint with indoor training expansion

  • By Logan VonBokel
  • Published Oct. 31, 2013
  • Updated Nov. 1, 2013 at 3:38 PM EDT

Strava’s march toward digital cycling domination continued on Thursday as the San Francisco-based company announced an expansion into the world of indoor cycling.

The company’s most recent news, and its latest expansion, takes the form of a partnership with indoor training video brand The Sufferfest. With the move, Strava broadens its market even further. The partnership makes good sense, as Strava is already partnered with training device company Wahoo Fitness, maker of a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor, and iPhone bike mounts. The motive is clear: to become a one-stop shop for all riding, inside and out.

Strava Premium members now have free access to three Sufferfest training videos on the service’s mobile apps, which normally cost anywhere from $6 to $15, through mobile devices. IOS users with Apple TV can stream the videos through their phones on larger screens, rather than being stuck staring little screens on their stems, à la Chris Froome. The videos, which we’ve reviewed in the past, are fantastically popular for both their entertainment value and difficulty.

It seems that an updated version of Strava is hitting the app stores every few weeks, and each new feature extends the brand’s tendrils further into the territory of its competition — or into areas few expected Strava to go at all.

Strava’s members can now create routes, choking off a primary advantage of competitors like Garmin Connect and MapMyFitness. The Route Builder is focused more on the journey than the destination, giving riders and runners the ability to search rides in an area based on the popularity of roads in a given area — a feature that Garmin and MapMyFitness can’t touch.

Premium users can evaluate and analyze their training, too, including power and heart rate data, digging into the data market dominated by TrainingPeaks, though Strava’s platform remains more simplistic and is likely to appeal to a slightly less data-driven crowd.

Where Strava is a bit behind other application powerhouses, most notably Nike, is in real time segment alerts. Strava Real Time Segment feature — again, available only to premium users —alerts users of their times on segments immediately after finishing, but running app Nike+ is capable of alerting runners when they are approaching personal records for specific distances, or even routes that the athlete frequents, providing the athlete with a bit more interaction and encouragement. It’s one of the few areas where Strava falls short of a direct competitor.

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Logan VonBokel

Logan VonBokel

Equally at home on a mountain bike above treeline and chasing down moves in the heat and humidity of a Midwest criterium, Logan Vonbokel is something of an oddity in cycling. Since he first swung a leg over a road bike as a freshman in high school, Logan has been a lover of both cutting-edge technological innovations and the clean lines of classic handmade bikes. Logan joined the tech team in May 2012, bringing with him nearly a decade of high-caliber road racing experience and his undying love for the mud, cowbells, and culture of cyclocross. Logan still races at the Cat. 2 level on the road and in cyclocross, and carries a seldom-used Cat. 1 mountain bike license.

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