Innovation and experimentation are incredibly important to the Strava Team, so much so that we spend two full days each month working on our own projects and investigating new ideas. We call this coveted time a Strava Jam.
The output of a Strava Jam could be anything from a t-shirt or infographic design to a mobile or web feature. Sometimes we make smaller improvements to existing features and functionality, while other times we embrace big ideas that require more planning and testing before they’re ready for prime time. In either case, the experiments that emerge with the most potential and added value to the Strava experience are crowned X-Features.
With all that said, the entire Strava Team is excited to announce that X-Features are available to all users starting today. These experimental features are accessible from your Settings page and available for you to turn on and off, try out, and provide your feedback as they develop. Some things to keep in mind:
- X-Features are a little rough around the edges.
An X-Feature is a lot like the new guy in your cycle club. He’s wearing a different kit and still has a visor on his helmet. But you know that it’s only a matter of time before someone tears that visor off, gets him in a club kit, and makes the world right again. X-Features need a little more development, testing, and design love before we decide to graduate it to a full fledged feature.
- X-Features are unsupported.
No support vehicle, soigneurs, or energy bars at mile 13. X-Features are experimental and haven’t gone through the same product and development process as our other features. Please don’t contact the Support team if you experience problems. On the Settings page, you’ll see a link to give feedback to the respective X-Feature.
- X-Features are web-only right now.
Our team works on X-Features for our mobile apps too. Getting them into your hands isn’t as straightforward as on the web, however, so for now X-Features are web-only. We expect to have a release path for mobile X-Features in the near future.
- X-Features may one day grow up to become real Strava features.
X-Features aren’t meant to stay that way forever. They give us a way to share our ideas with you faster, but we may decide to graduate an X-Feature to a become a full-fledged free or Premium only feature, or we may decide to retire the functionality altogether. X-Features may come and go, but Strava is forever!
I hope you enjoy using X-Features as much as we have. There’s a lot more to come.
With the Cannondale Oktoberfest Challenge set to wrap up this Saturday, November 10, we thought you could use an extra bit of motivation to push through those last few hours. With that in mind we reached out to the man behind the challenge, Tim Johnson, for a bit of insight and inspiration. That was the goal, here are the results:
Strava: How’s it going? Where are you right now?
Tim: Finally home in Topsfield, Massachusetts, USA. That last trip kept going on and on and on…
Strava: What bike are you riding? Any tips for keeping a bike working well in rough weather?
Tim: I’m on my Cannondale SuperSix EVO right now. We left a couple SuperX cross bikes in Europe for the upcoming trip in December and my others are on the truck right now. Pushing the 53t instead of the 46t chainring!
Strava: Talk about preparing for ‘Cross season – what’s your training like? How is it different or similar to training for a road or mountain bike season?
Tim: Most of the prep for CX comes before the season starts. We travel and race so often that it’s very hard to make gains in training once the circus starts up. As opposed to a MTB race or even road race – we have to fit a Friday flight, course recon and 2 races into a weekend and then jump back on a plane Monday morning. Truly a busy schedule.
Strava: So 60 hours in 3 weeks is a lot! How does that break down for you this time of year?
Tim: 60 hours IS a lot…when we were planning for this Challenge I was thinking that the 60 hours would be a combination of on the bike work, running, and the unavoidable trainer workouts that come into play with bad weather. At any race day we’re doing almost 4 hours of ride time in some cases.
Strava: What else are you doing off the bike to make sure you’re successful on the bike?
Tim: Nutrition is important to keep it all going. We’re stripping our bodies of everything for that 1hr of high-intensity work, so it’s key to replace it or keep it topped up as best as you can. Bodywork (massage, PT and manual therapy) are called in because of the odd, repetitive motions that we’re doing with dismounts and remounts.
Strava: Any tips for Strava Challenge participants on how to maximize training time (and rack up the hours during the challenge)?
Tim: That’s a question for me to ask them…spinning through the discussion page always amazes me at the time and energy people have to put into their riding with work, family and other obligations. I’d say that the recreational or enthusiast type rider is the person whose brain needs to be picked!
Strava: Cross is known for harsh conditions, what are your favorite conditions to race in?
Tim: I like a nice mud race. It’s always a blast to get out there and be slip-sliding all around. This year has been a wet one so far. Some years we’re dry and dusty, but this year seems to be harking back to the days of old.
Strava: What are your thoughts on UCI Cyclocross World Championships being in US for the first time? Does it tip the scales to an American taking the top spot on the podium?
Tim: It’s an amazing opportunity and something that could really be a once a career event for US riders. Although I hope not. The course in Louisville is very typically American with tight corners, short transitions and the only real question mark is the weather. That time of year could have 60degree days or 15F and an ice-storm. Pretty dynamic and I hope that leaves us relaxed while the foreign riders have to do some real questioning of their equipment and course-knowledge – for once!
Strava: Let’s talk about Suffering. Why is Cross such a suffer-fest?
Tim: I was waiting to get that question…there are a few riders in the top-100 that have a suffer score that’s reasonably high but there are a few way, way back in the standings that will rocket to the top when we’re done with the Challenge. CX is inherently painful, it’s just wether or not you’re for it – or if you’re having so much fun that you’re completely distracted and don’t notice!
Strava: Ok, last one, what’s the highest suffer score you’ve ever had?
Tim: Uh, let me look…pretty high I’d say. I’ve had a few Epic’s…is there anything higher?
First bike? Dukes of Hazard
Current bike? Cannondale SuperX Disc
Favorite bike? Lemond Tete de Course or SuperSix EVO.
Dream bike? Call me crazy but I’ve been looking at those Beloved fender’d bike bikes…
Gels or bars? Rice cakes
Booties or no booties? Booties
Climbing or descending? Climbing
Embrocation or leg warmers? Embro
Fenders in the rain? Amen
CO2 or frame pump? Frame Pump!!
Tubes or tubulars? Both…
Dream ride? Great Ocean Road (w/no traffic) or credit card touring through Central Europe
Dream meal? Since I missed the tasting menu at Il Bulli, I’ll have to make do with a slice walking the streets of Manhattan.
Dream date? Busy later, Jordan? (Who’s Jordan you ask, http://app.strava.com/athletes/30)
The new activity feed is here! We are so excited to share it with you.
This new feed has been cooking for a bit – research, concept testing, beta testing, an early roll-out to Premium users – and now we get to unveil it for everyone. We definitely do understand that your first reaction might be, “Nooooooooo! Give me back my old feed.” Change can take a little while to get used to. So use it for a few days, let it sink in, and let us know what you think. We read every word of feedback.
To help you navigate this new world, here’s a summary of what we did and why we did it.
Grouped feed entries by day: feed entries are now grouped by day, making them easier to scan with date headers at the top of the feed.
Organized activities: the biggest change is a new way of displaying different types of activities. To help with scanning the new feed, we’ve bucketed activities into three categories.
- Interesting – activities that have a achieved a certain distance, elevation, a certain number of achievements, or a lot of social activity include a map and a little more detail.
- Group activities – I think this is the coolest part of the new Feed. Group activities receive a wide-format map treatment and show all participants in the group activity together.
- Less-noteworthy – activities that are very short, like commutes, take up less space and have no thumbnail map.
Grouped Challenges: when friends join a challenge or reach a particular challenge milestone, you’ll see all of those entries grouped together instead of similar/duplicate entries clogging your feed.
Kudos, Comments, and Achievements: note that you can click the Kudos, Comments, or Achievement icons in feed entries to pop open a dialog with more information about who gave kudos, all of the achievements for that activity, and more.
More views of the Feed: as with the old feed, you can view your followers’ activities or just your activities in the new feed, but we’ve also added the ability to view the activities of individual clubs of which you’re a member. Just click the drop-down menu at the top of the Feed to choose your view.
There’s a lot more work planned for the Activity Feed in the future: more ways of organizing information and new Dashboard widgets, as well as making the feed smarter and faster.
As always, let us know what you think! Try it out and share your feedback here.
Want to keep up with all things Strava Run? Check out our new Facebook page, where we’ll be announcing Run Challenges and updates, new features and releases, and highlights and events from the Strava Run community.
Our current Facebook page will be renamed Strava Cycling and will focus on all things Ride. We’ll keep you posted on exciting things happening behind the scenes at Strava on both pages so you don’t have to worry about missing out.
Multisport athlete? Go ahead and like both pages to ensure you’re staying on top of all that Strava has to offer.
Have you joined Cannondale’s Oktoberfest with Tim Johnson Challenge? Are you wondering how in the world you’re possibly going to get all those hours in over the next three weeks?
Tim took a second between races to share a few CX-themed tips for you:
- CX season is all about using the fitness you’ve built during the spring and summer the right way – make it last! If intervals aren’t your thing then don’t sweat it. Bail on the workout and go cruise into (and through) your local trails. CX bikes are meant to be ridden all over.
- Bring a real pump (not just CO2′s). You want to have high pressure for the road on a CX bike, but also may want to let some air out for the dirt/gravel/grass/mud you know you’re going to encounter. It only takes a second and can be the difference between liking it and loving it.
- Looking for an extra chunk of time before the time change? Extend your commuting route to include the path/trail/park/dirt road that MIGHT bring you back out at that road; You know, that road…the one you want to be on to get home… eventually.
- The difference between a CX bike and a road bike is this: a road bike is made for speed and distance. A CX bike is made for speed and discovery. Discovery of a place, a mindset or a pain level! Don’t let me scare you!
We’ve had some solid rides already over the weekend, with over 15,000 hours already logged! What’s your plan for getting the hours in? Cramming some big rides on the weekends? Upping the number of rides per week? Both? Let us know your plans in the comments below!
Your Feed now shows the runs, rides, and workouts of those you follow. With one tap, you can check out your friends’ latest activity details. And one more tap lets you comment on their performance and motivate them with kudos. Toggle from the “Following” to “Me” tab to see your latest activities.
Find athletes to follow directly from the iPhone app too. Go to your Profile to search for friends manually or view Strava athletes who are on Facebook. You can also manage your followers, as well as your Enhanced Privacy Mode settings from Strava.com, and your preferences will sync with your iPhone. Stay tuned – new social features for Android coming this winter!
Please note that due to Apple’s new system requirements, Strava supports iOS 4.3 and higher on iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, and 5, but not iPhone 3.
Bluetooth Heart Rate Support + Premium Features Now Available for Strava Cycling and Strava Run for Android
This latest version now supports Bluetooth Heart Rate sensor data collection from Zephyr HxM devices. This means that both Premium members and free users will now be able to see HR trends over the activity, in addition to elevation profile and performance graphs, letting you stay on top of every element of your training.
In addition, we’re happy to report that Strava Premium memberships are now able to be purchased directly from your Android through the Google Play store. New and existing Premium members can now enjoy and maximize their favorite Premium features on Strava.com and on their Android:
- Filtered Leaderboards – Level the playing field and see where you rank among athletes in your own age and weight class
- Heart Rate Zone Analysis – Dial in to your training and goals with heart rate zone distribution data
- Suffer Score – Determine exactly how hard you’re riding and running and get credit for your intense workouts
- Power and Pace Analysis – Gauge your effort and maximize the efficiency of your training with pace and power zone distribution data
- Advanced Segment Effort Comparison – Compare your efforts and see how you’re tackling the same climbs or tricky sections of road or trail over time. Currently only available for Android.
Today access to Strava.com and uploads from our mobile applications were affected by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the service that hosted our DNS – GoDaddy.com. Our web site and services are hosted by Amazon Web Services, but our DNS was not. When GoDaddy was attacked we immediately began migrating our DNS to another provider. Strava.com, as well as our Strava Run and Strava Cycling apps for iPhone and Android, are already working again for many, but it may take up to 48 hours for all the new settings to take effect for everyone.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this down time may have caused you. Uploads from your Garmin devices and mobile phones should now work although some few may still experience delays.
Thanks for your patience!
It goes without saying that we love GPS at Strava. And over the past couple months, some of our users have gotten seriously creative and transformed their activities into more than the familiar route lines we are used to seeing when we upload. One such user is Chris Phipps, who’s been turning the streets of San Francisco, California into a canvas for his own Strava artwork. Below are some of his great masterpieces, in chronological order and with explanations by the artist himself. Thanks, Chris, for continually upping the game on Strava!
People often ask if I plan these out or not. When the piece includes words I don’t plan because the letters are pretty easy to make, especially since I learned the trick of doing diagonals. However, for pictures such as the Nyan Cat and the Lagunitas IPA 6 pack, I first do a sketch on a printout map of San Francisco, mostly to make sure I don’t run into any parks or schools that block the grid.
It started on January 14, 2012. I was listening to the 49ers vs. Saints playoff game on the radio while riding laps at the polo fields. The 49ers were underdogs, but scored 2 touchdowns in the 1st quarter to go up 14-0, so I was inspired to ride out to the Richmond district and do this.
I received a lot of comments and kudos on the ride, so I did this ride before the NFC championship game vs. the NY Giants the following week.
…But they lost & didn’t make it to the Superbowl, so I didn’t do anything for that.
I didn’t do anything for a while, but during the Tour de France, I was inspired to write “SAGAN” after his stage win on July 3rd.
On the 4th of July, I tried to do a flag, but had to have the stripes go north to south due to the grid layout in the Sunset (a neighborhood in San Francisco, California).
The ride that got me the most kudos and attention was my tribute to David Millar’s win on July 13. Millar replied to my tweet and started following me on Twitter for a while.
Recently, I’m just training in the city and if someone asks me to try something such as Nyan Cat I will. Or if something else inspires me, I’ll do a ride. Last Thursday I found out it was National IPA Day, so that led to the Lagunitas ride. As for future plans, I’m having fun with this and definitely want to try some larger and more elaborate drawings, but probably not until my racing season is over with Masters Nationals in Bend next month.
Feeling inspired? Let’s see what you can do with GPS. Feel free to post your creations on Twitter (use #stravaGPSart) or Facebook. While you’re at it, be on the lookout for more great works from Chris Phipps.
London you say? That’s right. A number of our very own Strava athletes are currently competing on the world’s biggest stage. You may recognize one of them from No One Everyone. Lea Davison will be competing in the Women’s MTN Bike race this coming Saturday, August 11. We caught up with her before she headed across the pond.
Strava: Best part about being in the Strava commercial?
LD: Having the opportunity to show a female ripping around on a mountain bike to a lot of people. Women riding bikes isn’t portrayed in the media that often and it’s great that an empowering, excellent commercial was seen everyday by people who watched the Tour. It’s amazing and a really exciting thing to be a part of.
Strava: What’s the biggest thing on your mind as you head off to London?
LD: The biggest thing on my mind is doing the best I can every day in the preparation time I have left to the Olympic race. This means sleeping well, training hard, and eating well. I am also soaking up and enjoying this entire experience. It’s absolutely incredible and a dream come true. I still have to pinch myself and say, ‘Is this really happening? I’m going to the Olympics.’
Strava: Riding at the highest level of the sport, do you have advice for Strava users and aspiring cyclists looking to improve?
LD: Get out there and train hard! It takes a lot of hard work to get to this level of cycling. Strava gives me the perfect tools to compare my times, see my improvement, and motivate me by competing with other Strava users. Strava is also a great way to track my training and progress.
Strava: What’s the hardest ride you’ve ridden in the past season? The most rewarding?
LD: Two rides come to my mind: I did a killer ride in Santa Cruz prepping for the spring world cup. It was a 3.5 hour ride with three 20-minute climbs at threshold. I was absolutely toasted, and I was able to do it solo (it’s the ride that you guys highlighted for my commercial that I titled Climb, Climb, Peanut Noodles, Climb). The second most rewarding and hardest training day was two days ago. I had a double workout. I did a 2-hour HARD motorpace with my coach in the morning, and our local Wednesday night mountain bike race series at Catamount Outdoor Family Center in the evening. The evening race is about an hour and I was unsure of how I was going to feel because the morning session was very taxing. I ended up feeling fantastic in both workouts and nearly winning the race against all the local boys. It was extremely rewarding because it gives me confidence that I’m right on track for the Olympics and all of my work is paying off.
Strava: What are some of the ways you’ve learned to keep yourself fresh, motivated, and having fun on the bike?
LD: For my approach, it’s really important that I spend time off the bike in the off season to keep it fresh. I spend the fall on Kauai surfing and hiking. I spend the winter in Vermont cross country skiing, which is an extremely important part of my training progression. Nordic skiing whips me into shape. During the race season, I keep it fresh by adding fun mountain bike rides into the mix. Mountain biking is so much fun. I also love to do workouts with my sister, Sabra. We are really competitive and she’s my carrot during hard intervals. I also have blocks of strength training during the season to mix it up and keep my power going.
Favorite race food?
LD: During the race, I take half caffeinated Clif Shots to keep me going. After the race, the food is way more exciting. I love to hit up the local specialties. My favorite so far were the Belgium waffles after the world cup in Houffalize, Belgium. I honestly ate eight waffles over the weekend. The boerwost rolls in South Africa were amazing, and the gelato and panna cotta in Italy was to die for.
LD: The first bike that I can remember was a plastic three wheeler that my sister and I used to rip around the driveway on. My first real bike with gears was a Schwinn.
LD: Riding all of the classic climbs in Europe; Italian Dolomites, Alps, Spain.
Best recovery method?
LD: Soaking the legs in a cold Vermont swimming hole.
Favorite Pro perk?
LD: Getting to ride my bike every day and traveling all over the world.
Best of luck in the race Lea! We’ll be cheering you on the whole way!