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Advice on Using Strava

wayne93117wayne93117 Posts: 6
edited August 2016 in Road beginners
Newb here trying to figure out the best way to use Strava while I ride.

Do most people just carry their phones in their jersey pockets? Do you sync it with a cycling computer? If so which one works and is reasonably priced?

Lastly, I've heard that you can pre load or use someone else's route in Strava to give you turn by turn while you ride. What computer can do this or is there a way to get turn by turn in your headphones?

Thanks

Posts

  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    I use Strava after my ride, i.e. I download my rides from my Garmin Edge 500 when I get home. You can use a Smart phone but wouldn't think as good as with a dedicated cycle computer/GPS like a Garmin. A more expensive Garmin like an Edge 800 or 1000 I think, have mapping which can effectively give you SatNav on screen, but never heard of getting turn by turn instructions by headphones.

    You could always work out some routes on an ordinary paper map beforehand.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,195
    If you use strava on a smart phone it will kill your battery. I use a garmin edge touring for all my biking which has mapping and turn by turn visual instructions with I believe a audible bleep, I have yet to use this function. Most garmins you can download a route to but again never bothered. I use strava on my phone for any running I do and sync when the run is completed. With the Garmin I sync with my pc whenever I can sometimes it may be a few rides at a time. The only functions i use on the Garmin whilst riding are speed, time and distance.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • I use my Sony smartwatch 3 mounted on my bars, get speed, distance etc. data displayed with the right apps and has Google Maps for directions.
  • Ascot17Ascot17 Posts: 97
    wayne93117 wrote:
    Do most people just carry their phones in their jersey pockets? Do you sync it with a cycling computer? If so which one works and is reasonably priced?
    I start the app on my mobile at the beginning of a ride and put the phone in a pocket or saddlebag. At the end of a ride it syncs automatically to my account.

    Several GPS-based computers will sync with your Strava account. These are listed on the Strava website. These are generally stand-alone devices though- you don't need the phone as well.

    It is not practical to use the phone on your handlebars to display Strava data as you ride - it will kill your battery.

    There is a device called the Wahoo Rflkt that is not GPS enabled but acts as a repeater of the phone data on your handlebars. The phone provides the GPS signal, the Wahoo gives you speed, time etc while your phone display is turned off.
    wayne93117 wrote:
    Lastly, I've heard that you can pre load or use someone else's route in Strava to give you turn by turn while you ride. What computer can do this or is there a way to get turn by turn in your headphones?
    Strava itself won't do this but there is a free Android app called Locus maps. You can export a Strava route to Locus maps, and Locus will give you turn-by-turn directions through tour headphones .
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I used strava on my phone for many years. Id get about 6 hours rides out of it and that was enough for me.

    Start it. Put in pocket. Check out the data at home.
  • shaun668shaun668 Posts: 52
    I use my iphone with strava mounted on a quad lock, safe and secure and no issues with the battery as most of my rides are 2 hours max.. I did a longer 4 hour ride earlier in the summer and used a portable phone charger, I put this in the saddle bag and plugged it into my phone wrapping the cable once around the top of the frame. This worked a treat and had 100% battery life when I got home.
  • wayne93117 wrote:
    Newb here trying to figure out the best way to use Strava while I ride.

    Do most people just carry their phones in their jersey pockets? Do you sync it with a cycling computer? If so which one works and is reasonably priced?

    Lastly, I've heard that you can pre load or use someone else's route in Strava to give you turn by turn while you ride. What computer can do this or is there a way to get turn by turn in your headphones?

    Thanks

    There's several ways to do it. The cheapest (if you have a smartphone) is you download the app to your phone and press start before you ride and then leave it with the screen off in your jersey pocket. That way the battery drain will be minimal.

    If you want data on your handlebars then a GPS cycling computer is best, but reasonably priced can mean anything. I think the Garmin 520 at £190 is reasonably priced, you may not.
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    Wont kill your battery that badly, just depends (as with anytime) how much you use it

    I have a galaxy ace 2 (used solely for cycling) in an arm band on my left arm and use Strava for almost every ride, GPS switched on, i also have bluetooth switched on to connect to my HR monitor and play music for the duration of my rides. Sometimes i need to double check my navigation but other than that the screen stays off for the majority of the ride.

    I was out for 4, 1/2 hours on my last ride with a 30 min coffee stop (paused the music but used the internet) and got back with over 30% of the battery left.

    One point: i've never heard it recommended to use headphones when cycling. (my music comes out of the speakers)
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    mac9091 wrote:
    Wont kill your battery that badly, just depends (as with anytime) how much you use it

    I have a galaxy ace 2 (used solely for cycling) in an arm band on my left arm and use Strava for almost every ride, GPS switched on, i also have bluetooth switched on to connect to my HR monitor and play music for the duration of my rides. Sometimes i need to double check my navigation but other than that the screen stays off for the majority of the ride.

    I was out for 4, 1/2 hours on my last ride with a 30 min coffee stop (paused the music but used the internet) and got back with over 30% of the battery left.

    One point: i've never heard it recommended to use headphones when cycling. (my music comes out of the speakers)
    Are you not able to see your speed, average speed, HR or anything when you are cycling? The benefit I find with a HR monitor is that you can monitor your HR when you are actually cycling.
  • wongataawongataa Posts: 883
    mac9091 wrote:
    Are you not able to see your speed, average speed, HR or anything when you are cycling? The benefit I find with a HR monitor is that you can monitor your HR when you are actually cycling.
    If you use a phone for data logging (eg Strava) and have the screen on so you can see live stats the battery will more die quickly. The screen uses the most battery and you will need the brightness high to have a chance of seeing what is on it in bright conditions which drains the battery even faster.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    wongataa wrote:
    mac9091 wrote:
    Are you not able to see your speed, average speed, HR or anything when you are cycling? The benefit I find with a HR monitor is that you can monitor your HR when you are actually cycling.
    If you use a phone for data logging (eg Strava) and have the screen on so you can see live stats the battery will more die quickly. The screen uses the most battery and you will need the brightness high to have a chance of seeing what is on it in bright conditions which drains the battery even faster.
    Yes, that's why it's much better to have a dedicated device like a Garmin. It's maybe better than nothing having a phone in your pocket and downloading the data later, but I much prefer to able see the data as you're riding, especially HR, speed and cadence.
  • Phone screens just aren't designed to be visible in direct sun while mounted on your bars, cycle computers are.

    If you don't want to run to a cycle computer then phone in your back pocket with something like a Cateye cheap computer on your stem, which is what I used for many years. But yes there is a big advantage in seeing your HR in front of you.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    Yes, that's why it's much better to have a dedicated device like a Garmin. It's maybe better than nothing having a phone in your pocket and downloading the data later, but I much prefer to able see the data as you're riding, especially HR, speed and cadence.

    That's why I use a Wahoo RFLKT. The phone does all the GPS donkey-work using the Wahoo fitness app, but with the screen off. It sends the pertinent data by Bluetooth to the easy-to-see, small, robust, waterproof RFLKT mounted on the bars. 3 hours of use will drop my iPhone 5c by about 20% battery. The single cell battery in the RFLKT lasts forever. Phone gets started, then put somewhere safe (either in my jersey pocket on the road or in a toptube bag on the MTB).

    The RFLKT is configurable in terms of what data is on the screen and you can (although I don't, yet) hook up a speed, cadence and/or HR monitor to the phone and get all the data live on the RFLKT. I used to pair it with the Strava app but this support has been dropped by Strava, but using the Wahoo app makes the RFLKT a much better experience anyway and at the end of the ride I simply upload the workout from Wahoo to Strava and it is all there as it would be if I has used Strava for the recording.

    I realise this is not the be-all and end-all but for me it suffices for now, since I already have an iPhone and the RFLKT was acquired cheap on eBay. It even comes with three mounts, so the stem mount stays on the MTB and the out-front mount is on the road bike (leaving the quarter-turn mount still in the box).

    I'll add that when I first started I just used the Strava app on my iPhone and pocketed it until the end of the ride. This worked well enough for me but I do find having at least basic data on view quite useful (eg ride length, time of day, distance covered etc).
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • mac9091mac9091 Posts: 196
    Are you not able to see your speed, average speed, HR or anything when you are cycling? The benefit I find with a HR monitor is that you can monitor your HR when you are actually cycling.

    Not interested in seeing my average speed or heart rate during the ride. I do have a small computer mounted on my stem to give me current speed and cadence.
  • njd27njd27 Posts: 3
    figbat wrote:
    Yes, that's why it's much better to have a dedicated device like a Garmin. It's maybe better than nothing having a phone in your pocket and downloading the data later, but I much prefer to able see the data as you're riding, especially HR, speed and cadence.

    That's why I use a Wahoo RFLKT. The phone does all the GPS donkey-work using the Wahoo fitness app, but with the screen off. It sends the pertinent data by Bluetooth to the easy-to-see, small, robust, waterproof RFLKT mounted on the bars. 3 hours of use will drop my iPhone 5c by about 20% battery. The single cell battery in the RFLKT lasts forever. Phone gets started, then put somewhere safe (either in my jersey pocket on the road or in a toptube bag on the MTB).

    The RFLKT is configurable in terms of what data is on the screen and you can (although I don't, yet) hook up a speed, cadence and/or HR monitor to the phone and get all the data live on the RFLKT. I used to pair it with the Strava app but this support has been dropped by Strava, but using the Wahoo app makes the RFLKT a much better experience anyway and at the end of the ride I simply upload the workout from Wahoo to Strava and it is all there as it would be if I has used Strava for the recording.

    I realise this is not the be-all and end-all but for me it suffices for now, since I already have an iPhone and the RFLKT was acquired cheap on eBay. It even comes with three mounts, so the stem mount stays on the MTB and the out-front mount is on the road bike (leaving the quarter-turn mount still in the box).

    I'll add that when I first started I just used the Strava app on my iPhone and pocketed it until the end of the ride. This worked well enough for me but I do find having at least basic data on view quite useful (eg ride length, time of day, distance covered etc).

    Another vote for the RFLKT+. Definitely don't bother with any of the stuff about it being directly supported in Strava: the Wahoo fitness app is perfectly good and upload to Strava at the end of your ride is pretty much seamless.

    The one thing it's missing is the live segments feature but I can live without that.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,319
    I used to just set Strava going on a ride, and leave it in the back pocket, but as the iphone has gotten older, the battery life has obviously decreased. I then took advantage of an Aldi offer in the Garmin 25, which will sync automatically with Strava but not drain the battery at all.
    It can also display incoming texts (at least the first few words anyway), and can give turn by turn directions to a downloaded route (although I have yet to use this successfully on Garmin Connect!). It's a very basic unit, extremely compact (about the size of a large watch face) and you can get one for less than £100 - in fact Aldi did them for £80!
    It only mainly gives distance, speed and time elapsed, but that's all I wanted, but I think you can get HRM info if you go for the associated accessories.
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