Irvine Loop – 09/18/2011

It was a nice day for a ride with cool overcast weather.  I tried some new tracking software called Strava which is available as an app for the Iphone or as a web application for most Garmin devices.  I found the Strava app to be a heck of a lot more accurate than others I’ve tried, like EveryTrail and MapMyRide.

Open the Strava map above in a new window.

EveryTrail doesn’t give you any information about total climbing except when viewed on your iPhone and it’s always different than the other apps (overstated). You don’t get any heart rate data with EveryTrail either.

Open the Everytrail map above in a new window.

MapMyRide has gone through some serious growing pains. Their first problem was the transition from the previous simple interface into the bloated “Web 2.0” format that’s heavy on the CSS and JavaScript side. Their next problem was a buggy iPhone app that would occasionally lose your workout data while you were uploading it, never to be found again. To make matters worse, their technical support team NEVER answered any of my requests for help. So, I would definitely NEVER recommend MapMyRide.

Open the Garmin Connect map above in a new window.

Strava has some cool features that others don’t.  I like how you can create segments of routes and then compete with one another.  And I like that when you add a ride, you can include friends that were with you and see everyone’s results side by side.

Extended features of Strava that require a subscription include heart rate tracking (included free in other services), and some proprietary tools to analyze your workouts.  But considering that tools like this are already included with Garmin Connect (a totally free service), I wouldn’t pay for a subscription. All this said, if I didn’t already own a Garmin, I would probably buy one through Strava because along with your purchase comes a full year of their premium service.

So which of these services is the clear winner?

Even with some of the cool features that other services offer, Garmin Connect still has everyone beat when it comes to raw data analysis. If you’re looking to track an entire group’s fitness activities and create some competition among peers, Strava with the paid subscription is the way to go.