Popular Strava Cycling App Heads Indoors

Committed riders log countless hours spinning indoors on trainers when the weather turns sloppy and cold. Strava, a company whose mega-popular namesake app tabulates and ranks millions of miles ridden outdoors each year, is now heading inside.

The company announced some significant training-centric initiatives this month, including motivational training videos and a partnership with Atlanta-based Wahoo Fitness to provide some added realism and fun to any indoor training ride.

First up is Wahoo’s new Segments App. This app, combined with the Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer device, allows cyclists to simulate any of Strava’s three million mapped segments.

The KICKR Trainer syncs to your iPhone/iPad and the app to create a “route” — the trainer controls resistance to match an elevation profile of a real-world road or trail.

Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer device

It does not come cheap — the tech’d-out trainer costs $1,099. But with it you can spin indoors and the setup simulates the grade of each segment’s climb by making it harder to pedal at a virtual hill. Take your shot at the Alpe D’huez, Col Du Tourmalet, or head south and try Chapman’s Peak. Strava has highlighted fifty-two “classic” cycling segments here.

Segments app

Each activity is displayed as an official “trainer workout” on your Strava activity feed, but things get more interesting within the Segments App as you can race virtually against any position on Strava’s leaderboard, log your performance, and compete against other friends using the app on your training rides.

Secondly, Strava this fall has partnered with Sufferfest to release cycling training videos. Riders indoors can download and view these ride-simulation videos for something to stare at when pedaling a stationary bike.

The videos, which are available to Strava users with a Premium Membership, can offer motivation and some virtual-reality fun. I watched one while visiting Strava headquarters last week in San Francisco. The point-of-view footage was seamless, non-bumpy, and it looked more fun than staring at a wall or a distracting television screen.

Sufferfest video screen shot

The videos are live for Android devices now, and soon Strava will release them for iPhone users. You can download and view the Sufferfest video on a phone or tablet mounted on your handlebars as you sweat and push on an indoor ride. And of course, when you’ve completed the ride you can log it on Strava and show your friends that you’re not letting the weather get in the way of your workout this winter.

—Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.