Review of Strava Pro
Strava has fast become the go to app and website for runners and cyclists, offering a place to log your workouts and also connect with friends or even some pro’s. As with many of these types of service, Strava operates on a freemium model, giving a range of additional functionality for a fee. But is it worth the extra cost? We take a test ride to see…
Without signing up for the Pro subscription, Strava already offers a simple and user-friendly way to both track and analyse your cycling/running activity. It can either work independently on your phone or use a range of other wrist worn or bike-based trackers (full details of compatible devices are available online). For free, users can socialise through the app by giving each other kudos and also explore possible routes (or ‘segments’) nearby that they might want to challenge themselves on. All in all, it’s a really great app for free and as a cyclist myself easily one of the best on the market (although I realise there are a couple more options for runners).
If you’re keen to take the extra step with your training though, the Pro subscription offers some interesting additional features for just £4.49 per month or £44.99 for the year. The extra features in the app include the ability to filter leaderboards according to age and other metrics, setting yourself goals (such as the weekly kms you want to achieve), training plans, realtime segment times and also the ability to see active friends currently out for a run or on their bike. There are also some additional analysis functions you get with a pro subscription, but these require additional hardware – such as a high-end bike computer, heart rate monitor or power meter.
The mobile app (available on iOS and Android) is a relatively simple interface given the the variety of different information it carries, from the start/finish tracking panel to the ‘segment’ explorer and social feed – with more besides. For rides or runs that you’ve completed you can see your speed and elevation changes for free, with the Pro subscription giving access to the additional features already mentioned.
In terms of accuracy, I have never questioned the routes or timings, as with the additional heart rate data I’ve been able to try out. Strava’s website also offers an opportunity to set up routes and new segments that you use regularly or want to try for the first time. All in all, Strava is the best of these running/cycling apps that I’ve tried out — it’s ease of use and insights it gives you make it a must have whether you’re opting for the free version or Pro.
The Strava app is free for both iPhone and Android, so the service it offers without a penny spent is easily worth a download and test. This goes some way to explaining why so many people have already signed up to use the service for free. However, the question is whether the cost for the Pro edition is worth the additional fee? If you’re a keen runner or rider that either trains regularly or is training for an event then I would certainly recommend the additional functionality a Pro subscription offers. Otherwise, the extra’s are a nice to have that build on the already incredibly useful app.
Therefore, whether you’re opting for the free or Pro version of the app one thing is certain: Strava is one of the best options out there. For nothing it offers you a fantastic experience and range of useful tools to track your training, whether it’s on foot or on a bike. The additional features and training plans the Pro subscription offers may be worthwhile for some, but for me at least they are a bonus rather than a must have. So would I recommend the paid for functions, maybe. But would I recommend the app in the first place, most certainly.