Strava moves overall leaderboards to subscriber-only feature

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Rachael Gurney's picture

Rachael is happiest on two wheels, she's been riding bikes for a good few years now after horses got too expensive! Partial to a race or two Rachael also likes getting out into the hills with a big bunch of mates. She's been writing for publications such as, Enduro Mountain Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking UK, Bike Radar, New Zealand Mountain Biker and was also the online editor for Spoke magazine in New Zealand too. For as long as she's been riding and is equally happy getting stuck into a kit review as she is creating stories, she also coaches mountain biking and when she's not busy with all the above she's serving coffee from a horse trailer!

9 comments

1 month 3 weeks ago

Can I take credit for the Matched Rides feature?  I suggested this on their support forum years ago, and kept getting emails notifying me that other users had voted for the same enhancement.

The issue is that the basic service was very good - segment performance and ride analysis.  Even though I was a subscriber it was hard to see the value added.  But the company has to be profitable, so I hope enough users make the leap.  At the end of the day, its a good service, I've enjoyed it and I think its motivated me over the years.

The question now is, as no longer so bushy-tailed, is that I've gotten slower and it gets a bit demotivating to see just how much slower I am now vs 6 yrs ago.  I'll see how it goes, and consider subscribing again if I miss it.

1 month 3 weeks ago

kil0ran wrote:
Fail to understand why segment leaderboards are expensive to maintain. I guess I'll see if I miss them enough to subscribe.

Exactly (on both points). Leaderboards are not expensive to maintain, it's inherent in saving the segment data in a database, which is, err, what Strava does. I'm not complaining, they need to make money so it's up to them as to what they charge for, and how much. This point is spin however ! They want to charge for this feature, and that's fair enough, they don't owe us anything (also they don't need to re-dedicate themselves to us, or anything like that either). Anyway, I enjoy using Strava, and will see how the revised version affects me. Maybe I should have subscribed anyway, even though I don't absolutely require the former paid-for features, just to support the platform, which I do enjoy using.

1 month 3 weeks ago

Death By Suscription.

There are now so many services that are trying to convice you to shell out for something that "costs as much as a couple energy bars" it becomes a massive drain on your disposable income.

While I understand that they need to make money to survive, this just isn't worth £50 a year to me just to be able to plan routes when I can do this for free on the Garmin Connect web page. The idea of paying to see who is the quickest on certain segments is comical IMHO.

£10 a year and I'd think about it, but so many of these services massively over-value their worth. Even if I used every single feature on the web site I'd struggle to find £50 of value, for the one or 2 features that I actually use it's just not worth it.

1 month 3 weeks ago

Strava seems like the Platform that just likes to remove features rather than give their users more. Last there was the removal of external sensors such as HR monitors for recording activities in app and now they're just moving standard features to their premium tier.

I understand that the company needs to turn a profit but removing features just to charge for them instead isn't a very good way to do it, it's just going to annoy their userbase.

1 month 3 weeks ago

As far as I know the only way they've been able to monetise their data is by aggregating it for sale to transport planners. It's not surpising they're looking at how to encourage subscriptions. I've found the free version very good and haven't previously been tempted to upgrade. However, overall leaderboards and historic comparisons for segments are features I'll miss and they're not available in free rivals such as Endomondo.

1 month 3 weeks ago

The problem with Strava (and many other web start-ups) is that the step from 'free' to 'paid' is too big for the extra value gained.  I have used Strava for 5 years and get massive value from it - and am perfectly prepared to pay for even the entry level (actually I just signed up even though I don't need any of the features) - but at £48/year that is over half what I pay (£80) for 5 full Microsoft Office licenses and 5TB of cloud storage (please don't turn this into a Microsoft rant thread - I am just comparing value).  I had a similar issue with Dropbox who want £96/year for their lowest tier.

The only app that ever got this right for me was the original WhatsApp at $1/year and no ads.  Perfect and then Facebook bought it because it was too successful so now they get nothing from me (except possibly my data angry). These websites with huge numbers of users need to provide a cheap and cheerful entry level.

So here's the suggestion (and not just for Strava).  A low initial entry tier in the region of £10/year and a very restricted free offering (for example you can only see one year of your data or something).

1 month 3 weeks ago

Sensor sync back? No? Then it's still useless.

1 month 3 weeks ago

My suspicion is that people who actually need data analysis will already be using things like Training Peaks/SufferFest/Golden Cheetah to do proper analysis and structured workouts, and that for the average person (even the average quite keen club rider), leaderboards on the daily commute and weekend coffee runs aren't going to be worth £50/year.They're fun to have, for sure, but don't really add much to the actual riding. I'm also interested to know how many of the features (i.e. heatmaps, the HR->effort estimates, routing suggestions, leaderboards) actually rely on lots of people using the app - I'm not sure I'm happy to feed a company all that data in exchange for...a pretty list of my rides that a bike computer already provides.

I also suspect GarminConnect will see a lot of Strava segments being recreated as Garmin segments, since Garmin users currently get 'free' access to basically all of these features on Connect by dint of owning a Garmin. A garmin Bluetoothed to a phone already does Beacon (for free), and if a Garmin head unit lasts ~5 years it'll be cheaper to buy Garmins and use Connect for looking at data, than it would be to subscribe to Strava.

1 month 3 weeks ago

Fail to understand why segment leaderboards are expensive to maintain. I guess I'll see if I miss them enough to subscribe. Used to be a subscriber in the pre-Summit days but my riding has changed and I don't need all the features like HR & Power. What I'm enjoying in lockdown is the increased amount of social interaction between athletes so I'll see how that's impacted. Overall, services have to find a way to make money or die, and in the subscription economy the only thing that matters is customer service, something that Strava haven't been that good at over the years