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Strava removes segment features for free users

Peter Stuart
18 May 2020

Segment analysis and leaderboard will be only available to subscribers amid landmark changes to fitness app

Strava’s segment leaderboard and segment analysis features will only be available for paid subscribers, as part of a significant overhaul of the training and fitness app which begins today.

This change will mean that from 6pm this evening Strava users must subscribe to view the overall leaderboard, to compare a segment result with any other user, to compare previous efforts or to enjoy segment analysis.

Free users will continue to see their time and the detail screen for segments they have completed, receive achievements for fastest times on a segment (but not view previous times) and see the overall all-time top 10 leaderboard. Free users can also continue to create segments but will have no access to the overall leaderboard on that segment.

‘We’re moving some free things to the paid side,’ says Strava’s UK Lead Simon Klima. ‘Segment leaderboards will be going into the subscription, but just to be clear – segments will still be free for everyone. Competing on segments and analysing them is going to be part of the paid subscription, though.’

Klima describes the change as, ‘Quite fundamental.’ He adds, ‘We’re a small company, we’re still not profitable and we do need to make these changes.’

It comes alongside a considerable revision to Strava’s subscription model.

Summit gone - new subscription package

Where previously users could opt for Safety, Training and Analysis packages, or all three combined within the Summit subscription for £6.99, there will now be only one subscription priced at £4 per month.

The ‘Summit’ brand itself is also disappearing and instead, Strava will be a binary choice between subscription and free.

There are numerous updates that accompany the shift. The Summit tab will change to a ‘Training’ tab with detailed training metrics and there will be a combined key Weekly Intensity and Monthly Fitness figures to track broad training improvements.

Perhaps most significant will be a considerable update to Strava’s Routes platform, though, which will see a route-building platform similar in nature to competitors such as Komoot. Routes will detail terrain type and use Strava’s vast user data to recommend routes for different cycling disciplines.

The Routes platform uses OpenStreetMap, similar to Komoot, and offers three base maps – OSM, standard and satellite. The routes can be exported as TCX or GPX files for use with a GPS computer device.

‘We want to provide as much value as possible,’ says Klima, ‘and we don’t want users to feel compelled to build their routes somewhere else.’

Strava clearly sees the changes as a considerable landmark for the brand’s focus and business model. ‘Our plan puts subscription at the centre of Strava,’ say co-founders Mark Gainey and Michael Horvath in a letter to Strava users.

‘Rest assured that we will always offer a version of Strava for free, and you belong in this community whether you subscribe or not,’ Gainey and Horvath add.

In a first for the brand, Strava will be offering a 60-day free trial for all current free users.

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