Seven amazing things you didn't know Strava could do

We all spend too much time on Strava than we should, but I bet there are still a few tricks you didn't know it had up its sleeve

1. Strava Local

strava local london to brighton route

Strava Local picks out the best of the local roads

New to a city and want to find the most popular local loops? Then Strava Local is your friend. These city guides are now available for 12 cities across the world (including London), with local experts taking the data from over 38 million activities to map out the best routes and cafe stops.

>>> Seasoned Strava artist reveals his latest masterpiece

For London there are currently ten different suggested cycling routes, ranging from a testing 67km route around the Surrey Hills to the iconic London to Brighton Return, starting and finishing in Richmond Park. What's more, each route comes with a recommended cafe stop (or three), so you're never going to go hungry on your ride.

2. Top Stops

Strava Top Stops

Top Stops tells you the best places to grab a coffee or rake in the Instagram likes

Although Strava Local gives a handful of London cafes for you to get your teeth into, it's not quite on the same level of Top Stops, a Strava Labs project currently only covering the area around San Francisco.

>>> What's the best coffee to have at your mid-ride cafe stop?

This map takes stops of over two minutes on Strava activities and matches them to Foursquare venues, creating a map of the most popular places to stop on rides. So this can mean cafe stops, places to meet for a ride, or just good views that warrant a couple of minutes stood at the side of the road to take a photo and upload it to Instagram.

3. The Clusterer

strava the clusterer regents park

Mid-afternoon is the best time to avoid the crowds in Regents Park

However, if you're the sort of rider who would prefer to avoid the crowds, then why not check The Clusterer, a project that brings together similar routes of similar distances, and shows you the most popular time of day, day of the week, and month of the year for each particular route.

>>> Everything you need to know about Strava Live

This means that if you want to ride a popular route but don't want to do it with hundreds of other cyclists, then you can click on one of the routes, see the days and times on which its most popular, and plan accordingly.

4. Route Builder

strava route builder

Ok, so you probably did know that you could create routes on Strava, but you might not realise quite how clever the route builder. While other similar systems simply pick the shortest route possible between two given points, Strava uses its huge amount of data to direct you along the most popular roads, making sure you get the best ride possible.

>>> Now there's a route planner for lazy cyclists

What's more, if you're feeling a bit lazy then you can always click the minimum elevation option to create a route that avoids the hills as much as possible. The only thing we need now is a maximum elevation option for when a big day of training is on the agenda.

Who are the 10 best riders in the world right now?

5. Flyby

strava labs fly by

Flyby lets you see who else is out on the road at the same time as you

Want to know who that guy is that always overtakes you on the morning commute? Or the name of the new rider on the weekend club run? Well you can, just by clicking on the "View Flyby" button located just below the name of your ride, which will take you to a list of riders who were riding on the same roads as you at a similar time for any given activity.

>>> Six underhand ways cyclists make their Strava rides look better

What's more, Flyby can offer a great ego boost if you're overtaken towards the end of your ride. A quick look will tell you that the person who overtook you had only left home five minutes ago and was only riding ten miles anyway, so you can still hold your head up high.

6. Suffer Score

nicholas roche strava suffer score

Suffer Score lets you compare your suffering with the pros (Photo: Watson)

If you have Strava Premium then you'd have seen the Suffer Score that is attributed to each of you activities, but what does it actually mean? Basically this analyses the amount of time that you've spent in each of your heart rate zones to put a number to the level of suffering that you've gone through to finish a ride.

>>> Who holds the Paris-Roubaix Strava KOMs?

The great thing about this is that because it is based on heart rate and not power, it allows you to compare your level of suffering to what the pros go through on a Tour de France stage. So in your head at least, you've had some of the experience of being a Tour rider.

7. Fitness & Freshness Graph

strava fitness and freshness graph

The fitness & freshness graph lets you track your progress over time

If you want to take a more scientific approach to your training, then Strava is offering more and more tools for detailed analysis. One of the best is the Fitness and Freshness chart, which is similar to the Performance Management Chart offered by Training Peaks, and tracks your fitness, fatigue, and most importantly form over time.

>>> Cycling training plans: get fitter, ride faster and go further

Best used in conjunction with a power meter, this tool allows you to balance your training with that vital recovery to make sure you hit your target events in the best shape possible, and also lets you compare yourself to see how you stack up compared to previous years.

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