Strava unveils new 3D terrain to help with route-planning

The social media platform for athletes also now lets you choose your map style

Strava has released its latest update
Strava has released its latest update
(Image credit: Future)

Strava has unveiled a helpful new tool to improve your route-planning, with 3D terrain view. 

The new feature, which went live on Wednesday (September 22), lets you better visualise the climbs and descents as you map your route on Strava. 

This 3D Terrain View is the latest update for Strava subscribers, along with a new “Featured Map” style, which now lets you customise your map when you upload your ride to the social media platform, allowing you to choose a Black Lives Matter or Pride themed activity. 

Strava says these map styles are part of the “fundamental belief that the platform is a place for every athlete and every athlete deserves to feel safe doing their sport.”

Map styles are free to all users and are available on the mobile app only.  

The 3D terrain feature is available on the website version of Strava, and gives you a better look at the topography and elevation as your plan your activity and runs alongside the Global Heatmap and Personal Heatmaps, which all help you find the perfect ride. 

Earlier this month, Strava finally added the gear options to its mobile app, letting you share your bike, shoes and other kit with an activity.  

Listing your gear has been a long-standing feature of the web browser version of Strava, but the social media for athletes has recently updated the app so you can give more details about your ride from your phone. 

The update went live on September 15, and now lets you add your gear, shoes and bike to your athlete profile. 

You can then gauge the mileage for each piece of kit, helping you to plan maintenance, upgrades, and care of your bike.  

Last year, Strava made sweeping changes in the hopes of becoming a profitable organisation, by encouraging more people to cough up and pay for membership.

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The decision decision to remove a number of free features, including leaderboards and segment analysis, proved controversial, as a Strava subscription costs £47.99 for the year, or £6.99 if you pay monthly. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.