Strava Pushes News/Ads To The Feed

by editors on November 30, 2016


We always hoped the next major advance at Strava would be better, easier ways to message and communicate with people we follow (Strava Messenger?), instead Strava is rolling out what they are calling Beta Clubs. On the surface these “clubs” appears to be nothing more than a news providers. Here’s how Strava is over pitching it:

The Beta Clubs mark the first time that content other than an activity could show up in your feed, which is a big step toward serving every need of the athlete. That’s an ambitious goal, and no doubt we’ll be learning and iterating along the way. But we’re up for the challenge, and these Beta Clubs will help lead the way. Only these clubs can post for now because we trust them to be awesome — they are going to show us and the rest of the Strava community what it means to run a great club. They’ll set the standard, and it won’t be long before we open the ability to post content to all clubs and athletes.

The Beta Clubs include popular media, retailers, and product brands Like Bicycling Magazine, Bike Radar, Canyon Bicycles, USA Cycling, Rapha, Clif, and Competitive Cyclist (that’s just seven of the twenty-seven brands listed). Users can “join” the clubs they want to get news from. Then each time the companies blast out “news” it will show up in the feed between rides.

While getting news from brands we care about might be interesting, this really looks more like a revenue generation play by Strava that will eventually lead to feeds clogged with irrelevant advertising.  We sincerely hope this doesn’t happen, because we really like Strava. It is our Facebook. And if it becomes as annoying as Facebook we’ll be forced to purge it from our lives and that would be a serious bummer.

How do you feel about the new Beta Clubs? Let us know in the comments.

[Link: Strava Beta Clubs

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GoPro Karma: A Drone For The Cloud

by editors on September 19, 2016

GoPro founder Nick Woodman unpacked a drone load of product today (including the companies long-awaited attempt to save the company, the Karma drone) during a press conference at Squaw Valley Resort, California. the list includes a new line of Hero5 cameras and a cloud-based software package designed to make accessing GoPro huge files much easier.

“With these new products, we’re delivering on our promise to make it easy to capture and share engaging stories,” said Woodman. “HERO5’s ability to auto-upload photos and videos to a GoPro Plus account dramatically simplifies mobile, on-the-go editing, sharing and enjoyment. This is a game-changing experience that we will continue to build upon.” Woodman adds, “We’re stoked to launch Karma and show how much more it is than a drone. Karma packs Hollywood-caliber aerial, handheld and gear-mounted image stabilization into a backpack for $799. It’s so easy to use, a beginner can have fun straight away.”

This GoPro Karma will certainly integrate well with GoPro’s line of cameras and looks to be great for people who like getting aerial shots, and the move to the cloud is a step in the right direction as GoPro looks for ways to move past hardware into the digital services business. We just hope the battery lasts longer than 10 minutes. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. For the official word from GoPro, please follow the jump.


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Garmin Fancies Up With fēnix Chronos

by editors on August 26, 2016


Garmin’s top-of-the-line multi-sport watch the fēnix 3 just got a high fashion sibling that looks more a Breitling Chronliner and less like a bloated Forerunner. Sure, the new fēnix Chronos still does all the cycling things that the fenix does. It can pair with your ANT+ power meter, cadence/speed sensors, and heart rate monitor and upload it live to Strava (when paired with a smartphone). It also keeps track of routes,compassing, altimeter, and temperature changes, but this one comes in titanium, steel, and steel with a vintange leather band.

“High-end design meets top-tier performance with fēnix Chronos,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “With luxurious materials and trusted Garmin multisport technology, fēnix Chronos is a necessary timepiece for anyone who wants to remain stylish through all of life’s adventures – whether its hiking through mountains, training for a race, or heading to a formal event.”

As you might have guessed all this fancy comes at a price. The fēnix Chronos titanium with titanium band will cost $1,500 (more than twice the cost of the previous top of the line fēnix 3); fēnix Chronos steel with stainless steel band $1000; and fēnix Chronos steel with leather band will cost $900. The price does include a silicone sport band for when you want to get it sweaty.

We’ve called the fēnix 3 one of the best bike computers you can wear on your wrist, and Chronos looks even better. For the official word from Garmin, follow the jump.

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Strava Update Cuts Echo & RFLKT Support

by editors on June 6, 2016

rflkt_echoIn the latest iOS update to their cycling and running tracking app (version 4.18), Strava has announced that they will no longer support several devices that have worked well with the app in the past saying:

Sadly, we are no longer supporting the following devices: Magellan Echo, Timex Run x50+, Wahoo RFLKT/RLFKT+. Please contact us with questions by going to FAQ & Support in the app.

According to Strava support, users of the RFLKT can still use their devices with Wahoo’s fitness app and then upload to Strava. User of the other devices are out of luck.

“As the Strava app evolves, we continue to assess the work needed to support all the various accessories, sensors, watches and operating systems,” said a Strava representative. “Sometimes, it is necessary to cease supporting some devices so we can redirect those development resources elsewhere. Thank you for understanding, and please reach out to our support team directly with questions and feedback.

Guess the bottom line is, if you’re using any of these devices it might be time to upgrade to something else. . . maybe a Garmin 735xt for instance? If not, then you probably shouldn’t hit the update button.

[Link: Strava Support]

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VanMoof SmartBike Nearly Unstealable?

by editors on May 26, 2016

The Amsterdam based bike company VanMoof is rolling out a new SmartBike that is loaded with so many features that anyone who sees it will want to steal it, but those same features will make that nearly impossible.

And even if a thief is smart enough to get past those features, the SmartBike features a first-of-its-kind “Peace of Mind” guarantee: If the bike is stolen, a recovery team will use the bike’s built-in anti-theft tracking technology to locate and return it to its rightful owner. If it can’t be recovered within two weeks, VanMoof will replace it.

SmartBike preorders can be made at beginning May 31, 2016 for delivery beginning in October. Preorder prices are $1,098 for a 3-speed, and $1,298 for an 8-speed model. Sounds like a pretty good deal, yeah? Follow the jump for the official word from VanMoof.

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Strava Local Brings City Guides

by editors on April 29, 2016

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It’s not going to help us anytime soon, but if you’re a global cycling hipster and you’re planning rides in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Denver, London, Melbourne, Milan, NYC, Paris,  SF, Sao Paulo, or Sydney in the near future, then Strava’s new local guides have you covered. . . at least for helping with a list of the top 10 best rides.

Strava Local combines your favorite routes and destinations with similar activities from our millions of athletes, then distills that data to reveal the best running and cycling adventures in the world.

To check them all out (and we think you should), please click the link.

[Link: Strava Local]

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Pear Sports Coaching Now On Galaxy

by editors on March 7, 2016


Pear Sports, makers of the popular in-ear coaching app for iOS devices, is jumping outside the Apple family with a new app designed exclusively for owners of Samsung devices like the the Gear 2 smartwatch as well as the Galaxy S6 edge+ and Note 5.

Pear’s fitness app mixes in-ear audio coaching programs from leading fitness trainers with a user’s real-time performance metrics to create customized training programs for athletes of all types. Galaxy owners will now have access to their cycling training programs (and other sports that none of us have time for).

“Our goal is always to create a unique fitness option for users through world-class training,” says Simon Sollberger, senior vice president of design at Pear. “Teaming up with a leading electronics company like Samsung is going to elevate that idea exponentially by exposing PEAR to millions of Americans hungry for better workout routines.”

The Pear app is free but customized coaching for their specific interest is extra. Programs range in price from $1 to $30 or can be subscribed to for $4 a month. For a limited time, Galaxy users will receive a three month subscription free, including unlimited access to all of Pear’s custom workouts.

[Link: Pear Sports]

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Garmin Adds Heart Rate to Vivoactive

by editors on February 19, 2016

One of our favorite smart watches, the Garmin Vivoactive, just got a huge upgrade with heart-rate and a completely redesigned case with the new Garmin Vivoactive HR.

The vívoactive HR helps keep track of active moments throughout the day, counting steps and floors climbed, intensity minutes, monitoring sleep and featuring built-in GPS-enabled sports apps for walking, running, biking, swimming, golfing, paddle boarding, rowing, skiing and snowboarding. The vívoactive HR uses 24/7 wrist-based heart rate data to calculate calories burned information as well as the intensity of fitness activities, providing proper credit for users’ array of workouts.

For the official word from Garmin, please follow the jump.

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Garmin Launches Varia Heads Up Display

by editors on January 5, 2016

Garmin’s just announced Varia Vision takes all their cycling metrics and puts them right in your face on a heads up display.

We have a vision for a safer riding environment for every cyclist. A world where cyclists can keep their focus up while staying aware of their stats and surroundings. It’s one more way we’re helping you be better than you were the day before.

Still not sure we like having anything that distracting right in front of our eyes and blocking a third of one eye’s vision, but we’ve not ridden with it.

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Lumenus Clothing Lights You Up

by editors on October 29, 2015

The idea behind Lumenus LED illuminated smart clothing is to light you up when you’re on the road. But it also features a smartphone app that allow cyclist to customize the lighting and let the lights know exactly where you’re going (using some of the lights for automatic turn signals).

“As a commuter cyclist I have felt unsafe for years on the roads, especially during the early morning hours or after sunset. When the sun goes down, my guard has to come up,” said founder Jeremy Wall. “While reflective elements are essential, they require direct light to illuminate them which is often too late. Lumenus blends smart active lighting and 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective, creating maximum visibility in all conditions. Existing safety gear just isn’t cool, so creating pieces that fit your lifestyle off the road, while saving your life on it, is at the heart of Lumenus.”

Wonder if they can add a blinding white flash for cars that get too close. That would be a quality feature. Lumenus is live on Kickstarter. Follow the jump for all the details.

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