How To Use Strava App For Cycling [The Ultimate Guide]

How To Use Strava App For Cycling

I can totally figure out the reason why you are desperately looking for a guide to use Strava app for cycling. The app can be very confusing for someone who is new to this. But with the right guideline and information it can be as easy as using any other applications.

A lot of people usually download the app, but they can not implement Strava specifically for cycling. However, if you patiently go through this article, the procedure of using Strava will be crystal clear. In this article, I will provide you all the necessary details and steps that you should follow to use Strava App for cycling.

In a nutshell, here are the basic 9 steps that you should follow to fully utilize the Strava App. This article will also help you to decide whether you should use Strava for free or pay a monthly subscription. Hence, don’t go anywhere without finishing my entire article:

9 Simple Steps To Use Strava App For Cycling:

Users may face a few difficulties while they using the Strava app. For them here, I make the thing easier by providing 9 simple steps to use Strava app for cycling:

Step 1: Download The App And Sign Up For Free: 

Strava can be downloaded for free in your mobile devices for both Android and IOS. You can also visit their website and register from your desktop. 

They will send you a link in your email to verify your account. By clicking the link you can start experiencing Strava within a few minutes. I will explain to you later on this article, if you should use Strava for free or use a premium account.

Make sure you are giving the right information while signing up. Fill out the sign up form by giving accurate weight, height and date of birth. Strava App will measure the heart rate according to your age and other features of your physique.

Step 2: Customize Your Profile For A Better Look:

After signing up on your mobile devices or on your desktop, you can add your profile picture and also set the name of the bikes you are planning to use for your daily riding.

You will definitely add your friends and family so you can link your outside social media accounts or any other fitness apps for a better experience.

Step 3: Update Your Setting For A Better Privacy And Safety: 

By clicking the privacy and safety tab, you can restrict your personal data which will keep your personal information and location visible to limited people. 

You can always control the audience who can view your scores and location. You can also set and decide if you want your followers to see your activities or any person see your activities on Strava.

Strava records your route and if you want you can share your heat map with other cyclists and help them find the safer and easier route for their desired location.

Strava automatically collects your data and makes the heat map available for the global people which benefits the travel planner but will keep your route confidential for other people to see if you don’t allow it.

How to Plan a Cycling Route?

Step 4: Be Unique And Creative:

If you want to gain more followers on Strava make sure you do something unique and creative to catch the audience’s eyes. You can name the route where you ride and also add pictures which will give your profile an unique look.

 If you miss going out to ride any day you can always update your status by posting on your profile by which your audience will get to know your updates and what you are upto. 

If you have a premium account you can go on the “ Routes Builder Tool” and set your rides even before tracking the distance and time. 

You can also view other people’s routes and see which is the safest route to travel instead of making a wrong turn. 

Strava Art helps you to find your inner artist, your route on the map will be marked with a red dot and you can explore different routes to make your journey look beautiful and creative. 

Step 5: Record Your Ride Using Strava:

It is very simple just go to the Strava app and there you can find ‘Record your Ride’. Just click on the record ride and start riding. Always make sure the timer is on before you start your ride. 

You can see the giant timer and as long as you are riding it will record your journey. Once you start Strava, you can see a green strip at the top of your phone and if you click the green strip it will straight away take you to the Strava App. 

Once you are done with your riding you can stop the record button by clicking on a red stripe. It will record your route and you can name your route and share it with your friends on social media as well on Strava. You can also see all your activities by directly visiting their website.

Step 6: Share Your Routes With Your Friends And Get Popular:

You can not get famous or popular overnight. It always takes time to reach a certain popularity. You can try these ways to get popular which will give you a fun experience using Strava as well as riding.

You should follow your friends/ family and encourage them to download the app for health benefits. Follow other people who follow you back and give Kudos( Strava’s way of giving likes). 

Go on the explore tab and join cycling groups and compare your scores with them. Join different Strava challenges and compete with your friends to see who gets on top of the leaderboard. 

One of the reasons why Strava is so popular with the cycling community is the involvement of the people. The more you get involved with the community you will have a pleasing experience using the app.

You can also share your scores and routes to other social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram so that other people can know you are using Strava.

Step 7: Join A Cycling Community:

The most fun and intriguing part of this Strava app is you can experience riding in a community. If you want to experience riding in a community, join a group as soon as you are done with the basic features.

You can create a private group where you can see how many miles your friends have covered each day. You can have a healthy competition with your friends and try to beat their score by traveling more miles than your friends. You can also create your own crew and compare your mileage with your friends and share the distance on your social media.

Even if you are not riding with your friends together, you can motivate each other by sending messages and greetings which will encourage each other to ride and not skip a day.

Step 8: Keep A Record Of Your Progress:

You can keep a record of your mileage with a premium subscription. The premium subscription allows you to measure your heart rate after you travel a certain distance. 

All these features are available on premium subscription and you can set and tune your mileage and compare them every month with your heart rate. This feature will give the rider a clear idea on the number of miles he/she should cover each month to stay fit and healthy. 

You can also check your heart rate after the completion of each mile. These features will also help you find the number of miles you need to reach your maximum heart rate.

Step 9: Turn On Your GPS And Start Riding :

It is very important to turn on your GPS system on your smartphone to keep track of your progress. On top of all the reasons that are discussed, your safety is one of the reasons why you should use Strava while cycling.

You can turn the GPS on from the app and your friends and family can keep track of where you are heading.

God Forbid, if you ever need any kind of help or in trouble while you are cycling in a wonderful morning, friends/ family can always reach out to you within a matter of time or send reinforcements to rescue you.

Strava Premium Or Free Account: Which One Do You Need For Cycling? 

You can download Strava Free from your smartphones and it is available both on Android and IOS. The free version includes some great features which is enough for a beginner or a pro cyclist to get accustomed to it and make the most of the app. 

However, there is a premium version where you need to sign up and pay a fee for a monthly or yearly subscription. You need to know the amount you will pay for the premium account. 

Strava no longer has different packages for different users. The only subscription they are offering to its users is $6 per month for an annual subscription. 

However, a new user can use the app free for the first two months but the condition is to sign up for a whole year. Unfortunately, the free users will no longer get the privilege to use the popular features like viewing the leaderboards or the route building, but they will be able to see the top 10 leaders on the board. 

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Strava App Vs. Other Cycling Apps: Which Is The Best One For Cycling?

There are many similar apps that people use for cycling and fitness purposes. Some of the notable apps which are an alternative to Strava are Zwift, Cyclemeter GPs, mapmyride Gps Cycling etc. You can always get confused on whether to use Strava app for cycling or these mentioned applications. 

Without a doubt, the Strava app is the best app in the market for cycling and tracking your routes. Strava offers a lot of unique features for your health benefits and it’s the most fun app to use while you are cycling down the mountains. 

Here are some of the features of Strava App that are very interesting to use and gives you a mindblowing cycling experience like no other applications:


The most popular feature of Strava is the segment where you can name the road and create a route for your desired cycling location. Other users or cyclists can try and beat your route by completing as fast as possible. 

This is indeed a healthy competition and fun too. But remember, try not to get too hooked and obsessed, otherwise speeding may cause an accident. This segment is rated from easiest to hardest and is ranked as 4,3,2,1.


‘King of the Mountain or Queen of the Mountain’ is the title given to the fastest rider on the leaderboard. It does not have to be the highest peak of the route, but rather the fastest rider to complete the route. 

The fastest rider will be crowned as the King of the mountain/ Queen of the mountain until and unless a new rider beats his score. It is a very fun way to engage with your audiences/ followers or friends. Do not make this an obsession or a dangerous habit and risk yourself to serious injury. 


Your achievements will be rewarded as trophies or medals which you can share with your followers and also in your social media accounts. Achievements are usually presented by trophies, medals or KOM/QOM. 

As I have told you, as soon as you update your ride on Strava it will be compared with other users. Trophies are given when you stand on the top 10 of a segment and medals are usually given when you achieve the best three completion times for a specific segment.


The feature Flyby helps you to see if you have crossed paths with any of your followers or the person you follow. It all depends on your privacy setting whether you are allowing your location to be seen or not.

This will help you connect with your fellow mates and create a good network with your followers as well as the person you follow.

Suffer Score: 

This Strava feature helps you to compare your heart rate with the maximum heart rate you reach after completing your route. 

This will help you figure out the number of miles you should cover, or the speed you should be travelling by to reach your maximum heart rate. This feature is only available with the premium subscription. 


The app has a leaderboard where you can see your friends score and compare the score with yours. This will motivate you to head out for a good ride of cycling and encourage you to beat your friends and reach on top of the leaderboard.

Even if you are feeling lazy or no matter how the weather is you will automatically prepare yourself to go out and beat your friends score and see your name climbing on top of the leaderboard. 

Related Questions: 

Does Strava Really Work For Cycling?

If your question is to know whether the app will track down your routes, record your data and show your location on the GPS tracker, the answer is Yes! Strava is used by millions of users worldwide for the sole reason to track and record their progress and share the data online with other users. 

Not only this, Strava will show your speed, distance and routes while you are riding. This is a very user friendly app and you will definitely get used to it in a very short period of time if you go through the article properly and follow the guidelines.

How Do I Map A Ride On Strava For Cycling?

It is very easy and simple to map your ride on Strava for cycling and other activities. Click on the icon of the Strava App, you can find a route icon. By clicking on the route icon, you will see a plus sign on the right corner. 

Press the plus sign and a workout session is created. Here, you can position the map however you like and start mapping your ride.

Does Strava Give You Turn By Turn Directions During Cycling?

Strava App’s navigation system is very accurate and here is how you can get turn-by turn directions on the app. If you have already created your route, by clicking my routes on the dashboard of the app you will get navigation while cycling. 

Strava app will also guide you to go back to the starting point. In order to receive the navigation to go back to the starting point, click on the Reroute icon and you will be guided back to the point you started off your ride.

Is Strava Better Than MapMyRide?

A lot of people ask the question whether mapmyride is better than Strava. I will do you a favour by simply breaking down the reasons why Strava App is better. 

Strava App is very user friendly unlike any other apps. You can instantly record your route while cycling while if you use mapmyride it takes a while to record the activity. Not only that you have to press twice to record the activity.

Strava is the most friendliest app in terms of its looks, graphics and the battery life. The app is widely recommended by many users for showing the best time and motivating the users with different trophies and badges. 

Mapmyride has a similar feature but it is very complex and instead of showing the best time, the app shows the number of times an user crossed the route.

Final Verdict:

Strava App is hugely recommended for all fitness lovers and cyclists who would love to travel and workout with some fun features. This is a very fascinating app to use and it helps to connect with new people with similar interests and also keep track of your friends. 
If you find this post helpful or useful, do not forget to support my blog and share it with your friends.

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Shamim Ahmed

My journey with cycling started in 2011 and I have been cycling since then. I am a self-taught bicycle enthusiast who has collected a lot of knowledge about it through the years. On this blog, I share my passion and experiences with cycling, as well as insights and recommendations. This blog is also useful for any riders out there who want to improve their cycling skills and techniques.

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