A new Strava 3D Terrain view option adds another perspective on elevation for subscribers planning new routes in their online route builder tool. At the same time, all users now get full Beacon safety tracking control so our friends & family can keep an eye on us while out training or racing away from home. Strava continues to roll out a number of new features or tweaks every couple of weeks for both paid and free users, with the latest batches also adding more Activity Map view customization and mobile Gear management too.
Strava 3D Terrain Route Builder view for subscribers
Since there’s no hardware involved, Strava regularly drops over-the-air updates to bring new features to subscribers and free users alike. This latest update is just a way to better visualize new routes as you plan them.
Open only to subscribers and only in the desktop online route builder, premium Strava users can toggle a 3D terrain view to get a better sense for the climbing on a planned route.
Obviously, the 3D Terrain Route Builder view feels more dramatic when I was planning a new route in the Italian Dolomites, but even closer to home it gives a good sense of how a gradual local climb rises out of the city in a bigger creek valley.
Of course, it’s also just fun to play with. Create a new route based on an old ride Activity (like this one up the Madonna del Ghisallo climb from Lake Como in Italy) and it’s just another fun visualization tool that might encourage you to go back and try a familiar ride once again.
Activity Map view customization for all
Back in mid-August, Strava added new Activity Map view customization options for paid subscribers that let you change the look of the track on your activity from the typical orange to one of six color range options to highlight the personal stats – Elevation, length Gradient, Heartrate, Speed, Temperature, or ride Time – of any activity.
They also added a new all-black track option for ALL users to show support for Black Lives Matter in your feed.
And now a rainbow Pride gradient will be also available year-round to all athletes who want to show support for the LGBTQ+ community as their activities show up in everyone’s feed.
Mobile Gear management for all
Management of all of your Gear from the mobile app to track the stats associated with each was another recent feature that came directly from user requests. By now, anyone using the latest version of the smartphone apps can go in and add or edit gear from their athlete’s profile page – specifically shoes and bikes to track their usage.
Strava Beacon ride safety tracking for all
The last big feature update is free access to Beacon starting this month, Strava’s live ride tracking link. Promoted as a safety feature to allow friends or family to keep tabs on you when out riding, training, or racing alone since 2016, now it is available free to all via mobile.
Beacon tracking is available in the Strava app when tracking & recording an Activity straight from your smartphone. When you start an activity & activate Beacon, users are prompted to share your position with up to three people from your phone’s contacts.
Beacon lets you automatically update your emergency contacts every time you record a new ride with the app, or send a shareable tracking link manually to let others keep tabs on your active ride while recording.
(Beacon for Garmin & Apple Watch devices will remain subscriber-only dues to added integration support complexity.)
We usually can only speculate about what’s next in Strava’s development pipeline, but this time we have at least a hint of what may come. Apparently, they are beta testing a new “Mute activity upload from feed” feature that will allow users to keep every one of their public activities from spamming the clubs & friends who follow them with every little ride they do.
That might be a nice way to for example allow riders to upload their commutes or regular repeated rides to their own public profile, while reserving the big push out to everyone’s feeds for bigger or more unique rides that you might actually want to share more with friends & your riding clubs. Word is that the test group will run with the new feature for another couple of weeks before Strava decides whether to open up the function to their full audience.