Strava is an amazing free app, and one that I couldn’t live without. The free version works brilliantly and integrates with loads of other free and premium apps to cover most people’s requirements.
Strava Summit adds some important features to Strava. Some of these you can get for free from apps like Elevate and GoldenCheetah or with your bike computer.
The benefit of Strava Summit is that the features are very well thought out and nicely integrated into Strava mobile apps, letting you review your data without have to sit at your desktop computer.
There are three Strava Summit packs; Analysis, Safety and Training. Subscribing to all three (in my region) costs €59.99 a year or €23.99 a year per pack (you can subscribe to each pack separately as they aren’t dependent on each other).
Subscribing to two packs means you get the third for just €12.01 euro or 1 euro a month which may sway your decision to just go all in.
I think it’s a fair price; however I also think that with so many services now available on monthly payments you need to be careful what you sign up for to avoid “Subscription Fatigue”.
There are three essential features that I believe you really need and that aren’t in Strava Free:
Essential Feature Number One: Live Data – Training Pack
Strava free only shows average metrics but I really like to see heartbeat, power, speed, and cadence in real time. For that you’ll need the Strava Training Pack which includes Live Data.
Many computers (For example a Garmin or Wahoo) report live data independently of Strava so if you have one of these you can ignore this requirment.
You can also use the Wahoo fitness app instead of the Strava app to record your activity (and sync it to Strava post ride) again negating the need to rely on Strava for this feature.
Note: I’ve experienced some reliability issues with the latest version of the Wahoo fitness app. It constantly crashes on my Motorola Android G4 so I’ve reverted to Strava Summit Training Pack for now.
Essential Feature Number two: Live Segments – Analytics Pack
This feature shows performance in starred segments in real time against your PR, KOM or friends. It’s the equivalent of “racing for the sign” against your PB or virtual competition.
This is a unique Strava feature and very popular. If you want it you’ll need the Strava summit Analysis pack. (There is also a cut down version of live segments in Strava free which we’ll cover later).
Essential Feature Number three: Filtered Leaderboards – Training Pack
This lets you filter and display your segment performance comparison by age or weight. I’m 60 years old so I’m never going for overall KOM. Comparison with my peers rather than the whole universe of athletes on my ride is REALLY important!
Instantaneous percent grade isn’t available in Strava Free or Summit.
I would also like to see current instantaneous steepness (Percent Grade) included. This has been a feature request for a few years now but still isn’t available on any version yet.
If this is important to you, you can buy a handlebar mounted bubble gauge for $15
Mind you living in Spain which is the most mountainous country in Europe, I can look at most hills and guess the grade pretty well without a computer.
Unfortunately to get my three essential features means buying both the Training and Analysis packs.
Even if I just want Live segments and Filtered Leaderboards I need to pay €47.98 a year which is a bit steep
I think Live Segments is defiantly a training feature so should be in the training pack. But it’s not it’s in the analysis pack!
It’s worth mentioning that a basic version of live segments is available with Strava Free and this may work for you.
Also worth noting is that if you want to use Strava live Segments on an Android or iPhone you’ll need an active data connection. You won’t need this if you use a dedicated computer with Live segments integration.
So having said all that here’s a detailed analysis of the features contained in each Strava Summit pack …