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Raceshape is now a part of Strava.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

September
2
2014

For quite some time I’ve been using the very cool Raceshape tool, which allows athletes to make very detailed comparisons of their segment efforts with other athlete’s efforts. This tool is helpful because it allows riders to see precisely where they lost (or won) any given segment.

Strava has recently acquired Raceshape’s technology, and Raceshape will be closing down at the beginning of October. The mastermind behind Raceshape, Paul Mach, is now working for Strava, and is the main (only?) software developer responsible for integrating this tool into Strava.

The all-new “Effort Comparison” Strava feature was launched last week, and it’s pretty awesome. From the main ride screen, simply click the segment you are interested in checking out, and when it slides open you’ll see the “Compare” button on the left (click to enlarge):

The new "Compare" button from the main ride screen.

Strava’s new “Compare” button from the main ride screen.

 

You can also access this feature from any segment page, just look for the bright orange “Compare Efforts” button on the right-hand side of the screen.

When you launch the comparison tool, the default view will show your effort from that ride compared to the KOM (or the second place rider if you’re the KOM):

Strava's Effort Comparison tool in action.

Strava’s Effort Comparison tool in action.

 

You can use the slider manually, or playback the “race” with a single button press. As you move the slider the data at the top of the screen reflects the progress, showing the time and speed differences. Very cool. The elevation is shown on the left-hand side of the graph, while the time difference is shown on the right-hand side of the graph. The graph may look dramatic in the above example, but as you can see the time difference was less than 1 second either way. This was a very close “race”!

Not only can you compare your efforts against other athletes (I believe non-premium Strava members are limited to just a single comparison per segment, while premium members can compare up to five efforts simultaneously), you can compare your efforts against any of your previous efforts. This functionality was not present on the Raceshape site, and is a great addition to the product! Check it out (click to enlarge):

Here I'm comparing my three best efforts on a segment.

Here I’m comparing my three best efforts on a segment.

 

It’s interesting to note that my October effort started strong, but I petered out compared to my June effort (I was in much better shape in June 2014 than I was in October 2013). I beat both of those attempts about a month later by a pretty significant margin.

Another cool addition to Strava’s implementation of the Effort Comparison feature is that you can filter (see the above screenshot) by “Overall”, “I’m Following”, “My Clubs”, “My Results”, “By Age” and “By Weight”.

While I loved the Raceshape site, I’m very happy that all the functionality present there (along with even more features!) are now seamlessly integrated into Strava. Good stuff.

John Stone Fitness Comments

4 Responses to “Raceshape is now a part of Strava.”
  1. I had no idea that tool was available…very cool. The only thing I can’t quite tell for sure is when you are comparing to aonther rider and there is a negative or positive time next to their name which one denotes that they are ahead or behind you at that point in the segment. For instance I compared our mutual KOM on the Ponkan Loop and at one point it showed a -20 next to your name over on Kelly Park Road. Would that mean you were 20 seconds ahead of me at that point or 20 seconds behind?

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    • Hey Paul, the time next to the rider’s name indicates how far behind or ahead he or she is relative to you. So on W. Kelly Park you were 19 second ahead of me, and by the time we hit Ponkan I’d caught you. Pretty obvious you had winds out of the west when you rode, and I had them from the north. 🙂

      You’ll notice that the lines on the graph are color-coded, and the graph line colors correspond to the border color around the rider icons. On the right-hand side of the graph you’ll see the baseline effort is labeled “You”, and then all other riders are shown relative to that.

      If in doubt, just zoom in on the map, and manually move the slider: you’ll see that the rider icons on the map move relative to the position of slider, so you can see who is ahead or behind that way, too.

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  2. Okay…makes sense. I don’t have Strava Premium so some of the features you are talking I did not see, but I’ll check it again. Of coure the other possibility would be I went out to hard and had to use Rock Springs to recover a bit while you paced better, caught me, and then amazingly we finished off Ponkan neck and neck. Also, weighing 20+ pounds more undoubtedly took more out of me on the two sharper hills in the first half of the loop again having to use Rock Springs to recover a little. Either way, pretty cool to see how it played out, and then having the exact same time for the top spot. I’m going to enjoy sharing the KOM as long as I can because I have no doubt your next attempt will reset the bar!!!

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    • I believe (but am not 100% sure) that all of those features are available to everyone. I think premium only adds the ability to compare multiple riders at once.

      Yeah, that’s a good point about pacing. The power meter is great for that, and I definitely focused on holding a little over 300 watts for the whole segment. That very well could have been why I caught you. I honestly don’t remember what the wind was like when I rode it, so I was speculating above.

      Speaking of wind, one of the things I like about this particular ~8 mile segment is that it runs in all 4 directions pretty much equidistantly, and so it’s more about power and endurance than hitting the segment when the wind is blowing the right direction. 🙂

      There are about 4 or 5 of us primed to raise the bar. Things are going to get good now, I think.

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