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):
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):
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):
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.