Imagine the blog post. Strava vs MapMyRide, in some sort of app-ocalyptic battle to establish which is best ride tracking software. A fight to the last
breath gpx waypoint. Well, ideate no longer. This is that blog post.
And I can save you the trouble of reading it: Strava is better than MapMyRide. Considerably better.
It looks better. It is easier to use. It smells better*.
(*Okay, slipped that one in. They smell the same.)
For 99% of use cases, Strava provides a better experience, with the ability to record, store and then present back to you more interesting data.
The reason it is not better 100% of the time is because, yes dear reader, I am fallible, and it’s possible that I’ve missed off a crucial use case. No doubt that person will let me know in the comments.
Quick Recap Of What Strava and MapMyRide Do
Both Strava and MapMyRide are based on a similar principle.
You take a GPS device out on your ride to capture where you went. When you’re done, the route and performance details are uploaded to the relevant app, where you can browse, analyse and share with friends.
Over time, the features offered by both apps have broadened to include:
- Social-style activity feeds
- Route planning
- Training programmes
As is c’est normal these days, both MMR (we rilly wanna save those fingers) and Strava have paid subscription versions. The free version in each case offers only the bare minimum in terms in of features.
Now. Let’s run through the things that matter when making your selection.
What Is The Best Bike Computer For Strava Or MapMyRide?
Well this deserves a full post of it’s own, which I’ll write at some point.
In the meantime, I use the Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt. Wahoo is very much ‘software-first’, so the integration with popular ride tracking/training apps like Strava and MapMyRide is pretty seamless.
Garmins work fine as well, syncing via the Garmin Connect app. If I was thinking Garmin, I would go for the Edge 830.
The Pursuit of App-iness
My comparison is based on the following criteria:
- Website Design
- Smartphone App: Is There One?
- Smartphone app: Usability
- Competition And Challenges
- Route Mapping
- Data Sensors
- GPS Device Compatibility
- Do Strava and MapMyRide Sync With Zwift?
- Training Analytics
- Premium Features & Cost
- Third Party Applications
- Strava vs MapMyRide: And The Overall Winner Is…
Let’s dive straight into the detail.
Yes, I know we’re all ‘mobile first’ these days. And I’ll be honest, I interact most with the website version of Strava when I’m writing posts for this blog rather than day-to-day ride recording, analysis and ‘social’.
But the website design speaks to a key fundamental difference between Strava and MapMyRide.
It looks like development on MMR stopped in about 2013 (which is coincidentally-not-coincidentally when Under Armour – they of the magnificent tight undercrackers – bought it).
The MMR website feels tired and old. In the free version, most screens feature display adverts. The ride details screen is messy and, bluntly, corrupted in places. Text extends beyond where it’s meant to go. There are broken image icons. I tried it in both Chrome and whatever Microsoft calls its new browser and both present the same issues.
The MMR app is somewhat better (although, again, the free version has adverts) but, overall, the design issues speak to a lack of investment and harm my enjoyment of using the tool.
The Strava website, on the other hand…. works. It’s not exactly super clean in design terms. It has to strike a balance between white space/modern icons and actually showing all the information/data that cyclists and other users (ha, “other users”!) want to see about their rides/activities.
Once you get the hang of where everything is, the Strava website is pretty straightforward to use. It at least looks like they’ve invested some cash in development over the past few years!
In terms of functionality, both systems follow a similar approach with their websites. Once you’ve logged in, you’re presented with a dashboard where you can do various things.
Strava’s dashboard is dominated by the ‘Activity Feed’, where you can see the latest rides (and runs) of you and the people you’re following. There’s a bit of bumf about your own recent ride stats in the left hand side bar (for luddites that still use a computer to access the internet and therefore have a viewing area wide enought to see it).
MapMyRide focuses more on your own recent performances, with the initial dashboard showing your rides or other activities in the current month. This is either presented in a daily calendar format or as a list of activities.
Smartphone App: Is There One?
MapMyRide is available as both an iOS and Android app.
In terms of ‘wearables’ (not a term I feel comfortable using as a 41-year-old), you can have it as an app on Apple Watch, and devices (smartwatches I guess) that use Android Wear or Samsung Gear.
Strava is pretty similar. There are Android and iOS apps, as well as Apple Watch, Android Wear and Samsung Gear.
Those are the main app platforms. So far, so similar. We’ll call it a draw.
(Note: in this section I’m talking about platforms where there is a native app – for viewing historic activity, progression over time, etc. I’ll deal with compatible external devices – GPS bike computers and sports watches – for recording and then (easily) uploading ride data, later in this post).
Smartphone app: Usability
Here I can only speak to the iPhone app. So sorry. I only have one phone.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the iOS and Android apps are similar if not identical. If you have an Apple Watch or some other ‘wearable’, well, you’ll just have to take your chances.
The MapMyRide app is definitely more attractive than its website sibling. It’s hardly cutting edge in terms of design though (whether you want it be is perhaps a moot point). I suppose it does the job. The free version stil has adverts though (I can’t complain too hard – there’s probably a display ad just below this paragraph…).
When you open the MMR app it defaults to the ride-tracking page. You hit the big green ‘Start Workout’ button and you’re away. Strava, on the other hand, starts with the Activity Feed. You would click over to the ‘Record’ page to, er, record an activity directly with the app.
Through various buttons and sub-menus, Strava does a good job of providing much of the website functionality within the app. Some of the detailed analytics are only available on the website. The MMR app probably has it easier – the content of the website is more limited; I reckon all of it is accessible via the app.
To be honest, determining which is the better smartphone app is essentially working out which is the better software tool. Which is Strava.
Competition And Challenges
For many, a big selling point of Strava is the ability to compare your performance over a particular course (or ‘segment’ in Strava-code) with everyone else on the system (including professional cyclists).
Even if you’re not particularly competitive, it’s surprisingly interesting to compare your times with others, as well as tracking your own progress as you train more.
To reward consistency and effort, Strava has ‘Challenges’. (Surprisingly appealing) digital finishers badges are awarded if you meet the criteria for that challenge (e.g. ride 1,000 miles in January).
MapMyRide also features a competitive element but these are focused around the challenges only.
MMR used to have league tables for courses and segments but I remember it being very muddled (fr’instance, you got more points for riding a given course more frequently). These have gone. Challenges it is.
That said, right now I can see a grand total of two challenges that I can sign up to (and both of them involve running?!). Which is not that appealing.
Strava on the other hand has loads of challenges. Some are its own. Some are being run in conjunction with brands and other organisation. There are plenty of riding challenges (and, yes, loads of non-bike activities).
Winner: Strava – it has a much broader range of interesting challenges, with new ones coming online throughout the year; MMR no longer even tries compete on the ride segment front – the feature has just gone.
This one is complicated slightly by where it falls as a paid/non-paid feature.
Route creation on Strava, whether that’s on the website or app, is a Premium feature (so you’ll have to have a paid subscription).
On MapMyRide you can create routes on the website using a free account. If you ‘Go Premium’, then you get access to ‘Route Genius’ on the app, which creates a circular route for you, based on the distance you put in.
The Strava app is similar, although in addition to distance, you can also specify how much elevation you want and the road surface (any/dirt/paved). It throws out three options, each with an estimated ride time (or run/walk time).
On Strava you can also draw your own route on the map. You squiggle your finger around in the general direction of where you want to ride and the app will snap to the nearest suitable roads that approximately fit your squiggle.
I could spend ages talking about the usability of each tool but it’s sort of irrelevant. There are plenty of route creation apps/websites that are certainly better than the MapMyRide web version (which again looks like it hails from 2013).
Strava is better but I still prefer RideWithGPS (I use the free version). Routes created on RWGPS show turn-by-turn directions when I upload them to my bike computer (I mentioned the
The main reason for caring about route creation in either Strava or MapMyRide, over dedicated route creation apps, is about route discovery. Strava is better for this.
Strava auto-route-creation is based on the ride data of all its users (on the basis that cyclists will tend to use the best, safest roads in a given area, rather than riding down a motorway/highway/autobahn).
Bluntly, Strava has more of this data than other apps (it used to sell it as a product to cities and other interested parties). I therefore have more confidence that the routes it creates stand a better chance of being suitable for riding on.
On a more personal level, the majority of times that people have shared or suggested a route to me, it is via Strava (I can ‘Star’ someone’s saved route and it appears in my list of routes). No one has ever offered to share a route with me via MapMyRide.
(Though, as mentioned, I recommend RideWithGPS from a pure route creation usability perspective).
This is only really relevant if you are using Strava or MMR with your smartphone on its own (i.e. using the smartphone as the data capture device rather than recording your ride with a bike computer or a sports watch).
Let’s start with the simple one. The MapMyRide app will connect directly with a Bluetooth heart rate strap/sensor (strictly, a Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE heart rate monitor).
It won’t connect directly with other types of BLE sensors (like speed and cadence sensors, power meters etc) because this functionality was removed from the app earlier in 2020.
It will, however, connect with Under Armour ‘Connected Footwear’ (“sneakers with Bluetooth”) should you have an irrational desire to run somewhere for fun (as cyclists you should not).
For Strava…. it’s complicated.
You used to be able to connect external sensors directly to the smartphone app, both Bluetooth and ANT+ (assuming your phone supported it). In late 2019 they removed this from the app (external sensors caused the app to crash, apparently).
Then, in September 2020, Strava started reintroducing BLE heart rate sensor support for some users of the app.
So, if you randomly find yourself in the beta subset with access to this feature, you have BLE HRM support. If, like me, you don’t, well… you don’t.
GPS Device Compatibility
Most people reading this blog will be rocking a bike GPS device to accomplish all their ride recording requirements (and if you’re not, I heartily recommend the
In order for a ride tracking and analysis app to be of any use whatsoever, you need to be able to upload data to it. Ideally in an easy and automated fashion.
These days (the ‘mobile first era’), most bike GPS devices (and sports watches, if you’re that way inclined) have a dedicated smartphone app. Garmin has Garmin Connect, Wahoo ELEMNT devices are managed with the, er, Wahoo ELEMNT app. Etc.
The process for getting ride data into either MapMyRide or Strava is:
- Step 1: Make sure that your GPS device app is connected to the MapMyRide/Strava app;
- Step 2: Upload the ride data to your GPS device app;
- Step 3: MMR/Strava makes nice with said device app and the ride data syncs between the two.
Step 1 should only need to be done once (although, PSA time, sudden syncing issues can often be resolved by disconnecting and reconnecting the two apps).
Step 2 in most cases is automated once you hit ‘End Ride’ on your GPS device.
Step 3 is definitely meant to be automated.
Long story long: you need to check that your device platform can sync with MapMyRide or Strava.
On the face of it, Strava has more of these available connections:
BUT the thing is, all of these ‘Get Started’ buttons on Strava are links to support posts that essentially say, “Go into the other app. Enable syncing with Strava.”
It’s the same with the MapMyRide screen. They just have fewer buttons/help posts:
As you can see at the bottom, I’ve connected my Wahoo Fitness account (which I did in the Wahoo Fitness app). This wasn’t originally a button on this screen.
Long story longer: it all depends on your GPS device and whether the developers of the related app have chosen to use the Strava/MMR API to install a ‘data pipe’ (technical term) back to your chosen ride analysis app.
Finally, if by some freak occurrence you can’t find an app-based route, you can always go old school and ‘physically’ upload the ride data file.
Both Strava and MapMyRide allow you to upload .fit, .tcx and .gpx file types directly into the app. It’s probably easiest done using a computer rather than on your phone. But then I am a middle-aged luddite and do not understand these things.
Winner: Strava (on the basis that it feels like a greater number of other apps sync back to them; in practice, there’ll be a solution for getting most devices to sync into MMR as well, so probably not a major deciding factor).
Do Strava and MapMyRide Sync With Zwift?
Whilst I have done the odd session, I am by no means a Zwifter. If this is going to play a key part on your app selection, I’d suggest doing more research elsewhere (or just trying them out).
However, like the GPS devices mentioned above, Zwift will sync rides undertaken on the platform with both Strava and MapMyRide.
The fact I see so many Zwift rides from people that I follow in my Strava feed suggests it’s pretty straightforward.
I can see from the Zwift website that MapMyRide works in the same way. In addition to the session data (time, distance, cadence, whatever), Zwift also uploads images from the ride (of your avatar riding riding in virtualspace; not a sneaky pic secretly taken of you sweating in a garage).
To use the technical sports science term, Strava has a metric fugload of analytics (perhaps I exaggerate). MapMyRide does not.
I’ll save a full breakdown of all the different Strava graphs and charts for another post (on the basis I might have used up my annual quota of words in this one already).
As a taster, you can analysis your fitness level over time, the amount of training stress resulting from each ride, and your weekly training intensity trend.
Hmmmmm, smell that rich, rich data…
It’s generally all quite useful, interesting and, most importantly, you can use it to make informed decisions about your training.
Be aware that the majority of the tools that fall into the data analytics bucket are paid premium features (but then so are many of the more limited features on MMR).
If you are into this sort of stuff (humour me, I’ll assume you are), then Strava will be right up your strasse.
Premium Features & Cost
In my humble opinion, getting a good ride tracking and analytics app/tool is worth paying for. I pay for my Strava Premium membership (and have done for many years). I have not bought the MapMyRide ‘MVP’ membership.
This either tells you the whole story (I’ve voted with my very-difficult-to-get-at Yorkshireman’s wallet) or that I haven’t given MapMyRide a fair crack of the whip because I’ve not tried out the premium features. There, I’ve saved you need to make this point in the comments.
It is certainly the case that the paid version of MapMyRide is cheaper than Strava Premium.
MapMyRide will cost you $5.99 (US) / £5.49 (UK) a month or $29.99 / £27.99 a year.
Strava Premium will set you back $15 / £12 a month or $60 / £48 annually. At least Strava acknowledges that cable hasn’t (yet) gone to parity (Google it).
I don’t know whether a 60-66% annual discount tells you these companies expect most people to cancel after 5 months…
Anyhoo, MapMyRide ‘MVP’ members get:
- No ads
- Live location tracking (for friends and relatives to ‘dot watch’ whilst you’re out on a ride)
- Various additional analyses (heart rate, power, cadence)
- Cycling training plans
- ‘Route Genius’ – the mapping feature that automatically generates a route based on how far you want to go
- Interval training with audio prompts (I think this is more a running feature)
As a Strava Premium member you get:
- More detailed league tables for segments (which used to be a free feature)
- Heart rate and power analysis
- Route planning
- ‘Beacon’ (live location tracking for friends/relatives)
- Personal heatmaps (see where you ride a lot by different coloured roads)
- Route planning
Really, as a result of the changes that Strava introduced in 2020, Strava is now a paid tool. To me, the free features (activity recording, the ability to upload rides and the social feed) are just tasters. By all means try them out to see if you like the look and feel of it, but it’s the features when you subscribe that provide the value.
MapMyRide on the other hand, whilst less ‘feature rich’ overall, is less skewed towards the paid version. You can use the free version to benefit your training without necessarily needing to upgrade (if stats and amateur science are not your bag)
Winner: It depends… MapMyRide is cheaper. Strava gives you far more if you pay (on the basis they give you very little if you don’t). Call it an unsatisfactory draw?
Third Party Applications
I mentioned the Strava API (Application Programming Interface, er, natch?) above.
Well, (I think) anyone with a computery mindset can use it to have a go at making something that sort of links in with the app for the benefit of users.
There is a rabbit hole you can descend which is occupied by the weird and wonderful “sub-apps” and integrations that companies and people have created with Strava. A whole eco-system of the stuff.
I have just returned from my trip down said hole.
Two that I use:
- Veloviewer – provides extra ride analysis and visualisations (of climbs for instance):
- Klimat – automatically adds weather and air quality data to each ride I log on Strava.
(As an aside, and related to the GPS device stuff above, one of the rabbit hole burrows is entitled ‘Data Importer’. You can look here to find less common data/training platform apps to help you sync data with Strava.)
Winner: Strava (I can’t see that any of this third party developer activity goes on in MMR world)
Strava vs MapMyRide: And The Overall Winner Is…
Obviously this is my personal opinion. Obviously I am biased.
I prefer the design of both the Strava app and website – I find both interfaces very easy to use.
The competition element is easy to understand and is more credible (the best cyclists in your local area are more likely to show up on Strava than MapMyRide).
The community on Strava is more vibrant and active. Follow your friends or follow professional athletes. Or both. See who posts feats of super-athletic endeavour. See who posts their lunchtime stumble to Greggs for a vegan sausage roll.
Strava has recently undergone a management shake-up and a refocusing on the app’s core function (
to make money to help everyday athletes reach their full potential). It feels like it is investing for the future. It feels like investment in MapMyRide has stopped.
YMMV as the ‘Mericans say.
51 thoughts on “MapMyRide vs Strava: A Detailed Comparison”
I should add that the Strava Route Planner is actually pretty clever (although I’ve not used the MMR one).
Strava uses it’s huge database of people’s rides to pick the most popular cycle routes on your journey giving you the best ride it can. It also allows you to select a “flat” route, again it uses elevation data from all of people’s uploaded rides to try and give you the flattest route.
Pretty clever I think and something that only Strava could do so well – because it has so many users and so much data to rely on.
Thanks Giles. Their route planning approach does sound good. Until now, noone’s really got the ‘human’ element right for web-based route-planning software. Maybe this is the solution. I look forward to it being available for us non-premium plebs 🙂
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Great info…I use a Garmin Edge 200 and it works perfectly for Strava..I dont know why both Garmin and Strava dont say this (maybe they want us to purchase the expensive options) I have used used it for 3 months and only this week created a Strava account as I was always under the impression it would not work..I just thought “lets give it a go and see ” ..It uploaded all my rides and maps without a problem.
Thanks for the comment. That’s good information to know. In fact, having seen your comment, I told my brother-in-law-to-be at the weekend, as he’s in the market for a cheaper GPS device.
Garmin Edge 200 sometimes gives MapMyRide a problem, it takes 3 or 4 times before it will recognize the device, with Strava it always works without a problem.
I sent a Garmin Edge 200 to Japan as a gift, (only the more expensive version are available, easy to find on-line and in the bicycle shops) and it has worked for him to map his rides on both MapMyRides & Strava.
He is a new Sports Bike rider, and he like myself like the Maps from MapMyRide, because you do not need to share your profile to post the map links in other venues. But posting Strava Maps links it appears to require the viewer to join, rather than just view the ride route.
After trying both, I have ended up using a combination of RideWithGPS and Strava. Strava allows you to export your ride data whereas MapMyRide doesn’t. I like to see all my positions on the Strava segments, but I then export the data back to RideWithGPS (see below – its my primary route planning tool). I find it has slightly more ergonomic displays of the elevation data (graphs the gradient if you want) and speed (also displayed on the graph), and has an interesting replay facility where you can select several runs (of your own or others) and replay them together. Little coloured dots move along the map as it shows your relative positions as it moves along a segment.
I tried both apps on my iphone 3GS and was not at all pleased with the results from either app BUT, I also have a Nexus 7 (7 inch) Android tablet and that records my ride much more reliably and accurately (its at the detail where you can see where I get off the bike to go behind a tree to relieve myself). It also has an app called Cue Sheet which with a £1.99 upgrade will read out the route planned on RideWithGPS (you can switch between miles and kilometers – in km it tells you 300m and then 100m before a turn what is coming and at the actual turn tells you the distance and what happens at the next turn point). I have done a couple of 4-5 hour rides with Cue Sheet Reading out the route to me and Strava recording where I actually went. With the tablet, the battery hardly gets dented. (ie after 5 hours it was still better than 80%).
Great comment. Thanks Alan.
Do you have the tablet attached to the handlebars, or packed away with the volume turned up high?
That cue sheet solution sounds really good. I think I can upload routes to my Edge 510 and have a cue sheet (albeit small) on the screen, but I haven’t tried it. When I was looking at it a couple of months ago, people in forums were suggesting that whilst you could upload the routes to the Edge ok (in a variety of ways: RideWithGPS, Garmin Connect etc), the difficulty was getting the cues to occur before the relevant turn or junction. It’s not much good if it informs you just as you speed past the turning. I’ll have to look into it again.
Great write-up. I am a mapmyride user and one aspect you have not mentioned is APIs or connectivity to other sites. I use a fitbit pedometer and mapmyride automatically sends details of my rides to the fitbit website to correct the step count for the day and add the cycling to my daily activity. So if you are a Fitbit user that is a really useful feature.
However, reading your review I am tempted to try Strava and put up with the hassle of manually tranferring data between the sites!
Thanks Paul. I’m certainly not an expert on how they handle their respective APIs. I remember a post on the DC Rainmaker blog (who is definitely an expert) talking about Strava becoming increasing restrictive in its support of 3rd party users of its data. Maybe worth looking up if you’re interested. In the meantime, sure, give Strava a go!
@Paul, I also use a Fitbit and Strava. I prefer the segments of Strava and the social aspect, but occasionally use MapMyRide to do a new route.
To get the Strava data into Fitbit, download the GPX file from Strava (on your PC/Mac), and upload to MapMyRide, which will then push into Fitbit.
More recently I have started recording in the Wahoo app, with a nice big display of speed, cadence, and distance, and then upload from the app to MapMyRide and Strava.
Jeff. Thanks for your comment. I’ve read about Wahoo and their various products on the DC Rainmaker blog. Maybe I’ll look more into an app-based approach when I upgrade my phone.
If you like all the data integration have a look at tic trac. It can automatically pull in strava data for bit data, if you got the scales it can do them to. Take a look its great
The big reason I switched back to MapMyRide from Strava is the lack of a current speed on Strava. I keep my phone mounted on my handlebars and like to glance down to see my speed.
Also, it seems to me that all of the speed information is a bit suspect from Strava. My Garmin watch tracks much closer with the information on MapMyRide.
Thanks Chris. The point about speed accuracy is very interesting. On a related point, what I find odd is that having uploaded a ride from my Garmin Edge to Strava, I can ‘correct’ the elevation data. I haven’t looked too hard at it, but I’m not always sure which data source is correcting which (the altimeter in the Garmin vs the elevation data in the mapping software). The difference is quite large on longer rides. It makes it difficult to compare completed rides with future routes as you’re not sure you’re comparing apples with apples.
For me that’s a massive plus. I’m a runner and it’s in my arm. Map my fitness gives me distance or time voice coaching and I can set a lot more metrics than strava gives. It allows me to ensure my pace and optimal speed
I have been off the bike for a long time due to injury, and during that time have been hiking a lot, using MapMyHike. (All of the MapMyFitness apps allow you to choose the workout type; you don’t need all of them.) It was buggy and crashy, but the paid app for Android was only 99 cents, and that has been stable, and battery life is no longer a problem. Blame the ads for both. The paid app does not require Premium membership.
I don’t know if Strava is any better-frequently MMMF will “rob” me of altitude climbed. Oddly, it’s calorie burn rate will be giving you the higher numbers for climbing, but the summary is often short of the real total. I have no idea if Strava is the same, but it’s a pain. I’m think that when I can ride again, I will use Strava for wheel, MMF for feet.
I have been using MMR and Strava simultaneously on some recent rides, and the elevation and calorie count varies significantly on both. For a 30km ride yesterday, Strava told me i’d burnt 667 calories, but MMR tells me 1030 calories! The elevation in Strava calculates the total gain in your ride, where MMR only states the net gain across the entire ride.
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Jeff alluded to it saying he exports GPX data from his Fitbit, but I wanted to make it clear that your point regarding Strava’s device compatibility is rather misleading. You can upload any .tcx, .fit or .gpx files which should cover the vast majority of GPS devices. I originally started with Strava years ago by exporting GPX data from my old BlackBerry.
Yes, you’re right. Thanks for clearing that up Grey. I’ll amend the article.
I’ve been using Runtastic Mountain Bike for a couple of months. I would like to see a comparison between Strava x Runtastic in the future.
Does any one know which is more accurate for calorie counting? I know these are just estimates but Strava suggests that I burn half as many calories on the same ride as MMR does which seems excessively different for an estimate.
I don’t know if Strava’s is accurate, but MMR’s is EXTREMELY high. So I would say Strava’s is a little closer.
I’ve been using MMR for a few months but I’m not impressed with the Wahoo RFKTR+ integration. It isn’t that great in the Strava app either so I now use the Wahoo fitness app to log my ride and provide me with a file to upload. The Wahoo app allows me to upload to MMR and Strava. I do both as I love the Veloviewer website for the additional Strava data analysis (3D view is great) it provides.
I’m probably moving over 100% to Strava soon as more of my friends use it. I’ve already used the ‘MapMyRide GPX Converter’ to move all my logged data from MMR to Strava.
I’m not in the US so the challenges from MMR are never appropriate to me. The Strava challenges are a lot more generic so it is possible to participate.
URL for MMR data unloader…
Some good information here, thank you all for posting. I just started using MMR on my old iPhone 3GS and the biggest negative is the battery consumption, as in DEAD before I finish my ride. Today, for example, I rode just under 40 miles, covered that distance in about 4 hours, included stops at a state park water fountain, a brief rain shower, quick stop at a Family Dollar for a 90¢ ReesePeanutButter cup and a bite to eat under the Golden Arches. Sometimes I would forget to click “pause”. About 5-6 miles from my start (end), the phone goes DEAD, battery. Later, when I get home to review the map, I see where the battery went dead. The app draws a line, as the crow flies, from point of dead battery to the recharge point, end of trip. At least the accumulated data was not lost. However, I wonder how much data gets transmitted back and forth during the ride. Like will I have to mortgage the house if the data amount exceeds my meager monthly allowance?
You can set it to automatically pause when you stop moving. Are you riding with the screen on all the time? Also, I believe it only syncs your data at the end of the ride, when you complete.
You can turn everything off apart from GPS to save battery and data and it will still track your ride
Blame the phone battery not the app. Gps is notorious for draining battery but it’s a necessary evil. If someone tells you an app is more efficient at location services then the app will likely be using wifi for location and this is a very poor cousin for accuracy. Switch off the display and choose pause. Stop eating junk mid ride!!! Lol
You should also point out that every time MapMyRide has made a change to their site for the last two years, it has made the site WORSE, not better. So within another year or so, it will be just plain unusable.
Literally the only reason to even possibly use MMR is to create routes for free. Everything else is clearly won by Strava
My strava app never boots straight to record a ride it always goes to the friend feed. Thankfully they now have a widget
I would add one to the consideration. Ride with GPS. Absolutely better in my book. Much easier and intuitive. It is big in the US Pacific Northwest and where I live in Mont Tremblant Canada….it has the pluses you like on each of the ones you reviewed and is missing the minuses of each. You don’t have to pay but you get some extra functionality if you pay a small sum. Plus the desktop site is better and allows you to do neat things in planning. The bit about comparing yourself to others is really dependent on how many others on in your route area use it. Strava had a head start so is likely to have more in that. So, it may not be the best where you ride. But check it out in your area. Search for routes that others have done or planned and you will see if it works for you. BTW, their customer service is great if you ever have a question or are sometimes an attack of computer stupids like I often get.
Thanks Jon. I like RideWithGPS as well. Whenever I plot a route for a post (or a ride), I tend to do it on RideWithGPS.
Thanks for the suggestion. Too many apps to choose from. I’m currently using Strava and MapMyRide.
No You Are NOT “sorry about that”. You took great delight in your app-ocalyptic. (and you should have)
Having used MMR for 2 years, I bought a FitBit Surge (for heart rate data) and found 1)it’s GPS gave me much more accurate route mapping than taking my iPod touch with me using the MMR app. 2) FitBit data uploads easily and quickly to Stava, whereas MMR doesn’t register more than the fact I’ve done something. The MMR helpdesk has confirmed that the app won’t use the GPS data from my FitBit. So, after 2 years, I’m ditching MMR. I take my FitBit surge, get full GPS and heart rate data, plus all the other Strava services.
I am a student of Interaction Design and if you compare both products using the six key design principles of mapping, affordance, aesthetics, feedback, constraints and consistency then mapmyride wins in every area. Adherence to design principles makes enhances usability and good usability equals good user experience. I keep going back to Strava as the experienced cyclists keep telling me that Strava is the way to go but it just does not cust the mustard.
I use a mix of both for analysis (MapMyRide standard account and Streva premium account) but I record my activities with Wahoo fitness app for iPhone because I use the Wahoo RFLK display in my bike and my iphone in my jersey, them from the Wahoo App I export my activities to Strava, MapMyRide and Dropbox. I found this is the best way to be in both ecosystems and with the bonus of the excellent Wahoo RFLK display and Wahoo App when I ride in my opinion better than MapMyRide and Strava Apps for iPhone. If you use Wahoo RFLK display I recommend this use case.
Hi, I can’t find/ get the route planner to work on MMR. You say go to my routes then create route. I either don’t have or can’t find create route. Any help please. I just wanted to plot a route on a map, get a time estimate and the follow that route with the app. Is there an app like that?
I just downloaded and can’t get any local routes to load… Left many requests on board… No response… Staying to turn on local under settings… Not there on my settings screen…. Am I missing something?
Hi Paul – I don’t use MapMyRide much these days (at all) but the route planner seems to be there as before. From the ‘dashboard’ page, I just clicked ‘Create Route’. I don’t know if you’re planning from within the smartphone app. I only ever plan routes on a computer (laptop or desktop). It’s just too frustrating on a phone or tablet.
Weird blog. He spends the entire post talking about how much cleaner and better strava is, then endorses mapmyride in the end. Secondly, although the link in the comments is maybe helpful, a link to the updated blog might be more well suited in the text itself, or for that matter just put the edits in the original site. The google search seems to favor this older post despite the fact that there has been (at least one) revision.
I think we should consider other alternatives as well, a nice comparison is here: http://www.pinkbike.com/u/botond/blog/bike-route-planning.html
I ran Strava and Mapmyride side by side over 9 months. I wanted to lose weight dieting while riding my bike. Over the period, I lost 55 pounds. I followed mapmyride and myfitnesspal.
Mapmyride was almost always twice the calorie burn of Strava. What did I use to measure? My duotrap S on my emonda bike and a garmin on both my fat tire and mountain bikes.
I adhered to the diet based on mapmyride, NOT Strava. What not Strava? I rode many centuries last summer and a double century also last summer (STP 206 miles in one day) and the calorie count Strava gave was ridiculously low.
Based on the data from Mapmyride and myfitnesspal, I lost the weight. There’s the proof.
2 pounds a week is what’s considered safe. Strava would have had me on a dangerously low calorie diet. Based on my kids who are doctors, a nephew and a couple of friends who are docs and bike riders, I followed Mapmyride and NOT Strava.
I just did three rides of 20 and 30 miles, and Strava once again was ridiculously low.
Don’t know, but the “proof is in the pudding”. I was right on target with the data from Mapmyride and myfitnesspal.
Thank you for your informative post comparing the two sites – but you didn’t mention the accuracy of the data they provide at the end of your ride. I had an issue yesterday where Strava wouldn’t upload my activity and therefore it was not logged, so I downloaded MMR app and tried them both when I went out tonight. The data provided at the end was quite different in time, mileage, speed (average and maximum), calories burned and inclines etc. Therefore I just wondered if other people have any thoughts on this. My preference at this stage is for Strava but the devil is in the detail ….
The “devil is in the detail”.. Strava’s calorie count use is inaccurate (garbage)..!
I compared it to Harvard School of Medicine’s calorie burn charts and MMR is almost right on, while Strave is ridiculously low.
After my experience and MMR’s new version 18.6, I’m sticking with MMR… I really don’t care that Strava is used by tons of people. Under Armor is bigger and can pour money into support. The only thing Strava has given me is “lip service” and has done nothing to address the inaccuracy of their calorie burn inaccuracy. (AFAIK)…
Accuracy in calorie (energy) burn is important to me…
Here’s the link to Harvard’s calorie chart:
Funny funny, for me Strava was the less stable one – it crashed way more often than MMR (after a crash it auto-recovers but it means you’ve lost part of your ride). Could be just my phone or Android version or whatever.
I don’t get the “2 clicks” thing, I start my MMR rides with 1 click 🙂 and besides the difference between clicking 1 or 2 times seems ultra trivial to me 😉
Finally, a couple of times I ran Strava and MMR side by side and I often get WAY DIFFERENT readings (distance and speed). Both distance and speed seem to be higher on Strava than on MMR.
(but I do realize that running both apps at the same time might make them interfere with each other or have them compete for GPS signal, so I’m taking this with a grain of salt)
Regarding the websites, I find the route/track/workout presentation in MMS way more friendly and informative than in Strava – altitude, speed, and both of them per segment are all available without having to dig around to find it. Way easier to read and more informative than Strava – with Strava I have to click on “analysis” to get my speed and altitude charts, and they’re difficult to read.
(and the speed curve often shows weird numbers, like having velocity “spikes” up to 42 km/h which I know couldn’t be right)
One thing Strava has going for it is that it allows me to see Climb Ratings (1 – 5 and HC), although not in a particularly easy way. MMS used to have that, but as part of a recent *ss-backwards redesign they’ve removed it!
(I contacted support 3 months ago and they promised to make an attempt to “add it back in a future upgrade”, but I’m not holding my breath)
So generally for ease of use and informativeness I prefer MMS but Strava does give me my climb ratings (but not much more, it seems).
I use the energy calculations on Strava and MMR, and while I’ve noticed that they’re close for running, they’re wildly different for cycling. I don’t believe the Strava numbers. I know how hard I work on a ride, and the Strava energy value seems ridiculously low.
Would love to see what people think now about the free options on both Stava vs MMR?
I just looked at my Strava profile after doing 20 odd rides and it wants me to subscribe just to see my month total, never mind my log!
On MMR there is a nice calendar with weekly monthly totals.