Strava vs. MyTracks Droid apps for tracking your cycling.
I liked MyTracks for a long time, but to me it seemed to use too much of my battery (more on this later). MyTracks was very useful as I was learning some new Mt biking trails in North Georgia. I found that I could take it off ‘satellite’ put it on ‘map’ mode it would download my location much faster.
But as the summer cycling season was starting to reach it’s peak and I was doing group road rides, I found Strava and started trying it out. I really started enjoying it’s features.
Strava can be Fun. You input some data about you and your bike (from which it will estimate your wattage). Then record your ride via GPS, once you finish and save the ride, it quickly uploads. Then it will show you how you did on various climbs on a social network – Strava.com, compared to others in your area that have done the same rides or climbs – whether or not you are following them.
This can be Fun, challenging and give you new goals to push yourself for. Get a PR or even best some of the riders in your area. I have to admit, I did a couple rides this summer with no other intention than bettering my time on a couple climbs during a group ride.
But suddenly this weekend a glaring difference was found and now, I am mixed between the two apps and will keep both on my phone – but for totally different reasons!
I made my way to an area of Mt biking trails that I had never been before. So while I was getting prepped, I did my usual of turning on Strava, and my dog Apollo and I hit the trails…. only Apollo was tired from a fun dog day on the farm. I though we would knock out 5-6 miles, like we usually do – he barely made it 2.
Suddenly I was in the middle of unknown area of trails, and needed to get back to the car along the shortest route possible. I went back to the Strava app, but all it would show me was our ride time and our pace. I attempted to figure the best possible route and forged onward. Apollo was getting more tired, we stopped again & I re-evaluated. And then suddenly I remembered MyTracks.
The reason that I went back to MyTracks is that during the ride, it will give you a map of where you are & a red line indicating where you have been. This makes it much easier which direction you are going on the map, and figure out which way you need to go. Both apps allow you to view where you have been on a map from a computer, but only MyTracks allows you to view that map while you are riding.
Although I do like both apps, I now really feel that they both have a separate purpose that (for now) neither can fulfill.
MyTracks is Great if you are exploring or you realize you are lost & attempting to get back to where you started.
Strava is Great to compare and keep up with how you are doing along a route, against yourself or others.
With Strava you can review the map after the ride.
Bonus Tip: Strava and I think MyTracks can both be turned on for a minute to ensure satellite connection then, you can put your phone into airplane mode to save battery!
See my previous post about MyTracks
While recording using MyTracks, you can:
1. See location / progress on a map
2. Monitor real-time statistics: time, distance, speed, elevation
3. Create waypoints
4. Create statistics waypoints (splits tracks into subtracks)
Thanks to the comment below, I have successfully uploaded .gpx files from MyTracks onto my computer, then uploaded them onto Strava.com.
Although this is more of a pain due to the extra steps, it is good work-around.