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Veloviewer Review

I’m a keen Strava user and have been for some time. I upgraded to Strava Pro last year in preparation for my training for the London Bikeathon but let it lapse after I finished that ride – I couldn’t quite justify the cost of it without a training aim.

However, I found that occasionally I still wanted to access stats that where inaccessible or not shown on Strava and that’s when I discovered Veloviewer.

Veloviewer

Veloviewer has recently started charging £10 a year for the premium features, so I thought I’d do a quick review and summary of the features you get for the money.

Veloviewer uses and links into, Strava. It provides analysis and data that Strava doesn’t offer itself. Strava does the basic information of the ride itself and obviously one of the big attractions is the Strava segments feature – tracking your times against everyone else that has ridden that section of road (or, if you’re slow like me, just comparing your own times) and there are a number of pro only features that Strava offer as well – weekly goal tracking and heat maps being just two of the features.

Veloviewer offers some of the Strava features, such as the heat map, within it’s cost (it’s not quite the same, but they don’t want to tread on the toes of Strava to much). In fact, I’ve been using the heat map for my rides on this blog for a while now.

It’s been a handy tool, that lets me compare where I’ve been across the country – I’m not to concerned at what routes I do regularly (I realise that!) but want to look instead what roads I have covered as I’m always interested where I’ve been.

Extra Stats

Veloviwer offers a number of different stats that Strava doesn’t offer. These stats view your activities as a whole, rather than just the individual activity that Strava seems to do. Some of it is the same information as Strava but presented differently. All the data it gets is from Strava itself, so you’ll need an account on Strava and to upload your rides to it.

The main page you log into on Veloviewer is focussed on you – Strava has a Facebook style newsfeed where activities from your friends are shown in order. Veloviewer is a lot more focussed on the individual, which is no bad thing as Strava deals nicely with the social aspect.

It gives a number of different graphs and figures. The big number on the left is a score based on the segments you’ve ridden and scored against others on Veloviewer. It’s not a figure I pay to much attention to.

The middle is a summary of some of the statistics that are in Strava. These are similar to the stats on Strava that are shown on your profile page. However, these are a lot more visible here than on Strava. This allows you to easily read everything you need to see at a glance.

On the right is a summary of runs – why this can’t be changed to show cycling I don’t know but I have used Strava for running so this is shown there.

Under this are the awards boxes. These are fairly meaningless but try to show you the benchmarks of different rides you’ve achieved, such as 50Km, 100Km, 160Km rides or 4 hours on a bike, 5 hours on a bike etc. They’re nice to see as it’s interesting to see that I seem to do either long rides or short ride – I seem to have less around than 125Km than I do over 150K).

Under that is the one of Veloviewers features and that’s the graphs. A line graph on the left shows your current years against previous years rides and can show distance, elevation, time and count. The right shows a heat map, in the image above it’s my distance per day, but this can be changed to show week, month and even year.

This lets you compare yourself to last year at a glance. It’s a handy tool.

Below that, you have tables of data, allowing you to view your equipment details and recent activities. This is similar to data on Strava, but just in better laid out tables.

Segment Explorer

Strava offers a segment explorer, which lets you browse for segments. This will show you the location of each segment on the map and will demonstrate the change in gradient and the leader board. However, in comparison to Veloviewer, it’s a very basic view. Veloviewer allows you to view the elevation as well as comparing the activities of others.

I must admit, this isn’t a feature that I use to much, as I’m not to bothered about how well I’ve done on segments. Occasionally it’s nice to look through but overall, I use Strava as a way to track totals.

Challenges

Strava offer a number of challenges to help mix things up each month – I’m looking at doing more of them this coming year as I feel it would add something to my riding. Anyhow, whilst Strava can display these on your profile, this is a premium only feature. Veloviewer can display your previously achieved challenges and even shows the ones you’ve entered but haven’t achieved so you can change that for the future.

This is a nice page (though not for me with the large number of challenges not complete!) that lets you view your achievements throughout the year.

Wheel

One of the unique features is the wheel. This feature displays all activities on Strava over a certain time period (default is a month) on a single map.

This is an interesting presentation of your rides and is quite a good view of the area that you’ve been cycling in during the month. The author of the site stated that this was inspired by the Tour De France footage.

Signature Image

This has been at the bottom of most of my posts on this blog last year. The website allows you to tweak exactly what is shown in the signature and we here on the image the data is shown. You. An also change the size. This isn’t really something I need but it’s handy to see at a glance my statistics for the year, even when I’m not on Strava or Veloviewer.

Conclusions

Veloviewer offers a premium service for users at a cost of £10 a year (conversion fees for non sterling users are absorbed by the creator of the site) and offers a number of benefits that are perhaps over and above those of Strava itself, whilst being cheaper.

Veloviewer does offer a free service, but this is limited to only the previous 25 activities on a profile and therefore encourages you to upgrade to allow all your data to be used.

In my mind, it’s worth the £10 a year to give a nice summary of my rides through the year – it’s been handy to plot the graph to show how I compare to the year before in terms of distance. I’ll look forward to using it further in the new year.

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