The Drawbacks Of A Free Strava Account

While a free Strava account is a great way to explore the platform and its features, it does come with some significant drawbacks. These drawbacks, however, can be easily overcome by switching to a paid account, which offers a range of benefits that can significantly enhance your experience on the platform.

Here are some of the drawbacks of a free Strava account:

  • Restricted Access to Advanced Metrics: Strava’s free account only allows access to basic metrics, such as distance, time, and pace. If you want to access advanced metrics, such as power data or heart rate data, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account.
  • Limits on Route Planning: With a free account, you’ll have limited access to route planning features, such as bulk exporting or advanced route building. Paid accounts, on the other hand, offer unlimited access to these features, making it easier to plan and discover new routes.
  • Lack of Personalization: Free Strava accounts do not allow riders to personalize their activity feeds or dashboard. This can lead to an overwhelming experience, as cyclists have to sort through all kinds of activities to find useful content. Paid accounts offer the ability to personalize feeds and dashboards for a more streamlined experience.

Strava Free vs Paid

If you use a free Strava account, you’ll find limited access to features that only the premium accounts offer. You won’t be able to unlock badges, follow advanced analytics, view streaks and leaderboards, or get detailed route insights. As such, these limitations may prevent you from reaching your fitness goals and getting the most from your Strava experience. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using a free Strava account.

Analysis of Routes and Segments

When using the free version of the Strava app, you have limited access to advanced features such as detailed analysis of routes and segments. This could be a major drawback for users who want to track their performance and progress over time. With a free account, you can view basic statistics such as distance, speed, and elevation gain for each activity. However, to view detailed metrics and performance analysis for specific routes and segments, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription.

Upgrading to a paid subscription will allow you to view advanced metrics such as heart rate data, power output, and pace analysis. Additionally, you’ll be able to compare your performance with other athletes and see where you rank on specific segments. While the free version of Strava is a great way to track your workouts, those looking for more detailed analysis may need to consider upgrading to a paid subscription.

Training Plans and Personalized Coaching

While a free Strava account is ideal for tracking your daily workout activity and keeping up with your friends, it does come with a few limitations. One of the most significant drawbacks is the lack of access to advanced features like personalized coaching and training plans.

Personalized coaching and training plans are essential for achieving your fitness goals, whether it be running a marathon or cycling a century. Strava offers these features exclusively to its premium members, providing custom training plans that are tailored to your fitness level, experience, and training preferences. The features include real-time performance monitoring and custom feedback from certified coaches. With personalized coaching and training plans, premium Strava members can take their workout routines to the next level and achieve better results.

Pro Tip: If you’re serious about your fitness goals, upgrading to a premium Strava membership is a worthwhile investment. It will provide you with the customized coaching and training plans that can take your performance to the next level.

Connections to Other Fitness Platforms

While a free Strava account gives you access to basic features such as tracking your runs, analyzing your performance, and creating and joining clubs, there are limitations to what you can achieve without upgrading to the premium (paid) version. One such limitation is the limited connectivity to other fitness platforms like Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple Watch.

Here are a few drawbacks of having a free Strava account:

  • Inability to sync your data between Strava and other third-party fitness platforms, which can make it challenging to get an accurate picture of your overall fitness levels.
  • Limited access to advanced features like training plans, personalized coaching, live feedback, and safety beacons.
  • Limited access to detailed performance analysis, including tracking your progress over time, segment analysis, and power analysis.

To unlock these additional benefits, you need to upgrade to the premium version of Strava.

Limited Data Access and Analysis

While a free Strava account offers basic tracking and analyzing of your activities, the data access and analysis are limited in comparison to a paid account. With the free account, your data is limited to basic metrics such as distance, time and elevation, and you cannot access detailed metrics such as heart rate, power, and cadence.

Additionally, you can only analyze rides, runs and hikes; other activities such as weightlifting and swimming are not supported.


Let’s look further into the limitations of a free Strava account.

Data Storage Limitations

Using a free Strava account has its limitations when it comes to data storage, access, and analysis. While users can still track their runs or cycling routes, they may face restricted access to some functionalities while analyzing their performance.

Firstly, Strava users with a free account have limited access to advanced analytics metrics such as heart rate, pace zone analysis, or power analysis. These limitations might pose difficulties to users who want to track their progress and take steps towards better performance. Secondly, the Strava free account has limitations on the amount of data you can store. Strava allows free account users to store up to 25 routes or runs before asking them to delete some of their old routes to make room for new data. Besides that, users might also face an expiration date on newer entries along with a lack of long-term storage capability.

Although these data storage limitations might frustrate some users, they do give an insight into the benefits and features of the Strava Premium membership, which offers unlimited data storage and access to advanced metrics.

Pro Tip: If you’re a competitive athlete, consider upgrading to the Strava Premium account, which gives you access to advanced metrics and unlimited data storage, allowing you to track your progress more comprehensively.

Restricted Data Analysis and Visualization Tools

Restricted data analysis and visualization tools can limit the data access and analysis capabilities of a free Strava account.

If you have a free Strava account, you may encounter the following drawbacks when trying to analyze and visualize your workout data:

  • Limited data export: Strava only allows you to export a limited amount of data for free, which can be a disadvantage if you need to analyze your workout data in detail.
  • Limited data visualization options: With a free account, Strava offers limited data visualization options, which can make it difficult for you to accurately track your progress.
  • Limited data insights: Strava’s paid tier offers advanced data analysis tools such as Relative Effort and Power Curve analysis, which are not available in the free version.

However, if you’re not a professional athlete and don’t need advanced data analysis tools, a free Strava account can still be a great way to track your fitness progress and connect with others in the fitness community.

Limited Data Export Functionality

While Strava offers great fitness tracking and social networking features, its free version has limited data export functionality, which can be a significant drawback for users who need deeper data access and analysis. With a free Strava account, users can only export up to 25 activities at a time, and the data is limited to basic metrics like distance, time, and pace. In contrast, paid Strava users have access to advanced data visualization tools, including heat maps, power metrics, and more.

Limited data export functionality may pose a problem to users who want to track their progress over time, compare workouts, or use the data for offline analysis. This limitation might drive users to switch to a paid subscription, which offers more comprehensive data export and analysis options.

Pro Tip: If you’re a free Strava user, you can export all your data in one go by using third-party apps like Tapiriik or FitFileTools. These apps can pull your Strava data and export it in a variety of formats for you to analyze offline.

Community Engagement Limitations

Those who use a free Strava account are limited in their ability to engage with the Strava community. With a free account, you can’t join Clubs, follow specific users, or comment on other people’s activities. You’ll only be able to view other people’s activities in your news feed and compare yourself against fellow athletes. In this section, we’ll discuss in more detail the drawbacks of using a free Strava account.

Limited Privacy Settings and Control

One of the major drawbacks of a free Strava account is limited privacy settings and control over community engagement.

While Strava’s free version allows users to track their workouts and engage with the Strava community, it also comes with some limitations:

  • Limited privacy settings: Free Strava users have limited control over their privacy settings. They can only set their activities to public or private, whereas premium users have more customization options.
  • Limited community engagement control: Free Strava users cannot control who is following them or view who have viewed their profile. They also cannot block specific users or report any suspicious behavior.

While Strava’s free version is great for tracking progress and staying motivated, users who are looking for more control over their privacy and community engagement may find the premium version more suitable for their needs.

Pro Tip: Users concerned about privacy or suspicious behavior can adjust their account settings to limit who can see their activities or report any inappropriate behavior.

Limited Insights Into Leaderboards and Personal Performance

With a free Strava account, users have limited insights into leaderboards and personal performance, which can limit community engagement opportunities. Free Strava users can only see the top 10 on leaderboards, not their position or ranking within their network or club. They also cannot compare their historical performances, set goals, or examine their workout data.


These limitations can also affect community engagement because users are unable to participate in challenges, which are a fun and interactive way to engage with other Strava users. Without access to challenges, it becomes harder for users to remain motivated and engaged in their fitness and athletic activities. A paid Strava subscription can help overcome these drawbacks and offer more opportunities to engage with the Strava community effectively.

Pro tip: Consider upgrading to a paid subscription to make the most of the unique features of Strava and get the most out of your fitness journey.

Limited Access to Strava Clubs and Events

As a free Strava account user, you may experience limitations in accessing Strava Clubs and Events, which can limit your community engagement and overall experience on the platform.

Here are some drawbacks of using a free Strava account:

  • Limited access to Clubs: Free Strava accounts can only join a maximum of three clubs. This limits your ability to connect and engage with other athletes with similar interests.
  • Limited access to Events: Free Strava accounts cannot create events or view the full calendar of events. This can prevent you from participating in events and races and connecting with other athletes in a meaningful way.
  • Limited segment leaderboards: Free Strava accounts only allow you to view the top 10 rankings for any given segment leaderboard. This can limit your motivation and ability to compete with other athletes.

Pro tip: Consider upgrading to a Strava premium account to access the full range of Strava’s features, including unlimited clubs and event access, more advanced performance metrics, and personalized coaching options.

Advertising and Marketing Challenges

When using a free Strava account, there are some inherent drawbacks that come along with it. One of the greatest obstacles with a free account is the lack of control when it comes to advertising and marketing. Free accounts come with limited functionalities, which can lead to limited engagement with your followers due to the lack of targeted marketing.

Let’s get into the details.

Targeted Advertisements and Promotions for Paid Accounts

Strava offers targeted advertisements and promotions to paid account users, allowing for a more personalized experience and access to exclusive features.

While free Strava accounts are a great way to get started with the platform, there are drawbacks to not having a paid account. One of the main drawbacks is the presence of ads, which can be intrusive and distracting for users. Additionally, free accounts do not have access to certain premium features such as training plans, detailed activity analysis, and race analysis.

However, upgrading to a paid account allows users to access all these features and more while also removing ads from their Strava experience. With targeted promotions and personalized content, paid users can take their training and fitness to the next level with the help of Strava’s advanced features.

Pro tip: Consider investing in a paid Strava account if you’re serious about tracking your fitness progress and taking advantage of Strava’s premium features.

Restricted Exposure to Sponsored Content

A free Strava account comes with a drawback of limited features and restricted exposure to sponsored content. Strava, a social network for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, offers a basic and premium version of its app. While the basic version is free, it comes with limitations such as the inability to access training plans, advanced analysis, and the latest features.

Another downside to a free Strava account is the limited exposure to sponsored content, which can provide valuable information on the latest fitness products and services. Premium users, on the other hand, have access to personalized product recommendations, early access to new features, and exclusive discounts from Strava’s partners. Therefore, if you’re serious about your fitness goals and want to unlock the full potential of Strava, a premium subscription may be worth the investment. Pro tip: Consider the features you value most before upgrading to a premium account.

Potential Limitations on Future Partnerships With Brands and Businesses

Using a free Strava account for advertising and marketing purposes may come with potential limitations due to certain challenges such as restricted access to advanced data, limited targeting capabilities, and restrictions on social media sharing.

The limitations that you may face while using Strava’s free account for advertising include:

  • Limited access to historical data and segments.
  • Inability to create customized segments or group runs.
  • Inability to access athlete’s email addresses.
  • Many of the social sharing features have been disabled.
  • Lack of ability to target specific audience demographics.

Pro Tip: Consider upgrading your Strava account to a paid version to access more advanced data, improve marketing capabilities, and maximize your advertising efforts.

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