Trail sports have taken off, and Strava is taking notice, releasing new features tailored to off-road activities.
Trailhead. Founded in 2009, Strava initially catered to committed cyclists and runners. Now, the platform tracks more than 40 activity types. Since 2020, as outdoor activities boomed, the company’s userbase doubled, recently topping 100M athletes.
Off-road. Eyeing opportunities in high-growth trail sports, Strava just announced a host of new features:
- The app now tracks Trail Run, Gravel Ride, Mountain Bike, and e-Mountain Bike as primary experiences.
- Paid subscribers gain access to Trail Routes, displaying trail networks, complete with community-sourced insights like difficulty, completion time, and data visualizations.
Building for years, trail sports exploded during the pandemic alongside the lucrative endurance economy.
- Trail running counts 20M global participants, growing 12% YoY.
- In 2021, cyclocross/gravel bike sales were up 109% compared to 2019.
- The number of hikes uploaded to Strava grew by over 100% each of the last two years.
Switchback. On the Fitt Insider Podcast, Strava CEO Michael Horvath laid out the company’s three-pronged growth strategy, highlighting community, trail sports, and storytelling.
Announcing the new off-road interface, Horvath reiterated these points, noting:
“We have been seeing off-the-charts growth of trail sports over the past several years, outpacing even growth of road running and riding.”
Layering in community-driven recommendations, Horvath said Strava aims to make outdoor exploration “as joyful as possible.”
Punchline: Meeting athletes where they sweat while attracting new audiences—and hopefully converting existing users to paid members—Strava is blazing a new trail.