STRYD – Is it worth it?

STRYD review Footpod

 

I can tell from the traffic on this website that a LOT of people are looking at upgrading their running/sports/tri watches and then some of those people are still not sure about buying: cadence sensors for their bikes; power meters for their bikes; or maybe even about the suitability of STRYD for running.

In our heart-of-running-hearts we must all know that upgrading from a Fenix 3 to a Fenix 5 or from a Garmin 920XT to a Garmin 935 will make just about zero difference to our race times.

Sure, ‘the watch’ is an aesthetic thing and when they are so expensive it is nice to have the latest one or perhaps have a better one that looks nice enough to wear for work. But I know that really a £600+ Fenix 5x to navigate around my local park is more about pose value than about avoiding getting lost.

STRYD REVIEW | Running Power Meter, Accurate | Footpod |

Most of us accept that the right pair of training shoes/racing shoes and the right bits of bike kit (I’m thinking aero wheels and helmets) will make us faster for absolutely no extra effort. Yet maybe we then don’t accept the argument for more accuracy which could quite plausibly be argued leads to better pacing and again to free overall speed. And of course more accuracy could give us more insight into our sporting efforts when we analyse our efforts after the workout.

If you are thinking of spending over £200/$250 on a sports watch and you haven’t got any way of knowing how fast you are turning your legs over or turning your cranks over (cadence) then, for sure, you ARE missing out on relatively easy cheap ‘wins’ with simple AND CHEAP gadgets. I’m talking something in the area of ‘notable gains’ rather than ‘marginal gains’ for many people. For most people getting your cadences up to over 85 (170) will make you more efficient and less injury-prone. If your cadence is already at that point then getting it higher still might help more.

If you are a runner or a triathlete, then I’ve yet to find a GPS watch for you that can tell me how fast you are running ‘right now’ – ie all the watches’ instant pace figures are simply wrong and sometimes VERY wrong. Those watches are often Ok when it comes to correctly showing your lap pace or a pace from a longer period BUT if you are 5 minutes into your latest mile and you are aiming for a 6 minute mile then should you speed up? or slow down? or keep going at the same speed? The answer, if you think about it, is that ‘you can’t know’. You NEED to know how fast you are running RIGHT NOW to make that decision. The shorter the race distance the higher the importance becomes of correct pacing as you can’t ‘make up’ the time later (hmmm).

 

stryd review SHFT.RUN stryd garmin footpod

The old Garmin Footpod

A properly calibrated footpod will give you a MUCH more accurate instant pace figure. In the case of STRYD it will give you the most accurate instant pace (Source: see comments below and my own experience suggests the same).

It’s not always the same argument for cyclists; if you are going 20mph then what does that actually mean? Uphill or upwind or off-road speeds are VERY different to flat road speeds. This is where a cycling power meter comes in handy where WATTS becomes a GOOD proxy for EFFORT. 300 watts of power going downhill on a MTB is the same EFFORT as 300w going up a hill and into the wind on your road bike. The wonders of power-duration curves mean that you can soon enough figure out what power levels of effort you can maintain for differing durations and what %ages you need to achieve to elicit differing bodily adaptations in your training.

Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals - Carbon Cranks

Favero bePRO Power Meter Pedals – Carbon Cranks

If you have more than one bike then the cheapest practical option, in my opinion, is a Favero ASSIOMA UNO (single sided power meter pedal set). For a one-bike solution a $400 Stages crank is the cheapest sensible option (or 4iiii !). Consider also a powerpod for an even cheaper option. Power meters tend also to tell you your cycling cadence so that’s a nice 2-for-1 bonus. (Edit: Consider WatTeam PowerBeat at ‘silly’ prices…10% discount further applied from codes on this site in those products’ respective reviews at PowerMeterCity)

Exactly the same arguments apply to running with STRYD. But STRYD’s running powermeter is cheaper than EVERY cycling power meter….even the ridiculously priced PowerBeat!

So if you look at the ‘bang for your performance-optimising buck’ then here is the order in which I would  buy the gadgets:

  1. A GPS watch that can do laps and show your heart rate. A Garmin 920XT is as good as any and handily supports all the subsequent recommendations 😉
  2. A Garmin footpod (cadence and pace/stride length – skip if you buy STRYD or a cheaper footpod)
  3. A Garmin bike cadence-only sensor (skip if you buy a power meter)
  4. STRYD (power and pace + other metrics)
  5. Favero ASSIOMA power meter (power and cadence + other metrics)

In terms of pure usefulness, though, the bike power meter would edge out STRYD. It’s just that the bike power meter would be two or three (or more!) times the price.

Indoor running? Indoor cycling? All of the above should easily work in your winter-training scenarios. For example just buy a cheap turbo trainer and get the power from your pedals. That will save you HUNDREDS of $/£ compared to a WAHOO KICKR (also awesome for Zwift).

One thing I would also bear in mind: If you intend to take running/cycling/triathlon seriously then you WILL END UP EVENTUALLY BUYING ALL THOSE GADGETS THAT YOU ONLY THINK YOU NEED RIGHT NOW. So just go ahead and buy them now. That way you will get more benefit and use out of them. FWIW I did NOT follow that advice and regretted it 🙁

ESSENTIAL READING: STRYD Review – In Detail, Every Aspect

To return to the title of the post, I would definitely say that all of those 5 general product recommendations are ‘worth it’. As you go down the list it obviously gets more difficult to afford the item. Although this post mentions cycling a fair amount it is coming from a running-gadget perspective. Clearly there are some aero gains and other gains that can be ‘cheaply’ achieved in cycling.

Specific areas where I think that ‘STRYD is worth it for me’ would include the following in this order:

  1. Accurate footpod pace over any distance, racing or training.
  2. >45 minute training on undulating ground
  3. >10k racing on undulating terrain
  4. Hill reps

You might train differently to me and get other benefits. If you already bike-train by power then you may well use power as a means to estimate your training load (I use heart rate)

Discounts and current pricing, below.

RESOURCES:

10% Discount, Below

STRYD REVIEW | Running Power Meter, Accurate | Footpod |

I partner directly with STRYD in the USA on this and you help support this blog at the same time. Clicking on the image below takes you through to whatever current deal STRYD have at any given time in the USA/Canada. Thank you!

For the UK and Europe I partner with STRYD’s official distributor via their retailer New Running Gear you can get a 10% discount by using the code TFK10 directly with their site as you would with any other online coupon or online promotion and you will help support this blog at the same time. Thank you!. Outside of America you can also buy through Amazon but remember that buying directly from STRYD will help them more. All the links below support this blog to varying degrees. Thank you again for using them.

stryd discount code coupon offer special pricestryd coupon discount promo code

Best Amazon price is linked to. Rarely on Amazon and usually over $/£/Eu200. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Best Amazon price is linked to. $70/Eu65/£50 and might fall in 2018. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Best Amazon price is linked to. Prices typically $/£/Eu25 and UNlikely to fall. Buying from Amazon supports this site

Supporters: I am not a salaried journalist and rely on support from readers to keep the free content coming. If you want to support the work here then ad-free subscription starts at 49p (about 65c). Alternatively buying anything from my partners, below, also helps and may also get you a great discount. Thank you!

Support with 10% code: the5krunner10Support at your local country’s Amazon storefrontSupport with 10% code: the5krunner1010% Discount On Most Power Meters

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Konstantin Root
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> In the case of STRYD it will give you the most accurate instant pace.

Do you have proof? My tests of Stryd on treadmill/indoor/outdoor showed that without calibration Stryd has about the same error (5-8%) as uncalibrated footpod, but with more unpredictability – footpod gives same error, but Stryd fluctuates a lot during same run.

Kun@Stryd
Guest
Kun@Stryd

Konstantin Root, if you are really getting that much of the error and variation, reach out to us support@stryd.com. Happy to help.

The extreme accuracy achieved by Stryd is not just from one lucky user fellrnr, for example, this is just one example discussion on Facebook about the speed/distance accuracy, and we can find many examples like this from facebook community or our forum.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/strydcommunity/permalink/1718707068427350/

Konstantin Root
Guest

Yep – reached out, lets see the outcome.
Do you have any with hard data? That FB thread is just people “stating” they feel it was accurate.
It should be pretty easy to do – you could run on official certified 200m / 400m track on inside lane that is exactly 200m. Or you could run segment of AIMS certified 10km/21km/42km race that have blue line between km markers – it would be also very precise.

Kun@Stryd
Guest
Kun@Stryd

That’s what they did, running on the track or a known distance course and check the result.

Konstantin Root
Guest
Konstantin Root

Its funny that Stryd targets treadmill runners while Stryd actually has the most error when running on the treadmill – after the last update of firmware difference between the real speed at around 6min/km is now around 20-25 seconds vs reality but gets smaller while your move to speeds like 3:00-3:30min/km.
While outside and in closed sports arenas I find its pretty accurate, but its almost useless while running on the treadmill.

the5krunner
Admin

what would you say is most accurate on a treadmill?

and are you SURE the treadmill is correctly calibrated.

Konstantin Root
Guest
Konstantin Root

Nothing is accurate on treadmill 😉
Previously Stryd was off only by 5-10 seconds from true speed, but after some firmware update, it became more inaccurate.
Also, I noticed that I could easily make Stryd report speed different up to 10 seconds just by changing how I run without modifying the speed of the treadmill.
The main problem is that error on the treadmill is not linear – it’s different at different speeds.
I have personal Pro treadmill at home (BH F9 R DUAL) that was purchased new and is very well maintained by me – I manually did its speed calibration using a high-speed camera at 6 different speeds, so I know how inaccurate it’s at different speeds.

the5krunner
Admin

interesting, thank you.
especially interesting: “Stryd report speed different up to 10 seconds just by changing how I run without modifying the speed of the treadmill.” i might have to look into that.

what is your view on the accuracy of other pods vs stryd on treadmills?

Konstantin Root
Guest
Konstantin Root

Previously I found Garmin footpod pretty accurate if I calibrate it for specific treadmill speed, but since calibration factor is different for different speeds then it’s also pretty pointless. I usually do only HR based training sessions on treadmill, so speed is not that important, but right now I just know what is correction factor for different speeds, so I dont need Stryd / foodpod to give me true speed.

the5krunner
Admin

yes. I would agree with that.
it’s a faff to change the settings tho and sometimes you forget.

Joubex
Guest
Joubex

If you’re a partner with Stryd so it’s a conflict of interest no?

Justin
Member
Justin

So I really like my Stryd….but before the changes they just made to the powercenter I would have advised people to not invest in it if you are new to running/new to running with metrics. The information Stryd gives back is at best confusing to the uninitiated, and a bit splotchy to those that do get it. They give you raw data without explaining most of it. What is someone to make of “leg springiness” unless they exclusively vested time into what that means; and that means reading a lot of information on the science, not to mention how that applies to the runner in the present and future. Stryd needed to only add an annotated description to the metric via the app (and dear lord the APP!) and it would be fine. As I said before, the powercenter changes are great in my opinion. The definable places in my running that I can improve/increase is really great. Couple that with Garmin’s run dynamics, I can see places in my form to improve and also push places that I do well in further. It’s not just Stryd here that comes up short; ALL of these companies fall flat on information… Read more »

David Corsi
Guest

I see Stryd now no longer lists the Fenix 5 or 5S as compatible. It appears a change in the antenna in the 5/5S (the 5X remains the same as the 3 series) has caused numerous data drop outs with Stryd. What is your experience… not trying to place blame, but it seems many simply can’t get the combo to work…

Nathan B
Guest
Nathan B

I don’t really see how this post answers the question… IS Stryd actually worth it?

What does it offer, other than say, a standard footpod, or the running cadence built into a Garmin?

Do you actually train to power with the Stryd, like you would with a power meter on a bike?

the5krunner
Admin

you can train to power like on a bike. why would that not be possible?
the cp curve is a little flatter. zone calcs a littel different
it offers gait metrics in addition to power as well as online ‘insight’ into your power ‘profile’
i use power on a bike but i also use rpe and hr. i use power, pace and rpe and hr when running but, agreeing with the likely sentiment of your question, i DO use stry’s power less than I would my bike’s power.
HOWEVER I use STRYD’s derived PACE ALL THE TIME (the latest STRYD announcement of the STRYD Live product would give me that and i probably would have got that originally if it were available back then)
i guess it’s only worth it if you would use the features.
if you wnat indicative power then use the free Garmin Running Power (free – if you have a top-end Garmin)