Stryd Duo (and Stryd Footpath)
TL;DR – A second Next Generation Stryd pod gives dual-sided power and new, dual-sided metrics.
This is a very welcome and long-overdue addition to the Stryd ecosystem. The product pretty much offers what you would expect from a dual-sided running footpod but there are some loose ends I’ll tie up further below including what happens if you already have a Stryd pod and how two pods should increase both accuracy and stability.
This is only a ‘first thoughts’ post on Stryd Duo and a review will follow in November.
Table of Contents (Click to Expand)
Stryd Duo: A Dual-Sided Power Meter
The new Stryd Duo allows two existing Next Gen Stryd power meters to work together to give high-resolution, bilateral running metrics. You can either buy two new pods or add one new pod to your existing Next Gen pod.
The key benefits as I see them are a more accurate overall power measurement for those with an asymetric gait and a more stable and responsive overall power measurement which is effectively now updated twice as frequently. Each of the components of overall running power is boosted by dual power meters but Form Power and Air Power remain as totals, which makes sense if you think about it.
Historically, I’ve found little benefit in Garmin’s dual-sided gait metrics like Ground Contact Time (bal) and Vertical Oscillation (bal). However, we now have those and more with Stryd…
- Ground Contact Time Balance
- Vertical Oscillation Balance
- Leg Spring Stiffness Balance
- Impact Loading Rate Balance
- Vertical Ratio
Note: these metrics are free.
Stryd Footpath: Visualizing Your Run in 3D
Stryd Footpath visualisations are a further set of totally new features and I can’t recall seeing anything similar in consumer-grade running tools. These visualisations are additional to the free ones mentioned in the last section.
You are presented with three 2D visualisations of the tracks of each of your feet throughout each stride. The views are created as if a 3rd person is assessing your stride from the side, top and back. To me, this sounds incredibly interesting but how actionable it is and if it can make us faster remains to be seen!
If you have the time and inclination to experiment you could see the impact of orthotics on your stride or the impact of different shoes. Perhaps you could spot gait anomalies that might be the cause of an injury.
3D? The raw data must be 3D but the representation is 2D, perhaps a 3D simulation could be built as a viewer?
Q: Is Stryd Membership Required?
Stryd Membership is only needed to view the Footpath 3D Visualisation. Every metric is recorded whether you have a membership or not. So if/when you decide to activate your membership you will have your historical FOOTPATH Visualisations data immediately available.
MUQs – More Unusual Questions
Q: I already have a membership, what if I buy a new membership bundle?
A: You are switched to the monthly payment and your membership is extended by any unused months of membership you’ve already paid for
Q: Can I buy Duo and unpair them to use on two pairs of shoes
A: Yes but you won’t get the footpath data when the two pods are unpaired
Q: Does a greater leg spring stiffness on one side mean that side is stronger
A: Yes, probably
Q: What periods does Footpath show?
A: You can make a selection of any period vs any other period
Q: I have Stryd Wind can I buy a single Stryd Next Gen to get Footpath?
A: No. You need two of the latest pods. It doesn’t matter how you get the two latest pods.
Accuracy & Metrics – My Take
I am genuinely interested in having a dual-sided power breakdown. There are asymmetries in my gait and I would like to understand if and how they impact power balance.
If you have an asymmetry I would have thought it highly likely that the overall total power calculation will be different with Stryd Duo. Hence your rFTP/rCP will change and it might even change by a few percentage points if cycling power meters are anything to compare to. However, I have some doubts here and maybe the rFTP won’t change as Stryd has historically claimed to represent power by its metabolic cost…which should be unchanged regardless of the measurement method.
Stryd claims that there will be more stability to the power reading and that instinctively feels true as there will be more data points. In itself, that shouldn’t affect the total power reading but would it make a shorter duration moving average a more accurate and actionable metric? I currently use a 3-second power as that seems to balance responsiveness to change with smoothing out the physical power of the propulsive part(s) of the running stride. Will it make sense to use a 1- or 2-second average? That said, I’m not especially interested in more responsive air power or form power.
I would have a passing interest in some quick peeks at how my asymmetries (non-power) compare to those I’ve seen on other tools. But I suspect my interest in those would wane rather quickly.
Then we come to Footpath which I was surprised to see added. It looks like an interesting addition if you have orthotics and it looks like gait labs or even running shops could get some use from the product to either recommend shoe types or orthotics.
Pricing is unchanged. Members with a Next Gen pod will get a discount.
Wider Reaching Thoughts
Wow! This is the most excited I’ve been for years about a new product. Although I’ll be the first to accept that my excitement won’t be shared by everyone else.
It’s been a bit of a no-brainer prediction that, at some point, Stryd would introduce dual-sided metrics. So my prediction, and everyone else’s, has finally come true. Albeit I think I predicted this about 3 years ago and instead we got Stryd Lite (which didn’t seem to go down too well) and a massive expansion of the Stryd ecosystem to encompass just about every aspect of single-sided gait and power metrics!!
We had expansion of Stryd’s capabilities to support Apple Watch and we had competition from all the sports watch vendors who each now have their own, less accurate flavour of wrist-based running power…Suunto, Coros, Garmin, Apple and Polar. Then we saw power-based training plans, a good member-only set of features and increased responsiveness and granularity in the latest generation hardware.
It seems that when Coros tried to copy the power capabilities on its footpod, the company encountered the wrath of Stryd’s patent lawyers. So, when looking forward we now can see that the unique precision of Stryd’s patented hardware offering will compete with the essentially-free running power metrics that come with the software on wristwatches. There can’t be a direct competitor to Stryd’s footpod but maybe the indirect wrist-based competitors will either add too much of a competitive burden or grow the market and interest for running power. I reckon the latter.
Stryd’s future is thus intertwined with the global growth of running and the percentage of runners who either want greater accuracy and insights from their hardware or a more complete running power ecosystem.
Future innovations from the company could come from offering a lab-type service similar to RunScribe Plus, reporting/broadcasting existing temperature and humidity metrics, more deeply embedding Apple Running Power into a watchOS Stryd app, and even new hardware that measures other aspects of gait from the torso, perhaps incorporating Garmin RD-POD data. I don’t think there is enough money in gait metrics to justify a significant, standalone business proposition but Stryd might as well add it if it represents an easy expansion to the ecosystem.
So, Stryd’s immediate future is clear – its ecosystem is relatively limited in how it can expand its accuracy and commercially attractive features. It just needs new members and new pod buyers.
Q: Will anyone buy the company?
A: I’m not sure. What would a buyer do with the company to get a 10x ROI?
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