How does Strava measure heart rate?


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Page last updated: 27/09/2022

How does Strava measure heart rate?

In this guide, we will talk about how Strava measures heart rate. Strava will turn your device into a sophisticated tracking device for your activities such as running or cycling. Moreover, we will talk about how it measures your performance and records the information and some additional things you may like to consider when using Strava.

How does Strava measure heart rate?

If you wonder how Straca measures heart rate, here we have an answer. Strava can analyze your performance with Heart Rate Data. If you use the website or the mobile app, just navigate or select the settings page, tap Link Other Services and tap on ‘Connect device to Strava’. Them, select the device brand you are using and follow the instructions to sync it with your Strava account. 

While I am working out, I need to measure my heart rate to understand how it behaves over time and under certain exercises. Moreover, I wish to see the max to know when I am burning fat or just doing some aerobic exercise. Maybe, when you are training you would like to push yourself and see how your body reacts to the demands. 

However, as indicated by Strava Support, “Heart rate data unlocks a number of helpful features for Strava subscribers, including Relative Effort, Heart Rate Zones, and automatic updates to your Fitness Score”. Moreover, be aware that Strava can record your heart rate data through several compatible devices such as Garmin, Fitbit, Polar, among others.

Social Network for Athletes

So, we all know how Facebook, Twitter or Instagram work and why we use them for. They are social networks where we can share pictures, comments and interact with others. Well, Strava is considered a social network for athletes where you can record activities and share it straight to your Strava feed, where friends and followers can share their own workouts and even comment on your performance.

Imagine you are going cycling on that beautiful trail you enjoy so much. Wouldn’t you like to share your activity and captions with friends or family? I know I do enjoy attaching as many photos and captions as possible and turn my every activity into an adventure.

Finally, Strava is also interested in users building and feeling part of a community with hundreds of thousands of clubs. 

Do I need a Heart Rate monitor?

The short answer is that you don’t actually need a heart rate monitor to be able to use Strava. However, if you would like to track your heart rate data then to get the most accurate readings it is recommended to use a heart rate monitor. 

As indicated on, “As pretty much every service – and here we’re talking Garmin Connect, Polar Flow, Fitbit app etc – out there connects to Strava within the settings. So nothing has changed in that respect. Whether you have any Garmin Forerunner watch or even a Fitbit device such as the Charge 4 or Ionic, this is a great way to get your data into Strava”.

How does Strava measure heart rate?

Moreover, here are some of the best heart rate monitors and chest straps we could find:

  • Wahoo Tickr X
  • Wahoo Tickr Fit.
  • Polar H9 and H10.
  • Whoop Strap 3.0.
  • MyZone MZ-3.
  • Garmin HRM-Pro.
  • Scosche Rhythm24 HR.
  • Garmin Forerunner 45.

What is new with Strava?

When measuring heart rate, Strava decided to make some changes in 2019 such as removing the ability to pair Bluetooth or ANT+ external sensors directly to the app. However, you can still pull your heart rate information from the sensor built-in your smartwatch, connecting a chest strap is no longer an option.

Strava does offer another option, such as having the Wahoo Fitness App compatible with iOS and Android, downloaded into your phone so you can record your activities and workouts using an external sensor. However, remember that this is not only the case for Wahoo, but there also are other options such as using the native app of Heart Rate devices such as Garmin or Polar and subsequently exporting or synching the data with your Strava account. 

Additionally, and as indicated on, “Strava does offer a workaround though. If you download and use the Wahoo Fitness app (iOS and Android) to record activities using an external sensor, you can automatically sync that data over to Strava once the two services have been connected”. 

Best Heart Rate chest strap and Best Running Watch

Here we will mention the best Heart Rate chest strap, the ‘Wahoo Tickr X’ and the Best running watch, the ‘Garmin Forerunner 245 Music’. However, let’s start with the chest strap, which is said to be a good choice for both runners and cyclists. 

The original Tickr X used an ECG-style sensor and ANT+ (as well as Bluetooth) connectivity, just like this version. Moreover, it has been redesigned and has LED notification lights moved to the top of the sensor, making it easier to see when it is connected to another device. 

On the other hand, we have the best running watch as the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music. Garmin is known to be one of the best sport and fitness brands to track down your activities. By connecting the companion app to Strava, you can track a workout using the heart rate monitor built-in to your watch, subsequently synced over along with all of your metrics.

Even though heart rate monitors are not as accurate as chest straps, they have still gotten better over the years. If you are looking for one of the best running watches with a solid sensor to monitor your heart rate during your workouts and physical activities. However, consider:

“If you want more accurate heart rate data, then you do have the option to pair up and external heart rate chest straps with Garmin as well as Polar and Wahoo’s chest straps working with the solid sports watch (”. 

Why is this blog about How does Strava measure heart rate important?

As indicated on how Strava measures Heart Rate, we can conclude that Strava can analyze your performance with Heart Rate Data while using the website or the mobile app, just navigate or select the settings page, tap Link Other Services and tap on ‘Connect device to Strava’. Them, select the device brand you are using and follow the instructions to sync it with your Strava account. 

However, consider how there are devices specifically made to measure heart rate (i.e. Chest Straps) and how Strava is merely where this information is gathered and displayed.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How does Strava measure heart rate

Does Strava track heart rate?

Strava won’t directly track your heart rate but it will sync and pull data from most devices such as your phone, smartwatch, heart rate monitor or power meter. Just make sure to sync a device that is capable of measuring heart rate for Strava to display the information. 

How does Strava calculate heart rate?

Users who subscribe to Strava can use heart rate analysis. By default, Strava will determine your heart rate zones by estimating your max heart rate based on your age. While it works for many users, it may not work for you and may not represent vital or useful information according to your personal goals. 

Can I hide my heart rate on Strava?

You can hide your heart rate on Strava and also your Relative Effort by enabling the ‘hide heart rate data’ setting on the edit/save activity page. However, it can only be enabled on individual activities and can always be changed later on if you change your mind.

How do I get my Fitbit heart rate on Strava?

If you want to get your Fitbit heart rate info on Strava, first, it is necessary to connect your Fitbit and Strava account using the Fitbit’s integration site or so. Once they are linked, Fitbit can sync the activities with Heart Rate data to Strava. It is a matter of linking or syncing both Fitbit and Strava for it to display heart rate data.

Is Strava worth paying for?

Strava is worth paying for if you are interested in enjoying the competition segments and leaderboards. Moreover, it is not a lot per month and you may find some of the paid features very useful. But you can still use the basic features for free without a problem.


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