How to Get Power for Your Rides

If you see a lightning bolt like this: Screen_Shot_2022-04-04_at_1.37.07_PM.png next to the listed Power on a segment leaderboard, that means that the power value was recorded by a device called a power meter. A power meter is a device, generally integrated into either a bicycle's crankset, bottom bracket, or rear wheel, that accurately and continuously calculates the wattage - or power - being generated by the rider.

When data from a power meter is unavailable, Strava can estimate power using information about an athlete's weight, speed, and elevation change. You'll need to do three things before Strava can estimate your power on a ride:

  1. Add a bike to your account by following these instructions and ensure that you include the bike's weight. If you don't create and select a bike for your activity, a default road bike weight of 9kg, or 20 lbs, will be used.
  2. Enter your personal weight in your profile settings. It's helpful to enter your weight including your cycling clothes, shoes, and water bottles. 
  3. Lastly, Strava will need trusted elevation data for your activity from a device with a built-in barometric altimeter or automatically calculated from Strava's elevation basemap.

Average Power Calculations 

Average power gives your average power amount during the ride, expressed in watts (a measure of how much energy you are placing into the pedals.) This is inclusive of the entire ride, and Strava includes zeros (coasting). Average power is most accurately measured by a power meter, though if you don't have a power meter we give a rough approximation through our power estimator.  

Be sure to check out our power analysis features.

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