Elevation gain totally wrong

Dear Strava,

The last days Strava decreases systematically the elevation gain measured by my Suunto Ambit 2.

Who's right and who's wrong?

For sure Strava is to blame. This afternoon I did 25 hill repeats, each of them between 10 and 17 meters in altitude. (Has always been this highn noproblems in the past.

My Suunto collects 411 meters elevation gain, Strava decreases this toward a poorly 104 meters!


Sorry to say, but I'm not the only one facing this fenomenon... What happened?





24 comentarios
  • Comentario oficial

    We've announced some changes to our method of calculating elevation data for Strava Activities. At the end of the article is a feedback form you can fill out to ask questions and report issues. Thanks and let us know what you think. 

  • I would like to join to this problem but from the other direction. Strava overestimates the elevation gain roughly by 1,5 times. So if I gain 100 m, Strava tells I gained 150 m. It is not good. I have Ambit 2S. I have also attached a quick graph about the overestimation compared to Movescount data.

  • Ditto here too, but my elevation is on the high side, boy 1.5 times, not low! Only seems to have occurred this week.

    Come on Strava - what have you changed? Change it BACK!

  • absolutely agree.

    I have the same all time on my fav running route. 

  • This is already fixed I believe. It was movescount that switched the upload format and Strava stopped recognized Sunnto watches with barometric altimeter and apply its own elevation correction algorithm instead - that's what reduced the elevation gain.

    As for Ambit 2S the elevation gain comes from GPS because that watch doesn't have barometer. I'd expect its altitude reading to be noisy and elevation gain to be unreliable and inflated.

  • Using Suunto Ambit3 with dual altimeter (barometre and GPS). due to bad weather it measured 10577 m elevation gain instead of +/- 50m. I have corrected this manually in Movescount, but the correction does not transfer to Strava. Either of three following solution would be acceptable 1) ideally, as the position on the map is known, either movescount or strava could automatically suggest a correction 2) corrections from Movescount would transfer to Strava 3) manual correction of the altitude and elevation gain on Strava . https://www.strava.com/activities/767282733

  • Salve : come fare per correggere i dati sbagliati del dislivello? 

    Grazie a Presto

  • My elevation gets at least doubled on import in Strava (recorded with an Ambit 2S). Has been this way for ages.


  • Hi Guys, How did you solve this problem? I have the same problem. The only way that a find is correcting on the activity by clicking on the option that strava have to correct the elevation.

  • Hello

    Between 21 May and 31 May the elevation gain recorded for virtually identical rides increased by a factor of greater than 3 times.

    This problem is still persisting.

    What is going on?

  • Wild numbers totally ewrywhere!!! do something with this!!




    Riders used a device on this ride which does not provide initial 'Corrected Altitude'.


    Coincidental that this factor being used to indicate overestimation applied.  


    So - this is now a non-issue.  



    Finishing a group ride.  Elevations were varied by apx. 200ft between two Strava users and, by 1200ft between mine and the others.  

    This follows the 1.5x overestimation theme, but have no resources to find a fix on my OS.  


    Anything which can be performed and applied to make correct this problem issue by STRAVA would be appreciated.  

  • I've started having issues with incorrect elevation too but only the displayed value. The elevation profile appear to be correct. In my case, the 21m elevation gain on my commute is displaying as 66m.

  • Same problem here.

    Movescount displays 77m gained.

    Strava shows 77m gained on the graph, but in the information on the acitivity it says 200m gained. Weird.

  • I would like to join this conversation. My elevation gains are over-estimated by STRAVA elevation database by 30% to 50% which is not acceptable. On a ride with 2800m elevation gain, STRAVA is reporting 4400m! which is a huge difference. This was the case last year and does not seem to be improved this year. STRAVA elevation correction should be voluntary also for non-barometric sports GPS units as there is usually only 3%-7% difference between a non-barometric and a barometric Garmin unit which is much more precise comparing to STRAVA elevation DB. Below, I am attaching the same ride with and without STRAVA adjustment.

    Garmin 310xt GPS (no barometer, 2832m gain, device manually changed to Edge1000 to avoid STRAVA adjustment) https://www.strava.com/activities/689159815

    Garmin Egde1000 (barometer, 2819m gain) https://www.strava.com/activities/687852039

    STRAVA adjusted (4430m gain!): https://www.strava.com/activities/752730832

    How can this be good?

    Thank you

    PS: I can provide similar rides from this year as well if needed.

  • The root of the problem is that Strava relies on the GPS track to be accurate to find elevation for each track point, but that is often not case, especially on steep mountainous terrain where part of the sky can be obstructed. Imaging that you are riding on a road that traverses a steep slope. If the GPS track veers 10 meters left or right, suddenly that moves elevation for that point much higher or lower along the slope so you end up having a sudden spike or deep in the elevation profile. Each of these spikes or deeps, that isn't actually there, adds to the total elevation gain. If you look at the Strava elevation profile posted above it looks spiky, not smooth that you'd get from accurate data. So it isn't entirely Strava's fault and GPS inaccuracy is to blame. But there is a way to make the data more accurate by combining the GPS elevation data with the elevation data from the database. It could be done to remove outliers. Also Strava could use an aggregated elevation data from other matching rides to further improve accuracy. It could be done.

  • Strava - any response to all this?

    Definitely this is still a thing. Tonight's ride:  Suunto = 551 ft. / Strava = 1,324 ft. Yikes!

  • For road rides at least isn't it possible to use a combination of GPS and the map datum for that region? I.e. Use GPS or identify which roads a user travelled on and the map datum will tell you accurately what the elevation differentials are.  I've been looking at this thread as I've just completed a ride where Strava is different to Garmin Edge 810 by some 400m and yet, just by knowing the route, I can work out the elevation by hand by counting the map contours. Given that this discussion appears to have been going on for at least 3 years, couldn't simple solution be identified for road users?

  • I'm in the same boat. Is there a better way to complain about this other than through the message board? I'm transferring from Suunto Ambit 3 to Strava and my Suunto (and the topo map along with other route beta) peg me at 6055ft, but Strava at 8540ft. That's wildly off! This has been happening consistently on all runs transferred for the last few months. 

  • After the recent changes, I believe, STRAVA gives much better results than before. Also, I did a lot of testing recently and we should not blame STRAVA for everything. There are strange things going on on Garmin devices as well. Ever wondered why Garmin elevation data are so smooth even there are small up and downs on the road (e.g. <15 meters)? Well, I did. My Garmin device (310XT) simply ignores them in elevation gain calculation. (i got also one confirmation from an Edge1000 device behaving similarly)

    To explain. I did some rides on a road with small ups and downs. None of them is higher than 15 meters, but there are couple of them. I can see the elevation increase on the Current Elevation counter, but there is no addition to the Elevation Gain counter (or the additions are less). It seems, the elevation gain counter starts counting only if you are ascending continuously during a longer distance.

    So short story long :), on a 5K distance, I was ascending in total for 50+ meters (based on current elevation counter), but the Garmin elevation gain showed only 17 meters. No wonder STRAVA elevation gain is always more than Garmin, but is it wrong? I am not sure anymore...

  • I've been having a similar problem, whilst using a Garmin 235, as when I run on the local track, I keep getting much more elevation than I should. On the mile splits, the elevation seem correct, but on the totals, it's much more. I really don't understand >.<



  • Hi everyone, same problem for me with my Suunto Ambit 3 Run and Strava.

    I contacted Strava Support and here is their answer : "Suunto Elevation is handled differently than other watch brands due to the way they format their elevation data. Unfortunately, some Suunto files have been providing very poor quality elevation data from their devices. We are actually reading the raw elevation (if it's present in the file) from their devices which is why you can sometimes correct the elevation on Strava but unfortunately, the raw data is not good. Suunto is somehow smoothing the data to make it appear more accurate on its site but the data isn't good enough for standard smoothing techniques which is causing problems on our site. We are in contact with them to try and get the issue addressed but unfortunately, we don't have any other solution at this time."

  • I just used my Ambit 3 for the first time. I did the rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. My friend's Ambit 3 calculated about 11k in elevation gain. I hadn't set up my automatic synchronization with Strava yet so I had to export my file from Suunto and import it into Garmin. It calculated my elevation at 15k feet. I first exported something other than a "FIT" format file. But I found that Garmin's save FIT files, so I tried exporting and importing a "FIT" format file instead. It calculated at 11k feet AND it offered the option of recalculation. So if you can make sure you use a "FIT" format file, that may help. Not sure on the auto synchronization though. That, apparently is working for my friend.

  • I would like to jump in on this.  My elevation is stuck at 0 (Zero)  I have no hills in Houston so i ride in parking garages so i climb ~6 stories, come down and repeat.  Lets assume 1 story is 10 feet and i climb this garage 20 times.  im pretty sure my elevation was not Zero.  Any help with this would be greatly appreciated


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