Velo Report

Cycling Insights

We conducted 48 interviews over the course of 60 days with cyclists from around the globe and wanted to share what we found. Three areas that we focused on were around the core cycling experience.

  1. What tools do cyclists use while riding?

  2. How do cyclists decide where to ride?

  3. Where do cyclists send their data after the ride?

Riders naturally fell into four categories

  1. Professional/Competitive - These riders all have bike computers, have sensors mounted on their bicycles, and upload their workouts online. The primary upload services is Strava, but services such as Training Peaks and Endomondo are also used for professional coaching. These riders also generally spent over 100 miles a week on their bicycle.

  2. Expert/Training - These riders all have bike computers, have sensors on their bicycle, and upload their data to Strava. This group generally does not upload data to a web service that focuses on personal training.

  3. Intermediate/Fitness - These riders use Strava, Google Maps, Apple Workouts or other third party applications while cycling. They do not have sensors on their bicycle, but they do upload their workouts to Strava.

  4. Beginner/Casual - These riders don't use their phone while cycling. They generally have a known commute or errand, and are not uploading any cycling information.

What tools do cyclists use while riding?

94% of cyclists across all four categories who we interviewed ride with their cell phone. 100% of cyclists in the professional and training skill groups ride with bike computers. The bike computers serve two purposes — provide location data (GPS) and act as a hub for collecting data from bicycle sensors. Bicycle sensors include hardware for tracking metrics about cadence, power, speed, gear and heart rate.

The most popular bike computer is Garmin. 46% of respondents use a Garmin bike computer as their primary input device. Wahoo was the second most popular device among respondents with 23% followed by Strava at 14%.

How do cyclists decide where to ride?

The overwhelming majority of cyclists determined where they were going to ride based on cycling groups. While there are tools for generating routes, it seems like nothing has really caught on in terms of road cycling routing.

Google Maps has cycling routes and Apple recently introduced cycling routes in a few cities in the United States for commuting. These systems usually allow you to choose among fastest, safest, or least hilly route. The cycling loop discovery features still leave very much to be desired.

Where do cyclists send their data after the ride?

If it's not on Strava it didn't happen.

This statement pretty much says it all. Across all four skill levels, 75% of all rides ended up on Strava. If you just isolate the Professional/Competitive rider, 73% of them upload data to Training Peaks. Strava is the place to go for a social cycling experience and Training Peaks is the place to go for a professional training experience.

Observations

  • 94% of cyclists ride with their cell phone.

  • Strava does not control the top of the funnel — by capturing only 14% of the input, Strava cedes the input of their data pipeline to companies like Garmin and Wahoo.

  • A top of the funnel product needs to include hardware sensor integration for professional and expert cyclists. Both categories of cyclist have sensors on their bicycle to collect telemetry data while riding.

  • Cycling routing is unsolved. There are no mobile cycling route solutions which make it easy to choose a route if you want to ride in a loop.

What We’re Building

We want to build a product that specifically address these three areas. Velo is a mobile bike computer that connects to bike sensors, lets you discover routes, and share your experience with 3rd party cycling services.

Check out what we’re working on at https://ridevelo.com