December means one thing in the world of content creation - end of year lists. Whether it's Spotify Wrapped or our own Pinkbike Awards there's plenty to be learned by looking back over a full year. Strava are the latest to release their end of year stats in their Year in Review, a slideshow of data that shows the trends in their users' activities over the past 12 months.
Unfortunately, the data is split into cycling or running, meaning we don't have any separate mountain bike data, however, there's still plenty of interesting info to take away from this release. Here are five key stats.1. Canyon and Orbea can Claim the Most Desirable Mountain Bikes... or Can They?
In the 'World's Hottest Gear' section, Strava collated the most used equipment that users had registered on its site in the past year. Within the top 5 bikes are 2 mountain bikes - the Canyon Neuron and the Orbea Oiz. So, does that mean these two models are the most popular mountain bikes going? Probably not. Strava has collated these stats based on year-on-year growth. Given that the Orbea Oiz was released in August 2018 and the Neuron in November 2018, it's fair to say these bikes were probably starting from a baseline of near enough zero, making growth much easier over a bike that is already out in the market.
What we probably can say with some confidence is that XC bikes are the most popular among Strava users that choose to register their bikes with the app. This makes sense as XC riders are probably most likely to want data on their ride as they train and will probably be more interested in using Strava as a time comparison tool than other riders. 2. Strava is Continuing to Grow
Strava is now ten years old and has 48 million registered users in 195 countries. It's also currently growing at about 1 million users per month. Unfortunately, there is no data on how many of these users are active though and many of these accounts may lie dormant. Plus, how many people download the app on a whim and never use it again? We're not sure. Whatever the case, it seems that Strava is continuing to get bigger and is now undeniably a part of the fabric of cycling in 2019.3. Peer Pressure is Real
People who ride in a club upload 10% more activities to Strava in their first month and ride twice as far when they do. Group rides also cover twice the distance of solo rides and they are 6% faster on average. Interestingly, riders in a group also wake up earlier as most group ride start at 5am, according to Strava, while solo rides begin most often at 8am. If you're struggling to find the motivation to ride in the short daylight hours of the winter months, this could be a great way to kickstart your riding again.
Another way the data suggests to stay motivated is to set goals at the start of the year. Of Strava users that set goals in the app at the start of the year, 95% were still active in September, whereas that falls to 87% for users that don't set goals. 4. The Popularity of Indoor Riding is Growing
Strava is now calling indoor riding a year-round activity. In the past four years, indoor riding in July has grown more than 2,000% from a 0.2% share of activities to 4.9%. Strava believe that the introduction of apps such as Zwift and TrainerRoad are a large factor in this growth but also the rise of more erratic weather patterns due to climate change.
With Zwift now supporting mtb and cx training plans
, this could be a growth area for mountain bikers too. Don't be surprised to see more of your mtb friends sticking indoors when you're scrolling through your Strava feed in future.5. Europeans Party Harder than North Americans
Finally we have some conclusive, undeniable proof of something all us Europeans suspected for a long time, we simply party harder. In the European data, January 1st is a day of hangover recovery for as we record far fewer rides and start much later than average. In North America, riders set off later but they actually ride more frequently than the January baseline.