Hi I’m Gidon from thetechnologyman.com.
Stryd is a tiny footpod with an array of sensors that you attach to the laces of one of your
running shoes. These sensors process almost every aspect of your foot’s motion and send
various measurements to your running watch. The most significant metric is so-called running
power. This one number aims to quantify exactly how hard you’re running. Independent of
whether you’re running up or down a hill, across muddy moorland or smooth roads and
now with this latest version, even into a strong headwind or assisted by an equally
strong tailwind. Typically runners measure their effort by
feel, pace or heart rate, but pace doesn’t take into account any of these factors, and
heart rate can be slow to respond; so it’s far too easy to go too hard or indeed too
easy. Not great if you’re trying to avoid injury, or get your best time in a race.
Stryd also measures distance and pace more accurately than GPS, especially when GPS reception
is poor. And also a number of other useful metrics including cadence, ground contact
time, vertical oscillation, form power and leg stiffness, if any of those mean anything
to you. I reviewed the previous Stryd over 8 months
ago. This latest version looks almost identical, but has one major new feature as I alluded
to – it measures wind resistance. I’ll discuss this new feature, and the other more minor
updates. There’s also been a few firmware and app updates since my initial review that
are also relevant to the previous Stryd, so consider this a longer-term review too.
Stryd is not cheap at £199 or $219 plus delivery. Is it worth it for a new user and is it worth
upgrading from the previous version? Let’s find out.
Overview In the box you get the footpod itself, 2 shoe
clips, one black and one orange, a charging cradle and a micro-USB cable, not the more
modern and robust reversible USB-C. My previous version came with the exact same wired charging
cradle. It’s disappointing to see the new Stryd
actually loses a genuinely useful and forward thinking feature – wireless charging. The
old Stryd supported the almost universal Qi wireless charging standard so you could charge
it with any charging mat you had lying around, or even your friend’s phone if it has reverse
wireless charging. Earlier shipments actually came with a wireless charger.
Now if you don’t have the charging cradle to hand, you’re probably stuck.
The new Stryd looks almost identical to the previous version – they’re difficult to
tell apart. The main difference is the clip which now has a hole at the front to channel
wind. The only noticeable difference on the Stryd itself is a slightly larger recess around
the sensor. It’s still the same size and weight, 4cm
by 3cm at its longest and widest points and just 9g including the shoe clip.
It’s well made just like the previous model, which has fared well. It’s still not waterproof
though with only an IP67 splash-proof rating as before. I imagine it’s difficult to make
it 100% waterproof since the environmental sensors need some exposure to the environment
to work! They recommend removing it for river crossings
and even running through puddles. But I’ve been running in some pretty grim winter Dartmoor
conditions, definitely through puddles and often through wet thick mud and the previous
version has survived. I would still follow their advice for river crossings where the
pressure from the flow of water may well be pushing your luck.
Battery life hasn’t changed with the new Stryd, it’s still around 20 hours. I’ve
got at least that with my current Stryd. Clip the pod into the charging cradle heel
first to activate it. The orange charging LED will light up. This is much brighter and
more noticeable than on the previous version which was often barely visible, especially
when it was a bit dirty. Download the Stryd app on iOS or Android and
create an account. Try and provide an accurate weight measurement but you can of course adjust
it later. Follow the on-screen instructions to pair Stryd with your phone. The LED flashes
twice to indicate that pairing was successful. If there’s a new firmware available this
will be sent across. Next choose your watch brand which will initiate
a guide to setting up your watch. This procedure is much improved since I last did it. There
are loads of help articles at support.stryd.com if you get stuck.
I did cover setup with an Apple Watch and the Garmin Forerunner 230 in my last video,
so I’ll link to that in the on-screen card and down below if you want to take a look.
In that video I also covered some of the basics of running with power and the various metrics
besides power you can measure. So I won’t repeat myself here but if you have any questions
please feel free to ask down below in the comments.
Once setup, any run you do will be automatically synced to Stryd’s online PowerCenter and
can be viewed via the app or in more detail at stryd.com/powercenter. I’ll come back
to this shortly. A big recent update to the Stryd app is the
new auto-calculated Critical Power. To get the most out of Stryd, just a like a bike
power meter, you need to know your CP or Critical Power, commonly referred to as FTP or Functional
Threshold Power in the world of bikes. In running this is the maximum power number in
Watts you could hold for 30-60 minutes. This then defines power zones, which allow you
to train more effectively. Before, you had to perform a fairly intense
Critical Power test to get this number, or get an estimation from a recent race result.
Now by default Stryd will calculate this number automatically and more importantly keep it
updated whenever you upload a run. You can turn this feature off and do the test I discussed
in my last video if you prefer. If you leave it on which I’d recommend, you’ll need
to upload at least 12 runs before Stryd can provide a measurement and one of them needs
to be at least 50 minutes. Stryd recommends doing a mixture of short distance sprinting
or fast strides, mid distance fast tempo runs and long slow runs to get the best automatic
calculation. Running with Stryd
Attaching Stryd to your shoes is easy – you slide the clip under your laces on either
shoe, with the wind hole facing forwards, and then hinge in the pod from the rear and
push it down at the front until it clicks in. You need to make sure the front hole is
not obstructed. It’s easy to move around different shoes as required.
As covered earlier, basic setup should already have your watch configured with a data screen
that at least shows power. For Garmin watches that will be via the Stryd Power or newer
Stryd Zones Connect IQ app if your watch supports it – my Garmin 230 doesn’t. You’ll need
a newer watch which supports Connect IQ 3.0. This new app works with the new auto-calculated
Critical Power to provide constantly updated power zones together with your power number
as a datafield on your watch. There are some third party apps that allow
more data fields, but you’ll need to check your watch compatibility – it gets a bit complicated.
There’s a useful article I’ll link to below, that goes into great detail on Connect
IQ app support for various Garmin watches. But to get started just go with Stryd Power
or Stryd Zones. All the other Stryd metrics will be captured for post-run analysis in
PowerCenter. I configure the power field to be a 3s average, but there are a number of
power averaging options available. Setup and configuration with an Apple watch
is very easy. There aren’t many changes since my last review. But the main change
is a big one – you can now download workouts to the watch. Stryd have partnered with TrainingPeaks
for this feature and have a few training plans you can download for free. You need to setup
an account with TrainingPeaks – a free account is sufficient. You then sync Stryd with TrainingPeaks.
If you sign up and start a training plan you can just open Stryd on your Apple Watch, tap
Workouts and Fetch workouts which will bring today’s workout across, if it hasn’t already
been downloaded. You can create custom workouts in TrainingPeaks
too. With the free account you can only create a workout for the current day. Tap on the
plus icon in Calendar on the current day, add a Run workout, tap build workout, choose
“%Functional Threshold Power” and tap continue. You can then drag and drop the blocks
to create a custom workout. If you want to be able to advance an interval manually, say
for the warm up or cool down, toggle “End step on lap button”. Tap save and close
This is a powerful feature particularly if you like more structured training, and the
implementation on the Apple Watch is nicely done with an additional workout page that
guides you through the intervals. If you’ve configured a manual lap, you can firm press
the workout screen and tap “Next” to skip to the next interval – or use the two side
buttons if you’ve configured them to trigger a lap instead of pausing a workout.
With the huge amount of customisation and now the Workout feature, Stryd and an Apple
Watch is a very compelling option. And it’s a great option for playing music via some
wirel ess earbuds while you’re running. But having used this setup for a while there
are a few points worth noting. Having to deliberately turn your wrist to
see the screen is awkward, especially if you’re running hard. The new Apple Watch 5 with it’s
always-on display would have been a great option, except the always on display doesn’t
work with third party apps like Stryd. Hopefully that will charge at some stage.
Also I have found the built in heart rate monitor on my Apple Watch Series 4 almost
unusable with Stryd. No matter how much I adjust the strap, I often get no reading at
all, or it locks on to cadence or some other random value. I’ve had to revert to always
using a chest strap since I still like to get heart rate data too. The Apple Workout
app is not perfect, but does usually start providing a reliable measurement a few minutes
into a run. Stryd are aware of the issue but haven’t been able to offer as fix as yet.
Battery life is also an issue for longer runs, and although your can configure a simultaneous
press of the crown and side button to trigger a lap, this is tricky to do in a workout compared
to the dedicated buttons on a running watch. Wind measurement & other new hardware features
The headline feature of the new Stryd is wind measurement which I’ll discuss shortly,
but they’ve also added a temperature and humidity sensor. For now, there’s no way
of viewing these metrics, but they are two further variables that can also affect your
perceived effort and future updates will hopefully take advantage of them, or at least provide
access to them. And there’s a new magnetometer that has
also been added to enable new capabilities in the future, although there’s no indication
of what these might be apart from some improved accuracy.
They’ve also increased the storage for collecting larger amounts of data, particularly useful
for ultra-runners. It is possible to run just with the pod and do what Stryd calls an offline
sync afterwards. You won’t get your GPS track, but you’ll get everything else. You’re
best off setting up another Stryd account to do this, since everything in memory is
pulled across, so you’ll get loads of duplicates otherwise. You can then download and copy
across the run you’re interested in to your main account.
I tested out the new wind measurement feature, and although it’s very difficult to validate
the results accurately, I did record the wind strength as I was running with a handheld
anemometer and cross referenced these measurements with the power graph in the Stryd PowerCentre.
I covered the PowerCentre in my last video, so again please take a look at that video
if you’re unfamiliar with it. Currently only the desktop version of PowerCentre
shows the effects of wind if you enable “Show Air Power Contribution”. The mobile app
just shows total power which includes this air power.
The theory is if you’re running in calm conditions, the speed of air resistance you
have to overcome is equal to the speed you running at. So at 9mph you’re overcoming
9mph of air resistance. So, if you’re running into a 9mph headwind,
you’re having to overcome 18mph of air resistance, and if you’re running with a 9mph tailwind
you’re effectively overcoming no air resistance. In reality, you don’t really need to care
about air power, you just need to know that the power number you’re getting is now just
that bit more realistic. If you’re running into a really strong headwind, your effort
is now more in line with the power number you’re getting.
I completed several runs in various conditions, and the air power value did tally broadly
with what I measured and experienced in the run.I also ran with both the old and new Stryd
on each running shoe and used DC Rainmaker’s Analysis tool which can separate out the Air
Power value, to compare results. It’s interesting to see even if conditions that weren’t excessively
windy, the air power contribution was up to 36W. Whereas the old Stryd was saying I was
running at roughly my threshold of 269W, the new Stryd had a value of 308W including the
36W Air Power contribution which is roughly Zone 5 for me – so a significant difference.
As an aside the two Stryds measured distance almost exactly the same and I already confirmed
the accuracy of the previous Stryd in my last video.
It would be nice to see wind speed and air power as live metrics which is not possible
on my Apple Watch or Garmin 230. I’d imagine this wouldn’t be too difficult to do since
the data is already being captured. I did have some concerns that the hole in
the clip and the sensor itself may become clogged up with mud and dirt, and start providing
erroneous data, but I haven’t experienced this issue so far.
Conclusions I’ve always been impressed with the consistency
of Styrd. It’s not a direct measurement of power like on a bike power meter. But having
used it for a good while now, the number I get always feels about right and I have learnt
to trust it. And getting very accurate distance and pace is a bonus.
This new capability means the power number you’re now getting is that bit more accurate
and this can only be a good thing. I’m disappointed they took away wireless
charging, and I would have liked the new version to be fully waterproof. It also would have
been nice if the new temperature and humidity sensors provided some additional metrics now,
even if they were just available after a run. And although the new auto-calculated critical
power is a step in the right direction, I still feel the PowerCenter is far too complex.
The Improve tab has some useful information, but I really doubt most people truly understand
what it means and how to get the most out of it.
If you already have the previous version of Stryd I wouldn’t say upgrading is a must,
unless perhaps you live in a very windy area. If you’re contemplating getting Stryd, this
model is the only one available new – there’s no option to buy the previous model cheaper.
So at least you know you are getting the most accurate measurement currently possible and
a few capabilities that haven’t yet been unlocked.
I did notice eBay now has a lot of second-hand Stryd’s without the wind measurement capability,
very reasonably priced. So this might be a cheaper option if you’re on the fence!
I’d love to know what you think of this new Stryd running power meter? Do you think
it’s worth the money? Is the new wind resistance something you’ve been waiting for, or is
there still something missing? Let me know down below!
And as always, if you have any questions, please ask – I read every comment and will
do my best to respond. I do hope you found this video useful. Please
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