This post is written in response to queries from my local cycling group as to how to convert Strava activities to Strava routes.
Both methods are not always entirely reliable and have limitations (see below). Method One is the easiest and simplest.
Method One (via the ‘standard’ Strava website):
Follow the instructions here
Method Two (via the Strava labs website):
1. In your browser, open the Strava activity you want to export. It will be in the format https://www.strava.com/activities/1234567890
2. Copy that link to your clipboard
3. Open the Strava Labs ‘GPX to Route tool here
4. Paste the link in to the tool and then click ‘Convert’. (The first time you do this you will be asked to link Strava Labs to your Strava. This is fine as both websites are run by Strava.)
If you get an ‘Error Computing Route’ message, you can either try again later (occasionally waiting will work) or more usually you have to give it up as a bad job! (There are online and offline tools for advanced users that can sometimes help.)
Exporting routes to GPS devices:
Once your route has been converted intro Strava using either method, you can then export it as a GPX or TCX file for importing into your device.
N.B. If you have a newer Garmin device – e.g. Edge 520, Edge 1000 – you can cut this step out by installing the Strava Routes Connect IQ app and downloading the route direct from your device.
Both methods do not allow you to easily edit your routes, if at all. So if you went the wrong way on your activity, the route will go the wrong way as well. Or if you want to simplify your route, perhaps by taking a more direct route, you will probably not be able to.
There are also map limitations in the converter. If it can’t find a valid route on the Strava basemap then it will route a longer valid way around – even if your activity went the shorter way!
For these reasons I rarely use either of these methods, preferring to create my Strava routes from scratch via the Route Builder tool. (There are also ways of doing routes via non-Strava websites, e.g. RideWithGPS, but that’s outside the scope of this post.)
Summary: if you’re happy with the limitations and don’t mind route imperfections, then by all means use these methods. But if you’re a perfectionist like me, these methods will not be for you!
First posted: 1 October 2017
Last updated: 16 December 2017