VeloViewer is the Data Nerd’s data analysis tool. If you like slicing and dicing your data in infinite ways then VeloViewer is for you. VeloViewer (VV) was created, and is still maintained by, Ben Lowe a cycling aficionado and programmer living in the UK. Up until this year VV was free and allowed you to upload all of your Strava data for analysis. Now there’s a free and PRO version. The free version truncates your Strava uploads to the last few activities (last 25 activities and 250 segments) so, the analysis is still there but your VeloViewer Score won’t be 100% accurate. The PRO version is only ~$15/year which is worth every penny if you ask me.
I emailed Ben when writing this article to see if he had anything he wanted me to share with the team – he responded in less than 15 minutes! Which helps to show his passion for the tool he built. Now… what are some cool things that VV does?
VeloViewer pulls your datafeed from Strava and assigns a score. The score is basically a weighted ranking of your top 25% of segment results. According to Ben (the site) the score is a way to compare yourself against your peers. It is the average segment position score from your top 25% (max 100) of non-downhill segments. It’s calculated using your position score. The position score factors each of your completed segments and assigns a number between 0 and 100, that represents your relative position based on the number of other athletes that have also ridden the segment. The higher the score the better! “Why not use placing? – Being 1st of 2 athletes isn’t the same value as being 1st of 1,000. Equally being last of 2 athletes isn’t anywhere near as bad as last of 1,000. The position score reflects how you stack up against others much better than your actual placing.”
VeloViewer displays “awards” based on the number of times you complete certain milestones; distance, time, or elevation. It’s a great visual tool. VV will also show you your relative position change over certain segments over time. So if you move up in the rankings you will get a nice green cell that shows that you improved, and by how much. One of the features I really like is the “Rivals” section which shows you who rides your same segments and is around your same skill level. Kinda gives you a rabbit that you can chase down.
I asked Ben what was one of his favorite features and, as would be expected, he introduced me to a part of the tool that I didn’t even know existed. He said, “One of the most useful things for me is to review how well you’ve paced yourself on climbs or timetrials by viewing your activity, selecting the section of the ride you are interested in and then selecting the Bar option on the data tab and splitting into half, thirds or quarters. Great to see how well you paced your effort.” You can get there by going to the activity tab, clicking on the activity you want to analyze and then (and this is the part I never saw before) under the elevation map, there are additional filter options. On the Data tab you can click on the Bar view and see your efforts broken down like the screenshot below. This tool just got better for me. (not to mention he used an iconic ride for his screenshot)
Ben’s final thought was “It is always nice to have it pointed out that I’m a one-man-band doing it in my spare time as there is often a perception that VeloViewer is a company with employees etc. It just sets people’s expectations a bit more realistically!” I think that makes it just that much more impressive. Good job Ben!