Toolbox for Strava is great, if you are a cyclist. For runners the tool is lacking since it does not import or analyze any run data. This is a real shame since the Toolbox has a simplistic design that is visually appealing and has solid adoption. As an original winner in one of the Strava API competitions the developer has been around for years and it is clear that the tool is a passion project that has found a home with enthusiast, although ultimately it is still a pet project as compared to a commercial product. The upside of this is that the tool is free, which makes it a great option for taking a new fun look at all of your cycling workout data.
How Popular is Toolbox for Strava
The worldwide leaderboards, which compare individuals against all other Toolbox users. In total the worldwide totals are right around 100k users, which makes it a rather popular app considering it is a subset of Strava users only. No doubt some of this popularity is due to the long tenure of the project and support as one of the early adopters of the Strava API.
Best Features of Toolbox For Strava
By expanding to runners there is potential to really open up the tool. Some other sites have reported that Strava is actually more popular as a running tool, at least for half of the population.
The year to date report on Toolbox also offers much more than the standard Strava profile summary. If you are tracking to a specific goal the tool does little to really drive motiviation. Unlike some other tools which make it a point to showcase great data display, Toolbox is really about putting big numbers and outliers up in large font. This makes it a useful consideration if you are sharing to social media or creating something like a Pinterest post, but if you are trying to optimize a cycling training plan it will do little to push in that direction.
Toolbox is also void of any real data about training load. This means that it does not have much about the Strava Fitness score, which was reviewed previously on the site, and is used to gauge the total amount of hours or miles put on your body in a short time. For advanced cyclists the toolbox offers little in the way of insights that they would not already know. For knowledge and insights on training plans and how your fitness is tracking, alternate applications like Elevate for Strava seem to be a better option.
Surprisingly for a cycling tool, the app also does not do anything with Functional Threshold Power or FTP. For that matter the app does not analzye power output in any meaningful way. This is a shame since other aggregate stats like distance can be compared to big numbers, like trips around the world. It would be great to see a summary of how much total power output you have generated on the bike compared to power standards like “You have ridden enough to power a lightbulb for X hours” or “Your cycling power output total could have charged an iPhone 100 times”.
How to export Strava to Excel or Google Sheets
Another interesting aspect of the Toolbox tool is the built in ability (in beta) to export your data from Strava. This can be done directly through the Strava webapp, which will then email you the result.
The upside of the Toolbox app is that it is much quicker and smaller. This is because the Strava native exporter includes all account information. That is every picture that you have uploaded, all running data, routes, and posts. The Toolbox exporter only generates a .CSV or .XLS excel file. This means that for my 313 riding activity a 100kB file was created compared to a 150MB zipped file created when exporting using the Strava tool.