Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Sync Strava and Garmin Connect with Tapiriik

I've been using a Garmin to record my ride data and Strava to tell me how much slower than everyone else I am for some time now.  I started out bypassing anything to do with Garmin Connect because I simply didn't use it and was more than happy with Strava.

The issue always was that since I didn't use the iOS Strava app, my rides had to be uploaded manually each time and plugging my Garmin in to my laptop got tedious. I wanted a way for Strava to get my Garmin data but there simply wasn't an easier way back then.

There came a point when I swapped my old Edge 705 for the new (at the time) Edge 810 which allowed the uploading of rides directly to Garmin Connect from the iOS app for iPhone. I quickly found CopyMySports (previously GarminSync) but found that whilst it was easy to set up, it was reliably unreliable and waiting times were just too much to bear when all I wanted to see was a list of fairly meaningless achievements ASAP! In fairness to CopyMySports I understand Garmin may not have made things easy along the way but nevertheless I 'took the huff' and went back to manually uploading my rides……….. until I came across tapiriik.

Today I gave it a whirl and I'm pleased to report that it's bloody simple to set up, is free and it works. It works with a few of the popular fitness tools and right now will sync Garmin, Strava, Runkeeper, Dropbox, Training Peaks and SportTracks - in both directions. At the moment though I'm only concerned with Garmin and Strava.

I set it up on my iPhone whilst walking the dog this evening and, having previously let my 810 sync to my Garmin Connect app (simply to ensure Garmin Connect had some new rides to sync with Strava) I clicked Synchronise.  I should note that this was my first sync and there were lots of files that tapiriik would have had to check with Strava for duplicates. That said, it was quick and ridiculously simple.

I'd read that once you clicked Synchronise there is up to an hour's wait for tapiriik to query the various sites and perform the sync. Today I waited a lot less than this and this could be because I happened to click sync in the middle of its 60 minute sync cycle. This does mean that whilst you could wait for a whole hour, you could also be fortunate with your timing and could get an almost instant upload!

For me, I clicked Sync and was added to the queue at 5.37pm and by 6.00pm it was already syncing my activities with Strava, where at 6.02 they promptly appeared in my feed.

Irrelevant of today's initial performance, I'm not too fussed with an hour's wait provided that my activities do actually make it to their various places. CopyMySports could be 15 minutes but most of the time I was finding it was more like several hours and in some cases - days!

So with tapiriik it's far so good and I'm pretty impressed with the interface and simplicity but there are some points to note:

  • The free service provided isn't automatic and requires users to revisit the tapiriik webiste to click the Synchronise button each time you have new activities you want to sync across. For most this will be fine but if you want fully automatic syncing across all of your apps, then $2 (payable by PayPal and currently equates to £1.21) gets you a year of click-free synchronisation.
  • If you've used CopyMySports on previous occasions you should login to Strava and remove this app from the list in the settings menu to prevent duplicates. Tapiriik claim they won't duplicate entries but CopyMySports does so I've just turned the latter off.

I plan on using this over the next month fairly solidly and provided I can remember to sync my Garmin with the iPhone app I should be bang up to date. All I need do now is simply let my Garmin upload to my iPhone at the end of each ride et voila, tapiriik should do the rest.

I'll post a update on long-term use in due course but for now I seem no harm in giving it a bash and its free!

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