There are two options to import a GPX file into Strava, GPX to Strava Route & Upload and Sync Your Activities.
However, if it was that straightforward, there’d be no need for this article. So what’s the issue with trying to import a GPX file to Strava, or TCX & FIT files for that matter?
In short, GPX to Strava Route doesn’t work and Upload and Sync Your Activities only work for activities.
- GPX to Strava Route: https://labs.strava.com/gpx-to-route
- Upload and Sync Your Activities: https://www.strava.com/upload/select
GPX to Strava Route
The GPX to Strava Route method was created with this specific task in mind, however, it is part of the Strava Labs project and is still in Beta development, and has been for many years. Frustratingly, it is no longer being developed, meaning that Strava have no plans to fix the many bugs in this upload tool.
The “error computing route” message is more common than one confirming a successful import. The error message is caused by the imported GPS data, via the GPX file, not matching the existing routes in the Strava database of routes, thus causing an import error. So whilst Strava are aware of the error, and recognise it as an existing fault, they have no plans to fix it. Here’s what they’ve posted on the Strava support forum;
Upload and Sync Your Activities
If you have an activity file, downloaded from another application, you can use the Upload and Sync Your Activities feature in Strava to import your activity into your Strava account. However, this is only for activities and doesn’t support routes, without associated activity.
Strava GPX Import Options That Don’t Work
Having been faced with this problem myself, I searched Google solutions but couldn’t find anyone that had actually solved the problem. There are however, a good number of solutions that don’t work.
I’ve listed them solely to save you time, I’ve tried them all and they don’t work.
- GPX to Strava Route: Try it in the morning / evening.
- GPX to Strava Route: Clear internet browser cache / try a different browser.
- GPSies (now AllTrails.com): Upload GPX file to GPSies.com, export GPS Track file, upload to Strava as an Activity then Create a Route.
- Upgrade to Strava Premium: Silly suggested solution that doesn’t work anyway.
- GPX to Strava Route: Keep trying, it eventually works.
- GPX to Strava Route: Try different file formats, eg. TCX.
- Garmin Connect: Import GPX file then export as GPX. Import GPX to Strava Route.
- RidewithGPS: Import GPX file then export as GPX. Import GPX to Strava Route.
- MapMyRide: Import GPX file then export as GPX. Import GPX to Strava Route.
- Google Maps: Import GPX file then export as GPX. Import GPX to Strava Route.
- Waypoints: Add additional waypoints to GPX file, then upload to Strava.
There are some other suggestions littering the Internet but they are even more far fetched and also don’t work.
How to Import a GPX File to Strava [Solved]
So let’s now look at what does work and solve the problem of how to import a GPX file into Strava.
In short, the answer is to add Timestamps to GPS files.
So now the question is how to add timestamps to the GPX file? Thankfully, there is a very quick & easy way to do this.
Go to gotoes.org and upload your GPX file.
Next, edit the upload tool with the specific elements of your file.
- Time Zone: Select your preferred time zone.
- Activity Start Time: Select a date & time
- Desired Average Speed: Select an average speed in either mph or kph
- Consider Elevation in Calculating Speed: Check this box.
- Upload: Select the Upload button when you are ready to process the file.
- Click Here: Select the Click Here button once the file has processed (see below).
Once you’ve selected the Click Here button, you’ll be taken to the download page.
- Output File Format: Select GPX (recommended for Strava routes)
- Randomize ID Tag: Check this box.
- GPS Type in Output File: Select your preferred GPS device from the extensive list.
- Activity Type / Sport: Select your activity type, eg. biking.
- Do Not Embed Distance: Do not check this box for GPX files.
- Send To Strava: Only check this box if you want to connect to your Strava Account.
- Click Here to Combine GPS Files Using Above Parameters: Select this button.
- Donate to Gotoes.org: Before you leave gotoes.org you may wish to leave a small donation.
The next stage is to go to Strava, sign-in to your Account and go to the Upload and Sync Your Activities section (this link will take you there).
Import the GPX file to Strava that you’ve just exported from gotoes.org and edit the file settings as appropriate, ie. Activity Type, Ride Type, add a Title & Description then select Save & View.
Strava will take you to a new page to view the Activity. This is important to understand as at this stage, you have just uploaded a new activity, but as you know, that’s not actually true.
The next stage is to click on the 3 dots [“…“] on the left-hand side, select Create a Route and complete the process to Create a Strava Route, not forgetting to give it a unique route name and save the route.
The final step is to delete the erroneous activity. To do this, go to My Activities and Delete the activity.
If this guide was helpful, please share it with others so they don’t have to go through the frustrations we’ve had.