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Minimum Segment length ?

Pico de Orizaba

I noticed that someone recently asked that the minimum length of mountain bike Segments be decreased and the post was quickly archived by an admin on the basis that reverting Strava changes could not be discussed.

I have some sympathy for the poster - I was also somewhat frustrated by the recent increase in minimum length of bike Segments from 300m to 500m.  In my area there has been some good competition over Segments about 400 to 450m in length but such Segments can no longer be created or edited (the change happened as I was working on a new Segment of about 450m - it now finishes closer to a T junction than I would like but editing is no longer possible).

I don't remember seeing any requests from Strava users for such a change in the previous Strava Support forums so I wonder if someone at Strava could give some background to their reasons for making the change and their methodologies for determining minimum Segment lengths for each Activity type ?  Clearly measurement accuracy is a factor on shorter Segments, but even on a 300m bike Segment the accuracy should be within a couple of % which seems OK.


Mont Blanc

As a mtbr myself I'm wondering where all these poor people live with only 300m long trails to ride.  That's sad.  Even here in backwater NC we have cities with MTB trails longer than that!  As for the idea making exceptions for MTB and ceding to "downhill" road segments being a challenge.  1.)  MTB trails are often obscured from the sky by trees and   2.) MTB trails are often much more convoluted, introducing more error in the track.  3.)  Sprinters rarely see anything close to 500m in the close of a race so we're screwed if we use Strava for performance tracking.  Rather than use this as another opportunity to segregate ourselves like newbs, lets just agree this decision is a huge fail on Strava's part.  There is nothing preventing Strava from recording segments under 500m other than pure stinginess.  By lengthening the segments minimums they have to maintain fewer segments.  It's a purely finance-driven decision.

Mont Blanc

This new minimum length has nothing to do with "accuracy of timing" but it certainly does degrade riders' safety when they can't shorten an unsafe segment that ends right at an intersection.  Fwiw - modern GPS units can track speed over 100, 200 and certainly 300m very well.  No, the change likely has to do with the execs wanting to save money on infrastructure overhead required to track a lot of short segments.  I wish they'd just say so if that's the case instead of lying to their customers.  I came upon this post after trying to create a safer version of a favorite hill whose segment ends right at a busy intersection.  Often I sit two meters from the end of it waiting on the light and cars in front of me.  I tried to shorten it by ten meters and found out I can't make anything close to this segment anymore thanks to their unilateral change.  With recent price hikes and other unsavory corporate behavior recently, I'll certainly be on the lookout for Strava's competition.

i'm not certain that your premise is correct. On Garmin, yesterday, I created an uphill sprint segment that I calculated to be 482m long. Today, someone clocked that segment at 48.5mph. This is clearly a recording error. Two other people broke 40mph. If you look at those people's rides, most did not even break 30mph even going downhill. So, perhaps there is some merit to timing accuracy claim...i'm going to have to do some research.

Mt. Kenya

I've come to the forum specifically to request shorter segments. I was just trying to create a 300m uphill sprint segment. I'm a sprinter and even super short 50m segments are important to track for me--as they are to most sprinters wanting to keep track of starts. Some of our races are only 200m long. We should be able to create short private segments, though public is also probably a desirable thing. As a short distance track sprinter, the 300 to 500 change might be a subscription deal breaker for me--500 is the longest sprint distance I train for...the shortening happened during a time when I was off the bike by Drs orders and I've just discovered the change as some segments I that were there in the past are missing--probably from the "cleanup". I'm very disappointed with Strava on discovering this change.

Mt. Kenya

This discriminates against mountain bikers and shows that strava is definitely catering more to roadies which is super disappointing. MTBers deserve CR/KOM/QOMS too

It doesn't really matter Strava is dead now.  E-bikes have ruined it.   They don't seem to really care about e-bikes either.    Just like they don't care about segment length for MTBers.    My wife and I won't be renewing our subscriptions this year. 

Mt. Kenya

It looks like the minimum length for segments was changed which makes it impossible to add segments for a lot of popular mountain biking trails which are often between 300-500m.

I understand there's a challenge with short segments for downhill road cycling (where speed might make GPS tracks more inaccurate), but for mountain biking this really shouldn't be an issue. It looks like the minimum length was shorter at some point since there are a lot of existing segments that are shorter than 500m.

One possible solution would be to have different length limits based on the activity type - could allow shorter ones (ie. >=300 meters) for mountain biking and e-mountain biking. 

Mt. Kenya

I'm mountain bike trail builder, and from my experience in my area, it is hard to make 500+ long trail. Also, when i finish trail, i dont ride it and than create segment. Since GPS frequency is 1Hz, I walk it slowly to create more accurate and more precise trail GPS track.  
I understand Strava to create limit, but for MTB 300meters should be minimum. 


Mt. Kenya

Strava really need to consider that a number of MTB tracks in forest zones are shorter and even under the old 300m limit. We have several great tracks that are technical DH or climbs all under 300m which we could not make segments for previously. Sure make road segments longer but MTB need shorter segment lengths! Come on @Strava listen to your users and get this sorted. one rule for all is outdated thinking! Your app is fast being left behind and at risk of becoming irrelevant.