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JustinJones
Shkhara
Status: Gathering Kudos

Given that riding in a group or on a TT bike artificially enhances performance, why doesn't Strava separate those riding in a group into their own category for segments (it already knows when you have ridden with someone else) so that it's more of a level playing field for those riding solo and, in a similar vein, give those on a TT bikes their own category to select...like eBikes? Riders in a group or on a TT bike end up holding a pace at least 20% above their performance on a normal bike, or when riding solo...it doesn't enable performance comparisons against themselves (what's the point in having a PR on a segment if you did it as part of a five-man chaingang or on a TT bike?) or against other riders. 

13 Comments
anchskier
Elbrus

@JustinJones - This comes up frequently.  What you have to realize is that there is no way for Strava to accurately know whether someone is riding in a group or solo.  Yes, it sometimes will say you "rode with" someone, but that does not mean you were actually riding in a group with them or gaining any advantage from them.  I've frequently had it state I was riding with people who I never saw on the trail, I just happened to follow some of the same sections around the same time they did.  Other times, I would be gapped away from others leading a race or ride or following a distance behind, gaining zero advantage from the group.  Likewise, if only one person in a pair or group uploaded data to Strava (not everyone uses it), then there would be no way for Strava to know there were a group doing a team TT through a segment, it would just look like one person.  

Personally, I think a fun part of chasing segment KOM times (or PR's or whatever) is seeing what I can do to improve my times.  Sometimes it is trying it on a different type of bike (gravel vs mountain or TT vs road, etc..) or trying in different weather conditions or times of day.  It's all part of the fun.  

Status changed to: Gathering Kudos
Soren
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager
 
SallyT
Mt. Kenya

Separate trophies for segments completed solo, and those completed as a group. This would make the trophy board fairer as solo efforts wouldn't get displaced by segments completed as a group. Maybe have separate categories for men's, women's and mixed groups. If two or more riders complete a segment within a % time tolerance, they would potentially qualify for a group trophy.

Matt_Yarnton
Mt. Kenya

Great idea.  

So when those Tour of Britain riders come through they would get the group KOM but wouldn't clear out the whole top 50 places of the table for the solo riders.

AdamVD
Shkhara

Please can we have different leaderboards for individual efforts and group rides?

There are already separate segments for e-bikes and this is the same principle; a group has an advantage over an individual. Strava already knows when people are riding in groups so this should be easy. I think its time KOMs meant something. Say, if Strava says you were following another Strava recording within 50m (or whatever the minimum GPS accuracy is), then you go on the "group ride" leaderboard, if you were not, you go on the "individual leaderboard".

Around my area, there are loads of, let's say, not very social cyclists who do chain-gangs; it's not safe, it's not fair and these riders don't need the KOMs because they are all racing on the weekend anyway and already have a community; please leave Strava for those who don't want to or can't race; the people who can't win medals in races but can take pride in a few KOMs and build their community virtually. It is next to impossible to outpace a chain gang when you always ride alone and all your cycling friends are on Strava. It's disheartening to get back from a ride and think you did enough for the KOM only to find you got 6th and the top 5 are all local sponsored racers who went out all together.

I don't think that is in the spirit of Strava to give all the trophies to those who ride in groups and the occasional pro-peloton who zips through on the tour of Britain. It's not the "social media for athletes" like that, it's just "athletes showing off"

JustinJones
Shkhara

@anchskier I get that Strava can make mistakes when grouping, but a self-declaration would make this much easier. Then we just have to trust people not to be bandits, and they could be flagged if they've suddenly got a huge/suspect performance boost out of nowhere (from what I see this is up to 50%). Strava just need to have an additional option of TT bike (like eBike), and than group ride and solo ride options. I'm sure that those riding TTs or in a peloton would also welcome this. Would you really value a trophy or KOM if you knew you got it sat on someone's wheel for the whole thing? It offers zero performance comparisons. 

Is this the equivalent of people moaning about referees in football having never played the game? People who work at Strava must ride and know the difference between solo riders and groups, or TT bikes and normal bikes?! It's well within their grasp.

anchskier
Elbrus

@JustinJones - First off, how would you deal with the decade or more of rides already in the Strava system that were not self-designated as "group" or "solo" rides prior to implementing this?  Start all segments over from scratch and wipe out past records?  Second, most people who use Strava currently don't seem to be able to be bothered to go in and even note what bike they were using the first place, let alone denote something with a specific descriptor such as "group ride" or specifically what bike they were using.  Third, what about the situation where your ride is mixed, one or more portions with a group and the rest solo?  Just about any time I ride with a "group", only some of the ride is actually riding with the group.  We often break up for solo efforts on climbs or technical sections or just the riding to/from the group ride where we may may an attempt at a KOM.  Do these people not qualify for a solo KOM when they were riding by themselves just because part of their ride was with a group?  

There are so many reasons why trying to break up solo and group rides when accounting for KOMs is not realistic that it isn't practical.  Also, I never said anything along the lines of Strava workers not being or needing to be riders, just that their software is not very good at determining what a "group ride" is, so it is pointless to rely on that.

JustinJones
Shkhara

@anchskier 

1st - just start from now if need be...leave previous records as is. At least any annual or daily comparisons will be accurate. I want to be compared to other solo riders, not pelotons...even if I'm riding faster than the pelotons, I want to know how much faster I am compared to other solo riders. 

2nd - then put the onus on the solo rider. Let them specify that they're riding solo. When comparing your own PB...surely you want to compare you solo rides with your other solo rides? What benefit do you get being 30% off your PB because that was done deep in a peloton?

3rd - a rider in a group may well break away from the peloton for the odd segment...but solo riders are riding solo for the entire ride. If you want a dig at a segment, again, is sitting in a peloton on the way to a big climb doing the solo rider justice for that same segment? it has to be imperfect for someone...why not for the group rider?

 

 

Animal
Shkhara

Riding as a group doesn't make you a bandit. It's what we do.

Want to bag that segment? Get out on a chain gang!

JustinJones
Shkhara

@Animal yeah, riding in a group is great fun...love a beer/coffee ride every now and then. However, if you're claiming any trophies, and wearing them with honour (tell people about all the trophies you have), then it's the cycling equivalent of stolen valour, and you are indeed a bandit! 

It's non-intentional banditry for the most part however, as Strava haven't given you a choice. 

I've got plenty of KOMs that are 10-20km long (prime peloton country), so my trophy cabinet is doing just fine, and I'd fancy my chances against 99% of "chain-ganags" out by me...however, that doesn't mean that I want to be compared to them...I want to know how I'm doing compared to other solo riders. 

Want to earn than segment? Ride solo! 🙂