Policing E-Bikes

Anyone have ideas on how to police E-Bike rides being uploaded to Strava?  I've been watching lots KOM's go bye-bye recently.  As E-Bikes become more popular this will continue to be a problem.

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  • Perhaps Strava could put some kind of a colored "verification badge" next to each KOM to let others know if the metrics that were uploaded by the rider of the KOM have a low or high probability of actually being completed by a bicycle and not an e-bike.

    For example, this is how I envision the color of the "verification badge" being determined based on the data provided by the user:

    - Speed only:  Red badge - High risk of being inaccurate
    - Speed + Heart Rate: Orange badge - High to moderate risk of being inaccurate
    - Speed + Heart Rate + Cadence: Yellow badge - Moderate risk of being inaccurate
    - Speed + Power:  Green - Low risk of being inaccurate

    Then you, as the Strava user could filter-out KOM's based on their verification level.   If you're as suspect of KOM's that were achieved with only a speedometer, you could filter them out of your results.  (Color might not work on devices with monochrome displays, but you get the picture.)

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  • This is plainly a real nuisance to people and appears to be the product of dishonesty assisted by passivity or laziness. I have an unusual suggestion, which, though something of a bore, might help in some cases, unless the e-bike riders were of the entirely self-deceiving kind, in which case a pox on them. What if the default setting were “E-bike”? True cyclists (for want of a better term) without assistance would then have to make the necessary adjustments when uploading data (an inconvenient bore, but that is what e-bike riders currently should do but clearly aren’t doing in many cases, possibly through laziness) whilst riders of e-bikes would then be obliged actively to make a dishonest adjustment in order to misrepresent themselves as they clearly have been. Those who are merely lazy with data would disappear from the leaderboards; those who actively make dishonest adjustments would be forced to see themselves in the mirror each time they sought to deceive themselves and others. They might then be denounced and legitimately expelled from the community without compunction.
     
     
     
     
     
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  • That E-Bikes claiming a lot of KOMs recently is a problem here too. I always thought this was an issue with unfair (or simply unaware) bikers. But now I must learn that E-Bikers do not have any of the existing segments. This is of course a huge reason to keep the rides as normal bike rides.

    I would strongly suggest other (sub-)categories in addition to KOM/QOM like already suggested: eKOM/eQOM and oKOM/oQOM (o == old-school (name only for illustration)). Best with some sort of symbol (e-bike with some green flash symbol or something and the old-school/unsupported with a lower leg or something) instead of a prefix.

    Just a matter of fact: As the issue seems to be a growing problem and the leaderboards are 'destroyed' for a normal bike rider, for me personally the reason to use Strava vanishes.

    A big issue are of course all the auto-synced rides from other services, (as suggested by lyndon) maybe it would be necessary in the future to mark rides per default as E-Bike-Rides and needs to be changed in the settings. Because it is worse if e-bike rides show up as normal rides, than normal rides as e-bike rides.

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  • Halo is Strava listen to us? E-bikes are a real problem. We do not need an application that allows fraud. We want to compete honestly!

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  • Can't wait to get back on my 1.5kW rocket and bump some KOMs on my way, I hope someday Strava developers will acknowledge and fix the problem, so I can compete with other eBikers on the existing segments. Meanwhile I'll work hard to get their attention to the problem in the way I can, because it seems this thread doesn't do anything.

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  • Dear "Dresden.Bio.E", instead of being rude and insinuating things you don't know and even revile regular bikers as being "old-timers" (what a BS!) you should realise that Strava was and is mainly for sports competition and training. As you stated out, there are dozens of different motor types around. Implementing all of them would be to confusing (many people are too lazy to employ with that).

    We already have E-Bike-segments. Fine. We need: Automatic detection of E-Bike-Cheaters and an easy way to mark a rider as EBiker so that all bike activities are changed to "E-Bike-Ride".

    And finally, as someone who has to flag a lot of rides in a week, i am of course very right in this theahere :-)

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  • Not sure if this has been mentioned, but the solution would be for Strava to stop all segment placements from being shown on the leaderboards unless the bike ridden is specified as either a traditional or e-bike.

    This way different leaderboards will be available in a similar fashion to how genders are separated and quite rightly, if people want to ride an e-bike then that’s fine, but let’s keep a level playing field.

    Unfortunately, for some unknown reason people actually feel satisfaction when they mechanically dope in competitions, so nothing can stop those of similar ilk lying on Strava to receive their “KOMs/QOMs”.

    However, this would flush out 90% of the problem with further flags being raise when people are using HRM and Candence sensors.

    It’ll certainly narrow down the issue.

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  • Interesting suggestion, Todd Taylor.

    Already now, eBikes and especially Pedelecs represent more than 50% of the bicycle market as measured by turn-over.

    The real problem here is the Alpha-status of the eBike-functionality. So the eBike category is not very attractive, yet. 

    EU-Pedelecs (99% in the EU, 250 watts, engine support only tilll 25 km/h) and other eBikes (only 1% but easily dominating segments) are two very different categories (very different traffic laws), one eBike-category for all, with very limited functionality compared to the old-school-bicycle category, is not excellent enough for 2019 when old-school-bicycles have become an old school niche in the bicycle stores.

    Different to what I read here, eBikes are perfect to lose weight and become sporty, and perfect for burning more calories than even regular 10k runners, I do both and I know a huge lot of eBike Strava Summit users, no matter how often a few repeat their totally outdated old believes here.

    Good bye, you have become overrun by history. ;-)

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  • Dmitry B - So, because you can't get something your way, you are going to intentionally cause problems for the rest of us who do things correctly? Great plan there buddy. I sympathize with you regarding your frustration over them not implementing some features, but the way to deal with it is NOT to just go screw it up for the rest of us.

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  • Dear “Dirk Vetter”, I’m sorry, but everything you did is useless, because I can make flagged ride private and then immediately change it to public and it’s not flagged any longer! It takes 4 clicks to undo what you did and I can do it all day long. Second - there are ebike segments and it’s not fine at all, because it’s stupid to create the same segment for every type of activity. It would be not stupid, to just have a filter for a segment, so you can filter what discipline you want to compete at this segment - MTB, road, or an ebike.
    This conversation is useless - take a look at the changelog for Strava application in AppStore, for instance, and you’ll see what I mean

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  • > Good bye, you have become overrun by history. ;-)

    In our "modern world" (as of 2017), 30-35% of the people in the US state I live in area classified as "obese".  NO state in the USA has less than 20% of the population being obese.*

    So go ahead and keep riding "motorized bicycles" to "stay in shape".  My fleet of non-motorized bicycles has served me well.

    https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/prevalence-maps.html

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  • Dresden.Bio E. - I don't know where you are getting your data, but there is no way that e-bikes make up more than 50% of the bicycle market. Even in Germany, where e-bikes make up the most preferred mode of transportation, it is still under 25% of the market. Go world-wide and you are probably looking at less than 10% of the market. I would love to see the source for your data. No matter what the market share is, that doesn't change the FACT that e-bike results do not belong on the same leaderboard as traditional bikes which is the subject of this thread.

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  • Dmitry, you don‘t have to set my name in quotation marks as I am using my real name here. Thanks.

    And: are we here in kindergarden? How old are you? Once you set your activity private and public again, every KOM-holder will be notified and will reflag your activity again. We‘ve had such cases here in our area ... With engagement of strava support the problem was solved quite fast ... For strava it‘s also about earning money. They won‘t upset their paying customers. Here in our area a lot of people care and nearly all of the important segments are free of E-Bike cheaters, at least in the top 10. 

    I guess about or more than 80% of wrong activity types are due to laziness or due to not being aware of the duty to classify your „E-Sports“ as E-Bike-ride. So this is clearly an issue addressed to Strava. There are some interesting suggestions here in this thead. I like the idea of being  compelled to give information of the bike(s) used an whether it‘s an E-Bike or not, otherwise you won‘t be listet in any leaderboard.

     

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  • I pretty sure that algorithm for detection of e-bikes can be easily implemented:
    1. Neither KOM nor Top 10 should be accepted without cadence and HR data.
    2. If HR data provided, then you can easily compare estimated wattage and HR rate. Even if cyclist is Fabian Cancellara HR rate cannot be 130 when estimated power is 700W.

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  • Any algorithm will add an extra layer of inaccessibility to normal people who don’t track their cadence or monitor their heart. The only way this will get fixed is if Strava care, and they don’t.

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  • But Strava should. Just few facts:

    1. People who achieving KOMs are <0.1% from all the subscribers, but they are the guys who definitely pay for subscription and are spending more time with the service than all other.

    2. Requirement for HR data for KOMs and TOPs is simple and obvious. The same as if you want to pass a Challenge, you have to provide GPS data. Data from your indoor trainer is not enough.

    3. 99,999% of users will not be affected by this rule because most of riders who can achieve KOM are using HR sensor.

    4. There is a number of branches in Strava support about this issue. Each branch contains few pages of negative feedbacks from riders. Taking in account that not more 1% of users usually ready to express their dissatisfaction, we can imagine total weight of this problem. And this problem relates paid accounts at most as I can imagine.

    I hope one day Strava will come up with something.

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  • Michael - it is ridiculous to require everyone to buy additional hardware such as something to measure cadence and heart rate just to qualify for a leaderboard. Even if you did that, it wouldn't change all of the past data already on the books. Are you going to go back and retroactively take away thousands of legitimate KOMs?

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  • I love it when people claim they are posting "facts" when they are actually only posting their own opinions/guesses. Everyone is welcome to their opinion, but please do not claim that it is fact unless you have data to support it.

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  • @Michael:  Exactly.  If your bicycle ride includes a distance of any length with speeds of  100kph, for instance, then Strava flags the ride automatically.  That's a built-in algorithm in the Strava system.  How much harder would it be for Strava to add a similar algorithm to the KOM and leaderboard tables?  Let's say you have fewer than 10 rides, each ride is 18kph on average, and your last ride is 48kph.  Busted!

    This has nothing to do with paying customers, heart rate monitors, GPS data, etc.  It's simple:  "Some people are riding E-Bikes and claiming to be KOM."  

     

    It's time for Strava to fix this.  

    Robert

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  • @Jason Lamoreaux You right. Not "facts". "Opinions" more correct. But it does not change the essence of the problem. Or everything listed above is stated wrong?

    And yes, it is a normal case when you are claiming for a record, you have to provide some extra data. From my perspective it's ok if Strava displays in a full list all the unfiltered data. But I think Strava should give KOM only for those who somehow additionally confirmed his record. The same as in real life. In Guinness Book of Records in each category there is official record and below extra info like "...It is also known that someone named ... made this distance faster but it is unreliable info".

    And to be honest I do not familiar to any cyclist who got KOM at least once and does not use hr sensor daily.

    But as usual. Nobody cares until it affect sales. If I'll find a service which handle this issue and can integrate with cycle computer then 70% I'll rather pay them then Strava.

    Thank you for your comments guys.

    Topic is closed for me.

    Kind regards,

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  • I have a variety of mountain bikes, one of which is a Class I emtb but there are NO segments or leaderboards for the trails I ride all the time if I change my sport to "ebike." Not all ebikes are equal, we need separate categories for Class I, Class II, and Class III. I would like to propose the ability to simply keep all rides under the general "ride" category since that is where all the segments and leaderboards already exist, but to add the ability to filter by bike type. It would be great to be able to 'View All' so we can see how different bikes stack up against each other as well as the ability to filter by the different classes of ebikes, singlespeed bikes, tandem bikes, recumbent bikes, fixed gear, gravel, etc. For the View All, it would be nice to have a column in the data showing bike type next to each athlete/time. Would a solution like this suffice?

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  • As one of the dreaded e-bike users (and a summit user), I use Strava to track my progress, see what my firends are doing, and get ideas for new rides.  Personally, I don't want the KOMs, I'm here to challenge myself, and nothing more. Funny thing is, I barely use the asisst, so I've only gotten two KOMs and those have both been due to GPS errors.  

    I would be sad to lose the segments as an e-bike rider.  The filter makes sense to me.  I wish I could mark my bike in the gear as an e-bike and be done with it. I'd also be fine with a way to opt out of KOMs.  

    I get why you care about this.  You've trained hard and really achieved a level of fitness and strength that I admire. As a request though, don't take it out on your fellow travellers of whatever capability, either on the real road or the virtual one. If I feel pride in accomplishing something that I didn't think I could do, it sucks to have someone more capable try and take that feeling away.

    The sweat stings my eyes, my legs are killing me, and I have the same weird tanlines as everyone else.  I feel like a cyclist.  ;)

    Have a nice ride :)

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  • With all the EBikes, Strava KOM's are now a complete failure. I have completely given up on them and consider the concept an abomination. Strava obvioiusly doesn't care, as long as we continue to pay money. The pay service has outlived its usefulness.

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  • There are plenty of Strava features that don't work for eRides. Segments database almost empty, segment search doesn't work, live segments don't work, Strava-to-Garmin segments doesn't work, heatmap doesn't work, export to Google Fit doesn't work, lack of Strava Challenges...

    I know several eRiders that record their activities as regular rides as consequence of this.

    Blame on Strava a bit, not just on the eRiders

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  • It seems Strava does a better job moderating the discussion forums for bad words than they do with ensuring the integrity of the leaderboards. Let me try to clarify without being censored; Bikes with motors on them are called motorbikes, or some use the phrase "motorcycles". It's a bike with a motor. It does not matter if it runs on a battery or gas or geothermal. If it's not propelled solely but the riders own power, it is not a bicycle. End of story. 

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  • Many E-Bike-Riders may not know: In the beginning of Strava electric aid was forbidden. It was a nice move to allow the upload of E-Bike-Rides. As a result E-Bike-Riders must not complain about missing features. They are tolerated here on Strava (as long as they upload their activities in the right way) but they must always keep in mind: Strava was never created for them. Strava was made for human competition and human-only powered efforts. Motor-free-riders made Strava great. Ebike-Riders are now making Strava bad, because the origin of Strava is going astray. Strava has to be attentive.

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  • I have flagged so many ebike rides that I'm really starting to think that Strava will only do something about this if people start dropping subscriptions because of this. I am very seriously considering it. Any recommendations alternative apps out there? 

    ----soap box----

    I have 2 "friends" that have flat out refused to take the extra steps to either make their rides private, available to just followers or to auto set activity to e-bike. One friend said he thinks its hilarious that people thing he's "cheating".  The other said that he just likes the maps on strava and he doesn't even know his user name since he used google fit to set up the account. I think he may have said that because he knows I would report him on suspicious behavior. Neither friend pays for the app which makes it even crazier that Strava hasnt solved this yet because. I imagine 99%of e-bikers use the free version. 

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  • In Italy too is a disaster! ...I begin to think this happens because someone wants to map how many are in percentage potentially dishonest people, there is no logical explanation why Strava don't want to solve the problem easily for example when a user is reported for 4/5 times automatically all past, current and future activities, will be marked as private: AFTER YEARS OF REPORTS needs to stop this situation! STOP, STOP, STOP PLEASE STOP!!!!!!!

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  • You don't need algorithms, just let us mark our bikes as e-bikes and have the activity reflect the vehicle. I don't want to be messing with normal bikers, but I'm also not going to remember to switch the activity manually every time when I've also already made sure I'm recording on the correct vehicle.

    Alternately, let me set my default activity to e-bike and solve most of the problem with a tiny setting.

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  • Thank you Strava for recently adding Heat-maps and show-off KOM-listing (in the athlete's profile) for eBike-users.

    That's both a significant improvement for my Strava experience.

    i'm now more optimistic that - sooner or later - Pedelec-riding will some day become a category of its own.

    Here in the European Union with our traffic laws those Pedelecs are really a category of their own in comparison to above 250 watts e-Bikes. :-)

    I know you are reading this but still have some reasons to hesitate with an implementation, despite the idea is already too good. ;-) Happy new 2020.

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