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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Kommentare

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  • Offizieller Kommentar

    Hey Folks, 

    We do have some auto-flagging functionality that attempts to automatically detect bad or invalid activity data but it doesn't work great in all cases. We hope to improve this functionality in the future, but there is no definite plans right now. 

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  • In my region of Switzerland there's hardly a segment where the top 5 didn't ride an e-bike. Most of the leaderboard changes happened in the last year. Strava's Segment Leaderboard Guidelines ask athletes to set the correct activity type. Unfortunately, most e-bike riders don't bother. I don't think it should be all that difficult to write an algorithm that detects an e-bike activity and automatically changes the activity type during the upload process.

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  • Agree with this.  In some cases people with E-bikes don't even know how to post correctly.  I experienced this when I saw a co-worker ahead of me on the leaderboard, and I knew he had an e-bike.  When I talked to him about that he didn't realize how to do it correctly, then changed it.

    If the uphill power numbers are totally out of sync with the downhill segments, can't you at least notify the user that "Based on your power profile, we have detected the possible use of an electronically assisted bicycle.  Did you use an E-bike for this ride?" 

    Or something of that sort.

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  • i see it here too.  one thing for sure is strava needs to change the icon for e-bike rides or at least color the circle - maybe green.  

     

    if i ride with people on e-bikes and they are not calling it an e-bike ride, i don't want to "report them."   Yes, you are correct, there is an easy way to detect these rides.  

     

    I guess strava would rather work on improving kudos.  the site is turning into "garbage in garbage out."  

     

    robert

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  • I write for the Wall Street Journal & am exploring a story on the impact of e-bikes on Strava KOMs/rankings. If anyone would like to discuss the topic -- from US, Europe, wherever -- please let me know in this thread. Thanks - Mike Colias

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  • I agree too and I hope that Strava is doing something about this issue. I think Zwift has a good solution as they are checking high power outputs with riders history. Something even a machine can do. Somehow I feel (maybe a little bit too much) like a nerd, when I'm angry with ebike-riders stealing KOMs. At least in Germany I have the feeling, that most of them are older riders (60+) and maybe don't have the technical understanding of tagging a ride as ebike-ride or simply don't understand what's that kom-thing about. But in the end I like Strava for tracking my efforts and the possibility to compete with other riders in segments. And I don't want to compete machines or e-motors. 

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  • may be too difficult to create an accurate algorithm , but i think chris is on the right track.   if you get any top 10 trophy there should be a hard stop before posting that asks if it was an Ebike ride, and if so to change the activity type.  if the person is a scumbag liar sociopath who just wants strava glory there's no easy way to stop them.  i would think most people just don't realize it affects the leaderboards, and some other people actually care about that.  

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  • I think there is not one solution that could solve this problem entirely. In my opinion Strava should implement various techniques:

    1 - Request every user to register the bike by type (also usefull to separate mtb from road bikes) and create different leaderboards. Every ride shoud have a bike associated with it, even retroactively.

    2 - An algorithm isn't a bad idea but I think that it would only work on extreme cases.

    3 - If someone is flagged, let's say 5 times, that person shoud be prompted to correct the ride and the bike type for the flagged activities, over 10 flags that person would be blocked from Strava.

    4 - Putting some information on the main page explaining this problem to everyone and tutorials to help you have a honest profile (for the ones who care).

    Ultimately I think Strava has everything to lose by doing nothing. I love Strava, I use it mainly to compete against myself, not particulary interested in records, but I think that's not the case for a significant number of users. I hope Strava is working on some kind of solution because e-bike market is only getting started.

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  • In the gear profile there should be a check mark option to designate a bike as an e-bike.

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  • Agreed, E-bikes are becoming more and more a problem. 

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  • Es gibt eine eigene Kategorie bei der Sportart für E-Bikes. Man muss dann nur E-Bike Radfahren auswählen und nicht Radfahrt. Somit haben die E-Biker ihre eigenen Segment. Wäre übrigens super, wenn es das auch separat für Rennradfahrer geben würde. 

    There is a separate category for e-bikers. They have to choose only e-bike Cycling and not Cycling. So the e-bikers have their own Segment. Would be great if there would be trhe samalso for racing cyclist.

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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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  • > 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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  • Patrick - sad to hear this is a global issue, thought it might be isolated to the "me" culture in the USA.  I'm not sure there is a quick solution but I like your idea for an algorithm that detects various parameters to detect that the rider is on an E-bike.  Maybe compare/match Heart Rate, Speed, Cadence, etc. to auto flag the ride.  Just last week I was passed by a guy on a 5% grade who was pedaling around a 40 cadence and was moving along at 30 kph.

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  • Does it make sense to compare e-bike an bike riding? No, it does not. In any way. So there is just no need for mixed leaderboards. To be honest, I don‘t want my efforts to be compared with e-bike rides. I dont‘t compare to motorcross oder quads or anything with an engine. Even in DH it does not make sense. The leaderboard in our region are mostly e-bike free. Everybody is taking care and e-bikers are flagged within days.

    Maybe strava should add an option to copy existing segments for ebikes (But why are e-bikers actually not able to create their own segments? Here in our region some did: same name as standard segment but with a leading e.XXX)

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Strava should just allow to filter the results! Just like it is possible for men, women, there should be bike categories. Just label the KOM/QOM with respective bike category. Done. You get a bike KOM/QOM and an ebike KOM/QOM.

    I do not really see a problem, I am using both ebike and non-ebikes. Ebikes are just another type of bike. About time to treat them as bikes. 

    There is a lot of relevant functionality that does not work due to the way Strava currently handles ebike rides, e.g. live segments. This makes using ebikes and Strava really cumbersome and boring. A shame, as subscription fee is the same for ebike users!

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  • I have seen more riders in other threads with the same idea. SAME SEGMENTS for standard bikes and e-bikes, 2 LEADERBOARDS.

    And a filter to mix both leaderboards

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  • Hi @Cesar. I think you’ve missed something. The issue is - people are riding e-bikes and not marking the rides as e-bike rides. It looks like Strava has chosen to ignore this. All the other ideas about KOM, segments, lists, etc, are secondary and are likely to be ignored too. As I said earlier it’s Garbage in Garbage out.

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  • Where is the official reply to this thread??? Come on Strava, we love your app but you are going to lose a lot of members if you don't sort out these ebike cheaters.  Ebikes have their place and are a great idea, but finding them on challenges and leader boards is disrespectful to people who do it the hard way on normal bikes without mechanical assistance.  Give ebikes their own leader boards, and encourage members to notify Strava when they suspect ebike cheating on their favourite segments.  Most people know what is a good time for the segments they ride and you can easily tell from looking at others ride profiles whether or not they are riding an ebike, even if they try to hide it.

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  • No. We also don't have different categories for Hardtaily, Carbon-Full-Suspension-Bikes, Crosser, etc. We even don't have a different category for road (racing) bikes, which would make most sense in my opinion.

    As far as I can see, there are much more than 1% S-Pedelec E-Bikes around.

    And even silly to think that so called Pedelecs would be a fair compare to normal bikes. Most of all uphill MTB segments can be ridden much faster with an E-Bike, even if it's only 250 watts extra power. No no, e-Bikes have to have separate leaderboards. Real power on the one side vs. real power + electric power on the other side.

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  • As it's easy to select your bike when you save a ride, the simple answer is for Strava to add an electric bike type option in My Bikes. This would automatically allocate any rides to "E-Bike Ride" instead of "Ride".

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  • I’m that E-bike rider and I completely understand the complaints of those here about how an E-bike corrupts Leaderboards, etc., and I’m glad to see most if not all here have not sought to ping the E-bike riders because that wouldn’t be legit. Strava is great for us E-Bike riders too, and I’d hate to see some types locked out.

    This is fundamentally a problem of Strava’s, the app’s limited settings, and the company’s near complete disinterest in making some early and simple adjustments, which seems at this point woefully negligent. ...and I’d ask why?

    I listed my “Equipment” as an E-Bike right up front, but even at 61 I’m a geek and I know plenty well how to deep dive technology, and I’ve yet to find anything on Strava’s site, Support, or the web that clearly and obviously tells users how to mark their profile or ride as an E-Bike catagory.  ...again, why Strava?

    There are filters for Age and Weight, why can’t I simply check a box in my Profile, or my ride for “E-Bike” to add an “E-Bike” or asterisk next to my profile image/name and my Profile in the Leaderboard lists? Then too others would be able to select a box to filter out E-Bikes, or filter for only E-Bikes on Leader Boards, etc? And it’s plenty obvious those sorts of changes don’t need to be based on algorythm adjustments, or some complex coding. These are super simple filters based on profiles. If Strava is thinking “but then those metrics for the E-bike riders is woefully inaccurate” well, who cares right now? Do the first thing first.

    All that tho does count on trusting users to be honest with their entries, but then so many factors relating to one’s outstanding ride do too. Did you hit all the signals green? We’re you riding some full carbon 15lb feather others can’t even afford? We’re you drafting other shorter distance riders at points in your ride? What was the temp on that day?

    I just hope that most will realize that at the end of the day some of us 60+ Old Skool Roadies who haven’t been on a bike since they sold theirs to buy their first car have found a new way to get out on a bike, enjoy a spirited ride in an otherwise woefully hilly, otherwise motivation killing area, and would like to see their results on Strava too for themselves. This bionic thing has changed my life and gotten me back on the road, and that’s something everyone should be championing, even if it includes some assistance.

    At this date, this problem is not one to be blamed on E-bike riders, but Strava’s lack of response to the changing environment and they should realize their popularity counts on constant product improvements if they don’t want to be seen in the same light as Facebook and their “Who cares” attitude to their users.

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  • Hello Jason
    I can see recreational riders or beginners using the app, but the vast majority use head unit to record the rides such as Garmin, Wahoo, ETC; therefore, all the rides will get upload automatic after save. Yes, I can flag every time I get one stolen after spending a great time in the computer comparing efforts: HR, speed, power, duration, stops, traffic light, the graphic analysis I want to also give the other rider the KOM for all his effort, but I have one particular rider in town that commutes to work that I just found out he rides an E-bike. He has taking several of my KOM for the past 2 years. Now I have to go back to find those rides and flag them. What I’m saying is, it is better if this is done by default by Strava

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  • I don’t think forcing people to use hr monitors to be able to qualify for Top 10 spots is the way forward, someone pushing as hard as they can on an ebike is still going to record a reasonable heart rate, which is fair enough. The fun of Strava is being able to jump straight in and compete against each other, be it assisted or non assisted pedaling. I have got a few KOMs in the past using just the iPhone app and no extra data, and to have those taken away because I can’t prove I wasn’t cheating isn’t fair.

    From reading the many responses to this thread (albeit none from anyone official) the suggestion of predefining a bike as electric in your gear seems the most feasible from Strava’s point of view. Algorithms based on age/weight/gradient will be a nightmare, especially as you can’t factor weather or slipstreaming a car or another rider into that. Perhaps if a user didn’t flag their bike as electric and their activities were correctly flagged by another user, Strava could try and prompt people to set up their gear correctly.

    Obviously there is no fail safe for this, people are going to cheat for whatever dumb kick they get out of it, but at least this could go a long way to making regular Strava users life’s more bearable.

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