Support Aero Velomobiles or Rocket bikes on Strava



In the Netherlands we have a lot of people who are doing their rides with a rocket bike" "

In therms of aerodynamics and times they have a big advantage, is it possible to ad a category for so named Rocket / Aerodynamic bikes, because they are ruining the rankings in the Netherlands.


Kind regards,

Bjørn Leerkes



  • I'm one of the velomobile riders and I support this request (as many other velomobile riders do) to add a category for velomobiles. I'm sick and tired of my rides getting flagged for no other reason than that I am faster with my velomobile. Making a separate category for velomobiles is clearly the only satisfactory solution for all users. Then one can default to the own category and everybody can be happy users of Strava. For us velonauts, we finally get rid of the unfair advantage of those pesty light road bikes on every climb ;-)

    The suggestion from Strava support is to set my rides to either "workout" or "private". This defeats the whole idea of Strava! We as velomobile riders also want to share our achievements with friends.

  • Full support from my side! Neither private nor workout is an option.

  • Thanks for posting Harry!

    Perhaps here will be a day Strava listens to it's users...

  • +1

    I'm not riding a velomobile but fully support this request. It is simply the best solution for all riders!

  • Support for a velomobile category would be great.  I have tried marking them private and that is causing other problems.

  • I get flagged ever more often. When that happens I will from now on refer to this discussion like here: in the hope that we get support from as many people as possible. Especially on the sections that I ride often and that are well suited for velomobile, I will not go through lenghts to unflag a ride, like others have done. That route can only lead to frustration and in the end even exclusion from Strava. Rather than seeking confrontation in this way, I will take back my KOMs' again and again on new rides. This cannot be prevented as far as I can tell.

  • This is the text that I wrote on the activity: Support "velomobile" section please, rather than flagging me.

    I was flagged on a former ride, but I come here often and this section is typically suited for velomobile so I can take back my KOM anytime.  
    So you see, it's no use flagging me. Rather support the call for a separate "velomobile" section on Strava to allow the road riders to filter out velomobiles. A velomobile IS a bike.

  • I this should be done too.  I actually haven't been flagged for any of my KOMs but it would be an easy thing to do and then people who want to filter their leaderboards can do so, just like you can with age and weight categories.  For me it would make the estimated power calculations more accurate - I currently model my velomobile as a TT bike.

  • Bjørn says:

    "In the Netherlands we have a lot of people who are doing their rides with a rocket bike.  In terms of aerodynamics and times they have a big advantage, is it possible to ad a category for so named Rocket / Aerodynamic bikes, because they are ruining the rankings in the Netherlands."

    I say:

    "In Australia, we have a lot of hills and people who are doing their rides with light weight road bikes.  In terms of weight and climbing ability they have a big advantage, is it possible to add a category for velomobiles so that we can filter out these light weight road bikes, because they are ruining the KOM rankings in Australia."

    All good Bjørn :-)  We both want the same thing and I like the way you have requested a solution that works for all.  Different bikes have different advantages on different segments.  In Australia, most people only care about the hill climbs, not the flat segments, but I guess that's because we have both.  I realise in the Netherlands you don't have any hills, so its different for you.

    Anyway - thank you for starting this.


  • As a upwrong/DF rider who fancies having a velomobile at some point, I heartily agree. VMs are (for the most part) human-powered, legally under most legislatures worldwide they are bicycles. Let them in. As it stands, Strava's policy on anything streamlined and/or recumbent is unfair. When the first Ride London 100 happened, loads of KOMs and segment times on the course got smashed thanks to closed roads, drafting and chain gangs- conditions that simply do not exist for most riders, most of the time. Then the pro race following that blew even those times away. Segments can be flagged as dangerous of course, but it certainly wasn't in this case. But, according to The Rules, all of that was OK and not an unfair advantage. But you can't filter those results out. As it stands, VM and other recumbent riders are being penalised unfairly, when they can be riding perfectly legally and safely, not drafting trucks, not in a big chain gang, etc…being a pro rider on closed roads and taking a KOM is OK. Riding a VM on public roads, obeying stop signs etc and taking a KOM is 'cheating'. Nonsense.

  • Speaking as a velomobile and recumbent rider, there are simply going to be KOMs that we (the collective recumbent/velomobile crowd) will excel at, and other KOMs that the uprights/diamond-frame crowd will excel at.  Creating filters for them just makes sense if you don't want to cloud your own challenges.   Velomobiles/recumbents are not ruining anything.  It's just a different class of cycle and the system just needs to adapt to different kinds of cycling.

    Speaking as a long-time web developer and app-developer, this is not rocket science, and could have been implemented fairly quickly quite some time ago when we first started seeing people complain. 

    I vote for cycle class filtering.  But please do it in a flexible way, not "all-or-nothing", or "all-or-one".  Give me check boxes were I can selectively choose multiple class of cycles I want to challenge myself against.  Some days I want to see how I fare against my fellow velonauts, and other days I like to compare against the roadies - just to keep me on my toes.

    It should be looked at as a feature that attracts even more riders of all types of cycling, not just the lamenting of small group.   'bents are here to stay, and Strava can take advantage of an additional source of potential revenue and increased popularity.

  • I've been flagged for dozens of rides.  Many old ones, I do not bother to clear the flags, but for recent rides that are adding for monthly totals, I do clear the flags.  There are clearly at least a few local people who do not think I should be on any leader boards, but Strava is not a race, and people on uprights do all sort of tricks and cheats to get KOM's too.  I see stuff that's just not possible on an upright, unless they were motor pacing or using a big electric assist.  And really, why anyone should care about downhill KOM is just plain stupid.


    But, yes Strava needs bike classes and there certainly can be a bunch of them.  .  In the "standard" upright bikes, clearly subgroups like UCI legal road racing bike, Triathlon bike, TT bike, ect. would be helpful to racers.  For the recreational cyclists, certainly a heavy beach cruiser is much different than a TT bike or a tandem.  MTB's certainly need their own group!  Since, I'm mostly a recumbent rider, I'd like to see sub groups like trikes, long wheel base, short wheel base high racer, mid racer, low racer, faired two wheelers (Lighting F40 and such), faired three wheelers (Velomobiles) and streamliners (HPV land speed record machines).  And what about pacelines and pelotons?  And those cyclists with electric assist, clearly need their own group!   I would certainly encourage Strava to add general groups and sub groups under that for those that want to be picky about comparisons.



  • Please can we have some more categories....? A lot of 'normal' bike riders seem to cheat by riding behind motor pacers and in big groups and I am sure they would love to be able to compete fairly with other riders so more categories would help with that... E.g. Mountain bikes, road bikes, TT bikes, recumbent bikes, velomobiles, solo rides, group rides, motor pacer rides, etc... Your other main competitor - Garmin Connect manages to have 5-6 different groups just for cycling, so it cannot be too hard to introduce this feature ? Thanks you
  • I am personally not that bothered about having a velomobile category myself, I'd be happy with a "ride" just being a ride.  Yes I know I will loose KOM on uphill segments to guys riding weight weenie roadie bikes but that don't really bother me.  However if it makes roadies happy and stops my rides being flagged then go for it.

  • Dear friends, I fully agree with Bjorn & Harry's proposals and postings. Near Cologne airport we have a road through fine nature. It's also traditional time trial course and altough I ride with my velomobile only the slight uphill direction some riders feel nerved. I don't want to stress the fine athmosphere between all sportsmen here but also like to communicate with my friends via Strava. So please add a separate category for bikes like recumbents and/or velombiles and allow filtering by category. Cheers, Jo
  • I'm a velomobile rider in the Netherlands who never ruins the rankings ;-) I'm too slow for that but I fully spupport this request. If we can have snowboards as a category why not velomobiles?


  • Hello folks, I support Harry's statement regarding a seperate category for Velomobiles and/or recumbents. I'm not a VM-rider (yet) but I can aleady see the advantages over road bikes on downhill sections (I'm not a racer mind you) on my recumbent. But also I see the disadvantages going uphill. I'm asking myself: What's all the fuss about? Facts are: 1) Velomobiles are faster on flat and downhill sections. 2) Road bikes are faster on uphill sections. 3) Road bikes, recumbents and VMs are all bikes following the defination of a bike. 4) Strava offers some nice statistical features Velonauts want to use and share aswell. 5) Road bike riders seem to have hot tempers when it comes to their KOMs. Even more when they they are taken away with a bike that is not 'UCI-approved'. 6) On the other hand, Strava is not an 'international competition platform' riders get points in the world cup from. 7) Velonauts take no pride in taking KOMs from road bike riders. It's just the way they ride because the bike is efficient.

    The best solution, in fact, is to open a category for VMs so everybody is happy. Velonauts could then even compare their performances among themselfes without upsetting the road bike riders. In the interest of best sportsmanship this seems to be the best solution.

  • Well said :)

  • I fully support the proposal.

  • I support the proposal as well.

  • As a daily Quest rider I fully support this request!
  • Count me in too!
  • I was a member of SDbikecommuter group on Strava. I've been a commuter all my life but being part of a group was really different and enjoyable. I ended up with more than 35 KOM when they started getting flagged. I took the issue to strava and they told me to make my rides into private or workout. What a bummer. I had to say goodbye to all my bro pals. If Velomobiles were made into a category I could go back and hang with the crew.

  • I totally agree with the idea to create a separate category for rocket bikes.
    I hope Strava will listen to us and realise this idea ASAP !
  • I also support the proposal.

  • Adding bike classes would be required to make the leader board fair.  Also it would be nice if segment creators could specify a default bike class for their segments.  For example, a road climbing segment could default to showing upright road bikes, whereas a dirt trail would default to MTB.  If an MTB rider rides the road segment, then his placement would show up only if he selects MTB or overall bike classes.   That way too Velomobile riders would not show up on the default leader boards, but they could by selecting a "faired HPV" class, any recumbent, or overall.  And someone suggested that the leader boards also show the bike class next to the rider's name would be really nice touch.  That way, selecting overall, anyone could quickly see which bikes do the best for a given segment.

  • At the moment, there is no good way for velomobile riders to maintain what they desire and stay off the segment leader boards.  The best compromise I can figure out is to flag all the velomobile rides that place in any segment.  That way you still can share your rides with your friend, your personal ride analysis works properly, your personal ride totals work, but clubs and monthly trophies do not work right.  One work around for monthly totals is to unflag all the rides right at the end of the month, then re-flag them after the Strava servers collect the total mileage ridden.  This can also been done shorter duration trophies but you only get to unflag once (without using PITA methods), so it needs to be used wisely.    The cleaner way to do it is to not flag rides until after the month (or shorter event) ends, but then the leader board placement stays up for up to a month before it disappears.  

  • BTW, recently I had over 200 rides flagged in a period of 2 hours.  I'm leaving them be until Strava does something useful for us.  Unfortunately, rides I did even on my upright, MTB and Carbent (short wheel base hi-racer recumbent) were also flagged.

  • +1

    I'm on Strava less then 24 hours and already have my first Flagged Ride. It was only a leisure ride from work to a groupaccommodation (for the weekend), so nothing special. Turns out I was only 2,3 km/h faster then a guy riding 10 hours a week. A real fanatic rider who probably can't stand being beat by a 1,75 meter an 63 kilogram little guy with a fast and comfortable bike.

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