E-bike Rides on Cycling Leaderboards

No fun having strava. Trying to get up the table on your times and putting all the effort in. So that a ebike can just beat your time without even trying !!!! Really not my reason for joining strava to chase motorbikes !!!! They should be taken off and given their own result tables. But there will be the ones that won't admit they using ebikes. So the fun as now gone !!!! Hope people follow my lead and leave strava unless something is done about it ????? 



  • Official comment

    E-bike activities must be categorized under the E-Bike Ride activity type which matches to unique E-bike segments. Or, if listed as a Ride, the "Hide from Segment Leaderboards" option must be selected to remove all results from the cycling leaderboards. If E-Bike activities do not follow our guidelines, use the activity flag tool to remove the results from the segment leaderboards instantly.

    It's the activity owner's responsibility to correctly upload their data according to our Segment Leaderboard Guidelines. 

  • I agree, but its still fun tho to mess with others. You also can see who reached the top of the ladder so if you interested in beating #1 times you can also check out the profile. If there are unbelievable TdFish Times or even km/h you can mostly guess that its an "E-Bike fake". The only problem is when the person set his/her profile to private :P

    I have to say that I like the idea of an E-Bike to support older people,people with physical disadvantage or even for untrained people who want to reach big distances.But its like in every sport, GTFO if you are cheating! :P


  • I don't think thy should allow E-bikes on here doesn't make sense...If you allow E-bikes then you should allow mopeds (as they offer human power). and electric cars as they are all motorized vehicles.   Strava is a fitness community. 

  • I am 60yo, just lost a lot of weight and have just taken up cycling for fitness. As I live on the slopes of a volcanic range of hills. Straight, unassisted cycling would be impossible, and so I use an E-bicycle.

    Strava is very useful for me, to monitor my progress and give me something to aim for. I am in total agreement that my times have no place on cycle leader-boards and so I am careful to tick the box that prevents my listings reaching the leader-boards.

    I cannot find any category that I can select for E-bikes, so I am obviously missing something. Can someone point me in the right direction please.

    I hope one day to be strong enough to tackle the hills on a straight bicycle, but I fear that day is a LONG way off. 25 years of obesity without exercise has taken its toll on this old carcass.

  • E-bikes represent an existential threat to Starva which I hope Strava will take measures to counter (as I like Strava).  However, unless action is taken the Strava of today (2017) will be non-existent by 2022.  Why?  Because E-bikes are about to hit the mainstream, hell, in 5 years time when my knees final give out then I'll probably get one.  What will happen then should be obvious (to Strava), I will wiz around destroying the time on every segment I've ever ridden!  

    The official Strava response (from Ellie, above) is that we should just flag suspicious rides, but identifying such rides is much more difficult than identifying the usual bozo on a motorbike, in fact, almost impossibly difficult depending upon the mode of assist.  For example, on any climb, how will you distinguish between fit athlete-A and fit athlete "E", where fit athlete E is very close in fitness to A, yet has got his bike increasing his power by just 10%?  The wattage will be very similar, the speed will be very similar, yet the new KOM will be 10s faster (for example).  Who would flag this ride?!

    I have been trying to think of a solution, my best solution so far is RFID tags for your bike (issued by Strava) that your phone identifies (obviously doesn't work for Garmin devices).  Might even have some anti-theft potential.  Anyway, something needs to be done for Strava to survive.

  • I fear it is indeed getting more common.  I checked a flyby of my ride this morning.  The gentleman concerned was a bit overweight on what appeared to be a heavy hybrid but set what appeared unreasonable times.  However, unless I could see the bike in more detail I have no real proof at this stage, but it is  annoying to think people are starting to do this.

  • Mo 1959 - how frustrating. I checked a local segment that I travel regularly; it is a mere 1.1Km climb, but the leader is 49-seconds faster than the 2nd place time. Even with maximum assist, using a 500W mid, I could not get anywhere near that time - fishy!

  • Same as people posted ride as run.  There is no way a 300lbs looking women can run at 30km/h.  To me it's just ruin the segment.  There should be a way to report.

  • I agree with this. STRAVA is dead as a way to compare yourself with other riders if Ebikes aren't somehow discounted from segments. This morning I was riding along the Bayswater Road in London managing a few flat out sprints between traffic lights and there was a guy on a mountain bike ahead of me pedalling slower than my grandma but always out of reach. I totally blitzed one section and managed to pass him with my tongue hanging out like Tommy Voekler only to find he was on an ebike but with a GARMIN 1000 on the front. Obviously I've no way of knowing whether he's uploading his stats to Strava but it made me think if not him then others definitely do it. I mean like others have said and I found today, if an ebike will go around the speed a human powered bike can go when the rider is absolutely smashing themselves how is anyone going to distinguish between them. It just distorts the data and makes the numbers meaningless.
    Strava need to figure out a way to deal with this in the future or real riders will walk away. Maybe some kind of verification procedure and then an option to filter out unverified riders from your feed.

  • Only way I can see to keep segments from getting "corrupted" by e-bikes (and other issues that result in false segment data) is to require GPS, cadence and speed sensors, combined with either a HR sensor or Power Meter.  Harder to "fake" a segment with a minimum of 4 sensors' data.   As has been noted though, if someone just did a limited boost, it would still be hard to to flag though. 


  • I have another suggestion. Instead of users flagging suspicious records of other users STRAVA SHOULD AUTOMATICALLY ASK WHETHER THE RIDE WAS ASSISTED OR NOT ON CONDITON of very high watt power uphill. It is quite obivous. Many MTB uphill segment's KOMs in the Alps were broken this summer and when you look closer, these people have average watt power on these segments higher than 400w for a long time. And usually a profile picture of full suspension DH or EN bike. Hard to believe in their honesty. If the user could mark the ride as assisted then the ride could be listed in downhill or trail segments but automatically deleted from uphill segments.

  • I am an Ebike rider, I use it for fitness. There is absolutely no way that I could cycle the terrain where I live, on the side of a volcano. Strava is a very useful tool for me, automatically logging my progress. BUT, I would not dream of recording my segment times publicly. Not ALL Ebike riders are stupid vindictive a$$oles!

  • there should be a "Report ebike" or "Report user" so we can send notification to user (and Strava?) about ebike ride. After a certain number of reports, the account should be suspended for a some time,

  • I ride road bikes, mountain bikes and an ebike. A Trek Powerfly 9. If I am commuting more than 150 miles a week I often use my ebike to get in and out of work and certainly use it to go mountain biking. Strava has an Ebiking category, which I use. It doesn’t however often include segments or a leaderboard which is annoying as I would like to compare myself against other ebike riders. For information, for those of you that have never ridden an ebike, they don’t actually do ALL the work for you, they assist. You do have to put effort in and like cycling, the more you put in, the more you get out. It’s still a perfectly valid form of exercise.

    As for the clear over-competitiveness on Strava. Strava is only a tool to aid training and personal health a piece of social media really. If you are that serious about comparing and beating times, why not join a cycling club or start tier 4 racing?

  • Furthermore. A very road cyclist would still beat me hands down on an ebike. Ebikes tend to be very heavy, with a lot of drag and although they can beat some steep uphill segments hands down, they will never go as fast as a road bike downhill or over a long distance. They are also really restricted on range. If you getting beaten by ebikes then your not trying hard enough.

  • And in the UK road legal ebikes are restricted to 16mph of power assist. So if you’re be beaten by a little old lady on her shopping bike.....

  • There’s nothing wrong with ebikes and you can use Strava to privately record your rides. No problem. Nobody cares. But the public segments and leaderboards should remain untainted by power assisted performances.

    The whole point about ebikes is that they provide an assist which can massively affect what a rider can normally achieve:

  • @Nick Sheader

    "If you are that serious about comparing and beating times, why not join a cycling club or start tier 4 racing?"

    Because Strava lets us do this without having to join a club, that's why it's fun, that's why we use it.  That's why we are upset it is being polluted.

    "If you getting beaten by ebikes then your not trying hard enough. the UK road legal ebikes are restricted to 16mph of power assist. "

    It seems you are right about the 25kph (16mph) limit in the UK.  However, this has not been my experience of ebikes so far.  I had my commute to work KOM "stolen" by an ebike rider, the segment is ~7km long and between each set of lights the ebike rider was doing exactly 40kmh.  Due to the lights the average speed was ~36Kph.  I had to try really hard to get the KOM back for this segment, which I only did by a few seconds.  So to say "you are not trying hard enough" is baloney.  Also, I have chased down several other ebike riders who have passed me (effortlessly) on my commute, it has been an effort to catch them to verify that they are ebikes.., which they are, and I can tell you that they most certainly are NOT going at 16mph.  So there seems to be a disconnect between the law and actuality.

  • When happened to me to be passed by a fat man on an ebike when I was going up on Mortirolo from Mazzo (after lot of trainment to achieve this goal), I guarantee that the feeling wasn't nice...


  • My understanding is that the 16mph limit applies to what the motor can make the bike do on its own. Add in the human element and even moderate pedalling will easily get you up over 20 mph.
    It’s the climbs where the biggest impact is likely to be felt. If you see the Ventoux video I linked to the ebike smashes anything purely human powered.

  • 16mph constantly uphill is still sometimes rather impressive though and I grant you very difficult to catch. But on the flat and downhill they get beaten hands down. Strava will tend to automatically default to log my rides as my road bike, so for a short moment I do see a comparison with my road bike peers and I have sure enough withougjt meaning to achieve KOM status. However in just a few minutes or as soon as I get a moment I will edit the ride on Strava to show everyone and log that it is an ebike activity, rather than road bike and then poof I am back to only having my personal best times (for ebiking).

    A street legal ebike does only produce 16mph of assist. After that it’s all from the legs of the rider. Any bike with greater than 16mph assist is an illegal unregistered motorbike in the eyes of the law and the rider would be liable for prosecution. I do agree that logging rides on an ebike as a road bike is damned underhanded cheating and very unsporting. I’m not sure why anyone would want to cheat in this fashion as they are not really winning anything and they can’t get any personal fulfilment for claiming to have achieved what they have not. I personally love my ebike and my road bikes, my smart trainer and my mountain bikes as well.

    With regards to being over competitive on Strava, I believe that it’s not always a good thing. The road is not a closed road race or an organised sportive or a velodrome. On my way to work and during leisure rides I have frequently witnessed riders riding too fast for the given road conditions and insanely in traffic, including jumping red lights, all in the name of getting a good time or getting from A to B a few minutes quicker. I also have friends who have died on 2 wheels and even been very severely injured on road bicycles. Strava is a really good fun way of setting and achieving fitness goals, and keeping in touch with mates, but it’s not really all that important is it?!

  • As an old fat guy who still wants to ride I checked this out to see what would be the correct way to register e-bike rides and am very pleased to find they can be marked and wont steal anyone's hard work. 

    As for the rest who cheat its not really that different to a weekend worrier doping. I sure that its rare but I'm sure it happens. Cheats spoil things for the honest in all sport and honest sportsmen need to  work for an even playing field. In the long run you only cheat yourself.  

  • This needs looking at as a matter of urgency on strava. People posting 500w climbs over 300ft in 70 seconds locally to me! Seriously?!?

    These people even have pics on their ebikes with “record attempt” as the ride titles.

    Surely you would have a system that flags nonsense like this rather than relying on normal riders to report these people?

  • I suggest using Machine Learning algorithms that would analyze ride data (possibly including from accelerometers on the rider phone) to detect cheaters and motor usage. Needs to be tested.

  • I wouldn't say these are cheaters (although they are clearly cheating) so much as just doing it to upset you all. If you know the leaderboard score is fake then either don't let it bother you, as it is meaningless or if you have proof then report it to the administrators.

    I believe that there are dangers in using algorithms to detect cheating. Power outputs vary greatly between novices, enthusiasts, fit amateur athletes and professional athletes. VO2 Max and fitness can be attributed not just to strict diet, hard work and an excellent training regime, but also it is due to natural genetic superiority.  No matter how hard most of us try, we will never even be half as fit or fast as an Olympic standard athlete. Even before birth it is now possible to look at genetic markers to see which foetus has the capability to become one of the athletic elite and which ones are just a bit more normal.

  • Most of the people discussing ebikes have never ridden one and haven’t the slightest clue about the technology. I ride a cyclocross bike, an XC MTB, a park/downhill MTB, an eBike MTB (6” travel), and a KTM dirt bike.

    All are very different, for different terrain and riding situations, and all kick your ass if ridden hard. I’m quite confident I could get these doubters into their 95% HR range on an eBike.

    My view is that there is a really simple solution: an eBike ride category. Problem solved.

    And to the a$$hats who are so wound up about these “motorbikes” on the trails, you are speaking from ignorance. My eBike makes 250 watts peak boost, my legs probably 800-900, and my dirtbike 35,000 watts.

    They are just another form of two wheeled fun, and just lighten the hell up.

  • Strava is super useful for anyone traveling from point A to point B.  I started using is at an unassisted cyclist and have since started using an e-bike.  I absolutely agree that e-bikes shouldn't be messing with leaderboards for unassisted cycling, but Strava needs to make it 1000x easier to make it clear you are on an e-bike.  Whether that's a screen of buttons that pops up after you hit record to specify what you're on or something else.  I've tried multiple times to adjust my settings and finally made everything private today.  Granted, this stuff can be figured out, but it takes time and it should be on Strava's plate to make the UI better and make it easier for people to comply with the rules.

  • I think the brains at Strava should analyse the bike rides performance profile and if it falls outside of that, it should go into and unclassified bucket for the user to manually classify at some point after .

  • Strava really need to up their game on this issue. As a premium member you’d think they’d be a little bit sharper on it and I agree with the latest posts that this should be easy to police.

    What is really unacceptable though is reported segments not being removed as they are clearly ebikes. I reported one where the lady (fastest ever) is pictured at the top of the climb/segment on her Ebike! That was two months ago and she’s still their.
    So really Strava.. what’s the point in pretending you’re serious about this issue??

  • That sounds like a decent solution.  Whatever it is, it needs to take into account that many people are only going to dig into it as much as they need to get it working.  If all the settings come as public to increase the social aspects of it, they are going to get this kind of bad data from people who aren't trying to juke the stats, but are just not going to learn every in and out of this tool.

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