Segment Leaderboards

This is the post for all feedback and feature requests related to Segment Leaderboards.

 

How to format your new idea and/or feedback:

Feedback that is actionable and constructive is most effective. When sharing, please consider the following when framing your thoughts:

  • If you have a new idea, it's helpful for us to understand why that feature is important for you and the value it will bring. For example: I want __. It will allow me to do ___. The reason that is important is because of ___. An example of when I needed that was ___.
  • Specific examples and details that illustrate the problem/confusion you are experiencing. For example: When I do ___, then ___ happens and that is not ok because ___.
  • Screenshots that help visually illustrate the problem. For example: Here is a picture illustrating my point ___ from above. See how ___ is doing ___?
  • An explanation of why this is important. For example: This is important to me because ___.
  • If you propose a solution, an explanation of how that solution would help you and why that is important. For example: I think a ___ would be great because then I could see ___. This is important to me because I have to ___.

 

If someone has already suggested the same idea as you, you can help us quantify the demand for the feature or improvement by upvoting the original comment. To upvote, click the up arrow on the right-hand side of the comment. 

 

Do you need technical assistance or wish to report a bug?

Keep in mind that this space is reserved for feedback. It is not the optimal place to solicit technical assistance or report bugs. To receive assistance with, or to ask a question about our product, please first search our Help Center for the related article. If you do not find what you are looking for, you can submit a ticket with our support team by following the instructions here. To report a bug, first check our Known Issue section. If you do not see the bug you’re experiencing, you can submit this to our team by following the instructions here.

Follow
21

Comments

409 comments
  • Shivam Shah Why not just create your own segments in reverse if that's the way you prefer to run ? I doubt any GPS will be able to calculate a segment in reverse !

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Francois,

    Thank you for the detailed post. We have an engineering team that has been working on improving the integrity of segment data, including the geometry/GPS trace as well as things like elevation and distance data. As you mention, this has many benefits including matching and leaderboard quality.

    The "consensus averaging" technique you mention is one of the approaches we have been prototyping that works well in some cases but falls short in others. For example, if you have a road and a trail closely alongside it, and there are segments for both but the majority of people take the road, you could end up "averaging" out the trail segment towards the road. This is also not an impossible problem to solve, but we're trying to take care before deciding whether or not to make changes at a wide scale across the world to segment data.

    That said, thanks again for providing your example and I am hopeful that we will be able to make some improvements on problems like this in the coming months!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Varun 🥐 P. thanks that's great. It does seem though that Strava are now downplaying the KOM, at one time if I got one it would display on my dashboard but now that seems to favour PR's so nobody sees it unless they open the actual activity?

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I would like to see a start date for segments. In my town, there is still much development. Unfortunately, in several locations they have added roundabouts to what were previously straight roads. In one location, there was a road with a descent followed by a 1/4 mile flat section. A single lane roundabout was placed at the end of the descent. Although the current segment for the 1/4 mile flat section starts at the roundabout, the system populates times for all riders who've travelled the segment, including those who did so years prior to the roundabout construction. Naturally, since they had the benefit of the downhill descent their 35+ MPH times cannot be beaten by anyone who must now navigate through the narrow roundabout at the start.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I have attempted many of the Segments in my local area and so I'm looking for new inspiration.  I have tried to use the Segment Explore feature to find new Segments but without much success.  When I explore a broad area the feature shows 10 results, presumably ranked by some criteria such as most attempts or most starred .  This is fine.  However, when I zoom in the number of visible Segments soon falls below 10, even though I know there are many Segments in the area that are not being shown.  Is there a way to get the results of the Segment Explore to be more complete so it would be easier to find some new Segments to attempt ?

    When looking for new Segments I have much more success with the "Don't see the segment you're looking for?" button at the bottom of an Activity to show Segments adjacent to the Activity.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Can Strava not put something in its algorithm that will automatically pick up when someone has used a vehicle. This is quite obvious whether it is a cycling or running segment. On one of the segments I recently ran there were examples of people running 3 minute and even 2 minute miles. I get that someone may do some sprints but a 2 minute mile is not humanly possible.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I 'd like strava work on the exclusion of "somehow truncated gps trace". It would help to keep  leaderboard clean and avoid this ridiculous situation with the comparison feature : https://www.strava.com/segments/21374662/compare/NjUwNzc2NDg0NDYsNjc1NDg1MzcwOTcsNjc1NDg1NDg2MTQsMjc4NzY3Mjk3OTIyMzc5Mjc4NiwyODMwMDQyOTU5NDMzODM3ODc0In this very short segment (200 m)...the itchy points are :

    • The athlete in black (running @5:13/km, far behind on the screenshot) hold, of course, the KOM !
    • None of the pace reported on the segment seems to be below 5:00/km and the average pace of the black athlete is supposed to be 2:10/km

    The run associated with this KOM, doesn't mention the KOM -- I guess the segment has been created later on, so the athlete didn't try to hunt this segment or cheat in any way. Furthermore the athlete have good references, so that at first glance this astonishing performance may be possible, or to the very least flagging it remain questionable. A technical look from strava at the situation may end-up to a wise decision.

    I imagine the comparison feature is a nice tool provided with my subscription to strava...but guess what ? Offering a tool that magnify the lack of curation in the segment leader board question the added value of the subscription to strava.

    As I know that a lot of improvement are on their way, I hope this annoyance will disappear as well. To the very least, I wanted to pinpoint this issue hopefully as a first step toward a fix   !

    Cheers

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • François, this happens all the time.

    Strava seems to treat the end of the segment as the last point within the segment, even if that point is no where near the end. This leads to ridiculous rounding errors and false KOMs.

    Strava should round times up not down.

    Athletes with good GPS are punished and those with bad GPS are rewarded. 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Alex Michel - I agree with your comments. I see quite a few poorly created Segments where the start is just before a junction, or the end is just after a junction, making it easy for people to join after the start or leave before the end, so resulting in skewed leaderboard data.  This is due to poor Segment creation rather than inauthentic behaviour. I tend to hide such Segments, and maybe create new ones with better start and finish definition.

    I hadn't realised that someone could start an Activity after the start of a Segment (or stop one before the end) and so get unrealistic leaderboard positions.  I suppose this also means Activities could be cropped to achieve the same thing, which would seem inappropriate.  There should be a restriction that a Segment effort is not valid if the Activity beginning or end is within the Segment.

    For what it's worth, the minimum Segment length is 300m for a ride, as I have discovered through trial and error, although there are some shorter legacy ones created a few years ago.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Alex Michel and Ian Barton! Thanks for your feedback on our segment matching process. What you're seeing is a result of the way our algorithm accounts for GPS drift. However, to your point, on segments originally created with spotty/inaccurate GPS, multi-lap segments, or segments that may have tight switchbacks (which will typically cause an overlap of GPS data), our algorithm's GPS drift lenience may cause faulty matches as well. Ian Barton's solution to hide these segments and create new segments with better data is an excellent workaround to see data that better reflects true efforts. We will pass your feedback along to our team for future improvements on segment clean-up!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • As someone who is never going to threaten the KOM times I find myself spending most of my time in the age and weight leaderboards. However some of the people who are as old as me are not as fat as me, and some of those that are as fat are not as old. I would like to see a leaderboard for people in both my age and weight category, not just one or the other.

    In fact it would be great if you could create customised leaderboards using all of the flags available in the database. This might solve some of the problems above my allowing you to select bike type, single rides, etc.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • We should be able to flag an athlete, either by a direct button, or automatically if X of his activities are flagged by X many different athletes.

    In this case, all his activities would be flagged in the same time, saving a lot of time for the other users.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • When I first started riding the leaderboards were great and helped motivate me to go out and do better every time i went out. I had a series of life events happen that have kept me from riding anywhere close to what i would have liked and find myself in a situation where my previous data seems to be a demotivator when its included on the leaderboards. Without deleting all of my old data or simply looking at this year only on the leaderboard I think it would be helpful for athletes in my situation to be able to temporarily exclude data from leaderboards possibly anything prior to a specified date so that they would be able to see new efforts appear as PR's as they rebuild towards previous heights of fitness. I understand that old data can be set private etc but if you have been a member for years the amount of total activities to manually update could be quite large.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I think id create a second account before manually editing over 2000 activities to set them to private. Just Figured I'd put this out there incase strava devs could use it. I'm sure im not the only person who has had a little to much off time and needs a reset of sorts.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • In response to

    Peter Cajthaml
    October 15, 2020 00:52

    E-BIKES ARE THE BIGGEST THREAT: As Susun Corda says above "leaderboards are one of the most differential features of Strava" and thus make Strava worth paying for the premium membership. Being primarily a mountain biker, I don't experience many problems with drafting or with people not completing the entire segment as described  by some users above. I see E-bikes as the primary threat to Strava as we know it. The leader boards have become polluted with e-bike times disguised as legitimate rides, and this makes the Strava Leaderboards meaningless.  It’s easy to spot the obvious effort when an e-biker takes a KOM on a popular steep climb, and then we can flag it, but what about all the e-bikers that are a bit slower and then go undetected? If this continues, and Strava continues to do nothing about detecting fake e-bike times, I will not renew my premium membership as Strava is losing its main attraction (to me).

    I couldn't agree more and it's the very reason I will never pay for Strava again.

    Leaderboards are broken. If you bought a new product and it was defective in some way, you would get a refund. Leaderboards are now corrupted beyond redemption to the point of being entirely meaningless, so why charge people a fee to use them?

    Strava, that was a rhetorical question!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • With regards to e-bikes and leaderboards, I think if Strava could do something about that, they would already have addressed the problem. I think unfortunately there isn't an easy solution.

    First of all, I think many eBikers are ignorant about segments. There are probably some that go and intentionally take segments but I think most of them have no idea. Cycling is one of the default sports on Strava, so that's what they use. They do cycle after all.

    Even if Strava created an eBike sport, do you think any of these eBikers would go and change their every ride type? They wouldn't unless that is somehow done automatically.

    Furthermore many of them probably record their rides with Garmin devices or other smartwatches, and those don't have eBike sports either.

    The only possible solution for Strava is to somehow recognize eBike activities automatically on upload. But that is far from trivial and probably requires some sort of machine learning algorithm which would look at variation of speed vs. grade. But I think it would be hard to make it reliable, and it works probably cause more issues than it solves.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Stanislav C.

    You've already pointed out several really low hanging fruit.

    1) Change defaults, when a new user selects ride you could explicitly ask if it is an eBike or not.

    2) Changing ride type would only be an issue for historic activities, a really easy solution that requires no input on the part of the eBike user would be when users flag "wrong activity type" have a drop down to select the correct type. Perhaps even have a discreet option purely for eBike if that is the most common mistake?

    3) Strava does have an algorithm already, I think it just needs to be more aggressive. If Strava accidentally thought one of my rides was on an eBike I would take it as a compliment.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Stanislav C. - Strava does already have an e-bike category/sport that people can select when saving their activities.  A lot of the e-bikers either don't know about it or are just too lazy to make the change each time they ride.  I do think it could be greatly improved if Strava could make it an option to be set as the default activity since I think most people who ride e-bikes, only ride e-bikes and not a mix of traditional and e-bikes.  By having a default option, you would not have the cases where someone either forgot to edit the activity type or just hasn't had a chance to yet before the leaderboards get updated.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Stanislav C. In Garmin Edge devices, you can assign eBike or eMTB to each profile and the activity gets properly uploaded as eBike Ride to Strava.

    To me, as I described at the very beginning of the thread, a solution could be to unify the segments into a single database use the same sport for all and make separated leaderboards for each bike type (road, mtb, gravel and their electric versions). If you don't have your bike declared in Strava you don't get into any leaderboard.

    Cheaters will be around anyway but at least we could reduce the number of people who upload the wrong activity type inadvertently and break leaderboards.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Some time ago, Strava made full segment leaderboards unavailable for free users.

    As a "non-athlete" with my tiny activity, I cannot justify it as an expense. When segments were fully available for all users, I had motivation to prepare quality traces and add nice segments. That motivation disappeared.

    I cannot judge whether Strava gains more from limited segment functionality, but if segments were returned - they might get a bit more quality community contributions from users like me :)

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I managed to beat two KOMs today and they appeared in my activity (although only after refreshing), thay are not visible in my KOM list. I also am no. 1 on the all-time leaderboards, but previous KOM owners are still visible in the "fastest times" section of these segments. Any ideas why that's happening? Do these need time to be refreshed? 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I would like to suggest a "Lantern Rouge" achievement for segments. This would be similar to the Gold/PR, Silver, and Bronze achievements, but instead it would indicate the user's slowest time recorded on the given segment. This achievement would only become active once a user records times for a given segment at least 4 times. 

    This is meant to be a light-hearted, fun feature given in the same spirit as the Lantern Rouge award in the Tour de France. However since this could also be embarrassing or de-motivating, it would be private (visible only to the user and perhaps to the user's followers), and it could be turned on or off at any time.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I am new to Strava so perhaps I don't understand the function of the leaderboards. There is a local segment where the first two and half pages of times look like the following, obviously done in a group. Having group results mixed up with individual results makes them rather meaningless. Is there a way to filter out group results? 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • @Richard S. There is no way to filter out group rides and likely that such an idea would never work, remember not everyone uses Strava so if you are the only Strava user in a group how can you eliminate that? Just embrace it and accept that the segment is held by a group it's all part of the fun.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • There is no separate thread for segments in general, so I am going to use this thread for a feedback regarding syncing Strava segments to external devices (in particular Garmin Fenix watch).

    I know this topic has been brought before, but I wanted to bring it up once again. I find it completely arbitrary that Strava doesn't sync downhill **running** segments to my watch, and here are three reasons for that.

    First of all, if Strava wants to prevent people from racing downhill, the existing restriction doesn't even work. I have plenty of long segments that include both uphill and downhill parts, and they still sync to my device as long as the net grade isn't negative. For example, there is a popular segment that climbs a local mountain at 20% grade then goes back to start on 20%. According to Strava that is a 0% segment, so that is fine. But going along a mellow creek, dropping 15 feet of elevation in a mile, which is less than 2 floors, is apparently unsafe. That seems completely arbitrary. Then there is local hill where I live with a trail that goes across it one side to another. Crossing this hill in one direction is safe according to Strava, but crossing it in another direction is not. It is 0.5% net grade in one direction and -0.5% net grade in another even though the actual grades reach 10% in both directions. That is completely arbitrary too.

    Second, running is completely different. It is not like someone could accelerate to unsafe speeds even when they are running downhill. My area is hilly in general with a lot of rolling hills. Half of all running segments can't be synced.

    Third, Strava promotes downhill segments on it's new mobile segment explorer. But if I star them, what I am going to do? I don't run with my phone, so the experience is completely broken for me as those segments don't ever pop up on my Fenix.

    Is there any chance Strava reconsiders this decision for runners and especially trail runners?

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Rich Lee, agreed.

    There also seem to be a lot of recumbents and velomobiles in the E-bike category.

    Currently, there seems to be an assumption that E-bikers don't care about fair competition in the same way that regular cyclists do. However as E-bikes become more and more common I suspect that this will change and Strava would do well to stay ahead of the curve.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Erik Bakke

    I'm not proposing 3rd place medals, I mean these already exist anyway.

    What I am suggesting is that there is some way of rewarding local riders that isn't completely condescending and patronising like the local legends feature. I am precisely trying to avoid giving away medals just for showing up.

    My initial suggestion is for a leaderboard where you need a number of extremely fast times to earn a spot. One could legitimately argue that a rider who can consistently get times of say 2 minutes is more impressive than a rider who once got a 1:59 because they got extremely lucky with conditions (tailwind, drafting, closed roads, gps errors, green lights, etc.).

    Arguably this would even more challenging to get than a regular KOM, I'm not trying to make achievements easier to get at all.

    But this was just an idea of the top of my head in response to Richard. Perhaps you have a better idea? I love Isa Johnson 's suggested improvement above. We all (Steve Tucker) seem to agree that local legends is utterly pointless. There must be some way to recognise people who are both fast and consistent, something that you would be proud to earn.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks for all the thoughtful responses to my question. I think the idea of filtering out single efforts (like Erik and Isa's suggestions would do) could be a solution.  This would take care of another problem I just encountered; a triathlon was run along one of my favorite segments last month and now the first 18 pages of the leaderboard are from that race with the first couple pages containing professional athletes. I was a volunteer at an aid station and I saw a fair amount of drafting so these are not necessarily individual results. To be clear, I am not trying to be KOM on any segment. I just want to input goal times from other local riders as a motivational tool to get faster. The way the leaderboards are currently set up it is difficult to even find true individual efforts. 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • TIM AZ

    Exactly.

    Like the "leader" of this segment, the name with Chinese characters: https://www.strava.com/segments/26782084?filter=overall

    I flagged it, it came back as "resolved".

    Others have too. 

    I commented on his ride, he wrote back "it was a mistake, I put in 15kg weight".  I replied OK, so delete the ride or crop it.  He doesn't.  Strava even saw that comment and still wouldn't remove it.  So apparently "resolved" includes admitting to cheating and leaving it up?

    Others comment with much more profanity.  

    Guy is a complete loser... just deletes the comments now that he learned how.

    Strava is inept and / or limp wristed on this.  Leaderboards are their core product.  And whatever this "resolved" BS is completely insulates an admitted cheater from proper community policing.

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Andria J. In the Strava help section it indicates that what is shown are “The most popular segments in the area based on the number of views, efforts, and stars.”  ”Stars” indicate how many people follow a particular segment.  I have noticed too that there are many segments in my area that don’t appear on a map of local popular segments.  Even though a segment may be heavily traveled, if it is not ‘followed” by a lot of riders it may not appear as a popular segment in the local area.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.