Segment too short?

I noticed recently that Strava won't allow creation of segments that are "too short". While I understand the desire to reduce the quantity very short segments prone to timing issues - particularly urban segments - this is definitely not the right approach for off-road, where short segments may be very technical and slow. 100m snaking carefully around obstacles in loose or muddy terrain is very different to a flat, straight section of tarmac.

A more nuanced solution is required: perhaps one that looks at the mean or mode of the listed times and removes the segment if the value falls below a threshold.

Until then... can we please have our short segments back?

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Comentarios

74 comentarios
  • A simple answer could be for Strava to add an option to only show segments of a certain length or distance that the user chooses.

    So if you don't want short segments, then you could specify that any segment less than a time (or distance) you choose, will not be shown in the segment feed.

    Same as if you only want shorter segments shown, then specify all segments to be 1 or 2 minutes length (or whatever you want to pick) to be shown and not to show any longer ones. Or you could choose to show all, short and long segments.

    If Strava did it this way, there would be no need to ban anyone from making short segments.

     

     

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  • Long segments over the same track's as short(er) ones are barred?

    I can make a long public segment that includes many shorter segments.

    4 hr loops in the hills for example.

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  • Yes please, we want short segments back! 

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  • Short segments please, and not just for MTBing. I live in a very hilly area and want to time whether I'm getting faster riding up various streets but despite a couple of streets of average 10 and maximum 28% gradients taking up to two minutes these are all deemed "too short" (and, as we all know, if it wasn't on Strava you didn't do it). Surely gradient or time to complete could be taken into account? The GPS has no problem tracking my snail's pace on these hills.

     

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  • There's a few old short road segments I dislike because they're too short and people using the Stava app on a phone with crappy GPS recording of points every 5-7 seconds means some people at the top of the leaderboard with poorly averaged GPS points likely weren't going a ton faster, but I never flagged them for the benefit of the doubt.

    Short segments absolutely need to be allowed under certain circumstances. Either Stava needs to implement logic on short segments to look at gradient or average times, and if that's too difficult resort back to letting all short segments be created until you can figure out better logic. If it's too short and too fast/quick where it can't accurately be measured users can flag them.

    By the way, did Strava delete recently created shorter segments? I made one around the time of this change it's mysteriously gone. Now when I try to recreate it I get the too short message (even though it's up a hill and long enough by time to accurately measure).

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  • Seems pretty simple to have gradient in the calculation with distance to determine if the segment is too short. Please implement. There are plenty of hills in my area of 15-20% so they are 1+ long efforts that can no longer be made into segments.

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  • Totally agree, not all short segments are equal, tricky uphill twisty number off road. Suggest gradient and off road is important!

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  • Yes. I am also asking for the restoration of short episodes. I always compete with my colleagues on a bicycle to work. I am correcting my time overcoming the route while we can not create a short episode. We miss it. please, we want short segments back! 

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  • Short segments for MTB are not accurate, so I support restricting them. I've seen times be way off often.

    Downvote. I can see a case for steep climbs, but still if it's not going to be accurate, why would you want it?

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  • I understand why the inaccuracies of short segments make them less than ideal for public competition, but they can still be useful for private training purposes. If I ride up a hill 100 times and my time gradually comes down from 45 to 40 to 38 sec, I know the occasional 25 sec time is an anomaly and I'm not going to kid myself otherwise. It's still useful to see the overall progression.

    I can't see any justification for disabling this for private use.

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  • An issue here may be a performance and technology concern.

    If the segment size minimum is decreased, Strava might expect the number of segments to increase considerably. This means a larger segment database and performance hits on their application and Segments API. They may think they have found the sweet spot for segment length. Short enough to capture segments that MOST people want to record. But not too short to create a burden on their app.

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  • @Matt, the segment too short is a newer "feature". They used to allow creation of segments in distances no longer allowed.

     

    If they want to prune segments more effectively, they should allow for a more transparent voting mechanism so that worthless ones and duplicates are removed.

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  • Holy s how do I turn off email notifications for new posts on this topic? I don't see an unfollow or unsubscribe option anywhere.

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  • Extremely frustrating. Strava has pissed off a whole community of riders. Demonstrates they haven’t considered or understood what MTB users want from their service.

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  • We want short semgents!

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  • I have private, old, short segments that I want to edit but can't. I train for them and enjoy the challenge of beating my times. It was great fun and motivation to create and race new ones. Please bring the feature back Strava. I pay you. They are my private segments so surely I should be allowed to edit. I'll make them longer if you like. Dai.

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  • "Sounds like we should accept short segments above a minimum percent grade."  Great, please do!

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  • Accuracy is given by the database of measuring points. Strava cold set a minimum number of data points instead a minimum length for segments. 

    the advantage of this method: With a good hardware (short time between record points <= 3 s) and/or lower speed and therefore a longer time the database is big enough and independent of segment lenght, elevation or kind of sports. 

    It would be good to be able to choose the record time of datapoints manually when recording a activity with the Strava App.

    A rating for segments by users would be a good tool to get rid of bad segments. 

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  • Yes, we really need short segments back because in Finland we don´t have so big mountains. I have many segments that I can´t do. That's why knowone else can't ride my tracks and don't find what I have build.

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  • I was using the Zwift sprint segments (which are created by Zwiftrider) on Strava to see my progression and times against friends and the world. It really took the fun out of going all in on those Segments as I no longer have anything to compare with. Please allow short segments for Zwift. Perhaps just for a few verified accounts like Zwift rider. 

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  • I also would like to have short segments to be restored at least for private ones if not for all.  

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  • Ok, some of you are ridiculous! You don't go explore new places anymore because Strava doesn't let you make short segments? That's just stupid, I'm sorry! What would you do I'd Strava sent belly up and disappeared, not ride?

    Segments shorter than a minute are stupid and not even close to accurate. You could even argue for several minutes. A 10 second KOM means NOTHING. Someone could beat your time even though in actuality they were several seconds slower.

    Having said that, the shortness should be by time, not distance. So if someone tries to make a segment that took them less than a minute (or whatever threshold for time workers best), Strava should not let them make it. But if it takes them more than that, yes, even though some fear person might be able to do it less (because it would be too hard up front to predict, so just go by the person attempting to create the segment)

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  • To be fair, the inaccuracies inherent in GPS are to do with distance, not time, so IF one is going to set a limit it makes sense for this to be a distance limit rather than a time limit. GPS doesn't care if you're struggling up a 28% grade, it's going to carry on being inaccurate regardless. On this note it seems probable that GPS is going to get better as time goes by. Why not be ready?

    However that's not really where I'm coming from on this issue. Inaccuracy is obviously bad for the credibility of leaderboards, but it matters less for private segments. Would it be possible to have a type of segment that is not strictly private but which doesn't appear on leaderboards? Like 'hidden' downhill segments are at present?

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  • "Sounds like we should accept short segments above a minimum percent grade." Would be great!

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  • Short segments created before this limit are still a problem:

    https://www.strava.com/segments/9427591
    https://www.strava.com/segments/9167697

    The first of these segments shows a speed of 66 MPH for a rider performing the segment at about 30 MPH in "4 seconds":

    4sThis Effort
    4sMoving Time
     
      AVG MAX
    Speed 66.5mi/h 30.6mi/h

    The second of the segments shows a speed of 58 MPH for a rider doing 29 MPH in "5 seconds":

    5sThis Effort
    5sMoving Time
     
      AVG MAX
    Speed 58.7mi/h 29.3mi/h

    The errors are due to the one second resolution of the measurement on the segments, and more significantly, the algorithm using GPS points INSIDE the ends of the segments for the calculation.

    The point is that it is both the very short length AND, as suggested, the nominal times to complete the segment that must be considered, since it is unlikely that Strava will change the segment completion algorithm to interpolate using a 4 point algorithm (combining the points just before and just after the ends of the segment as well as points inside the segment).

    Gradient is not really the whole answer, because short downhill segments which are run above 25 mph will still be subject to these crazy calculation results.

    A minimum number of GPS data points is also not completely the answer, because GPS systems which only record points at longer intervals (like the Strava phone app) will still have an issue.

    Paul D's original post suggestion: "A more nuanced solution is required: perhaps one that looks at the mean or mode of the listed times and removes the segment if the value falls below a threshold."  would account for this.  Specifically, segments which require less than 30 seconds will wind up very suspect when used with a device that records only once every 3 to 7 seconds.

    Also as noted in this Strava support explanation

    (https://support.strava.com/hc/en-us/articles/216918227-Optimizing-Segment-Creation-how-to-create-good-segments#short), picking points INSIDE the segment is part of the problem with very short segments.  When the selected points are spaced significantly due to a lack of recording points at a sub-second interval, then the time difference across the segment from the two selected points (which are INSIDE the segment) could well be leaving off 1/4 of the segment distance at each end, and the time to cross the segment is then half or less what it actually was, you get these crazy speeds calculated for KOM awards.

    So, yes short segments do need to be limited, but the method of a minimum physical map limit may not be the best way.  Thus, allowing shorter segments for up hill segments as determined by gradient may make some sense.

    I also argue that

    1) the whole calculation algorithm needs to be changed to interpolate which the linked Very Short Segments article says Strava does NOT do

    2) the algorithm should discard (not report) segment KOM records which have data points further than about 3% from the ends of the defined segment. (3% from each end limits errors in top speed to about +6% for the whole segment)


    That Strava has implemented a lower limit on the segment length is good, because there are some crazy segments in the system already, but the simplistic minimum distance approach may not be the best choice to make steep MTB assents useful.  Using nominal segment times may help, but ultimately, the interpolation which Strava does NOT implement may be yet be a very helpful part of the algorithm.  Such nearest external point to internal point interpolation would also improve segment matching accuracy.

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  • I've got some old 1-2min long segments I'd like to fine-tune the start/end points, but as they're less than 300m long, nope.

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  • At times when designing / building / maintaining trails, especially MTB, it helps to be able to create shorter segments... not so much for accurate timing but as good trail use data, wayfinding, etc. Please consider allowing this option as it can be quite functional outside the social media for athletes arena.

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  • Short Segments. I want them!

     

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  • Mountain bikers use Strava too! Many "short" segments that may take 1-2 minutes to climb have been rendered obsolete by this arbitrary cutoff. Please reconsider.

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  • What the heck Strava!? Why can't I make a segment for .2 miles of DH on my local trails??? Y'all haven't even commented on this thread since Jan. 2018!! Get your act together!

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