Mountain Bike as separate activity type or tag

Please add mountain biking to the list of activities in the app because the cals vs speed are very different from road riding. Also a count down to workout start would be a good feature.

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  • Hi Elle,

    Thank you very much for finally joining the conversation. It is great to know that you are listening. 

    I think it is important to acknowledge Mountain biking, Road Biking, and Ebikes as completely different sports hence being saved as different activities. If road riders have a dirt route that they like to take then they can make segments. If mountain bikers want to make segments on road then they can do that as well. Comparing my riding against a road bike is not useful at all to me.

    This will clear up the confusion in the segment explorer and leaderboards. I have seen some mountain bike groups also only want to compare their distance within the group against only other mountain bikers because road elevation and miles are completely different than MTB.

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  • Thanks Jesse - 

    We do have an entirely separate activity type for E-Bikes. To be clear, this is a stand-alone activity category that can be chosen from the list of activity types. It has it's own segment database that is completely separate from segments under the "Ride" activity type. This is sometime problematic as E-Bikers have to create brand new segments to populate their segment database. 

    I would hate to see this happen to Mountain Bikers, and there is no practical way we can divide the current "Ride" segment database in two parts, one for Mountain and one for Road. 

    Therefore, it's my opinion that Mountain and Road types should share one segment database, and that segment filters should allow users to "drill down" view the Segment Leaderboard by the type of ride (road or mountain). 

    On a separate topic, we could begin to categorize segments by road or trail. This would be a separate system and unrelated sub-activity type. A mountain bike ride could match both road and trail segments, and vice versa. This designation would then help the Segment Explore and Strava Route builder features. 

    Thanks for chiming in! 

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  • Excellent news Elle!

    Ultimately, I think the "how" is less important than the "what" -- a separate activity, or a sub-activity is for the ace Stravaneers to figure out behind the scenes.

    What consensus seems to agree is necessary:

    • Segment discovery / trail-network map for MTB rides. Use case: I'm visiting a town, and want to be able to see the dirt highlights. (Right now it's useless trying to tease out MTB segments from Road segments based on "squiggliness" of the segment.)
    • Separate Trail / Road / Trainer stats. Seeing my buddy has crushed 3,000 miles this year becomes much more impressive when that's been done solely on single-track. (And I'm much more empathetic when she's done it solely on a trainer.) What type of bike they have done it on is less interesting (Though if those 3000 road miles were on a knobby that would be impressive...)
    • Designate a club as MTB or Road (or both) and only log the miles a member has done in the specified arena.

    Things that are hot debates:

    • Segment filters: The only times I really cared where my fat-tire antics stand in the leaderboard against slickies is when I accidentally de-throne a buddy on some little-known segment. Keeping them entirely separate seems reasonable. But that's just me.
    • Segment filters 2: Cross bikes on trails is a grey area. That's one reason I advocate for the "by ride" distinction, rather than "by bike." Let me choose if it was a road-ride or a Off-road ride, and I'll appear on whatever leader-boards are there.

    Note: neither of the above suggest that filtering leaderboards by bike type is a bad idea, that shouldn't compliment any changes.

    As for breaking things apart:


    You said: "there is no practical way we can divide the current "Ride" segment database in two parts, one for Mountain and one for Road."

    Why not? Yes, you would lose a lot of users if we suddenly had to re-create all of our segments in the MTB ecosystem, but it seems they could be separated by any number of strategies:

    • Programatically: For every segment in the database, count the number of attempts on a given bike-type. Those with > 50% MTB, are probably trails, switch them to the "MTB" ecosystem.
    • Geographically: For every segment, compare to Google Maps data. If they are on a road, keep them in the road ecosystem.
    • Democratically: For a period of a month, have users check a box on a segment that says: XX% think this is a MTB segment, do you agree? or some such. Divide based on votes.
    • Personally: Send a one-time email to the segment creator that says: "We're changing how we handle things -- please review your segments and indicate what type they are!" I made it, I should be able to change it.
    • Communally: I would happily join as a "segment curator" in a heartbeat and work through a few hundred segments in an afternoon to indicate what camp they belong in.

    Sure, some might get lost in the transition, but it's not an impossible task.

    As for past rides, it seems a similar method should work: Sort based on bike-type. Later users can curate as they see fit. If they don't have a bike type, leave it in the road world. A well-advertised, planned roll-out with a "find what's missing" tool to help users see what rides don't have a distinction could help.

    Again, thanks to STRAVA for taking this on -- this will truly be a game-changer.

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  • I always record the bike used on rides, I'd like to see that have backward compatibility and associate a type with it. I think it's also important to be able to indicate a segment as road, dirt or mixed. I really don't want to see KOMs etc start over for mountain bikes, that would be dumb, but certainly need a way to get things separated. I'm sure you guys will work this this. I'd love more than any of these to be able to find a mountain or road ride and take the correct bike. I'd also like to be able to create a whole ride along with technical skill level rating. Thanks for considering.

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  • Huge props to Big LBellski™ for the very thorough response. I agree 100% with what he had stated in his comment. 

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  • Big LBellski had some great suggestions for separating road and MTB segments.  What seems like eons ago now, I offered a similar suggestion in this same forum.  I like the idea of asking the users to designate road and MTB segments as I'm more than positive everyone would be eager and willing to help out.  

    As suggested, it could either be done by sending an email to the segment creator asking him/her to denote it properly, but what if they never respond or don't use Strava anymore?  Then it's locked out forever.  

    Honestly I think the easiest and best way to do this is to ask a user after a ride to quickly and properly designate each segment he/she rode that day as being either MTB or Road.  And if a segment contains both, then go with whatever percentage is higher.  This would solve the problem quickly and efficiently.  Maybe get three separate opinions on each segment before locking it in just to make sure the first person didn't denote it improperly.

    This way, instead of trying to filter whether your ride was a dirt or road ride purely based off of your equipment (i.e., labeling a bike as either MTB or Road), you can do it by which segments comprised the largest percentage of their ride.  For example, I may have to ride 10% on the road to connect the 90% of trails I ride, so that ride would automatically be labeled as MTB and vice versa.  Or, a simple choice as each ride is posting whether it was MTB or Road would also be fine.  Just not sure if people would mind constantly answering this after each and every ride.

    Here are my top reasons for wanting to have a distinct separation between road and MTB activity:

    1. To be able to do a segment search ONLY for MTB trails.  It's maddening now to try and search with all of the Road segments cluttering my view.

    2.  Two separate leader boards.  This would help fix those "parallel" segments when a trail travels too closely alongside a road segment and so a bunch of roadies end up at the top of the leaderboard improperly. 

    3.  Strava Challenges.  Right now it's IMPOSSIBLE to do a proper MTB challenge as you are relying on people's honestly to only include rides in which they ride on dirt.  Yeah right, like that will ever happen.  It would be great to finally have some MTB challenges where we know for sure that everyone is riding his / her mountain bike.

    Thanks for listening, and I look forward to seeing what Strava has in store for us mountain bikers. 

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  • Hi Elle. Nice list!

    So.. As I have posted quite a few times... Sub activities is absolutely the way to go here. We can populate past rides (and future rides also using gear field) or just leave as 'ride' if unknown. (so you get exactly what you have today).

    To Jesse who suggested separate activity - No, you lose all the umbrella superset of stuff like ride challenges, totals, default segment filters etc - you'll be absolutely sorted using Subtype. This will also work seamlessly with clubs.
    People need to realise this is not a separate database or anything - it's just a field appended to a ride. Which then can be used for filtering etc. So you see there will be a KOM for MTB. But only when you filter on MTB, or your existing KOM was on a MTB in which case you'll get a you've been kom'd email etc. Plus for all segments if you filter on just ride (the default) you pick up the overall KOM.

    The only thing I'm weary of is the notion of marking a segment as MTB, road etc. This does cause some headaches with how you treat this on leaderboards - I don't think it should make any difference to any leaderboard. A segment is a segment. If you ride it on a MTB you can then filter to see you have beat others on MTB (but would not show roadies) - it's not the segment that influences data - it's what other people rode it on.

    There is one possible reason for marking segments as MTB, road etc - and that is for segment exploration and the route planner. It WOULD be nice.to know your cunning route up nate Harrison to the observatory is actually going to involve some serious dirt and maybe a machete.... So maybe just a ability to Map a segment terrain type. It would NOT be directly mappable to ride Subtype - because who cares if a segment is unicycle or elliptical blah blah. But off road vs on road would be nice - but as I keep saying - don't do anything else with that data in terms of leaderboards etc - they should purely be based on filtering new Subtype field in people's rides.

    Hope that helps

    Bill

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  • Hello everybody and thank you to Strava for working to solve this issue.

    All suggestions are welcome and I wanted to add my opinion. I'm reading about a possible segment database split between road and mountain bike. That would mean that mountain bikers would not be able to participate in asphalt segments anymore, and that would be a pity. Most of the summits in my region are accessible by asphalt road only so, us, mountain bikers, have to ride the final 2 - 7 km on the asphalt. Do not erase these segments for us, please.

    Also, in years, I have seen many dirt roads get asphalted and, what would happen then with the segment? Should we change it from MTB to road? Are old MTB efforts going to be lost?

    My suggestion is to just split the leaderboards and achievements for road and mountain bikers, but a segment is just a trace in a map, independent of which bike I use to ride it. The easiest for us, users, would be to take in consideration the kind of bike we used for a ride, and make that ride count for the appropriate kind of leaderboards, road or mountain bike.

    Happy riding to all.

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  • Hi Elle, thanks for letting us know work is moving forward on the app regarding this. 

    Things missed:

    Ability to edit middle sections of rides to eliminate sections where a vehicle was used for a "car drop" or other powered lift. This would allow dirt road segments which are sometimes ridden and sometimes driven from getting populated with useless data. It would also make avg speed, HR data, total distance, meaningful again.

    Allow either the creations of sub-sub categories, or attributes for cycling or MTB. This would allow for the ever evolving changes in this sport and others. People could create sub categories for hardtail, full-suspension, fat bikes, e-assist, etc. Why limit how much we can refine the data? Then you can allow app customization for the refinements desired. I care little for comparing my ride by class weight, but I might want to see how my times compare to people on a similar type of bike (ie enduro vs downhill). This would be a good feature for road cyclists too: single speed bike sub-sub cat. Or other sports too: classic x-country skiing vs skate skiing for nordic skiing.

    Vertical distance descended data logging, for the downhillers.

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  • My requirement is not so much to know whether a segment is tagged  MTB or TAR, as I look at Strava retrospectively - i.e. after a ride or race, I want to compare my time with that of others, so I know what the route and segments were.  My requirement is rather to compare my time when riding on TAR sections (riding my MTB) with other riders on MTBs and not with riders on road bikes, as it does not make sense to compare my times on a mountain bike with ultra-light road bikes on ultra-thin tyres.  It is as simple as that.

    Secondly, I would like this feature to be available in the free version and not just in the expensive premium version. This may not be quite fair to Strava to put in the development time for free usage, but I have an alternative suggestion for this, so I'll start a separate thread regarding free vs.premium membership :-).

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  • I ride hybrids - I'm still screwed!

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  • @Dave Potter,

     

    No you're not - your ride activity sub-type will be 'Hybrid' so you can filter the leaderboard on 'Hybrid' and see how you compare.

    That's the beauty of using sub-type - you can invent a new bike type (in real life) and then ask to have a subtype added to cover it - and lo-and-behold you can be KOM with that bike - until someone else uses same bike type and beats you!

    One clarification - e-bikes are NOT a subtype of ride, because they are not human powered they can't roll-up under 'ride' superset - otherwise they would potentially get every KOM out there (not if you filtered on Ride->Road subtype but on just RIde they would be tops). 

    So, making sure e-bikes are in separate activity you would expect to see Ride->Road subtype top scores to be very similar to Ride overall leaderboard - except on off-road segments where someone on a CX, MTB has managed to go faster.

    As for marking segments road vs off-road. It should be possible to mark roads for lots of countries because that data is available in other available datasets. then people could manually over time mark segments as off-road as appropriate. As I said before this should be completely orthogonal to leaderboards - leaderboards only work on the ride / subtype field.

     

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  • In regards to the Free Vs premium. I don't really understand how people can expect more features but not want to pay for premium. OTOH my frustration comes from paying Premium for several years and not seeing any of that money go into making the app better for us MTB riders. Since I am a paying user that does not do any road biking I do not care for anything relating to that aspect of the app at all. I would prefer they had their own separate activity and segments just as running is separate from biking.

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  • @Dave if you ride a "hybrid" bike you would just choose per ride whether you wanted to compete/compare against road rider segments or MTB segments based on activity you choose. 

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  • Please make MTB different activity.

    Discovery in MTB is important and road messes it up. Routes and segments are unique and very different too. 

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  • Looks like there's some progress on this topic, brilliant!

    I'm with the activity filter crowd. There's no need to make a segment Mountain or Road, here's why:

    You'll easily be able to determine the number of Mountain bikes or road bikes that have travelled down a segment, you could even give it a segment 'bias' or percentage score, so segments through cities will be 90% road, 10% mountain, and the Leogang DH course might be 99% mountain and 1% road if some psycho throws himself off the edge of it on his Pinarello :) 

    Then you just need to pop a filter on when you're searching for segments so that die-hard dirt fans only bother with segments ridden by over 90% mountain bike for example.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

     

     

     

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  • Mistake

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  • Mountain biking needs to be a separate activity with features like elevation drop for those down hill only days, mark a segment as a lift or shuttle (so it does not count in miles, time, elevation gain or calories), Strava tracking to choose the trail when a trail and road are close together, calories adjusted for down hill riding (as apposed to down hill gliding), remove road bike entries on stats when roadies and MTBers ride the same roads/trails, do a year end in review video with MTB figures, put a MTB cookie on users computer so when they go to Strava.com they get a MTB picture, only MTBers on fly bys, add putting Stans in the tires to the My Gear-Bikes data, generally customize the entire Strava experience so that it feels like it was designed for mountain biking (as a default, with access to road, fun, swim, etc. as an extra click).  john   

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  • The calorie estimations are way off for mountain biking a two hour crossing country race with a suffer score of 154 gets 750 calories?! Probably be going badly to endomondo premium 

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  • To reiterate part of my last comment, we're very interested in and passionate about making mountain bikers feel more at home on Strava. Our lack of action is not because we don't support more features tailored to mountain bikers, but simply because we have too many projects currently lined up. 

    However, our engineering team is currently working on segment infrastructure to lay the foundation to support more filter options for segments, which would allow us to filter a segment by bike type for example. 

    We look forward to the development options ahead. 

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  • There's a saying: bullshit talks and money walks. There hasn't been a major update to the app in well over a year. It's all well and good to say that you have mountain bikers' interest at heart, but if I don't see some significant improvements to the app and how it treats non-running and non road cycling activities by the time my yearly premium membership reaches its renewal date, then it won't get renewed. 

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  • Filter by Gear type... mtb road and e-bike as well

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  • Okay, now you guys have groups (cool). Now, people are creating groups like [single speed only] or [fatty] groups etc., but people have their road rides on there which makes some well intended groups utterly useless. It's a failed attempt to rectify all the requests over the years to sub-categorize. I don't care to see homie's 60 mile road ride when the guy apparently owns more than one bike (like myself) when I joing a 'mountain bike' group. People keep asking you guys to answer their requests for years about sub categorizing 'cycling'....Listen to your users ever ring a bell?   The struggle is real and I am wondering how many people at Strava own more than one bike?  Some of the above requests are ridiculous, but at least at the absolute minimum separate road riding from mountain biking.  I am sure another company will do it if you don't. 

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  • Another crucial difference between Mountain Biking and Road Riding is the segment recognition is way too loose. Many of my trials that run along side a fire road or bike path hand the KOM to a road biker who has not earnt it. By changing the type of riding you could increase the sensitivity of the segment detection because trails are seldom more than 2 meters across. Its becoming quite obvious to the MTB community that all your priorities are road or running features. We pay full price too and you'd be surprised how many people are mountain biking on your system when you allow people to choose that activity type.

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  • Strava, you have made an incredible difference in my life since I began using this app over one year ago.  As a middle aged road cyclist turn mountain biker, this app has allowed me to track my mountain biking progress, and receive encouragement from fellow mountain bikers, which only motivated me to challenge myself more.  I will admit it lit a competitive side in me to look at the younger athletes progress and made me more psyched when I received multiple QOM's at an age much older than my fellow mountain bikers. I thank you for my increased healthy lifestyle and fitness!  I can't tell you the # of people who I have encouraged to get on Strava and have found a similar experience. 

    Now for the real issue - you have received multiple requests to create a separate category for mountain biking for over 3 years and your most recent post on this issue is August 2016???  I am baffled that you have not made this a priority given the # of mountain bikers tracking their miles.  I live in Phoenix and we have a HUGE mountain biking community and we deserve a category for mountain biking not to mention the millions of other mountain bikers in the world.  I see that you have a category for STAIRSTEPPER??? E-BIKE??? ROLLER SKI???  WHAT THE HECK - REALLY??   

    Please put more effort into this - mountain biking is not a new sport and road cycling is NOT the same as mountain biking. . . did I mention road cycling is NOT the same as mountain biking,  and for me personally to ride 3,500 mountain bike miles this year doesn't compare with 3,500 miles on a road bike.  Mountain bikers deserve the recognition of mountain bike miles.   

    I hope you take OUR request seriously and make this change fairly soon!  Many thanks in advance!

     

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  • Wow very nice comment Carole. Your feeling echos the sentiment of many of us. I paid for strava for about two years thinking that they may listen to paying users. I canceled my premium membership this year and do not plan on giving them any more money until they pay some attention to the mountain bike needs. 

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  • I also do not use Strava for trail research when visiting new areas anymore. Trailforks and MTB project are much better for new trail exploration and discovery. You can even filter by difficulty and skill level on those apps. It is near impossible to distinguish dirt mtb trails from road in strava segment explorer. 

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  • Great, heartfelt comment, thanks Carole. I continue to share the feedback found here with the team in the hopes that it inspires action for 2017. I'll keep everyone posted as best as I can. 

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  • Thanks for checking in Elle! Looking forward to logging in my miles as a mountain biker soon!!

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  • Thanks to you first Carole and others who managed to reactivate this (very...) long awaited enhancement....

    Don't give up on it Elle with the development team, we're thousands and more mountain bikers counting on you !

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