Designate between a "Group" and a "Solo" ride on Strava

This would allow Strava cyclists to tag a ride as a group ride or a solo ride, and also be able to sort segment leaderboards by those filters.

 

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  • I'd love to see this feature activated. I don't give a rats behind about what everybody else is doing (leaderboards, KOM's and such), I'm focused on MY performance. Being able to designate segments as "group" or "solo" would be a big deal and a great help. As it currently is, it's impossible to compare my group segments to my solo segments as the numbers are meaningless. Or even just forget about the "group" designation part, just let me designate segments as "solo" so I can actually compare my solo segment results to myself. That's the main point with this entire threat IMO. I frequently do both solo and group ride,s and nearly all my segment times are now 'inflated' (deflated'?) due to group dynamics so I can't easily see if MY times are improving (based on if I'm setting PR's or not, which is what MOST of us are worried about). 

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  • I've heard all these comments about using segments to judge your personal improvements/declines.  If you want to filter out group rides to accomplish this, what about all the other variables like head winds and tails winds, air temps, and the such.  

    Segments are hardly a science for judging one's fitness, and is really cheating yourself out of the rest of the Strava features that will actually do this.  

    Besides, who in the world is going to go back through the millions and millions of current activities and designate group or solo, so that a filter would actually filter.  Pointless

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  • From a weekend warriors standpoint I reallt want this feature! When I ride in a group the speed goes up by 20% for me, and the calculated kcals consumed goes through an unrealistic roof,  really screwing my stats. Also,  calculated watts jump a serious number and overall it just messes up all my data,  the data I use to track progress/discover when to ease off to restore strength ng .t.

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  • To me,  KOMs don't matter,  I want to reliably track how I am doing even thou I don't have a powermeter and don't do max-tests. With group rides messing up how I am actually doing I can't see if I'm stronger on single rides overall or not.

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  • Disagree, how many riders before you are a group, what about the guy off the front of the group who pulled away. Winning requires tactic and planning, if your sitting in on a group ride you will not win . You need to make a move or sprint ahead to be the fastest. That is not easy to do...If you are the fastest in the group you earned your Kom. But there is always somebody faster, don't be mad when its not you.

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  • Sorry in advanced for the long read.

    There seems to be two questions or points in this thread. Should Strava allow KOM/QOM and 2nd through 10th place cups be given based off one overarching leaderboard for all types of biking/efforts or off multiple leaderboard categories such as the already available gender, age groups, weight groups and club leaderboards in addition to possibly group or solo leaderboards? The second question is if Strava should add the ability to capture extra metadata such as if a ride was solo or group, road or mountain bike, etc. at the time of upload or later. It seems like most contention is over the first point.

    To try to walk logically through that main point of contention, if Strava allowed placement cups and KOM/QOMs to be given for different leaderboards, would it be of benefit or devalue the overall leaderboard concept? As much as it pains me to say it, although I ride some road segments on my MTB and have done okay on a few shorter climbs and would love to see different leaderboards and more virtual trophies in my cabinet, if everyone suddenly got them would you still feel the same sense of accomplishment?

    I think most everyone would agree that the ability to capture better data and be able to manipulate and view that data for whatever reason is important to the user. That could be to compare my times on a type of bike and type of ride for training purposes or just to see how I stack up again other similar riders and how much I'd need to improve to close the gap.

    Thinking outside the main, one default leaderboard for a segment concept, if a rider on a group leaderboard got a KOM and then someone different got a different KOM for a solo leaderboard of the same segment, how would those be displayed elsewhere on the site? For example the club pages or in the ride summary of people you're following. Would you have different color or category KOM/QOMs for each type of ride/effort? It would be an analytical nightmare to implement site-wide even if they wanted to start giving leaderboard awards out left and right.

     

    As someone who (unfortunately) has to work with MS-Excel and databases quite often, what would be nice is to see some advanced sorting and analytical tools that could include different user-customizable leaderboards. Somewhat similar to Veloviewer offers and being able to see and sort columns of different data that isn't easy or possible to do from within Strava. Want to know how you placed overall among 200 pound, sixty year-old female mountain bikers on a road segment? By all means give the user the ability to see what their placing is among their peers.

    As a scenario, Strava could add some columns to their database that going forward each user could select or input extra ride identifying data during or after upload. If you want to go back and fill in data for previous rides, fine, if not you'll be able to see and sort data going forward (or perhaps make a spreadsheet type view of all activities that makes it easier to quickly go from row to row (for each ride) and enter/adjust data for old rides).

    You then have Strava capturing extra data if the user wants to input it. Then you just need better ways to visualize and analyze the data. There's already gender/age/club leaderboards but maybe take it a bit further and allow users to custom define and save favorite, *personal* leaderboards based off the data Strava is collecting. For example solo rides on "Bike1", solo rides on "Bike2", group rides on "Bike 2", solo rides on "Bike1" compared to others in club xyz that weight 180-200 pounds, etc.

    It sucks if you have a favorite segment and large groups go blasting through and maybe you could put in the effort to best their time or maybe you can't. Maybe you have a group you could ride with to get the same advantage or maybe you don't. Not everyone can get a trophy. If placing/ranking is important and helps you push to improve I'm all for giving individual users the ability to create and sort their own leaderboards but if Strava did assign different KOM/QOMs for solo as well as group marked rides, where would it stop? It would be all too easy for those KOM/QOMs to get fragmented and watered down.

     

    Another point which was mentioned and could work well would be to allow a user to flag/hide single segments on a ride without having to make the entire ride private. If it's really important to you to stay honest and you know your group effort gave you the edge on a couple segments but maybe not other segments on a ride then at least make it easy for that user to mark individual segments private where they won't show up on the leaderboards without penalizing the entire ride. Or even better, allow segments to be marked as solo or group and then offer ways to filter and display data in your own personalized leaderboards if you want to compare with others and/or yourself under similar conditions or rides.

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  • The thread that won't die. After all this back-and-forth, one thing that I think would be nice to come out of the discussion is a generic tagging feature. Allow us to create our own tags, and then filter our own results based on those. If you cared about seeing your own results from when you were in a group or not, you could create #solo and #group tags, and use them. Since you are only comparing your own results it doesn't really matter what the tags are and what criteria you use. For example, I'd like to be able to filter my own results by equipment used (e.g. was I using my super deep wheel when I got that smoking segment time?). I'd want the ability to override or set tags at a segment level though, because I still have the problem of a mixed group ride. 

     

    Or I could just not worry about making all this so complicated and just go ride by bike.

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  • This thread is DEAD! If you want to create new functionality, do a proof of concept of it akin to Veloviewer, Sranks, JonathanO'Keefe, Raceshape or the like. Put the work into making your ideas a reality. Then post up a link to share your well thought out and developed functionality. If it's great, maybe Strava will use it or will even hire you. Optional tags sound like a good idea for future functionality. But let's stop talking about multiple leaderboards and bonifications. If you ride often enough, rain or shine, someday you too will get your fastest time with fresh legs and a heavenly tailwind.

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  • +1

    Just lost my KOM to a pair of weezly drafters..., how can they live with themselves?!  There should be a separate leaderboard for solo.

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  • ESSENTIAL - PLEASE DO THIS - allow 'group' or 'solo' options when uploading an activity, and also allow filtering of leaderboards by these 2 categories!  

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  • I'll add my YES vote on a purely individual basis.   I ride with a group about 20% of the time.  On a few of those rides, I see my previous segment records absolutely smashed. It looks like I've really improved when I haven't -- I just had the ability to draft and pull 60-90 seconds every 10 minutes or so.    On a few of those "PRs", my legs are not fresh, I'm sluggish, etc., yet to look at Strava I'm at my all-time peak.

    So throw out all the bragging rights arguments above, cheating, etc...  Even for an individual training tool, it screws up one's group and solo rides being all lumped in together...

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  • I LOVE this idea. Have separate leader boards for groups and individuals. Now, I realize that if the people you're riding with don't upload then it'll appear as if that rider is an individual...but still, I think this feature would be an improvement over the current leader that just lumps everyone together.

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  • Do it Strava, or I'm out!

    Speaking from a female perspective, I'm really sick of my hard-earnt SOLO efforts being beaten by women drafting behind men.  When a female takes a QOM off me by tucking in behind a bigger, stronger, faster male, is this fair competition?  No, actually, it's comparing apples to oranges.  Not one of my QOM have been won by drafting - every single one of them has been earnt on my own, solo effort, trying to get better, faster, stronger with each ride.  Then along comes Ms Cycle-twice-a-Month, who drafts behind her husband and takes some QOM because he can ride at 40km/hour, and she can draft at that speed.  Is that the same as my solo effort?  I don't think so.  This amounts to cheating in my opinion.  I'm only referring only to women in that statement - women who deliberately use men to earn their QOM, and believe me, there's a whole heap of them out there.  I like to compete, but only on a level playing field.  Adding a filter to leaderboards based on group/solo effort would be a huge step towards levelling the field.

     

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  • @Louis Lewis --  Funny you should mention women drafting behind men to get a QOM.   I was just looking at a buddy's impressive ride yesterday and was surprised to see a women in the leaderboard above him.   He's a Class 1 rider, state champion, can ride a bike faster than most people can ride a moped.    Yet a woman beat him on a rather difficult stretch???  So I click on her name and am amazed to see she rides and average of 40 miles per MONTH.  ????  I then click on her ride -- and just like you said -- she was drafting in a large group of elite men.   As is, she not only will have a QOM that will likely never be de-throned (legitimately), her time was over an elite Class 1 rider's best solo effort for the same segment.   

    I've read all the comments on this thread and can see both sides.  Yet, the "leave it as it is" crowd's argument against solo/group labels seems to distill down to a) "just enjoy riding and don't worry about it", and b) "it will be really hard to handle the historical data".    My thought in re a) ("just ride and don't worry") is why use Strava at all if we're just going to ignore all the comparative insights it provides, the motivation (it used to provide) to get better on a stretch, etc.?   As for b) ("what to do about the historical data"): mark all historical data "group" and move forward...

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  • We have time trials, this is to see who can go fastest against the clock unassisted by any other competitor, third party to see who is fastest, you only have to compare the individual time trial to the team trial to see the vast difference, even the lead out rider of a group gets a draft boost from having riders behind. Strava is already recording how many other athlete did the same activity with you.   If your in a group who should be the winner the rider who starts at the back of the segment or the one who crosses the finish line ???

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  • Would make it more fair :) But in the long run it just makes you work harder, and then you get the achievement of beating pros when your solo!

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  • Luis, last time I checked Strava calculated the time on the segment by checking the start time against the finish time. However there rarely is a GPS point perfectly aligned with either the start line or the finish, so the segment time Strava comes up with might be longer or shorter than it actually is (this is also one of the reasons why short segments are broken)

    The winner should be the rider who's taken the least time to cover the segment regardless of whether he started at the front or in the back, in practice there is no guarantee as it all depends on how the device recorded the activity. Back at the time there was some talk about improving the accuracy of this calculation through interpolation, but I have no clue whether they did get around to implement that feature or not.

    BTW Strava can only identify group rides to a limited extent. There is a threshold under which the grouping is not triggered - IIRC it's 40% of the segments ridden together, so if for whatever reason a rider only is with the group for a (relatively) short stretch, their activity won't show as a group ride.

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  • Marco lets clarify for some, a person creates a segment based on one of the their activities.  Ant+ protocol units (like garmin) only record to 1 second & strava recommends you set head unit to record at 1 sec instead of "Smart Recording"(create a compact data file on garmins) as to be able to match to a segment, strava finds your nearests points to the start / end, they can before or after, meaning the segment length may be 300m , your activity is measured at 290m and your friend is measured at 309m, and at higher speeds the distance between each second becomes greater, interpolation should be done(I don't think so either) for short segments, taking into account the speed start and again at the end. A group time should have its own title (Team of Mountain =TOM) and allocate all riders to have the TOM title, strava can easily match a group to segment as we have the time at the start of a segment. This is my third party strava app where doing some work on power meter data & heartrate at the moment  http://strava.lopeys.com/ when you zoom in, there is all your points recorded and strava segment start & end. those who want view have a look at strava animation of your activity http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/

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  • I suggest that when you load in a ride you tick a box to say it's a group ride, possibly even tag friends you rode with and then have the ability to unselect any segment achievements you personally feel you don't deserve, without deleting the ride data.

    My friends and I all agree we take no satisfaction in gaining a KoM from the back of a line when the guy at the front rode the segment!! Will take some honesty, but I think it's a goer!!

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  • My wish is to have the ability to filter the segment leaderboards by solo and group efforts.  The designation of group can be automatic (as strava shows groups riding together) or communal entrusting the rider to designate a ride solo.  Automatic would be best as sometimes the overlap is just for a few segments or even a portion of a segment...

    Those of us that do solo TT efforts should be able to really know how we stack up against others doing the same and in a sense the group riders should also benefit from knowing which group effort was best...

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  • This is all hopelessly complex.  Relying on riders to self-report which type of activity they were one is doomed to failure, and in any case a large fraction of activities are partial-group, partial solo.  If I was Strava I wouldn't give any time to this.

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  • @ Daniel, 3rd Jan- Seems Strava have not given any time to it since 2012. For some reason, 'hollow' prizes for every segment and other less meaningful functions/prizes are considered more important!?- Now THAT's a waste of time!  I can't see why computing power can't be used to class rides & even segments as solo/group. It could automatically put them or the ride in a different table/label if another rider is registered on that segment. If the rider knows different, they can reclaim it. If the rider is a cheat, that's their style and they may be 'flagged' one day to accumulate a 'reputation'. Perhaps a collection of 'thumbs down' following discussions with a dissatisfied accuser? Just like drafting a truck or using the eBike etc, honesty is personal. Yes, there are plenty of 'non strava' people out  there you could be using to claim a fake place and the system will never be perfect, but any improvement will 'true up' the leader boards. Computing power can be put to good use, let the true soloist shine and one click per segment is not an onerous task. I would however like 'micro segments', (say <300m?), to be removed unless they are > say 1%? -arbitrary numbers there, but you get the idea. It would cut the number of pretend segments and crappy timing/gps issues with such distances.

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  • Its pretty clear from Strava's new cup system that they are interested in having more users being able to attain cups.  Now in addition to all time Best cups we also have Annual best.  Why not monthly best, or weekly best?  This way every rider of any ability could get crowns/cups. Instead of awarding more cups to middling achievements Strava could easily implement a change to the overalls by awarding more overall cups on segments that have a high number of users.  Awarding a 10th overall cup on a 100 competitor segment is great, but why not award a cup to the 15th overall time on a 1000 user segment?  That 15th overall out of 1000 is actually far superior to the 10th out of 100.

    Regarding the group/solo arguments I don't think Strava would engage in pissing off their customers (many who ride and achieve crowns/cups in group rides) by implementing an automated marking of rides group/solo.  Every rider who achieves a crown/cup in a fast group ride wants others to believe they did it solo or that somehow the group draft effect didn't affect their time.  I've spoken to a few people about this who, believe it or not, thought a KOM won by riding solo is easier because you could better target a segment than if you were in a group! 

    What we are talking about at the high level is leaderboard credibility.  Once a leaderboard becomes populated with non-comparable times then the leaderboard becomes meaningless and that doesn't help Strava.  Strava relies on its users to police the leaderboard by flagging rides with gps errors or done in cars or ebikes, etc.  But sometimes users don't make an effort to flag the new KOM and then the leaderboard loses its credibility.  Since Strava already relies and trusts users to maintain leaderboard credibility then I don't see why extending this to group/solo self marking would be so difficult.

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  • Darryl: I disagree this can be automated.  First of all there's the trivial exception of group rides with only one person uploading to Strava, and in any case someone is the first one to upload.  If someone else uploads a day later do you go back and revise the status of everyone potentially affected?  Second, just because I'm near someone at a particular time doesn't mean I'm riding with them: it is common in time trials for riders to start @ 30 second intervals, meaning I'm within 30 seconds of one or more other riders much of the time, yet this is very much an individual effort.  Also it's potentially a lot of computational work.   How do you define riding in a group, anyway?   If I am riding 1% faster than someone, approach and pass them on a climb, is this riding "in a group"?   Computationally, given a bunch of GPS coordinates and times for each rider, how do I write an equation which determines whether I'm in a group?   To me there's productive tasks and there's unproductive tasks and if I worked at Strava I'd bin this in the second category.  "Know it when I see it" doesn't work: the grey zone is too extensive.

     

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  • Daniel- I don't think the computational work is that extensive.  Right now, much of this has been already done with the strava labs flyby feature.

    http://labs.strava.com/flyby/

    Instead of talking in the abstract, lets look at a real activity with a KOM, activity 230255826.  If you enter this activity number you will see Jake, Bill and Jim at the top.There are columns to the right, the most important of which are labeled C and S.  C being "the percentage of time that this activity was close to the primary activity. Correlations over 30% are considered group activity matches in Strava" (this could easily be changed).  S being "the time independent similarity of activity to the primary activity. An activity travelling the same course will have a high spatial correlation regardless of the speed or start time of the activity."

    So in the above activity we see that Jake and Bill rode with a 99% correlation (c). They both started and ended at the same location.  They also recorded a KOM toward the end of their ride (which has since been surpassed) with the exact same time 1:18

    http://www.strava.com/segments/7741453?filter=overall

      How could anyone argue that this was not a group aided KOM?  The other rider, Jim, had an 83% correlation and perhaps might have earned high overall placings without aid, but unlikely.  It would be quite easy for Strava to simply label achievements group if the correlation (C) was at 80% or some generally acceptable number.  There would still be error, but not to the extend that is present now.

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  • The more I use Strava, the more I've come to the conclusion that a Group vs. Solo designation is not a practical feature, especially if you think it should affect the leaderboard placements in any way.  Almost all of the KOMs where I ride were wind-aided.  Some of the KOM leaders may have been drafting behind vehicles or received some benefit from drafts off of heavy traffic.  Some KOMs were attained by some fortunate enough to perfectly time street lights.  Most KOMs are owned by riders that frequently ride, and live near the area.  Most are now unattainable without one or more of these aids.   

    My point is that there are MANY factors that account for a resulting segment achievement, and most achievements will be earned using one or more of them to their benefit. Taking only one of these factors in, like Group vs. Solo, is failing to recognize all of these other potential factors. And as many have already pointed out, there is not a clear way for Strava to determine diffinitively whether someone received significant benefit within a group either, even with all of the data they have.  The correlation used for Strava Flyby is still insufficient to conclusively deduce a Group vs. Solo designation.  Recorded GPS data isn't accurate enough to reliably determine if riders were within inches of each other and actually receiving a significant draft benefit. Strava could only hypothesize and make assumptions at best.  It would still need to be editable to allow users to correct erroneous designations.  The other big problem mentioned multiple times with Group vs. Solo designations is that it is problematic to designate an entire ride as one or the other -- most rides are a mix of both.  So these designations would be segment-based, and very tedious to correct if they were wrong and becoming a huge nuisance for Strava users to correct.   

    Implementing the Group vs. Solo feature opens up a huge can of worms for Strava, and more importantly, detracts from the simplicity of the current leaderboard -- THE BEST TIME GETS THE KOM for each segment, period. Even if the leaderboard took into consideration all available data, the appeal of participating in any segment competition would be significantly reduced if Strava was arbitrarily determining placements based on empirical data it gathered through multiple sources about weather/wind, group vs. solo, traffic volume, etc.  There would surely always be other factors missing, making it "unfair".  If Strava did not alter placements based on the data (still kept the results time-based), but simply presented the data they gathered, people would still be upset if it was erroneous and suggested it was a lesser effort than was deserved, and of course you'd have those who would think that the results should be in a different order based on the other factors.  If it is editable, then some people would no longer trust the data to be accurate. There really is no good answer to this quandary.  My vote is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.
      

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  • I personally don't care at ALL about the leader boards, as I'd guess is likely the case with probably 95% (or more) of Strava users. I am only interested in MY data, comparing me to me. Am I getting better even though I'm getting older? Hard to say because almost all my PR's are set in group rides (with fast people, much stronger than me). When I solo a ride/segments I have no true idea how it would stack up because my data is all skewed with the paceline rides. There are very few places I can go find a segment I haven't ridden with my club (except on my Mt bike, which is all I really have left due to the inability to sort my segments as group / solo). I hear all the 'excuses' as to why it wouldn't be a good idea, and to those people I say "so don't do it then". Even if Strava made the feature available nobody could force you to use it...just continue doing what you are doing now. But for the MANY who would like this ability, quit spoiling it for us with your negativity. As my dad always said: "if you don't have anything positive to say, then don't say it".

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  • I too like the keep it simple approach but I believe multiple contributors have shown simple ways to do this.  Strava has multiple features that rely on the community to police and letting uses say if the ride was solo or group would be consistent with that model.    Paul A's solution of integrating the flyby logic so a default assumption could be made for a ride which the user could override for the ride.

     

    I guess the other option would be to allow an additional flag option for situations where users feel a QOM for example was claimed by a woman drafting behind men...to me this is too punitive as some could say sitting in is hard on some rides...

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  • Yes grouped pace lines are probably the second biggest contributor to untouchable KOM's weather conditions kinda make up for it though :) .

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  • Come on Strava - just do it.  Loads of the segments, around Abergavenny for example, are skewed by Pro race peletons and Chain Gangs of fastmen.  It would be nice to see how one stacks up against others on training rides.

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