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

Elle Anderson
suggested this on March 5, 2012, 4:06 PM

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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Luis Lopez

Ariel to answer your questions, you can see if a KoM has been done solo or group by going to the activity and you will read how many people rode together (this is not true all the time due some technicalities on how strava matches group rides, which I think is done by common segments done together)  another way is to view the activity using the strava labs activity playback where you can see an animation of the activity and you can select the riders to be viewed, and zoom in to see them moving try it http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/ . Getting people to mark their rides as solo etc is utter crap I'm sure many who got the KOM in a group ride are going mark it as a solo, there is no level playing field, when you have wind assisted, timetrial bikes, age, etc. Use the filters on the segments to filter on age groups, clubs, today this week and your results. If I get a KOM wohoo and there always will be someone who find a ways beat it records are meant to be broken.

April 11, 2015, 5:04 AM
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Ariel Levin

How serious can STRAVA take these suggestion if Ellie made it in 2012 and it is now 2015. I would like to suggest there be a button. You simply add the designation A=assisted, S= Solo or P=Pro. You download your ride and manually added the button designation. This will give us all a better opportunity to 1) compete on a level playing field 2) understand how much we need to improve  3) help with the Pro problem of snatching KOM from us common folk. My segment mates are women 55-64. There are gals in that segment who are riding over 26 mph. I'd love to match their great efforts (Kudo's to you gals!), but to date I do all my segments solo. How do I know if they are pacelining, in a group or otherwise assisted? Unfair to not have a designation.

April 10, 2015, 1:17 PM
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Luis Lopez

Strava has already got the capacity to determine a solo or group as they do it with our activities, then we could have more solo & group cups.

how to take a KOM in group ride:

  • start of at the back of a group an even start further back before a segment
  • get into the group and wheel suck
  • attack 200 meters before the end as most wheel suckers will last  (10secs) at a higher pace.
  • choose a tail wind days
  • if you have garmin510,810, 1000 with the latest firmware you can view dynamic segments and get notified of finish & end of segment
  • creating dynamic segments can be done at http://gniza.org/segments/ you also authorise access to strava as like all 3rd party apps using strava api
  • this is a dynamic segment video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm-VrAxmCuM
  • choose tailwind days
  • get a proper bike fit, aero wheels for flat segments,TT (sperm) helmet , bike frame aerodynamics happen after 47km/h, use tight fitting clothing any clothing flapping means its acting like a sail.
  • lighter wheels will help climbing segments, also in a group ride they will allow you to accelerate in a sprint
  • when accelerating / sprint use a higher cadence, grinding takes longer to speed up, you will find once you are accelerating its a higher cadence, so take note of what that is.

Solo KoMs:

  • Tailwind days are KOM days
  • Know you power output for that length of segment
  • spend some time warming up, including some quick intervals to get legs & core working
  • choose the right gears to give you the relative power / cadence
  • don't go into the red zone to early as it will slow you down even more than what you think
  • Power meters are better than heart rate in judging effort, heart rate tends to have a lag, as why many are using power meters to do there interval sessions

A lot of my Kom have been done solo, and some guys have taken my KOM using the above suggestions where I have done all the work nor am I not crying about spilt milk, as I might regain them on another day which I have done so.

race against yourself, strava gives you filters to see your times only, age group, today, this week, this month & this year(now being displayed KOM 2015)

you should know how to ride safe, a straight line, cross wheels, know the roading your riding its risks, pot holes, corners and racing line.

March 14, 2015, 7:25 PM
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Greg Maness
BS! None of the authorities are going to bother with that. I'm not saying I agree with riding at 50km/hr on paths either but if you think some one is going to get a fine or ticket for doing it, only to be caught on a Strava download you are dreaming. Maybe I mis interpreted what your point was. If so I appologize.
March 13, 2015, 1:48 PM
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Steve Brown

Something to consider.  The use of STRAVA for the timing of segments is encouraging cyclists to, in effect, race on the public highways and bike paths.  I live in Perth WA and there are early signs that the authorities are focusing on this "racing" trend.  Groups in particular are regularly travelling dual use paths at over 50kmh.  This is obviously very stupid.  SAll the comments logged here will be reviewed by interested traffic authorities at some stage so be prudent perhaps?

March 13, 2015, 9:17 AM
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Richard M.

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.

February 9, 2015, 6:31 AM
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Trevor Fine

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

January 27, 2015, 11:39 AM
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Mike Wood

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...

January 5, 2015, 9:34 PM
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Matt Chapek

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".

January 5, 2015, 8:53 PM
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Billy Rappleye

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.
  

January 5, 2015, 7:36 PM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

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.

January 5, 2015, 5:21 PM
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Daniel Connelly

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.

 

January 5, 2015, 5:49 AM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

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.

January 3, 2015, 5:24 PM
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Darryl Roberts

@ 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.

January 3, 2015, 3:51 PM
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Daniel Connelly

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.

January 3, 2015, 10:13 AM
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Mike Wood

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...

October 27, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Les Thomas

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!!

October 24, 2014, 1:13 PM
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Luis Lopez

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/

September 11, 2014, 2:03 PM
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Marco S

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.

September 11, 2014, 8:00 AM
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Felix Wilkinson

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!

September 11, 2014, 6:57 AM
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Luis Lopez

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 ???

September 10, 2014, 11:24 PM
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Marty McCasland

@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...

August 13, 2014, 9:14 AM
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Louise Lewis

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.

 

August 12, 2014, 11:30 PM
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Juho Won

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.

July 28, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Marty McCasland

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...

June 25, 2014, 8:46 AM
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Hugh Ross

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

June 22, 2014, 7:06 AM
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Bryn Davies

+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.

June 19, 2014, 2:45 PM
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Daniel Banks

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.

June 9, 2014, 4:13 PM
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Steve Weixel

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.

June 9, 2014, 4:05 PM
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Eric H.

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.

June 9, 2014, 1:29 PM
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Luke J.

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.

June 3, 2014, 8:33 PM
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Shotgun .

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.

June 1, 2014, 5:04 AM
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Shotgun .

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.

June 1, 2014, 4:58 AM
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Momma Mia

Sometimes I use my Garmin in case my iPhone poops out on a long ride. In these cases I may choose to upload from both devices to see how different the power calculations and times are (they are!). When I do this however -- and even after I delete one of the 2 files from my activities -- the Strava App on iPhone and iPad show my ride as a "Group ride", or as "rode with 1 other" -- me. It would be great to prohibit that from appearing when in fact the ride was a solo effort all the way! Thank you!

May 13, 2014, 3:51 PM
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Eric E

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

April 28, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Matt Chapek

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). 

April 28, 2014, 11:23 AM
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Mick Neal

I'm ROFL about the disrupting the group with a Strava PR attempt.  How many group rides don't have a flyer off the front at some point in time?  Competitive cycling, and Strava is competitive, is all about pushing limits, who wants to be sheep and just stay in your designated spot/pace?  This thread has been going for years now so I don't expect to see much change on it soon.  

April 28, 2014, 11:04 AM
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Greg Maness
Nobody said strava is a team sport... And the word segment has correlation to a group or solo. This is a pointless discussion.
April 28, 2014, 10:46 AM
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Eric E

When will folks understand, Strava Segments are not Individual Time Trials?  

Cycling as a group is all about drafting and working together, and time trials are individual efforts.  When Strava changes the name from "Segment" to "Time Trial" this discussion will make sense.  People want filters to filter group rides out of a segment to see themselves at the top of a leader board, but basic group etiquette following riders have to deal with wheel suckers drafting a pack, only to jump that pack near the end of segment for some personal Strava PR, disrupting the group.

There are abusers of all fashions, and people should get over it, and ride to their ability.

April 28, 2014, 6:43 AM
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Maureen Doig

It's also frustrating for me as a female rider who rides on my own to see so many other females up the leaderboards who have ridden with a group of male friends.  It must make it so much easier to tuck in and get dragged along to some great times.

April 12, 2014, 10:02 AM
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Keith Thomas
Yes please
March 30, 2014, 3:38 PM
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cedric sapien

segments are bad for the group rides, and group rides are bad for the segments! something needs to be done!

March 30, 2014, 4:49 AM
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Darryl Roberts

Eric E- 'we' are not necessarily chasing KOMs Eric, just wanting to compare to our 'followees/followeres' plus ourselves, WITH essential information about how the result was obtained. I would gladly go back and do a simple single click on rides I knew were solo but if that seems too onerous for you then we get to assume you did it with assistance. I know 'what is what' because of the name I put  on a ride or the route/distance. This is because I care about the effort I myself put in on a ride. You say, "just ride faster", yet riding faster in a group means you are leaching off others' abilities just as heading out on a downbreeze windy day assists, (another label I put on my rides with any 'achievements'). You talk about toughness yet desire being 'comforted' in a pack to be the same as leading all the way.... who's tougher?

March 27, 2014, 4:58 PM
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Kevin C.

I'm not even worried about leader board sorting- I just want to be able to track *my* solo efforts without seeing the group rides in there. 

March 27, 2014, 4:40 PM
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Eric E

This feature is utterly pointless.  

Everyone would have to go back through all their rides and designate Group or Solo, otherwise all segments would have to start with a clean slate.  Never going to happen.

Racers draft in races, and team leaders (or, the Team's Fastest Rider) do the least amount of time in the wind.  So a team training ride runs through your segments, and you'll never see the top 25.  Get over it, the variances in data captured with a Garmin/iPhone/Android are in excess of one second, so a group ride smoking through a segment ins't even accurate anyway.

For a sport that's supposed to be deep in toughness, there sure are a lot of people who complain about not having any KOMs, and come up with the stupidest feature request to make getting one easier.  Just go ride your bike faster.....

March 5, 2014, 2:29 PM
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Mick Neal

This might have been covered in the many pages of discussion but solo vs group is not enough either.  Think about the scenario where a rider is led out for a quarter mile and then finishes off the next quarter mile of the segment.  That is a lot of effort put out by the ride when they are out on their own, I would consider a group classification to sitting in or a fast moving rotating paceline.   

February 15, 2014, 9:13 AM
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Darryl Roberts

@ Tom Baker- another person to ask to unsubscribe if you can't accept the arguments FOR change outweigh those against. Leave it to the people tapping on Stravas bullet proof window please. The objectors seem to think any advantage is fine .... pack, wind, truck ..... bungee cord or electricity perhaps? Learn to control the things you can, (like utilising automatic software), and forgo the things you cant, (like honesty, wind and bike cost). It seems most objectors are the more dedicated, competitive, racing, pack types so surely you have other ways to gauge yourselves & don't need this app to ferret through so what's the issue for you?..... Scared your 'honesty' will be highlighted? Why oppose something many would simply like to be able to compare to the people they follow & know the sorts of rides they engage in- and their honesty?.... plus associated ride title or comment. My earlier suggestion requested the title be displayed WITH the leaderboards to provide instant knowledge of ride variety and adding a check box such as "group" or "part group" would be another way to simplify the upload task you seem to think is onerous. Much like there is a "commute" option currently.

February 15, 2014, 3:35 AM
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tom baker

I agree with Steve Weixel - fastest is fastest, quit whining

February 14, 2014, 11:42 PM
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Darryl Roberts

It seems Strava are more interested in creating challenges and badges than solving this real issue for us all. If they are not going to make a different leader board, (which would appear to be relatively easy considering the categories already available and the software power available), then they should at least display the "Ride Title" &/or "other riders" already indicated, in the "my results" and leaderboards. This would, at a glance, give us an indication for a good time. If I get a good time, I'll always mention the prevailing breeze so my followers know and I can be proud of a better time as I improve the next time. As many have said, "any improvement, however imperfect, will be great".

February 14, 2014, 8:58 PM
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David Taylor

I totally agree with the original suggestion. 

Sometimes I ride in a peloton with my club, and sometimes I ride solo. The problem is that my PRs for any given segment are always measured simply as the fastest times. Of course, I’m much faster in the group which means that I’m less motivated to push myself when riding alone (since I know I won’t be able to get a PR on the same segments).

I agree that Strava add a way for users to indicate whether a ride was solo vs group, and then to measure PRs separately.

February 14, 2014, 1:59 PM
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Doug Haluza

Yeah, I have lots of KoM where I had a crazy tail wind, or I got lucky and drafted a truck, or just got in with a really fast group and was a little more aggressive at just the right time.

Still, I think it would be useful to be able to tag whether the ride was done with a group, or alone, More info is always better than less info.

January 10, 2014, 4:35 PM
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James White

Strava is fine the way it is. Steve and  Jerry and co are correct.  There is no simple way to correct this and no need to. If Strava forced a group ride criteria teams could support one rider, turn their GPS off, etc. etc. There is no solution that is purely accurate so who cares. Usually the KOM of a flat segment is the one who caught the best tail wind anyway. Good on them. If you ride the same route every day you will probably get that wind too.  At some point 30km/hr wind will hit every segment.

December 10, 2013, 8:30 AM
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Blair Brown

I don't care if other people show up on the leaderboards if they were riding with a group (there's no way *everyone* would check a box), but I'd like to know if I'm improving or not.  I'd like to see a way to not count a ride toward the leaderboards...sort of 'private' or 'noncompetitive', so it will still count toward my mileage.  I don't care if other people can see the ride, but I don't want to be on a leaderboard if I didn't really earn it.  (Not to mention, I would probably never break my own record, if it was made with a group.)

November 17, 2013, 2:30 PM
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George Cory

Joe, one point that you make is that if you get into the top 25% of a KOM list, then you believe your training is paying off.  As everyone else has said - there are some segments where you could go straight into the top 10% - and there are others that you might never get into the top 50%

However, if you look at your own times over the years on a segment, if your training is paying off, you'll see those times getting faster, as an overall trend (individual rides might be slower, because you were tired, ill, or 100 other reason).  THAT is the key indication of whether your training is paying off.

Please, stop using the Strava KOM tables as anything more than a bit of fun. Just because you're #10 in the list, doesn't mean you're the 10th fastest person to have ever ridden that segment.

I could actually go into a LOT of detail about how segment times can be wrong (on a technical level), how KOM tables can be wrong, how all the other things there are can affect KOM tables.  It's for FUN. Nothing more.

If you want to compare yourself with other cycles, get out and ride with other cyclists. If you want to see how your personal performance is changing, look at your own historical data.  Just don't use KOM tables as a way of measuring yourself.  How are you going to feel if a faster *solo* rider does your segment, and you go down in the ranking?  Will you be thinking "oh, my training isn't working, I'm getting slower". No, of course it doesn't. It just means that someone better than you has just ridden it, and uploaded to Strava.  That's it. Nothing more.

If you want to track your own training progress, do that. Track your *own* progress.

October 20, 2013, 5:04 AM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

Greg, here in the SF bay area, you see segments with thousands of individual riders on them.   Its pretty easy in some regions to build up pages of KOMs (veloviewer scores are helpful).  Here, every single KOM on any competitive segment (more than 200 riders) is done without a headwind.  It is impossible to get a significant KOM riding into the wind due to the number of powerful riders here.  But drafting is unlike a tailwind, in that other riders can pull for you in any direction (wind has direction..).  This is a huge benefit.  A team time trial with always be faster than an individual time trial even if that individual has a tailwind.  This is not even debatable.  But tailwinds are simply not discriminatory. Anyone riding that day/week or whenever that wind is occurring has the opportunity to take advantage of it.  That wind pattern will occur again.  Its not like the rider who KOMs had some unique tailwind that is a once in a lifetime occurrence unavailable to other riders.

I think the mention of the womens leader board is the analogy that comparing a solo ride to a group ride is like comparing men to women.  Men have an advantage over women much like group rides have over solo. 

Stephen D.'s solution is pretty cumbersome but workable.  I also would like to filter my own times by solo/group simply because I put no value on group times.

 

October 19, 2013, 8:45 PM
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Greg Maness
Thanks Joe E, If I lived in Boulder CO or San Diego I would not be anywhere close to the top of a leader board. So I guess my perspective is from my own little corner of the world I ride in. With your same reasoning on drafting, either you had a tail wind or you did not. What am I missing here? I never mentioned the women's leader board. Don't twist my words and try to morph my point into something ridiculous. That will just lead people to speculate about your political affiliation.
October 19, 2013, 7:26 PM
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Stephen D.

My interest in the solo/group designation is to compare my own rides, since I repeat segments a lot. I care less about where I am vs the rest of the world. My current workaround is to add a SOLO bike to my stable. I haven't tried to filter using the bike type yet. But at least the information is captured so I don't forget.

October 19, 2013, 7:14 PM
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Darryl Roberts

@ Billy- but Billy, it's not difficult to reduce the "drilling down", simplify the representation of results whilst making them more meaningful at the same time if this function is introduced. Just unsubscribe if you've had enough and we can keep discounting the objectors with reason.

October 19, 2013, 6:05 PM
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Billy Rappleye
The thread that just won't die.

It's practically a religious/political debate in here. Let's all remember that at the end of the day, Strava is just a tool. We rode bikes before Strava and still managed to find ways to get motivated and improve.

Since there's not a clear answer/consensus on this matter and there are clearly some complexities in group vs solo designations for a whole ride, it most likely won't be implemented.

Most of the KOMs in my area were taken on windy days, and in many cases were solo efforts anyway. I rarely get KOMs anymore because I don't ride often enough to take advantage of favorable conditions.

I'd hate to see erroneous or misleading ride designations more than not seeing them at all. You'd still end up doing what we do now to validate-- drill down to the rides on segment efforts and look at the details. Point is, it's difficult to say exactly what the advantage may have been on any given segment (if any). Accept that fact, appreciate the simplicity of the Strava leaderboard, and leave it at that.
October 19, 2013, 5:39 PM
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Darryl Roberts

Thank you again Joe. It seems the 'groupies' don't remember the old saying I've probably misquoted here, "embrace the things you can control and focus less on the things you can't" .... ie- the other sex, the naturally gifted or people determined to cheat, I cant compare myself to or control. Group riders however ARE in a class of their own which could be sorted with a click(s) of a button. I can't see the issue with wanting to make a solo rider manually select their REAL PR as having gone alone, (regardless of how they got to the start of the segment). If I am interested in checking out how they got there, I can view their ride, (and 'rode with' listing), in an attempt to fathom their brilliance or degree of assistance. I could even look at the wind history if determined to gauge assistance but these are things the groupies don't have to bother with aren't they? The groupies are the ones who CLAIM to be less interested in KOMs and using the Strava leader board as motivation anyway. The "too many segments to click on nowadays" issue may pop up again and I agree with this. What about, "only >30second and/or >400m segments" having leader boards?- (my cut off numbers to be altered perhaps?). That way, GPS errors and hundreds of near meaningless segments can be discounted from data processing & clicks.

October 19, 2013, 5:04 PM
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Joe Emenaker

Well, Greg, let me just acknowledge your studliness. You have a roomful of KOM's that you got solo... even beating the group guys. It doesn't surprise me that you don't see what the big deal is. Everybody's behind you. If you were only measured against other people riding solo, they'd *still* all be behind you.

What I'd suggest you consider is that you don't know what it's like to be one of us who didn't win the genetic lottery. It takes a lot of effort and determination just to claw our way up to a respectable place among those who benefit from generous physiological benefits, and it would be nice if our efforts were diminished further by those who benefit from generous aerodynamic benefits.

In my case, if I go out and put in a reasonable amount of training and manage to get in the top 25% of the leaderboard, then I feel like the training is paying off and it motivates me to take my training even more seriously. On the other hand, when I go out and ride and train and then can't even crack the top 50% because it's full of the guys who ride 15 in a pack, then how much further would increased training help me... really? I wouldn't expect this situation to be understood by somebody who can just hop on his bike and smoke all of the groups he sees on the road.

As far as considering weather conditions, this has been answered before. Weather conditions aren't an either/or thing, and they also aren't something which is completely known just from the ride itself and it's also not something which is consistent through a whole segment effort. Wind can change during a segment. However, with drafting, either you were drafting on part of the segment or your weren't.

Group-vs-solo is less like tailwind-vs-headwind and more like male-vs-female. It's a undeniable advantage which doesn't change during a segment. So, if you're going to argue against a solo-only leaderboard, then you're also arguing against a women's leaderboard. You say that a unified leaderboard just means more glory when a solo guy beats all of the group riders. Well, then you're also saying, in effect, that women shouldn't have their own leaderboard and it just means more bragging rights if they manage to beat all of the men.

October 19, 2013, 3:46 PM
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Greg Maness
I like comparing my times to pros even tho I am twice there age. It's amazing what some gifted athletes can accomplish.
October 19, 2013, 6:20 AM
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Greg Maness
Holy shit. I can't believe I read through (most) of this. I have to say, I agree with Steve W on this and am shocked that it seems to be so far in the minority. Group ride or solo? Are you going to filter weather conditions as well? Well this guy had a 12 mph tail wind on segment X, Y and Z so that does not count....give me a break. Strava does give me motivation, and that is its main objective I believe. I don't race, and rarely do group rides. Occasionally ride with 1 or 2 others. I am on page 11 of kom's so that's a little over 200 that I have now. I would say 90% of my kom's are solo. I pride myself on getting them solo, and on group rides I don't usually go for the segments. In the end remember "Merckx was better than you"
October 19, 2013, 6:17 AM
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Luca Post

yes -> solo, small, medium& large group

 

then people can misuse it but having that as a filtering option would still be a nice feature !

October 1, 2013, 1:09 AM
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Christopher H.

This would be a great feature

September 28, 2013, 9:49 PM
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Stephen D.

I'm interested in my personal data. PR's in a group setting means that I hung on well. PR's SOLO means I'M improving. So it would be great to filter/sort between the two. I guess I could create a GROUP persona (account) and a SOLO account, but that's more work then if Strava provided the solo/group flag and PRs in each situation.

August 31, 2013, 9:45 PM
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George Cory

No, not really.

The KOM is a simple leaderboard of Strava times. I know that there's loads of people who are much faster than me, but who don't upload to Strava.

Anyway, KOMs on *real hills* aren't really affected by group or solo. It's only flat segments that are - and, by definition, they cannot be *mountains"

Treat Strava KOMs as a bit of fun. Because it's nothing more than that.  It happens that Strava is very good at recording your own performance - and that's what is most important. If you value your training.

August 31, 2013, 11:35 AM
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cedric sapien

ok George, but you've got to admit that it can be disheartening when you've worked hard in a segment, eventually pinched the KOM, then some day some twatwaffle takes the KOM from you just because he was in the middle of a bunch...

August 30, 2013, 11:54 PM
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George Cory

Guys...

This thread has been going on for far too long.  Please, get out and RIDE, and use Strava's segment system to show YOU how much YOU have improved over the past year.

If you want to use the leaderboards to get some idea of where your time fits in compared to your age group, or your weight, of your club - then fine.

Enough people have explained how there are so many variables in a ride, solo/group is just one of them.  If you've ridden a segment and you're 400th out of 450, then you know you've got some training to do...

Simples.

imho, it would be far better for Strava to show me a graph of my own times over the last year or two - so that I can see how I've improved, or not.  I try to provide meaningful titles and detailed comments if conditions were windy, or I was riding solo or in a group.   Look at the vast majority of people who ride a sportive, for instance, and the title is just the date. Useless.

August 30, 2013, 11:32 PM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

Joe- very true, If Strava implemented top down classification of group/solo through their auto detect system, there would likely be many upset riders.  I think your statement about only the individual rider knows if he benefited is not quite right.  If I am in a group taking turns pulling then I know for certain that those around me benefited.  The only case where this would not be true is the rider in the group who always leads and doesn't let others take turns.  This is very uncommon. Group riders are far more likely to benefit from some draft than solo riders.  Although many group riders like to think that they did not benefit from the group, they invariably did.  How many riders actually lead the group ride from start to end?   Average wattage on group rides is always lower than the same ride solo, given equal speed.  Group rides = free speed.

But the idea that group riders would object to classifying  their rides as group or solo, by filterable check box, dumbfounds me.   Another illustration of how ridiculous leaderboards are becoming is this segment, often rode in groups.  The "bakery ride" is a common ride for both groups and solo and many cat2/3/4 participate.  But try to find the best solo effort? 

http://app.strava.com/segments/775754

The leaderboard looks exactly like a typical team time trial leaderboard, with competitors separated by 1 second as they are all grouped together.   I guess some people don't see a problem with this leaderboard, but what meaning does it have if everyone is in drafts of differing sizes (rider count)?

You may notice some riders name their ride "Bakery" indicating the popular group ride.  It seems most people are honest.  The argument that the simple feature shouldn't be implemented because there are group riders that will lie is weak.  Why would you choose not to be honest because others may cheat and get ahead?  There are always cheaters and liars, but at some point you have to go with the majority who are honest instead of focusing on the negative minority.

I don't think Strava has followed this conversation for a long time, but everyone's opinion here is worth reading.  Maybe they will tune in sometime.

August 29, 2013, 7:38 PM
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Joe Emenaker

I think the general consensus is to not have Strava auto-detect group segment attempts and to just trust each user to be honest, for the following reasons:

  • Strava's ride-matching algorithm is lousy. If you ride some loop, and another guy rides about a minute behind you, on just a part of your loop, Strava thinks you two rode together.
  • You can ride in a pack yet you could attempt a segment when at the front (ie, without ever benefiting from drafting).
  • If a user is unscrupulous, there are many more ways to cheat (drafting off a car... or getting into a car... tweaking your ride data with DigitalEpo... ), so denying them the ability to self-edit their group/solo status isn't stopping them from messing up the data.

In the end, what it really comes down to isn't "Were you in a group or not?"... it's "Did you benefit from drafting?"... and only the individual rider knows that.

August 29, 2013, 2:20 PM
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Rich Machin

Definitly a good idea... if more than one person uploads the ride to Strava, could Strava do the differentiation between solo and group rides automatically? Otherwise I imagine there might be some unscrupulous users who would hide the fact that they've ridden in a group by selecting the solo option.... 

August 29, 2013, 12:39 PM
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Joe Emenaker

"We banter like Strava is actually listening."

Exactly! Even though they might be listening, I doubt they'd touch this with a 10-foot pole. There are enough people who are vehemently opposed to it, that I doubt Strava would risk alienating them. Their mental calculus of it is probably: "If we did this, then there's no reason to expect we'd *gain* any new users to offset the ones who are going to leave in protest".

The issue is far too divisive to expect Strava to take a stand.

August 28, 2013, 8:44 AM
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Scott DeLeeuw

We banter like Strava is actually listening.

August 28, 2013, 7:46 AM
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Todd Stapleton

Totally agree that there needs to be something on the leaderboards that differentiates between group ride vs. solo ride.  It shouldn't be a box that each person checks either.  Strava should automatically calculate that info.  Say 3 people ride the same segment during the same time of the day, they all would go on the group ride side of the leaderboard.  My only issue that I have with this would be that I currently ride with 2 other guys.  We are all the same cycling fitness level and are all very competitive.  There are many segments in our area where we are not all drafting off of each other to get the KOM.  Like I said we sort of treat it like a mini race and race each other side by side to the finish.  We do these sorts of segments a lot on our local rail trail.  We make it a general rule that you CANNOT draft each other.  I wouldn't want those segments being categorized as a group ride...because they were not.  How would Strava make sure that this doesn't happen...Just a thought...Thanks for reading..

August 28, 2013, 6:35 AM
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Graham Proctor

Wow this one seems to causing some fierce debate so I will just add my view

I have noticed group rides quite a lot recently, on some segments 5-6 of the top ten spots are all ridden as a group which Strava has tagged as group rides. The times are all within a few seconds of each other so I doubt these riders are stopping and riding the segments on there own.

I think that as this information is already known it should be displayed in the leader board and a filter added. I also think it would be easer to have a Group KOM/QOM (GKOM or GQOM) maybe with three smaller crowns as an icon ;-). Leaving the KOM for solo efforts, then if you are that way inclined and fast enough you could win both. This would mean no one has the KOM/QOM taken away its just turns into different achievement.

You could have a honesty flag where you could flag your ride as a group ride if Strava didn't work it out for itself or you ride with others who do not use Strava (stunned silence.. they do exist!) or vice versa when it flags you by mistake.

Group rides and solo rides are different things that is why they have there own world titles one is call Time Trailing the other Road Racing, so lets mirror the real world and have the same in Strava.

 

 

 

August 28, 2013, 6:17 AM
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Bert O.

I can't believe I'm joining this debate again. The other day it was raining cats and dogs and only two other guys showed up for our shop ride. Two of us sat side by side with the other rider behind us. When we got to the only real climb of the day (3km at 8.5%) I took off solo about a kilometre in and set myself a new PR. I then went back down and rode the last half of the hill with the slowest member of our trio before sitting at the front the rest of the ride. So the question is, was my PR a solo or group time? Strava clearly shows that I was riding with someone, yet I know I gained no benefit from the other two. And yes, this isn't just academic because if the Solo table is just a table determined by people just arbitrarily choosing whether or not they were solo or not, will it mean anything at all?

As far as I can tell this feature suggestion won't work because it'll either be auto set and therefore full of nonsense generated by people riding past other people on popular routes and by people riding with non-Strava users; or it will be a leaderboard that instead of showing the fastest ITT effort on a segment will actually show the fastest ITT on segment that someone decided to spend the effort going back and marking as an ITT. Either way the result will be meaningless nonsense. 

August 19, 2013, 11:51 PM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

Steve, 125-149 is Strava's weight class and likely too broad. Sure someone could be 149 compared to someone 125 and be in the same weight class.  But the likelihood that a junior elite rider is on the heavy side of the class compared to a 45+ year old is beyond unrealistic.  Do you really think Marcus is close to 150lbs? (guy on right below and no, he isn't any bigger now than then)

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/garrettlau/4856961859/in/photolist...

  He is tops 135.  There is a very low probability that Dan S. is lighter, so instead of focusing on the least likely event why not focus on what is most likely?.  That the more powerful, younger, lighter rider is slower over the 3.3 mile segment than lesser riders because he has no aero benefit from a group pushing his air. 

In your example:

http://www.strava.com/segments/685382 "I was off the front of a large group (not many people had Strava yet)"

You rode with others one of whom only finished 5 seconds behind you. Of the 1.8 mile segment, you and Jon Slover rode together for 1.3 miles (the comparison tool shows this).  After that, you pulled away on the climb.  How can you claim it was totally solo?  You were solo for only .5 miles. 

Your second example is a good one showing an individual effort after what appears to be a group ride.  But the leaderboard clearly indicates that your weren't with others.

In my example

http://app.strava.com/segments/866158

16th place Marcus Smiths weighted average power for his full ride was 260w.  Dan S., in 6th was 181w.  Again, who is the stronger rider?

Unfortunately I am back in 40th, but when I did that ride I was initially classified 5th.  24 riders are between me and Marcus and only one is solo.  The time gap over nearly 8 minutes of riding between Marcus and I - 6 seconds.  Since groupers finish in packs many can fill these very small gaps.  So am I 40th or 3rd?  I don't want to drill down through 2 or 3 pages of riders to find out where I stand with my fellow solo riders.

My friend, who often rides solo, recently did a 27 mile loop in a small group and set his best time (3rd overall).  Afterwards he said "feels like cheating...".  Of course it isn't cheating, but it is a different type of ride.

As a paying user of Strava I think it is reasonable to request them to add some simple clarity to performances.

Certainly excluding people from leaderboards who ride in groups would be wrong, but including them with solo riders is also wrong.  There is no need for top down enforcement, just a user selectable edit of your ride (group or solo) that is filterable like any other characteristic.

Bob- Veloviewer maximum scores depend on the competitiveness of the segments you do.  My max is 99.56.  My score is 99.09 from 100 of 497 segments.  Your max may be different. Generally the higher your max  reflects the number of other riders on your ridden segments.

 

 

August 19, 2013, 8:05 PM
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Scott DeLeeuw

Isn't that what PRs are for in Strava though Joe?  I understand wanting to do good on segments, but you can also compare your own performances to see if it's making a difference.  As I ride more I fall across more PRs and go up in the ranks on segments by proxy.

If I got demotivated anytime I did bad on a segment I would have quit riding long ago.  I rarely ever look where I fall compared to others, I'm more concerned about my time vs my past rides.

August 19, 2013, 9:49 AM
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Joe Emenaker

Steve said: "Joe, yes it is sad if you derive your self-worth out of an internet riding pissing contest."

Actually, I don't derive my self-worth from it. My self-worth, I derive from the fact that I know about a dozen programming languages, and that I know what a pre-multiplied alpha-key is, and I know ways to convert HDMI into SDI, or to de-interleave striped hard-drive arrays into a single drive. For me, self-worth comes from a completely different aspect of life. Standing on a podium in a yellow jersey isn't what I view myself as contributing to the world.

However... if we're going to set aside "self-worth" and talk, instead, about "motivation"...  then, yes... Strava standings are one of the things I use to help me gauge if my training is having any effect. As far as arduous tasks (like fitness training) are concerned, I try to only engage in those which pay some dividend, so, yeah...  if Strava tells me that my cycling is not having much effect, then... yeah... I start to ask "What's the point"?

August 19, 2013, 9:11 AM
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Steve Weixel

Joe, yes it is sad if you derive your self-worth out of an internet riding pissing contest.

August 19, 2013, 8:36 AM
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Steve Weixel

Paul, 125-149 is not "the same weight class" no matter what Strava says. I weigh around 135 and even compared to people who weigh 145, the differences in power are ridiculous. You can't look at two random people on a leaderboard and say you need x more power to go that speed. There are just too many variables you aren't controlling for.

 

This is all well and good but the bottom line is that no matter what some of you guys think is "fair" there is no REQUIREMENT in Strava that leaderboards are limited to solo efforts, and even if we all agreed that it should only be for solo efforts, there is no reasonable way to track or enforce it. There are just too many situations where the system would think it was a group but it was "legitimate" or it would be a burden to have to constantly be going to each segment and deciding or indicating group or solo. You can't do it at a ride level because rides can have group and solo. Here are some examples of my own:

 

http://www.strava.com/segments/685382 I was off the front of a large group (not many people had Strava yet)

http://www.strava.com/activities/51033763#910020674 I did by myself after riding with a large group.

 

I do like the idea of people able to voluntarily remove a segment match from a ride so that it doesn't count, without affecting the rest of the segments. People could use this if they got a KOM in a group and didn't think that was fair or for some other purpose like bad data or a bad match. I know I've wished for that in the past. There are a few segments that are poorly constructed (they loop back on themselves) where I have the KOM as a result and I would like to remove myself without invalidating the rest of the ride. Also recently some a-hole flagged a ride of mine where I had a KOM on a dirt trail that paralleled the road (it's start and end points were on the road), which of course removes everything about the ride.

August 19, 2013, 8:35 AM
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Joe Emenaker

Yes. It's sad whenever anybody loses their motivation to keep striving.

Like I said, people draw their motivation from various sources. Maybe they're narcissists. Maybe they think it will get them laid. Maybe their spouse is a shrew and they'll take any excuse to get out of the house. Regardless, I don't pass judgement on where anybody finds their motivation.

(And I'm also hoping that this thread doesn't veer off into a referendum on why I ride, or don't ride, as that's immaterial to the main discussion).

August 19, 2013, 8:31 AM
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Will Vousden

So, no... I don't buy the "There's always someone faster" argument (at least as an argument that solo riders should be measured against pack riders). True, there will always be someone faster. What I train for is so that there will be fewer. I realize that I'll never get to the point where there's nobody faster... I just want fewer faster.


...And Strava is how you judge worth? Strava is just a clever but fallible way of analysing data collected by a device that you carry with you on your bike. It can never tell you objectively how good you are as a cyclist, no matter how sophisticated you make your algorithms. All it will ever do is show you a small cross section of reality, and will always have its shortcomings.

Yes, you can make it ever more sophisticated, but ultimately, the more contrived you make it, the less fun and more laborious it becomes.

August 19, 2013, 8:28 AM
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Steve Weixel

Joe, if you stopped riding because you feel "what's the use" about getting on the Strava leaderboards, that's just sad.

August 19, 2013, 8:18 AM
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Joe Emenaker

Bob sais: "Joe, I'm not trying to diminish you in any way."...

Good, as I do a pretty good job of that myself. :) But I have two comments to make about your post. First, I used to ride a *lot* more a couple of years ago. I think part of why I've fallen off of it, lately, is because I've got a bit of "What's the use?" thing going on... partly attributable to the fact that sociable pack-riding guys have a big advantage over solitary guys like myself. But secondly, and more-importantly, is the fact that, this shouldn't weigh upon the argument; a dude with an FTP of 25 watts, and is dead-last in the leaderboard, shouldn't be dismissed when he argues that group-riding gives a huge time advantage. So, any "Hey XYZ... looks like you don't ride as much as rider ABC..." comments aren't pertinent to the argument.

He also said... "There's always going to be someone faster who puts in more miles".

Yeah, people have used this argument before, and I don't buy it. If that were the way to run things, then don't give trophies to local little-league baseball teams, because there's some other team, somewhere, that's better. Trophies only to those who win the LL World Series. Oh, and let's just have the Olympic 100m dash be between Usain Bolt and the one guy who might beat him; the rest of those sprinters should just stay home and watch TV. But, it turns out that, even though they have no hope of winning, those sprinters want the world to see that they're the best from their country. Turns out that, if you can't be recognized as having world-wide excellence, then even regional excellence will sometimes suffice.

So, no... I don't buy the "There's always someone faster" argument (at least as an argument that solo riders should be measured against pack riders). True, there will always be someone faster. What I train for is so that there will be fewer. I realize that I'll never get to the point where there's nobody faster... I just want fewer faster.

And Will said: "Stop taking Strava so seriously"

Athletes (and wannabe athletes) draw their motivation from wherever they can. Our bodies give us lots of reasons to not put them through what we do. Whether it's vanity, arrogance, habit, high-cholesterol...  I don't begrudge where anybody finds their motivation to get out there and suffer. And, for some, the thing that makes them go out and hammer is the hope that, when they get back home, they'll upload their ride and find out that they've managed to crack the top-10 on a Strava segment. Good for them, I say.

August 19, 2013, 8:03 AM
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Bob Kratchet

By the way, my Veloviewer says "Maximum possible score: 98.34".

August 19, 2013, 8:00 AM
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Bob Kratchet

Unfortunately Paul, that does not sum it up.

Too many unknowns about the day.  We don't know if there was exceptional wind on the day Marcus did it, we know nothing about what bike he was using (could have been a mountain bike that day for all we know) or it could have been raining with a big jacket on, and we don't know if he was even really trying.

Granted the last one doesn't matter when sitting watt measurements side by side, but the first three surely do.

 

By the way, I never said 26.7mph was "easily attainable", I said it was "attainable".  Our local cat 4/5s here usually average about 26mph over a 10 mile course with 400 ft of climbing in individual non-drafting time trials.  So you're right, I've never ridden that segment, but 7 less miles with 300 feet less of climbing makes me think it's attainable.  Of course, I'm just lying measurements side by side and making assumptions, which is what this thread has been about.

August 19, 2013, 7:54 AM
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Will Vousden
August 19, 2013, 2:27 AM
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Will Vousden

I think the most relevant part of Bob's post is the final paragraph.

To paraphrase: Stop taking Strava so seriously. You can analyse it all day long and come up with umpteen reasons that "this guy's KOM is unfair and will Strava please do something about it", but at the end of the day, KOMs are just a meaningless statistic. There'll always be someone else who's better than you, even if they haven't ridden that segment, or, God forbid, don't use Strava! Unless you're a pro, in which case you probably don't care about Strava anyway.

If you really want to prove yourself where it matters, go and enter a race!

That said, being able to manually add some extra details on a ride would be useful, if only for account-keeping purposes.  For example, a field that specifies whether a ride was solo, group, or bunch race, or time trial. That way, the "type" of ride could be displayed on leader boards. Yes, this could be abused, but Strava itself can be played very easily anyway: http://www.digitalepo.com/skata.php

August 19, 2013, 2:25 AM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

Bob, Its strange you should mention Joe's stats when yours show ZERO in all categories?

Sure, Dan rides a lot, but that doesn't mean he is fast or climbs well. He has 1 1/4 pages of KOMS on many segments with less than 20 competitors.  Quantity of miles and feet climbed don't equal speed..You can look up my riding but to save you the time,  I have 5 pages of KOMS and a veloviewer score of over 99.  So this discussion means something to me and I have a first hand knowledge of truly fast riders and "group" fast riders. "Group" fast riders are populating leaderboards of flattish segments of any length around here.

That 3.3 mile segment is lumpy and often windy.  This is one of the reasons why the group draft is so effective as it removes the heavy burden of pushing that air.

If 26.7mph is easily attainable for a fit individual rider on the 3.3 mile segment then 99.9 percent of the 1462 riders who ride this route don't have fitness. I doubt that.

Sum it up-

Marcus Smith in 16th - Was part of team specialized junior development team, 19 yrs old, raced and placed in Europe, now on Team Mikes Bikes. http://www.teammikesbikes.com/about/

Dan S in 6th- Over 45 yrs old, Local club rider.

 

August 18, 2013, 9:49 PM
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Bob Kratchet

Joe, I'm not trying to diminish you in any way.  You were wondering how you would stack up if you took out all the drafters?

Just for fun, I looked up Dan S (#6 from above) on Strava.  164 mi/week (9 hr 20 min/week) average, 5,527 miles so far this year w/ 293,455 ft of elevation gain.  Dan rides a lot.

I also looked up yours, again, not trying to diminish you in any way.  14 miles/week, 1 hr 2 min/week.  573 miles so far this year w/ 26,726 ft of elevation gain. Again not saying that's bad in any way, it's great you are getting out there, but not something I'd expect from someone worried about unfair advantages on KOMs.

That 3.3 mile segment referenced only has 107 ft of elevation gain over 3.3 miles.  26.7mph is not a screaming fast time.  That is attainable for an individual rider who has the fitness.

This whole group ride pissing match is silly.  There's always going to be someone faster who puts in more miles, there's always going to be someone with better equipment and less life challenges to get in the way.  There's always going to be something that someone can pick on to call something unfair.  Holy sh*t a lot of energy has been wasted here that could have been better spent riding.

 

August 18, 2013, 8:07 PM
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Joe Emenaker
"Here is a perfect example of the problem. 3.3 mile segment. http://www.strava.com/segments/866158 The KOM is held by someone on a group ride. But more interesting are the riders in 6th and 8th..." I agree that that's a perfect example, but not because of any weirdness in Strava's use of Magic 8-Ball when calculating power. I think the thing to notice is that EIGHT of the top eleven guys on the leaderboard got those spots all on the same ride. Of the remaining three, two of those were on the same ride. The one guy with a unique date (#10)... strava says he was on that ride with 10 others (they might be further down on the leaderboard). This is the rule, more than the exception, on flat segments. If you have a lot of friends who ride, and ride fast, then "welcome to the top of the leaderboard". Now, granted, I'm biased. I ride solo almost all the time, and its really discouraging to go balls-out on a segment and still only be, say, 132nd out of 300 people, and then to see that the first two pages are packed with group riders. It makes me really wonder how I'd stack up if we took out all of the drafters.
August 17, 2013, 9:13 PM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

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Strava calculated power is reasonably accurate for this purpose, especially as we are looking at flat rides.  We don't need SRM level precision because the differences are so huge.  So lets forget Strava power ratings for a second and look at actual power meter readings for 2 riders from that 3.3 mile ride above.

Both in same weight class. One in group, on solo.

6. Dan S 125-149 lbs power meter 236 watts

16. Marcus Smith, 125-149 lbs power meter  321 watts

Marcus was 20 seconds slower than Dan, but is undoubtedly the faster rider.  Dan, producing 85 less watts, was 20 seconds faster.  Thats huge.  Imagine what the difference in watts would be if their times were equal.

If I am in a group, I can go faster even though I produce less power. Whether I've run my Powertap wheel or just use Strava the wattage numbers show I go faster with less effort when in a group ride, and the bigger the group, the greater the advantage (provided they are strong riders).  AVG speeds are always higher for the same amount of effort.  

I doubt Strava will change much here, as they seem to be interested in becoming the facebook of cycling, adding more picture links, maybe some chat, some games and other social fluff.

 

August 17, 2013, 10:27 AM
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cedric sapien

that, actually, would be a different feature request, which could be 'ability to opt out of a leaderboard'... useful feature, i would think. as pointed, "You know damn well if you benefited from drafting or not when you're out there riding."

August 17, 2013, 9:35 AM
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Marco S

Thanks Cedric. The gist of my suggestion is to keep better track of improvements, by putting different types of performances into different buckets. But since I don't ride in groups a lot, I'd be happy with discarding my road alliance/group performances without hiding the whole ride. But truly, I'm sure many, who do ride in groups regularly, would enjoy improved functionality to check how their group is faring.

Tell you the truth? some of those posts do sound like they're coming from fans of two different teams. Of course that's not the case, but the arguments being thrown around are just as unsubstantial as those you hear from football fans, on both sides I'm afraid.

This is not a matter of whether you personally like leaderboards or how much value you attach to them: segment competition is clearly the one single feature that has made Strava so popular (and unpopular too). Leaderboard handling is something that can be improved on, and it would be myopic of Strava to just pretend everything's perfect.

Oh, and one last thing: I keep reading that being the leader of a group is the same as going solo, where in fact, it is not; being followed actually provides a slight aero edge to the followee. We're talking a few percentage points here, nothing major, but the vast majority of aero upgrades are even more marginal.

August 17, 2013, 9:25 AM
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Steve Weixel
I'm trying to ignore this stupid thread that won't die, but that last post is just ridiculous. You can't use strava calculated power for anything other than laughing at, and power numbers themselves don't mean much without weight. I weigh next to nothing, I put out virtually no power even when I'm going faster than someone. I can think of plenty of examples of this and have segments where I am KOM from a group that I was in front of. I would link them but I have to get up at 4am for a race.
August 16, 2013, 9:32 PM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

Here is a perfect example of the problem. 3.3 mile segment.

http://www.strava.com/segments/866158

The KOM is held by someone on a group ride.  But more interesting are the riders in 6th and 8th, Dan S. and Eric B.  Dan S. is using a power meter and Eric is not. Both on the same group ride.  Power meter states Dan's power to be 236 watts and Strava calculates Eric B's solo effort to be 382 watts.  Of course, Eric wasn't on a solo effort.  But if he was, he would have had to produce 152 more watts to go as fast as Dan S went who was only 2 seconds quicker over the segment.  So essentially a 150 watt gain on this segment from the group effort.  So who really is the fastest rider on this segment?  You have to go down to 16th, Marcus Smith.  What recognition is that? Even harder to tell, is who is in 2nd?

 

This segment shows an even greater gain in watts from the group draft effect from a ride on Jul 11th. 

http://app.strava.com/segments/4178578

Looking at the 2 riders in 4th position, Chris and Daniel, there is a difference of 221 watts between the Strava calculated effort of Daniel and the actual power meter recorded effort of Chris.  You really have to wonder if these riders could ever duplicate these times solo.

The times that people ride effectively solo when they are participating in a group effort is negligible.  The whole point of a group ride is to share the load, practice pace lining, etc.  The vast majority of riders on group rides are benefitting from the draft. 

 

August 16, 2013, 9:22 PM
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Daniel Banks

It was a joke, but maybe that point was missed. Fair enough. "It's a really big deal!" Okay, if you say so.

Distinguishing the segment time result as from a group ride doesn't tell you anything about the effort. It may have been someone who sat in and saved 100+ watts but they wouldn't have won the segment unless they moved up from the back to the front of a large group or out sprinted the group which still is some kind of effort. Otherwise, they haven't the fastest segment time. Group doesn't tell you anything. If someone's on a group ride but takes a flyer solo through an entire segment, group or solo? If someone's churning out the big watts at the very front of a group ride not drafting anyone else, group or solo? Headwind/tailwind/crosswind would tell you more but no one's proposing that, it's a known limitation even when estimating VAM in pro races without having the individual power file details.

Are some people clamoring for the feature? Yeah, sure they are. But it won't tell you much. Age, gender, weight, these aren't subject to much interpretation unless someone's straight up lying. Did any of you stop to consider why they haven't added the feature? 

And agreed, Veloviewer has interesting ways of disseminating and displaying the data. A few features were lost going to the new Strava API but overall it's absolutely great. Raceshape is interesting, too, among others.

August 16, 2013, 6:31 PM
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Paul A. - 何俊仁

Daniel,  to diminish Joe's complaint  by comparing the  power output gains on group vs solo rides to gains in power output between aero and non aero wheels is ridiculous.  We have gender/age/weight filters because they matter.  So does group/solo.  Obviously you are trying to trivialize what is really a big deal.  You only get a few watts from aero gear, but you get get 100+ watts from drafting in a group.  Anyone who runs a power meter knows the benefit.

Veloviewer is great.  It is more cycling related and less social networking.  Once they can pull the group/solo data out of the api then we're set.

 

August 16, 2013, 6:08 PM