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Support Aero Velomobiles or Rocket bikes on Strava

Bjørn Leerkes
suggested this on May 7, 2014, 12:39 PM

Hello,

 

In the Netherlands we have a lot of people who are doing their rides with a rocket bike" http://www.velomobiel.nl/ "

In therms of aerodynamics and times they have a big advantage, is it possible to ad a category for so named Rocket / Aerodynamic bikes, because they are ruining the rankings in the Netherlands.

 

Kind regards,

Bjørn Leerkes

 

Comments latest first

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Ken Kobayashi

I too would like to see a "fully faired" or "streamline" category added to cover velomobiles and fully faired bikes. I haven't had any velomobile rides flagged yet, but I have a few KOM's already and I know I'm nowhere near as strong as the other top riders. It's just a useless comparison.

It would also be nice to have a "recumbent" category. They aren't as extreme as velomobiles, but their speed profile is still noticeably different from road bikes. I'd really like to compare my recumbent (unfaired) times with other recumbent riders in the area. 

January 26, 2015, 7:20 AM
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Harry Lieben

Thank you Stefan for taking over the stick. You and me have been putting quite some time in this and I like to think that it made the difference.

As it is clear that at this moment even in the velomobile dense Netherlands I would have almost no competitors amongst other velomobile riders I would like to see the results of all cyclists. I also would like to see that other cyclists can see our efforts but give them the possibility to filter velomobile rides. What about KOMs' for "best human effort"?

November 12, 2014, 1:24 PM
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Dave Dixon
It's my hope that Strava will continue to move the state of the art forward on all cycling fronts and not promote the ill-conceived viewpoint that the bicycle was perfected early in the last century. The UCI has its reasons for being stuck in time, but the rest of us shouldn't be held back if we want to take advantage of much of the last 100 years of thinking with regard to cycling ergonomics and efficiency. As in "recumbent" and "velomobile" and "fairing".
November 2, 2014, 11:57 AM
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Gear7lover

By the way. The better destinction is "fully faired". While "Velomobile" usually refers to 3-wheel-vehicles, the british "Velocar" to 4 wheel-vehicles, "fully faired" would include all faired bicycles regardles the number of wheels.

October 28, 2014, 1:57 AM
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Christoph R.

Picking up on Nik Heathmans interest in seeing both roadbikes and velomobiles, I would suggest a filter where you can't only choose one type but have checkboxes for multiple types of bikes. So I can see the leaderboards of both roadbikes and velomobiles, or only faired and non-faired recumbents. KOMs stay within their own class of course.

October 26, 2014, 7:54 AM
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Nik Heathman

Could the Velo times still be shown within the rankings but without an official rank. I.e fastest times still at the top, but rank 1 and KOM would still belong to the fastest non velomobile. That way people can see the speeds attainable in velos but without getting upset that their KOMs are being stolen by 'cheats'.

No other velos where I live so I would be in a class of my own, but some of my followers find the speeds/times interesting and they can't look at them if I have to make rides private.

A specific velo class would be pretty much meaningless in the UK. I'd have hundreds of KOM's I hadn't really earnt. 

October 26, 2014, 6:22 AM
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Gear7lover

I agree with Harry. 

Strava differntiates between men and women and running and cycling. Roadies should just stop flagging everything that is faster, but just live with the fact that they are slow cyclists.

But if it helps their egos, please add a filter function for the type of bike used.

October 21, 2014, 12:50 AM
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Duane Jardine

Elle Anderson said "Is it interesting to see how you compare to traditional bikes on a segment? "  To me this would be what interests me the most.  There are a number of segments in my area that the Pro Bike Peloton has raced through and it is always interesting to see how I match up to them. 

October 20, 2014, 8:57 PM
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Elle Anderson
Community Support

Thanks for sharing my reply on Facebook @Stefan! We are hoping to schedule this project for the first half of 2015. We will keep a close eye as the feedback develops via this feature forum, so please continue to leave us comments on how your Strava experience could be improved, and how you'd like to compare your data and interact with other cyclists on Strava. 

For example, what would be the most meaningful way to compare your efforts on a segment? Are there enough other velomobiles in your area to compare/compete against? Is it interesting to see how you compare to traditional bikes on a segment? What current features are most helpful to you when you analyze your ride?

Another main goal we have is to alleviate the tendency for velomobile activities to be flagged by the community by providing additional tools and filters. We understand that flagged data and private activities are problematic for Challenge participation and other social features on Strava! 

Thanks for your continued feedback!

October 20, 2014, 12:13 PM
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Stefan S.

I received a reply to my Facebook comment on Strava regarding Velomobiles!

My question was: "Hey Strava. I would like to know what the big problem is to add a new category to strava? There is a huge request from roadbike riders AND velomobile riders to give velomobiles an own category so that the results dont mix up anymore. Please answer - what is the big problem?"

Answer: "Hi Stefan - thanks for your feedback. It is quite a large project for our database to add a new category. However, we have some other ideas in the works to allow data from velomobiles to exist happily on Strava!"

My reply: "Seriously - that would be awesome - because we all love what you offer and putting the rides on private or workout simply does not Count the kilometres we ride for challenges or simply the overview over our rides. Thanks for the effort - this will help everyone (and it is pretty annoying to get the rides flagged). We don't want to annoy - we wanna simply enjoy strava as well. THANKS for the reply - it is really appreciated!"

So - it is only a matter of time - I hope the solution is alright for all of us then :)

October 9, 2014, 3:04 AM
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Stefan S.

Either way - I/We would appreciate a response from the STRAVA-TEAM on this! Any comments??

October 9, 2014, 12:41 AM
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Christoph R.

No, Matthias, just different. The only thing unfair about it is that Strava doesn't give velomobilists the possibility to tag accordingly so roadbikes and VMs don't get into each others way. Asking us to mark our rides as private renders the whole thing useless.

October 9, 2014, 12:26 AM
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Matthias S.

I also support the idea of a seperate category for velomobiles. They have a really unfair advantage compared to "normal" race bikes.

October 7, 2014, 8:41 AM
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Dennis Teepunkt

Mr Smith, can you live with having the official UCI regulations? I am fine with them.
The advantage of riding an aero-frame or having Tri-bars are not relevant compared to what a velo-mobile offers. Also, you can only draft faster than the guy in front of you which limits this arguement quite alot. Furthermore the advantages of disc wheels or aero frames are so low, it helps you to gain like 60 seconds on a 50km time trial only.
Feel free to open a new submission with all your suggestions - I consider to support you in this case.

Again, the UCI rules that only bikes with the mentioned frame geometry (tri-angel) are allowed to race on competitions and velomobiles riding at record speeds are considered "Best Human Effort". However, such a ride won't ever be considered as an official (world) record in accordance with the UCI rules.


It is all up to Strava to actually support you Velomobile riders with any issue you might have. Neither you, nor I can do a thing but to complain or suggest something useful.

Cheers

October 7, 2014, 7:05 AM
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Hank Smith
+1 But I have to add something to Dennis Teepunkt: I know a group of people who go after KOMs in a group, everybody gets his turn but they are using the belgian cycle. So that is more fair than using a recumbant or taking a 35 Kg bike up a hill? Like said before, if velomobiles or recumbants are unfair, clear fair rules should be defined: No bike less than 9 Kg No areo devices on bikes (aero tillers, aero disc wheels, aero frames etc.) Only normal diamond shape frames Only single person rides are to be tracked as drafting is greately influencing speed No rides to be tracked a temperatures over a defined number (e.g. Standard ISA Tempereatur and pressure) due to the big influence of temperarue in drag That would be more or less fair deal and that would be the standards everybody needs to adhere to.
October 7, 2014, 1:45 AM
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Dennis Teepunkt

Please Strava, please seperate Velomobiles from the classic sense of competitive cycling. I also do not ride my bike and compete on running-KOMs etc. Thats pretty much the difference between riding a carbon nutshell, a classic road bike and using some Nike running shoe.

A velomobile is not within the spirit of competitive cycling you advertise for on your own site :)

October 1, 2014, 8:13 AM
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Christoph R.

Yes, please. Do not only ask velomobile riders to be fair to road bike riders to our own loss, but help us being fair by being so fair as to grant us a seperate category, or the ability to tag our rides appropriately.

September 25, 2014, 5:38 AM
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Stefan S.

I am all with you for this request - it is only fair for everyone. Please share and click on "Me Too" everyone!

September 25, 2014, 4:26 AM
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Nicolas Kukolja

+1

This is a very useful proposal. Although I enjoy it, being faster than most road cyclists around here (little altitude...), so it's not a clean and fair comparison in my opinion.

September 16, 2014, 1:08 AM
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Robert F.

I also support the proposal.

August 25, 2014, 12:11 AM
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Bram Oortgiesen

I totally agree! Support for a velomobile category would be great to see. They have totally different dynamics and deserve to have a separate category. I don't want to flag their effort, but with a road bike you cant give any competition, the rankings alway ends up with a velomobile biker. excellent effort but on a different level. Make it even. Let the velomobiles compete with each other, like runners and roadbikers. 

With regards,

Bram

August 18, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Marten Drenth

I also support the proposal. Its not fair that velomobiles not have their own category. My velomobile weights more than 40 kg and there are roadbikes that weight less than 7kg, this is not a fair comparison.

August 10, 2014, 8:07 AM
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Wilfred K.

+1

I'm on Strava less then 24 hours and already have my first Flagged Ride. It was only a leisure ride from work to a groupaccommodation (for the weekend), so nothing special. Turns out I was only 2,3 km/h faster then a guy riding 10 hours a week. A real fanatic rider who probably can't stand being beat by a 1,75 meter an 63 kilogram little guy with a fast and comfortable bike.

August 7, 2014, 10:12 PM
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Willie Hunt

BTW, recently I had over 200 rides flagged in a period of 2 hours.  I'm leaving them be until Strava does something useful for us.  Unfortunately, rides I did even on my upright, MTB and Carbent (short wheel base hi-racer recumbent) were also flagged.

July 14, 2014, 10:37 PM
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Willie Hunt

At the moment, there is no good way for velomobile riders to maintain what they desire and stay off the segment leader boards.  The best compromise I can figure out is to flag all the velomobile rides that place in any segment.  That way you still can share your rides with your friend, your personal ride analysis works properly, your personal ride totals work, but clubs and monthly trophies do not work right.  One work around for monthly totals is to unflag all the rides right at the end of the month, then re-flag them after the Strava servers collect the total mileage ridden.  This can also been done shorter duration trophies but you only get to unflag once (without using PITA methods), so it needs to be used wisely.    The cleaner way to do it is to not flag rides until after the month (or shorter event) ends, but then the leader board placement stays up for up to a month before it disappears.  

July 14, 2014, 10:28 PM
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Willie Hunt

Adding bike classes would be required to make the leader board fair.  Also it would be nice if segment creators could specify a default bike class for their segments.  For example, a road climbing segment could default to showing upright road bikes, whereas a dirt trail would default to MTB.  If an MTB rider rides the road segment, then his placement would show up only if he selects MTB or overall bike classes.   That way too Velomobile riders would not show up on the default leader boards, but they could by selecting a "faired HPV" class, any recumbent, or overall.  And someone suggested that the leader boards also show the bike class next to the rider's name would be really nice touch.  That way, selecting overall, anyone could quickly see which bikes do the best for a given segment.

July 14, 2014, 10:15 PM
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John Quill

I also support the proposal.

July 14, 2014, 7:45 PM
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Robert V.
I totally agree with the idea to create a separate category for rocket bikes.
I hope Strava will listen to us and realise this idea ASAP !
June 9, 2014, 2:22 AM
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Scott Dion

I was a member of SDbikecommuter group on Strava. I've been a commuter all my life but being part of a group was really different and enjoyable. I ended up with more than 35 KOM when they started getting flagged. I took the issue to strava and they told me to make my rides into private or workout. What a bummer. I had to say goodbye to all my bro pals. If Velomobiles were made into a category I could go back and hang with the crew.

June 7, 2014, 1:55 PM
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Greg Cantori
Count me in too!
June 6, 2014, 6:06 PM
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Willem Veloz
As a daily Quest rider I fully support this request!
June 6, 2014, 12:16 PM
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rob wartenhorst

I support the proposal as well.

June 6, 2014, 11:14 AM
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Paolo B.

I fully support the proposal.

June 6, 2014, 6:28 AM
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lee wakefield

Well said :)

June 3, 2014, 10:50 AM
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Lars Komm

Hello folks, I support Harry's statement regarding a seperate category for Velomobiles and/or recumbents. I'm not a VM-rider (yet) but I can aleady see the advantages over road bikes on downhill sections (I'm not a racer mind you) on my recumbent. But also I see the disadvantages going uphill. I'm asking myself: What's all the fuss about? Facts are: 1) Velomobiles are faster on flat and downhill sections. 2) Road bikes are faster on uphill sections. 3) Road bikes, recumbents and VMs are all bikes following the defination of a bike. 4) Strava offers some nice statistical features Velonauts want to use and share aswell. 5) Road bike riders seem to have hot tempers when it comes to their KOMs. Even more when they they are taken away with a bike that is not 'UCI-approved'. 6) On the other hand, Strava is not an 'international competition platform' riders get points in the world cup from. 7) Velonauts take no pride in taking KOMs from road bike riders. It's just the way they ride because the bike is efficient.

The best solution, in fact, is to open a category for VMs so everybody is happy. Velonauts could then even compare their performances among themselfes without upsetting the road bike riders. In the interest of best sportsmanship this seems to be the best solution.

June 3, 2014, 4:33 AM
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Paul van Roekel

I'm a velomobile rider in the Netherlands who never ruins the rankings ;-) I'm too slow for that but I fully spupport this request. If we can have snowboards as a category why not velomobiles?

 

June 2, 2014, 11:01 PM
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Jo Stein
Dear friends, I fully agree with Bjorn & Harry's proposals and postings. Near Cologne airport we have a road through fine nature. It's also traditional time trial course and altough I ride with my velomobile only the slight uphill direction some riders feel nerved. I don't want to stress the fine athmosphere between all sportsmen here but also like to communicate with my friends via Strava. So please add a separate category for bikes like recumbents and/or velombiles and allow filtering by category. Cheers, Jo
May 30, 2014, 2:20 PM
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lee wakefield

I am personally not that bothered about having a velomobile category myself, I'd be happy with a "ride" just being a ride.  Yes I know I will loose KOM on uphill segments to guys riding weight weenie roadie bikes but that don't really bother me.  However if it makes roadies happy and stops my rides being flagged then go for it.

May 26, 2014, 4:44 AM
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Paul Riggs
Please can we have some more categories....? A lot of 'normal' bike riders seem to cheat by riding behind motor pacers and in big groups and I am sure they would love to be able to compete fairly with other riders so more categories would help with that... E.g. Mountain bikes, road bikes, TT bikes, recumbent bikes, velomobiles, solo rides, group rides, motor pacer rides, etc... Your other main competitor - Garmin Connect manages to have 5-6 different groups just for cycling, so it cannot be too hard to introduce this feature ? Thanks you
May 26, 2014, 12:55 AM
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Willie Hunt

I've been flagged for dozens of rides.  Many old ones, I do not bother to clear the flags, but for recent rides that are adding for monthly totals, I do clear the flags.  There are clearly at least a few local people who do not think I should be on any leader boards, but Strava is not a race, and people on uprights do all sort of tricks and cheats to get KOM's too.  I see stuff that's just not possible on an upright, unless they were motor pacing or using a big electric assist.  And really, why anyone should care about downhill KOM is just plain stupid.

 

But, yes Strava needs bike classes and there certainly can be a bunch of them.  .  In the "standard" upright bikes, clearly subgroups like UCI legal road racing bike, Triathlon bike, TT bike, ect. would be helpful to racers.  For the recreational cyclists, certainly a heavy beach cruiser is much different than a TT bike or a tandem.  MTB's certainly need their own group!  Since, I'm mostly a recumbent rider, I'd like to see sub groups like trikes, long wheel base, short wheel base high racer, mid racer, low racer, faired two wheelers (Lighting F40 and such), faired three wheelers (Velomobiles) and streamliners (HPV land speed record machines).  And what about pacelines and pelotons?  And those cyclists with electric assist, clearly need their own group!   I would certainly encourage Strava to add general groups and sub groups under that for those that want to be picky about comparisons.

 

Willie

May 25, 2014, 8:40 PM
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Jimm Pratt

Speaking as a velomobile and recumbent rider, there are simply going to be KOMs that we (the collective recumbent/velomobile crowd) will excel at, and other KOMs that the uprights/diamond-frame crowd will excel at.  Creating filters for them just makes sense if you don't want to cloud your own challenges.   Velomobiles/recumbents are not ruining anything.  It's just a different class of cycle and the system just needs to adapt to different kinds of cycling.

Speaking as a long-time web developer and app-developer, this is not rocket science, and could have been implemented fairly quickly quite some time ago when we first started seeing people complain. 

I vote for cycle class filtering.  But please do it in a flexible way, not "all-or-nothing", or "all-or-one".  Give me check boxes were I can selectively choose multiple class of cycles I want to challenge myself against.  Some days I want to see how I fare against my fellow velonauts, and other days I like to compare against the roadies - just to keep me on my toes.

It should be looked at as a feature that attracts even more riders of all types of cycling, not just the lamenting of small group.   'bents are here to stay, and Strava can take advantage of an additional source of potential revenue and increased popularity.

May 25, 2014, 1:48 AM
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Stuart Affleck

As a upwrong/DF rider who fancies having a velomobile at some point, I heartily agree. VMs are (for the most part) human-powered, legally under most legislatures worldwide they are bicycles. Let them in. As it stands, Strava's policy on anything streamlined and/or recumbent is unfair. When the first Ride London 100 happened, loads of KOMs and segment times on the course got smashed thanks to closed roads, drafting and chain gangs- conditions that simply do not exist for most riders, most of the time. Then the pro race following that blew even those times away. Segments can be flagged as dangerous of course, but it certainly wasn't in this case. But, according to The Rules, all of that was OK and not an unfair advantage. But you can't filter those results out. As it stands, VM and other recumbent riders are being penalised unfairly, when they can be riding perfectly legally and safely, not drafting trucks, not in a big chain gang, etc…being a pro rider on closed roads and taking a KOM is OK. Riding a VM on public roads, obeying stop signs etc and taking a KOM is 'cheating'. Nonsense.

May 24, 2014, 3:54 AM
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Ben H

Bjørn says:

"In the Netherlands we have a lot of people who are doing their rides with a rocket bike.  In terms of aerodynamics and times they have a big advantage, is it possible to ad a category for so named Rocket / Aerodynamic bikes, because they are ruining the rankings in the Netherlands."

I say:

"In Australia, we have a lot of hills and people who are doing their rides with light weight road bikes.  In terms of weight and climbing ability they have a big advantage, is it possible to add a category for velomobiles so that we can filter out these light weight road bikes, because they are ruining the KOM rankings in Australia."

All good Bjørn :-)  We both want the same thing and I like the way you have requested a solution that works for all.  Different bikes have different advantages on different segments.  In Australia, most people only care about the hill climbs, not the flat segments, but I guess that's because we have both.  I realise in the Netherlands you don't have any hills, so its different for you.

Anyway - thank you for starting this.

 

May 23, 2014, 4:01 PM
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Ben H

I this should be done too.  I actually haven't been flagged for any of my KOMs but it would be an easy thing to do and then people who want to filter their leaderboards can do so, just like you can with age and weight categories.  For me it would make the estimated power calculations more accurate - I currently model my velomobile as a TT bike.

May 23, 2014, 3:42 PM
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Harry Lieben

This is the text that I wrote on the activity: 

https://strava.zendesk.com/entries/36592414 Support "velomobile" section please, rather than flagging me.

I was flagged on a former ride, but I come here often and this section is typically suited for velomobile so I can take back my KOM anytime.  
So you see, it's no use flagging me. Rather support the call for a separate "velomobile" section on Strava to allow the road riders to filter out velomobiles. A velomobile IS a bike.

May 23, 2014, 9:22 AM
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Harry Lieben

I get flagged ever more often. When that happens I will from now on refer to this discussion like here: http://www.strava.com/activities/144619673 in the hope that we get support from as many people as possible. Especially on the sections that I ride often and that are well suited for velomobile, I will not go through lenghts to unflag a ride, like others have done. That route can only lead to frustration and in the end even exclusion from Strava. Rather than seeking confrontation in this way, I will take back my KOMs' again and again on new rides. This cannot be prevented as far as I can tell.

May 23, 2014, 9:20 AM
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Duane Jardine

Support for a velomobile category would be great.  I have tried marking them private and that is causing other problems.

May 21, 2014, 8:06 PM
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lee wakefield
May 18, 2014, 7:12 AM
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Gerrit B.

+1

I'm not riding a velomobile but fully support this request. It is simply the best solution for all riders!

May 16, 2014, 12:15 AM
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Marinus -.

Thanks for posting Harry!

Perhaps here will be a day Strava listens to it's users...

May 15, 2014, 11:40 PM
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Nepo Muk

Full support from my side! Neither private nor workout is an option.

May 15, 2014, 11:26 PM
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Harry Lieben

I'm one of the velomobile riders http://www.sinnerbikes.com/ and I support this request (as many other velomobile riders do) to add a category for velomobiles. I'm sick and tired of my rides getting flagged for no other reason than that I am faster with my velomobile. Making a separate category for velomobiles is clearly the only satisfactory solution for all users. Then one can default to the own category and everybody can be happy users of Strava. For us velonauts, we finally get rid of the unfair advantage of those pesty light road bikes on every climb ;-)

The suggestion from Strava support is to set my rides to either "workout" or "private". This defeats the whole idea of Strava! We as velomobile riders also want to share our achievements with friends.

May 15, 2014, 3:28 PM