Protesting Strava KOM/QOM/Top 10

How often does this community flag a Top 10 (or KOM/QOM) Strava record? I saw this previous thread on “Etiquette of flagging rides” but this is different.

Today, I went up one of the “unfriendly” and “fun” hills for an interval during Avalance Spire +1 TR Outdoor ride on the trails on the gravel bike. The climb is .6mi at 13% but the middle third is 21%. Both are Strava segments. Looking today at the ranking, I checked the top 10. Now, I wasn’t trying for a KOM or Top 10 but merely to complete the ascent maintaining traction and without stopping. A few of the Top 10 appeared to be either pro or all-but-pro team riders, but a couple stuck out. One in particular, 4th place, was a regular looking dude that appeared older than me. The age isn’t is, but looking at his ride stats, I saw he rides a lot less than me, and did so last Feb when he took 4th on the climb. Then I saw his pictures, and he’s riding an e-bike and he’s riding with others on e-bikes. On the ride he took this particular Top 10, he took a few others.

Two questions. Would you flag his ride? (I did.) How often do you check the top 10?


To date I’ve never had to deal with e-bike issues. There have been several times when I’ve flagged someone who left their Garmin recording on the drive home. You’re not riding up a 12% grade for 1 mile @ 41mph. I’ve also flagged bad segments that go through stop signs in high traffic locations.
I’d be inclined to treat him like the usual KOM hunters that drive to a segment on a day with favorable winds just to crush it, then drive to the next one. Most locals know that their #'s aren’t legit. A few folks will call him/her out on strava or some other social media. Sometimes they quit, sometimes their self-worth is to deeply tied to their strava and they just press on, but everyone knows they’re just lying to themselves and acts like their position on the leaderboard doesn’t exist.

Strava = What’s the point? :man_shrugging:


Chances are, e-Bike dude doesn’t care about his time.

If he took the KOM then flag for sure… but protecting the top 10 seems a bit much. Id bet a lot of people rode the segment without recording or uploading, so the top 10 isnt really the top 10 anyway.

Be proud of your effort! Try to go faster and beat yourself.


If the KOMs matter to you, and the guy is on an e-bike, fair game to flag him. My guess is that he may not even know he’s taking KOMs, and is just out riding having some fun.

I’m not worried about e-bikes on Strava. I am worried about e-bikes overrunning MTB trails and trail access for regular bikes being revoked. We’ve not even seen the tip of the iceberg on this one I think (at least in the US).

Maybe Strava could be used as a way to spot this - impossibly fast uphills compared to relatively slower downhills?


I would totally flag him. No second thoughts. The unfortunate thing is Strava doesn’t attempt to deal with e-bikes even if users want to do the right thing. You either have to keep your activity private and miss the social aspect or your rides will go on the leader board. You can’t flag your bike as an e-bike.

You should write to Strava to complain about the lack of a way for riders to identify their rides as on e-bikes. They recently put their founder back in charge and Strava has actually been improving lately after doing nothing but trying to cash grab. They might actually stress it.


Would it help if Strava only allowed global ranks for people who use HR and a power meter on the ride? If you don’t have any of those, it’s just on your personal PR list. Would at least make it easy to monitor “fake” times.


Strava has a checkbox to remove your ride from leader boards. So they don’t have to mark it private. But this requires the rider to do the right thing.

I once saw one of those steep segments, 10% for 0.5 miles, and a guy was doing 35mph up it. It was obvious he just forgot to turn his device off and drove home. I flagged it. But funny thing happened. He went and contested the flag and got it removed. I flagged probably 10 times throughout the year and he kept contesting lol. I really didn’t care about the kom, I wasn’t even on there and would never even ride on it. But when it was no longer an accident, I was motivated to keep flagging.


Absolutely flag it


I believe strava has had an e-bike designation under the Sport pull down for at least a few months. I just checked and it appears to be available but most probably don’t realize this. The only reason I know is I’ve seen a lightning bolt symbol next to activities of people I follow when they post dirt bike rides.


You change your activity type to e-bike ride.

Definitely flag anyone who has suspect times. There used to be a site called komdefender and I would get emails once a week highlighting dodgy leaderboard entries on routes I had done that week. It was great

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Hell yes I would flag it. I don’t go out riding specifically to put up a good time on a segment, but I do like to see the segments where I am on the leaderboard. It fells good, and I won’t be ashamed about it.

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Why would e-bikes on MTB trails end up getting regular bikes access revoked?

Because regular bikes are too slow and “dangerous” to the now-majority of high-speed trail traffic.

Just like all the e-bike dingbat superhero wannabe’s who tear down commuter bike lanes and mixed traffic paths at 60km/hr. They don’t want to assume the risk of riding as fast as a motor vehicle in open traffic so they choose to risk the safety of others.

To be clear, I’m not a KOM hunter and turned off the Strava segment alert on my Garmin. I find the trophies interesting, but there is something about fairness here and about the very nature of the leaderboard, which is perhaps the most obvious statement to make to everyone commenting. And, for the segments that drew my attention, I’m not near the Top 10 nor do I intend to be. There are some legitimately scary fast/strong riders up there, and probably more that would be in the Top 10.

On that note, I looked at another of the Top 10 riders for the .61mi 13% grade and found this guy at 10th spot from a May 2018 ride. No pics are available to see what bike he rides and he has account set to private so I can see other rides. I can see he rode 10k miles, with 298k’ of ascent, in 2018. That year is 3-4x above what he has for 2017, 2016, and 2019 (148 rides). He’s only ridden 9 times for 240mi so far in 2020. Ok, so I can do other things with my time, but even with 10,717mi across 165 rides (65mi avg each ride), the ride screenshotted below was 1:45, 19.5mi, the 433w Est Avg Power seems high as does the power outputs for the climbs.

Whatever. I’m pulling myself out of the weeds and back to the real world.

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Because of previously unmotorized trails becoming overrun with electric motorcycles like this:

Once you open the door to e-bikes, it will be very hard to enforce class restrictions. I’m OK with class I e-bikes, but how does anyone (rider or ranger) know and enforce when it’s a class I bike vs something like in the link?


I’ve never flagged a ride/run. Over the past 5 years I’ve had a number of top 10s and a few KOMs on the bike and running in my area, but I rarely look at the full leaderboard. Instead I focus on my history or results and my friend/contacts.

Everything else is noise to me and I couldn’t be bothered policing Strava, Zwift racing, etc… just not my thing.


So how does this force me off the trail? There are already many people on regular bikes faster than me

Yes you can chose e-bike ride when you start to record on Strava. Its different to a ‘ride’

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