Protesting Strava KOM/QOM/Top 10

Flag them and if they don’t confirm report them to Strava support directly they will contact them and can remove their profile from Strava if they don’t modify their behaviour!

I’ve flagged rides (and had some of my rides flagged). Some of the activities were the obvious “GPS unit left on for the ride home in the car”, another was a short 20% climb (maybe 150m long) where the KOM was 8 seconds and about 15 seconds faster than the second place. Looking at that activity it didn’t make sense as the rider had been heading in the opposite direction so it was probably a couple of GPS pings thrown awry by the tree cover so it appeared as if they were heading uphill.

One I got pulled on was a section on the way home. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it but email correspondence from Strava suggested I look closer at it. I managed to maintain a perfect 20mph up hill and down dale for the last 5 miles of the ride. I just deleted the ride.

e-bikes: For any activity on Strava there’s a drop down list called “sport”. One of the list is “E-bike ride”. Unfortunately “e-bike” isn’t an option when you add a bike to your gear so it’s likely you’d have to change the sport for every ride.

For me KOMs should be something that are a result of your work and effort not mechanically assisted.

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What’s even the issue with flagging a ride that’s obviously car driven or eBike? Someone stole a piddly KOM I had worked fairly hard to grab, they did it significantly faster and upon closer inspection obviously had left the Garmin on after a mtb ride. I flagged it and even made a tongue in cheek comment on his ride. So yeah, I’m that guy. I have no idea if Strava “fixed” it. End of the day I’m the only one that cares, it’s certainly not a contested segment (on which I typically have no chance at KOM).

I used to be obsessed with KOM hunting, I would snipe small segments because I had a sporting chance. But, take a step back and try for a popular segment, no way, not in this area. Too many pros train here. (That’s a good thing). There’s zero harm in chasing those KOMs but like other forms of “look at me” social media we all lose interest. Can’t remember the last time I went for a segment. Those were the days before structured training, now I focus on power PRs and actual racing. That said, there’s nothing wrong with virtual racing, I’ve had a lot of fun with it in the past. Flag the fake rides.


Same point as any bike racing.

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Except that Strava and KOMs aren’t bike racing.


IMO, Strava segments on a bike are not terribly useful unless you’re measuring your own performance, which even then, can be largely skewed based on wind, weather, etc.

They make (more) sense for runners because the only way to really cheat via a running segment is to use a bike, which is very easy to flag.

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Speed walkers cheat by running…runners cheat by cycling…cyclist cheat by driving…oy vay!

Strava is awesome. :roll_eyes:


Can’t believe how serious people take the Strava leader boards, so many variables such as weather that influence the times it’s pointless trying to make comparisons. If you really want to see how you stack up against other cyclists enter a race.


Another good point / observation.

I confess I hadn’t really even thought about it that deeply until now. Interesting question and it has made me think. On reflection I guess it’s maybe a bit of human nature for some people more than others, maybe something about sense of fair play and how that feels somehow broken by this type of thing?

I clearly can only speak from my own experiences here - which are admittedly extremely limited.

If you are fortunate enough to be less affected / feel less aggrieved or bugged, by this type of thing then that’s a real positive. Perhaps I ought to take a lesson from your pragmatism and ‘care less’ about this type of thing, it seems a sensible approach.

The clear underlying implication of your point / query is perhaps that this type of stuff is unimportant and not worth worrying about - instead focus on your own effort and achievement against yourself - aim to be a better ‘you’ and don’t worry if someone else does something different.

I think you are probably right …

It’s not that I’m comparing myself to someone when I flag a suspicious ride. It’s correcting an error. I see something amiss, I fix it. Has nothing to do with ego


I have about 30+ KOMs and I’m not even the fastest guy in my town. I use segments for fitness. I use key segments to compare myself to faster riders. I often see new PRs when fitness is peaking. And I see all the KOMs in my immediate area as personal challenges. I flag stuff when I see it. It’s fun.

It pisses me off that Strava doesn’t have an algorithm that just automatically flags this stuff. This is probably the kind of thing that could be 90% effective and be coded in one day. If they actually put a little work into it, it could be 99.5% effective.

Why does Strava make honest users do all this manual flagging?


So true. I’m top 10 on a segment from many years ago because there was an insane tailwind the day I was riding. I’m surrounded by pro’s on the leaderboard. Am I really that fast? Not even close.

Strava is just like Zwift racing to me. Fun for sure, but in no way should you take the results seriously…


I agree that strava should put some code in place to detect the vast majority of bad data and highly questionable performances due to ebikes and cars.

I have quite a few koms / not sure how many but I just checked and it’s 12 pages. I have definitely flagged a few obvious ones when I receive that “uh oh” email - though I haven’t seen one of those in a while, so not sure if those emails are being sent out still. I don’t think I’ve flagged something that was in the top 10, but not a Kom though.

For me I have more of an “attachment” to my local mtn trails. I find them more real as it’s a solo effort where wind isn’t a factor and conditions don’t have a major influence once the trails dry up. I could care less about pavement koms where wind and drafting define the segment times.

It forces you off the trail when nitwits riding well beyond their capabilities create dangerous situations and trail conflicts which ultimately can result in trail closures for everyone. While Kingdom Trails isn’t the result of e-bikes, it’s the result of idiotic behavior by a few dim mountain bikers of the tens of thousands that visit there every year. Nonetheless, the landowners had enough.

For some trail systems, this might not be an issue. But for many, there are people just waiting for an opportunity to kick people off of the trails.

Couldn’t agree more. :+1: I got an email from strava a few days ago detailing their update. And they said they did an update to automatically detect when someone is driving a vehicle. I guess we’ll see how that pans out.

So the strange result gets flagged, and then presumably taken down. And then what? Someone who was #7 on a list that 4 people on the planet are aware of, moves to position #6? Any other major impact I’m somehow missing?


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So the assumption is that e-bikers will include a higher percentage of idiots? Maybe. Maybe not. How would you propose enforcing no e-bikes allowed?

I get why people would flag in this situation but if you put in the effort to work out it’s on an ebike why would you feel deflated?

You did the effort unassisted. Does a stranger looking at a leaderboard and not seeing your name on top really bother you that much?

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This is derailing the original thread, so I guess I should apologize for starting this :grin:

The problem with ebikes is the slippery slope. We haven’t yet gotten there, but there’s definitely the risk.

Here are three examples of an electric bike. Who’s going to enforce the boundary between these bikes (two of which do not fit the classification of a class I/II/III “e-bike”)?