Why do so many Strava segments suck?

deadhead1971
deadhead1971 Posts: 338
edited June 2013 in Road general
I thought I might be in "grumpy old man" territory here, but after speaking with a few club mates, and then asking around on twitter, it appeared that I'm not the only one.

Here's 7 reasons why some Strava segments suck. (link to a blog post)
http://bit.ly/11zXIbc
Alan
http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


The Ultimate List of Strava Add On Sites!
http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/strava-sites
«13

Comments

  • NUFCrichard
    NUFCrichard Posts: 103
    Near where I live it is generally very good. Only real climbs are segments and most are not stupidly placed.
    In London it is a joke, a 25km ride will undoubtedly pass through 30+ segments, even though it is essentially flat.

    It would be great if Strava could get some administrators to clean it up, like Wikipedia have. They would have to be neutral as I am sure people would take exception to losing their KOM on their 300m ride between their house and the train station!
  • dabber
    dabber Posts: 1,926
    edited April 2013
    You've covered a lot of relevant points Alan in your blog. All that you've written is just so true. I ride about a third of the year in France and all of the segments in my area over there are what I would call proper segments... most being Cat 4 or harder climbs. And they are proper Cat climbs not these so called (downhill) categorised climbs we find in some of the UK segments.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    I just hide the more stupid ones on the routes I normally use.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • VTech
    VTech Posts: 4,736
    Its an easy thing to fix, just like the decent gps systems and would cost strava little cost.

    You only need to have a feedback button and idiotic segments can be auto removed.
    Living MY dream.
  • brettjmcc
    brettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    I agree with a lot of what you have said, but also to your grumpy points...

    2. Bad Start Points - yes people are lazy, but you could also create a segment at the bottom of the hill; but that would mean you fall foul of your point 6.

    3. Dangerous point - isn't the flag segment feature for this?

    5. Is that it? - not all of us have the ability to have long drags. There are a few short ones were I live, but in the end you end up using it as a power segment ; but say 0.2 mile at 4.7% can still be used, no?

    7. Strange wierdness - you can get this fixed... that is what the helpdesk is for. I did it recently when I started using Veloviewer and it turned out a segment with a mild incline said it was very sharp... I and other were recording over 10000VAM... Sent a link to google and streetview and they fixed it.
    BMC GF01
    Quintana Roo Cd01
    Project High End Hack
    Cannondale Synapse SL (gone)
    I like Carbon
  • fishyweb
    fishyweb Posts: 173
    THis is all so true. I've emailed Strava about some Cat 4 segments on flat roads in my area, but little seems to be done. I guess these must originate from anomalies in their source dataset, or simply bugs in their algorithms. When you create a segment these days, Strava suggests similar ones and asks you if you're sure you want to create your duplicate - I guess some people just say Yes and ignore the idiocy of it.
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/287459
    Member of http://www.UKnetrunner.co.UK - the greatest online affiliated running club
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    It's not just the daft multiple routes that are sucking. There's a guy round here that's suddenly become AWESOME on the local routes. He's always been handy, but now he's clearly become a wee bit too handy. I wonder how he managed that?
  • I did a short but hilly ride yesterday, 28 of the 35 segments were on my hide list.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    I was struggling with my local strava segments when I realised I could use my strava while I was driving now I am KOM on every segment. You just have to make sure you keep your speed to just a couple of MPH above the current winning time. :D
  • peat
    peat Posts: 1,242
    I've got one near me that starts one side of a crossroads just before the long hill.

    My reckoning is that because it's a steep hill on the otherside too, the creator has attacked from the opposing down, had a mate (or blind faith) to tell him the road is clear and get a nice little headstart up the hill. Nonsense.
  • goffski
    goffski Posts: 72
    fishyweb wrote:
    THis is all so true. I've emailed Strava about some Cat 4 segments on flat roads in my area, but little seems to be done. I guess these must originate from anomalies in their source dataset, or simply bugs in their algorithms. When you create a segment these days, Strava suggests similar ones and asks you if you're sure you want to create your duplicate - I guess some people just say Yes and ignore the idiocy of it.

    ^^This^^

    There's a Cat 4 on a route i do, the road it pretty much pan flat for miles. Just before the segment starts theres a bridge over the M6, hardly Cat 4!
  • Someone flagged one of my flat CAT 4 KOM's. I sulked for hours.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    I was waiting at a cross roads to turn right up the hill and a cyclist on that route came past up the hill. He was on a hybrid and pedalling along up the hill seemingly effortlessly. The bike was clearly electric and travelling at a speed that whilst not impossible to replicate without a motor would certainly require a lot of power. People on these electric bikes will be able to destroy Strava segments if they want and it won't be possible to really tell that they aren't assisted.

    As for duff segments - surely you just hide them. I daresay people put them on to encourage themselves on their route. I'm thinking I may need to add one on mine because the proper segment would pass too close to my house - making the top part of the hill a segment would motivate me on my biggest climb of the day but most would see it as an unneccessary one.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Click "Hide" next to a segment you're not interested in. That's it.

    Then get on with riding your bike and stop worrying about stuff that doesn't matter.
  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    The dangerous end points are a real bug bear. Theres one not far from me with top speed of close to 40mph I think, its down hill into a bend.

    And why have them that include roundabouts?

    Someones also set up one through an estate - where kids play and cars reverse out :roll:

    I set up segments near me which I used just to measure my progress over winter - hardly anyone rides there.....except one fella who went out of his way by a good 9-10 miles to have a go at it. So I started to set up segments that are as short as they can possibly be - and sure enough - people are trying to KoM them. hah

    Its odd peoples reaction to strava though as a tool for monitoring personal progress its excellent - but I'm still trying to work out one guys motivation - I set up a small 2 mile loop with a small uphill section - some guy KoM'd it....but in reverse - so he went down hill - i'm guessing he must have fiddled with the garmin file - haha - he's not been round since I pointed out it was cheating of dick dastardly standards.

    I think you'd see a different approach if strava had a Sprint Jersey, and a separate KOM. In my experience more people feel more satisfied getting an up hill award that a flat ride.

    Good little article.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • Oh, it's Strava. It's handy for comparing self with self, or having a bit of a giggle. There are a few stupid segments around here, but hey, it's not like they have a negative impact on my quality of life. Okay, so I get the feeling I'm going to have people doing the Barhatch Lane descent one impact on the front of my car at some point, but at least that'll prove a useful personal anecdote for conversations regarding evolution.
    Mangeur
  • stueys
    stueys Posts: 1,332
    I thought I might be in "grumpy old man" territory here, but after speaking with a few club mates, and then asking around on twitter, it appeared that I'm not the only one.

    Here's 7 reasons why some Strava segments suck. (link to a blog post)
    http://bit.ly/11zXIbc

    Nice blog by the way
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Your article is bang on btw. Said same AWESOME chap I mentioned above also likes to create multiple routes so he has even more KOM’s. After falling out of love with Strava, then finding a renewed interest, I’m now starting to despise it again.
  • gloomyandy
    gloomyandy Posts: 520
    Remember if you are creating segments to track your own progress, or which only make sense for you, you can always make them private. That way others don't get annoyed by them and you don't get others stealing your KOM! I have a couple of these for my commute and they work pretty well. I doubt if anyone else would be interested in my 13 mile segments!
  • Pituophis
    Pituophis Posts: 1,025
    Strava is great fun, but in no way to be treated seriously. Maybe because I'll never "hold" a KOM :D
    I like to watch my own progress, but I feel bad if my latest PR is wind assisted (because after all, I'm only kidding myself :oops: )
  • Jon_1976
    Jon_1976 Posts: 690
    I think this segment cover points 1&2 quite well :D Its a 25 mile segment (unknown to me beforehand) but due to the route I rode, Strava used the total ride distance (41.8 miles)..hence I'm in last place with a time nearly 1 hour and 40 minutes slower :D

    http://app.strava.com/activities/47344064#824661348
  • cookeeemonster
    cookeeemonster Posts: 1,991
    The Blackfriars underpass sprint. Possibly the greatest strava segment ever.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/50314853#892451605

    (top speed: 176mph, no one in the top 25 has done it below 88mph....)
  • charliew87
    charliew87 Posts: 371
    Richmond Park is positively ridiculous. I think you clock about 150 segments when doing one lap.

    Should have 4, one for whole lap, one for Dark Hill, one for Sawyers Hill and one for Corkscrew, depending on direction of travel.

    I've started hiding segments when they pop up loads which doesn't take long and is easy to do.

    I see strava now have a massive big shiny office in San Francisco so maybe they have/will employ someone to sort this out.

    A brilliant tool & site nonetheless
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • Wardster00
    Wardster00 Posts: 143
    It's not just the daft multiple routes that are sucking. There's a guy round here that's suddenly become AWESOME on the local routes. He's always been handy, but now he's clearly become a wee bit too handy. I wonder how he managed that?

    He may be using this......

    http://www.digitalepo.com/

    Somebody posted this website on here a few months ago and I cant believe that somebody would bother going to the trouble!
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Wardster00 wrote:
    It's not just the daft multiple routes that are sucking. There's a guy round here that's suddenly become AWESOME on the local routes. He's always been handy, but now he's clearly become a wee bit too handy. I wonder how he managed that?

    He may be using this......

    http://www.digitalepo.com/

    Somebody posted this website on here a few months ago and I cant believe that somebody would bother going to the trouble!

    LOL - that's exactly what I was referring to ;-)
  • motd2k
    motd2k Posts: 71
    LOL - that's exactly what I was referring to

    No, it's not i'm afraid. Everyone loves to bitch on Strava - hating it is the flavour of the month and yet you'll all still use it; thinking that someone cheated to beat 'your' KOM makes you hate it even more.

    Try using the digitialepo site on one of your rides and see what it does to your graphs... you'll see what I mean once you do it... does that match with the 'cheats' graphs? I'd wager not... they're just faster than you, either get over it, train harder, wait for a bigger tailwind, or actually give up on the site.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    motd2k wrote:
    LOL - that's exactly what I was referring to

    No, it's not i'm afraid. Everyone loves to ***** on Strava - hating it is the flavour of the month and yet you'll all still use it; thinking that someone cheated to beat 'your' KOM makes you hate it even more.

    Try using the digitialepo site on one of your rides and see what it does to your graphs... you'll see what I mean once you do it... does that match with the 'cheats' graphs? I'd wager not... they're just faster than you, either get over it, train harder, wait for a bigger tailwind, or actually give up on the site.

    Excellent post that...
  • ianspeare
    ianspeare Posts: 110
    There's a segment near me that goes downhill to a manual level crossing (open the gate, cross, close the gate, back up the hill & then crosses a main busy a road and then ends. Such a stupid one. They should be saved for flat sprints or hill climbs only. I do find strava useful for tracking my progress.
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    There's a bloke round the corner from me who, during the really strong windy weather we had a week or so back, obviously planned his route to take in as many local segments where the 30+mph wind would be a tailwind. How sad is that..... :roll:

    Funny when I met him on a ride and rode him off my wheel.... :wink:

    PP
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Yup, I would have done that...