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Will fastest times on Strava segments be obsolete due to e-bikes?

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Will fastest times on Strava segments be obsolete due to e-bikes?

Old 09-08-22, 02:38 PM
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Will fastest times on Strava segments be obsolete due to e-bikes?

Many could care less about Strava or chasing fastest segment times, and I get that. For those that do, will e-bikes render fastest times a thing of the past since the playing field is now far from level? This was briefly bought up in the General Forum and maybe the point is already mute.
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Old 09-08-22, 03:02 PM
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Why? Isn't this for the fastest times? Many are people in cars driving home after putting their bike on the rack after a ride and forgetting to stop the timer of their Garmin or other device.

I guess the issue for me is more should Strava, RWGPS and others have a way to separate if a e-bike or human powered only bike was used for a segment. Though that'd take a lot of trust that the user is reporting correctly. And I'm not certain which side of that issue I wish to be on.

My segments and KOM's are just PR's against myself for me alone. Although I do hold some ties for some small climbs around here.

So far, I'm not aware that any e-bike has passed me unless I'm doing very leisurely rides... which is seldom. And I've passed quite a few as most of the e-biker's here just seem to be out for that leisurely ride.

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Old 09-08-22, 05:11 PM
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No I don't think it'll be an issue. Technically, eBike riders should mark their rides as "Electric Bike" on Strava anyway. It's a whole other category with it's own segments separate from "regular" bikes.

On the road at least (and here where eBikes are limited to 25kph/15mph) most top 10 times are not challenged by eBikes.
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Old 09-08-22, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Many could care less about Strava or chasing fastest segment times, and I get that. For those that do, will e-bikes render fastest times a thing of the past since the playing field is now far from level? This was briefly bought up in the General Forum and maybe the point is already mute.
The word you are looking for is "moot." Though I'm not sure that is really the correct word choice in this case -- it's a word that is often misused.

Anyway, yeah, I get your question. During Covid, I started chasing KOMs as a way to push myself when races were cancelled. eBikes kind of mess that up, and I'll bet that some of those riders do not indicate (on Strava) that they were on eBikes.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Why? Isn't this for the fastest times? Many are people in cars driving home after putting their bike on the rack after a ride and forgetting to stop the timer of their Garmin or other device.
It's pretty easy to discern when this happens: a segment (or an entire ride) is ridden at some ridiculous speed such as 54 mph. Strava has a button for reporting those, and (in my experience) they do erase them promptly. The issue with eBikes is that they are a bit faster than acoustic bikes...But it might be impossible to determine if a person had the assist or was just a very strong rider.

I'm reminded of a ride/race I did a few years ago -- a big hill climbing event in Pittsburgh. It's kind of a local thing, so most of the info is transmitted through a fb page. A couple weeks prior to the event, some guy posted a question about whether he could ride it on an eBike. The organizers responded that no, it is an event for regular old bikes, for riders to test themselves against some very steep climbs. This guy persisted, and was really quite pushy about it. I mean, wtf? For all but a handful of elite riders, the event is about merely climbing hills with grades up to 37% -- you get a Finisher's ribbon just for making it up all of them without putting down a foot. And this doofus wants to sail up on an eBike.
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Old 09-08-22, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
This guy persisted, and was really quite pushy about it. I mean, wtf? For all but a handful of elite riders, the event is about merely climbing hills with grades up to 37% -- you get a Finisher's ribbon just for making it up all of them without putting down a foot. And this doofus wants to sail up on an eBike.
Some eBike people have a chip on their shoulder about being left out. I know a really great person who insists eBikes should be allowed anywhere acoustic bikes are allowed. A hiker who values Wilderness, but doesn't appreciate the irony of wanting motorized bikes in non motorized areas.

Anyway, I think over time eBike efforts will take a lot of segments over. You can make private seggies to compete against yourself, or obscure ones that don't get tons of traffic, and hope for the best.
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Old 09-08-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
No I don't think it'll be an issue. Technically, eBike riders should mark their rides as "Electric Bike" on Strava anyway.
A lot of people used a Garmin or some other device and have their data synced to Strava, vs inputting it directly. So if they don't see the value in distinguishing between bike and eBike when they set it up, it just gets tagged automatically. A lot of people aren't very tech literate, or detail oriented, to fix it or change how their rides are listed.

I'm not saying it's ok, I'm saying this must happen a lot.
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Old 09-08-22, 09:42 PM
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Old 09-09-22, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Some eBike people have a chip on their shoulder about being left out. I know a really great person who insists eBikes should be allowed anywhere acoustic bikes are allowed. A hiker who values Wilderness, but doesn't appreciate the irony of wanting motorized bikes in non motorized areas.

Anyway, I think over time eBike efforts will take a lot of segments over. You can make private seggies to compete against yourself, or obscure ones that don't get tons of traffic, and hope for the best.
what i think will end up growing more than it already has, is the "close group" riders only allowing vetted competition in & shunning others. With enough "complaining" from those being left out, the interface will either be restructured to have more "fees" , maintain an open environment or it'll flat out go away entirely if it hits the pocketbook hard.
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Old 09-09-22, 07:02 AM
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I really don't care about Strava KOM's or fastest segments. I mainly use Strava to keep track of my mileage and my own personal average speed.
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Old 09-09-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I really don't care about Strava KOM's or fastest segments. I mainly use Strava to keep track of my mileage and my own personal average speed.
Good for you. You have managed to contribute nothing to the topic at hand.

You can sometimes tell if a segment leader did it on an e-bike. I don't use Strava, but Garmin segments will show a leaderboard. When you see riders #2 through #10 all within a few seconds, and the leader has the lead by a large margin, you just assume it was an assisted ride.
I had held the lead in a Garmin segment (sprint) by a few tenths of a second for a few weeks. The difference between my time and the time of the 10th fastest rider was about 2 seconds. When I re-checked it, I had been de-throned by someone much faster. Like, 10 seconds faster. I didn't recognize the name from any of the pro teams, so I just assumed it was done on an e-bike. I don't even bother with segments anymore, except to challenge myself now and then.
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Old 09-09-22, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
A lot of people used a Garmin or some other device and have their data synced to Strava, vs inputting it directly. So if they don't see the value in distinguishing between bike and eBike when they set it up, it just gets tagged automatically. A lot of people aren't very tech literate, or detail oriented, to fix it or change how their rides are listed.

I'm not saying it's ok, I'm saying this must happen a lot.
my rides are marked e bikes I still don't get any different segments and you think I would as I ride every day and up to 250 miles a week I only started making them e bike when Garmin made that an option.
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Old 09-09-22, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
my rides are marked e bikes I still don't get any different segments and you think I would as I ride every day and up to 250 miles a week I only started making them e bike when Garmin made that an option.
there are definitely completely different segments for e-bikes. they don't look any different nor is there any indicator, but if you have rides in strava as both bike and ebike you'll definitely see that the same segments don't appear, even if they're named the same thing.

here's a very popular local example. the left one is the regular bike version, the right is the e-bike version.

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Old 09-09-22, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Good for you. You have managed to contribute nothing to the topic at hand.

You can sometimes tell if a segment leader did it on an e-bike. I don't use Strava, but Garmin segments will show a leaderboard. When you see riders #2 through #10 all within a few seconds, and the leader has the lead by a large margin, you just assume it was an assisted ride.
I had held the lead in a Garmin segment (sprint) by a few tenths of a second for a few weeks. The difference between my time and the time of the 10th fastest rider was about 2 seconds. When I re-checked it, I had been de-throned by someone much faster. Like, 10 seconds faster. I didn't recognize the name from any of the pro teams, so I just assumed it was done on an e-bike. I don't even bother with segments anymore, except to challenge myself now and then.
Well maybe you'd have a more zen life if you didn't have to constantly worry about being the fastest or about someone "cheating" with an e-bike.
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Old 09-09-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Well maybe you'd have a more zen life if you didn't have to constantly worry about being the fastest or about someone "cheating" with an e-bike.
Cool story, bro.
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Old 09-10-22, 02:55 PM
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As others have mentioned, ebikes should be properly categorized. If someone is poaching segments on an ebike, you can often tell when looking at the segment analysis - the speed curves look unnatural - and flag the ride.
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Old 09-10-22, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
As others have mentioned, ebikes should be properly categorized. If someone is poaching segments on an ebike, you can often tell when looking at the segment analysis - the speed curves look unnatural - and flag the ride.
yep, pretty easy to tell from the amount (or lack of) of deceleration up a hill, heart rate and/or power data, the speed capping at 20 or 28, etc etc.

strava actually asked me once or twice whether a ride was on an e-bike (they were), so i think they are using some of the above algorithmic means as well.
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Old 09-10-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
yep, pretty easy to tell from the amount (or lack of) of deceleration up a hill, heart rate and/or power data, the speed capping at 20 or 28, etc etc.

strava actually asked me once or twice whether a ride was on an e-bike (they were), so i think they are using some of the above algorithmic means as well.
I am unfamiliar with anybody from Strava approaching its users. I thought they depend on their users to point out (flag) violators.
Seems like a tall order to root out all electric-assist leaderboard riders. Not all e-bikes comprise those gigantic sixty-pound behemoths.
It's a worthy goal to maintain clean and proper segments. Riders can easily spend a few minutes here and there to flag cheaters or mistakes.
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Old 09-10-22, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr View Post
I am unfamiliar with anybody from Strava approaching its users. I thought they depend on their users to point out (flag) violators.
Seems like a tall order to root out all electric-assist leaderboard riders. Not all e-bikes comprise those gigantic sixty-pound behemoths.
It's a worthy goal to maintain clean and proper segments. Riders can easily spend a few minutes here and there to flag cheaters or mistakes.
Strava definitely has algorithms in place and will auto-flag activities (I mistakenly marked a ride as a run and it set off alarms), but it's a pretty crude tool. Still, KOM holders will get notified when they lose the KOM and there's certainly incentive to scrutinize the effort by the dethroned.
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Old 09-10-22, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr View Post
I am unfamiliar with anybody from Strava approaching its users. I thought they depend on their users to point out (flag) violators.
Seems like a tall order to root out all electric-assist leaderboard riders. Not all e-bikes comprise those gigantic sixty-pound behemoths.
It's a worthy goal to maintain clean and proper segments. Riders can easily spend a few minutes here and there to flag cheaters or mistakes.
if i recall, it was just an automated popup upon uploading a GPX or FIT file for an activity. i selected “bike” and it said “this looks like an ebike ride” or something along those lines.

i record the rides on my creo as regular bike if the motor was turned off for the entire ride, but i don’t recall strava ever inquiring about those - i must be so obviously slow the algorithm would never think i have any help 😂😂
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Old 09-10-22, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Strava definitely has algorithms in place and will auto-flag activities (I mistakenly marked a ride as a run and it set off alarms), but it's a pretty crude tool. Still, KOM holders will get notified when they lose the KOM and there's certainly incentive to scrutinize the effort by the dethroned.
I lost my only KOM a few months back and, yes, Strava informed me.
Still, I'm proud of some of my rankings in the top ten, twenty, or thirty on some very tough segments.
When a rider pushed themselves to the point of exhaustion to achieve that time, it's worth occasionally monitoring the leaderboard.
I do this by 'starring' a number of segments and combing through these periodically.
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Old 09-10-22, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
if i recall, it was just an automated popup upon uploading a GPX or FIT file for an activity. i selected “bike” and it said “this looks like an ebike ride” or something along those lines.

i record the rides on my creo as regular bike if the motor was turned off for the entire ride, but i don’t recall strava ever inquiring about those - i must be so obviously slow the algorithm would never think i have any help 😂😂
I'm with you on that, brother. Strava would more likely contact me about my ride and ask if I miscategorized a walk.
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Old 10-08-22, 07:04 AM
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I am as competitive a biker as Peewee Herman.
The Strava numbers are being used here to support the banning of ebikes on the MUP's.
There is a pushback on bikes as well, since speed limits are unenforced (unenforceable).
And bikers frighten and annoy walkers and joggers , worse as speeds increase.
Speeds of 25 mph and up on segments are used as supporting evidence
and I have seen MUP speeds in the 40's (mph not KM/hr)
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Old 10-08-22, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bikebikebike View Post
The Strava numbers are being used here to support the banning of ebikes on the MUP's.
There is a pushback on bikes as well, since speed limits are unenforced (unenforceable).
And bikers frighten and annoy walkers and joggers , worse as speeds increase.
Speeds of 25 mph and up on segments are used as supporting evidence
and I have seen MUP speeds in the 40's (mph not KM/hr)
That ain't happening in this thread, so what do you mean by "here"? Are you talking about your area in TX? If people, even on ebikes, still feel that they need to be on the MUPs rather than roads, I think that points to an infrastructure problem more so than an ebike problem.
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Old 10-08-22, 09:39 AM
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Sorry for the ambiguity.
As MUP infra structure is being built out in TX cities and elsewhere,
they are having to confront the differing velocities of the users, that are a problem as on bigger roads.
The unsegregated Strava data generated by ebikes is being used, like the higher speeds by analog bikes, in many ways,
not all of them favorable.
The infrastructure and vehicles need to be recognized as components of the same system, integrally linked.
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Old 10-08-22, 02:52 PM
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Some of the more popular segments around here seem to have unrealistic times. The ones that really seem wrong are sprint segments on zwift. Can't ebike your way onto the leaderboard there though. Well, I guess you could with a wheel-on trainer
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