Why do so many Strava segments suck?

by deadhead1971   April 24, 2013  

Having noticed a massive proliferation in the number of Strava segments popping up recently, and the increasing number of pointlessly short, or just weird ones, I put together a little article -

7 reasons why some Strava segments suck (do yours?)


17 user comments

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Agreed, but, who cares?! Just target the segments that make sense and are decent. There are loads around where I live but only a few that I really want!

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
24th April 2013 - 21:37


I agree, I do think its getting a bit silly. I live 7 miles from Richmond Park, did two laps of the park then home again - strava says 110 segements including 22 unique segements comprising a complete lap of the park - each of which with slightly different times. And thats not including the hidden and hazardous segments.

I think it needs a cull.

posted by andycoventry [120 posts]
25th April 2013 - 8:21


I do know some people cynically create segments in places they know everyone else lets off. I've found people who had average times up climbs who then create segments on the flat where people dawdle/wait around/recover so they can grab a cheap KoM.

posted by atlaz [175 posts]
25th April 2013 - 8:38


Oh also, you missed the main reason that almost all segments suck.The wind, most segments are now wind assisted so there is no point in even trying until there is a hurricane, therefore most of the data is absolutely useless! Only the steepest most sheltered segments are immune and have accurate data.

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
25th April 2013 - 8:50


I kind of agree, but as my mate (a good climber) said, there are elite class racers all over the good climbs, so normal club-standard riders are left to contest the random little ones.

The proliferation of duplicates and near-duplicates is stupid though, and could indeed do with a cull.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
25th April 2013 - 9:03


Strava's supposed to be self-policing in terms of dangerous segments, but I agree that we've reached a point where they need to go beyond this and look at appointing moderators or setting some loose parameters for a segment to be created. Last week I did one climb and it was 6 different (but very similar segments). Pointless.


posted by arrieredupeleton [587 posts]
25th April 2013 - 9:31


It depends on the kind of climb you're tackling as well - most with a punishing gradient won't be affected too much by wind as a headwind or tailwind will blow over the hill. You do find some daft segments around where you wonder why someone has bothered - those that go through red lights make the least sense to me as they're usually completely down to luck.

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posted by YorkshireMike [92 posts]
25th April 2013 - 9:32


Nice article, but it seems a lot of people aren't aware of the "Hide" option in Strava, which makes the segments that suck kind of irrelivant (when you have ridden the area before and marked the ones that suck).

As I posted to your blog:
You can actually click a little ignore button - it is labelled "Hide". It will stop that segment from showing up in your results in the future, and won't add you to the leaderboard or give you any achievements. As an added bonus, if enough people click "Hide" for a certain segment, then it becomes a hidden segment, and the people who come after you also need never concern themselves with it!

Check out https://strava.zendesk.com/entries/20945957-Hide-Unhide-Segments.

I'm riding the 2013 Giro d'Italia for charity! Check it out and follow my progress live at www.tourletour.com

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posted by Tour Le Tour [91 posts]
25th April 2013 - 10:19


Strava - a good ride, spoiled. What happened to the days of going out and riding hard (either alone or with good company) just for the experience of the day? Now everyone is saving themselves for the next segment, and then rushing home to upload their ride as soon as they can. Strava may have its uses, but overall I feel it detracts from the beauty of a ride.

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posted by Low Speed Wobble [152 posts]
25th April 2013 - 10:27


I don't have a problem with people creating duplicate segments. If you are riding for placings you want Strava to measure you at your best. You may feel that the climb starts at this lamppost, someone else may start their effort at that bush. It's easy to get a rubbish time on a segment because you stopped at the start to eat an energy bar, or got off at the top to catch your breath. I once clocked 16 minutes on an 80m climb for cameraphone-related reasons. Hence, the segment creation tool - it's for everyone to use as they see fit (within reason).

In other words, I see no harm in gaming the system a little to massage my ego - it's not like I'm ever going to contest a KOM, I'm normally happy if I get in the top half of the board!

posted by chokofingrz [403 posts]
25th April 2013 - 12:23


I'm not sure if its a gripe in the same vein, but... a good chunk of the segments on my commute route are also on the chain gang route of a local club, so the top 40 odd spots are taken by people logging their chain gang rides. What hope do lone cyclist have... surely not fair! Thinking Crying

posted by Steveal [32 posts]
25th April 2013 - 21:44


Sad bastards!!!!!!!!

posted by Krd51 [22 posts]
25th April 2013 - 22:18


Steveal, do what i did, wait for a gale to blow and then take the KOM anyway, chaingang 25mph, wind assisted 26mph...all's fair in love and strava...

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posted by mrmo [1892 posts]
25th April 2013 - 23:29


Sure, it's nice to see how you compare but Strava's best function is actually the my performance screen which is hidden behind a tab. This compares you against you. You choose your segments. Strava should show this screen by default. The rest is just a finger in the air.

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posted by sm [374 posts]
26th April 2013 - 6:59

1 Like

'..., or got off at the top to catch your breath.....'. Sorry I don't understand?


posted by arrieredupeleton [587 posts]
26th April 2013 - 9:58


Check out the last part of this Dr. Hutch column which shows the mindset of some Strava users:


posted by NeilG83 [288 posts]
26th April 2013 - 13:43


Strava can be great fun and even motivational but now you've got a KoM or two and a handful of top tens get yourself down to a proper time trial, and don't forget a napkin to wipe the humble pie off of your stem. Cool

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posted by boffo [34 posts]
4th June 2013 - 18:49