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  1. #1
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    Strava Users Faster than Average?

    Hi all,

    I ride mostly in NJ, in areas where there are a lot of cyclists. While I'm out, I usually pass about as many people as I let pass me -- I'm no speedster but not particularly slow either. I climb decently, but am not setting any records.

    On Strava, however, I am routinely near the back of the pack on every major segment in my area. Yesterday I set a PR on a big climb in my area, and I'm still ranked around 2,000 out of 2,400 people.

    So, I guess my question is, are slow people not using Strava at all? While I'm out riding I certainly don't feel like I'm the slowest guy out there, but Strava says otherwise. Has anyone else encountered this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    Stravahahaha.

  3. #3
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IP Freely View Post
    So, I guess my question is, are slow people not using Strava at all?
    Since Strava is available to any Schmoe with a smartphone, I wouldn't necessarily draw this conclusion.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  4. #4
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Strava + average speed?

    So very in.

  5. #5
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    Seems like most of the regular Strava users around me are the faster local riders for sure!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Well, it makes sense that the folks who are interested in their performance would be faster than those who aren't.

  7. #7
    token triathlete Bah Humbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    Well, it makes sense that the folks who are interested in their performance would be faster than those who aren't.
    In my experience, Strava is for the mid-level guys - they care, but don't race or train based on power as much as the roadies or triathletes. Those guys are even faster, and they're on TrainingPeaks or Garmin Connect.

  8. #8
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    I don't think it's a given that joining Strava automatically equals "folks who are interested in their performance." As Whyfi said above, any jabroni with an iPhone can use Strava now.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IP Freely View Post
    I don't think it's a given that joining Strava automatically equals "folks who are interested in their performance." As Whyfi said above, any jabroni with an iPhone can use Strava now.
    You're suggesting that people who don't care about performance install and use an app designed to measure their performance? I'm not sure I agree with this conclusion, but you could be right.

  10. #10
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    You're suggesting that people who don't care about performance install and use an app designed to measure their performance? I'm not sure I agree with this conclusion, but you could be right.
    Speed isn't the only performance metric. There are a lot of people that just use Strava just to keep track of miles, be they commuters, casual or whatever.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  11. #11
    Cat 5 Mod Jandro's Avatar
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    There is no connection. I am an avid Strava user in the Bay Area. There are SO MANY cyclists here it's ridiculous. I am pretty consistently in the top 1-10% on Strava segments (handfull of top 10's on segments with 4,000+ riders). I would consider myself an above average cyclist as far as fitness goes, at best. For every person lower than me on a Strava leader board, there are 10 others that don't use Strava that would drop my ass without a second thought.
    Last edited by Jandro; 04-15-13 at 09:25 AM.
    Attack in the feeling because it says I'll win absolutely.

  12. #12
    absent Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
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    When I go to the grocery store, I'm easily the best looking guy there.
    But when I go out to clubs, it seems this is not the case. I'm just another fit, good looking guy. What's up with that?

  13. #13
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    I would expect most Strava users are faster than a lot of the causal cyclists out at the parks. Even people who just want to track miles would be more regular riders than a lot of folks you see out on the MUPs who may get out once a month for a 2mi spin. I would also expect that a lot of serious racer types get enough competition in their lives and not really have any interest in Strava.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RaceVW14's Avatar
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    For me Strava is just a way to track my progress, I'm not going to be KOM but I really enjoy seeing the personal records pop up after a ride.
    Strava is just a tool I use to track my progress.
    Last edited by RaceVW14; 04-15-13 at 10:01 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BigJeff's Avatar
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    Strava is not competitive riding.

  16. #16
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Strava is fun to fool around with, but you can't take it too seriously. I would say that the top places on segments that are popular and reasonable (as opposed to 18 grade downhill for example, or with six stoplights, including a MUP segment, etc) are representative of pretty fast riders. As for the rest of the rankings I wouldn't draw any strong conclusions.

    Regarding the averages, you exclude the cyclists who are just riding around and don't care about speed and probably don't use Strava or perhaps don't know it exists. I say that pretty strongly because I'll see I guess ten times as many cyclists as show up on a daily segment. Probably more than that, and they're mostly riding at speeds which would be near or below the segment last place. Excluding them though, I'd wager that the Strava average is about the same as the roadie average.

  17. #17
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    Here's an exemplary segment. As you can see, you pretty much have to be a beast to be in the top 500 or so.


    http://app.strava.com/segments/620825

  18. #18
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Perhaps you are familiar with the term "segment poaching?"

    Here's a fun one near me and it's long enough and hilly enough that it's difficult to "poach"... but check out the first page and see who's dominating the stats:

    http://app.strava.com/segments/830079

  19. #19
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Any Strava user can hide a portion, (or all), of a ride.
    (I did this for a portion of a ride where I forgot to shut off the Garmin as I drove from Idaho Springs back the the Denver area.)
    I'll bet people hide some rides they are embarrassed about.

  20. #20
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    I've noticed most new KOMs on segments I'm familiar with are set on very windy days. There's a few guys around here that go out on windy days looking for new KOMs. Like wphamilton said. Its fun to fool around with Strava, but you just cant get too worked up over it. Lots of people gaming the whole KOM thing. I still find it entertaining to see people I know and what they're doing out there. I've learned some new routes too

  21. #21
    hmm..
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Perhaps you are familiar with the term "segment poaching?"

    Here's a fun one near me and it's long enough and hilly enough that it's difficult to "poach"... but check out the first page and see who's dominating the stats:

    http://app.strava.com/segments/830079
    Pros from VA! Awesome.
    The preceding information is strictly opinion. The following information is incorrect.

  22. #22
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    You need to pick and choose the segments that you want to attempt a PR on and do a hard interval type effort. You can't just expect to go out and ride your bike at a decent clip for 20+ miles and do well on every Strava segment. Even racers don't go balls to the wall the whole time they're on a training ride. And yes, it helps to have a nice tailwind if you're going to place well on the "leader board."

  23. #23
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    First, this segment:
    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Perhaps you are familiar with the term "segment poaching?"

    Here's a fun one near me and it's long enough and hilly enough that it's difficult to "poach"... but check out the first page and see who's dominating the stats:

    http://app.strava.com/segments/830079
    ...has a couple sections where the gradient is 100% plus!

    Second, the leaders times at about 16+ mph seem about right. If anything, they seem a bit slow for "leaders" on the segments (fast for me, but not some I think of).

    Third: we have a weekly training ride (Montrose Ride) that, if there's less than 100-riders riding it, that's a small turnout. Yet Strava only has about 20-30 people reporting having ridden it that week.

    In conclusion: Strava isn't accurate nor reliable because a) it's data/interpretation is faulty, and b) not everyone reports/uses Strava, and c) those that do aren't always the fastest/strongest.

    Therefore, don't draw any conclusions from Strava.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  24. #24
    2 fat 4 cycling tvJefe's Avatar
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    I use strava mainly for tracking miles and elevation, along with average speed. The segment part of strava is so stupid and random. I have a cateye computer, but it's nice to see a map of my ride afterwards.
    More tea, Mr. Bike?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Perhaps you are familiar with the term "segment poaching?"

    Here's a fun one near me and it's long enough and hilly enough that it's difficult to "poach"... but check out the first page and see who's dominating the stats:

    http://app.strava.com/segments/830079
    The majority of the top riders on that segment rode it during the Amgen Tour of California. In other words, they are professionals competing in a race. Nothing shocking on that segment.

    Look others have said, most people increase their speed when they know they are on a segment.

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