STRAVA: A Brave New FREE Leaderboard
Strava is starting to roll out a notable change to how segments work, this time seeking to reward effort rather than the attainment of KOM/QOM status.
Chris Froome? Don’t worry mate, traditional segments are unaffected but they will appear alongside the new feature, which rewards athletes for how often they complete a segment, not how fast. Thus to appear at the top of the new leaderboard you don’t have to be the fastest but rather instead simply the person with the most ‘recent’ efforts.
Despite this being free, it is still part of STRAVA’s master plan to encourage more of us to join its paid-for tier and boost much-needed revenues. We earlier saw how traditional leaderboards have mostly become restricted to all but paying STRAVA members, so this is a compensatory measure that keeps some relevance to the leaderboards, making it possible for anyone to lead the pack.
Why does this help STRAVA?
Year-on-year, Strava has become ever more popular, even in lockdown we could compete on STRAVA segments on Zwift or, at least in the UK, we could go out and cycle on our own to get segment times without physically meeting up with friends. The free local legends feature aims to make such competitions less reliant on speed, and rather reward people who most consistently do the miles.
Some of the traditional KOMs/QOMs on the leaderboard stood for many years. Maybe the wind was blowing in the right direction, maybe the road had just been resurfaced or maybe the traffic calming measure had not yet been put in place. That’s all irrelevant now as the new leaderboards work on the last 90 days only. So you might never become a true legend in your own lifetime but you could well become a local legend in the last 90 days.
Do you get recognition in a Hall of Fame or a gold medal? Err…no. But you do get alerted when you achieve your local legend status with the all-important ability to amplify your achievements over your social media. I’m guessing you’ll also get alerted if someone steals it.
You will also get that same laurel crown emoji shown on the image above, rather than the medal emoji that KOM/QOM athletes still get. You can see it in the results of the STRAVA-designated segments (not all segments) and the app will also tell you how many efforts you need to make to win back your laurel if stolen by one of your many local, arch-rivals.
This will start to be rolled out nowish but not in the UK until 15th July, according to STRAVA.
STRAVA Local Legends is the just the sort of feature that STRAVA need to maintain the social relevance of the FREE membership. As I wrote earlier today, STRAVA NEEDS your data so they have to keep innovating with FREE services like this as well as other features for the paid-for tier.
Problems 🙂 ?
This creates a whole host of problems for 3rd party bike computers who now have to add in pop-up to say when you’ve achieved LL status rather than just a KOM/QOM or PR/PB. Get coding boys and girls your riders need you.