New Strava algorithms announced

September 13, 2012 § 53 Comments

Strava CEO Michael Horvath posted an entry on the company blog today about sportsmanship, competition, ethics, and a new focus on the social media site’s core users. “After doing a six-month analysis of rider usage patterns,” he wrote, “we were able to pinpoint the key characteristics of our avid regular users and of our paid ‘premium’ users. Our user review team has classified our customers as something known in the industry as ‘delusional assholes.'”

According to Horvath, Strava’s current KOM/QOM algorithm no longer correlates to the behavior of the web site’s most dedicated users. “KOM’s started out as virtual datapoints to mark your progress. Unfortunately, they’ve become real in the minds of countless users. People actually believe that because Strava describes them as a KOM, they are in fact the king of some mountain somewhere.”

Horvath relates the fistfight that broke out between cyclist Elmer Thudpucker and a local landowner when Thudpucker claimed feudal demesne rights to Pighumper Mountain in western Arkansas by virtue of his Strava KOM. “First they beat him senseless, then they tied him to a post, then they made him grunt like a pig. We decided something needed to be done.”

Too much of a bad thing?

Problems also arise when KOM holders interact with other actual cyclists and get their shit handed to them on a plate, according to Horvath. “The cognitive dissonance that arises when you think you are the king of a mountain, but then on a group ride you are the last person up the mountain you’re supposedly king of, creates so much depression, self-doubt, anger, and disillusionment that our most committed members are letting their memberships lapse,” he explains.

“We’ve decided to revamp the KOM algorithm so that all of our Strava users know exactly what their KOM’s really mean, and hence aren’t so dejected when they get crushed by the kid on restricted gears who hasn’t started shaving yet.”

Preview of the new, improved Strava rankings

“We’re in the process of gathering more personal data from our users in order to perfect the algorithms, but in a nutshell here they are. This entire system was dreamed up by Steven L. from San Diego, so we owe him a big debt of thanks even though he won’t see a dime from all his hard work, as we intend to pirate the shit out of his idea.”

COM: Chicken of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider never rides with others, and instead sets all of his best times alone.

FOM: Faker of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider never tells others he’s going for a particular segment, so they will do all the work as he moves from the back to the front of the group to collect the FOM.

POM: Peon of the Mountain
Idicates that the segment has been ridden less than 500 times, and the rider is literally a smallish-fish-in-the-tiniest-of-ponds.

WOM: Wanker of the Mountain
Indicates that the segment has never been ridden by a UCI pro or Cat 1 roadie.

Cit-OM: Citizen of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider doesn’t do road races.

FROM: Fraudster of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider is the one who created the segment.

SPROM: Sprunter of the Mountain
Indicates that the segment is less than 5k in length.

CHOM: Cheater of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider achieved the time with motor pacing or other pacing assistance.

EPOM: EPO of the Mountain
Indicates reliance on PED’s.

KOV: King of the Valley
Indicates net decrease in elevation, ergo it’s not a climb, stupid.

LOM: Lawsuit of the Mountain
Indicates idiot took outrageous risks on a descent or other twisty, dangerous road in order to score points on a stupid web site.

TOM: Triathlete of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider isn’t even a cyclist.

DOM: Delusional of the Mountain
Indicates that the rider thinks that his performance on Strava correlates to his racing ability.

“This is just the outline; we’re hoping to get it tweaked in the next couple of weeks,” writes Horvath. “Once we’ve gone through the AMA’s Index of Psychiatric Disorders to fully categorize our customers, we should be ready for launch.”

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§ 53 Responses to New Strava algorithms announced

  • Albacore says:

    Finally! This clears up so much. The 1 minute interval climb segment I created will no longer be private. I will release it to the masses. I will relinquish my 1st/1 ranking so that I may claim my CPWCitFRSPROM. Now give me my polka-dot jersey!

  • Stefanovich says:

    Industry terms often confuse me…

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.” What did Juliet know anyway??

    Why is it i can’t even hold Bartholomew MacSnuffigin’s wheel on my own damn MOK when in group-ride format? 3am on a Monday morning; untouchable.

    In other news I have ~300 new strava followers in the last 24hrs..thx Lance!

  • Scott says:

    This article omits the Asshat Downhill mtb’er who is riding on a trail that is used as a climb 90% of the time… because it is easy to get a KOM when you are racing down a trail that everyone climbs….. Trade in your fullface and shin guards for another chainring!

  • Noel says:

    People of the world, turn off your stupid computer and learn how to ride beautifully. Jeez.

  • Jeff Miskimins says:

    These new catagories are awesome! I can’t wait to go for the CHOM on my 2500 watt electric bike! I no longer will be burdened with all the guilt I’ve been riding with. Does this mean I can do NPR guiltfree?

    • Admin says:

      No. Guilt is never free.

      • Jeff Miskimins says:

        Guilt shmilt I’m gonna lead ur Wanky ass out at 35 mph on NPR while I get pelted with SPY water bottles from all the other jealous wankers who “just want a level playing field” As Lance put it, “Fuck them” and preceded to unlevel the playing field like never before! That’s not cheating, that’s winning in his book! Period!

      • Admin says:

        If you’re gonna lead anybody out on NPR, you’ll need more than 35mph to come around Johnny W., Eric A., Jon D. et al. Maybe 45 and you’ll draw even with them…

      • Jeff Miskimins says:

        U mean they’re starting their sprint @45mph?! Seriously?

      • Admin says:

        Dude, some of the big dongs have hit 50 in the tailwind finish, even Shrimpy Dick.

      • Jeff Miskimins says:

        Jesus Christ! What the he’llare they turning, 56×11?@ 120rpm? So much for doing NPR..,

      • Admin says:

        I have no idea. I see them from a couple of zip codes twice removed.

      • Jeff Miskimins says:

        Man, something is a bit askew here. U think some of them are juicing? And I don’t mean Jamba Juicing either!

      • Admin says:

        I hope they are! That’s the only excuse I have left. I mean, it’s impossible that you and I suck and they’re better, right?

      • Jeff Miskimins says:

        Ha! I know I suck ass but Jesus Christ 50mph from some guy named shrimpy dick?! Fuck me man. I mean what the fuck is he fucking on? Jesus! Fucking depressing. I could train 24/7/365 and wouldn’t even get close.

      • Admin says:

        Shrimpy Dick rules!

  • Lies says:

    Did anyone bother to read the Strava Blog? This shit is fake, it even sounds fake. Stop being so gullible.

    • Admin says:

      Wow, you are so clever. Really? You mean some of the things on a PARODY FUCKING WEBSITE aren’t true? Who knew?

    • Rev says:

      Really… what gave it away? Pighunter Mountain?? LOL. Gullible. The irony is killing me

      • Admin says:

        PT Barnum said it best, too bad he was talking about Mrs. WM, who came up to me after the “Lance Tots Expelled from Preschool Newsflash” and said, indignantly, “That’s just not a right thing onna tiny kids. That’s a bad thing onna little kids.”

        “Honey, it was a fucking joke.”

        “You make a dumb joke cause ain’t nobody onna laughin at it. Joke is for a laughin, not somebody think you’re makin a news story and wanna call the police. Next time you’re makin onna joke, make it for a laughing one.”

  • Now that you’ve written this, I will never feel alone again.

  • EPOM David Anthony (caught doping EPO on GranFondoNYC and admitted to racing doped) still has many KOMs (or close) listed on Strava on popular segments. Makes me wince every time I see them.

  • Popper says:

    then there is the DOM (douchebag of the mountains), who, while legitimately fast, is so boastful and audacious that he/she annoys the fuck out of all his/her riding buddies, thereby alienating them for life.

  • swissbob says:

    How about the guy who leaves his computer on driving home to take the KOM from 28.7 to 45.6.
    BTW there really is/was a guy named Dudley P. Fudpucker. I remember finding it in the phone book as a kid many years ago. We got a lot of yucks about it in grade school.

  • Studly says:

    What about POMs? Posuer of the Mountain from those that get KOM’s on a segment that is so long and hard that only 6 people can complete it.

    Hey, Elmer is the friggin man! PigHumper Mountain Rules!!!!!

  • Absolutely loved the post. Strava has become our penis enlargement pill, if it could only correct the temporary side-effect of ED that comes with all that riding.

  • Mike says:

    If this is how strava operates, I don’t want any part of it.

  • Endo-Snob says:

    Of course, this is why those of us who know, use Endomondo. We’re only in it for the calories and miles.

  • ShoAir Mike says:

    Saw from Strava you live in PV. You should create a segment down one of those steep slopes that ends just across a busy intersection, then drive down it in your car with the Garmin on. You’re sure to get some knucklehead to try and beat it at any cost. Be sure to put the heart monitor on your dog so it looks like a real segment.

    • Admin says:

      Yeah, I tried that, but when I saw the new fake record I’d set, I reflexively jumped on my bike and tried to beat it. Three surgeries and a personal injury lawsuit later, I’m finally back to my old self.

  • Stefanovich says:

    THOM of the day goes to Carl!!! http://app.strava.com/segments/1034346 Great work Carl: 39.3 MPH up 8% nice!

    What about OOM – Ol’ Skool of the Mountains: this guy refuses to upgrade his 1996 vintage Garmin 103. It took 3 samples during the climb up mt. palomar and, in doing so, took your KOM. This guy wins on asymptotes – watch for him rummaging the bargin-bins at inter-bike looking for last year’s shit.

    • ShoAir Mike says:

      Ah, I see “Stefanovich” is your pen name. You are really Stephen Lavery. Who else would know that segment.

      And quit picking on us KOM guys. Sure I’ve only only got one KOM and it’s on a 0.05 mile segment by my house that nobody rides. And sure, I made multiple Strava accounts so it looks like others ride it too. But I’m in the Strava record book!

  • Kevin says:

    I plan on opening a all new Strava account and take everything from everyone on a motor cycle …… not stupid fast ,but faster then everyone . hahahahaha . I also tied my Garmen to my dog .

  • studette says:

    i got over 1K watts of power for five minutes on my profile doing THOM. Strava, i luv you

  • mrbillmccoy says:

    What about a NOM(Ninja of the Mountain)? For the rider who in the fall of night steals all your KOMs by 2 seconds… Nothing makes me want to ride harder the next day than getting a visit from the NOM!

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