Strava segment times dependant on equipment?
I think Strava is a cool gadget, and have been using it for a few weeks. I ride with a guy who I always leave on the downhills (if I'm in front). If he leads downhill I'm right on his tire. His Strava ranking on downhill segments is usually higher than mine (whaaaa!). I have an ETrex that I keep in a backpack. He has a more high-falootin GPS mounted to the bar, equipped with a wheel sensor. Does better equipment make your Strava times faster?
In your case, it isn't the equipment but where you put it.
Originally Posted by veryavgwhtguy
It might make them faster. Or it might make him slower. The way Strava interprets GPS tracklog data is, in a word, crude.
It has to round to the trackpoints nearest the beginning and end of the segment when it selects the interval over which to record your time.
If the KOM showdown is between 2 riders with Garmins set to one-second logging, the result is pretty accurate. But mix in guys with smart phone apps or Garmins set for smart recording and the whole premise on which "Strava racing" is built starts to fall apart. I've ridden side-by-side up climbs with friends and had Strava report 5 and 6-second gaps when using phone apps.
If you really want to know if the KOM is legit, you need to look for odd graphs with raceshape.com or directly check the GPX files against each other.
It's a pretty fundamental problem, given that almost all the big segments in-town have gaps of maybe 5 seconds between first and fifth place. Strava has been promising to fix it for a year now with a inter-point interpolation but now I'm thinking that they can't, or maybe they don't want to, given that it would rearrange the pecking order on almost every segment, and nobody seems to know or care.
In the meantime, if you want to be sure you're the real KOM, you basically have to crush everyone with a 5 second gap or more. Otherwise, a GPS rounding error might steal your 'victory'.