Strava KOM/QOM Hunting


I haven’t owned any KOMs so not sure how I would feel about losing one. I don’t think I would worry about someone on a group ride - how would that individual feel if someone in the bunch of a pro race took their KOM? Would they still report it?

I once created a very short segment, but purely out of curiosity. A new bridge was being built that I cheekily rode down (brand new surface, nice incline so you can get up great speed) before it had opened and I wanted to see who else had done the same.


I’ll be honest — I’ve flagged a total of 1 KOM I lost. Got the notification and had a look at the guys effort…ALL his speeds (max, average, etc) were slower than mine yet somehow they gave him a faster time. I flagged mostly because I wanted to ask the KOM people how things operate behind the scenes. After I learned about their dodgy GPS tech I pretty much abandoned hunting segments.

Strava art, on the other hand… :wink:


I must admit to flagging a few rides. All of them (apart from 2) were activities that took place in a vehicle. Obviously the persons had forgotten to stop recording their rides after putting the bike on the car before driving home. The other two rides - one was a horse, and the other was an ebike.

There are a few KOMs round my way that I a suspicious about. There’s always a few in any area that carry the biggest bragging rights. One of such, I’m pretty certain, has been juiced. However, a KOM is a KOM regardless of how you got it - group ride/TT bike etc.


I have a local KOM that’s somewhat competitive, but also in an interesting spot. I had a few tries before I finally got it from the person holding it. I got a note from him; “Enjoy the daily Strava emails :)!”
I didn’t quite understand right away, but it became clear pretty quickly.

Lots of people park their cars and ride from close to this location, so almost daily you get some person who goes for a ride, gets back to their car and forgets to turn their iphone or garmin off, and drives home with it on. The short 2.5min hill on a bike then gets done in a car and they magically take the KOM. Strava then sends you the “you’ve lost your KOM” notification email.

A quick look will tell you whether it was car or bike, and I’d never flag one that was just simply faster on a bike.


Or you look at a ride and the person has KOM/QOM’d 15 segments at an average speed of 85km/h :smiley:


I find the biggest tell is the 0-65 speed differences, and then steady speed. Usually really easy to spot at a glance in a strava file.


There ‘was’ a website called KOM Defender - basically it did a Weekly trawl of your Strava rides, and highlighted any rides it thought might be suspicious, and sent a weekly email through for you to review.

It worked really well, and helped (IMHO) keep Strava reasonably honest.

Sadly, Strava changed something in the back end, and the guy could no longer access certain bits, so closed down the website.


I don’t take KOMs seriously but I do enjoy trying to steal them sometimes if it fits with my training. For example, there is a local bunch ride that has a segment for the route. 35km length and the KOM averages 44km/h, I’m juuuuust off being able to steal this solo but even if I miss it a 50 minute FTP effort is fun and definitely benefits my fitness (also if i managed to steal a chaingang/bunch ride kom i’d be stoked!).

I agree with what a lot of others have said, go steal all the KOMs that bloke has because he was being a jerk.


As someone who is not targeting KOMs because he is not capable I find this completely laughable


I mainly use strava segments for tracking my off road performance gains. I don’t use a PM on my mountain bike so it’s a great way of seeing how my indoor training translates to outdoors performance.


Had a look at one of my old KOMs which has since been “poached”.
I’m now 3rd. Guy in 2nd was in a vehicle and didn’t X his app (16km in 16 hours).


#3 (me)

(single speed powah!!!)

Sooo…according to Strava, doing less of EVERYTHING makes you faster!?! :thinking::rofl::face_with_raised_eyebrow:

KOMs – flawed by design.


LOL, like I said above: Strava KOM/QOM Hunting

The easiest short segment KOM cheat - turn on smart recording and go target something 0.1 miles / 0.16km or shorter! Even better - race side-by-side with someone using 1 sec recording and you use smart recording for the win!


All right @Captain_Doughnutman after seeing your up and to the right TSS chart I’m inspired to have a new outcome goal for 2019… if I work hard on my TR training progression (process goal), and my “aero” (err, ahem, wait for a rare east wind) then its possible to KOM this lengthy segment and in the process beat a local Pro, Cat 4, and P/1/2 on the only public Strava segment that I created. Improve the diesel engine for the win!


What’s up with those Rally guys?! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
There are pros in orange who ride here who have gone out and bagged all the big/hard KOMs…simply because they can?? :man_shrugging: Like being a pro rider isn’t enough for them??

At least in a race, a win is a win w/o all the bizzaro BS.


well, he was U23 that year and not a true Pro yet… and its a lightly traveled route that I mistakenly made public (all the “real” riders live in and around Folsom). Honestly its one of my private routes made public. My best time was into a light 4mph headwind. Even this far inland there is almost always a headwind coming from the ocean 60 miles away. And 3 stop signs and one sketch 90 degree left turn. In other words, it is an awesome segment to go out and test yourself.


That’s the thing…why would I ascribe to something whose crappy technology – and not my legs & lungs – decides how fast I am?


To be honest I use long segments (no gps issues) and power and Veloviewer to measure progress. Strava leaderboards are just time and you can’t sort on power bests. Any KOM is just a bonus.


Where I live, the most ‘prized’ KOMs are also covered by the Tour of Britain. All the locals expected to see the leader boards getting destroyed. That simply didn’t happen. The climb segments weren’t in/on key points in the stage and the pros just ticked up them. That said, their ‘tick’ would have been my flat out!

So there are a few local riders who have inflated bragging rights and really can say ‘I’m fast than ****** up ******’. That does make me smile.


I created a single segment, a fun, fast 1km stretch with a ramp at the end…thought I had the KOM cuz I created it — nope!! Some guy a couple years ago walloped it. Turns out he’s a current 2x world champ MTB. I don’t mind bragging that only a WC is faster than me! :man_facepalming::stuck_out_tongue:


Definitely in the “KOMs are fun; you should be pleased if you take one but not despondent if you lose it” camp.

Had a holiday in St Ives (South-West UK) last July, and just for “fun”, did some anaerobic efforts up the hill behind where I was staying. I grabbed the KOM, but 2 days later I lost it.

I assumed that someone had got the notification and then gone out to win it back, but when I looked at the ride, it was from 3 months before, in April! Couldn’t quite get my head around that one…