Zwift Strava Segment Update: New Segments and the “Activity Type Hack”

Zwift Strava Segment Update: New Segments and the “Activity Type Hack”

We wanted to share a quick update with Zwifters regarding Strava segments.

As you may already know, on January 27, 2021 Strava made some major changes to Zwift segments: they marked everyone’s segments as private (so only the creator can see them) except for those created by Zwift Insider’s account. They also removed “(Zwift Insider verified)” from all of our segments, since that wasn’t really needed anymore because only our segments were visible!

Since then, we’ve received a ton of feedback from Zwifters requesting new segments. Others have questioned Strava’s decision (which we were not involved in).

Long-Term Plan?

Give Strava’s poor ability to determine which segments to hide or show (I’ve written about this before), we think Zwift and Zwifters would be best-served by Zwift taking control of the list of segments available in-game. It’s a core part of Zwift’s product experience, after all.

This would only work, though, if Zwift is able to quickly create segments for new roads, and respond well to community input when it comes to creating “extra” segments (for long climbs without leaderboards, for instance).

We’re talking to ZwiftHQ about what this may look like, but there’s nothing close to a firm plan yet. Until a better solution arrives, we’ll do our best to create needed segments beyond the 400+ we’ve already created.

New Segments

Since Strava’s big shakeup we’ve been hard at work creating a pile of segments that don’t correspond to known routes or leaderboards in game. This includes segments like KOM descents, or key climbs with no leaderboards. Here is the complete list of what we’ve created after everyone’s segments were privatized:

See our complete list of verified Zwift Strava segments >

More to Come

There are a lot of segments that still need to be created. This includes running route segments, misc France and Paris segments, and plenty of misc segments in Watopia and elsewhere. Please be patient, and we’ll try to get them created ASAP.

Matching New Segments to Old Rides

One question that has popped up a lot recently is how to get your old Zwift rides to match new Strava segments. The answer to this is a bit weird.

It used to be that newly-created Zwift Strava segments wouldn’t match up with older efforts unless you did the “Activity Type Hack” explained below. But we’re finding that our new segments are in fact being matched to old activities… but it doesn’t seem consistent.

Example: I created the new Watopia Figure 8 Reverse segment on 1/28/2021. It is now showing activities from back in 2017, but has yet to match a single personal activity of mine.

The only reliable, quick way we’ve found to get Strava to match new segments to your old activity is the “Activity Type Hack” which can by done in the mobile app or via a web browser. It’s an easy process, but you have to do it for every activity you want new segments on, so that’s the pain.

  1. Edit your activity, changing it to any other type of activity besides Virtual Cycling
  2. Save the change
  3. Go in and change it back to Virtual Cycling. All done!

Here’s a video walk-through:

(If you use Strava in your web browser it’s even easier, as it says it’s changing the activity type, but it never actually does! So it attemps to change the activity type, and in doing so picks up new segments – but you don’t have to go back in and change it back to Virtual Cycling because the change doesn’t stick.)

Segment Length Requirement

Many Zwifters have requested the creation of segments that are too short. This includes some of the newer sprint sections that launched after Strava put this limit in place.

Strava’s limit seems to be 300m, which is ludicrous given their length limit doesn’t take gradient into account. Certain Alpe du Zwift turn-to-turn segments can’t be created due to the limit, and we all know those sections aren’t short!

We’ve reached out to Zwift and Strava about the possibility of lifting that limit for the Zwift Insider account, but haven’t heard anything back. Our guess is it’s a hard-coded limit that is system-wide, and they can’t easily fix it just for us.

Open to Suggestions

We asked people for segment ideas on the original Strava update post, and so far there are 228 comments! Please post your segment suggestions there so we have them all in one place.

Feel free to comment below if you have specific questions or ideas other than segment suggestions.

Ride on!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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M. D. S. Günther
M. D. S. Günther
2 months ago

The 300m limit is unfortunate, I think there are some sprints that are too short as well.
Thank you for your effort, being chosen as the official strava segment creator sure has downsides. “With great power comes great responsibility” 😛

curtis
curtis (@crepen)
2 months ago

“Cometh the hour, cometh the Zwift Insider!”

Thomas Christiansen
Thomas Christiansen
2 months ago

Regarding segments. Can anyone explain the discrepancy between average speed of a certain segment when viewed in “analysis” compared to the “overview”.

On today’s ride with Fabian on “The Magneficent 8” I avg. 38.3 km/h (45:22 / 244watts) according to the overview. But when selecting “Analyze” avg. speed for the same segment is suddenly 40.2 km/h (still 45:22 / 244watts).
Same distance, time, watts… but 1.9 km/h faster!

Screenshot 2021-02-04 at 20.34.05.png
Thomas Christiansen
Thomas Christiansen
2 months ago

Analyze:

Screenshot 2021-02-04 at 20.34.34.png
C.R3
C.R3
2 months ago

I would think under analyzed Strava just ‘integrates’ the data points …

L.B.
L.B.
2 months ago

Thanks for all the work you’re doing on behalf of the community, Eric, you’re awesome!

Ziizii
Ziizii
2 months ago

I only noticed something had changed when I expected a PR om Innsbruck KOM and didn’t even get a bronze medal. For a second I was worried all the Zwift Insider segments had been deleted. When checking “My Results” though, I did indeed see all my previous rides. 

Is this lack of “medals” on Strava related to the segment renaming? 

Jurrien
Jurrien
2 months ago

I don’t fully understand what is being said in this article. For years, I have been hiding all segments that are not labeled with (Zwift Insider Verified). I have hidden 100s of segments. Lately I noticed that sometimes a route did not have any (Zwift Insider verfified) labelled segments. I thought you for some reason did not create these segments yet. Are you now saying that all the (Zwift Insider verified) segments are superseded by ones that are not marked as Zwift Insider Verfified and that all Zwift segments belong to Zwift Insider within Strava? So what does this mean… Read more »

Jurrien
Jurrien
2 months ago
Reply to  Jurrien

Also, if its indeed true that all Zwift segments are now only from Zwift Imsider, then how come there is “Virtual TdF 2020 – stage 5 – la reine (Veloviewer)” as a segment?

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

Eric, thanks for all your work on these segments, over the years and especially since the shakeup. It’s insane that both Strava and Zwift are relying on a third-party volunteer to manage and maintain a key part of the infrastructure that tens of thousands of users on both platforms rely on every day. Your segments have always been the best ones out there, and the system is definitely a lot cleaner now that they are (almost) the only ones out there. Your hard work is much appreciated — keep fighting the good fight!

Seb Herrod
Seb Herrod
2 months ago

The segments on Strava are a complete waste of time. Unless you compare your own times in a free ride the leaderboard is completely messed up by the ‘keep together’ function on meetups. Many times riders get tailed off their group and ‘fly’ up climbs or through segments as the game tries to get them back in contact with their meetup. Someone in my meetup the other day did 25kph up the radio tower, which is of course completely unrealistic

Temps 09
Temps 09 (@quatre24)
2 months ago

Thanks for doing this. It is a good thing to have just the needed segments than a mess of segments on strava. Use yours to see how I am improving on zwift rides.

Rory O'Conor
Rory O'Conor
2 months ago

Well I used the activity hack to convert my real ride of 22-Dec into a Virtual Ride, which gives me the Yorkshire KOM segment and a lot of riding that is unique in virtual Yorkshire. However, I don’t seem to be able to convert it back into a normal ride! So maybe it is a deliberate Strava ‘feature’.

Carl J
Carl J
2 months ago
Reply to  Rory O'Conor

If you have the original file, you can just re-upload it.
May be able to download the file from Strava (not if it was a fit file previously) and re-upload. You’ll have to change the activity Id in the file so that it’s considered a duplicate (which Strava then won’t add)

Davis
Davis
2 months ago

this Is one of the few strava changes that I really like. People make so many stupid segments, it’s good to have a more controlled reduced list.

RacingRalph
RacingRalph
2 months ago

While there were too many segments on Zwift, we went from one extreme to another. Eric do a great job opening new ones. But I really miss many race segments. Like two times Richmond or for today’s TTT 3 times hilly route reverse. Therefore, I see this deletion of segments as a huge step back. Now I can not compare our team effort with older rides easily.

Marc
Marc
2 months ago

Thank you for your work in adding segments back for the notable places – it’s much appreciated!

Tobi McTobeface
Tobi McTobeface
2 months ago

Just what we need, Zwift to take control of segments with do doubt a >18 month zoon approach to all things. Too intens for me

Jwiffle
Jwiffle
2 months ago

On desktop, can’t you just refresh activity achievements? Then you don’t have to do activity hack

josh
josh
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

once the majority of segments have been made, maybe we can convince strava to recalculate all segments on virtual rides, because as of now the hack method is pretty tedious, i can ‘t imagine doing it on all my rides. right now i’m just focusing on races….

WesFree
2 months ago
Reply to  Jwiffle

That method is VERY long, and does not work. Believe me – just force an activity change (it won’t stick in the Browser version) and the segments will be matched anew.

Alastair
Alastair
2 months ago
Reply to  WesFree

Forcing an activity changes brings in new segments but after doing a load i noticed some rides weren’t adding new segments in.I clicked on refresh activity achievements and this then worked. So it would appear it might need both methods to be sure. Surely with more new segments to come Strava need to sort out a way of matching them to old rides.

Carl J
Carl J
2 months ago

Eric, are you not worried that Strava will react in not a good way, by you adding a lot more segments? Or have they given you carte Blanche to do so? Seems like the reason why they cleaned up the segments because they’re was too many.
So the descent segments actually show up? I know IRL, depending on the grade, they’d be flagged as dangerous and hidden at the bottom. I swear I’ve seen the same before with Zwift. Unless they’re allowing them for virtual rides.

Mitchell
Mitchell (@mitchell)
2 months ago

So, Eric, is this going to lead to the ultimate Veloviewer leaderboard which contains all Zwift Insider verified segments whereby we can establish who is the best Zwifter of all time 😉

Claus Jensen
Claus Jensen
2 months ago

I was thrilled about the cleanup of segments. Not so thrilled about you going on a rampage adding every new segment your users can think up. Please don’t just replace everybody else’s mess with your own new mess. There’s no reason for having every little feature on Watopia covered by a Strava segment 🙁

Claus Jensen
Claus Jensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Claus Jensen

Or maybe it’s not just you going on a rampage – are you sure, you are the only one who can create segments, Eric? I was getting a bit annoyed after ZRL this week with no less than 12 segments on each lap, but they don’t seem to be yours (I didn’t create any…)

Skærmbillede 2021-02-05 kl. 11.42.56.png
Mitchell
Mitchell (@mitchell)
2 months ago
Reply to  Claus Jensen

In the time it’s taken you to post twice* you could have hidden the unwanted segments in at least two rides.

*whine

Claus Jensen
Claus Jensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

So someone else can create segments it seems like. I’m afraid that will just lead to a new mess, then.

Claus Jensen
Claus Jensen
2 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Glad to hear that – I just saw my rides go from very few segments to over-crowded again in no time. But if you create all the sensible segments. And someone else does too and… then the mess will soon be back. Do you know, why there are segments from others than you?

David Barndollar
David Barndollar (@barnwani)
2 months ago

Thanks for all this segment work, Eric. I have more of a Strava question than a virtual segment question, but they’re related: When Zwift changed the Jungle Circuit from tarmac to gravel, the segment became, in general, a whole lot slower for everyone. Thus we still have recorded times on Strava from the pre-gravel days on the segment, but in practice it’s no longer the same segment (different resistance characteristics). Speaking for myself, I am nowhere near able to match those older times despite being currently a lot more fit and speedy in Zwift in general than I was. Is… Read more »

Jonathan Sweet
Jonathan Sweet
2 months ago

Hi Eric, do you know why Strava activities before Dec 2017 have been mapped to these new segments, but no newer activities? Seems a bit odd?

curtis
curtis (@crepen)
2 months ago

Thanks for your work on this Eric. I can’t believe Strava can’t have an intern write a script to walk backwards through all Zwift activities and provoke the segment refresh without expecting users to go back through potentially 5 years of Flat Route

sven
sven
2 months ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the work you are doing!

Dan Kauffman
Dan Kauffman
2 months ago

Please don’t pollute it to the point that there are a hundred segments for a 10mile ride like before…

Paul
Paul
2 months ago

Thanks for the work Eric! Could you perhaps have a look at Northumberland Avenue results? Lots of people seem to be going “up” the 4.1% climb at 30mph and it doesn’t actually match their ride route. Not sure what is going on there but it seems way off.

Sherpa Dave
Sherpa Dave (@dashton)
2 months ago

Damn… you’ve been busy

Hybrid Noob
Hybrid Noob
2 months ago

Great work Eric and very much appreciated! One thing missing, that was flagged up during a rather painful Mega Pretzel Gran Fondo ride today, was the lack of a segment taking in the Epic KOM reverse from the jungle start and likewise the descent on the way back into the jungle. I guess this is because it cuts out the start of the reverse Epic KOM as a result of coming from the jungle. Given this section of road is a 15 minute+ climb for most and a long descent coming back it would be great to have those two… Read more »

Hybrid Noob
Hybrid Noob
2 months ago
Reply to  Hybrid Noob

You can see on the activity here https://www.strava.com/activities/4749724584 the ride segments skip from the Jungle Climb all the way to the Epic KOM descent, missing out 5km of climbing as a result.

Hybrid Noob
Hybrid Noob
2 months ago
Reply to  Hybrid Noob

…and 5km of descending on the way back, including the fan favourite kickers on the way down 😰

Denis
Denis (@deniva7)
2 months ago

Thanks for your effort!

Mark O'Neal
Mark O'Neal (@moneal)
2 months ago

Wow. Can’t believe you’re spending time on this. Kudos to you for undertaking a totally thankless job you didn’t want. Outside of a few major KOM’s why do people give a flip about Strava segments on Zwift. Maybe the Zwift folks should just fix the stupid 30 day PR thing and make it a permanent PR instead

Dan Connelly
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark O'Neal

To track progress, obviously. For example I do the Bologna Time Trial and I like to see how I compare to myself and to other riders on the climb versus the flat part of the time trial. Also Zwift numbers are useless with a 30 day limit. With so many routes, I often don’t do the same KOM more than once in a 30 day period. So Strava segments are a big part of the experience, and not just on official KOM efforts. Another example is the Epic KOM + radio tower combo. In race-type events, we pace the whole… Read more »

Fons Vandamme
Fons Vandamme (@fonsv)
2 months ago

I found a segment that is not renamed (yet) https://strava.app.link/YHFY7ItGJdb

Scott Tuthill
Scott Tuthill
2 months ago

Thanks so much for doing all of this work. You have rescued Strava on their behalf. I would have certainly not renewed my membership with them without your “improvements”

Hybrid Noob
Hybrid Noob
2 months ago

When descending from the Radio Tower the Epic KOM descent doesn’t seem to match (starts before the Radio Tower turn off perhaps?) and there is no full descent segment from the Radio Tower. This would be great, keep up the sterling work! 👍

Richard Rose
Richard Rose
2 months ago

What happened to comparing segment efforts of followers? Presumably Strava disabled that feature?

Alice
Alice (@alice-lethbridge)
1 month ago

Is there a way to stop segments vein assigned on rides that are stay together meet ups? The leaderboards are full of these and they cause real skewing and aren’t representative of true efforts

Tim
Tim
1 month ago
Reply to  Alice

You can edit your ride on strava to be followers only or private and it won’t show up on leaderboards, but no, there is no way to make these types of rides not show up on leaderboards globally for everyone.

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