Marc Pro - Strava

Cycling Team

The invention of Strava has provided an unique inner-competition to everyday cycling, the KOM.  Ride up a climb with your GPS, upload that data to Strava and you can instantly compare your performance against anyone else who has done the same route.  If you manage to ride up that climb faster than anyone else, you are now the new King of the Mountain, for everyone on the internet to see.  Strava allows you to bask in your own glory as the virtual wall of trophies grow on your KOM wall.

However, if you are too old, fat, slow or lazy - and as a result your Strava KOM wall is filled with cobwebs instead of shiny gold icons - I have some methods you can use to "dope" yourself into cycling internet climbing super-stardom.  Just like Micheal Rasmussen!

CREATE IMPOSSIBLE KOMS

Strava allows you to create your own KOM segments.  If you have the fastest time on these personal segments, it's still worth a trophy.  To insure you have a KOM that no-one else can break, create one that ends inside your house.  That's right, ride straight through your front door (lock it behind you) and end your ride at the refrigerator.  As long as you keep your doors locked, no-one will beat the KOM that ends at a sandwich in your kitchen.

DRIVE TO THE CLIMB

The KOMs that I am most proud of are ones that I set 4-5 hours into a ride.  If someone comes along and beats these KOMs, I always check how far into their ride they were when they beat them.  Setting a KOM at mile 10 is a lesser feat than setting a KOM at mile 100.  However, if you need to stroke your internet ego and add some trophies to your wall, start driving to the base of KOMs.  Find KOMs that are deep into a typical cycling route, load up your 2-wheel drive SUV with your bike and park right at the foot of the climb.  Use your trainer to warm-up, then hammer it up that climb, fresh as a daisy.  Steal those KOMs from other riders who actually worked to get there.

Motorized Assistance

Fossil fueled engines can propel you faster than your legs, it's a fact.  But I'm not suggesting your install a motor in your down-tube like ole' Fabian Cancellara, that's far too complicated.  I'm suggesting you put your bike on your roof rack, turn on your GPS and drive your hipster-hybrid Subaru wagon to the top of the climb.  As you crest the ascent after setting an unbeatable KOM record at 45 mph, get out of your car and salute like you just won Alpe D'huez.

UH OH, YOU'RE BUSTED

On the main page of every Strava ride, there is a little "Actions" menu above the map.  This actions menu allow you to "Flag a Ride."  You are basically calling bullshit on the performance.  So the next time some moron leaves his GPS on while he drives home from a ride and smashes your KOMs at 70 mph, flag that ride.  When some idiot makes a KOM that involves riding through Whole Foods, then up the climb, flag that ride.  Call out the posers, sneaks and liars and help make a better Strava for everyone.  Or cheat your way to a wall of unbreakable trophies and enjoy all the fortune, women and power that come with internet cycling fame.
If you want to join in the fun of Strava and earn (or steal) some KOMs, it is now 100% free.  Check it out.
Author and team member NICK SCHAFFNER can be found online at 53x11.com, on Twitter @ 53x11, breaking records on STRAVA and racing via USA Cycling license #187296.

Read all 68 Blog Posts by Nick Schaffner


Reader Comments (20)

Yeah. The easiest way to cheat is to avoid your KOM segments unless you are on a group ride. Since you can no-longer flag rides as group who would know that they aren't solo efforts (just make sure no Strava members are on the ride with you - or, at least don't "follow" them in Strava).

Aug 23 2011

Durishin says...


Never mind those effort filled antics mentioned above. All you need is a .tcx file, a xml editor and a Strava acct. A little change-a-roo to vital records and fields and BINGO we have more KOMs than a dope filled Spaniard. All achieved behind out desktop PCs and without a Garmin, bike or ass-blisters.

Aug 24 2011

mo-money says...


One sly tactic is to make sure your initial speed at the beginning of a KOM portion is as high as you can make it. So, if a KOM starts at a crossroad where you can take a flying downhill into the KOM start, especially in ones where most people would be coming from another, less descending direction, you have an advantage that isn't exactly a cheat. This works best on short KOMs. Ummmmm, or so I've heard.

Aug 24 2011

MisterLump says...


I recently "earned" a couple of KOM's on the current trip to France. The first was up the Champs Elyese - key here was going early. The second one was here in the Dordogne where I am staying. Found a steep hill - named it and then came back the next day and "bingo" - KOM. Tried it again today up another hill - found out I was second - someone else had already been up this rather obscure hill. Busted. Strava does bring a new meaning to riding - RFS - ride for Strava. I may be addicted.

Aug 25 2011

Rick says...


[...] How to cheat at Strava. [...]

Aug 26 2011

Weekend report » Cyclelicious says...


I accidentally cheated up a climb when I held on to the team car on the Santa Susana Pass. I might be the worst climber on the planet. Oops.

Sep 18 2011

Stefan says...


Just got back from a ride to Laguna Beach and logged my ride. Interesting to see that someone posted a 2:22 up Park Drive (1.3 mile, 11.2% grade, Cat 3 climb) that professional Mtn Biker Manny Prado could only manage 10:13 on. Glenwood West- (0.7 miles @ 5.7%: the top three placers did between 32 & 41.5mph going uphill; 4th place and lower was less than 12.8mph. Any Pro teams looking for a few good riders; come to Orange County!

Mar 30 2012

Joe B. says...


yeah, no idea what "Durishin" was talking about in his comment

Jun 23 2012

DezeenBiker says...


DEZEENBIKER- he's saying that group rides are usually faster than solo rides, so if you get a KOM on a group ride, nobody will know (unless there's someone else with Strava in your group ride).

Jul 8 2012

Darth_Firebolt says...


I turned Strava on, on my iPhone while flying over the route in a helicopter, and set a KOM record of 157mph! Haha! Ni knew it would be removed, but the screenshot I took will last forever!

Sep 6 2012

Sherman says...


Hey! Group ride KOMs are OK. The Tour de France is not a time trial every day, you know..

Sep 10 2012

Ivan says...


[...] faster. It also appears as though some are even shortcutting switchbacks and finding other ways to cheating, (2), [...]

Sep 11 2012

Don’t be a Stravatard | The GPS Geek says...


Lolz... nice bro!!! I especially like da idea when u rode into ur house... creative... :-)

Feb 11 2013

Anonymous says...


Or cheat your way to a wall of unbreakable trophies and enjoy all the fortune, women and power that come with internet cycling fame. Isn't this why everyone is on strava?

Feb 26 2013

Avarts says...


[...] you bastards – and you can’t help but suspect some of the times are posted by cheats (this post title isn’t encouraging), in general it’s actually quite fun to be told when you’ve hit [...]

Feb 28 2013

Strava, the P.E. teacher in your pocket | Really Fat Cyclist says...


Yeah... I can't wait for all the fame and women I'm going to get with my collection of QOMs :/

May 21 2013

Leeanne Corvan says...


Thanks for this blog, I'd like to use it as a reference in my last blog post if that's okay with you. And from now on, all of my Strava rides will end next to my refrigerator. Cheers!

Aug 12 2013

Mark says...


Of course you are over analysing this.....it's quite simple, just register on Strava as Female....eh Voila every ride is littered with KOM's (sorry QOM's).

Mar 29 2014

Mark says...


Why you would like to get records in this way? So it's not a challenge...

Jul 12 2014

Niels says...


Honestly, a how-to on Strava cheating? Grats on your BS records, poseurs. Be sure and tell all your friends about your KOMs. Just make sure they never see you ride.

Aug 13 2014

Jon says...


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