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Strava has a new type of leaderboard, rewarding consistency, not speed.
Local Legends leaderboards are based on the number of times a rider completes a segment, not how fast they ride. The top rank on a Local Legend leaderboard goes to the rider who has completed a given segment the most times in a rolling 90-day window.
Strava is rolling out the new leaderboards region-by-region, beginning with California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. The rest of the US, plus Spain, the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Japan will get Local Legends in July, with the rest of the world to follow.
What Local Legends looks like, and how to find it
The leaderboards won’t look like the segment leaderboards Strava is currently known for – a ranked list, based on times on a segment. Instead, riders will see a histogram showing where their efforts fall relative to other riders.
For now, Local Legends is only available on Strava’s mobile app. A web version is coming. Free Strava users will see their own effort count, plus the number of efforts completed by the current Local Legend. Subscribers see the full histogram, indicating where they stand among all riders who have ridden the segment in the last 90 days.
There are a few ways to find the Local Legends leaderboards. The easiest is to open up the mobile app, click on one of your activities, and then click on a segment. A new Local Legends section will appear, listing the current leader. Tap that section and you’ll see the histogram.
You can also find your own Local Legends achievements from your profile page, or via the segment explore section by clicking on a segment. Again, on mobile only, for now.
Is it … fun?
The value of Strava, for many of us, is as a motivational tool. So on that front, a leaderboard dedicated to consistency and frequency of activity is a good step – it opens up ways to “win” on Strava to more than just the fastest riders. It makes the service more inclusive.
A quick glance at the top Local Legends on many of the popular segments here in Boulder, Colorado suggests that it’s a pretty good match for the current Everesting craze, too. Riding the same climb 20 times in one day is a good way to jump to the top of the Local Legends leaderboard. Frequent bike commuters are likely to become Locally Legendary, too.
We’d like to see Strava focus its lens on the opposite end of the spectrum as well. Last year, we wrote about Wandrer, a service that uses Strava data to determine how many unique miles you’ve ridden. Quite the opposite of Local Legends, Wandrer incentivizes discovery and adventure rather than riding the same place over and over again.
Both have their merits, of course. Any ride is a good ride. We simply hope that this is the first step in Strava branching out into more types of competition, suited to different types of riders, who ride in different ways. That’s what makes the service fun, after all.