Local Legend is a new challenge on Strava that awards a laurel wreath to the rider that has completed any segment the most times during a rolling 90-day period.
The new feature will sit alongside Strava’s long-standing KOM/QOM leaderboards, and has been developed specifically to address concerns over how hard it is to get onto these leaderboards in certain areas.
You’ll be all too familiar with a segment leaderboard that has been decimated by the bunch in a pro race, or a local hitter that owns every unattainable KOM/QOM in the area. This new challenge will offer a chance for the lay-cyclist to have their moment of glory.
The new challenge will instead reward dedication and, Strava argues, encourage people to get out and ride even more.
Local Legend will launch today in the USA in a beta phase for the mobile app and will be rolled out across the rest of the world, and onto the web version of Strava, in the coming weeks. Here in the UK, it is due to go live on Wednesday 15 July.
Strava says the phased rollout is required first to iron out any bugs with a smaller group of users, but also because calculating the Local Legend over 20 million segments is a huge technical undertaking.
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How do I become a Local Legend on Strava?
To become a Local Legend on Strava, you need to be the rider that has completed any given segment the most times during a rolling 90-day competition window. Anything outside of this period will not count. Private activities will also not count.
This means that, unless you literally ride the same segments every single day, the Local Legend status will change hands far more regularly than the KOM/QOM title.
There will be a separate men’s and women’s Local Legend leaderboard for each segment.
However, unlike the KOM/QOM leaderboards, there is only a laurel available for first place – that means no silver or bronze laurels for the second and third keenest beans in your local area. You will, however, get a notification if you are in the top ten.
Strava was keen to stress that, as a new feature, Local Legend will be in continuous development. Strava will be listening closely to community feedback, so exactly how the feature works may well change further down the line.
Is Local Legend a premium feature?
Last month Strava announced that long-standing free features, such as KOM/QOM leaderboards and route planning, would be moving behind a paywall. With that in mind, it is no surprise to see that only premium subscribers will be able to access the full Local Legend functionality.
Non-paying members can still participate and become a Local Legend, but you won’t be able to see where you stack up on the leaderboard outside of the top ten. You will, however, get a notification if you are in the top ten.
Premium members will also have access to a graph that will illustrate how their efforts compare to other riders, and how many repeats of the segment are required to become the Local Legend.
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Strava wasn’t afraid to say its shift towards a subscription model was necessary if the company is to become profitable.
Strava is, at the end of a day, a business, so it can’t be faulted for wanting to make money, and this transparency was refreshing.
Strava didn’t share exactly how many users have become subscribers during a briefing for the launch of Local Legend, but it’s probably safe to assume that there will be a significant number sitting on the fence.
Introducing this new feature adds increased value to Strava’s premium product, which is important if it wants to tempt these wavering riders to cough up the cash for something they had grown accustomed to accessing for free.
Of Local Legend itself, it is a more inclusive way of gamifying your riding and training that will see riders rewarded for their dedication, and we like that.
Speed will, of course, always be the ultimate arbiter of performance in cycling, and ogling at ludicrous numbers on the KOM/QOM leaderboard will never grow boring.
But for those of us not gifted with a gazelle-like VO2 max and permanent tailwinds, it’s nice to think we could be recognised for our efforts.
Only time will tell if this will be enough to get riders to pay up.
Segment updates for mobile
A new button has also been introduced at the bottom of athlete profiles, which gives you quick access to Starred Segments, QOMs/KOMs/CRs, as well as Local Legends rankings.