Why did Strava Remove Challenge Leaderboards?

Some friendly competition never hurt

As the monthly ritual for Strava users seems to go, browsing through the month’s challenge rankings after a ride is a fun way to gauge your efforts against the Strava community worldwide. However so far through January, Strava has removed the challenge leaderboards from the website and app altogether without releasing an official response beforehand, which has caused backlash in the Strava community.

Strava users are now unable to compare results in the challenges to find where they stand in the community.

Users have posted there questions and complaints across the site and on social media. Even a Strava club has been created “in protest” of the changes.

However a recent Strava Support thread has revealed some answers. Strava is upgrading the site and this is just part of the process.

A reply from Strava employee Katie on the thread is the only official response to the situation we’ve been able to find.

It stated that a recent change to Strava Challenges, intended to enhance the experience, enabled additional activities to count towards certain challenge goals. Including some challenges now allow activities with certain restricted visibility settings to count towards a challenge goal as well.

In order to make these changes, Strava stated that “leaderboards were temporarily removed,” which we believe means that some technical difficulties on Strava’s end, made accommodating the updates to create a fair ranking system require some extra time.

But as the message implies, Strava is listening to the community’s concerns, and does plan on bringing back Strava Challenge leaderboards.

We recently made a change to the way Strava challenges work that adds additional functionality to the experience. Most notably, you may notice:

  • Some challenges will allow additional activity types to count towards the challenge goal (e.g. walking, hiking, swimming, skiing, paddle boarding).
  • Some challenges will allow activities with visibility settings set to “followers” or “only me” to count towards the challenge goal.

As part of these changes, leaderboards were temporarily removed from Strava challenges. We recognize that leaderboards enable friendly competition and play an important role in your challenge experience. The team is working on ways to bring the same or similar functionality to them as soon as possible.


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