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Strava vs. Ride with GPS Route Creation Thoughts

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Strava vs. Ride with GPS Route Creation Thoughts

Old 05-02-21, 04:26 AM
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kosmo886
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Strava vs. Ride with GPS Route Creation Thoughts

I typically ride with created route and had been using RWGPS primarily when I had a Wahoo computer given Strava had some issues with turn by turn prompts. This year I upgraded to a Garmin Edge 830 and that is no longer an issue. Given I use Strava for other things, the most cost effective and easiest approach would be to use Strava for routes as well. Overall I don't think Strava is quite as good as RWGPS in my limited testing so far. My biggest issue is the ability to edit a route after the fact. In RWGPS if you find a turn or something that you don't like all you need to do is drag the route line to another street on the map and everything updates. With Strava it doesn't look like this is an option unless I am missing something here? Anyone else have this experience or other thoughts?
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Old 05-02-21, 06:36 AM
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I'm only commenting on functionality of mapping, not the social aspects of the platforms.

Strava. Hands down. I know that some folks really like the RWGPS platform. But, the Strava heat maps are indispensable. I've traveled the world with a bike, and ridden in some pretty badass places, and done some gloriously epic rides...all built and routed on Strava. The Strava heat maps were critical to me not routing myself onto a road that was not suitable for a bike, in a place where I had NO F-ING clue about lateral and alternate routes. And, then they started investing in making the maps better, and more usable. Sure, I've got some gripes about their mapping algorithm, and inability to route over places that I know I can ride....but, that is not really what I need Strava for. I travel a lot and take a bike often. I need it to keep me off those roads where a bike doesn't belong. And it does that well.
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Old 05-02-21, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
In RWGPS if you find a turn or something that you don't like all you need to do is drag the route line to another street on the map and everything updates. With Strava it doesn't look like this is an option unless I am missing something here? Anyone else have this experience or other thoughts?
You can do this on Strava. It won't work on an iPad, or the mobile app, but most definitely in a browser on a laptop/desktop. Put the cursor over the route, click hold for a moment, and then move the cursor while still holding, and deposit the route on the new place, the route line will update in realtime.
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Old 05-02-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
You can do this on Strava. It won't work on an iPad, or the mobile app, but most definitely in a browser on a laptop/desktop. Put the cursor over the route, click hold for a moment, and then move the cursor while still holding, and deposit the route on the new place, the route line will update in realtime.
this doesn’t work for me for some reason. I am doing this on a computer. When clicking and holding it always wants to add some circular route or something versus just dragging an existing route over by a street or something.
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Old 05-02-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
this doesn’t work for me for some reason. I am doing this on a computer. When clicking and holding it always wants to add some circular route or something versus just dragging an existing route over by a street or something.
Two possible reasons that I can think of: you've got another waypoint that it's trying to get back to or there's an obstruction of some sort (real or imaginary) on the route that you're trying to select. That's one nice thing about RwGPS - there's a manual draw mode for times like this (though I still prefer Strava).
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Old 05-02-21, 08:14 AM
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If you're using Garmin, give connect a try. I've been using it more and more to build my routes. The user interface isn't the most intuitive, but after some playing around, I find it easier to edit routes. One downside compared to Strava is that it doesn't have as good of information on road surfaces. Like strava, it works best in a browser. You can drag routes to new roads, alter the start and finish points, and add additional waypoints as needed. All that said, I use a combo of RWGPS (free version), Strava and Connect.

One note - the last two rides I used connect for did undercount the elevation in the route projection. All the bumps were in the right place, but the estimated elevation was off.
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Old 05-02-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
This year I upgraded to a Garmin Edge 830
I only use Ride with GPS for routing, so I can't comment on it vs Strava.

But I do use a Garmin Edge 830, and I've found that its turn cues are unreliable.

I've taken to building route with RWGPS, editing the turn cues to make them sensible, then launching the RWGPS app on my iPhone, turning up the sound, and sticking it in my jersey pocket.

The voice cues are nearly perfect.
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Old 05-02-21, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I'm only commenting on functionality of mapping, not the social aspects of the platforms.

Strava. Hands down. I know that some folks really like the RWGPS platform. But, the Strava heat maps are indispensable. I've traveled the world with a bike, and ridden in some pretty badass places, and done some gloriously epic rides...all built and routed on Strava. The Strava heat maps were critical to me not routing myself onto a road that was not suitable for a bike, in a place where I had NO F-ING clue about lateral and alternate routes. And, then they started investing in making the maps better, and more usable. Sure, I've got some gripes about their mapping algorithm, and inability to route over places that I know I can ride....but, that is not really what I need Strava for. I travel a lot and take a bike often. I need it to keep me off those roads where a bike doesn't belong. And it does that well.
RideWithGPS also has heat maps
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Old 05-02-21, 01:52 PM
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The machine-generated cue sheets have a particularly difficult time with unnamed paths and pass-throughs, often "approximating" by referencing a nearby named street, which of course produces completely misleading turn directions.

I tend to treat the audio turn cues merely as an alert that I may be approaching some relevant change of direction, but mainly rely on the route-line on the map
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Old 05-02-21, 01:56 PM
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It's been a while since I've used their site, that's good to know dorkypants . I'm curious how good theirs are, because it would help explain why Strava has heavily invested in mapping (the routing functionality specifically) over the last year when they seemed to not give 2 piles of poo about it for years and years....that said Strava's heat maps have never failed me, simply because a site with millions of subscribers everywhere in the world will inherently have great data. I'm gonna go give RWGPS another look. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-02-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I'm only commenting on functionality of mapping, not the social aspects of the platforms.

Strava. Hands down. I know that some folks really like the RWGPS platform. But, the Strava heat maps are indispensable. I've traveled the world with a bike, and ridden in some pretty badass places, and done some gloriously epic rides...all built and routed on Strava. The Strava heat maps were critical to me not routing myself onto a road that was not suitable for a bike, in a place where I had NO F-ING clue about lateral and alternate routes. And, then they started investing in making the maps better, and more usable. Sure, I've got some gripes about their mapping algorithm, and inability to route over places that I know I can ride....but, that is not really what I need Strava for. I travel a lot and take a bike often. I need it to keep me off those roads where a bike doesn't belong. And it does that well.
RWGPS has Heat Maps also has Google street view, able to slice up long rides as well as a mobile platform so no need to drag a laptop on a tour.
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Old 05-03-21, 12:08 AM
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Read my post right above yours Atlas Shrugged ...

Also, when I go on tour (not since COVID...but maybe someday again)...my routes are all preplanned. I don't play jazz...I've gotten into some bad sits that way. Like I said, I'm going to give RWGPS another shot, because it sounds like they've made some worthwhile upgrades to their service.

Last edited by Badger6; 05-03-21 at 12:14 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 05-03-21, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
That's one nice thing about RwGPS - there's a manual draw mode for times like this (though I still prefer Strava).
Strava also has this, it works best when you are "drawing" manually at the terminus of the route (to that point), rather than in the middle of the route line that already exists. In essence, what I do is, draw the route to the point where I can't get it to route, change to manual, deposit my points to keep the line generally over the part I want to route over), once I've passed the "obstruction" turn off the manual routing and continue on. If you GPS maps are up to date, it'll figure it out when you import the route. The heat maps are helpful here, because in reality, there won't be prior data points if the thing I want to route onto is unridable....like steps or a steep grade/cliff.
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Old 05-03-21, 12:15 AM
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The Garmin one works well for me. I like the "give me a 50 mile loop to the south" feature when I'm feeling lazy or indecisive.

Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
my routes are all preplanned. I don't play jazz...
​​​​​​Jazz is four people playing different songs together. I guess that would be critical mass. Road is like a Bach masterpiece. 🙂
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Old 05-03-21, 12:43 AM
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Don't disagree on the Garmin routing. Though, I've seen it route onto some places that are questionable...the Garmin heat maps/popularity routing is impeded by the fact that it only draws from stat collected on a Garmin device, where Strava (and RWGPS) can pull from any device that recorded a ride and was upload to their servers. And, the Strava routing loops on the mobile app are excellent as well, I've more than once just used that to go exploring.
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Old 05-03-21, 06:37 AM
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I was a Strava premium disgruntled holdout. Refusing to pay to upgrade. I figured it was small enough beans to give in finally. The newer "personal" heatmap overlay for your routes is killer. You get to see only where you have been. Or where you have been and the normal heatmap in a different color. Has made route making sweet.

I love the personal heatmap so I don't have to remember every little cut thru or shortcut or way to get somewhere. Just look at my personal heatmap.

I turn on the global heatmap time to time just to see if everyone else thinks there's a better way on part of my route.
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Old 05-03-21, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Strava also has this, it works best when you are "drawing" manually at the terminus of the route (to that point), rather than in the middle of the route line that already exists. In essence, what I do is, draw the route to the point where I can't get it to route, change to manual, deposit my points to keep the line generally over the part I want to route over), once I've passed the "obstruction" turn off the manual routing and continue on. If you GPS maps are up to date, it'll figure it out when you import the route. The heat maps are helpful here, because in reality, there won't be prior data points if the thing I want to route onto is unridable....like steps or a steep grade/cliff.
Huh, I'll have to take another look, then - I didn't see this functionality the last time that I needed it.
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Old 05-03-21, 08:12 AM
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I've used both, for a while had the pay version of both. Decided paying for Strava and not paying for RWGPS gave me the best mix of ride analysis and route planning.

I find Strava useful when I'm planning multi-day rides in areas Ive never ridden or driven before, using the cyclist preferred route option to select routes most commonly ridden. The downside: on a 87 mile ride from Auburndale to Mt. Dora FL, nearing the end the Strava routing had me turn left, go up a short steep hill, then turn right and left to get back on the original road. Strava segments that are popular local King of the Mountain targets can distort things!

For planning out local rides, I find Ride With GPS is easier to use for creating routes.
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