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Tbone2 03-31-21 04:21 PM

What is your go to app for picking a route, I just discovered Komoot and it looks pretty good wondering if I should pony up for the paid version.

indyfabz 03-31-21 06:06 PM

My limited experience is recently critiquing a route that was posted in one of the regional forums here. It had the OP crossing a causeway across a big bay. The causeway was demolished many years ago. It also had him on a “road” that is actually not a road but rather a sand covered access way for telephone lines. This was in a pretty populated area. How it missed a causeway demolition that happened at least five (and maybe 10) years ago is a mystery to me.

Tourist in MSN 04-01-21 04:38 AM

When I use it, I use the free version. If you use the free version a lot, then you need to decide how much it is worth to you. I only use it when touring, have not been on a tour for almost two years, so I do not know if it has changed.

scottfsmith 04-01-21 07:17 AM

I am new to Komoot. Well I signed up awhile ago but it never would sync routes to my Wahoo Bolt. I heard you needed to pick a plan before it worked, recently I picked the free plan on the Komoot website and now the synchronization is working. Arrrgh.

Now that it is working it seems pretty nice, the maps for me are very up to date. There is one stretch of dirt that used to be OK for bikes but Komoot knew it was not a legal bike path any more.

The way you create routes works OK. It does many glitchy annoying things like mis-interpreting a click too literally and taking you up and back someones driveway kind of thing. I am now mostly used to the glitches and it is working well. I am going to do some touring in a few months and will probably pony up for the paid plan. I don't think you can use it for free these days outside of the small free zone you get initially.

Tourist in MSN 04-01-21 11:59 AM

Originally Posted by scottfsmith (Post 21995165)
.... I don't think you can use it for free these days outside of the small free zone you get initially.

I do not try to sync Komoots with my GPS. I loaded Komoots at home (Wisconsin) and used it in Canada (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) and had no trouble using the free version, that was in June and July 2019.

I usually made my decision the night before where my next day destination would be and the route to get there. I mostly used my GPS to give me a route but if it did not look like an efficient route, I would also look at the Komoot route or the Maps.Me route using automotive routing. And sometimes tried automotive routing on my GPS instead of tour cycling to compare routes. And there were a few times I chucked all electronic options and took the road that looked best on the paper map.

In other words, I do not exclusively use any method, if my GPS route looks good on the GPS screen I just take it. But if it looked hilly or a long winding route, I checked other options too and sometimes used that instead. I was traveling where there was no "suggested" bike routing, so I was pretty much on my own every day to pick the route to take.

Of the options, I probably used Komoot the least, I did not have a local sim card for my phone, so needed wifi. And I was trying to be self sufficient for electricity on dynohub, thus was minimizing screen time as much as practical on my phone and wifi. That was the only option I used that needed a data connection, everything else I was using was off line.

scottfsmith 04-01-21 12:11 PM

Right, by "use" I meant sync with my bike computer... that is the only reason why I am using Komoot. I think you can still plan routes anywhere without sync for free. Also in the premium plan you can download maps for offline use.

phughes 04-01-21 12:15 PM

I look at a map, and decide. On my last tour I used WikiCamp, it has campgrounds shown on a map. I used their map, and simply decided what roads to take as I went.

njkayaker 04-01-21 03:10 PM

Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 21994591)
It had the OP crossing a causeway across a big bay. The causeway was demolished many years ago.


It might be that the Openstreetmap data (that many apps use) needs to be updated/

HobbesOnTour 04-01-21 03:27 PM

It really is horses for courses and of course, a route is subjective. I might like mine, you may hate it.

At home (NL) Komoot refused to take me on quiet and intetesting routes, preferring side of the road ones, irrespective of mode. It chose (shorter) distance over quality.

In Nashville it insisted in trying to get me killed on Old Hickory Blvd.

It brought me to several dead ends in National parks and other places.

Here in México city it regularly gets me to "live life to the full" on some ridiculous roads.

Why do I keep using it? Because it has a decent address search function.

My preferred planner is a small British site where you can actually talk to the people behind it. It is particularly useful for touring with accommodation, overnight stops, different maps and streetview.

In the US it's address search function was inferior, but its routing planning was far superior. At times I used it instead of ACA maps. Much more comfortable.

I dislike Komoot, but use it. I don't trust it much. Their "Global maps" are not global (or at least weren't when last I checked).

For touring, if using apps or online planners, it's probably best to be familiar with a few and to see which one best suits you. I'm not sure they all work the same in all countries, either.

Edited to add:
Osmand is a really good app and once maps are downloaded it works totally offline with the ability to create a gpx file to send to a gps unit.
It's routing is not great, but fine in an emergency.
It's not the most intuitive bit is well worth the effort of mastering.

autonomy 04-07-21 09:42 AM

Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour (Post 21996090)
For touring, if using apps or online planners, it's probably best to be familiar with a few and to see which one best suits you. I'm not sure they all work the same in all countries, either.

This is, unfortunately, the correct answer. And do you plan to be using this on a computer or on a mobile device only?

A while back I had to plan an impromptu route on a mobile device - I tried the free versions of all the apps I knew of (Osmand, Komoot, Garmin Connect, RWGPS, some online websites) and most produced either a terrible route or only a visual, a route that I could not use - the difficulty was the I wanted a GPX track in the end to import into Osmand. Garmin Connect was the only which recommended a good route but only after I turned on the 'use popularity' feature. Adding intermediate waypoints was a bit clunky though. Even then, I had to request the desktop version of the website on my phone to export to GPX. I have found that it is absolutely essential to my enjoyment of being on a bike that I do not go on 'crap/unsafe' roads or go directly "from A to B". In 99% of the cases using "popularity" or "heat maps" solves this problem, but it's not without its faults. looks pretty nice, but this is on a big screen

HobbesOnTour 04-07-21 10:33 AM

I just did a test there and I could create a route on the fly on my android phone in Komoot and download the gpx.
Now, the quality of that route I'm not going to debate.
The relevant point though, is the practicality (or otherwise) of route creation on the road on a phone (or tablet).
The subscription apps (RWGPS, Strava) have varied their offerings over time.
Also, as you've pointed out, functionality varies from the Web to the app.
Then, there's the transfer (or not) to a gps unit if being used.

To anyone considering doing this on tour, I'd strongly suggest stress testing whatever options they choose in as real a scenario as possible. At the most basic level, route planning on the road is very, very different online and off. Using a touch screen in the rain is another!

Something I have often done is to create multiple versions of the same route as I tend to like to wander off course. If I find myself under pressure or on an uncomfortable route, I load up the one that is closest to me and follow that. has worked for me countless times on the road (Internet permitting) and yes, it's not the most phone friendly but I do trust its routes (which to me is the most important). The good news is that app versions are on the way, although Apple will be first.

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