The perfect route? It's as easy as Komoot
How to revolutionise your ride planning with Komoot, the smartphone app that’s taking online mapping to the next level.
Have you ever experienced FOMO on a ride? Fear Of Missing Out is the niggling doubt that there could be a better trail than the one you’re on. That nearby is the best singletrack in the world, and you’re riding right past it.
This feeling also occurs when planning a ride, especially in a new location. Plotting a route from A to B and back again can be daunting when you don’t know the area and want to make sure you don’t miss out on the good stuff. Paper maps have long been a vital tool in planning a good ride but they don’t tell you the full story. Contour lines can be deceiving and the fluro-marker highlighted bridleway on the map might bear little relation to what’s actually on the ground. What looks like a great ride on paper might not make for a fun ride in reality.
Online mapping gives a more detailed view of what to expect on a ride and having a GPX file to follow saves on having to stop to check the map. But a GPX route can also be difficult to alter on the move and inflexible to changing situations – like finding the nearest bike shop for a spare tube or a café for an emergency coffee. Plus, some online mapping sites seem to be more bothered about how fast you went than how much fun you’ve had.
A bit of inside knowledge can make the difference to ensuring your ride is FOMO free – recommendations from other riders on the best trails, cafés, bike shops and views in the area and in-depth information on the terrain you’ll come across.
Komoot is a route planning and navigation app and website designed to help you get the most of your time on the bike, whether that’s a multi-day mountain epic or a couple of hours on local singletrack. Aimed at riders who are more interested in exploring new trails than measuring performance komoot uses a simple to use interface matched with some clever technology and a growing global community of over 8 million users to blend detailed route guidance with useful human-sourced recommendations.
What really sets komoot apart from other mapping sites is its Route Planner tool. Whatever your ability on a bike or with a map the Route Planner will put together a tour to suit you. Creating a tour is easy. Enter a starting point and a destination or drop pins on the interactive map. Choose whether you’re after a one way tour or a round trip and using some clever algorithms komoot will create a custom tour for you, making sure to include all the best bits of riding en route. This can be done either on the komoot app for iOS and Android or on the website, www.komoot.com.
You can then delve into the details of the tour using a range of map interfaces and an interactive elevation profile along with all the stats you’d expect like distance, duration, average speed, ascent and descent.
Komoot takes things further by giving a breakdown of the types of trails and surfaces you’ll encounter on the tour as well as grading the technical difficulty of off-road trails using the singletrack scale from S0 to S5.
On top of this it’s possible to view points of interest along the way such as landmarks, toilets, accommodation, view points or other trails. If you see something that takes your fancy it can then be incorporated into your tour.
This unparalleled level of information ensures that no detail – or killer singletrack – is missed out.
You can also alter the tour manually and Komoot even allows you to plot off the grid and add in trails that may not appear on the map but you know are there.
With a tour plotted go ride, safe in the knowledge you’re on the right track and the best trails. Komoot integrates seamlessly with Wahoo and Garmin but a GPS unit isn’t necessary, with the komoot app for iOS or Android you can use your smartphone to navigate. Should you need to tweak your tour while riding komoot can reroute you on the fly and if you’d rather keep your eyes on the trail rather than a device you can use turn-by-turn voice navigation to keep you on track.
When you get back home you can add Highlights to your tour to let other komoot users know about your favourite singletrack section or where to stop for the best views and coffee – helping others to avoid FOMO.
Komoot is free to sign up to and use with offline mapping sold in regions. One region is £3.99, a bundle of regions £8.99 and the complete region package is £29.99.
Give Komoot a try
Head to komoot.com/g and enter the code MBR2019
Komoot are offering MBR readers a free regional map bundle of your choice. With these regions you can save routes/maps for offline use, use turn-by-turn voice navigation, track rides in flight mode and sync komoot with your Garmin or Wahoo device.