How are you supposed to find a new bike trail? What about planning a ride somewhere new? Or finding the best way to navigate on your bike? There’s one incredibly simple answer to all of these questions: komoot. It’s a navigation app that goes above and beyond simply showing you the way. Here’s our guide.
No matter how great your own trails are, they are bound to get boring at some point in time. So instead of the same weekly loop, you’ve got two options: build something brand new, or have a scope around to see what’s in your area. When editor Christoph registered for komoot, he certainly wasn’t expecting what he found. Komoot isn’t just there to create routes; it inspires and creates a community too.
Find inspiration or just DIY it
At its core, komoot suggests great cycling and hiking routes (to name just two disciplines of the many on the app) using optimized OpenStreetMap technology and user-generated routes from its more than 8 million members. The suggested routes are determined by where the community rides and a number of clever algorithms that pinpoint which routes are actually worth riding. On the desktop version of komoot, you can scroll through the site’s Collections, which are essentially a curated selection of routes based on region or topic. If they pique your interest, you can easily alter the start and finish points to render them more suited to your specific ride. All it takes is a simple push of a button on the map to set a new starting position, or include a specific trail in the route. If you’re hankering for a more complicated route, you can create it on a turn-by-turn basis, just by clicking points on the map and letting komoot pick the way between them. It’s best to zoom in on the map and select precisely where you want to go, or use search bar to find a specific trail or mountain hut. Any mid-ride stops can be inserted onto the route and komoot can link them up. You can do the exact same route planning on your smartphone too, using the komoot app.
Komoot’s mapping technology relies on OpenStreetMap as a foundation, which means that you’re exposed to routes that are actually used or ones that tourist regions have uploaded to it. Don’t expect to find any of the most locally made trails– the truly tucked-away one that you know are probably illegal. When you’re planning a tour, you’ll also come across user-submitted highlights and tips – these can be anything from the best view point, to where to eat up on a mountain, or the history behind a certain pile of ruins. More and more tourist destinations are actively highlighting their trails on komoot to entice prospective riders to their area.
Looking for inspiration for your next holiday, or just a quick fix for an immediate ride? Look no further than the Collections or komoot’s own highlights.
While route planning you can pick between a host of disciplines – hiking, running, gravel riding or mountain biking. komoot tailors the route to your preferred mode.
Over the hedge – komoot knows the way!
Each ride we rode using komoot threw up surprises, including a mass of genuine trail highlights that we’d never come across before, as well as indicated turnings that, after the initial bout of disbelief, then won us over. Trail-blocking bracken and fern and river crossings over bridges that had long since ceased to exist. But once the obstacle was behind us, the route came good, spurting us out onto unspoiled trails. In a built-up country like Germany, this lends itself to a sense of intrepid adventure, albeit swathed in a calming security blanket that komoot knows where it’s taking you and how to return to your home or your car. Since komoot first launched it has become more and more reliable, especially because users can go directly to OpenStreetMap and signify usable or, in some cases, unusable trails.
Leave your smartphone and map in your bag
Is there anything more frustrating that having to stop to check your phone or, much worse, the giant foldable map at every junction? Fortunate then that komoot has options to counter this – either with its in-app audio navigation or by transferring the route to your bike computer. Navigation isn’t limited to Garmin or Wahoo either, you can also get it on your Apple watch and more and more eMTB computers are coming with a komoot platform too.
Take your friends along for the adventure
The Community side of komoot is a way to discover other people’s adventures as well as sharing your own. Save the most appealing Collections for a later day, peruse the recommended Highlights and see what other users think of the tours you’ve ridden. It also collates your stats relating to how much you’ve been out riding. Plus, for those non-komoot-using friends, you can still share a GPS route that you’ve made on komoot simply by emailing, whatsapping or facebooking it to them.
Simple and intuitive route creation on the phone or your computer
So, what’s the cost and is there any sort of package deal?
It doesn’t cost anything to get komoot and have a look around, use the route planner, scroll through Collections, or browse the map. However, as soon as you want to save a Tour – a route that you’ve made or one you’ve found in a Collection – you’ll have to sign up. To save a route for offline usage, you have to have downloaded the map for the relevant, broader region – region maps start at €3.99. For €8.99, you can pick a bundle of regions or go for the whole world at €29.99 – a very fair price if you ask us!
Our thoughts on using komoot
Let’s cut to the chase: komoot totally won us over. It isn’t just blissfully stress-free to plan a route; we’ve also gathered a ton of inspiration for upcoming bike trips. Thanks to komoot we’ve re-fallen in love with our home spots, and uncovered some real gems and sick trails that we hadn’t known about. What we’d love to see next would be the option to insert new trails onto the map directly through the app – right now, the hidden ones can’t appear on a route if they don’t appear on the map.
Keen to try komoot? Visit the komoot website and use the following gift code to get your hands on a free regional package of maps worth € 8.99: ENDUROMAGXKOMOOT (offer only valid for new users)
Article supported by komoot
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer