Best Sites for Mapping Rides

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
150
69
48
If you're going the garmin route, garmin connect route planning is decent and free.
 
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stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
No Garmin. I intend to buy a lezyne next month.

I have a free RWGPS account but I’ve never really used it. Is their route builder better than Strava’s?
 

Winston Leg-Thigh

Maximum Pace
Mar 31, 2015
97
72
48
42
+1 for RWGPS. I like the fact that you can switch between map types (Google / OSM etc), the fact that you can draw lines for the route instead of following roads (useful when there's a road that hasn't been mapped yet but you can see on the sat. view), and they seem to update their map database more often than Strava. I'm also using a Lezyne GPS it's easy to export routes from RWGPS and import to Lezyne Root (the native Lezyne routing app is a load of shite).
Btw, it's probably worth turning automatic updates for the phone app off. The app gets updated fairly regularly which is no problem, but when the GPS firmware gets updated, they release an app update too, and the routing never seems to work if you're running the latest version of the app but not the latest version of the GPS firmware. There's been a couple of times where I've been going out at stupid o'clock in the morning and get on the bike only to find that there's been a firmware update overnight and I can't get the routing to work unless I go back in the house and update the head unit.
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,027
2,406
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Is their route builder better than Strava’s?
Very much so. RWGPS is the best I've found so far, and I've tried a few. Different colors, custom POI. It has a great feature set.

Komoot is another option, although I haven't tried it myself.

I have to grit my teeth and use Strava's eternal-ß route builder for planning my veloviewer tiling rides, because veloviewer is essentially a Strava extension. Another feature in Strava is that it can show the Strava heatmap while you're plotting a ride - whether you want to ride where everyone else rides, or avoid the beaten path, this can be useful intel. If absolutely nobody rides a particular road... why not?
 
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Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
593
666
113
64
I'm old, can't computer and have zero sense of direction, but have found both RidewithGPS and Strava to be easy to use, though I'm not adept enough at dealing with either to be able to fine tune routes.
 
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microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
969
368
83
Tokyo
Here's tomorrow's route on RwGPS. (Leaving at 08:30 from outside the 7-11 opposite Musashi Itsukaichi station, if anyone feels like joining.)

On the ability to fine-tune routes: Note the out-and-back to the top of Tossaka pass and back down again, and specifically the stretch beyond the top, from 57.3 km to 58.0 km. Adding that little stretch was a (human) error, unnoticed at the time. (If it had been noticed, the "undo" button would have fixed it.) Since the superfluous stretch is less than a kilometre it really doesn't matter, but somehow it irritates me. Last night I spent twenty minutes trying but failing to zap it. So yes, fine-tuning can sometimes be annoying or even impossible (at least if your IQ is as low as mine). But really, it's pretty easy to use.

When RwGPS does seem to act strangely, first check that the option you want among the five listed on the right of the screen ("Follow Roads", "Add POI", etc) is the one that you've clicked.
 

dastott

Maximum Pace
May 10, 2012
113
57
48
Fukuoka
Interesting. My PC skills don't stretch to using RwGPS. I just couldn't plot a route whenever I tried it. Gave up and use Strava and Garmin Connect instead. Garmin Connect has got a lot better in the last 12 months, and has heat map too, which I find invaluable on both Strava and Garmin Connect. A decent function in Garmin Connect courses is that you can set your average speed, so you know how much time you have remaining when out on the bike. Very useful if riding before work or other commitments and need to be back by a certain time.
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,725
1,600
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
On the ability to fine-tune routes: Note the out-and-back to the top of Tossaka pass and back down again, and specifically the stretch beyond the top, from 57.3 km to 58.0 km. Adding that little stretch was a (human) error, unnoticed at the time. (If it had been noticed, the "undo" button would have fixed it.) Since the superfluous stretch is less than a kilometre it really doesn't matter, but somehow it irritates me. Last night I spent twenty minutes trying but failing to zap it.
I think RWGPS can be a bit quirky on out and back routes, where it sometimes wants to overshoot until the next place where you can turn around in a vehicle (or an upcoming dead end), even if your mode is set to "walking" where this makes no sense at all.
 

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
The questions in the thread below still stand if anyone has anything new to add. Kamoot looks interesting but I don’t know anyone who uses it.

 

pedalist

Maximum Pace
Here in Germany Komoot seems to be the recent tool of choice, especially amoung users of Wahoo head units. There are even workshops held on how to use Komoot. Some stick to what they've being always using. But when ever I heard of one getting a new set up Komoot's part of it. I guess there must be something to it.
That said, most cyclist around me are just using the map/GPS function checking where road lead when in doubt only (basically what one can do one the phone). They don't create routes before the ride. Also I've got zero experience with any tool, since it's pretty hard to get totally lost around where I live. So my simple Polar M450 is serving me well (no mapping).
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
755
727
113
Yokohama
I've used Komoot a couple times for planning hike-a-bike routes. Could have been I just didn't know how to use it well but I didn't find it very intuitive for route planning. The feature I hoped to use most often was the one that tells you the road surface type - paved/dirt/asphalt. Unfortunately, I didn't find it to be very accurate on that score. So, mostly I use Strava for route planning and guesstimate what the route will be like by looking at satellite view.
 

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
Maybe that's why workshops are needed.
I messed around with it a bit on their website and didn't really know what I was doing. I get the feeling they still need a bigger user base in Japan as it relies on the users to populate the maps with things to see and do. Btw, I wonder when the cycling icon on Google Maps Japan will stop being just a dead link. I'm keen to try that once they decide to turn it on.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,725
1,600
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
Btw, I wonder when the cycling icon on Google Maps Japan will stop being just a dead link. I'm keen to try that once they decide to turn it on.
I think that one depends a lot on underlying map data, which Google licenses from a third party for Japan.

This licensing is also the reason why Google Maps can't provide offline mapping (pre-caching data for an intended destination without data access), as their contract won't allow them to hand out the data outside the app/website.

It could be that the underlying data for Japan is missing some attributes that Google uses in cycling mode and that are available from map data providers in other countries. So those other countries get cycling mode, while Japan only gets a choice of driving and walking.