Riding a bike is a broad, poorly defined concept that every day includes more different meanings due to the emergence of new modalities that grow in relevance and ways of life that promote a large variety of alternatives. The one who takes their bike once or twice per week because of their personal and professional duties has nothing to do with the semi-professional cyclist that spends most of his day on the saddle, and the needs for both of them are very different. The same way that one may distinguish one cyclist from the other because of the frequency in which they ride their bike, additional differentiating elements can be the modality they practice, their goals when riding their bike or the type of route they prefer. Some of them could be willing to do the same route every day, whereas others cannot stand going through the same road or trail twice in a row. It is clear that each of us has our own singularities, but our common denominator is the bicycle.
The founders of Komoot, the route planning and navigation tool for cycling and hiking, knows about the heterogeneity of the community and they have developed a product that brings value to every user, offering solutions to the different needs an individual may have. The firm headquartered in Germany emphasizes the fact of going out and explore the world, and they achieve this with the number of resources available to the public that serves as inspiration for almost 10 million people around the world.
Everything you need, made easy
In order to plan a route you will only need to select the sport, a starting point and an ending point, and Komoot will create a route choosing the best way according to your characteristics and the ones of your bike. To do that, the platform decides which is the most efficient direction taking into account if that particular road is optimized for cycling, and if the form level previously chosen is enough to face the difficulties along the way. The adventurer side of Komoot’s algorithm means that the proposed route may not always be the quickest one, but it will always offer numerous alternatives to get to your destination.
After choosing a sport, the tool already shows on the map the highlights that you can add to the route. These highlights are locations recommended by the community; they can be specific places like a tourist attraction, but also a segment of several kilometers. These spots are shown in red on the map, and the election criteria is the free opinion of the community. If in a particular location there is a climb with beautiful roads and spectacular views, the user can decide to highlight not only the top of the climb but also the entire ascent. Furthermore, it is possible to add images to show to the world what they are missing if they reject incorporating those highlights to their track. Lookouts, lakes, trails or that bakery with the best carrot cake; all these can be considered as interesting places and improve any route that passes through them.
Furthermore, Komoot makes personalized recommendations based on the behavior of the user. With this tool, visible in the home display of the desktop version, the platform proposes places and stretches of road to visit because they are particularly popular and they fit the personal preferences of the individual, creating a tailor-made user experience.
Like in other route planners, you can search or select a defined location to include it in the route, but in the case of Komoot it is not necessary to select these points in an orderly way; if you decide to go from point A to point B and you get a first proposed route but then you realize there is something between those points that you want to include, you can add the waypoint and the track will be automatically adjusted to get to the same destination but going through the selected spot. One can also modify the route by manually dragging the line plotted on the map. In the case that Komoot doesn’t sort the passing point how you were expecting, it is possible to reorganize it yourself by expanding the list.
React to the unexpected
While you put together the desired route, you can be constantly checking the altitude profile and the estimated time to finish it. There is also information about the way types (state road, cycleway…) and the surfaces it runs through, in order to know if it fits with the equipment you are expecting to bring. No one would like to face a path full of stones the first day riding with their brand new carbon wheels, right?
Many times in the past, when the track from our GPS device didn’t take into account the works in progress in a particular road or the unrideable trail because of the last universal flood, we ended ignoring what the cycling computer said and took our phone to look at Google Maps instead. With Komoot’s easy turn by turn voice navigation, you’ll stop less to check the way which will enable you to enjoy your rides more.
You decide: to follow the track on your cycling computer or on your smartphone. With your phone, you can re-route as you go, so there is always a line to follow. There is also the possibility to save planned routes offline, which prevents losing signal or your battery dying.
Upgrade your riding experience
The app can be downloaded for free through Google Play and the App Store. At first, you can unlock the initial region you choose, and then you have the possibility to unlock additional regions with a unique payment of 3,99€ each. There are additional purchasing options, including the possibility to have access to all the world.
In addition to all the features and tools of the basic pack of Komoot, the annual subscription to the premium version offers additional elements for route planning and the safety of the user. This service costs 59,99€ a year.
It is always helpful to have everything integrated into one place in order not to have to check different sources to see the weather forecast for your next ride. To those premium users, after choosing the start hour and date, Komoot will show a few indicators full of information about what to expect: temperature (min, max, and average), rainfall (chance of raining and intensity), wind (speed and direction), plus sunrise and sunset time for the chosen date.
Komoot premium also allows planning multi-day tour, with the possibility to modify each of the stages independently and even to see the accommodation around the ending location of each segment. Both your draft routes and your completed routes can be organized into collections that you will be able to share with other users.
The next big thing
Same as Strava, Training Peaks or Zwift, Komoot strives to turn into an essential tool which cyclist may use on a daily basis, and with the number of features the app already has, any kind of cyclist will likely end up logging in. It has been a key addition for us to organize and plan projects like Among the Giants or The Raw Stories, solving possible problems and letting us discover new places to visit.
Some say that who tries to do everything ends doing little, but in this case, one can clearly see how they have studied the market and their potential users so that Komoot ends up being an all in one.
Make sure to have a look at our Komoot profile and go through our own collections.
Photos by: Brazo de Hierro