It is so easy to plan a road bike tour with Komoot

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Komoot is currently the best tool for route planning: the handling is simple and clear. And: Komoot knows the types of roads (for example, bicycle lane, backroads or main roads) and the surface conditions (for example, asphalt or loose ground)! Thats why it’s easy and great to plan road bike tours with Komoot.

Since September 2016 I am planning my road bike tours with Komoot. Before that, I had planned a long time with Strava. After landing with Strava on a single trail in the alps while trying to avoid the main street, Komoot is number one for me.

The tours I planned with Komoot I upload with the Garmin tool “Basecamp” to my Garmin Edge 820.

How tour planning with Komoot works

1. Call route planner

Calling up the route planner on the Komoot homepage (in the menu at the top of the window)

Start screen of the Komoot route planner with Dresden in the middle
Start screen of the Komoot route planner with Dresden in the middle

2. Select road bike icon

I choose the road bike icon in the green box at the top left. I do this because I plan a road bike tour and the tour suggestions differ depending on the type of motion.

3. Select round trip option

Then I choose “round trip”, since I usually go round trips and not one-way.

4. Fitness

Clicking on the “Fitness”-button will bring up a slider where I set my shape. This information has an effect on the calculation of the duration of the journey. The categories range from “untrained” to “professional”.

Selection of road bike, round trip and fitness in the green field
Selection of road bike, round trip and fitness in the green field

How does the input of waypoints work?

Waypoints are used for the starting point, the finish and any intermediate points. If you click one of the fields “Enter a starting point”, “Where do you want to go” or for intermediate points on the plus sign in the green box on the bottom right, then the left side of the window changes. 

If you want to cycle to a certain place, you can enter it via the search field. As an alternative to entering the address, you can also select the “current position” and previously saved locations as waypoints.
In the same window you can use the legend under “Show Places on the map” to select what should be displayed on the map. I would definitely show “highlights” and “saved places”. Then I am able to select those directly on the map as waypoints.

Input field for waypoints in the screen on the left
Input field for waypoints in the screen on the left

5. Input of starting point

In the box “Enter a starting point”, I usually enter my home address. Because I usually start from home.
For an example tour, I write instead “Frauenkirche Dresden”. A list appears from which I select the “attraction”. A text field appears on the map. In the text box I click “Start here”

Frauenkirche in Dresden as starting point of the sample tour
Frauenkirche in Dresden as starting point of the sample tour

6. Select waypoints as starting point

Waypoints can be easily selected directly on the map. Alternatively, they can be typed in the “Location or Address” field.

7. Selection of destination

On the map you find the road bike highlight “Hochwaldstraße” south of Dresden. Clicking on it opens the description of the highlight on the left side of the screen. A text box will open in the map asking for confirmation “As Destination”.

The "highlight" Hochwaldstraße as destination
The “highlight” Hochwaldstraße as destination

8. The first route is ready

After clicking on the “As Destination” field, Komoot calculates the route to the destination. The route is shown on the map with a blue line. At the same time, the associated height profile is shown at the bottom of the screen.

The first track is ready
The first track is ready

9. Adding a waypoint

East of the route there is the highlight “Schloss Weesenstein”. When clicking on it a rather poor description on the left side of the screen opens. The text field “Schloss Weesenstein” appears on the map. Click on “Add to Tour”. Schloss Weesenstein is added by Komoot as a new waypoint.

If you had selected “As new destination”, the new waypoint would have been added at the end of the tour.

Schloss Weesenstein is added to the tour
Schloss Weesenstein is added to the tour

10. Adding a further waypoint

To make the route a nice round trip we choose a further waypoint. For example, south-east of the planned tour the point “Taleinschnitt”. Clicking on it opens again the description of the highlight and the text field in the map. The point is again selected with the button “Add to Tour”.

The highlight "Taleinschnitt" is added as another waypoint
The highlight “Taleinschnitt” is added as another waypoint

11. Der vorläufige Rundkurs ist fertig

We have now planned a beautiful roundtrip with 85.3 kilometers length and 1,300 meters of elevation.

The preliminary route is finished
The preliminary route is finished

12. Adding further waypoints

Any number of waypoints can be inserted in the same way.

13. Change the sequence of waypoints

In the green field in the upper left corner of the screen the planned waypoints can be displayed by clicking on “x more waypoints”. In this list you can touch the waypoints with the mouse and change the order as you like. Komoot plans the route accordingly.

14. Invert the direction of the tour

If you click the two arrows on the lower right side of the green area on the top left of the screen, you can invert the direction of the tour.

The "green" area with the displayed waypoints
The “green” area with the displayed waypoints

15. Checking the route and “fine tuning”

Once I planned a route so far, then I zoome always in and check it in detail. I look for “unpleasant sections” such as major roads. Or path sections I know it’s better to avoid.

To change the route, I click and hold o point of the planned route I want to change, with the mouse button pressed. Then I pull the track to where I prefer cycling. Finished. Komoot does the rest. This can be repeated until you are satisfied. Waypoints can be touched and moved as well.

In our example tour, the route leads over the federal road 170. To cycle there is quite unpleasant. That’s why I prefer, for example, the route near Karsdorf.

The route still leads over the main road
The route still leads over the main road

Then I pull the track with pressed left mouse button to Kreischa. Komoot adjusts the route. And the main road is no longer part of the route.

The section no longer leads over the B170
The section no longer leads over the B170
The finished route
The finished route

16. Saving the tour

If I’m satisfied with the track I save it by clicking on “Save tour” on the left bottom of the screen. I enter a tour name. And the tour is saved. I always add the length, distinctive waypoints and the destination point to the name. That makes it easier. to choose one for the next tour from my fund of planned tours.

Overview page of the planned route
Overview page of the planned route

17. Loading of planned tour

You can call up the saved tours by clicking on the username on the top right and the menu item “Tours” – “planned”.

Planned tours with the filters "Road Bike" and "Dresden"
Planned tours with the filters “Road Bike” and “Dresden”

What are „Highlights“?

Komoot user can suggest highlights of their tours in the respective sport for other users. It’s nice if you explain the recommendation with a photo or a description. The highlights are then shown in the map.
Highlights can be track sections or waypoints. Highlights can only be created along a GPS track you made.
When selecting a sport, its highlights are shown by a larger icon. Highlights of the other sports are shown only with a small red circle with white center. Depending on the area and the amount of highlights there, additional highlights may appear when you zoom in on the map.

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