Best bicycle navigation software?

  • Thread starter Deleted member 33385
  • Start date
D

Deleted member 33385

Guest
I like to take scenic routes, while avoiding trouble spots and big roundabouts. I've been using Sygic (actually bought it), but there is no way of setting "Walking "as the persistent global default... any time I plan a new route, I have to switch it from "Driving" to "Walking" routes, because there is no "Cycling" option (I had bought Sygic before I converted my bike), and even when it does produce walking directions, it misses a lot of scenic walking routes, which I could very easily travel using my bike. Google Maps is usually ok, but gets very confused with my wildly meangering routes, and it needs a constant data connection to function, which Sygic doesn't, because all EU maps are downloaded to Sygic for offline use. CoPilot used to be very good for walking, it planned cycling routes, and also downloaded all maps onto the phone via wifi through the home router first, but they've changed the interface - it's bloody unusable now.

What do you use and recommend?
 
Last edited:

Scorpio

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 13, 2020
265
106
Portugal Algarve (temporary)
I use Navmii for driving and everything else but it's not ideal for cycling https://www.navmii.com/

Pro's: it's free, simple and reliable, it works offline (download maps to your smartphone then no need for wifi or network coverage), it remembers your last "mode" (walking, driving, etc)

Con's: no specific cycling mode, walking mode is a good altenative but you can sometimes end up on tracks not suited to bikes (steps, steep, stiles, etc).
 
  • Useful
Reactions: pentiumofborg

Muddyfox

Pedelecer
Dec 30, 2018
94
56
Nottingham
Garmin Edge Touring. Basically a Sat Nav for bicycles. Turn by turn directions. All the features of a car sat nav. POI, Postcode to Postcode directions. Settings to avoid elevations, dirt tracks, unpaved roads, footpaths. It will even find you 3 routes based on how far you want a round trip to be if you want to "joy cycle". Input your own routes via Google or Strava. Free Garmin connect app for PC, Tablet or mobile. 5 to 7 hour battery life. Expect to pay around £75 to £100 for a 2nd hand one on eBay.
 

richtea99

Pedelecer
May 8, 2020
224
162
Google Maps
Google Maps is free. You agreed to give your data by using it, just like every internet gift horse. Of course they monetise it - how else do you pay for mapping of that scale (and I don't mean 1:50000 scale ;) ).

Google Maps has an incognito mode if you can't live without, but would like to mimimise the data sharing:
There are other data controls too:

CycleStreets
I like CycleStreets, but it has some limitations / oddities in it's algorithm. A couple that come to mind are:
- the shortest route is not always the shortest (fastidiously avoids an A road, even though it's not that busy a one), but on a nearby route, the fastest route is happy to take you down an A road as expected.
- uses bridleways without question, which could be really tricky in winter (the one near me is a no-no on my bike unless it's bone dry)

Adding a few more routing options would allow these to be tuned. Better still, highlight the off-road sections in a different colour (and the A roads too). But it's a very good atttempt, and appreciated!
 

RetiredAndRolling

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2019
33
10
My wandering and cycling is casual, as yours seems to be. I like to tour away from roads where possible. I got Komoot and purchased lifetime access to world maps a couple of years ago and have been delighted with the result. The maps are clear and can be zoomed right in so you can be sure you are on track. I also use its voice guidance so I don’t have to keep a constant eye on the route.

Route planning can be manual or automatic. The automatic routing has guided me along really interesting paths and routes that I would have never discovered without Komoot. This is true even in my own local area.

A bonus is that I can plan on a large screen PC or iPAD and then navigate using my phone.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,012
3,575
Basildon
No, Google isn't free, it's "stealing" your data and monetising it.
It does that regardless of whether you're using a separarte app to navigate with, and regardless of whether you switch off all tracking. It's the same with iPhones: As long as you have the phone switched on and with you, you're being tracked, so you might as well take advantage of the free stuff.
 

awol

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 4, 2013
1,200
366
My wandering and cycling is casual, as yours seems to be. I like to tour away from roads where possible. I got Komoot and purchased lifetime access to world maps a couple of years ago and have been delighted with the result. The maps are clear and can be zoomed right in so you can be sure you are on track. I also use its voice guidance so I don’t have to keep a constant eye on the route.

Route planning can be manual or automatic. The automatic routing has guided me along really interesting paths and routes that I would have never discovered without Komoot. This is true even in my own local area.

A bonus is that I can plan on a large screen PC or iPAD and then navigate using my phone.
Another +1 for Komoot which also recommends local routes uploaded by other users and has found me some offroad tracks I didn't know were there.
 

slowcoach

Pedelecer
Dec 11, 2020
81
59
I nearly always carry the iPad on my bike when touring and use google maps to identify our location at any time. That and a local OS map which can show you possible routes that electronic maps may ignore.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BillyBoy88

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,471
1,927
I don't use it much for cycling, more for walking, and I don't think (?) it can do turn by turn, but I get on well with ViewRanger.

Free app. You can use variants of open street map free; I use open cycle map even for walking as it's the best variant for paths and contours, and pay a subscription to OS maps. Handy to be able to switch quickly between OS maps (which I grew up on and prefer generally) and open cycle map. OS gives the rights of way (only a bit out of date), but doesn't mark lots of paths that are fine to use but not strictly rights of way.

It does do route sharing but I haven't tried that aspect of it. Of course, it can import routes from all the standard formats.

Also Google Maps when more fully on road.
 

snafu

Pedelecer
Dec 15, 2020
46
53
Since the winding down of Viewranger I'm playing around with Komoot and Outdooractive although lockdown has restricted the evaluation so far. Both seem excellent on local routes, planning to try them out on some routes up in Scotland once the world hopefully returns to some form of normality. Both seem good so far.

TTFN
John.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,471
1,927
Since the winding down of Viewranger I'm playing around with Komoot and Outdooractive although lockdown has restricted the evaluation so far. Both seem excellent on local routes, planning to try them out on some routes up in Scotland once the world hopefully returns to some form of normality. Both seem good so far.

TTFN
John.
I'd noticed ViewRanger had been bought by Outdooractive and was evidently going to stress even more the 'social' aspects of ViewRanger that I never used, but I hadn't noticed the extent to which they were killing ViewRanger. We'll have to look carefully where next; our ViewRanger OS subscription runs out in June so should be good for next trip to Scotland in May (Covid permitting); maybe we'll then do a trial of Outdooractive Pro which is almost the same price as ViewRanger.

I see
How many mobile devices, per account, can I have on Outdooractive? There is no limit on OA. In VR, the limit was 4.
 

WheezyRider

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 20, 2020
778
390
Google Maps
Google Maps is free. You agreed to give your data by using it, just like every internet gift horse. Of course they monetise it - how else do you pay for mapping of that scale (and I don't mean 1:50000 scale ;) ).

Google Maps has an incognito mode if you can't live without, but would like to mimimise the data sharing:
There are other data controls too:

CycleStreets
I like CycleStreets, but it has some limitations / oddities in it's algorithm. A couple that come to mind are:
- the shortest route is not always the shortest (fastidiously avoids an A road, even though it's not that busy a one), but on a nearby route, the fastest route is happy to take you down an A road as expected.
- uses bridleways without question, which could be really tricky in winter (the one near me is a no-no on my bike unless it's bone dry)

Adding a few more routing options would allow these to be tuned. Better still, highlight the off-road sections in a different colour (and the A roads too). But it's a very good atttempt, and appreciated!
I say "stealing" as there is no way of giving meaningful consent. It is not "free" as you have to give up so much in order to be able to use it.
 

Old Fart At Play

Pedelecer
Jun 11, 2020
104
45
I use komoot and Osmand+. Komoot is very good but it doesn't show many cycle routes, even national cycle routes. Also, much of it doesn't work if you don't have a phone signal (or like me you don't use data on your phone).

Osmand+ show all the cycle routes, works perfectly with no phone signal, and it also shows contours which I find v useful.

One nice thing that Komoot has that Osmand+ doesn't is that it links to the Bosch e-bike app. Only a benefit if you have a bosch powered bike of course!
 

snafu

Pedelecer
Dec 15, 2020
46
53
How many mobile devices, per account, can I have on Outdooractive? There is no limit on OA. In VR, the limit was 4.
To be honest I have no idea. :( I have it loaded on my phone and also my tablet for times when I'm away as it's easier to plan routes. The plus point for me over Komoot is all my routes and tracks from Vr are synced to OA so I haven't lost anything. Vr still send me emails with suggested routes which are also synced to OA if I decide to download them from Vr. I would be happy to have continued with Vr but unfortunately you can't download new map regions any longer for offline use. The route planning in both OA and Komoot is (IMO) vastly superior to Vr though.

But the "proof of the pudding" will be when I try them out in areas I don't know well, it will all be either wonderful or my rotting corpse will be found several weeks later in some remote part of the Galloway Forest park. ;)

TTFN
John.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: sjpt

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,012
3,575
Basildon
I say "stealing" as there is no way of giving meaningful consent. It is not "free" as you have to give up so much in order to be able to use it.
You're not getting it. You give up all that as soon as you buy the phone, not when you open up Google navigation. The alternative is not to have mobile communications.
 
  • Like
Reactions: richtea99

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,471
1,927
Just been looking at the reviews for Outdooractive from people who have moved from ViewRanger. Very depressing, almost all one star. Especially bad for people who had bought maps on VR rather than using the subscription. (I got caught that way when the OS maps I'd bought on Anquet didn't transfer properly to OMN.)
 

Related Articles

Advertisers