Strava launch Route Builder

New route builder lets you explore popular roads added to online training community

by David Arthur @davearthur   October 11, 2013  


Strava has just released its new Route Builder feature, which is free to all members. The online route mapping market is a crowded one, but Strava’s trump card is being able to use the millions of activites that have been uploaded to let you see which roads and paths are popular in any area, and include them in your route planning.

A quick poke around reveals it works like any good route mapping tool, it’s easy to use with clear instructions presented when you first sign in. Plotting a route is as easy as dropping waypoints on roads you want to ride. It shows your distance and elevation and, using your average speed from the past four weeks, will calculate a ride time.

But the really neat bit is the Use Popularity function, which overlays the map with the most popular roads ridden by Strava members. It allows you to see which roads are really popular in your local area, so you can plan those into your route. A small leap of imagination sees it being useful for exploring roads away from home, say if you’re visiting another part of the country, or even going on holiday.

There is plenty of other interesting functionally too. A curious one is the Minimise Elevation, which is fairly self explanatory. How about a maximise elevation option Strava?

When you’ve finished building a route, you can download it to a GPS device or share it with your Strava followers, Facebook friends and by email. You can also print cue sheets of your route, which is handy for longer adventures and touring.

Head over to now to check it out. And while you’re there, don’t forget has a Strava club.

20 user comments

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I think it's been there for a good week or so now. The lack of 'maximise elevation' struck me too. I'd have thought that would be more appealing to most Strava users.

posted by bohrhead [58 posts]
11th October 2013 - 11:38


Woohoo... not really that different to others but all on one site Smile

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1320 posts]
11th October 2013 - 11:44


The routing is full of bugs or the underlying data is quite poor, last I checked - at least around me in Scotland. There are roads it refuses to go down, junctions which it doesn't seem to think exist, etc.

posted by Paul J [737 posts]
11th October 2013 - 11:47


This could be the killer blow to Garmin connect - route planing the only reason I used it.

posted by NeilXDavis [118 posts]
11th October 2013 - 11:49


i knocked up a quick route round bath/bristol and it sent me down the A38 past bristol airport - can't imagine that's very 'popular' Thinking

that aside, it chose a lot of the same roads that i would.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7644 posts]
11th October 2013 - 11:55


I've used the beta for a bit. Works nicely on roads around Hertfordshire, and it's never sent me off down motorways, dual carriageways or anything stupid. Only problem was when I tried to build some routes around Denmark for summer hols. Wouldn't let me turn left at some junctions, when in reailty I could.

posted by j1mmy76 [64 posts]
11th October 2013 - 12:08


It's been there for over a month, nice to see you guys are on the ball !, its also good to see they finally added a Delete Route option, I've had some test routes on my list for bloody ages ! finally I can get rid of them

posted by mikeprytherch [220 posts]
11th October 2013 - 12:39


Buggy around side roads; a half baked attempt. Strava is skimping on innovation, skimping even on servers now.

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [114 posts]
11th October 2013 - 12:46


mikeprytherch wrote:
It's been there for over a month, nice to see you guys are on the ball !,

It was only available to premium members at first. As of today it's available to all members. Now who looks silly

David Arthur @davearthur's picture

posted by David Arthur @d... [1961 posts]
11th October 2013 - 13:48


I'm not a premium user and I used it last week for my ride last Sunday.

Now who looks silly?

In all seriousness though, I would love to see my routes available on my smartphone, I don't think that's too much of a leap.


posted by Goldfever4 [172 posts]
11th October 2013 - 14:02


Oh, well now I do look silly

My initial impression with route builder has faded - it doesn't want to route out of my estate without going down the dual carriageway and the long way around town way, rather than the half mile road to the country lane at the end, which is really annoying. Think I might just stick to bikehike

David Arthur @davearthur's picture

posted by David Arthur @d... [1961 posts]
11th October 2013 - 14:28


Just pulling your leg a bit mate, slow Friday at the office! I found it a bit stubborn as well, but you can bend it to your will, maybe change your starting point if you know the area well anyway.


posted by Goldfever4 [172 posts]
11th October 2013 - 14:48


Been using it in for a while now, no problems whatsoever. Only thing that would make it slightly better for me is the ability to do street view like some of the other route sites. Couple of times I've ended up on farm tracks (which looked like normal roads on the map) because I haven't checked street view first!

posted by LeighNichol [7 posts]
11th October 2013 - 16:39


It's nice. I like that it uses my average speed to estimate times, though I've been riding a lot on the cargo bike with trailer recently so that average speed is low. It would be good if it allowed me to specify which bike I'll ride. Things can improve, and Strava have the data to do some very good estimating. I hope to see this weekend how well it works with the Garmin 510 for navigation.

I've been using RideWithGPS until now.

posted by m0rjc [36 posts]
11th October 2013 - 20:28


I'll apologise in advance to roadies in the Nottingham area who will get sent down my off-road commuting routes - I've racked up a few hundred rides down them single-handed which may skew the popularity figures somewhat!!

posted by BikeJon [69 posts]
11th October 2013 - 23:58


I am not certain, but I think the 'heatmap' function works using segments only. Therefore the it may not 'see' or pick the most popular routes, but the most popular segments.

meursault's picture

posted by meursault [24 posts]
12th October 2013 - 0:04


Virtually unusable - I asked the route to go from A to B linked by a road (about one mile) it either went on the adjoining road or put in a 7 mile detour.


posted by Thor Beverley [49 posts]
12th October 2013 - 9:23


David Arthur wrote:
mikeprytherch wrote:
It's been there for over a month, nice to see you guys are on the ball !,

It was only available to premium members at first. As of today it's available to all members. Now who looks silly

I've been a premium member fora while now..not for the 'benefits' but because I've had great service from their help desk...and someone has to pay their bills. It's a bit like the irratition I feel as a MTB rider when I go to a trail centre and see all those riders with £3&£4K bikes parking on the roadside to avoid paying the single digit parking fees..cheapskates At Wits End

posted by Sadoldsamurai [20 posts]
12th October 2013 - 12:09


elevation data was way off in the Alps, 5000+m compared to 3600m recorded on my Garmin.

posted by Guido [37 posts]
12th October 2013 - 20:27


Nice additional features that increases the usability of the Strava package. No need now to use a second program for route building and Strava for tracking

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
14th October 2013 - 16:29