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

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 www.strava.com now to check it out. And while you’re there, don’t forget road.cc has a Strava club.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

20 comments

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bohrhead [71 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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James Warrener [1082 posts] 2 years ago
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Woohoo... not really that different to others but all on one site  1

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Paul J [882 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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NeilXDavis [122 posts] 2 years ago
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This could be the killer blow to Garmin connect - route planing the only reason I used it.

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 2 years ago
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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'  39

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

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j1mmy76 [66 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 2 years ago
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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

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ch [186 posts] 2 years ago
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Buggy around side roads; a half baked attempt. Strava is skimping on innovation, skimping even on servers now.

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David Arthur @d... [685 posts] 2 years ago
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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

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Goldfever4 [220 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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David Arthur @d... [685 posts] 2 years ago
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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

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Goldfever4 [220 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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LeighNichol [25 posts] 2 years ago
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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!

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m0rjc [36 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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BikeJon [138 posts] 2 years ago
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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!!

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meursault [28 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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Thor Beverley [49 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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Sadoldsamurai [31 posts] 2 years ago
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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  102

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Guido [43 posts] 2 years ago
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elevation data was way off in the Alps, 5000+m compared to 3600m recorded on my Garmin.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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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