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Thread: best trail app?

  1. #1
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    best trail app?

    so I always hear people talking about trailforks, I have used Alltrails alot, and I also have used MTB Project. Which one does everyone prefer?

  2. #2
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    If you're talking about researching and deciding where to ride, why choose? Use them all. I also use OSM and the Strava heat map.

    As far as a phone app for navigation and recording ride data, IDK. I use a Garmin.
    What, me worry?

  3. #3
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    I'd say it depends on the geographic locale in which I am riding.

    Because the individual users that frequent each, and upload/update trails, have their preferences, one app can be better or worse than the others for different areas.

    The simple answer is to use them all (OSM, Strava, TF, MTBP).
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  4. #4
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    I can certainly attest to different apps being preferred regionally and having better databases in some places but not others.

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    I've tried them all, and occasionally go through them again to see if there's anything new worth considering. I always come back to Trailforks. The number one reason for me is it 100% does not require an internet connection while riding. Other pluses for me (in no particular order):

    I can leave it running all day, and it uses no measurable battery power.

    Fast and simple.

    Free, and no ads.

    Most accurate and complete trail data across the board, in my experience.

    Easy to filter type of trails (MTB, vs hike, etc.).

    Great desktop web interface.

    Accurate/fast heads up (rotating) navigation - great for intersections on unknown trails.

    Nice road trip and ride planner.

    Useful spreadsheet like ride logs via the desktop.

    Like I said, I try others from time to time, and always come back to Trailforks. But, like everything, it's also a matter of personal preference.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

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    Looking at my phone for something like which way to turn at a trail intersection, or a "hmm wonder where that one goes" when I see a spur off the trail? Trailforks is all I use.

    To be fair, I had MTB Project, Alltrails and a couple others on my phone at one time and I don't recall anything noteworthy about them that caused me not to use them. I just realized that for me I was using Trailforks most of the time and deleted the others since they weren't being used.

  7. #7
    Nat
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    For fitness tracking I use Strava.

    For trail selection I use Trailforks.

    For navigation in addition to Trailforks I use GaiaGPS. Gaia isn't mtb-specific though but it has decent contour lines. It's not quite as informative as a quad map but decent for an app.

  8. #8
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    finding trails: Trailforks- great for planning rides in advance and learning what to expect on unfamiliar trails the website is good too.

    tracking fitness stuff: Garmin (syncs with my watch)

    social: Strava. I don't care to come compare my stats with other Strava users, but I like to see what my riding buddies have been up to, especially since I mostly ride solo in the COVID madness.

  9. #9
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post

    social: Strava. I don't care to come compare my stats with other Strava users, but I like to see what my riding buddies have been up to, especially since I mostly ride solo in the COVID madness.
    I enjoyed the leaderboard feature of Strava, but now that it's only available to subscribers I don't get to see it. I guess I didn't like it enough to pay $5 a month for it. There's only one local segment in which I'm in the top 10 so at least I get to see that once in a while, ha ha.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBaldBlur View Post
    To be fair, I had MTB Project, Alltrails and a couple others on my phone at one time and I don't recall anything noteworthy about them that caused me not to use them. I just realized that for me I was using Trailforks most of the time and deleted the others since they weren't being used.
    If you ride places where TF has the better coverage, then I get it.

    Where I live now, TF is better (most of the time, anyway). But I've certainly been places where MTBProject had better coverage. I've also been places where neither was sufficient. One useful reason to have both is that you'll often get people posting different "rides" on each service. So when trying to decide on a particular ride, it can be worthwhile to check both to see what people are riding (and how they're riding the trails).

  11. #11
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    Things change. Prior to a couple of years ago, TF was totally useless where I did the large majority of my riding as it had none of those trails. It's greatly improved since then and now shows virtually all of them. It's pretty amazing how quickly and by how much it improved.

    Edit: I just went and looked at some of the trails on TF and it seems whoever has been doing the uploading and descriptions are probably more recent additions to the community as their descriptions and nomenclature is different from what has been traditionally used.
    What, me worry?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Things change. Prior to a couple of years ago, TF was totally useless where I did the large majority of my riding as it had none of those trails. It's greatly improved since then and now shows virtually all of them. It's pretty amazing how quickly and by how much it improved.

    Edit: I just went and looked at some of the trails on TF and it seems whoever has been doing the uploading and descriptions are probably more recent additions to the community as their descriptions and nomenclature is different from what has been traditionally used.
    That, too. Things do change. One thing I dislike is when people submit to databases without any written descriptions.

  13. #13
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    TrailForks usually vets any trail additions/modifications through the assigned area trail maintainer.
    Here, it's the local MTB club.

  14. #14
    cmg
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    I just got a Garmin 830, notice it can connect with Trailforks, is it worthwhile?
    havent had a chance to play yet but if its not worth it l wont bother
    always mad and usually drunk......

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg View Post
    I just got a Garmin 830, notice it can connect with Trailforks, is it worthwhile?
    havent had a chance to play yet but if its not worth it l wont bother
    If it's embedded on the device, its free to use the routes. If not installed you can get the Garmin iQ app for TF and use that.

    My local single track systems are well marked so I've only used TF once locally, generating a course on TF of a partial loop for a local system. It gave me turns and showed where I was, so was perfect for what I needed.

  16. #16
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    Ride With GPS is cool.

  17. #17
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    Your brain

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  18. #18
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    TrailForks usually vets any trail additions/modifications through the assigned area trail maintainer.
    Here, it's the local MTB club.
    Wasn't always like that. ;-)

    MTB Project did that first. It means it takes longer for submissions to be accepted (and that sometimes, revisions/edits are needed), and at first, TF wanted to be faster and more user friendly, so they went with no oversight whatsoever at first. of course, they got lots of illegal trail submissions. Pretty sure that's at least part of the reason why they ended up adding filters for hiking trails (that, and their main competitors had hiking-focused systems). instead of deleting trails that didn't allow mtb, they just re-labeled them as hiking-only.

    Speaking of hiking trails, there's a LOT more variability between services that show hiking trails. Again, I have TF and Hiking Project for that, and both are iffy for hiking trails in my area.

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