Surface Types

  • Updated

Use Surface Types to get an idea of what kind of terrain you'll encounter before setting off on your next adventure, so you can plan better routes and know in advance if it's the right trip for you. Never worry about being over or under biked again!

Surface Types is a free feature that is available to all Starter, Basic, and Premium subscribers.


Surface Type Definitions

  • Paved - Paved surfaces include asphalt, concrete, tarmac, and chip seal. These are indicated with a solid line.
  • Unpaved - Unpaved surfaces include gravel, dirt, and natural/unimproved trails. These are indicated with a dashed line.
  • Unknown - Paths are indicated as "unknown" if surface type data in the area is insufficient to determine surface type. Unknown surface types are indicated with an outlined white line.

Surface Types in the Route Planner

As you plan a route using Ride with GPS, you'll see surface types indicated along your track line, and in the elevation profile. Surface type breakdowns will be indicated on saved routes, and visible to anyone who has access to the route. 


Make sure to use the Follow Roads option if you want to plan a route with surface types. Surface type data is not available when you use the Draw Lines feature and will be shown as unknown


Surface Types on a Route

When you view a route on the web that was planned with surface types enabled, you will see the full surface type breakdown on the route summary page.
If you want to update a route that does not include surface type information, you can use the Trace Tool to regenerate the route with surfaces included.


Hide Surfaces

Surfaces are on by default in the web route planner. To disable this:
  • Click Settings in the upper right corner of the web route planner > Uncheck the Surfaces option to disable surfaces in the map.
  • Click the Surfaces button in the elevation profile to disable surfaces in the elevation profile. 


Edit Route Surface Type

If you know a road surface is incorrectly categorized — ex: paved when it is in fact a gravel road — you can manually edit the surface type as you plan your route. Note: this tool is only available in the web route planner. To manually edit surface type on a route:
  • Click and drag within the elevation profile, to select the section of the route you’d like to edit.
  • In the Selection Tools menu, click Change Surface.
  • Select Paved or Unpaved > Change Surface.
  • Save your route.

Note: When you manually edit surface type information on a route, the update will only be reflected on the route you edited, not on future routes. You can update surface type information permanently if you edit the area in OSM, which is our underlying source of map data.



Edit Underlying Surface Type Data

We rely on data from OpenStreetMap (OSM), an open-source mapping service of the entire world, for Surfaces and can only update our surface type information when they do so. If you notice that a surface has been incorrectly categorized and would like for it to be updated, you can contribute the correct surface type information directly to OSM. Please see our detailed help page about OSM to learn how to do so.