Profile: roadbike selects "grade2" often

The profile “roadbike” selects “tracktype grade2” tagged highways very often. This is unexpected since the OSM wiki pescribes grade1 for roadbike use¹. Grade2 is considered for vehicles with wider tires, while roadbike routing is expected to select paved surfaces only. In the bicycle community anything unpaved is considered cross or gravel riding.

It seems ORS weighs in bicycle-routes for roadbike usage. This should probably be reduced. Road cyclists generally avoid such routes, because they often contain obstacles, that make training or group rides too dangerous or impossible.

It seems like the roadbike profile is no different to the general bike profile.

¹ DE:Key:tracktype – OpenStreetMap Wiki

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

The ORS team will have a look into it. I’ve opened an issue in order to keep track of it.


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The roadbike profile already tries to avoid bicycle-routes in many cases… I fully understand your point, that it can be the case, that a bicycle path can contain obstacles that become very dangerous for group rides… but they are manageable for individual roadbike cyclists.

IMHO cause of the variety of tagging options/usage around the world in OSM there is no solution that will work for all cases - it’s just a compromise. As initial creator of the current road bike profile I tried to match my local experience with the experience of cyclists around the world who has provided feedback so far.

it’s true, that grade2 highways will be taken into routing consideration - but only with a very low speed (just like stairs) - in order to make a route possible (even if this means, that you need to carry your bike few meters)…
It would be cool, if you could share an example route, where grade2 will be part of the routing (and where there exist good alternative ways) - TIA


bike profile

vs roadbike profile

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Thanks for considering this.

The main culprit seems to be the “shortest path” option, which seems to level many differences between the profiles.

shortest route, completely unfitting:

Sorry, board allows me to only enter 2 links into a post.

pretty good, recommended route, but needlessly long:

by only 1 waypoint could shave off 10% at no cost (I know all ways) landing somewhere in between:

The “shortest path” preference seems lead to this – mildly unintuitive – behaviour.

Sorry for the late reply…

First - You are fully right, that when you use “shortest” the different bike profiles makes almost no difference [since the route optimization is in this case the “length” (and surface/highway type have no influence on the resulting route].

Second Point - why the default “roadbike” route does not use the bridge over the A20 (to get a shorter & overall faster) route? Please take a closer look into this section: OpenRouteService route planner - directions, isochrones and places
You will see, that this section contains a gravel and compacted gravel section (that will be avoided by the road bike profile).

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