Press Release: Trailforks Mapping Inc.
Trail mapping app Trailforks is introducing a paid option in order to continue improving its mapping and trail management capabilities.Signup for Trailforks Pro
Trailforks was created with the goal of providing the most up-to-date and accurate trail maps available, and it has always been intended as a platform that trail builders and trail associations benefit from as well. The platform now gives millions of users access to over 300,000 trail maps for mountain biking, hiking, and other sports worldwide, as well as GPS recording, emergency location, heat maps for popular trails, Garmin basemaps, badges, and much more.
For the past five years the Trailforks team has designed, developed, supported and hosted features like trail reporting, route planning, and other mapping and management tools on our own dedicated servers. As usage has grown dramatically in the past year, we find ourselves in need of more resources to keep the current infrastructure running and to build new features for associations and users.
So today we’re announcing a new pricing structure with TRAILFORKS PRO
We started Trailforks as primarily a trail management platform that was available as a website in a computer browser. The website remains free, as do the Trailforks trail association tools, but full access to the Trailforks App now requires a subscription. Users still can use the app for free, but will now be limited to a local area. Many other functions of the app also remain free, such as checking trail status, reports, events, contests, badges, and recording and viewing your personal ridelog. The free area is a square with 60km (38 mile) sides , which equals to 3600 square kilometers (1400 square miles) is pre-set automatically, but users can adjust this area once to their choice. It's intended to encompass their most used riding area, even if that area is far away. The map is still usable for basic navigation outside this free area, but the background and trails are greyed out with limited info.
Trailforks Pro now costs $1.49 per month (Billed Annually) for early adopters, or $2.99 per month (Billed Annually) for users who sign up afterwards. Users who sign up for Trailforks Pro before the end of September 30th receive a 50% early adopter discount forever as our way of saying thank you. Existing and new users to the app also get to use Trailforks Pro for 7 unique days.
We have tried to strike a balance between free access and a sustainable payment model. Our view is that users actively participate and contribute to Trailforks in their local areas, so that should be free. For users wanting access to Trailforks Pro worldwide, we hope they see enough value to spend the equivalent of a couple of post-ride beers at the pub.
The revenue from Trailforks Pro will enable us to hire more staff, develop additional features, and improve our infrastructure. Subscribing to Trailforks Pro is your way of supporting Trailforks and it's continued improvement and operations. With your support, we’re excited to make Trailforks even better! FAQ What do I get with Trailforks Pro?
Trailforks Pro provides you access to all trails and features that Trailforks offers everywhere. If you travel or ride outside your local riding area you will need Trailforks Pro to explore and navigate the trails fully within the app. There are also select current and future features that will be Pro only.
- Trailforks Pro gives you worldwide access to all of Trailforks great features:
- Unlimited access to over 300,000 trail maps worldwide
- Heat maps so you can quickly figure out popular trails
- Download trail and route GPX files
- Unlimited wishlist itemsUpcoming features:
- Trailforks for wearable devices
- Offline basemap download.
- Contour basemap in imperial format.
- Trail management improvements.
As new features are completed you automatically get full access as a Trailforks Pro user.
User's without Pro will have the map and trails in their app greyed out with limited info, but still visible for basic navigation.
To be clear, the website and access to maps and trail data remains free on the website. Only the map outside your free area in the Trailforks app will be greyed out unless you become a PRO subscriber.
We are excited to have more resources in the future for new features, some of which will be Pro only. But the website will remain largely unchanged and a lot of the app's functionality still works as a free user.Is there a free version?
The Trailforks app is still free in your user customizable free area. Within this area all trails are fully accessible for free.
The app will choose your free area automatically but you can adjust this area once to your choice. The free area is a square of 60km (38 mile) sides, which equals to 3600 square kilometers (1400 square miles). This area can be positioned anywhere you like and does NOT have to be centered where you live. It's intended to encompass your most used riding area even if that area is far away from where you live.
Many other functions of the app also remain free. Such as checking trail status, reports, events, contests, badges & your personal Ridelog recording & viewing.
The trail map is only restricted in the Trailforks APP, the website maps remain free and open.Can I still record my rides?
Yes! Ride/activity tracking still works with the free version anywhere in the world. You can also view your own rides in any region.Can I still view race course routes?
Yes! Race organizers and participants can still load race course routes on the map, even on the free version of the app.Can I still earn badges and participate in contests?
YES! A Pro subscription is NOT required to record your ride and earn badges or participate in contests.How does the 50% discount work if I sign up in the first 30 days?
If you sign up and become a member in the first 30 days you will receive the discount. It is our way of saying thank you for using Trailforks over the past 5 years while it was free.How long is my discount valid?
As long as you stay a member you will maintain that discount into the future.Are there discount codes available for industry?
There are so many riders that participate in the industry and it would require complicated approvals, so we have decided to offer the 50% off promotion to everyone who signs up in the first 30 days rather than any industry specific pricing.How can I pay?
You can either pay directly on the Trailforks website, through the Apple App Store, or Google Play.What does this mean for your trail associations and local admins?
We greatly appreciate the work local admins and ambassadors have put in to help map trails, as well as manage and curate the content in their areas. It's a vital piece in making a global platform like this work.
To recognize their continued efforts we are providing five free Trailforks Pro subscriptions per trail association, which are intended to be used by trail administrators. Also, members that are set up as local region admins on Trailforks can get a free Trailforks Pro subscription. They must have at least 10 Trailforks contribute points, meaning they’ve helped contribute some data to the platform. Local admins apply for free subscription here via the Trailforks website
(not the app).
In addition, all the great tools, data & widgets are still available for free on the website for trail association usage. How is Trailforks related to Pinkbike?
Originally Trailforks was a section of the Pinkbike company and website. While we will remain sister sites, Trailforks is now it's own company named Trailforks Mapping Inc
, and will have its own independent systems, servers, and people.What if I am upset that I now have to pay?
We truly appreciate all the support of our users over the last five years that Trailforks has been free but in order to continue to be great, we have to start charging. We would encourage you to sign up in the first 30 days and take advantage of our 50% offer which reduces the cost to just a few beers a year. If you maintain your membership we will continue to give you the 50% discount as a thank you for helping us make Trailforks great.
Every premium service has to find a way to pay the bills eventually, we had 3 options, plaster the website & app with advertising, charge trail associations, or charge users. We dislike ads and the tracking of users across the web it involves. We have never and don't want to sell user data, or even force users to have an account to use the app & website, thus tracking them even more. And one of the core missions of Trailforks is to provide tools and data for non-profit trail associations, so charging them doesn't align with that. So we decided on a reasonable yearly subscription for all users, which can be purchased even without an account.
Every time the app is used, external services ( map tiles, Google maps, satellite imagery, elevation data, weather data, and more ) have a cost associated with it. We have been able to absorb the cost until now, but as more and more users use the app we just can't absorb this indefinitely.Can I try Trailforks Pro for Free?
YES! When a user first installs the app, everything is fully unlocked as if they were a Pro subscriber. Each user gets 7 unique days of usage in trial mode before the map locks and they must choose their free unlocked area or subscribe to Pro. This is not 7 consecutive days, but 7 days of use. So if you only ride each weekend, you could potentially be in trial mode for 7 weeks. Giving you ample time to see what features and data the app has to offer.
Additionally once you subscribe to Trailforks Pro there is a one-time 7 day trial via the Apple and Google app stores.I Paid For Trailforks Pro & My App Doesn't Recognize It
If you made a new purchase or have switched to a new device and your app doesn't recognize your Pro subscription you can try to restore.
- In the Trailforks app open the main side menu.
- Go to "Settings".
- Click "Restore Pro Subscription"
There is more info available on the Pro FAQ page
, which we will keep updating.Signup for Trailforks Pro on the website
or within the Trailforks app by clicking the "Get Pro" menu item.
TrailForks isn't perfect, but damn if it isn't already the best MTB/Trail map app/site out there.
The website and all the management tools are all open, but like we mentioned in the faq, as so many users started using the app, and every time a user uses the app we have to pay for external services ( google maps, tiles, elevation data, weather data, etc ) on behalf of that user, the costs became more than we could absorb. Thanks for your support.
I also make sure I join trail societies for any place I ride in a year; so NSMBA, SORCA and WORCA, TORCA (every year) plus anywhere I go for a trip in a given year. This should just be part of our riding culture. We pay so much for the bikes and kit but get the actual trails we ride mostly "for free"; in our minds. Just one day in many bike parks can cost more than a membership in several local trail societies who maintain the trails and ADVOCATE for all of us so we don't lose those trails. Numbers in the societies matter to governments on all levels.
Ride long, ride safe and ride with the community!
I think the free/pads features have been wrongly chosen. This free option is basically useless, you need TF to explore new trails. This means that free users will abandon the app.
Could there be an option to disable those external services, to save you some money?
For instance, I can’t remember ever using the weather data or functionality. And I’d gladly give that up to reduce the costs.
And I am glad the cost is relatively reasonable. I’m just not a fan of subscriptions. Any chance you’ll ever offer the ability to purchase maps by state/region/trail system?
Finally, is the home region size set in stone? I live in the greater Seattle area, and a 38 mile square doesn’t cover what I’d think of as the region. In fact, that doesn’t reach from my home trails, down to raging river or tiger mountain.
So I have to choose between having maps for local trails, or the most popular trail networks in my region.
And that’s not even counting Bellingham, which I also ride.
Dang samsquantches! Yer so bloody honest! Sign me up.
We released an app updated at the start of August which seems to have greatly improved some peoples ride tracking results.
Either way, I like this model of how you pay for what you're getting. Instead of the alternative (quite common) business model where you don't pay money but give the geeks/creeps unlimited access to whatever they want to take, process and distribute.
Nothing wears a trail out faster than being on Trailforks.
Can we pay $1.50/ month to have our trail system not on Trailforks?
As soon as I paid, it started glitching and wouldn't pull up the trail right down the road from me in the search tool....just the spinning wheel of "waiting".
You can fix your subscription by going to the "Settings" page in the app then click "Restore Pro Subscription"
1. Took the community's submitted trail data, monetized it for their own profit.
2. Ran any competitors out of the industry before implementing charges.
They are also charging for convenience only (the app format) and putting no paywall whatsoever around the data which can still be accessed freely through a browser. You can still plan your whole ride, get GPS info and view trail data before your ride there is just a charge to use it on trail on your phone.
In a sport with such a high cost of entry $3 a month seems pretty reasonable for the service offered and in my opinion MUCH better than having to view ads while trying to access the information.
BUT - I have two concerns about how they've chosen to deal with free/paid content.
First, if the app isn't free, doubtless fewer users will add/update trails. So, in the long term the data-quality will suffer.
Second, Trailforks has gotten lots of mountain bike associations to use them as their official trail maps. In fact, our local association switched from a "Become a member to access GPX maps" to "Everything's free on Trailforks" model within the past couple years.
That model doesn't seem nearly as appealing if now, those trail maps are gated behind a paywall on mobile devices from a 3rd party company.
I'd love to hear from the Trailforks team what discussions they've had with local MTB associations that use Trailforks as their primary trail maps, and how they feel about the switch.
To all the whiners: sure the data was "free" (minus the cost of developing a way to submit it), but development and hosting is not. In fact - this might come as a shock - developers cost money; in fact, they cost more than your gps tracks.
No they dont. At least two times I had blank screen with only the trail and my location marked, nothing else. When approaching LTE or at least 3g, the map was bck again. I did not find anything in the menu to change this. All regions were preloaded on my phone.
I am using osm on orux asan alternative with preloaded trails and maps,this always worked (since 2011 or so).
I am really pissed off because I contributed a lot of trails around Europe and uploaded fotos etc., over the last years.
Or maybe bill them for your work?
It comes down to if one thinks that trailforks Is building the system well and efficiently or not.
I think we go to great lengths to do so.
It's great that the maps that Trailforks displays on the computer and mobile apps work as intended, but the navigation and some quirks have gotten me lost quite a few times. I stopped using it ever since I got a Garmin unit, which is able to load different map API's. My main issue with Trailforks is that the navigation pointer always point in the opposite direction to where I'm facing and the map remains static north, even when I push the compass to try and rotate the map so that the pointer points to the direction of heading. However, the recalibration interface comes on and makes the map turn north again. Just a pain in the butt! On the Garmin, it's fine when you're moving, but when you're stopped, the map is shown in the North orientation. You can rotate the map so that the pointer points in the direction where you're facing, but you shouldn't have to do this! If mobile navigation apps such as Here WeGo, Maps.Me and Magic Earth can correctly navigate with downloadable maps for free, I can't see why Trailforks can't do the same with similar business strategy.
Your comment on "1000s of requests per second" occurs if the maps are accessed like Google Maps where a section of the map is loaded as it's moving. Trailfork GPS "map" info are downloaded but not some of the layers, which are streamed if you have data. So, if you're not using data, you'll see the routes on your phone, but no layer images that overlay the maps. So, any rivers buildings and green areas are not shown as opposed to downloaded maps from other navigational apps. So, this can be avoided if the layers are included as part of the downloadable map regions, thus saving thousands of requests per second - which is unnecessary.
"To recognize their continued efforts we are providing five free Trailforks Pro subscriptions per trail association, which are intended to be used by trail administrators. Also, members that are set up as local region admins on Trailforks can get a free Trailforks Pro subscription. They must have at least 10 Trailforks contribute points, meaning they’ve helped contribute some data to the platform. Local admins apply for free subscription here via the Trailforks website (not the app).
In addition, all the great tools, data & widgets are still available for free on the website for trail association usage."
“We greatly appreciate the work local admins and ambassadors have put in to help map trails, as well as manage and curate the content in their areas. It's a vital piece in making a global platform like this work.
To recognize their continued efforts we are providing five free Trailforks Pro subscriptions per trail association, which are intended to be used by trail administrators. Also, members that are set up as local region admins on Trailforks can get a free Trailforks Pro subscription. They must have at least 10 Trailforks contribute points, meaning they’ve helped contribute some data to the platform. Local admins apply for free subscription here via the Trailforks website (not the app).
“We greatly appreciate the work local admins and ambassadors have put in to help map trails, as well as manage and curate the content in their areas. It's a vital piece in making a global platform like this work.
To recognize their continued efforts we are providing five free Trailforks Pro subscriptions per trail association, which are intended to be used by trail administrators. Also, members that are set up as local region admins on Trailforks can get a free Trailforks Pro subscription. They must have at least 10 Trailforks contribute points, meaning they’ve helped contribute some data to the platform. Local admins apply for free subscription here via the Trailforks website (not the app).
Don’t need to looks at trail maps of my local area where I spend 90% of my ride time, cuz I know ‘em already. No value there -at all.
Do need to look at maps when riding new areas, but I’m only in new places maybe 10% of the time, so it’s not worth paying a monthly subscription for something I only use occasionally.
You need to match the revenue model to the usage cases. For example, I’d pay a one time charge ($5 or $10) to download a new ride zone when I visit it, (with free updates for a year), but I’m not signing up for a subscription model I won’t need regularly- especially during Covid times when travel ain’t happening.
It was good while it lasted. Sigh.
Are we still paying for data we provided you? yes, but it seems way more in line with how most will use it; there's a direct link between what /how/when I pay and the value I get from it.
In fact, you should design an entire incentive system around contributions. The more TF points you have, you get full access to a new region free. Award new regions, or months of full access subscription based on TF points achieved.
Also need to figure out a way to support trail associations and give them a reason to care about TF rather than just publishing their own maps and GPX on their own websites. For example, you join a trail association at a certain level, you get full Trailforks App access to all their trails as long as you remain an active member. I usually throw some $$ to the local trails group when touristing in their area. Fit a TF access/download into that equation.
About a year ago, when Trailforks announced they wanted to be the "all trails" app and start cataloging hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, etc., etc. trails, I got worried. They started as a mountain biking trails app, and they were good at that. Now, after users have given them tons of info mountain biking trails, they want to shoot the moon, but they've spread themselves too thin and can't do it without our monthly payments. I wish they would have stuck to what they were good at and originally intended to do.
Yeah, it's not expensive. The subscription model is just disappointing.
I don’t need my local area need it for areas I visit. C ya
Totally get that they need to generate revenue somehow. It’s not a big expense, obviously. It’s the recurring, largely-unused subscription-that-you-forget-about-and-pay-forever type thing that’s most irritating.
Keep your annual subscription option. Just give us an additional, reasonable short term access price structure, so we can buy it when we need it and not have to give you money in the months when we don’t. That would be easy to implement, and gives your users more control in choosing how to consume your product. Stave off the revolt now!
My other cheapo way would be to just use the desktop version on my phone, but that wont give me exact location on the trail I don't think. But since I use it on my phone 1-3 times a year I doubt I'll feel much impact by not using it and having to navigate like its 2010.
If it was Spotify changing their model and asking for $110 for a year, yup. I know I'll be using it more than enough to justify that.
And really that kinda highlights the issue with a monthly sub to tf. The "cost per minute used" is actually insane, it would be higher than any other subscription I've ever had.
That would be fair now.
So if you decide to monetize and that was a one sided decision, then i should be able to remove my trails if i want. Trails i physically made.
I'd want to do the same. I'm a software developer but hate the current trend of hoarding data and monetizing after the fact.
Subscriptions are also hardly worth the price for every user.
TF invested they say...Yes, so did I, tools, time, money, blisters, sore back, argues with my wife... Never asked back for anything, just wanted to contribute and share.
So OK, TF fooled manny, good luck with that.
I logged out, uninstalled the app and go on like before TF. Not my kind of project anymore. Learned something, though.
So does that mean that instead of using the app you can just use your web browser on your phone while you are on the trail?
It's not the job of a small app company of 4-5 people, that has already gone above and beyond to support trail associations, to pay trail builders for their work. This is something the entire bike industry has to tackle but more so local governments and their tax base. How much do we spend on our expensive Carbon bikes that are useless without the trails? How much do local governments spend on rinks, fields, pools and so on. A trails gps track and full info is still available for free on the website and partially in the app even without Pro.
You didn't have to build them and Trailforks didn't ask you to do it. You then decide you want to share your fancy new trail with others. They built a platform to do that and it costs money. Its like publishing a trail map but way more intricate and valuable. Perhaps you should charge the riders on your trails that would make more sense to me than this argument.
Since we all know that mobility of it is important.
Me first would not be contributing and that is why i feel deceived.
Free and social friendly nature of plaform is why i contribute ma trails on TF.
Nobody said that developing and maintaining TF is easy or free.
So in my eyes, TF done unfriendly one sided move leaving the one nice model and shifting to money making.
From my perspective Trailforks platform has made riding better because:
1) We can find new trails and explore new areas
2) We can record our rides so we can find the great trails again and to see how many we have done
3) We know where we are when we make a wrong turn
4) You can view videos and photos of new rides to check them out
5) We know our location in case of an emergency
For me it has absolutely changed my riding. It has opened up new terrain and made the sport fun again. I got out of the rut of riding the same trails over and over.
Also, for builders and Trail Associations it also adds a ton of benefit and provides them with:
1) Ability to share and manage trail maps easily with their community
2) Management tools to input and remove trails as required
3) Trail reports to help manage the trail maintenance
4) More safety for riders in their association
5) Information on usage that can be used to demonstrate to land owners and government the relevance of our sport to their communities. This helps keep trails open and hopefully will open up more land for us to use.
This information has completely changed the perspective of mountain biking in the eyes of governments and communities. We are no longer seen as a bunch of yahoos building crazy trails for our own use but more as an important part of the recreational profile for the community. While this may seem off putting for the more exclusive among us but it is super important for keeping trails open and us not getting shut out of trail systems by better organized and politically connected recreational groups (ie hikers and dog walkers)
For all of this I am very very happy to pay $1.50 per month and submit data and participate in the Trailforks community. It seems like a no brainer. I paid up the first day it was available. No offense if you don't agree this is just my own perspective. Also, remember it is totally free if you ride in your home area so no need to pay if you don't have to. Cheers
I'd be way more likely to pay a monthly fee for a service I "need" 4 times a year if a significant amount of that fee went towards building and maintaining trails.
As it is now, I'd much rather stop in a local shop and buy a map and get local advice.
lol yeah, exactly. "give us stuff for free so we can charge you for it"
Profit is not a shameful incentive. But implying these changes are only to improve the app, and support the community, etc, etc is disingenuous when the primary motive is obviously profit.
How they've gone about this transition shows some inexperience however. They seemed to have focused on purely the "value for your money" mindset, which is true but completely ignores a bunch of other factors, ranging from the emotional (it was free until you could get away charging for it) and the intellectual (you built a product on the back of your community then tricked them).
I give them the benefit of the doubt that they want to meet certail goals: low cost, no ads, still value in the freebies - but they have a very vested interest in providing a single narative. Unfortunately once you destroy trust in your community it's almost impossible to win it back. I think TF will survive and might do OK under this model but I predict (1) a huge reduction in participation and potential market, (2) some significant rollbacks and changes to these new policies, (3) a lot less excitement towards new PB-esque initiatives.
In the end, we all loose.
I'd love the people behind TF to all get rich - they've built something really good. The key is not to destroy it in the process.
If the app costs too much to run throw some ads on it and charge for an ad-free version. By putting a subscription model on it (the most bullshit model of monetization) they're just going to lose a MASSIVE chunk of their user base.
Nothing about Trailforks is genius, singular, or irreplaceable. People will just start using the next free alternative. The only advantage Trailforks currently has is they've now spent years stealing all our submitted data, but once that dries up the quality will plummet.
In seriousness though, Trailforks Pro is kind of bad for our riding community. We are a high traffic, high tourism area with MANY, MANY trails that Trailforks has the courtesy of letting us self-manage and keep them off. These trails appearing on riding apps is bad for the community. Trailforks Pro pushes many casual users to other free apps which have fewer features, but show pretty much every type of trail and wherever they are. This summer, I've seen a lot more people come in to the store to ask about such trails, with apps that show where they are. Pro is just going to make these trails easier to access, which I guess is too bad.
Also, I know Trailforks won't sell personal user data, but what about aggregate data? seems to me that this is more lucrative than any of the three options presented by you.
Trailforks has encouraged donations to Trail associations in the past. Do you think that switching to a subscription model will impact the rate that people donate? If more, why? If less, do you intend to create trail grants or similar to combat this?
Local protectionism was pretty big circa 2000 ... MTB is evolving bro.
People support local trail orgs because local trail orgs do things like support trails... trails that you dont wont published .. but you still want the $$$ from the mapping apps?
Get of my Lawn.
Mtb project is one
But for 5 years they've had unpaid workers do their job.
Some people get a $30 subscription as pay.
You may be pissed that your buddy is charging you 10 bucks for that beer but if you were insanely thirsty you just might pay to finish it anyway, you just wouldn't be friends anymore
But you say no, that's bullshit. You let me party and drink here for free all these years, how dare you ask me for money for my next beer! It's not my problem that you have to pay for the booze I drink every night. Greedy f*ck. You can't ask me to pay for something that I once got for nothing. After all, without people like me coming to the party, there is no party.
I think that sums up both sides.
To run with your DJ analogy. Your friend is a DJ, and you go to listen to him spin and more and more people are stoked what he does. But then the DJ put's on a festival for lots of people ( has to pay for insurance, and toilets, and staff, etc ), but you refuse to pay admission because you know, you consumed his music when he was smaller so of course you're entitled to his music forever.
Is trail forks going to start paying people who contribute content?
Lots of people are into something but don't have endless income to sink into it. That monthly fee could have been a new saddle, replacing worn out pads, etc. Maybe your 5 year old kid's $300 bike needs a little work. There's always somewhere else to spend your money in the world of MTB. Why does TF deserve a cut of those limited dollars? That's not how capitalism works, there simply isn't enough of a demand over other products to justify (another) monthly fee.
I have plenty of spare change to throw at TFpro, but that's not a reason I should. And that's never how a market bears out. I'd rather spend my money where it's useful to me in some tangible way.
Paying to see user generated trails on google maps? Not overly useful to me. Id be more likely to pay google if they did the same thing.
Yeaaaahhhh no. Servers do cost money, but the user rate is pretty low. This isn't a popular app. 500k android store downloads means there's a cost, but it's not like the average tf user is going to open it more than once a month.
And I'd happily pay a more flexible model to actually pay for what I'd use, but I'm not about to start feeling charitable towards a data organizer app and pay wayyy more than what I'll ever use.
It's also not actually available monthly, all of you are just dividing the cost. This isn't brazzers. It would be so much better to at least be able to pay for premium for say a week long riding vacation.
But not giving users any sort of advance notification and the ability to plan accordingly is kind of like giving a Boy Scout his free compass and then sneaking in at midnight on his camping trip and taking it out of his pack.
now to counter this, I actually sent TF crew an email a few years ago asking where I can send a donation - they've allowed us to go on multiple vacations and find great rides! so I'm not opposed to paying for pro subscription at all, but massive fail on the way this feature was coded and rolled out as is blocked access to some when they actually needed it.
Location was one of those places that has VERY spotty coverage. one bar on 1x or 3g, but no LTE coverage.
3 people had TF already installed an had been using for many years. Their app locked up as it was pinging towers just enough to tel the app to not work due to your new policy. they were unable to get enough access to actually sign up.
2 other people in same party tried to download the app. Apparently they had coverage at some point in the day since the app did download in the background while riding, but there was no 7 day free trial option showing up on home screen, and again not enough service to get it registered.
All 5 had a loooooong day in the woods. Again, if asking for $$$, these are exactly the kind of things people expect to be dialed when paying for something.
It showed the "local area rectangle" and no trails outside of it. However there was a "RESTORE_PRO_SUBSCRIPTION" menu item that I had to press to get into the trial/admin subscription. Now the rect is not showing any longer.
visitors can still research your location on the website ahead of time as well.
Unfortunately I'm sure MTB/Mtn Project are also headed this direction eventually. IMBA, Access Fund or another non-profit should partner with or purchase those apps to keep them sustainable. I'd happily pay and continue to upload trail info and data knowing that my funds were going to a non-profit with the goal of serving the individual recreation communities.
FWIW, I don't disagree with charging and the price is fair. It's just a shame that it had to be done in 'squares' rather than keeping extremely basic features free and charging for the 'extras'. When I put 18 months into a trail and put it up on TF for the good of the community, it smarts a bit being expected to pay best part of $40 to not get lost riding around Pemby once a year!
This is a classic "build a community but own the infrastructure" play - if they're going to pull this move than the data should be released with some sort of CC-SA license for other apps to consume.
But not the trails nor Open Street Map.
People spent thousands of hours adding the data, for free.
Now the admins gets a free pro account!
Who's willing to work for $30/year for administering a region, while the developers have a full salary?
Paying trailforks is like pissing on everyone who's contributed.
I understand that things cost to run.
Put ads on the web and in the app, have pro remove them.
Paywall the things _you_ have created.
Go out and map you own trails.
Or pay people to do it.
Isn't that exactly what TF Pro is? All the data is still available completely for free on their website, but if you want to use the app and all its features now there is a (very reasonable IMO) fee for that extra convenience.
"Paywall the things _you_ have created."
Uhh ... they created this whole damn system for sharing/finding trails and are still only asking people to pay for access to part of that system.
"Put ads on the web and in the app, have pro remove them."
I do agree with you here, I think an ad supported free tier would have been a smarter move.
If someone's too stupid to see the value in a few bucks to make sure their holiday time isn't squandered (especially after booking a rental and shuttle) - well, that's just a lesson they need to learn.
There used to be trailmapps for Squamish, whistler, and Pemberton. - they were 10 bucks each and I found the interface nicer to use then teailforks. Unfortunately they stopped updating a few years back and now there is no other option then trailforks.
So I won't be updating Trailforks, that's why I have auto-update turned off.
I've worked personally with the guys at Trailforks helping set up my local trail network. It's been valuable for reporting issues and responding to the them quickly, or just seeing how things are currently running. No other app is going to do that for you. Spending $1.50 a month to help them grow is much better then seeing ads pop up every time i'm trying to look at a trail.
I dont get all the upset folks complaining about a tool that actually works well and is to the point where you can rely on the data and not just "hope" it is somewhat accurate. Take a look at your local trails on "Alltrails" and i bet there are "routes" sending hikers up downhill bike trails and riders into illegal areas because somebody post a game track they found one day. People need to quit complaining and go ask mommy to raise your allowance by $1.50 so you dont get lost and miss curfew.
Its $36/year, or $18/year if you sign up in next 30 days.
*in app purchased required*
“well, it’s been nice knowing you...”
"I know! And because I took a massive digger on that double black trail, those stitches / hospital bill set me back a few hundred bucks. Not to mention the $500 bucks of damage to my bike."
"But thank god we saved ourselves from paying $2 bucks for the app! We learned those guys at trailforks a lesson!"
The trail associations are the ones creating the resources being mapped in trail forks. Without that there is no trailforks.
Wold love to understand if the subscription model will put more money into the trails.
Our Trail Karma month and all it's promotion last month raised $148,000, we will continue to promote Trail Karma feature and have more ideas around this for the future, helped with more Trailforks resources to put behind it! We absolutely have always been concerned with helping support the trails and trail associations that advocate for them.
I guess my question or concerns is that once users begin a subscription based service, will their be less incentive for users to donate more of their money back into the trails or will trail forks continue to push the trail karma program?
I recognise PB and TF are cash contributors in some communities but as I said without the trail associations volunteer hours, getting money to build and maintain trails, there is no trailforks.
Or send me a 1$ for every ride on trails i made, registered though TF?
C'mon... monetization, dollars...never enough, ha?
I dug 2 trails, almost 5km by hands. Maintaining them too.
Never asked, never got a cent.
I consider MTB as more of a social concept, so don't approving this move from TF.
Of course you'll need to hire someone to stand there at the trail and collect the fees.
Hmmm....turns out running a business costs money.
To someone else do the job.
They made the platform (trail), people ride it (uploading, building, free with ad's) and now need to pay for that.
I just say' this is not fair. Or let me remove my uploads.
And we all volunteered to upload that info - we don't own it even if it's a trail we built with our own hands.
Trailsforks had options (monthly vs one time fee vs ads) - they chose the one that fit best for them. They knew that some people wouldn't like that particular choice - that's just a fact of life. Some people appreciate the choice they made. Some don't.
There was zero way they were gonna please 100% of people (except to continue to pay their own money to provide us with a free service)
I'd take adds over pay for service.... Hopefully all the areas that used TF as their trailmaps will make " free" maps available somehow. The best things in life are free as the old airmiles tagline went. AllTrials for me locally as it has all the unsanctioned trails and shortcuts. Used trailforks mostly on trips so I guess it will be on-off service for me when I go on trips without good free map options. All the folks doing free work for TF should now start charging them to send them data. Oh you want a trail update or new pics, gimme a free month. Oh you want Whistler bike park's latest data give us 4 months of banner adds you said you didn't want but now have. You want our trail association in your service we want 10% of revenue from all riders that use our trails network. Sorry we can't afford to honor our " founders" pricing your new pricing is the same as everyone else now we have a business to run after all.
You can still aggregate your own data on Google Maps (guess how you pay for that free service).
I just hope this new mapping corporation flows the vast majority of revenue into outstanding service delivery, support, and employee salaries!
People seem to have this weird entitlement to thinking everything in mountain biking should be free and there is obviously a cost to maintaining and updating this software. If you think $1.50 a month is outrageous you are either out to lunch or haven't been riding bikes long enough to appreciate this is the cheapest accessory to enhance your MTB experience.
Now get that Apple Watch app going!
To all the haters the reality is running something like this takes significant expense. The content provided for free is certainly of value but the real costs are in development and keeping the infrastructure running. You can choose to volunteer hours to trail marking but one can’t volunteer to pay for the infrastructure required to keep this going. All the 3rd party services they use likely have a per-ping charge that they are currently consuming. This is no different than any other crowd sourced website out there that relies on community contribution (all social media and even Strava segments).
As long as TF keeps the trail karma going I see this as a valuable tool for local orgs to contribute to.
Can always cancel if its not working out.
Even though I'm part of a trail association, I'll probably pay out of my own pocket, because as a power user, I'm getting so much value out of TF.
The issue is for our trail association: we really populated and used Trailforks as the main vector to distribute our trail network to people of all skill levels. I, too, have recommended many time TF to beginner riders lost on their first ride.
@canadaka "after that 7 days use they can still subscribe"? They 100% won't, at least here in NZ. Sure, the experienced rider travelling across the country to ride on their Santa Cruz will, but the beginners or the cash-strapped rider, they simply won't.
And now as an association this means we will need to find a new way to reach them.
I have friends from the bottom of the barrel to the top...they all find a way to pay their subscriptions for shit they enjoy.
No idea where elitism came into this.
It’s a few bucks.
Even though TF will always be in the mix, I'm not sure it would be easy for us to make it our primary "conduit".
Its like any other GPS based app... you just need to load and store the map(s) once... buy them again when you want a different region or the latest updates.
Charge for the app, charge for the maps... ongoing charges/fees is a sure way to drive economically aware people away.
But its just $2.99/mo... then the next service, and the next, and the next. Now you have hundreds/mo. in reoccurring charges.. regardless of use.
There is no mention though of how trail societies are going to benefit from this though. You've shifted to a for-profit model and are now directly profiting of the the backs of volunteer trail builders and cycling clubs. What is the kick-back structure to trails groups who are the entire reason that your business can even exist? There is a demonstrable increase in out-of-town ridership all across our trail network since Trailforks took off (where as before it was fewer out-of-town folks limited to a couple of our better known riding locations).
And before you say "Trailforks provides the options for users to donate to the trail society", zip it & STFU. Our club as received a total of $15.00 in donations from this feature in the last 5 years and we manage over 250 world renowned trails in our network.
If Trailforks is getting paid, its time for you to pay the piper (trail societies & trail builders).
Saying that your towns increase in out-of-town ridership is because of Trailforks is also not accurate. Have you noticed the entire sport is growing, or the entire BC tourism industry? Sure Trailforks probably plays a part in your towns increase, but it is not THE reason.
Trailforks does not need to do things like create tools for trail orgs or provide free data for their benefit, or encourage and build up a feature like Trail Karma. We do it because we are riders too and care about the trails. We hope with more resources we can help promote these things more and have some more ideas in the future regarding that.
While agree the amount of Trail Karma donations Nelson (assuming that's where you're from in profile) has received for such awesome trails is low, your claim of $15 is no where near the truth though. There is $1400 that has been donated to Nelson.
I agree MTB is exploding, but what I was saying is that we have way more riders in zones they never went before. Pre-trailforks there were two or three areas where tourists went to ride. Now the whole network is on the table.
How about a kick back structure like Spotify? If someone uses the TF app in a cycling club's jurisdiction, then a portion of that user's subscription fee gets kicked back to the club? Like if I navigate in Squamish using TF on Saturday, SORCA would get $0.25 (I have no idea how you'd price it exactly)?.
We are equally getting requests from clubs that want to pay us to unlock the trails in their region for visitors.
There is also complications with revenue sharing, not every region has a single trail association, or have many independent builders who work outside the system. There is also the risk of users thinking that paying for Trailforks because the local trail association gets a kick back is a substitute for buying a club membership or donating.
@debramac We have had this paper map debate before. I'm sorry you have lost that revenue, but I really don't think it is a direct correlation to Trailforks. Whether you like it or not, whether Trailforks existed or not, paper maps and their usage was on the decline in the age of the smart-phone. If it wasn't Trailforks, other platforms would have popped up and ones likely not as concerned with the needs of trail associations.
Trailforks is hardly making profits off of your volunteer work. Every single user that opens the app or website costs Trailforks money. We have to pay 3rd party services monthly for each usage. We have to pay for our own servers and hosting costs, let along development and support costs. Pinkbike has already spent millions developing, supporting and promoting Trailforks, we are a long way from making any profit. You and other contributors work is still available by multiple means, website, widgets, free app region and greyed out simplistic map.
There are a few obvious benefits to using Trailforks to manage a trail network... Real-time network updates, trail closures, ease of access for the public, etc. But these are all things that don't actually benefit the actual riding on the actual trails - they are strictly administrative. I'm not sold on the usage/metrics stats either... I'd go trail counter if I wanted that data.
Regardless, folks are now literally paying $$ so that Trailforks can hold their hand and gently navigate them through the wilds of our volunteer-maintained trail network. It's a great product and makes previously daunting wilderness experiences accessible to those who would otherwise have been unwilling.
People pay Trailforks & Trailforks guides people on unknown trails. But for some reason the club has been left out of the deal? I mean the club is the sole reason for the trails existence in the first place, and trails that weren't previously receiving big numbers now require big maintenance. It just feels a bit exploitative that there isn't a little cherry on top for the club (and $1400 over 5(?) years does not qualify as a cherry).
I mean we could always go back to the old way... Bare bones Trailforks content and selling paper maps or georeferenced pdf's for those who want a heads-up display on their phone. But I don't think that is a super desirable option either...
Trailforks does more than any other trail related app for trail associations or trails, building free tools for them to use, free data, promoting the local clubs, encouraging users to donate to them and facilitating that. Hearing their concerns. No other platform does... any of that. Nor do they need to. Trailforks does because we are riders first and care about the sport. And we'd like to be able to do more, with revenue in future, hopefully we will be able to.
Sure having a map of trails is handy, but what about all the companies that build and sell the bikes and parts we use to ride those trails. Companies with REAL money, profit and directly benefit from having trails, those are the ones not doing enough for local clubs and trails, with a few exceptions.
It's not Trailforks job to solve the trail finding gap, or really bike companies. IMO it should be local governments. How much tax dollars do we spend on rinks, fields, roads? Using some of the data and tools provided by Trailforks and the increased number of riders, making this argument to local and regional governments hopefully becomes easier.
Hey I'm just telling you how it looks from the other side of the fence. It would be great if "corporate MTB" gave back more, the the reality is that Trek or Specialized are not paving the yellow brick road to our trails and diverting increased traffic our way. Not all jurisdictions are looking for more ridership...
But back to potential solutions... What if Trailforks implemented a feature to "black out" or severely restricted a certain jurisdiction's trails until a given user provided an adequate Trail Karma donation to the club? Shit, TF could even charge a transaction fee and make a little cash on the side. But if a user wanted to access our trail data on the fly, then they'd be required to donate $5 or $10 to the club to unlock "our" trails in their app.
Sounds like a win-win-win!
Idea for admins: have you considered making Trailforks a non-profit? That would ease some of the concerns about profits/cash-grabbing. You are absolutely providing a service to riders worldwide. @trailforks
Seriously though, that was a $2 cup of good locally roasted organic coffee, a $2 donut, and a $1 tip. It's a weekly splurge for me.
On normal days, I make coffee at home from the same brand of beans as the donut shop but I pay ~$0.25 per 8oz cup. Eating out or buying coffee at a shop is a treat for me, but I don't balk at spending a frivolous $5 once a week and neither do most people on here. So $1.50/mo on something I really value is NDB.
Not if Trailforks is a mtb app.
So you're collecting money and data from the mtb community so you can apply "our" resources as a launching pad for expansion into other sports? This is a slippery slope.
So when you say "apply our resources", it might be correct in your region, but in my region it's the opposite. We as bikers are using hiking trails without giving anything back (resources wise).
Second, the fact that TF made what was originally a free service into a pay service without adding anything is really a poor marketing tactic. It should have been very apparent to anyone planning this that there would be an immediate negative reaction. This ties into the first conclusion - there should have been a better plan with more lead time before springing this on users.
Third, $18 a year is actually a very good deal for this, and something I am definitely willing to pay. I am concerned that a lot of volunteers are no longer going to contribute, and that will diminish the usefulness of the app over time, but if that happens then I can always cancel. But I would hope TF is very aware of the danger here and does something to encourage participation (credit toward subscriptions, for instance).
Fourth, the biggest concern I have is what is in store in the future. Is trailforks going to get bought by garmin or someone else who makes more changes? Is the price going to be increased over time? Will we end up having to shell out $20 a month for this down the road? Who knows, but again, I guess when the time comes I can always bail.
So I guess for now my conclusion is that I'm going to pay for the subscription. But I don't really feel that good about it, and it's largely because TF screwed up the implementation. Reading the forums, there are many who seem to feel this way. The damage done to TF's goodwill may diminish over time, but it could also make TF very vulnerable to a competitor in the near term.
One final thing - if I could make one suggestion to TF on how to proceed from this point forward, it would be that TF should make all user-submitted data available for free on the app. That means the ability to browse any map content submitted by users and what people have posted about those trails (descriptions, difficulty level, etc). Then require a pro subscription for using GPS location, map overlays/topo, recording, ride logs, profile leaderboards, etc. I imagine most who would be willing to pay would do so just to get GPS navigation. But allowing the user-submitted data to still be accessible to all for free on the app would go a long way toward mollifying the bitter taste left in many of our mouths from the way this was done.
Trail Forks: Thank you for making the choice you did. I plan to subscribe.
And what about the Garmin basemaps that were sold to me on the Edge 530? Will those continue to be updated perpetually? Or will I be forced to pay the Trailforks subscription to retain the Trailforks data on my next device firmware update?
But, having thought further, I don't think its a great idea. Associations need members, community engagement, and direct donations. If people think that "oh well part of my app subscription goes to the trails", its likely to be a disincentive to donate in other ways, which are likely to be more significant.
I certainly won't be paying for the app and definitely won't be updating any local information any longer.
I have the good fortune to have travelled and ridden trails in many parts of the world. In the places that Trailforks _doesn't_ have great coverage and I have to search around for the locally preferred alternative, if it even exists, the user experience is consistently worse. Nothing's perfect, and there's always room for improvement, but warts and all Trailforks is still best in class.
I personally donate $5 per run to my local group. I buy hunting tags every year for stuff I’ll never try for too. It’s ok to participate. You can always cancel if you don’t like it.
Personally if it had the level of support it does in other areas I wouldn't mind paying for the App provided that money is going in to make the product better for mountain bikers (and not mountain bikers funding trailforks expansion into other sports, leave that to investors); however since I have added 157 trails, i.e. the majority of the ones in my area (well beyond 60km), I am pretty pissed if I would have to pay to access my own data. I am an admin so it looks like I would get an account, but I think if people contrubute lots of trails they should be given a PRO account free. I am sure I read an article a few years ago saying that trailforks would always be free and it was one of my motivations to add trails to support the community and not to help profit making...
I've read some of your comments and I don't think the article itself stresses enough the costs associated with TF running the app which you mention in your comments.
My only concern remains whether the app will expand in this part of France as a paid service, and I'm not just adding all these trails for myself!
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
$36/year is peanuts. No one is getting rich off this - it's just an attempt to make the service sustainable.
All in all a two sided sword, potentially channeling a bigger part of the money to a transnational service and away from local and regional initiatives.
Adding content on Trailforks will help smaller municipalities and resort to have some visibility, something not possible at the moment with our approval system for national and cantonal routes/trails (it's totally out of sync with the current mtb practices). It is also reducing strain on a lot of trails that were popular due to Ride Mag and similar publications.
You see it as a two sided sword, i see it as an opportunity. With more development money pouring in, TF devs can create a more attractive app and more way for our foreign visitors to discover the trails currently on the Trailforks website.
From all the reasonable ways to turn a profit, the Pro subscription makes the most sense for me. The website is still free for everyone (even from mobile phone), the services are still provided ad-free and users data is not sold.
Finally, i don't personally use the application much but i'm sure that with a larger dev team, a lot of the great ideas they didn't have time to work on will be implemented soon.
I can't speak for all the country Admins, Ambassadors and prolific contributors, but this move will absolutely not change the way i contribute - freely - to Trailforks. Without money there will be no platform to contribute to.
If you look around you will see that the development team and the Ambassadors/Admin are all riders and very passionate about sharing curated and accurate content to help grow our sport / destinations / regions, etc..
Karma donation in Switzerland is a very difficult subject (and here is not the place to talk about it). That's why i don't have any idea how this application-only subscription will change anything for donations outside of Switzerland.
Over here in the old world, aka Europe we're lucky that TF is not the market leader (yet), most trail data sits on xx different platforms.
Hardly ever used the app in any way - deleted. Not a big loss at all.
Until recently, there's been a brilliant web tool and app called gpsies.com, used to be great source for trail data (mtb, road, hike etc), but sold out to Alltrails. Guess what happened? Most gpsies users have NOT migrated to Alltrails, did NOT accept the business model and simply deleted the data they've accumulated with gpsies. So did I.
@PB/TV Fully agree - server space, IT services and support cost a lot, bills need to be paid.
But don't forget - your dealing with community generated data, user contributions and all was free of charge. You could have handled this topic in a much better way.
No bad feelings, but that's a lame stunt aka Strava style.
Folks - manage the data you've provided to TF as long as you can. Delete.
1. What about riders in areas that you cannot ride for 4-5 months of the year due to weather? There's virtually no riding where I live, within the 38 mile square, between November and April.
2. It seems disingenuousness to monetize information that was provided largely by the very community of riders you are now charging, which leads me to
3. What about the people who have contributed to the trails, conditions, etc? What incentive is there for them? Now they have to pay to see the very information that they have contributed?
4. What about rural areas where trails are spread out? I live in Aspen, and this means Glenwood Springs would be off the free map. Which is part of the same community I live in.
A pay per month option should also be added. But mostly, make the data open source since you received it all for free.
You can still download the trail gps data you added from the website for free. But there is value added to that original gps track, through many of the tools and data provided by Trailforks, the data is improved over time. Also just raw trail gps points is kinda the easiest part of the equation. Not hard to find and eventually many apps could have similar coverage. Its more about what you do with that data, what value add you give, what tools you create to manage the data, the user base you spend years and millions of dollars to grow.
Also not all the trail data is free, we have paid for trail data dumps and we do have paid staff that have contributed huge sums of trails themselves.
It is disconcerting that the commitment for data to always be available for free (even from the website) has been removed from TF forums.mtbr.com/gps-hrm-bike-computer/trailforks-pro-new-app-subscription-service-1150421-post14956905.html#post14956905
The website maps remain free, non-profit trail associations can bulk download their trail data. Along with a lot of value added data that Trailforks has generated. That is not changing with these changes.
That said I hope the move to paid allows them to build out a few things . Namely 1. please make drilling down to the leader boards easier and 2. please chunk out the trails into segments with segment leader boards. Its only thing i miss from Strava (ya i know its shallow to want to know whether i was in the bottom 10% or bottom 20%th percentile of riders on that segment but its stil fun to track improvement relative to your previous rides and relative to peers).
I am willing to pay a subscription and the price isn't outrageous.
If you are paying for something then the providers don't have to scr_w with you and use you and your personal information just to survive.
One concern I have is that many groups and people have contributed to trailforks data understanding it as something that their group would be able to access for free. Its worth paying for things that are well done and serve useful purposes, however its unfortunate that their work will now not be as available to new casual users who may balk at paying a subscription the first time they ride.
I also worried that the data will become less up to date if less people decide to use it. In Campbell River where I ride most of the time the data is fairly incomplete for some areas (although still more usefull than nothing). I wonder if it will slow the amount of data added.
I looked at MTB Project it seems absolutley useless for vancouver island
@trailforks Thanks for all your hardwork over the years, we will continue to support this platform.
Had I know before my trip I could have paid in advance. Obvious I have internet now and it seems it defaulted to the 7 day trial once I had internet, so crisis averted.
I read on daily. I expected to read about these changes before they happened.
I may have had some connectivity but super slow. In any case the trails around me were grey and I had no ability/option to change that.
I'm also curious about how to set up the free area as I can't see that in app (now with my trial). I suspect since it's a fixed square I'm gonna get a lot of water in my free area.
@canadaka Glad to hear (from the comments) that you're planning to overhaul the route planner.
I’m so happy to pay the premium to keep Trailforks moving forward and even online. (I’ve noticed as of late performance has been down.) Thanks TrailForks, life before you had me riding the same so-so trails!
I've always thought that all the efforts that users put into TF was a missed opportunity for local non-profit mountain bike associations, such as Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, WMBC, ect. When TF was first becoming popular, a lot of MTB associations were also making efforts to upload trail info onto their own websites (they still are). Had users focused their trail data and updates onto the non-profit sites, those groups could have kept that data free and available to all users. Perhaps they could have sold sponsorship ad space to local breweries, bike shops, ect., and put that money back into the trails.
Phone OS's and API's are always changing, these things require constant maintenance. Also as an end user, installing hundreds of different apps for different locals all with different quality, interfaces and features is a big mess.
Trail associations can sell trail sponsorships and promote the local companies that do so on Trailforks, for free.
Trail associations can also still use the Trailforks widgets embedding the maps on their own websites, where they can ad space if they so choose.
I don't use trailforks enough for free/not free to be an issue but I admit the mostly user supplied content makes it seem a little janky to charge for it. The fact that it is not much money is not the point.
That being said, I will pay if I need to use it.
With a paywall these regions will probably never get mapped reducing the useful of the app.
Also if 1 out of 15 pay, this is saying TF can't make 10 cents in advertising revenue per user. Seems like it would be pretty easy to meet this low threshold.
On your computer:
* navigate to www.trailforks.com
* look at all of the trails they have a on the globe
* plan a route
* save it
On your Garmin:
* open the Trailforks IQ app
* selected your newly created route
* load it onto your basemap & ride it
So, if I go ride BC, I can't use trailforks for the North Shore and Squamish and Whistler? Or closer to home - I can't see trails in Chapel Hill and then in north Raleigh, or in Brevard and then Asheville. Can this free area be repositioned between uses?
I see no value in having detailed trail conditions for your home area. Where I need it is when I go to somewhere I'm less familiar. They definitely know this.
Automatic trail conditions.
Right now, everything requires a user to manually update trail status. There has to be a way to calculate a trails condition based on weather, average ride speed vs days ride speed, amount of users, etc.
What I have found is that the best way to determine a trails condition is to see who has ridden a particular trail on a certain day via STRAVA leaderboards. Usually if it's muddy or generally poor riding conditions, someone will include trail conditions in their ride title, description or with photos. It's not exact and requires a little lurking but it I've found it more accurate than trail status updates. Although now you have to pay Strava for leaderboards which I don't think is worth it given the amount of manual labor.
We are looking at taking into account rain history, cloud cover, sun, wind, slope of the area, foliage and along with some parameters for ground rain absorption for regions and even per trail, we should be able to get some info on if a trail is too wet or too dry. This would help associations in that people would not ride the trails when too wet or too dry ( and usually less fun ) and more likely to damage it. Having it all automatic you could look at a trail x days after rain, and it would basically tell you if it's going to be muddy.
Also we would be able to predict "hero dirt"!
all this apps are the same, being nice in the beginning let us use the app for free just bring on your info, then the business greed taking control. what is the difference to drug dealers?
and like a violent parent hitting the users with bill but apologising with a discount.
on top of this it came in the "best" time economically while the whole world is suffering the effect of COVID.
Trailforks you are not nice.
The whole claim about "needing more resources" falls apart once you ask that question: why not make it a non-profit? This is about a few investors/people at the top profiteering, and the image of 'community' was always just a front for them. That's why I can't support it.
If they want to foster a community, they can put all their finances out in public and we can do the math together on what they need to run operations and come up with a fair price. The fact that it is private and for profit just shows they're like every other bait and switch company.
Every product requires some resource... in this case the user data, and efforts and infrastructure to compile and present that data.
Is your issue that you were not compensated for your input? I think... they are trying to compensate those folks by giving them an opportunity for a 50% discount... $18/yr for your data.
Also, the tiny home area is not that small. I would argue that most of us ride in a smaller area and that any real trail data we provide is likely in a smaller area that is all still FREE!! So you have complete and free access to the data you have provided.
As to value, their numbers are based on how much profit they want to make and what they think most people will pay, like any corporation. I can tell you right now that I charge $50/hr for my time, but for you I'll lower it to $25/hr. That doesn't mean I put $25 in your pocket (this is the same scam that retailers use for their 50% off sales, by the way).
If I'm paying for the platform, let me pay $10 one time fee (or whatever price it is). There is a reason they put the trails behind the paywall and not the platform.
The cost of the goods or service is what the market will bear. If there is a comparable and cheaper option, the market will not support TFs target price... and they will adjust.
Isn't that the fun part?
Look Trailforks is not charging you anything except for the application outside of an area you choose. The website is totally free to access even on your phone's web browser (and ad-free). I don't know how you use the app/website, but i never need a live map of the trails i already know and added myself to TF.
To go back to your Spotify analogy, i don't think you will listen to your own track via Spotify. And if you did you could always log-in to your creator account and listen for free to the content you added. Well i guess, i don't use Spotify.
But if you enjoy your micro-transactions and getting nickle and dime'd to death over the course of your life, then just keep supporting apps and companies that go this route.
As a founding board member for my hometown trail association and having spent nearly 20 years maintaining and developing its local trail network with my own blood and sweat. Working with local Forest Service and IMBA to build community interest and keeping it from shriveling up during odd times for the sport. I've developed skills to look at the larger picture of what actually brings existing riders and new riders to new areas and into the sport itself. Actions like this isolate incredibly valuable info from the masses and hinders growth and diversity of the sport as a whole. Which is a huge problem. They had other options here and thats the point. You should stop and think before posting multiple snarky comments to multiple people. A lot of people on here actually know what they're talking about. So far your view of this is narrow. And if you just judge people by their trialfork carma points, then you dont have much to offer this discussion. Stick to you local bubble and enjoy paying for an app you admitted yourself that you dont need.
@flyry: you a sucka
I do, however, wonder if there will be an uptick in Squamish, Whistler, and North Shore SAR calls over the next few years as non-premium TF users visit such areas (that can be confusing), get themselves lost, and don't have cell service/the maps that were accessible offline if a zone had been downloaded ahead of time.
Awesome - those features were not laid out clearly in the post (it sounded more like a blackout beyond your 60km zone) so this is good to know.
At least make a monthly, weekly or daily subscription option for the majority of users who only use this on holiday, i.e. a couple of days a year.
If I am going to a destination where I need maps (maybe 4-5 weekends a year), I'll prepare beforehand, and if I knew TF was the bees knees I'd happily buy the map I needed.
Otherwise I'd be paying a monthly fee, however small, that I'm not using at all, and of which quality and usefulness is somewhat random.
I like TF, and have promoted it as such, but it hasn't really caught on here.
That being said, I’ve learned subscriptions are successful when usage is consistent. I only get real value out of trail forks maybe five times a year when I’m riding new zones.
I’d prefer to see a higher subscription - say $6 a month with $4 going to trail associations based on overall usage. I’m happier to pay trail forks for facilitating usage based donations to trail associations than for community maps that require volunteer hours.
I have no issue with folks charging for an app. I do however, think it's disingenuous to make this opening statement unless "all funds" are going to this purpose, which I very much doubt. Pinkbike is a for-profit entity and thus the purpose kinda has to be about profit. $1.50/month x 5000 = 90K, $1.50/month x 10,000 = 180K...
"Hey we're in the middle of a pandemic with people depressed and out of work. Why don't we start charging for our app that actually helps people do something fun without spreading the virus."
Subject: MTB Trail Maps are FREE
...and it goes "all NEW" and "all FREE and loaded with ads" but "buy an ad-free subscription".
Not that there's much content/trails availble (yet), but they could certainly attract former TF users. Let's see if they'll manage to acquire the DATA they need...
If you login to trailforks and go to “settings” you can delete all of the ride data you’ve contributed... or at least add the data to a “delete queue.” Who knows if they’ll follow through and your data will actually be removed since the developers stand to profit from it now. Or maybe they’ll realize they’re doing something wrong and take steps to make it right?