route=bicycle or route=mtb?

I am entering bicycle routes in OSM and I found out that it can be done using route=bicycle or route=mtb.

Documentation is not quite clear what is purpose of each route type.

Is route=bicycle meant for routes for road bikes only and route=mtb for all not asphalt routes, or route=mtb is for extreme paths?

route=mtb is for routes that can only be used by mountain bikes and are of a “challenging” nature.

route=bicycle is for all other bicycle routes, including those for touring and commuting. You should use surface= tags on each individual way to describe what the surfaces are. That way, route-planning websites can best choose which paths and roads to follow.

Though occasionally, a bicycle route and an mtb route may share the same (good) track for a short distance - they do not exclude each other.

In my opinion mtb route is just special case of bicycle route. They share many common characterstics so I was confused why there are two different route types.

I will do tests how map rendering and various cycling sites react on two different types to see what to do.

A router will often give an improved weighting to ways that are part of a bike route. It would not be a great idea to do that for ways that are part of an MTB route if you’re not actually riding an MTB.

Pedja, did you ever encountered MTB’s as being a cyclist if so you would know. A cyclist rides and a MTB works to get around:) Besides the types of cycles are different a MTB is shorter then a fi Randonneur.

MTB routes are specifically marked as such in the real world (signs with a triangle and two circles). IMHO that’s the information that tells you which kind of route to use.

Pedja, what was your findings?

I had the same question - I mapped some time ago a few relations for local “Mountainbike” routes e.g. 15 km were on asphalt, and only 1 km on gravel (flat, easy to ride). On the web site of the local community it is called “Mountainbike Tour”, in fact it’s good enough for any bike, except racing bikes I would say.

Originally, I marked it with route=mtb, but now I see that certain cycle websites and routers are not considering it as bicycle route at all. They should prioritize it if somebody is searching for the best bike route from A to B.
I think I will reclassify to route=bicycle, as it can be visible to all cyclists out there. In the detail segments they anyway can see that there is a gravel part.

I assume “mtb” makes sense only for routes that have passages which are really only suitable for mountainbikes (single trails, paths throught forests etc.).

regards, Karl

(Indeed, it’s a pity how much time is necessary to find out these small details (at least for me newbie), mapping would work such so smoothly otherwise … )