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Review of the Bryton Rider 530 Cycle Computer

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist as well as being a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

First Ride with the Bryton Rider 530T

Out into the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales with the Bryton Rider 530T

Out into the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales with the Bryton Rider 530T

Is the Bryton Rider 530 a Viable Alternative to a Garmin?

The cycling computer market is huge, though relatively young. Garmin were one of the first companies to bring relatively affordable technology to the masses and the continued development of the Strava social network has helped create a very healthy need for high-quality, data-rich cycling computers. The big question is whether the Bryton Rider 530 can compete.

Lightweight Unit with Button Control

For a relatively large unit the Bryton Rider 530 is surprisingly light at 77g, so it will not offend the weight weenies out there looking to get their bicycle as light as humanly possible.

Part of that low weight is likely a result of the Rider 530 not featuring a touchscreen display. I'm a little bit old-school and like something with buttons, however technology has pushed further on and the equivalent units from many other manufacturers are now in colour, featuring touchscreen control. I'm not sure I want that as with a thick set of gloves in winter I tend to struggle with touchscreen devices.

If you're opting for the Bryton you're likely looking toward the value-for-money end of the cycling computer marketplace which means you understand the need for a few compromises, or you value a degree of simplicity in an over-complicated world where technology is taking over.

The buttons themselves are a little on the small side, I'd have liked to have seen something a little chunkier for those winter rides in multiple pairs of gloves. Touch use is responsive and after a couple of solid weeks of use I've become more used to the menu systems.

Lots of Versions with Various Different Letters

The 530 is available in four models.

  • 530 E (base model)
  • 530 C (with ANT+ cadence sensor)
  • 530 H (with ANT+ HRM)
  • 530 T (with HRM and combo cadence/speed sensor)

The Out Front Mount

The Bulky but Secure Bryton Mount

The Bulky but Secure Bryton Mount

GPS, ANT+ Sensors and IPX7 Waterproofing

Tracking is provided through GPS which has pretty quickly found a signal on every occasion I've used the unit. There is no option for an alternate tracking system but in most cases GPS should be sufficient. I have found that the signal can be greatly affected in forested areas and rocky gorges when using the head unit alone without the integrated speed sensor from the 530T.

ANT+ sensors will allow connection to your favourite power device such as Stages or Powertap too. I'm due to invest in a power meter over the winter so this section will be amended once power performance is assessed.

IPX7 Waterproofing means you should be able to drop the unit in a stream and pull hit back out again. The official measurement is that the unit could be fully submerged in water to a meter deep for up to 30 minutes—just make sure you've put the USB port cover on well before you do so!.

Not Quite the Same Mounts as a Garmin

The Bryton Rider 530 uses a mounting system very similar to a Garmin Edge at first glance, however in practice the mounts are not the same. That means that if you do currently have Garmin mounts these will no longer be safely usable. The unit does creat a connection with a Garmin mount; however, there isn't the confidence inspiring, secure click into place you would expect leading to worries over losing your cycling computer when flying downhill and hitting rough tarmac.

The unit comes with two mounts to get you started: a resin out-front mount and a basic rubber-strapped stem-top mount. Both feel secure and offer a reassuring click into place. Although they are a little on the clunky side, I've not been able to locate anything more minimalist online up to now.

A check on some of the industry leaders for aftermarket mounts, such as K-Edge who supply a large number of the world's leading professional cycling teams, indicates that although they do not advertise compatibility of their products with Bryton, you can buy an adapter via eBay for a very small sum of money to swap over if you wish.

Bar-Fly however do have their own lower profile 'aero' mount for Bryton devices as shown below.

A Plethora of Information and up to 12 Data Fields on Screen

With a 2.6 inch screen there's plenty of room to show information on the Bryton Rider 530 with up to 12 data fields shown at any one point. Those of us that value information whilst we're out riding and noting specific variables for training can be positively reassured by the sheer amount of available information on the Rider 530.

Up to 12 Data Fields in View

Up to 12 available data fields in view at once on the Bryton Rider 530

Up to 12 available data fields in view at once on the Bryton Rider 530

Bryton Rider 530 Available Data Fields

The Many Available Features of the Bryton Rider 530

Data FieldData FieldData Field

Current Speed

Average Speed

Trip Distance

Temperature

Uphill Distance

Downhill Distance

Grade (%)

Altitude Loss

Altitude Gain

Current Altitude

Max Altitude

Cadence

Average Cadence

Lap Average Cadence

Last Lap Average Cadence

Heart Rate

Lactate Threshold HR %

Max HR

Lap LTHR%

Lap MHR%

Lap Average HR

Lap Average HR

Last Lap Distance

Lap Distance

Last Lap Average Speed

Lap Average SPeed

Lap Time

Last Lap Time

Lap Count

Max Cadence

Max HR%

LTHR Zone

HR Zone

Max HR

Average HR

Odometer

Max Speed

Sunset

Sunrise

Trip Time

Ride Time

Time (Clock)

Calories

Heading (Compass)

Power (Kilojoules)

Max PS L-R

Average PS L-R

Current PS L-R

Current TE L-R

Max TE L-R

Average TE L-R

Current PB L-R

MAx PB L-R

Average PB L-R

Training Stress Score

Normalised Power

Intensity Factor

FTP Zone

FTP%

MAP%

Max Power (Last Lap, Lap and Trip)

30s, 10s, 3s Max Power

Di-2 Battery Level and Gear

Want a Less Clunky, Professional Mount for Your Bryton?

Route Plotting via the Bryton Active App

My first effort at planning a route on the Bryton Active App was very drawn out and hard work so I opted for my tried and tested route planning technique using the Plotaroute website and downloading my ride as a .gpx file.

I then added the file into the "ExtraFiles" folder within the Bryton whilst hooked up to my laptop. Once the device is then working you can go into "Follw Track" in the main menu to locate your downloaded route.

Creating a Route on the Bryton using External Websites

My designed route into the Peak District for the weekend downloaded and viewed on the Rider 530

My designed route into the Peak District for the weekend downloaded and viewed on the Rider 530

Which GPS Cycling Computer brand do you currently use/ own?

Impressive Battery Life

The Rider 530 excells when it comes to battery life. My well loved Garmin 520 would offer up around 15 hours of battery life in standard GPS mode when new; however, the Bryton Rider seems to be the Duracell Bunny of the Cycle Computer world with a claimed 33 hours of battery reserve.

My first use of the unit involving a week of commuting to work involved 5 days of riding around 150 minutes per day as well as a couple of rides of around 5 hours each (300 minutes) into the Peak District. In total I rode over 22 hours and also left the unit on whilst I sat for an hour or so in cafes or at level crossings on my commutes and the battery level had only just dropped to half full.

Charging is via a standard USB 2.0 charge point. The majority of us have the right cable at home and at the office due to the prevalence of devices using the connection. No need to purchase expensive charging devices if something does go wrong with the cable.

Strava trace taken from a recent Chaingang workout

Strava trace taken from a recent Chaingang workout

Data Transfer and the Bryton Active App

Device transfer can be done via Bluetooth 4.0 to your phone by downloading the Bryton Active App. This was pretty straightforward on an older Samsung phone model although one of my biggest annoyances with the Bryton App is speed of data transfer. I've found that rides of around 4-5 hours in total have taken about 15-20 minutes to download.

You can set up your Bryton to connect to Strava and TrainingPeaks for your social's and Strava does pick up that you're using a Bryton device too. If you want to see a selection of the recent tracks using Strava you can see more at Liam Hallam on Strava which shows plenty of my adventures and exploits.

Why Buy a Bryton 530?

Positive FeaturesNegative Features

Value for Money

Non-colour display

Power Meter Connectivity

 

Testing Functions

 

Get your own Bryton 530 on Amazon

My Biggest Annoyance with the Bryton Rider 530- Altitude Calibration

Having used the Bryton unit for over a month one of my biggest annoyances is that it does not automatically calculate altitude. As it uses barometric pressure to calculate altitude loss or gain it needs to be re-calibrated prior to use to ensure the value is correct. If you're only worried about how much climbing yyou've completed this is not a worry however if you want to know how far up the Galibier pass you are in terms of altitude the value could be incorrect if you have not calibrated the unit.

The video below shows how to calibrate altitude on your Bryton Rider 530- it's pretty simple.

How to Calibrate Alttitude on your Bryton Rider 530

Which cycling computer brand do Deceuninck-Quickstep use?

With a phenomenally high win rate in 2018, The Deceuninck-Quickstep team announced Bryton as their cycling computer partner for the 2019 season. Both parties able to bring forward ideas for mutual benefit.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Liam Hallam

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on July 19, 2019:

You have given this cycling computer a thorough work out and produced a detailed and helpful review.