Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate and a competitive cyclist. He enjoys writing about new innovations in cycling gear and tech.
First Ride with the Bryton Rider 530T
Bryton Rider 530: A Viable Alternative to 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, but 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.
Bryton Rider 530 Has Several Options
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
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 it 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 if you currently have Garmin mounts, these will no longer be safely usable. The unit does create 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.
Want a Less Clunky, Professional Mount for Your Bryton?
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
Bryton Rider 530 Available Data Fields
|Data Field||Data Field||Data Field|
Lap Average Cadence
Last Lap Average Cadence
Lactate Threshold HR %
Lap Average HR
Lap Average HR
Last Lap Distance
Last Lap Average Speed
Lap Average SPeed
Last Lap Time
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
Max Power (Last Lap, Lap and Trip)
30s, 10s, 3s Max Power
Di-2 Battery Level and Gear
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
Your GPS Cycling Computer
Impressive Battery Life
The Rider 530 excels 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.
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 socials 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 Features||Negative Features|
Value for Money
Power Meter Connectivity
Get your own Bryton 530 on Amazon
My Biggest Annoyance: Altitude Calibration
Having used the Bryton 530 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 recalibrated prior to use to ensure the value is correct. If you're only worried about how much climbing you'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
Cycling Computer Brand Used by Deceuninck-Quickstep
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 are 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
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.