TESTED: BRYTON RIDER 530

So many features for so much less

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Bryton was founded in 2009 and is bringing GPS sport computers to new consumers with their competitive price combined with advanced electronics and features. The Bryton Rider 530 is the company’s top-of-the-line cycling computer and is stacked with a load of features.

THE TECH

The 530 is available in four models, the 530 E (base model) at $179.95, 530 C (with ANT+ cadence sensor) for $199.95, 530 H (with ANT+ HRM) for $219.95 and the 530 T (with HRM and combo cadence/speed sensor) is $259.95.

To start, your rides are recorded with a high-sensitivity GPS receiver that quickly acquires signal. It offers a 2.6-inch display that can show up to 12 data grids at once on up to seven pages, as well as an ANT+ sensor to pair with your existing power meter, heart rate monitor, speed sensor and cadence sensor. The unit is IPX7 waterproof for use in nearly any condition you can ride in.

The Rider 530 has Bluetooth 4.0, and when paired with your phone and their app, incoming calls and texts can be displayed. Your ride data is collected and loaded to the cloud via WLAN through the app after each ride and can be set to automatically upload to your Strava account as well. This same process also allows the computer to download any firmware updates or .gpx tracks you have made. The tracks can be made from a previous ride or on many sites, but do not include base maps. One of the most standout features is the battery life. At 33 hours, it will still have power when most of its competitors would have needed three charges.

THE RIDE

When we first got the 530, it was still in testing and one of the very few that made it to the U.S. The computer’s size is similar to that of a Garmin 800/810 but only weighs in at 77 grams—that’s almost half the weight of our Garmin 810. Much of this can be explained by the fact that the Bryton Rider 530 does not have a touchscreen display. This helps lower the weight and also helps extend the battery life too. Instead, you use five buttons that are placed on the outer edges of the body to navigate the menus and screens.

When you power on the 530, it is straight to business and displays your first cycling data page, and with the tap of the ok/lap button your activity starts recording data. The menus are simple and straightforward, with two bike options if needed and the ability to sync all your ANT+ sensors and set your personal profile settings. The power button also acts as the backlight on-and-off button with a short tap.

After a ride, if you have set up the 530 to connect to a wireless network, you can enter the menu screen and then go to data sync, then the computer will update the GPS if needed, download tips if available, upload your activity (tracks) and download any firmware updates that might be available. We also set ours to forward our ride to Strava, and within seconds it was live. This makes for a very easy and user-friendly transition from data on the bike to data online. You can also use this same file on other training sites too.

Bryton uses a tab-mounting system that is very similar to the one currently used by Garmin but isn’t identical. We used our K-Edge mount that is designed for the Garmin, and it worked okay, but it doesn’t have that locking feel when you get it in the cradle. When you use the supplied mount or one of their partnering brands’ mount, you get a secure and confident hold with the same click when it’s centered.

THE VERDICT

From the person who wants to track their rides but simplify the entire proses to the rider who is training with power and has their coach analyzing their data daily, the Bryton Rider 530 is a very advanced computer for a wide range of cyclists. With the simple turn-on-and-go feel similar to the computers of the past, you can record lots of information without the mess of multiple levels of menus before you start. But, behind this is a lot of power that can also track every second of performance.

The battery life is outstanding, and on our test model we got over 31 hours of use before we decided it was time to give it a charge. It lacks when it comes to fluff features like live Strava segments and tracking your rides live online. While those are fun to have, they aren’t needed or used much after the first few outings. When we first got the unit we didn’t have a retail price yet but had guessed it would be around $300–$350. To say we were shocked at the price would be an understatement. The Bryton is a great option for any cyclist who wants to upgrade to a GPS and have room for growth without the hefty prices that dominate the market.

PUNCH LINES

• Impressive battery life

• No touchscreen

• Amazing cost/benefit ratio

STATS

Price: $179.95 (as tested)

Weight: 77 grams

www.brytonsport.com

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