As a very active cyclist, I use computer bike. Tried many solutions during last year and can say something about that. First was standard, digital Sigma, but without any connections, any synchronization etc. It was just simple, wireless computer bike with speed and cadence sensors. Then I tried to use old Sony Xperia. It supports ANT+, it’s small and can work some time on battery. Good? Not exactly, it was terrible. After that I use two watches – Garmin Vivoactive and Vivoactive HR after upgrade. Of course, both with special adapter. The last was Bryton, and this is small review of this computer bike.
Do you know Bryton company? Even if you are a active cyclist, it may be something completely new for you. It’s normal, because it’s Chinese company and it’s not as popular as Garmin or Wahoo. Many people say, that Chinese, cheap products are always worst. It isn’t true in all cases, and this computer bike it’s very good example – I use Bryton Rider 530, nearly the highest model in that manufacturer offer. It costs about $160 without any sensors, or about $300 with full bundle i.e. cadence, speed and HR sensors. Price it’s very nice but is isn’t the most important factor. Build quality is also very high. Display is monochromatic and non-touchable, but very clear even on sunny days. It’s also very big – 2,6”, it’s more than most of the competitors. Yes, some Garmin have similar or even bigger display, but not for such price.
Big, crisp display with a lot of data
Screen is not touchable, so we have few buttons on both sides. There is also backlight, enabled by pressing one of side button. Use system is very simple and intuitive, buttons have noticeable resistance, but it’s ok. The is micro-USB port on back side but hidden by water resistant flap. Yes, this computer is waterproof and meets the requirements of IP7 certificate. Even if you buy standard version without any sensors, you will have two options to mount this button into your bike. First are standard clips for stem – mounted by two rubbers, it’s stable and ok. Second is much more interesting: F-mount. It’s special dock for make computer in front of handlebar. Just see pictures from this post, you will see, what I’m talking about. It’s very nice, and you don’t have to buy something else, it just works and is very stable.
System is clear and intuitive I think – you can configure some rider and bike options, change GPS setting (normal, power-saving and disabled) and configure data screens. You can configure maximum 7 screens with 12 fields on each of them – whow, it’s a lot of data. Computer support 85 functions: speed, cadence, power, normalized power, averages, ride time, time, lap time, heart rate, ascending, descending, temperature and much more. There are a lot of possibilities and any of cyclist can configure it for the best usage. There is also automatic mode – after enabling it, Rider will try to set the most appropriate fields in current training. It isn’t perfect but may be good for some riders. Of course, it supports laps, so after workout, you can analyze all data on Strava or other software which supports FIT files (you can get them by connecting Rider to computer). Bryton 530 also can navigate you. It isn’t device with maps, but you can upload GPX file into it and use navigation by path. I tested that and it was very accurate – GPS on this device is very good.
Many connection options
Some words about connectivity. This computer offers two ways to synchronization your workouts, some settings and upload results: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. With first option, you can connect it to your phone and manage data screens using smartphone instead of non-comfortable buttons on computer. Manufacturer added this in last months and I think, it’s copy of very similar option from Wahoo devices. You can also connect your Bryton account with Strava to sync your workouts, but I can’t recommend using Bluetooth for that – it’s very, very slow. Really don’t know why, because FIT files are very small, but in Bryton, it’s terrible slow. Best option is to use Bluetooth to only connect device with Bryton account and Strava, and then use Wi-Fi to sync – it’s very fast and reliable.
Bryton Rider 530 also support many sensors – it supports ANT+ protocol, so you can use many devices from Garmin, but not only from this company. In comparison to Bluetooth sensors, it should be more energy-efficient, but I think it’s difficult to measure, also some devices support Bluetooth Low Energy, which is much better than standard version. I tested Bryton with few sensors: cadence/speed from Magene, heart rate sensor from Mio, and power meter from Powerbeat Watteam (also includes cadence information). All of them were ok, without any problems and very fast. I could also make a zero-offset calibration in power meter just from computer, without using special app on phone for this – it’s very comfortable. This computer also supports two-sided power meters like Vectors and can get information from Shimano Di2 systems. Think it’s more than enough and many users should be happy with it.
Great battery life
What I very like in this computer is battery life. Official description says it’s 33 hours with enabled GPS and… I think it’s true. Yes, 33 hours, much, much longer than competitors (typically about 10-15 hours, only watches like Garmin Fenix provides better results). Of course, if you will use display backlight and many sensors, this time will be reduced, but it’s still amazing result. You can make many workouts without charging, it’s very comfortable. I can’t write detailed charging time, but it isn’t long. After about 20-30 minutes you can get computer and ride few hours, so, it’s very nice.
Finally, I must say, that I… resigned and sold Bryton. Why? It’s topic for next post, but I can really recommend this computer bike. It’s much cheaper than many Garmin devices, and works much better. Ok, display is monochromatic and not-touchable, system has different options and mobile app sucks, but… it wasn’t problem anytime. This computer has a lot of advantages, can run very long, it’s accurate and support a lot of sensors. How real training, it all you need. If you are looking for bike computer, you can buy this one.