Review: Bryton Rider 310 GPS w/HR
UPDATE - After roughly 700km and 6 months of use, the Bryton simply stopped working. Tried to turn it on, plug into a PC via USB and no response. Completely unexpected, never used in rain or extreme conditions, you would expect better. Waiting for a warranty response from Cycling Express and will post again.
Bryton Rider 310 with HRM and Cadence sensor (ANT+)
Price $159 - $199
Technology is here to help us, and not to make our life harder or complicated by having gadgets. Having said that, I am not a heavy technology user, I like simple and easy to use gadgets which I most likely will setup once, and then just use.
For this reason, I really liked the Bryton 310, there are many options of what to adjust (screen displays, training plans, etc.), but no need to constantly fiddle and change things. Within Bryton's range of cycling units, it is situated as more ambitious than the Rider 200, and a Rider 330 which has some extra features such as Strava upload (WLAN), navigation and a calendar (not tested). Another top of the line Rider 530 exists.
My experience with Cycling GPS' with HRM so far has been limited to the Magellan Switch (a watchlike device), with mixed results on quality and reliability (had to have it repaired and replaced twice), but I still use it for indoor activities and runs.
Mounting the Bryton's head unit on the bars or stem is straightforward, the O-ring secured mount is quickly mounted, and there are enough o-rings of different diameters to suit most stem or bar diameter. The head unit twists into place and holds on firmly, haven't had it come lose or fall off (even after crashing).
Mounting the cadence sensor on the chainstay is a simple affair, too, two zip ties hold the receiving unit tightly in place. Different story for the cadence magnet though: the magnet is tiny, 3x8mm in size, and should be held with two zip ties. I found that for my crank-chainstay gap I needed to use some sort of spacing under the magnet. The piece of hard foam supplied is even smaller than the magnet, resulting in a fumbling experience, and the zip ties just couldn't hold the magnet in place. Only when using a large spacer and other zip ties did I get a better result (see pic).
Out of the box, the Ryder is programmed to show 3 screens, each one with one large metric shown, and three smaller sub-screens. You can customize according to your preferences for up to eight metrics to be shown on each screen, however that would result in a very cluttered and difficult to read screen. It also has a two bike option, allowing to create an individual display setup for each.
I prefer either having one large and three or four smaller metrics shown, more info per screen made it hard to read and cluttered. Setting this up will take some time and also testing whether it makes sense once you're riding to group those metrics together in one screen, but you might as well do it to milk the functions of the Rider to its full extent!
Now - one big comment regarding the way the buttons work and help (or not) navigate and setup: it's a whole new system Bryton has invented, and in the beginning is not intuitive. Things such as the start button not being the stop button, menu scrolling only goes 'down' and the absence of a clearly labeled 'off' button take a while to get used to. But that's my point - you get used to this and move on to enjoying its use.
Also never could get the Bluetooth to work. As soon as my phone or tablet would try to pair with the Bryton, this one would shut down and go back to main screen. This occured on iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy 7, Galaxy 3Tab and MacBook Pro.
On the road and trail
I've used the Bryton for over 3 months and done 700+ km on it, commuting in Sydney, for long road rides and lots of hard mountain biking.
Riding and operating the Rider 310 is straightforward (once you got used to the button's functions referred to previously). I rode on my roadie commuting and on long rides, and also on the mountain bike just training and racing as well, and cannot point to any major issues or difficulty. Battery life is good, my longest ride was 3 hrs+ and over half the battery was remaining, never tested beyond this though. It connects easily to satellites, had only one odd time where it took over 10min to find satellites, which happened sometimes across other devices I've had as well. The cadence sensor is immediately picked up, and adjusts continuously its readings.
The larger numbers on the display are easy to read, the smaller ones might take some focusing - not ideal when on the MTB or a packed bunch ride, but remember there's up to 5 screens to customize to your needs if you're keen on large numbers only.
As mentioned earlier, there are a few Training & Testing options, where you can set up interval workouts or select test options. I didn't try these out, they require a fair bit of clicking for setup, and I just would use an app on my smartphone instead, while running the Bryton on normal ride mode. The Bryton also can be connected to a power meter and speed sensor, neither of which I tried out. Would be interesting to see how these extra measurements affect battery life.
For this price, this little unit comes packed with heaps of features found on more expensive brands and models. If you don't uploading to Strava via cable and learning a different (less intuitive) display setup and navigation process, go for it.
Great price to quality/functions ratio
Good screen size
Great battery life
Screen very customizable
Lots of extra features unusual for this price point
Hard to install cadence magnet
HR strap loosens up after sweaty ride
No direct Strava upload
Both the included manual and the downloaded .pdf need some work done
Bluetooth connection didn't work on iPhone4, Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy 3Tab or iMac Pro
More Information: www.corp.brytonsport.com