What's new

Review Bryton Rider 750 Review

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
245
191
My 3 year old Wahoo Bolt has been falling apart for the last 2 years (naturally after warranty expired). The buttons have parted from the body and the USB door has been disintegrating to dust. Now its held together with electrical tape and hope.
fr_1343_size400.jpg
A mention of the Bryton on Bikerumor caught my eye but no review on DCRainmaker so I took a chance and went for it. Key features were a claimed 18hr battery and support for OpenStreetMaps and RidewithGPS. Not doing a Ray Maker style comprehensive review but a comparison on the functionality and my use case.

At USD $270 RRP its more than the $229 of the (v1) Bolt but you get a color screen and capacitive touch controls which might be a deal breaker for some. Main operation can still be done via buttons on the side so not that much of an issue. Buttons are plastic without the rubber sponginess of the bolt. Battery door is a rubber plug which mates into the recess underneath the body. I'd prefer the lip to insert deeper but it seems adequate. It has a similar crease for opening like the Bolt which worries me it will break the same way. Different material though so here’s hoping. Comes with a right angle microusb but haven't tried it for charging on the go.

fr_1344_size400.jpg fr_1345_size400.jpg
Comes with an aluminium outfront mount and the usual zip tie/ rubber band mount for stem or handlebar mounting. Luckily my Barfly 4 mount also came with a Bryton puck so it was a simple swap there.

Settings are mostly done through the app. Bryton has a few preloaded maps and a fairly generous 15GB of memory. However you can't manage it via the app and have to connect to a PC to even see what is loaded on. You'd only realise you don't have the local map when you zoom and and see nothing. The one i received was for Europe, Oceana, Asia (but not SE Asia) so its probably loaded according to where you'd buy it. Important to read the instruction sheet because there are no in app instructions on how to proceed for map downloading and management. So go to Brytonsport > support and pick the region and country map you need. Here Wahoo still beats everyone else hands down.

On the map situation: I'd have gone Garmin initially but the fact that they use OSM data and just sprinkle a little Garmin dust on it to charge for the maps rubs me the wrong way. You can roll your own Garmin compatible map but its a PITA to select all the necessary sections, lean on the overworked OSM server to package the files, then load that file via USB to your device. In this the Bryton is the same as Garmin however with prepackaged maps it does simplify things a bit.

We'd like our devices to last forever, and have updates for the next millenia. Companies aren't immortal however. While packaging a Garmin map is a pain, the format is well understood and its fairly straightforward to roll your own. Bryton and Wahoo have their own format for packaging OSM data, which will be a problem if either of them go bust. Wahoo has tons of money from from their smart trainer business so thats less of a possibility. Bryton as a smaller player leaves users perhaps in a more precarious position. Winner Garmin, sort of.
  • There isn't any color customization for the maps, so while you have a nice color screen you're stuck with the default.
  • Sensor pairing prefers ANT+, not that its bad since it consumes less energy than bluetooth however its strange that it does not even show the BT connection to my speed/ cadence/ HRM.
  • There is a voice search option: needs phone app to be active so its offloading the voice processing and route finding to the phone. A device like the Android based Hammerhead Karoo is basically a smartphone and would beat everything else on the market but its pricier and battery life isn't as good.
  • It is supposed to be able to re-route on the fly but does not work when you follow a pre-planned course. I suspect like voice it offloads the calculation to the app so you have to choose 'navigation' and plan on the app or device rather than follow course
  • You can connect to a smart trainer to simulate a route. Tried the TCC Okutama route so thats kind of interesting option to do race simulations.
Bryton account issues: You need a Bryton account to manage your device, and after registration you need to click the confirmation email but that took a while to arrive. This is noted in the 1 star reviews on the app store by other users. I don't know if its because I fired off a message to Support or that the wait time is par for the course. Never did get a reply in the end but I got in so yay?

Wifi connection: Wahoo wins again. Elemnt Bolt will pull wifi settings from the app (I think, at least the process seemed transparent to the user). Bryton needed to key in password manually. Given that maps are manually loaded on the Bryton wifi might be only used to upload past rides. I also performed a firmware update but that seems to use the phone as an intermediary.

Route loading: I use RWGPS as my primary route planner, and again this is where the Wahoo wins. Routes need to be set to public in RWGPS for them to show up in the Bryton app, then you have to choose the route to download to device. Wahoo you just favorite/ pin the route and it will show up when synced.

Wahoo wins on many fronts, but the build quality has soured me on their products. It may be unfair to blacklist the entire company based on 1 lemon but that is consumer mentality. I can't trust the new Elemnt Roam won't have the same build issues. For myself I hope Bryton continues to do well and iterate on their app interface. They have a viable alternative at this point, a bit more polish and we'll get there.

5/26 Theres an update to the Bolt now which has a color screen, live re-routing and replaceable port cover and SRP of US$279. Too little too late? Still have doubts about the side button quality and Ray Maker has been having troubles with his loaner set.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,985
1,383
We'd like our devices to last forever,
A total tangent--I just checked, and I recorded the first activities with my Edge 500 in June, 2010. It still works (used it today). I'll upgrade one of these days.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,152
1,300
@Cactaur Same experience. Wahoo wins on UI, hands down, but I went through 2 units in 2 years. Button covers fell off, screen fried. Garmin UI not as good but built to last. YMMV.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,106
2,626
Thanks for the detailed review, @Cactaur. It's good to have more information.

I think the more competition the likes of Strava and Wahoo have, the better the products we can buy in the market. It would be terrible if there was only one viable brand of GPS unit!

When I bought my Wahoo, I had already heard that several people had problems with premature aging (e.g. USB cover coming off). I am a bit in two minds about this. On one hand I like stuff that works and does so for a long time and it influences my choice of cars and computers (sorry, I would never buy an Italian car). I am prepared to pay for that. On the other hand, some things fail in a relatively predictable way and work well until they do, such as Shimano consumable bicycle parts. I can live with that too.

In the aircraft industry where the downside of equipment failure can be catastrophic, they check, maintain and replace parts on a fixed schedule. They know that piston engines are likely to die after x operating hours and a turbine engine will last y hours, so they refurbish or replace them after a set number of hours that is considerably shorter than x or y. That's how not many planes fall out of the sky.

For a few years I used o_synce Navi2coach GPS units and found their USB ports would wear out, making it difficult to copy off data or recharge them once that happens (the USB port cover would also tear off, but that can be fixed with electrical tape as you did with your Wahoo). The good news is that until the USB port wore out they'd be 100% trouble free and that is ultimately what matters to me. Once the port starts needing some persuasion I'd order the replacement unit and that was that.

That Wahoo Element Bolt is more expensive than the o_synce Navi2coach, but ultimately I'll stick with it as long as it remains reliable. Buttons coming off would be bad, I think I'd have to replace it then, but a port cover is survivable. Electrical tape does a reasonable job at keeping the silicone port cover part in place and even if not, most USB ports would not let water into the interior of the device even if the cover was not in place as the copper contacts are embedded in a plastic connector with no void connecting inside and outside of the unit. Rain would not normally short the GND vs. 5V lines of the USB port because it's distilled water with low conductivity. The cover is more for peace of mind than anything else :)

Having said that, it's a shame if the build quality of some brands and models is sub-par. Better port covers and buttons that won't fall off would only add pennies to the price of the units. If the equipment lasts longer, it would be better for the environment and our wallets. I would happily pay extra for that, but the sales guys at the companies making this stuff probably prefer units that need replacing periodically because it creates new business. That's capitalism for you! :(
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
192
269
Does Strava play nicely with the Bryton? Strava has a rep for not accepting vert from some units, even some that have a barometer.

I have a 500 too that still works, and has a friendly "you've not pressed start" reminder that's good for absent-minded people like me. The calibrate power meter reminder is good too and absent on my tri watch. The main annoyances with it are the time take to lock onto satellites at the start compared to more recent Garmins, the one-way scrolling through screens, and the massively unintuitive "hold reset to save your ride", which always feels like deleting your precious data.
 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
245
191
My ride has altitude data, I guess its from the unit and not something strava tacks on from its own database?

Haven't come across the hold reset to save ride, presumably its only older units.

I can't particularly recommend this bryton over units in the market. Its decent, but I've had occasional buyers remorse that maybe a garmin would be the more bulletproof choice.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,106
2,626
My ride has altitude data, I guess its from the unit and not something strava tacks on from its own database?

Every ride will have some kind of elevation data, the question is, will Strava use the elevation data from the Bryton (which presumably is from the barometric sensor) or will it used GPS elevation?

My previous GPS had barometric elevation but Strava would throw away that data and use it's own (vastly inflated) number instead.

Haven't come across the hold reset to save ride, presumably its only older units.
I think @speedwobble may be talking about the Garmin 500, which indeed had one hold reset to save a ride, which is a terrible user interface choice.
 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
245
191
Strava identifies the unit properly so I guess its barometric, also does not indicate that its "corrected elevation" on the page. Other than that don't know how to drill further.

My device has a barometric altimeter, why is Strava recalculating the elevation?


If you recorded your activity with a GPS device that has a barometric altimeter, but Strava isn't using that data, it's possible that device is not yet in our database or that the file you uploaded is missing a Device ID.
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
192
269
Yes, the Garmin 500. You can get one off the auction sites for about 4000 yen now. They are way better than anything Cateye will give you for 4000 yen, and will save your phone battery if nothing else. The reset to save feature also involves holding the reset button for a three-second countdown, which really feels like deleting something, not saving it.

Strava can be a walled garden that forcibly corrects altitude data from some devices with barometers. It may have changed since, but a Garmin used to be the easiest way for ensure things went smoothly.
 
Top Bottom