Bryton Rider 420 Review
As another new Bryton bike computer hits the shelves then so does another Bryton Rider 420 Review hit the internet. We start off with a summary and the pros and cons before quickly delving further into the details that some readers might be even more interested in. With the 420 you do, after all, get rather a lot for your money.
Well-featured, well-priced bike computer
Price - 95%95%
Apparent Accuracy - 85%85%
Build Quality & Design - 80%80%
Features, Including App - 90%90%
Openness & Compatability - 90%90%
A revamped exterior case and the addition of links to 3rd party sports platform like STRAVA is a welcome move from Bryton. Add in the ability to create, sync and follow either your own routes or 3rd parties routes and many people might raise an interested eyebrow. But it’s the price that will make you really sit up and take notice.
For one hundred and a bit $/£/Eu the Rider 420 clearly is not going to have every advanced feature ever created. But it really has got several of them, like the ability to pair to an ANT+ power meter for a start. Those sorts of features were once only in the realm of Garmin devices that were twice the price.
The format and interface to the Rider 420 are limiting but Bryton has done a reasonable job of beefing up what the Rider 420 is capable of by piggy-backing on extra functionality via the Bryton Active app, which actually works quite well now.
The navigational features do a sound but rudimentary job. Having said that, an upcoming cue sheet for TBT instructions and an upcoming elevation profile gives you the comfort that the basic navigational features that most people need are included.
Oh. And did I say it supports structured workouts sync’d from Training Peaks? Well, it does. Mostly. (If you have no idea what that sentence means then rest assured that it does some pretty advanced stuff 😉 )
- Good price
- Good feature set
- Clear screen
- Great sensor support
- Claimed 35 hour GPS battery life
- More than sufficient GPS accuracy
- Feels well-made for the price
- Structured training support
- Nice 3rd party platform support (STRAVA, RwGPS, KOMOOT)
- Did I say PRICE?…I’ll say it again…PRICE.
- Could be prettier, the unusual shape is an acquired taste
- Two buttons on the underside are hard to use
- GPS-Compass only works when moving. It’s NOT magnetic.
- App could be improved but it does the job
- Bikenav functionality does not include re-routing intelligence or any kind of onboard map (but that’s a relatively normal omission even at higher price points)
- The trade-off for the low price is that a lot of the navigation abilities rely on the Bryton app. Don’t like that? Then buy a more expensive solution!
Bryton Rider 420 – The Best Bike Computer?
This is a GOOD PRODUCT and has made its way into my Best Bike Computer 2019 list as the best bike computer for COMMUTING. The Rider 420 doesn’t do anything particularly unique…instead, it does LOTS of things for a RELATIVELY low price. For example, it supports Turn-by-Turn guidance with street names, Galileo GNSS, dual-band sensor support and power meter calibration and configuration.
Previously this sort of spec from Garmin or Wahoo would be well over $/£200 but the Bryton Rider 420 usually RRPs at a reasonable price tag below £130/$150. However, if faced with a Wahoo Bolt or Edge 520 Plus on sale at £150 I’d go with those but for a Rider 420 on sale at somewhere closer to £100/$100, then it becomes a serious budget contender for your hard-earned dollar.
Bryton Rider 420 – Headlines
I’ve highlighted some of the key features as I see them. Such features are typically only usually found on more expensive devices.
- Follow Track – route following feature with TBT
- 35 hours of battery life
- Power Meter Pedal calibration (static calibration and setting crank length)
- GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO support
- 80 functions
- 2.3″ screen
- 8 metrics per page, 9 pages
- STRAVA, KOMOOT, RideWithGPS auto-sync routes
- Create Routes on the Bryton app
- Structured workout creation and sync FROM Training Peaks
- BLE and ANT+ sensor support for HR, cadence, speed and power (ANT+ power meters only)
- Bundle options starting at $130.
Bryton Rider 420 vs Bryton Rider 410
The Rider 410 and the new Rider 420 are highly similar. Even the prices should be about the same at RRP, although the 410 is currently on sale at Eu30 less. However, these are the differences to be aware of:
- The Rider 420 has the same screen but a slightly smaller case 49.9×83.9×16.9mm vs. 53.7×83.9×18.2mm. The 420 is 4g lighter @67g.
- The older Rider 410 has a more traditional shape with rounded edges whereas the new Rider 420 has unusual, angled off edges which I don’t like.
- Bryton claims the 420 has 80+ features whereas the Rider 410 has 70+ features. I didn’t count them.
- Whilst both devices can have 8 metrics per page, the 420 can support 9 data pages (vs. 7)
- Route and Workout data cannot be sync’d from the 3rd party platforms Strava Routes, Komoot, RideWithGPS, TrainingPeaks to the Rider 410
- The 420+Bryton Active App combo also allows the Rider 420 to support route planning and route guidance with TBT on the 420.
Bryton Rider 420 – The New Stuff in more Detail
Let’s look at the route and POI creator.
Route & POI Creation
From the screenshots further below, it’s hopefully clear that ALL the route planning is performed on the Bryton Active app which itself is aesthetically pleasing.
You can import routes manually or you can sync them in automatically from RwGPS, KOMOOT and STRAVA. Which is great. You can even filter the routes on the app to just show those from a particular service which does help you find the particular route you are looking for amongst potentially hundreds of routes you’ve created in the past.
You can also create and then sync NEW routes via the app and that would also work if you had both devices with you when riding.
Looking at the app in more detail, the map type that I’ve shown below, in the slideshow, is the only one and you can plot your route on it manually, point-by-point or you can search for an address to automatically route to. Route choices are made for either MTB or road cyclists, however, as usual, many routes that cyclists often take are not chosen because they might be classed as pedestrian-only (that’s a problem with the map).
The Bryton routing solution is really only for relatively straightforward routes as it is difficult (impossible?) to edit the points you have laid down.
The following images also show how I have added some POIs to the route. These must all be done manually as there is no map layer which brings in the POIs…again that’s only fair for a low-priced navigation bike device. There is a little blue slider at the bottom of the map which drags a point along the route as you move it from left to right and when you are at the appropriate point you drop down the POI and give it a classification and name. It actually works quite well, although my recommendation would be to use a more powerful route creation tool like RwGPS and sync your route TO the Bryton. Clearly, if you are in the middle of nowhere then having the Bryton option as a fall back is very handy.
You have to then remember to manually sync your route to the Rider 420, which is a mini-PITA.
Here you can see the same route on the Rider 420 and it’s just a simple breadcrumb-like route. If you go off-course then you only have a compass heading and/or your position on the screen relative to the line as means of getting back on track. Meaning that the Rider 420 can NOT re-route you intelligently back to your route. Again, that’s normal for cheaper devices like this and also normal even at twice the price.
In the following image, you can see a comparison of the rudimentary line-route of the Rider 420 with the beautiful map on the Hammerhead Karoo to the right and the mystery device to the left with OS Land Ranger 1:25,000 tiles that can also be shown in 3D! but each of those two devices is AT LEAST twice the price and with poorer battery life.
Following a Route on the Rider 420
I survived for many years by following breadcrumb routes, sometimes over quite complex routes. It was fine for the relatively infrequent number of times that I needed to follow a route. If my kind of usage describes you then you’ll be fine with the Rider 420. Actually, the Rider 420 is probably a tad better than some of the devices I used a few years back as it also pops up Turn-by-turn instructions which sometimes have the road names as well! I’ve shown an example of that below.
There are various audio alerts and you can also see a compass heading. The compass is a GPS compass and so that is only reliable when you are moving. Again, that’s normally fine as long as you understand the limitations.
Structured Training on the Rider 420
This is a surprising addition at the price point. I was impressed to see the ability to download my pre-canned structured workouts FROM Training Peaks so that I could follow them on the Rider 420. I could also create my own structured workout and store both types in the Bryton workout library. These workouts will NOT control the resistance on a smart trainer…but hey, what do you expect for the price !?!
Bryton Rider 420 – GNSS/GPS Accuracy
I’ve had the Rider 420 for over a month. I’ve generally used GPS+GLONASS but the performance is similar with either GPS-only or GPS+GALILEO and the performances were all probably good enough for cycling. GLONASS was perhaps just a tad better but using it will probably shorten your battery life
Here are two slideshows of 10 images.
This is a GPS-only performance and, at times, I was closer to buildings than in the previous images which seemed to cause the Bryton some issues (Orange).
Sadly for Bryton, few people will probably read this review and fewer still will probably buy a brand they’ve never heard of.
I’d never buy this for myself as I am in the market for more advanced performance devices, rather than bikenavs. Plus I’m always a sucker for a pretty bit of tech like the Hammerhead Karoo.
However, what you get for your money with this Bryton Rider 420 is GOOD. Whichever way you want to compare the functions of the Rider 420 to other devices it’s good. The Rider 420 probably would win on very many people’s comparison criteria, providing you only judge other devices at the same price point.
I know I keep labouring the value-for-money perspective of this Bryton…the reason for that is that, although I ‘m a sucker for a pretty bikenav, I’m also a sucker for good devices that are good value.
Price, Availability & Discount
As 2019 draws to a close, the RRP for the Rider 420 is around Eur/$/£ 130.
As of now the Rider 420 is not fully distributed to all its intended countries and retailers. So the relative lack of supply will probably mean that discounting will be limited.
However, looking forward in time to Spring 2020 an onward I would expect you can shop around and get one of these for Eur/$/£ 100 and probably even less than that when Black Friday 2020 comes around. The green image, below, links to several retailers in your country from which you can choose your favourite or do a bit of comparison shopping.