Bryton have been increasing their product range in a bid to grab some more of the GPS market. Will the feature packed Rider 40E have enough to take on Garmin's dominance though?
The Rider 40E sits smack in the middle of Taiwanese company Bryton's range of cycling specific computers and priced at £149.99 its competitive for an ANT+ unit that'll work with power, heart rate and cadence. For an extra seventy quid you can buy the 40T version which comes with a heart rate strap and speed/cadence duo sensor making it ideal for use on the turbo. Bear in mind these are RRPs; I've seen them online with as much as 30% off.
With GPS computers getting bigger and bigger to cram in more features the first noticeable thing is how small the main unit is. At just 45mm x 69mm and a depth of 17mm it takes up hardly any bar/stem space at all.
The initial set up process is hampered by some pretty poor instructions in the box and they aren't a lot better online but if you've set up a GPS computer before you'll be able to blag your way through it. It's the usual stuff, few rider details, language, what data you want to see etc though you soon notice how slow button pressing is compared to a touchscreen.
Information is displayed on up to three different screens depending on how much you want to view while riding and what you're happy to analyse later. Splitting the screen into six segments means you can choose eighteen data fields from speed, power, HR, cadence, distance and time all of which have current/average/maximum etc options available. You've also got altitude, temperature and a calorie counter which gives results based on your information and heart rate.
In use the 40E is a bit slow to get a satellite fix initially but once locked on it showed little sign of losing it even in built up areas or under tree cover. The unit itself picks up movement very quickly from then on, with use in time trials using the autostop function only showing a one second slower time than the official timekeeper's watch.
While we are on the subject of time trials this was the one place that I struggled with the 40E due to the amount of data I wanted to keep an eye on. I wanted to see current and average power, speed and heart rate plus time of day, ride time etc. I had it spread all that over multiple screens making it hard to find what I was looking at with a quick glance. The text ended up small and abbreviated as the unit automatically scrolled through the pages.
On the road bike, using it as more of a data recorder than a realtime display and with just a couple of data fields on show, it was much more user friendly.
As an aside to the data recording side there is also a selection of preloaded programs. Four of them measure either functional threshold power; maximum heart rate; lactate threshold heart rate; and maximum aerobic power, all of which are really useful if you are following a dedicated training program on your own or with a coach. On screen instructions and audible cues help you follow them even though you're working at your limits.
You'll also find a range of different training rides from easy recovery through to full on intervals. I found them all pretty handy to use whether on the turbo or on the road and it was easy just to click a couple of buttons and get going.
Uploading your ride information is relatively hassle free once you've downloaded the Bryton Bridge software to speak to the device. You can upload it to the Brytonsport webpage which is similar to Garmin Connect allowing plenty of analysis of your ride plus an ongoing record of daily metrics and overall distances.
Strava has never really bonded with Bryton mostly due to the fact their devices store the ride files as .bdx (Bryton Data Exchange) format which doesn't fit in with Strava's requirement for .tcx, .fit or .gpx. Using the Bryton Bridge software you can either upload it to Brytonsport and transfer it across to Strava or save it to your computer as one of the compatible file types and upload from there. Either way it's an extra step you have to go through that you don't with Garmin.
On the whole the Bryton Rider 40E is a decent bit of kit especially at the discounted prices with the training and data recording possibilities. Everything I wanted it to do it could. The only thing you are really sacrificing is mapping but for that you would have to at least double the screen size to accommodate them.
Over the test period it never once dropped connection to any of the ANT+ devices or lost the satellite signal so every ride I uploaded to Brytonsport was uncorrupted. The 30 hour battery length also gets a massive thumbs up, it hit that consistently in the warm temperatures of summer and means it would be a good choice for long distance rides.
Saying all that though the user friendliness lets it down a little especially when used alongside one of Garmin's offerings; the 40E just feels a little clunky and unpolished. Its not a major concern unless you have to do a lot of button pushing and setting up while you ride. The main problem is that although the mount is really secure the o-rings let the unit twist a little when you are pushing the buttons, a switch to a Raceware mount improved things no end.
Impressive training and data recording package let down a bit by poor instructions and clunky user interface
road.cc test report
Make and model: Bryton Rider 40E GPS Cycle Computer
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Bryton describe the 40E as a miniature coach on your handlebars and there is some truth in this. Pairing it up with HR and/or power it really can be used as a training tool and a monitor of your fitness as well as recording your ride details.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Support Training Peaks
*Support power meter.
*Multiple training modes to create your training plans
*Speed and Cadence Dual sensor for indoor training
*Built-in barometer for training with terrain
*Pre-loaded test work-out
*IPX7 waterproof and shockproof design for tough conditions.
*Display: 1.8" Mono LCD
*Wireless interface: 2.4 GHz ANT+
*Battery hour: 30
*Support exercise type: Cycling
*Lap history: 1500 laps
*Log History: 82 hours
*Record POI: 10 points
*Number of customizable grid: 6
*Training program: Simple, Interval, Lap
*Support bike number: 2
What's in the box:
- Rider 40 main unit
- USB Cable
- Bike Mount
- Quick start guide
Well put together with a solid feel to it, the 40E showed no issues with heavy rain or high temperatures.
Considering the price and small package the Bryton comes with plenty of tools and tricks which means it more than just a ride logger. Yeah it's not the smoothest to operate but I think that is a secondary concern to what you get back from it.
Battery life is good as are the dust and waterproofing. It's been dropped a couple of times with no signs of any damage.
Just 56g is a minmal weight addition to your bike.
A touch pricey at the full RRP in my opinion but at the discounted prices at just over a £100 I think its a good investment. The prices do seem to fluctuate quite a bit day to day so its worth keeping an eye on the web.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I liked using the 40E even with the small issues with usability. Its not that it's awkward to use it's just that the latest model Garmins I have to compare it to have become very smooth to use. As far as recording data goes and making sense of it through, Brytonsport it can't be faulted.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The small size and the training sessions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The overall score of 8/10 might come as a bit of a surprise after I've criticised the user interface and clunky feel but that really is only a small niggle. If you are a data nerd there is very little that the 40E can't give you especially from a ride analysis point of view using the dedicated software. Shop around and get yourself a bargain.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course! My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.