The Rider 20 is Brtyon's smallest bike-specific unit, and promises much. For less than £100 RRP (as little as £80 online right now) you're getting a basic computer that'll also track you via GPS and allow you to share your rides online through Bryton's portal website. It's let down a bit by a clumsy onboard interface and the web service is a bit rough round the edges too, but both have improved through the testing period and are set to get better still. As an introduction to GPS-based ride-logging it's definitely one to look at, and ANT+ compatibility is a big plus.
Measuring just 39.8 x 60.5 x 16.5 mm, the Rider 20 around the size of a typical cycle computer, only this one doesn't need any magnets, transmitters or wires fitting to the bike. This makes it ideal for use with more than one bike. The bracket, comprising a simple twist-fit plastic bracket held in place on the bars or stem with rubber o-rings, is also easy to swap between bikes.
The unit uses a miniature GPS receiver module originally designed for mobile phones which is what makes it possible to fit such a complex device into such a small package. The use of this miniature receiver also enables ultra-long battery life, with at least 18 hours of continuous use available from its internal re-chargeable battery. This is re-charged from a computer, or via a USB charger. In the box you get a short USB cable to connect the unit to a computer, but this can equally be plugged into any wall charger that is also compliant with the USB standard. Bryton also supply various power adapters as aftermarket accessories.
The Rider 20 is a simple bike computer, with the screen showing 3 data fields at any one time, customisable between 10 basic functions; these being:
When the device is running
Time of Day
Cadence (current, average and maximum)
Total ride time
Heart rate (current, average and maximum)
When the device is not running
Total ride time
The heart rate and cadence functions obviously require additional accessories; any ANT+ compatible sensors should be fine and the Rider 20 has worked okay with a Garmin HRM strap and a Bryton HRM and cadence sensor. The unit can also be set to work on two different bikes, recording separate odometer and total ride time statistics for each.
Out of the box, the GPS takes a while to locate the satellites and its position for the first time, however, once this has been done, provided you don't move too far, and by that I mean hundreds of miles, then it locates itself very quickly indeed. Typically less than a minute, which is fast by these standards. However, I did find that the Rider 20 had trouble fixing a GPS signal when actually moving; it's best to make sure you have a fix before you set off if you don't want to lose the first bit of your ride.
To use it, the Rider 20 has just 3 buttons, which toggle various functions depending on what screen you are currently in, and whether you affect a short, or a long press. Straight out of the box, this interface could be described as unwieldy at best, but a software update modified it slightly for the better. While any user would undoubtedly get used to it over time, I did find it a bit irritating. The very basic instruction manual is not particularly illuminating either.
In common with most sports GPS manufacturers, Bryton have set up an on-line community where you can upload your data to a web service for analysis post ride. The Rider 20 has a prodigious memory, able to store 24 hours worth of data on-board for upload later. Bryton's website has come an awful long way since we tested the Rider 50 back in February of last year and the functionality is now comparable to Garmin Connect. I find both of the sites rather slow to be honest, although Garmin's is marginally quicker and a lot slicker in terms of connecting the GPS unit and uploading information. The Bryton Bridge app that you have to download to communicate with the website is unweildy at 101MB, and the connection sometimes doesn't work; Garmin's plugin-based system is a lot slicker.
Once logged in and working, the software does give a good range of analytical functions that would keep even the most assiduous stat junkie happy, and enables the planning of basic training programmes (though without any navigation functionality). It also allows the uploading of activities to TrainingPeaks, another analytical and training planning website for the more serious athlete - and the usual social networking sites for those more interested in sharing than analysing. You can get the track files if you want to import them to Garmin Connect or Strava.
So who's going to want a Rider 20? It's stuck between the two camps, really: an alternative to a non-GPS computer or a cheaper way to get into ANT+ training and logging. You can have more functions (and better usability) from a non-GPS unit but you don't get the capability to upload and store your rides. The obvious comparison to make in GPS terms is with the Garmin Edge 200, but although that's a similar size and slicker in its operation, it doesn't offer ANT+ compatibility. You can follow routes on it, though, at least in a breadcrumb kind of a way. Moving up to the Edge 500 gives you a whole lot more: customisable data screens, ANT+, better routing... but then it's a lot more cash.
My guess is that this computer will appeal more to the folks who would normally be in the market for a non-GPS unit, but the ability to expand the feature set with ANT+ devices is a real draw at this price point. Okay there's some issues with the interface and the web service but we've seen big improvements over the last year on the website and the updates to the device have helped too. If you really got into your stats you'd probably outgrow the Rider 20 in time but it scores big on value and it's a good way to try out GPS logging on your bike. It still feels a bit like a work in progress – that's what we said about the Rider 50 too – but it's certainly one to look at, whether you thought you needed a GPS computer or not.
Really compact bike computer that you can swap between bikes. Good value, but could be easier to use and the web service still needs work.
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Make and model: Bryton Rider 20E GPS Cycle Computer
Size tested: n/a
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?
This is a basic GPS enabled bike computer aimed at those who wish for GPS functionality (a bike computer that records route, performance statistics etc) in their everyday riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Using a low power GPS chip from a manufacturer specialising in mobile phone GPS, the Bryton Rider 20 gets a GPS bike computer down to 40g, and with a battery life greater than 18 hours.
It offers 10 core functions and links to an analytical web service which also enables the planning of basic training plans, and the sharing of routes
The unit appears solid, with some nice features, such as a contact only interface connector that does not require a plug to break the casing.
It worked well, and reasonably accurately.
The unit seems built to last.
40g is light weight indeed for a GPS.
If I interpret comfort as ease of use, then it's not as easy to use as a Garmin 200 or many of the equivalently-priced non-GPS computers
GPS computers are getting cheaper, to the point where this unit is competing with standard wireless units. You don't get the feature set of a £100 wireless computer but you do get ANT+ and tracking.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well, and told me what I needed to know.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its small size, low weight and ease of moving between bicycles.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The unit's interface and the web service can be a bit clunky; it still feels like a work in progress.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, although it had its foibles
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, depending on their needs
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.