Words and Photos: Mike Blewitt

In the GPS wars there is a fierce battle between Wahoo and Garmin – but what about Bryton? We have tested three units from the third major player in the market before, and have been impressed by the simplicity, battery life and pricing. We've come to expect more and more from the devices we carry, be it our smartphones or GPS devices on the bike. The Bryton Rider 450 boasts almost 80 functions and integrates with your smartphone via an app.

Setting up the Bryton Rider 450
 
The best thing to do is download the app, as it is an easier way to create your user profile. But you can do that with the unit as well, and you can also create two different bike profiles. This is really handy if you will be using the unit across two bikes. For those tracking their training, it's a simple process to sync various power meters, heart rate monitors or speed/cadence sensors as well.

By connecting your Bryton to your home (or work) internet as well, you can make sure the device will automatically sync your ride to Strava once you're finished. You can also have it upload to TrainingPeaks as well if you use that coaching software. This also means you can export a workout to your unit, so if you are following a coaching program you don't need to write down the efforts and intensities on your hand – the unit itself will prompt you.


 
The Bryton App (for Android or iPhone) assists with setup and syncing, and you can plot a route on the map to then send to the device for navigation. The downside with this is even if you can see a trail on the maps, it may not choose to use it for guidance. This is a better function for road riding but even then it can choose a motorway!

The unit mounts with a 90 degree twist onto a bar or stem mount. The mount is secured with a very strong elastic band, which I prefer to zip ties as they are reuseable. The pack comes with just one mount, so while you can have settings for two bikes, you'll need to swap the mount over (or just buy another).

On the trail

How data hungry are you? It was no problem replacing my usual Wahoo ELEMNT with the Bryton 450, it paired with my Wahoo heart rate strap with no worries and I was able to set the data fields I wanted. By choosing how many fields you have, you can decide how prominent the information is. The screen is a little smaller than an ELEMNT but the unit is as well, and it's lighter.

Like any slight switch in tech, there is an adjustment period. It's pretty easy to press the wrong button and stop recording when you meant to scroll, or similar. But that passes after a couple of rides, and I had little issue with the Bryton, enjoying the wireless uploading and long battery life. It's claimed at 32 hours but I think while it works with a sensor or 3 about 15 or 16 is more likely.
 
The Bryton records at 1 second intervals, which is good for ride tracking and performance tracking (ie, heart rate or watts). It even has some quirky extra options in the data fields. Sunset time was a favourite – handy for those chasing golden hour photos, or just needing to get home before dark!
 
Verdict
 
There is really no avoiding the fact that we buy devices like a GPS on brand. And Garmin and Wahoo have a solid foothold in the cycling GPS market. But just like Wahoo gained their edge via better reliability and GPS signal acquisition, Bryton will likely do the same – if not only for value and features alone. All in all,, I find the useability of my Wahoo and the app a little easier to work with, although with 3 years of use that's not surprising. But the Bryton Rider 450 is a value packed GPS device that is optimised when used with the app, and it's ideal for those taking on longer endeavours or who prefer not to have to charge their device every ride.
 
 
RRP: $289
From: bikecorp.com.au
 
Hits:
–     Huge array of features
–     Great value
–     Precise measurement
 
Misses:
–     Route planning needs work
–     DataSync to your phone is slow