The Bryton Rider 310 ($100) tracks speed, cadence, heart rate, power and altitude, offers 5 different data screens and up to 8 data points on each that allow the cyclist to track up to 70 different metrics. If you don’t think you need all this technology on your handlebars, relax. It also just tracks simple distance and time.
What I liked
- Easily attaches to bike with a mount and durable elastic bands. So easy, in fact, that I move it between my commuter bike, gravel bike and mountain bike.
- Once attached, doesn’t come off on its own. The Bryton Rider 310 attaches to the handlebars via a stem mount that twists easily into place. Almost too easy. In four months of testing on rough and bumpy singletrack, asphalt or gravel it has never come off or moved on its own.
- Good memory. Holding up to 300 hours of riding history (and only 300 hours), its memory is certainly better than mine. The downside is that once it reaches 300 hours it will overwrite all your existing data.
- Battery is rechargeable and has a relatively long life. Bryton says one charge lasts for 36 hours but it has come up a bit short in my experience. The longest I managed to get out of one charge has been about 28-30 hours. Still, it is plenty. During April and May when I was specifically testing the battery life, I commuted to work daily and then did long urban rides on the weekends when I was training for a century ride. It took me 6 days, averaging 5 hours per day and 122 miles to drain the battery. Since the screen has no mapping or navigation feature this helps prolong the charge. It also shuts off automatically when I’m not moving. There is a downside to this, too, but more on that later.
- Lightweight. Only weighs 53 grams.
- Water-resistant. Riding in the rain in evitable in Minneapolis in the spring.
- Barometric altimeter. I’m not sure why I like this but I do because there is no altitude in Minneapolis. Maybe it’s how the words roll off my tongue: “Baro-met-ric-al-TIM-er-ter!” I did a ride on the North Shore earlier this summer and I got really excited when the Bryton’s barometric altimeter read 789 feet. But I ride in other parts of the country and the world where there are mountains so this is a really handy feature to have.
- Strava-compatible. But really, what isn’t Strava-compatible these days? I don’t have a Strava account but per the instructions, it looks simple to upload. Connect the Bryton to your computer, sign-in to Strava, upload the .fit file. You can also connect to the Bryton Sport website to upload the file and then automatically sync with Strava.
- Can program basic workouts. Since I’m only tracking distance and pace, and not training to crush it at Leadville 100, I don’t need to program very specific and intense workouts. If you do need this feature the Bryton Rider may not be the right computer for you.
What I didn’t like
- Bluetooth. I think I’m the only person in the world who is turned off by Bluetooth. Riding a bike is my time away from the three-ring shit circus that is my life spelled out in incoming text messages and phone calls. Yes, yes. I know I can turn Bluetooth off (also saves the battery life!) but the fact that it’s there is like a scab that has to be picked.
- “Smart Pause”. The benefit with Smart Pause is that it allows the Bryton Rider 310 to start/stop automatically when it senses no movement. But it also stops on its own when I’m slugging up a long hill in granny gear because it thought I wasn’t moving. Kind of insensitive, I think. Meanwhile, back in the city, getting stuck at a very long stop light also activates Smart Pause.
- Learning curve. Despite navigation through all the functions being reduced to just three buttons, you’d think it would be a breeze to operate. It isn’t. It takes practice and a read through the owner’s manual and it’s a good idea to actually take the time to read and pre-set up everything. The left button is responsible for back/pause/stop/power off. Here is where I had to re-train my brain. I’m hard-wired to press the big orange center button to start/stop a ride which was futile because on the Bryton Rider 310 the big orange center button is actually enter/lap/power on. The right button is for scrolling through pages and data fields. As long as you can memorize this while you’re riding, you’re golden. Still, it only took me a few weeks of riding with the Bryton to get accustomed to its navigation and become second nature.
The last bike computer I had was circa 2000 and I had to program the wheel size so I could semi-accurately track my mileage. Today’s bike computers are GPS-based, highly-accurate and you don’t have to fiddle with wheel size. Though there’s still a degree of fiddling awaiting you.
Still, the Bryton Rider 310 is a lot of bike computer for the money. It has its limitations, true, but overall function is excellent and the menu-driven interface is simple once you get to know it.
The Bryton Rider 310 is a Gear Gals Piece of Recommended Gear