Jeff Jones, editor of our sister website bikeradar.com, takes a detailed first look at this impressive GPS cycling computer.
The Rider 50 is a market rival to the Garmin Edge 705 and at first glance they’re very similar. But there is one big difference: the Rider 50 is around £100 cheaper, retailing in the UK for £179.99. The Rider 50T, which includes a heart rate monitor strap and cadence/speed sensor, is £249.99.
The Rider 50 is slightly smaller (5.5 x 9.6 x 2.16cm) but shares the same screen size (3.5 x 4.3cm), weight (106g) and claimed battery life (15 hours) as the 705. It features two buttons on each side and two plus a joystick on the front, again almost identical to its better-known counterpart.
The unit we were shown has an adjustable but clunky looking mount. However Selwyn Sport’s Peter Cooke told us that the next shipment of Bryton Rider 50s will have new, more elegant mounts fitted.
The Rider 50 comes with 2GB of internal memory as well as a 2GB SD card that can be used to store maps and other data. All maps are based on OpenStreetMap, which means they’re detailed – including bridleways and cycle routes in some countries – easy to read on screen and, importantly, free. The downside is that OpenStreetMap is a community generated resource, which from past experience means that all roads are not mapped and the routing at junctions can be flaky.
The SD card should have a map preloaded but it’s fairly straightforward to update maps via the supplied CDs or online.
The main on-bike display is customisable with up to six different data fields, with 33 options for each one (the 705 has up to 16 fields on two screens if desired). They’re easy to read and include some nifty graphical features, like a central compass if that option is selected. The only one that’s missing at the moment is a field for power (current, average, maximum, etc.), but we’re assured that will be available in a future firmware update.
In addition to the bike and map modes, there’s a training mode where you can record lap data and race against yourself or MyBuddy, a virtual partner. There’s nothing like having a carrot to chase when you’re pushing yourself to the limit. There’s even a step counter so you can measure your walking/running.
The device features a navigation option, either via a preloaded route or to a co-ordinate or point of interest. At the moment you can only plot routes on the www.brytonsport.com website, which you can transfer to the unit via the free Bryton Bridge software.
Bryton want to build an online route sharing community, but we anticipate that it won’t take too long before they open it up so that users can plot their routes on different websites and upload GPX files to their unit. You can also share routes and training history with other Rider 50 units via KnockKnock wireless data transfer.
The Rider 50 is only available in one colour scheme: black with a blue strip. A few more neutral colours that are compatible with a wider range of bike colour schemes would be nice, and given how fast this product is evolving we don’t think it’s out of the question.
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