Let’s not beat around the bush here: the reason Bryton’s unit is so much cheaper than Garmin and the other opposition is that you don’t get a smartphone-style, edge-to-edge touchscreen. Instead, you navigate with a combination of small but still glove friendly buttons and a central joystick.
It’s not as ﬂashy, then, but we actually found it worked better in potentially ﬁnger-freezing weather and also while you’re still rattling down the trail. The 45x34mm screen is just big enough to let you work out where to turn next without squinting too much. There’s a slight menu/update lag compared to the fastest GPS units though, so occasional patience is required to access the super-comprehensive feature menu.
Like most Brytons, the Rider 50E comes with Navteq maps (including an HD street map if you zoom right in). But it’s the additional inclusion of full Ordnance Survey 1:50k scale mapping that makes it a proper off-road navigation unit, and also an absolute bargain too.
It supports all the usual GPX route upload/download features and syncs with Strava, while the ‘knock knock’ feature gives wireless sharing with other Brytons. You can also add your own Points Of Interest – such as where you parked your car or where the café is. As well as all the route/ mapping functions, there are three custom screens to display a wealth of ride/training data up to six cells at a time.
While the 50E doesn’t come with cadence and HRM belts, they’re available separately (£35 and £50) and it’s ANT+ compatible if you’re using a power meter. The PC and Mac compatible ‘Bryton Bridge’ site lets you manage everything online too, making this a totally comprehensive bargain.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.