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I’m writing this review as an older rider (60+) who has not used a dedicated GPS before and I can only compare it to tracking apps on my phone. I ride a recumbent trike so mounting the GPS and its accessories provided a small challenge.
The Rider 310T arrived neatly packaged with the GPS and accessories in the one box. Included are two multi-language folded sheets; one with getting started instructions and diagrams and the other with safety and compliance information. While the diagrams were clear and easy to follow the sheets were printed in a low-contrast mid-grey 6 or 8-point font which was very difficult to read.
While there was enough information included to get started I needed to download the full manual to get a better understanding of the Rider 310. The Bryton website also has some video tutorials but only four out of 16 video tutorials worked.
When I unboxed the Rider 310T the battery in the Cadence Sensor was isolated with a plastic tab but the Heart Rate Sensor didn't have plastic tab protecting its the battery. This may affect HR sensor's battery life.
Priced at around $240-$270 for the Rider 310T ($130-$150 for the GPS by itself) in Australia there are a lot of competitors at this price point. I'm not familiar enough with them to be able to compare on value, although, it appears some of them don't have ANT+ to connect to external sensors.
The Rider 310 handlebar mount is a quarter turn mount similar to a Garmin mount. I tried my Rider in another triker’s Garmin mount. It will fit in and turn but doesn’t lock into position. Bryton sell an Out-front Bike Mount as an optional extra.
While the Rider 310 has an IPX7 waterproof rating the Manual still says not to expose it to excessive moisture. The USB connector is covered with a rubber flap that looks like it should last pretty well.
Bryton provides an Update Tool to download to a computer which can be used to check for software and GPS data updates. The tool is basic but does the job nicely. They recommend to update GPS data every 1-2 weeks to help speed up GPS acquisition.
Installing the Bryton Rider 310T
Installing presented a couple of small challenges.
My recumbent trike has under-seat steering which places the handle bars low and well out of my line of sight. So, mounting the Rider 310 on my handlebars would not work for me. I first tried mounting it on my light-bar which is mounted on the derailleur post.
However, it was too far away for my poor old eyes to see properly. So I improvised a mount using some plastic conduit and cable-ties.
However, this time, while it was nice and close, it was too low and out of my line of sight.
I wanted it to be easily visible because I’m trying to improve my cadence. Moving it further along the boom resulted in a reasonable compromise.
Cadence sensors are normally mounted vertically on the off-side chain stay and the distance to the magnet on the crank arm is pretty small. The cranks on the recumbent are quite some distance away from the boom. To get the sensor close enough to the crank arm it had to be mounted on the boom at about 45°.
Fortunately, the sensor is able to work successfully at this angle.
Using the Bryton Rider 310T
I found the menu system on the Rider 310 to be a bit clumsy and it isn't always easy to find the item I want. The back button doesn't take you out of the menu system, you have to click around to 'Cycling' and press the OK button to get back to the main screen.
The unit uses three buttons placed across the bottom edge to control all the functions. One advantage of the placement is that you can’t accidently press two opposing buttons at the same time, which can happen with side mounted buttons. The buttons are pretty small so occasionally I’ll find that I have pressed the wrong one.
The Rider 310 has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) as well as the ANT+ wireless connectivity. It can sync with an Android app on phones that are Bluetooth low energy (BLE) capable. Bryton haven’t developed an iOS or a Windows Phone app. The Android app enables data to be transferred from the Rider 310 to the Bryton Sport website and provides access to your data on the site. The app will run on my old HTC even though it wasn't in the list of recognised phones but without BLE it can’t sync with the Rider 310.
Even though both my Windows tablet and Windows Phone have Bluetooth low energy neither will pair with the Rider 310. When I attempt to activate pairing the Rider 310 restarts and doesn’t make a connection. With no way to pair the Rider 310 wirelessly, data uploads have to be done using a USB connection.
Using the Bryton Sport website, you can for upload, view and analyse rides. The features on the site seem to me to be rudimentary compared to some of the more established training sites. Uploading rides from the PC to the Bryton Sport website worked smoothly and uploading from the Bryton Sports website to Strava worked smoothly. However, in comparison to the using a GPS app on my phone it is a multi-step process rather than a one-step process. The website also has buttons for automated uploads to FitTrack, Strava and TrainingPeaks; others like RideWithGPS, MapMyRide and Endomodo are missing. The Rider 310 saves the data from a ride as a .fit file. I think most fitness and ride tracking sites will accept FIT files. I was able to manually upload FIT files to Strava, Endomondo and RideWithGPS.
When I upload a ride direct to Strava the Device name and Temperature readings are transferred. However, if I upload the ride to Bryton Sport first and then use the Bryton Sport website to transfer the file to Strava both the device name and the temperature readings are lost.
The Rider 310 doesn’t seem to cope with tunnels, cuttings and dense overhead vegetation as well as my phone does. On my second ride with the Rider 310 it had a glitch on the return trip through the tunnel that gave me a max speed of 75.2km/h. I tested it with the data recording set to 1 second mode which gives more accuracy but it still had difficulties with the tunnel. I think the problem may be that the Rider 310 is a bit slow locking onto the GPS signal again when exiting the tunnel. When using Strava to visually compare the tracks from my Windows Phone app and another rider's Garmin 510 to the track from the Rider 310, it does not seem to track as accurately. However, when comparing data from rides that are 40km and about two hours long there is only 0.1-0.2km difference in distance, 0.2-0.8kph difference in average speed and 1-5 minutes’ difference in moving time. So, quite acceptable to me.
Heart rate, cadence, temperature and altitude sensors all seem to work well.
The Rider 310 has about 7MB of storage. With data recording set to standard mode a two-hour 40km ride uses about 50KB, so there is memory space for about 280 hours of riding. With 1 sec data recoding mode enabled, tracking consumes slightly less than 100KB per hour. So 7MB would provide more than 70 hours of ride tracking. The Rider 310 has a system option to overwrite the oldest files once memory fills up.
Battery life of 36 hours is claimed in the manual. Since I last fully charged the battery I have done 7 or 8, two to three hour rides without charging the battery, other than for the couple of minutes it takes to upload each ride. The battery indicator is showing two out of three bars, so 36-hour battery life may well be possible.
Screen visibility can be affected by ambient light because of the screen is very reflective. Where there is a bright sky but the screen is in shade, reflections make it almost impossible to read the screen. I think a matt surface would have been better.
I discovered when Daylight Saving ended that it has to be manually activated and deactivated on the Rider 310. It has an auto backlight which appears to use sunrise and sunset times to turn off and on, rather than a light sensor.
The box for the Rider 310 says it has 70 functions. I doubt I will explore them all. For example, it has a number of inbuilt training functions which I haven’t looked at at all.
My naïve overall assessment of the Bryton Rider 310T is that, at the price point it is targeting, it is pretty good. It will certainly do me and hasn’t left me with any ‘I-wish-it-hads’. If I needed route finding and route following functions, then the Rider 310 wouldn’t be adequate. However, I would be more likely to use my phone for following a route anyway.
[Disclosure: The Bryton Rider 310T was provided by Bryton as free to keep through Bicycles Network Australia in return for writing a review.]
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