Bryton is well known for their high-value GPS computers and large portfolio of models that range from entry-level computers to aerodynamic computers. With the new Sport line of cycling computers, Bryton is shifting their focus to the high-end road cycling market with improved hardware and training functionality. The Bryton S500 is the first computer to be offered in the Sport line and replaces the Rider 750 as their top-of-the-line model. With a retail price of $299.95 or $375.95 with sensors, the S500 undercuts equivalent Garmin and Wahoo GPS computers while offering more features. The large 2.4” screen of the S500 boasts a responsive color LCD screen with navigation and routing functionality.
The S500 is also one of the first Bryton computers to offer USB Type-C charging, 24 hour run-time, and include an integrated ambient light sensor to adjust the screen brightness automatically. To better cater to cyclists, Bryton has updated the software to offer more interactive displays and training metrics. For those that enjoy climbing, the new Climb Challenge feature provides graphical views of climbing segments for an active route. The S500 can also be used with smart trainers for indoor workouts or even virtually replay previously recorded rides. At least on paper, the S500 offers much more than a simple update of the Rider 750 computer.
The Bryton S500 combines a more responsive touch screen with more interactive software features to satisfy even the pickiest cyclists.
|Retail Price||$299.95 / $375.95 (Sensor Bundle)|
|Rating||9.0 / 10|
|Measured Weight (in g)||86 (head unit) / 32 (handlebar mount)|
|Likes||+ Competitive price point|
+ Improved touchscreen brightness and sensitivity
+ Climb Challenge makes climbing more fun
|Dislikes||– Large bezels above and below screen|
– Navigation can have false turn notifications at way point locations
– Bryton Active App has minor usability issues
|Where to Buy (US)||Bryton|
The S500 comes in a simple Bryton branded cardboard box with specifications printed on it. A cardboard divider on the inside separates the GPS computer from the rest of the accessories. Inside you’ll find:
- S500 GPS computer
- Bryton metal sport out-front mount
- Plastic handlebar bike mount w/ multiple O-rings
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Instruction manual
- Silicone computer cover
With the sensor bundle version, Bryton also includes a heart rate monitor, speed sensor and cadence sensor inside the box. Although we were impressed with how many items are included in the relatively small box, the packing itself was a bit sloppy with each item in a separate plastic bag.
As with all Bryton computers, the S500 uses Bryton’s quarter turn style mount directly integrated into the base of the GPS computer. It’s nearly visually identical to a Garmin quarter turn style puck but uses thicker tabs that unfortunately make it incompatible with Garmin mounts. Bryton includes two options with S500 for mounting – their metal out-front Sport mount as well as a simple plastic handlebar mount. The Sport mount is an aluminum one sided out-front mount that is well designed and places the S500 directly in front of your stem. It’s impressive to see Bryton include the mount with the computer as it retails for $29.95 alone. Bryton also includes a simple O-ring style handlebar mount for placement on your stem or handlebar. Note, Bryton also sells a $12.95 adapter to convert the S500 to a standard Garmin mount which we highly recommend if you have an existing Garmin style out-front mount you’d prefer to use such as the Topeak UTF Mount.
FIT & FINISH
Even if you were to somehow miss the large Bryton logo on the front lip of the S500, the distinctive beveled corners quickly identify the computer as a Bryton GPS. With the new Sport line up, Bryton has focused on lightweight and performance which translates to a more streamlined and sleeker profile. The S500 is slightly smaller and thinner than the Bryton Rider 750 which puts it more in line with higher end Garmin units. Although it has a sleeker profile, the S500 has slightly larger bezels on the top and bottom of the screen which detract from the otherwise premium appearance. Otherwise branding is limited to the Bryton logo on the front and below the bottom of the bezel for a sleek appearance.
In addition to the touch screen interface, Bryton has incorporated four physical buttons with two buttons on each side. Each button is trapezoidal in shape and has great tactile feel that works even with thick gloves. On the bottom right corner you’ll find a small cutout in the body that can be used to secure the computer with the provided lanyard. To charge the computer you simply have to lift off the rubber cover for the USB-C port. We’re excited to finally see a USB-C interface incorporated into Bryton devices as it allows you to re-use your existing USB-C cables. Bryton also does include a silicone cover for the computer for extra protection, however, we found it to be fairly cheap and loose fitting which detracts from the appearance of the computer.
With premium cycling computers it’s not enough to simply have high-end hardware, you also need software that supports interactive data displays. The Bryton S500 offers a number of new or improved features to help it compete. Although we will not cover all the features, here are highlights of our favorite.
Climb Challenge: Whether you’re exploring a new route or a familiar favorite, the climb challenge feature can be quite fun to use. Bryton automatically marks start/ends of a climb based on elevation change for user created or uploaded routes. Using the app you can also adjust the start / end positions to fine tune it before downloading it to the S500. A special “climbing” page on the S500 allows you to see ride stats and a color bar altitude graph. As you approach a climb, the page will count down the distance to the start of a climb. Once you’re on the climb, the altitude graph zooms and the remaining distance and altitude to the end of the climb are shown.
The Climb Challenge feature solves the “are we there yet” question when you’re climbing and lets you pace your effort. Although the feature itself isn’t groundbreaking, for example Garmin already offers ClimbPro with similar functionality, it’s great to see on a Bryton device and has an intuitive display. Our only complaint is that adjusting the start/end positions on the Bryton app can be a bit time consuming as you have to click through each climb and start/end position individually to adjust them.
Navigation: The S500 also features a full color map and navigation feature that allows you to either navigate along preset routes or search for points of interest. With preset routes, you can create routes directly through the Bryton Active App’s interface on your phone, 3rd party links (Strava / Komoot / Ride With GPS) and even from previous recorded rides. Uploading the routes to the S500 is as simple as connecting the Bryton Active app and pressing the upload button in the app. The S500 shows turn by turn for the route that is visible on any display page as popups on the bottom. This is an intuitive design as it shows indicators and distance remaining to the turn which are easy to follow. If you accidentally stray off the route, the S500 can also reroute you back if the Bryton App is connected and online.
As with the Rider 750, the S500 has a Google-enabled voice navigation that can be used when your phone is paired with the computer. It’s a great hands-free way to quickly find food stops or help navigate back to where you started if you’re not familiar with the area. The navigation view itself is also easy to use with the ability to zoom and pan by pressing on the view and then pressing on the associated button. Unlike your cell phone, there is no pinch or other multi-touch gestures which makes the interaction a bit more cumbersome. Thanks to the upgraded hardware, the maps are responsive and load fast which means you’ll rarely see the “processing” indicator we’ve seen with previous Bryton computers.
Live Tracking: If you’ve got a significant other at home wondering where you are or trying to meet up friends mid-ride, the Live Tracking is a useful feature. Using the Bryton Active app you can send an email to a list of email addresses that allow them to view your GPS location, speed, and route progress once you start a recording. The link opens a page on the Bryton website with a simple map view and data display underneath it. It even displays the last update time on it which is helpful if you ride in areas with poor GPS coverage. Although it’s a very useful feature for safety or locating friends on a ride, you have to set up the tracking before you start a recording. There is no way to send links mid-ride or adjust the email list so you’ll need to plan ahead.
Ambient Light Sensor: The S500 features an ambient light sensor built directly above the screen. This allows the computer to automatically adjust the screen brightness depending on the ambient light conditions. We found the sensor to be responsive and able to adjust within a few seconds. It’s also a welcome feature as one of the issues of the Bryton Rider 750 was the dim screen which is solved with the ambient light sensor. You can also disable the feature and manually set the brightness through the configuration menu.
The Bryton S500 GPS can be operated using the touch screen or a four button interface to navigate the menu and toggle features. Compared to the Bryton Rider 750, the touch screen sensitivity and responsiveness has been greatly improved. The S500 also supports gestures and swiping on the screen to quickly navigate between elements. You can swipe left or right on the data display screens to switch between screens. There are also a few shortcuts such as swiping up on a data display screen to return to the home screen or quick press to view the Quick Status page and view sensor configuration. Note, you can also customize the Quick Status page to show lap details or custom entry fields. It’s also easy to quickly change a data field by pressing on it once to highlight it and then pressing on the field to bring up the field options.
Alternatively you can use the four physical buttons on the side of the S500 to operate the computer. There are two buttons on each side of the computer. With so many buttons, each button has a clear action and large label next to it. The top left button powers the computer on and off with a long press while a short press with the computer on locks or unlocks the screen. Below that is the lap button which increments the lap count for the active recording. On the right side you’ll find the record and stop button. If you forget to record a ride, the S500 will also remind you once you’re in motion which is a feature we use often. Finally there is a menu button on the bottom right that toggles the display page. Note, touch is required to get through most menus as the buttons cannot navigate menus or display options.
BRYTON ACTIVE APP
To fully take advantage of the Bryton S500 you’ll need to download the Bryton Active app. Once you’ve gone through the mandatory Bryton registration and logged into your account, you’ll see a simple black / green skinned interface with four buttons on the bottom. The bottom navigation buttons allow you to review and analyze previous activities, set up workouts or routes, adjust your user profile, and configure any connected Bryton computers. The app is fairly straightforward and has many of the features you’d expect to find on a cycling app such as calendar activity views and the ability to link third-party apps such as Strava to upload ride information.
Unlike the lower end Bryton devices such as the Bryton Rider 320 where you primarily use the app for third party linking and GPS configuration, with the S500 you can take advantage of route and workout setup. Routes can be set up directly using the app by placing waypoints on a Google-like map to piece together the full route. However, this is fairly annoying as you cannot move placed markers and can only delete them which means you have to carefully set up the route to avoid Bryton sending you off on side roads. Alternatively you can create routes from previous rides, third-party apps, or uploading GPS/FIT files. Additionally you can create workouts such as intervals by combining multiple time intervals and data target values The main downside of the app is that the UI lacks the polish and refinement found on high-end computers such as Garmin.
Overall, we found the Bryton S500 GPS computer to be a responsive and intuitive cycling computer. As the first computer in the “sport” lineup, the S500 features a thinner profile and impressive features. Despite the competitive price point, It’s clear Bryton has targeted Garmin and Wahoo computer with it’s full color maps and Climb Challenge feature. It’s a fun feature that shows altitude maps for identified climbs on a cycling route and gives you real-time gradient information during the ride. That aside, the S500 offers full customization from the number of pages, data field displays and even graphical display options. We found the S500 to be a significant improvement over the Rider 750 as it incorporates improvements such as ambient light sensors and upgraded hardware. The only downsides of the S500 is that the bezels are fairly large which detract from the premium appearance and minor usability issues with the Bryton Active App. That said, if you’re looking for a full-featured GPS computer with responsive interface the S500 is an excellent option.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Bryton. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.
One Reply to “Bryton’s sleeker and more responsive GPS computer”
Het is ook alleen jammer dat het scherm niet even groot blijft als de 750. Zeker voor mensen de een leesbril in gebruik hebben.
Want de 750 heeft een mooie 2,8 inch scherm wat erg prettig kijkt