GPS units can broaden your horizons, boost your fitness, as well as accurately log your all-important leaderboard data

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 7

Bryton Rider 420 GPS

Pros:

  • No-nonsense approach to route finding. Good value.

Cons:

  • Unpredictable software. Lack of mounting options.

Product:

Bryton Rider 420 GPS review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£134.99
TAGS:

The Bryton Rider 420 packs many of the functions of fancier units into a smaller, more affordable package. If you’re serious about training you can also connect a heart rate monitor (Bryton’s own is available in a bundle deal if you want, and check out our guide on how to use heart rate zones for training) or cadence sensor and create your own workout programmes, though as a mountain biker you’re more likely to lean on a GPS unit for navigating out in the wilds or hunting down those Strava segments.

In this day and age the old-school ‘breadcrumb’ navigation and lack of mapping feels a little basic, but you get what you pay for and I successfully followed routes ripped from Strava GPXs, created on third party apps or in Bryton’s own online portal. Or check out our 100 free downloadable GPX routes of some of the best MTB trails in the UK.

Photo of Bryton Rider 420 gps bike computer

The accurate GPS is quick to shout if you’re going off-route, so you don’t go too far wrong if you miss a turn, though a paper map and some sense of your surroundings would be sensible if you’re really venturing into the wilds, and it’s better on defined paths than hunting out secret singletrack.

Thanks to the pretty basic menus, your main interface with the Rider 420 will be through the phone app, to which you download your GPX files and then transfer them to the device via Bluetooth. This should also enable calls and texts to appear on the unit, though I couldn’t get that to work with an iPhone. I fared better with Strava, rides automatically uploading after linking my account through the Bryton app. TrainingPeaks and Selfloops are also supported.

The app should also manage firmware updates to the device, but it froze on me when I tried, leaving me unable to follow a preloaded route. I plugged it into a laptop to finish the update but my Mac blocked the Bryton application as malware, so there were some hoops to jump through before I could complete the process.

Photo of Bryton Rider 420 mounted on bike handlebars

It’s worked perfectly since, but issues like this might put people off taking a punt on a relative unknown like Bryton, especially when the similarly priced Garmin Edge 130 Plus offers comparable functionality, plus MTB-focused features like a jump logger to record those epic sends.

Hardware-wise I appreciated the compact size and understated appearance of the Rider 420, the main buttons are easier to operate with gloves than a touchscreen, even if the supplementary ones on the underside were a little fiddly. Battery life was impressive – Bryton claims 35 hours – and the screen was easy to read in all conditions, manually selectable backlighting handy for strong sunlight as well as after dark.

The simple quick-release mount also held the device securely, though you’ll need to fork out another £15 for a packet of two additional Bryton-specific mounts if you want to share it across bikes, given it’s not actually compatible with similar looking Garmin mounts you may already have.

Verdict

I appreciated the Bryton’s no-nonsense vibe and the fact it offers an incredible package of features for a very reasonable price. Given the dominance of the big players in the GPS market, and deals available on their products, the Bryton looks a leftfield choice, though, and the lack of mounting compatibility and the software wobbles shook our confidence a tad.

Details

Weight:78g (including mount)
Size:83.9 x 49.9 x 16.5mm