By Rick Schultz
- Easy Setup, easy editing
- Compact Design, smaller than the feature packed 750
- Ambient light sensor
- Customizable Menus
- 24-hour battery
- Seamless Recording
- Advanced Workout Features / Indoor / Virtual Rides
- Voice Search
- Open Streets (preloaded) Maps (free)
- Advanced Routing / Turn by Turn
- Nothing identified
S500 E: $300
S500 T: $380
Source: Bike shops, Amazon, websites
Features: 241 x 320 pixels, 2.4” color TFT touchscreen LCD display, ANT+FE-C and BLE
How Obtained: Manufacturers Sample
Summary: Great features and low price.
New ‘top of the line’ for 2022 is the Bryton S500 which takes head unit performance to the next level with features like ADVANCED WORKOUT (Training Peaks support, workout progress, customizable power zones, and many more), and, with its ANT+FE-C smart trainer compatibility, the S500 can now used with your indoor trainer for smart workouts including virtual rides. ANT+ Sensors include HR, Cadence, Speed, Power, and Electronic Shifting compatibility with Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap and Campagnolio EPS.
For completeness, below are Brytons’ top 4 units for 2022;
- Rider S500 (US $300/$380)
- Rider 750 (US $270/$350)
- Rider 420 (US $160/$230)
- Rider 320 (US $130/$200)
Bryton sent me the S500 T (Sensor Kit Bundle) that came with the GPS Head Unit, and 3 ANT+/BLE sensors – cadence, speed, and HR.
Should I choose the S500 E or the S500 T? The differences between these two versions are that the ‘T’ adds 3 sensors, cadence, speed, and heart rate. Here are some considerations.
- Cadence – Bicycling power meters require two things – force and a cadence. The cyclist applies the force and somewhere either internal or external, a cadence sensor is required. If you have a power meter, you won’t need this sensor. If, on the other hand you do not have a power meter, a cadence sensor is required if you want to see how fast you are turning the crank arms, i.e., spinning.
- Speed – Your speed can be calculated in two ways – (1) via the integrated GPS receiver or (2) the speed sensor attached somewhere to one of your wheels. If you want convenience, use the integrated GPS of the S500, but, if you want higher accuracy, use the speed sensor. WHY? As part of the speed sensor setup, you will be required to ‘roll-out’ your wheels which will accurately determine how far the bicycle actually travels with 1 revolution of the wheels.
- Accuracy – The speed sensor can track within a couple mm. The GPS can be off by up to 15 meters. I could not find any data on accuracy of Bryton’s GPS, but here is what Garmin reports for their units and I am assuming that Bryton has similar numbers.) “Garmin GPS receivers are accurate to within 15 meters (49 feet) 95% of the time. Generally, users will see accuracy within 5 to 10 meters (16 to 33 feet) under normal conditions. To view the current accuracy rating of your device, refer to its Satellite Information Page.”
- HR – Most cyclists will find the HR monitor useful.
Removing the S500 from the packaging, I plugged it into a phone charger and let it sit for an hour. Now, at 100 percent battery, I hit the on switch and the unit took me through several prompts to set it up. Less than 2 minutes, I had the basic user and system settings defined. Next was to define the screens.
I already have the Bryton Active App installed on my phone, so setup was easy. The app will quickly find the S500 and all you will need to do is to click on the S500 icon and it will be paired to your phone. Click on the screen you want to edit, then click on the data field you want to modify, and finally select the data you want to see in that field.
For example, if you want to change Cadence to Distance, just click on Cadence and then select a new category.
For example #2, here are the screens I have programmed.
Example #3, some examples of screen options.
Once the S500 is setup, just click the left button and it has started to record your ride. You can choose to ride tracks, ride a regular route, or let the S500 guide you through your Training Peaks workout, either outdoors or indoors.
So, What’s the Difference between the S500 and 750?
In general, the S500 is more for racing and training while the 750 (reviewed previously on Road Bike Rider) is better for navigation and trekking. There are still plenty of power and training functions that allow the 750 to be used for racing and training. But the S500 includes 130+ functions compared to 99+ functions for the 750. And you’ll also get about a 65 percent increase in battery life over the 750.
Full Connectivity – The S500 is fully compatible with the following
What is the Competition?
You can compare the S500 with the Garmin Edge 830 and the Wahoo Elemnt BOLT (V2)
Using the S500 for several rides, it is easy to use, and I really like the more advanced workout focus. For those that aren’t as much into workouts but into routes and tracks, the 750 might be the better option.
I still have one of the original Rider 530 computers that still works perfectly. Bryton builds solid and reliable products, and I have never had a failure. I’ve even “donated” a 530 to my daughter who still uses it on her bike as well.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he’s a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He’s the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick’s full bio.