Which to buy? Rider 40 or Edge 500?

raymond82 Posts: 330
edited March 2013 in Road buying advice
I recently broke the screen of my Bryton Rider 35 so I have to buy a new one. I was quite happy with it but whenever it would loose GPS signal (not very often) I would wonder if I shouldn't have bought a Garmin edge 500. Mainly because I thought the better known brand Garmin would be more reliable. However, on internet I also read that Garmin's can be quite unreliable.

Now that I broke the screen of my 35, I have the option of buying an Edge 500 or a Rider 40 at exactly the same price and I'm doubting a lot so maybe you can help me. I'll narrow it down to a couple of specific questions:

Is it wise to buy the edge 500 now that the 510 has been introduced? The Bryton 35 was an old model and that was sometimes noticeable in the interaction with the website etc.

How does following tracks in the rider 40 work? The 35 kept north up, meaning that the arrow to follow was pointing downwards when moving south. As sometimes it's tricky enough already to follow a trace, having to rotate the directions in your head makes it even more difficult. I know the arrow of the edge always points to the direction you go.

Do you regularly lose the GPS signal with a Garmin or the 40? The 35 didn't have it very often but when it did it annoyed me a lot.

Hopefully someone shows up who has experience with them both and is able to compare!


  • jordan_217
    jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    I've been using the Garmin Edge 500 for over a month now. My first GPS unit so unfortunately nothing to compare it with. Some observations and feedback on my experiences so far.

    1. The Edge 500 is extremely easy to set up. Some of the generic settings can be done on your PC and transferred to the unit when they're paired. Other settings will need to be done directly on the unit. The online manual provides a detailed list of all the menus/sub-menus. If you are pairing with HRM and speed/cadence sensor this is also very easy to do. You can configure the display to show what data you want with options to have multiple data screens that you can toggle through whilst riding - I have two screens so that I'm not viewing a single screen crammed with data. All personal preference.

    2. The mounts provided (I can't remember if I got 2 or 3) are easy to fit and seem solid, holding the unit securely. I had issues checking the display as it was mounted almost directly beneath me. I bought a FlipLoc out front mount and it's made it much easier to view the display. K-Edge, Garmin, SRAM, Tate Labs and RaceWare Direct all do an outfront mount. All overpriced at ca. £30 but if you 'need' one then you'll have to cough up.

    3. You can preload a course onto the Edge 500 and then follow a rudimentary bread crumb style trail to follow the course. I create routes on bikeroutetoaster, add info/way points, export them as a .tcx file and upload them to the unit. This will provide me with turn by turn directions when out on the road, basic 'SA at RDB' instructions but easy to follow and do the job. I've found that the Garmin Connect course planning feature isn't as good - I used it once and it was constantly losing the course. No problems at all with bikeroutetoaster. I've never experienced a loss in GPS, HR or Cadence sensor signals.

    4. Battery life seems quite good. Even with 5-6 hours riding at the w'end my battery has never gone below 80%. I do tend up upload my rides daily though so that keeps the battery topped up.

    5. Uploading and viewing data on the Garmin Connect interface is really easy and everything is clearly and concisely displayed.

    6. One of my favorite functions is the 'Workout' feature. Fundamentally, you create a turbo trainer session using targets such as time, cadence, speed or HR on the Garmin Connect interface and then upload them to the unit. Start the unit and then the onscreen instructions guide you through the session.

    I've had a play with the 510 and TBH, I can't really see the benefits over the 500. It looks a little slicker/updated but in terms of functionality, I don't think you're getting much more. My thoughts were that the 500 was in it's final revision so they must of sorted a fair few bugs and defects whereas the 510 is a brand new model and may need a few revisions to get it sorted. I'm a software tester so I'm paranoid about stuff like that.

    All in all, I'm pretty happy with the Edge 500 and would defo buy another if I had to replace mine.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • raymond82
    raymond82 Posts: 330
    Thank you for that extensive review!

    The fact that the Garmin software is easy to use is definitely a plus over the Bryton, I found the Bryton software not very nice to use. It's also good to know that you didn't experience any loss in signals, it's not like my 35 used to have this often but every time it happened it was annoying. I'm still wondering though whether that is a problem of the 35, or of the Bryton brand in general. The Bryton 40 also allows for customized training programs so in that sense they are comparable.