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Next generation Wattbike Atom review

18 Feb 2020
Verdict:

Not perfect, but an improvement on smart turbo trainers if you have space

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£1,899
For 
Ease of setup • Plug and play simplicity • Looks
Against 
Gear shifting • Still not completely silent operation • Some variation in wattage from target watts

Wattbike Atom first look

April 2017

Turbo trainers and rollers are often the weapon of choice for indoor cycling, and with the progression of both products, riding indoors is becoming more realistic. 

Yet beyond these options, one product has always stood firm as a favourite for cyclists looking to punish themselves indoors, the Wattbike. With its built-in power meter and realistic bike positioning, it has become a staple of many cyclist's workout programmes. 

With this, Wattbike has looked to grow their arsenal of products launching the Atom, an indoor trainer that they claim to be the 'smartest indoor bike in the world.' 

Radical revolution 

The Wattbike Atom is definitely not found wanting for new perks. In fact, there are so many fresh additions that it takes a while for them to sink in. 

Firstly, the Atom is Wattbike's first ever fully connected, smart trainer. Manufactured to work with an smartphone or tablet, resistance and shifting are controlled manually allowing a realistic riding experience. 

Furthermore, this virtual offering has also brought simulations and pre-loaded climbs to the Wattbike. Via the wattbike hub, riders can climbs pre-loaded climbs such as Mont Ventoux and the Tourmalet from their own homes, with gradient and resistance automatically changing. 

This connectivity has also seen third party training platforms become relevant when discussing Wattbikes. Being Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled, wireless interaction with the likes of Zwift and TrainerRoad have made virtual training seamless. 

With Wattbike opening the doors to connected training, it will also be compatible with data sharing platforms such as Strava whilst also connecting to GPS devices and hear-rate monitors. 

Despite Wattbike's tip towards virtual riding, managing director Richard Baker promises the Atom to have the same level as performance as its predecessors. 

'The Atom represents a radical step forward for Wattbike. Our first true home trainer, aimed specifically at cyclists, it serves the needs of the connected rider yet retains at its core our commitment to creating the most technically and
scientifically advanced products in the world for improving performance.'

Attention to accuracy 

Regardless of the innovations in smart technology that Wattbike have looked to embrace, they claim to have not ignored what they are famed for, accuracy. 

The Atom keeps the +/- 2% accuracy of its sibling products with its range still topping at a hefty 2000 watts. Data is also sampled 100 times per second which can be automatically viewed for analysis and sharing in the Wattbike hub. 

Wattbike has also paid attention to an accurate riding position, making the Atom fully adjustable, allowing you to replicate the position of your road bike. 

The saddle will include a range of 59-85cm with the stem adjustable from 51cm to 62cm. The Atom will come with standard width 42cm bars, yet this are interchangeable too. 

With connectivity being central to the Atom, the bike will come with a tablet holder which accommodates a device up to 12.9in in size. Thirst is also addressed with two bottle cages fixed to the frame. 

Aero indoors 

Wattbikes, although effective, have often been clunky. Although fitted with wheels for manoeuvrability, they were heavy and room-consuming and less compact compared to its turbo-trainer competitors. 

This has been addressed by Wattbike in what looks to a slimed down and more sleek model. With a smaller base, and less material within the 'frame' of the bike, the Atom looks noticeably more streamline. 

This attention to size makes the Atom more accessible and practical for indoor training, taking up less space in a room. 

This redesign has also done wonders for the aesthetic of the product. The Atom looks like a genuine bike, as opposed to a machine designed to replicate cycling. 

Whilst appearance is not fundamental to performance, it does help if the product that will sit in your house is attractive. 

Final thoughts

When talking attraction, the most appealing part of the Atom is its price. At £1,499, this is a highly competitive price for indoor training with power and smart connectivity. 

Coming in at this price, the Wattbike Atom will certainly offer itself as one of the top choices for cyclists looking to get better. 

£1,499, for some, would be the price of a winter bike. Therefore, if the option of training with power in a warm and dry environment is an option, the Atom could find itself in many people's homes soon. 

Without testing, we cannot advise to whether this is the real deal or not, but from first looks, this could be another leap forward for Wattbike. 

• For information on how the Wattbike Atom can help you achieve your training goals, visit wattbike.com/gb

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