We have a Wattbike Atom to play with

We have a Wattbike Atom to play with

A brief look at the Wattbike Atom.

After our recent news article regarding how Wattbike have added custom gear set-ups to their bikes, one of their demo machines has landed, so we can try out this feature. The Wattbike Atom is a striking bit of kit in the flesh. Its all angles and solid colours, I like it. That it looks more like a piece of gym equipment, rather than pretending to be a real bike, probably helps it appeal to non-cyclists.

Set-up of our demo machine was straightforward. Two roller wheels on the front allow you (or in this case my wife) to wheel it off the pavement and in to the garage. I had thought it was going to be huge and unwieldy, but so far it’s been very easy to deal with. Its dimensions are 124cm long by 50 cm wide and 150cm to the top of the fully extended aero-bars. Which makes it slightly smaller than my bike on the Tacx Flux S that we are also testing. At 45kg I wouldn’t want to be carrying it up and down stairs too often and it won’t pack down any smaller. So you need to think carefully about where your Atom is going to live.

Set your Wattbike Atom up in the nicest room in the house!
My Wattbike Atom won’t be in a room this nice!

Once you’ve gotten it into position you need to sort out your position on the bike. There’s a bike-fit calculator on the Wattbike site and I’ll use that to set up my Atom and I’ll let you know how that goes.

The Wattbike Atom has an electromagnetic resistance system and can provide a power range from zero to 2,500 watts. It can also simulate gradients of up to 25 per cent and has a claimed power accuracy of +/-1 per cent. There’s plenty of scope for adjustability on the Atom, the saddle, handlebars and arm rests can all be adjusted. And if you want you can swap them out for your own favourite item. The ranges are in the table below.

The arm rests double as a tablet holder

Dimensions

Handlebar height adjustability:Range 52cm – 76cm
Handlebar FORE/AFT adjustability:Range 0 – 7.5cm
Seat height adjustability:Range 49cm – 75cm
Seat FORE/AFT adjustability:Range 0 – 8.8cm

The only part that isn’t adjustable are the cranks, which are 160mm, this could be an issue for some riders. Speaking of rider, the maximum and minimums for the rider are 5′ to 6’5″ and 135Kg; so I’ll be fine.

The ‘brake levers’ have three buttons each, but no brake lever, which feels a little odd, but I’m sure I’ll get used to that. The button can be programmed via the Wattbike Hub app to perform different tasks. The two lower buttons can act as shift levers for the non-existent front and rear mechs. And you can configure those shifters to replicate your own set-up. The top buttons serve to switch screens in the Wattbike Hub app.

You can use the Wattbike Hub to check out your pedalling dynamics

The Atom will connect to third-party apps and other sensors using ANT+, Bluetooth and FTMS (I had to look the last one up; FiTness Machine Service protocol). So you can play on Zwift, Sufferfest, TrainerRoad, FulGaz or RGT. And as I’ve already mentioned Wattbike have their own app, the Hub.

So that’s a brief run-down of the Wattbike Atom, I’ll keep it in the garage, that’s the coolest place at the moment. I’m still using a turbo for my training at the moment. Being able to do sessions without having to worry about traffic, lights or weather is a major bonus of indoor training. It’s never going to replace riding in the real world, but the benefits are undeniable. Look out for a full review soon.

Wattbike Atom

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