Wattbike ATOM – A winner for likely and unlikely reasons

 

With stealth-like aerodynamic beauty, Wattbike today announced their new indoor trainer.

I think it will be a winner

  • It’s heavy. That might seem like a negative factor but if you live in London you will most likely be waiting every weekend for your friendly, neighbourhood bike thief to break into your pain shed and steal your beloved bits of carbon. The aforesaid bike thief will need to join with friends to lug a near-50kg bike over your fence.
  • Whilst it’s not ‘cheap’ at GBP1500 it is cheaper than previous Wattbikes. I’m assuming with gym-grade durability it would be very attractive for gyms as well as home-use – but Wattbike are NOT extending the warranty for this to GYMs I believe ie defiantely targeted at the home market
  • With Bluetooth and ANT+/FE-C connectivity it is going to work with most apps you can throw at it. Fine for Zwift at home, fine for a Zwift studio. Fine to record the session on your Garmin at the same time. The latter seems to be a somewhat  growing phenomena.
  • Faff-factor – I’ve often got my knickers in a twist with Q factors but FAFF factors are important too. Assembling bike+trainer is logistically trickier than you might think for many people at home. Why not just spend an extra £500 and be done with it? If you can afford £1000 relatively easily, then you can get a pass for the other £500 relatively easily too.
  • If you are sharing it with your nearest and dearest, or with your smelly flat mate, (maybe it’s both) then it’s an easyish option for the different adjustments you will each require
  • If price/space is a factor. Well. Then price/space is a factor and you can’t afford it/accommodate it. Simple. buy a turbo trainer.
  • It sill has the Polar View and pedalling metrics which, because of the display, seem to me much more useful than similar metrics on a Garmin where you just get a number.

I only use Wattbikes in the winter if I decide to go to my gym. I usually end up arriving at the same time as Emma Pallant and Stuart Hays. As they are notably better than me, I am then obviously ‘forced’ to wait until they have finished (about 3 hours later 😉 ). Which is annoying. The other annoying thing is the seats. I’d like an easier mechanism to bring in and fit my favourite saddle as I tend not to take an Allen key to the gym. Also the saddle fore-aft retaining mechanism on older wattbikes always seemed to have been ‘modded’ by the gym with a proprietary tightening handle that never seemed to tighten in the position I wanted it. Note also that particularly large or small people may well have fit/sizing issues and should check the compatibility of the Wattbike ATOM.

 

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