Wattbike has announced a re-imagining of its Atom indoor bike, with an updated resistance which it claims will improve ride feel and interaction with third party indoor training apps.
The outgoing Wattbike Atom received a 10/10 score in Cycling Weekly testing. The new version now uses an electromagnetic resistance system and carries a steeper price tag, at £1899.99.
Competitors - Tacx and Wahoo - already use electromagnetic resistance, though Wattbike says its system is 'custom'.
Electromagnetic systems respond more quickly, at the press of a button, comparative to magnetic systems. This means gear changes should be quicker, as well as auto adjustments in response to gradients changes on platforms like Zwift.
Our only criticism of the outgoing model was that gear shifting was not as fast as with a ‘real’ bike fitted to a standard smart trainer, so if effective this update should prove a winner.
Using an electromagnetic system is also more suited to HIIT efforts and standing starts, and the max resistance on the Atom has been increased to 2500 watts at 130rpm. That's still less than the Wattbike Pro at 3760w - but few riders can even dream of hitting such heights.
In addition to the change in resistance system, Wattbike has added a cadence sensor to the flywheel and a new crank angle sensor.
The crank angle sensor will read 48 times per revolution, as opposed to twice per revolution. This will again speed up the response from the resistance system, which previously had to wait for a half or full pedal revolution for data input.
Wattbike is already known for producing in-depth pedal stroke analysis, with riders across the country trying to draw a peanut to get the perfect pedal stroke - and the new crank angle sensor will provide even more detail.
Wattbike's CEO Richard Baker confidently stated: "the Wattbike Atom again sets a new benchmark for the smart home trainer,” whilst head of product Andy McCorkell added: "[the new Wattbike Atom is] packed full of features to enhance your experience on third party apps, a phenomenal ride feel and, of course, an unrivalled level of accuracy.”
The next generation Wattbike Atom will retail at £1,899.99 and is available from £88 per month at 9.9% APR.
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor, and is responsible for managing the tech news and reviews both on the website and in Cycling Weekly magazine.
A traditional journalist by trade, Arthurs-Brennan began her career working for a local newspaper, before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining writing and her love of bicycles first at Total Women's Cycling and then Cycling Weekly.
When not typing up reviews, news, and interviews Arthurs-Brennan is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 190rt.
She rides bikes of all kinds, but favourites include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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