As of today, November 13th 2019, Wattbike is officially rolling out its Atom to the US market and is one of the first models in the recently growing trend of dedicated smart bikes to be available in the US.
If you desire to power through winter with undiluted training intensity, the Atom, which will retail at $2,599 including delivery to anywhere within the US, is a tool worthy of consideration.
The Atom was originally launched in September 2017, and Cyclingnews has previously put it through its paces in our Wattbike Atom review. Logistics and supply have been the biggest hurdles preventing Wattbike from tackling the US market until today, but with the recent influx of smart bikes, such as the announcement of the Wahoo KICKR Bike, it was a case of now or never for Wattbike.
Smart connectivity, improved indoor trainer mechanics and the advent of training software such as Zwift and TrainerRoad have all revolutionised the notion of riding in your living room from training toil to training tool, and with the Atom’s design, Wattbike has endeavoured to deliver a data-sensitive indoor smart trainer which is close to an uncompromised winter trainer.
The Atom has an assembled mass of 44kg, which doesn’t mean you’ll be carrying it up and down the stairs, but it's designed as a set-and-forget tool that can be plugged in, connected to your device and be ready to go in seconds.
Beyond its dedicated indoor trainer structure, which must provide stabilisation and resistance for full power pedalling efforts, the Atom’s touchpoints can be fully customised to duplicate your usual ride. Handlebars are broadly adjustable and can be affixed with time trial extensions, while the seatpost features conventional rail mounting clamps to accommodate whichever seat is your comfort preference.
Mechanics are the most challenging aspect of any indoor trainer and Wattbike’s engineers have attempted to replicate the feedback and feel of a rolling rear wheel and drivetrain with its magnet interface. A spread of 22-gears is available, to accommodate both power and endurance riding requirements, while the Atom can simulate gradients of up to 25 per cent.
Power absorption peaks at 2000w, so even if you channel your inner Sagan, the Atom will not be overwhelmed. Data harvesting promises to be exceptionally accurate too, ensuring that riders on an Atom remain exactly within their training goals.
At $2599, it's an investment for the most dedicated indoor training warriors and Zwift addicts, but for your money, you're getting a dedicated indoor cycling solution that relinquishes the requirement of traipsing your bike through the house and fitting it to a trainer before each of your indoor rides. If you're not in possession of such deep pockets, our roundup of the cheapest Zwift setups is likely to be helpful.
Although many cyclists will always prefer the feel of their own road bike moving on rollers or a turbo trainer, this comes with durability concerns of worn chains, cassettes and tyres, along with the resulting moisture downpour during training, creating damaging corrosion on the top and down tubes, especially around the bottle cage mounts and stem bolts. With an Atom, you can peak wattage, sweat like mad, and avoid galvanic corrosion risk to your favourite frame.