Wattbike Atom specs
Height: 150cm (with fully extended tablet holder)
Width: 50cm inches
Length: 100 inches
Weight: 44kg (97 lbs)
Power range: 0-2000w
Rider size: 5’ to 6’5”
Max rider weight: 135kg (297 lbs)
Power required: Yes
Wheels: 2 (front)
Connectivity: ANT+ FEC/ANT+/Bluetooth Smart Control
Note: This Wattbike Atom review initially ran in August 2020. It has been updated with new pricing and availability info.
I enjoy riding my bike outdoors, but the weather doesn’t always permit. And with many gyms and studios still closed or operating at a reduced capacity due to the pandemic, working out at home is still the best option. While the Wattbike Atom is geared more towards dedicated cyclists, I, the causal rider, gave it a spin to see if it would be a convenient and easy way for me to get my cardio.
This pricey exercise bike offers a rock-solid design, smart features and seamless connectivity. But, it lacks the interactive display found on the Peloton. Read the rest of our Wattbike Atom review for our take on its design, performance, features and more, and to see how it stacks up against the best exercise bikes in the market.
Wattbike Atom: Price and availability
Let’s get this out of the way, straight off the bat: At $2,599, the Atom is expensive. Compare that to Peloton’s basic package, which costs $2,245. And yet, Peloton comes with that gorgeous, HD screen, while the Atom doesn’t even include an LED stats readout.
But Wattbike doesn’t intend for the Atom to be a Peloton rival. It’s more for serious cyclists who want flexibility and customization in their trainer. Getting a Peloton also means signing up for the monthly membership ($39/month), which can add up over time. The Atom doesn’t require any kind of subscription. Its free app offers quick rides as well as around 100 pre-set workouts. And the Wattbike machines even include discount codes for compatible third-party apps with purchase.
The Wattbike Atom’s cost includes shipping. Plus, since the bike comes almost fully set-up, there are no installation fees. The bike arrives in a large box with a few Allen wrenches, pads and a power cord. My review model also had the pedals and tri-bar handle attached, but that may not be the case for consumer purchases.
While the Atom is pricey, Wattbike does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like the Atom as well as a two-year guarantee covering any technical problems.
The Wattbike Atom can be purchased on the Wattbike website.
Wattbike Atom: Design and Setup
The Atom is built like a tank — a very stylish tank. The aluminum frame is sturdy and feels durable enough to withstand many punishing high-intensity workouts. At around 97 pounds, it’s heavy, though lighter than other Wattbike models and the Peloton bike (135 pounds). That makes it the opposite of portable, even though there are two transportation wheels, so once you find a space large enough for it, the Atom is going to stay there. At least once it’s in place, the Atom looks great with its sleek form factor and mostly neutral color palette of black and gray (with pops of red). There are two bottle holders so you can stay hydrated during your cycling sessions.
Most aspects of the Atom can be customized to your body and preferences. The seat moves up and down (range 57cm–83cm) using a handy lever. It can also be adjusted fore and aft (range 0–8.8cm), though that requires an Allen key and isn’t quite as quick and easy of a process. If you buy the Atom for a household with multiple cyclists, changing around the seat’s fore/aft positioning will be a bit of a bother.
The handlebar system is also adjustable, so you can ride in a number of positions. I mostly sat up and held onto the padded armrests, but you can lean over to mimic an elite cyclist. And the whole thing can be swapped out for your own 26mm handlebars if you like. The handlebar grips have gear shift buttons, so you can manually transition between the 22 levels. The left and right side buttons are also able to control different functions depending on the app and workout.
The Atom’s cranks measure at 170mm, which is fairly standard. I found the length suitable, but I’m also on the shorter side. Your mileage may vary here. The bike comes with pedal toe-clips, but if you want to use your own, you can.
As mentioned above, the Atom doesn’t come with any kind of screen, but you can mount a tablet or smartphone in the middle of the handlebars.
Aside from the fore/aft seat adjustment issue, the only downside is that the power cable that connects to the Atom isn’t very long. Depending on where you’re able to place the machine, you may need an extension cord.
Wattbike Atom: App
While you could just turn the Atom on and start pedaling, pairing it (via Bluetooth) to the Wattbike Hub app is the way to get the most out of the machine. After setting up my account with basic info and stats, I started off with the Quick Ride option. There, you can choose between Gear mode or Ergo mode. Gear mode is what it sounds like — you can shift gears to your satisfaction and pedal as hard as you want. It’s great for doing intervals. Ergo mode targets a specific wattage and the Atom will adjust the resistance automatically. Pedal harder and the Atom will shift into a lower gear. These transitions can take a fraction of a second longer than you expect, though, which threw me off a bit at first.
The Wattbike Hub app also includes pre-set workouts in categories like Warm-up/Cool-down, Endurance, Speed, HIIT and Climbs. Each category has a number of options; in Climbs, you can tackle Alpe d’Huez, Box Hills, Pikes Peak and Whiteface Mountain.
Again, I didn’t care much about the power or even heart rate stats (since I didn’t have a compatible monitor to connect). But I did find the pedaling efficiency report very interesting and useful. Basically, the app monitors the pedaling balance between your left and right leg. I found that my right leg tended to lag behind my left, so I focused on putting more effort into the slacker side.
Wattbike Atom: Performance
Using the Atom, the cycling motion felt smooth. Wattbike touts the real road feel of using the Atom. That’s something that’s hard to gauge when you’re staring at your living room, but pedaling and shifting felt pretty close to outdoor cycling.
I mostly used the quick ride function, which makes it easy to hop on and start cycling in less than a minute. I tried around a dozen of the pre-set workouts and liked that each section offered a variety of options, depending on what level you feel comfortable with. I could choose a 5-minute cooldown or a 10-minute cool-down. Each workout comes with a description before you start it, so when I was browsing the HIIT section, I chose the 10:20 option to “improve maximal aerobic power” and saw that it’s suitable for anyone with moderate training experience. In Climbs, I attempted the category 1 Sa Colombra Climb. Throughout each workout, the pedaling remained fluid and the gear shifts barely noticeable.
Since it’s so well-built, the Atom felt rock-solid underneath me at all times. And even when I was cycling hard on a climb, the Atom remained fairly quiet. Wattbike says it produces a maximum of 70 decibels at 200 watts, about as much as a hair dryer. I didn’t find the Atom to be overly noisy and was able to listen to music and watch TV at normal volumes.
Wattbike Atom: Features and connectivity
As a smart bike, the Atom uses both Bluetooth and ANT+ standards to connect and broadcast to apps and heart rate monitors. In addition to Wattbike’s own app, the bike can also sync with third-party apps including Zwift, The Sufferfest, Fulgaz, Trainerroad and TrainingPeaks. I tried out Zwift and connecting it to the Atom was a breeze. In minutes, you can be riding on a virtual road or engaging in a race against other (real) competitors, if you’re into community participation. Speaking of that, you could even use the Peloton app if you like their classes and instructors, though it won’t be synced to the Atom.
The Atom also pairs with Bluetooth, ANT+, ANT, Polar and Wattbike heart rate straps. It isn’t compatible with the Apple Watch, though. However, you can connect the Wattbike Hub app to Apple Health to track cycling distance, active energy and workouts.
Wattbike Atom review: Verdict
The Atom is a high-end indoor cycling machine — with high-end price. It’s even more expensive than the Peloton, despite not having an HD screen. However, it also doesn’t require any kind of subscription, upgrade or other fee, so the lifetime cost of ownership is lower.
But the Atom is also a sturdy, quiet machine that can be customized to your preferences and offers seamless connectivity to the free Wattbike Hub and other popular apps. I liked how easy it was to jump on, start cycling and keep an eye on my stats (so I could make my right leg keep up with the left), but also watch Netflix at the same time. That’s why I never got into Peloton — I wasn’t about to pay good money for instructors to bark at me. The Atom combines a quality bike with a non-intrusive, free app that you can use exactly as much as and however you wish. Plus, the summer weather where I live has been brutally hot, and biking outdoors isn’t just unpleasant, it could be dangerous, so the Atom gave me the cardio workout I couldn’t get with my usual activity of choice.
If you can afford to splurge, the Atom is a decent choice for high-intensity, heart-pumping cycling workouts at home. And with Wattbike’s two-year guarantee, you can feel confident in your investment.