Blackburn’s Atom 4.0 is not a bells 'n’ whistles, all-singing and dancing computer for those who want to scrutinise every moment of their training runs, or indeed bore their riding companions, friends and family to tears. On the contrary, it’s a pared to the essentials, slimline unit with uncluttered display for racers needing a combination of pinpoint accuracy (Speeds measured in tenths of a kph/mph) and crystal clarity. That said; current speed, average speed, maximum speed, trip distance, total distance, 12/24-hour clock, and battery life indicator are pretty comprehensive and the build quality’s top notch too.
The Atom employs cable ties for the top mount, which might’ve seemed bargain basement a few years back but assures a genuinely universal fit on standard and oversized handlebars and stem. In saying that, stem mounting works best with oversized ahead rather than quill or more sculpted designs such as the Woodman it's on in the pictures). Installation is pretty intuitive and takes ten minutes tops, although unlike some, the head unit will not communicate with other brands of fork transponder but the range is excellent and seemingly unaffected by tri bars/other handlebar furniture.
Setting the head unit and navigating through the functions is equally simple so long as you remember the right-handed button selects the modes while the left resets-this led to unintentional data erasure for the first couple of rides but quickly became second nature. Bijous dimensions (23x24mm display) over two lines belie the remarkable at-a glance-in-all conditions clarity. However, a backlight would’ve been a nice touch-especially in the mid winter gloom. More precise than most, it measures speed to the tenth of an mph/kph and proactively thundering past the ancient Magnox nuclear reactor, power lines and other areas of high interference failed to induce any of the once infamous 99.9mph readings and the lifetime warranty adds further peace of mind.
Bijous computer with extremely clear display and clever detailing but a backlight would earn it an extra point.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Blackburn Atom 4.0 cycle computer
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
- Compact design with 2 line display
- Easy to set up and use with the essential features for any rider
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Bike 1 & Bike 2 settings
- Current, average, and max speed odometer
- Trip odometer
- 12/24 hour clock
- Ride time
- Auto start / stop
- Pace arrow
- Low battery indicator
Wireless with lifetime warrantee, stem of bar mounting claimed weight 34g complete
To Blackburn's usual high standards
Claimed 34g complete (our scales suggest 39g but impressive nontheless).
Very nice, nay intuitive to use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Atom is almost everything you could want in a training/race companion. Light weight, simple, solid construction, clear display with just the right balancce of functions. Measuring speed in a tenth of an mph/kph offers greater precision than most and the pacer arrow really keeps you motivated.
It hasn't missed a beat-even riding through areas of high interference and the head unit passed my bucket of water test so should cope admirably with cross/winter and even mtb duties. The one thing I missed was a backlight- a real boon in winter.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, sleek, yet practical design, clear display and great build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, although a backlight would've been nice.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)