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WattBike’s updated Atom includes new electromagnetic resistance unit to fix Zwift issues

WattBike claims that a switch to a electromagnetic resistance unit improves the Atom’s reaction time on Zwift

When Dave reviewed the original WattBike Atom last year, the two problems that he found were sluggish virtual gear changes and app support issues. WattBike says that the engineers have been busy fixing both, with a switch from a mechanical to an electromagnetic resistance system for faster gear changes.

WattBike says that the new Atom uses a custom-designed electromagnetic resistance system. The switch to an electromagnetic system like you would find in the Tacx Neo Bike and the Wahoo Kickr Bike means that “not only does the bike react faster to gradients in third-party apps such as Zwift and The Sufferfest, but its own gear changes are crisper and faster.”

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WattBike says that “the new system will also enable an improved experience for a greater range of workouts including HIIT and standing starts.”

Wattbike says that they have also added a cadence sensor to the flywheel and a new crank angle sensor that they claim will not only allow better accuracy for simulated gradients in Zwift, but will also provide more granular data from which to gain performance insights. The new crank angle sensor reads 48 times per revolution, compared with the two per revolution of the Atom launched

in 2017. This, WattBike says, “enables the bike to make faster decisions, adjusting the resistance system without having to wait for either a half or full turn of the pedals.”

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There’s good news too for the track sprinters as the maximum resistance has been boosted to 2500 watts at 130rpm.

While the external appearance of the Atom remains the same, it will be very interesting to see how the internal changes will impact the performance of the Atom as the price has gone up from £1599 to £1899.99. We'll be tasking Dave with finding out.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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