Watt Bike Atom setup tips


Do any Atom owners out there have any tips setting it up with Trainerroad? Mine is coming on Saturday. Do you have to adjust power smoothing? Any other tips?

Best wishes Michael

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Hi Michael

I set the power to 3s average. Seems to work pretty well and matches the setting on my Wahoo head unit for my bike which has a stages power meter.

Once you’ve got the fit set-up as you want, take a couple of photos of the seat post and bars so you have a permanent record of the measurements.

A small tip concerning the pads for the tri- bar handles - the sticky needs time to ‘set’ or has the potential to come unstuck- I found this with one side on mine.

The setup with the TR App (I’m using an iPad mini) is super easy and it will find the atom signal as well as your HR monitor no problem (as long as it’s a compatible device).

Set up for ERG mode for TR as this makes it easier to focus on other things like cadence / form and holding the power etc.

Worth reiterating here (there are many threads on this issue and associated matters) that indoor training on ERG mode is soooooo much harder than anticipated if you’ve never done anything like it before and especially so if you are new to structured interval training (as I was).

I personally found through a bit of trial and error that the indoor FTP that I needed to set was about 10% lower than the FTP I had recorded and used on outdoor training. Others have reported slightly smaller / greater reductions so you’ll need to play with it a bit and / or do the ramp test to get an idea - but be aware the ramp test can over estimate your FTP is you happen to have a relatively stronger anaerobic component to your fitness - again my own subjective experience was exactly this.

It’s just a number but is important to set correctly - oversetting means you’ll fry yourself too quickly and not get the full benefit that the training was intended to give you

One issue that is an easy fix that can happen - you may find that the power suddenly wildly fluctuates and despite your best effort to control cadence it becomes unmanageable.

If so - switch off the atom and fully close the app then reboot. The key is to switch the atom on before you open the app. This seemed to fix it permanently for me if I follow that order of actions.

Get yourself some cleat pedals to use your road / MTB shoes as the standard old school pedals supplied aren’t that great for smooth power delivery and I found messed up my pedalling as I was used to the clip style from my outdoor riding.

Many people on this forum recommend making sure you have good ventilation and some good powerful fans for indoor riding at home - I agree with this and a quick search of the forum archives will give you plenty of recommendations.



Fantastic post, @dsirrom.

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Thanks @dsirrom so much for taking the time to write such a great post. I was already scared of the above so thanks for bringing it up :slight_smile:

My one main concern is the ERG power of death. I have a leaky heart valve (nothing to worry about) but my heart rate will go up quickly after each recovery interval. This leads to my CV system struggling to hold the power. If this happens do you just lower the FTP target or take it out of ERG mode? I’m sure this will all be part of the learning curve

I have a Bluetooth heart rate monitor that is already paired to the Trainerroad app. I assume I don’t need to pair it to the Atom instead?

I have cleat peddles coming so good on that front and I have a fan. if it is good enough we will see. If not I will have to get one of these - Lasko Fan

Thanks once again for replying

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Don’t worry about this. It will happen at some point but if you’ve set you’re FTP up correctly (go conservative if your undecided) then it’s most likely to happen further into a workout when your fatigue has built up.

The way to counter this is either:

A) bail out - a quick solution but not really beneficial as you won’t have completed the workout

B) use the ‘intensity’ toggle to drop the intensity down - go for 5% increments - until you feel you can sustain it. You can always ramp back up again if you recover and feel you can give it some more gas on the last interval.

C) maybe try to speed up your cadence (if you can) as this can help in the very short term to overcome the issue but it’s not easy and you may want to in parallel shave a bit off the intensity to help you do this

Connected to this, one thing I have learnt, both form helpful advice from the more experienced users on this forum but also through personal experience, is that actually finishing the full workout, even if I have to reduce the intensity on the last couple of intervals, proves to be more beneficial in the long run. I have no data to support this statement but I ‘feel’ a hell of a lot better when I do, and also get that sense of achievement that it didn’t beat me. I guess the training effect is also improved, as opposed to bailing out.

There is no shame in bailing though - I did so yesterday on ‘Mary Austen-1, was just too tired and recognised I needed to rest so did the first two intervals, second at reduced intensity then called it a day.

Overall I’d say just stick with it - I found SSB LV1 to be tough mainly because I was still learning how to ‘do’ both indoor training / ERG riding / interval structured training all at the same time and it was a steep learning curve for me.

Now I’m into SSB LV2 and I feel a fair bit more confident in my approach and have learnt a ton of stuff from just reading the various threads on this forum.

I have not redone a ramp test so can’t say for sure if my FTP has gone up yet, but anecdotally from the handful of outdoor rides I’ve done in the last few weeks I ‘feel’ materially stronger in terms of sustaining a sub threshold effort.

Might just be in my head but to be honest I don’t care - feeling better is half the battle :grin:


Again thank you. I know this is no real guide, but at the gym I have lost about 20 watts during some interval, but my heart rate was the same. I took this to show I wasn’t cheating and it was easier.

We will see what happens. I am tempted to do Baxter as a test workout as it is below FTP and the power changes enough to test ERG mode.

Have a great weekend

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I came a bit late to do a full session. Ramp Test tomorrow! I did 20 Minute FTP Test just to test ERG mode and it worked fine.

Sorry, just one more question. Can I use my Garmin Ant+ heart rate monitor via the Atom to Trainerroad or do I have to use my Bluetooth Wahoo strap? The Watt Bike Hub picked up the Garmin, but didn’t broadcast it to the Trainerroad app. I wasn’t sure if it was mean to.

Thanks for all the help. I will report my real FTP compared to my gym one tomorrow just for fun.

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Just finished my first proper ramp test. I was actually quite happy with it. 196 watts. At the gym I would hit 306, and then take 75% of that which was 230.

I am now looking forward to doing all @chad workouts properly for the first time. Well, I think I am looking forward to it :slight_smile:

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I had to buy a new Garmin Bluetooth HRM so Trainerroad app could pick up the signal, I couldn’t get my old Garmin HRM to work through the Atom to the Traineroad App

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Some more subtle hints for using the Atom.

Don’t try and do very short intervals. Less than 15 secs is very difficult, as the ramp up time on the Atom in erg mode is a longer than if you were just changing gear. I have tried Tabata sessions, but failed : and I used to like doing a swift 30 minute Tabata. grr.

When you reach the end of an interval, and the power required drops dramatically, drop your effort 2 or 3 seconds before the end of the power interval. That way you won’t feel the Atom running away from you, and you’ll be able to keep pedaling without it going lose and very noisy. It can’t really be good for the bike, and it is such a noise !

I’ve recently lost ANT+ connection with TR, Samsung, and have posted an item on the forum. Still works fine on BT though.

ERG mode is by far the best way to use the Atom, and although it’s hard, it’s worth it.

I second the comments on the tri bar sticky pads, They slip and slide.

Have fun.

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Thanks for the reply. I am enjoying my Atom. To be honest I have just done quick spin sessions Pettit and Whorl. I have also done a few Baxter’s in honour of @Nate_Pearson :slight_smile:

I did do Alpe d’Huez in the Wattbike app yesterday. That was 1/22 gears all the way!

I did try to use RGT yesterday, but although I had power on the app the screen app had none and I never moved!! Next week I will be back on doing Trainerroad sessions.

All in all I am happy with my purchase. For what I need it is perfect.


Glad you’re enjoying it. TR works really well with the Atom, and since I seriously started with TR in March this year, my FTP has been improving. I’m 62 though, so the improvements are less than a couple of % each time, but it’s still improving :slight_smile:


Great post, thanks.
I’m getting a bit fed up trying to work out whether to use erg or not…and need to put clips on instead of cages now to…